Spendor SA1's, if you can find them used. Owners like me are loath to surrender them. Or other Spendor Classic speakers, like SP1, used. easy to live with, fit right in.
I've owned many monitors including the Spendor 3/5,3/5r and the SA1. IMHO the Harbeth P3ESR trump all of them. I own them and I just bought the larger 7ES-3, used, at a great price. Both of these sound very close. As a matter of fact if I decide to keep the 7's I will be listing the P3's here shortly. But if you like a darker sounding speaker I think the Spendor 3/5R2 would fit the bill.
I am fascinated by Harbeth, and would love to have them in my system. My only question is whether the P3-esr is really too small (75hz is pretty minimal as far as bass depth). How did you find them to be? Did you go for the 7s because of something that the P3s lacked? I appreciate your thoughts.
The only reason I bought the 7's was because I got them at a
great price,and I just hooked them up yesterday.
Now getting back to the 3's.
I never found them lacking in bass,as a matter of fact I am
finding that the bass is better than the larger ones,this
might be due to the sealed woofer on the P3's which I always
preferred to a ported type.
My room is 20x15 and I listen to the same type of music you
I'm going to give it about two weeks of comparing both
speakers and then decide which ones I will keep.
I can't say enough more about the P3's,they are that good.
As a matter of fact my friend came up last year to give them
a listen and he replaced his Spendors with them.
Like I said,this is just my opinion,but I think you will not
go wrong with them and they work fine with my 50 watt amps.
Any other questions feel free to ask.
I just took a look at the listings and there are two new
pairs up for sale on this site,go for it!
ATC SCM 11 (2013)
"....Best standmounter Â£800-Â£1500, Awards 2013. ATC has struck gold again. These are the most talented standmounters anywhere near this price Tested at Â£1200...."
Read more at http://www.whathifi.com/atc/scm-11-2013/review#P6qre4lhiVIXjZ0w.99
Heard them at a dealer driven by both Naim and Mark Levinson - Totally stunned me just how good they were. All the store patrons gathered around for the audition, and one bought them on the spot.
Highly recommended .
Thanks, Yogiboy. Your experience seems to mirror what I've read on various forums (the bass in the P3 is quite impressive and they don't need a ton of power). I recently bought a used Simaudio i-1 (50wpc 8ohms, 100wpc 4ohms), and I'm really impressed by it. It was just going to be a stopgap, but I don't see any need to upgrade it in the near future - very transparent, powerful, and non-faiguing. I think it will be a great match for the Harbeth P3esr. I'll let you know what I decide.
It seems that Dynaudio's excellent stand-mount speakers would be excellent contenders. Their new Excite X14 got a particularly enthusiastic review in this month's Stereophile, showing very low cabinet resonance, excellent dispersion and driver blending characteristics, and a very listenable presentation. $1500/pair; add good stand's and you're at budget.
Given your wariness of edgy treble, I also recommend you consider something using the Heil-type folded ribbon tweeter as available from GoldenEar (Aeon 2 or 3), Martin-Logan's Motion series (Motion 35XT), or perhaps even a powered monitor with this tweeter as available from Adam (available from Guitar Center of Musicians Friend) or Emotiva Pro (online from Emotivapro.com).
Hadn't though of Dynaudio - I'll read the reviews. I do remember there being a lot of good publicity around the X12 a while back. Interestingly enough, I have a Golden Ear tower with the Heil folded ribbon tweeter, and perhaps I actually find their sound to be a little "mushy". Lines like "telling truths" comes across as "chelling chruthsss". I bought them used, so there's certainly a possibility of a defect. I compared them to the KEF LS50 when I had them, and I did find the LS50s to be much clearer with vocals (but lacking in other ways). One of the main attractions of the Harbeth is that they are excellent with human voices.
I found that the LS50 needed more power than I was giving them, especially at low volumes. At the time I was using a Hegel H80 (75WPC), and it sounded a bit like the vocals were being projected at me while everything else was a bit recessed. When I really cranked the volume up, they came to life. However, my listening room is small/medium sized, and I'm in an apartment. Listening at high volumes isn't an option. I think they're exceptional speakers, and the bass was quite remarkable. As I mentioned, vocals were very clear and realistic, and that is something I miss now that I have the Tritons. Paired with a slightly warm, high powered amp, I think the LS50s would be far beyond what you can get anywhere near the price point.
Feel free to ask anything else.
10-03-14: Smrex13Stereophile's X12 review is available online. The new X14 review by Robert Reina is in the current October issue. As much as S'phile liked the X12, the new review indicates that Dynaudio really raised the bar on its successor, the X14. For one, the cabinet resonances on the new model are virtually non existent. Dynaudio developed a new, more uniform technique for coating the silk dome tweeter, they tweaked the crossover, and the impediance curve is tube friendly, and really, easier on any amp.
The X12 was really a 4-ohm speaker; the X14 is very much an 8-ohm, which leaves more of an amplifier's current reserves available for dynamics. Take a smoother, more linear tweeter, more linear mid/woofer, better crossover, more benign impedance curve, and a nearly dead-quiet cabinet, and you have the recipe for a very satisfying speaker for all types of music over the long haul.
The X14 also makes real bass down to around 40 Hz, nearly an octave deeper than the KEF LS50. Tonal balance has a significant impact on long term satisfaction. I definitely recommend you read the S'phile review and seek out the X14 for audition if you can.
LOL, Yogiboy - I didn't notice the date. Just clicked on your threads to see if you had other comments about the P3s. Without having an audio store near me, it's hard for me to know what I'd be missing with the P3s in terms of lower frequencies. I might just have to take the plunge - I've been thinking about setting up a near field kit anyway. And I could always resell the Harbeths at a good price.
So many choices...
I own the same speakers (Triton 7s) and they don't sound bright nor boomy at all in my set up. These speakers image like the best monitors would with the much appreciated added bonus of taut, precise, and clean bass. I removed the cloth and plastic base and drilled 3 brass cone footers for better isolation. State of the art speakers for the money if you ask me. I would recommend that you try different placements, ancillary equipment, and room treatments before you part ways with them. My favourite speakers by far after the Totem Model 1s. However, if you want to go for standmount speakers, Totem Model 1s will fit your budget. That said, buy a pair of Minuet Supreme Plus for $700.00 and save lots of money. They are THAT good!
Smrex13, I understand your problem. It is near impossible to listen to all of these speakers when there are no dealers around, you just have to take a chance that you like what you decide on. Like I said at first, I just bought a pair of C7's and have spent most of the day listening to them. Placement is a lot more critical than the smaller P3's (set em and forget em!). I will be listing the P3's in a few days. They are two years old mint and the finish is Eucalyptus. Good luck on which speakers you decide to buy.
Yeah, I'm sure that the boomy bass is just my current room set up/size - nothing to do with the speakers. Perhaps I need to work some more on room acoustics to tame the highs. I have softened things up with some wall hangings and removing the wood coffee table, but some true acoustic treatments are probably required, regardless of speaker.
Yogiboy - let me know when you list 'em, I might just scoop 'em up :)
I hear you Smrex13,
MANY people favor the Supreme Plus for the type of music you listen to in a relatively small room. Call Walter (Underwood Wally). I snatched a new pair for $590.00 plus s/h. Not fully broken in yet but extremely happy with what I'm hearing. Superb imaging, mids are just right! Awesome little speaker with more than enough "bang" for the bucks.
To quote "if there is a better standmount for a small room than the MSP, I have not been able to find it yet".
The best monitors I've EVER heard, regardless of price, are the unassuming Spiral Groove Canalis Anima $3,200.00. These speakers will give the ANY standmount a run for their money, regardless of $$$$$. The best standmounts I have ever owned, totem model 1s. eBay is selling a pair of the 1s for $2,000.00. These are truly unbelievable speakers at the asking price.
Lots of choices? Good luck on your quest.
Harbeth are good speakers. I owned the 5HLs for a year or so. What became very apparent over time was a very homogenous, vanilla like sound to the wide spectrum of music I enjoy. Listened to the P3s a lot too. Harbeth have great resell!
Zu speakers have a 60 day return and are not particular about amps.
The Soul are $2K and great near field and low volume.
Good luck. Stay in touch.
Scott - good to hear from you. Interesting about your Harbeth experience. Did they not have quite enough liveliness? I've heard people say that Harbeths are not for rock. I really liked the Zu Audio speakers that you had paired with your tube amps, but I'm afraid they might be too forward for my already slightly forward Oppo. I'm thinking of getting a more "musical" CD/DAC, and I'm experimenting with some Cardas interconnects and room acoustics to settling things down a bit. Just too many choices !
Original poster update: As an experiment I brought my office speakers home (Focal 706V - I like them for casual listening) to compare them to the floor standing Triton 7s. Well, I think the problem is solved with the Triton 7s - either they are defective or they just cause far too many room reflections to be listenable. The Focals are so much cleaner and more transparent. The sibilance is no longer an issue, and I can make out lyrics that were obscured on the Tritons. The Focals have a bottom end rating of 55hz, and it's more than enough in my room. I don't think the Focals are world beaters - they don't resolve as much detail or have quite the warmth that I'd like, but there is no comparison between them and the Tritons. Frankly, I was shocked - I know they Tritons are well respected, and I don't mean to criticize them. Since I bought them used, I may very well have gotten one with some problems. Or, it just may be my room. In any event, I'm no longer concerned about the "lack" of bass with a bookshelf. Now, I just need to decide which one to buy
Thanks again for all your input.
Smrex - FYI, IÂve found Harbeths to sound great with rock. P3Âs have been called broadcast monitors (vs studio monitor) - and although theyÂre known for sounding great at lower volumes for long periods - their professional roots come through when you push them loudly with some dynamic music too! TheyÂre great with everything, IMO...