Thought My Harbeth M40.1's Were Forever Speakers - Guess Not


I've owned my Harbeth 40.1's for about 4 years and absolutely LOVE them.  
The only speakers I've considered replacing them with are the 40.2's, and while I've dreamed of getting a pair, I really never felt like I needed anything more than the 40.1's.  They are SO good!
Well, after a great year for my business along with a great opportunity to buy a pair of 40.2 Anniversary model speakers, I've decided to pull the trigger.  
I'm posting this mostly because I can hardly contain my excitement and wanted to share it with you, but I'm also looking for feedback from others who've made this same move.  
Everything I've read about the 40.2 model has been overwhelmingly good.  I do not expect to be disappointed.  
Thanks!


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As a fellow 40.1 owner, I selfishly hope the 40.2's are underwhelming in comparison... however, based upon feedback from shows and reviews, I think you'll be very happy.  I'm interested to hear your comparison of the two speakers. 
@pdreher I hear ya, man.  I have been so happy with the 40.1's I was happy never hearing the upgraded versions.  Just didn't want to know first hand lest I be tempted.  The upgrade bug is strong in me now, however.  
I'll definitely share my impressions.  
Cheers
Congratulations!  Great speakers.  I have a friend that has the 40.2's that I have heard numerous times and they always satisfied.
Nice I'm really enjoying my 40.2's - took awhile to get the placement right in the room but once you get them dialed in they're fantastic.

They seem to play well to all genres of music better than I expected and I really like the way they portray the size and weight of a kick drum or bass guitar amplified or acoustic.  Vocals of course are exemplary on this speaker as well.

What amp are you using?  I was a bit concerned that my LFD NCSE wouldn't be able to drive them properly but it drives them great.  

Harbeth seem to suggest that break in is a myth but I did find that mine opened up a lot after a couple hundred hours and the bottom end in particular changed a lot over the first few weeks.
@audiojedi 

I concur with you. All the Harbeth's I've heard need a few hundred hours to sound their best. I've liked them with Luxman and Line Magnetic. The LM 50-watt integrated works quite well with them and the two box LM that is just 30 very strong watts also works very well.
@audiojedi 
My amp is a Lyngdorf TDAI-3400 and it drives my 40.1's with ease.  
Previously I had a Primaluna Dialogue Premium HP and it also sounded great with them.
@snackeyp 
Any regrets going from tubes to a class D amp?  Every time I'm attempted to go back to SS, I regretted it and have stuck with tube amps for the last several years.  I hear good things about Lyngdorf, just don't feel the need or urge to change amps any more.
@pdreher 
No regrets but sometimes I wish I had the PL tube amp in addition to the Lyngdorf just so I could spend time with both of them since they are both so great.  
The Lyngdorf is the best SS amp I have heard, but it's not a tube amp.  
Hello snackeyp,  

Congratulations on your new pair of Harbeth M40.2 speakers.   I own a pair also and I really enjoy mine. They do take about 200 hours for break in. 
@snackeyp 
Have the 40.2's arrived?  If yes, can you share your comparison to the 40.1's?

Fellow 40.2 owner here....surprised you guys having success with moderate power amplification as I did not find the 40.2 could play full range sound on broad spectrum of rock music until I went from integrated pass labs 250 and vac integrated to pass labs monoblocks....now it can play non audiophile modern rock loud and well...I guess every room has different acoustics explaining differences...

Harbeth are one of my favorite speakers (I owned the SuperHL5plus for a while). I’ve heard the 40.2s a couple times and recently got a nice audition of them at a store (in a big room).


Before I put on my tracks they played a track with a female singer accompanied by a muted trumpet (and I think maybe some light drums?).  I was taken aback! It was probably THE most 3 dimensional, corporeal imaging I’ve ever heard! The singer seemed way back in the "stage" but fleshed out, properly sized and, well, corporeal and dense. When the trumpet entered off to the side, same thing. This big round, tonally convincing trumpet just appeared. The Harbeths have a way of making many other speaker imaging sound flattened and lightweight.


When I threw on a bunch of my tracks there was more excellent soundstaging/imaging - a really big sound. Though I was finding the bass a little pudgy. (Maybe the big room worked for the big soundstaging, but somehow against the bass control?).


Generally it all had the nice Harbeth richness, roundness and weight, with nice accurate-sounding tonality. Though for whatever reason I wasn’t finding myself totally seduced by what I was hearing. There was a bit of a polite, reserved quality to the sound, where it sort of "sat back behind the speakers" in terms of staging and not being tonally forward.The Thiel 3.7s I owned (and to some degree my 2.7s) gave me a lot of what I heard with the Harbeths in terms of image size/weight (though not as much), but with a bit more energy and toe-tapping quality.


My current Joseph speakers also do a great job with bass-driven music, with a reach-out-and-grab-you bass quality.


Still, the 40.2s are one of those speakers that I want to spend more time with some day. Ultimately they don’t really fit my room aesthetically and practically. But they sure have some special qualities that separate them from the pack (in terms of what interests me sonically).


Hi guys,

Sorry for the delay.  It took me a while to get the speakers and set them up.  Holiday madness delayed things a bit.

Here are some initial observations of mine:

Hooked up the new speakers yesterday.

Unpacking these speakers is a chore, and best done by two people, but I didn’t have anyone around to help when I opened mine, and honestly I prefer to do it myself so I can give 100% focus to it and block out the noise.  Moving them is also a chore.  I did have a friend help me with this and I’m glad I did.  It's nice to have the grunt work done and be able to relax and spend time with them now.

I have Tontraeger stands for them, which are perfect IMO.  

At first listen they sounded tight and bright.  Really harsh is the only way to say it.  Not good.

30 minutes later they began loosening up and sounded much better.

Five hours of listening on them now and they are starting to produce their magic.  

Absolutely love them!

They already sound better than the 40.1’s, and that is really something considering how good those speakers sound.

I think they need several more hours of break-in.  Some people have said as much as 200 hours.  Not sure but I guess I’ll find out.

Just took the grilles off, and can honestly say I think they sound better with them on, but the olive wood finish is just too beautiful to cover up!

Feeding them a steady diet of analog and digital music, ranging from folk to classic rock to classical and loving it all.  The best way to describe the sound is that the music just sounds "right."  The sound is so natural and easy on the ears that it calms me to just sit here and play them all day, which is what I plan to do today (it's Saturday and there is freezing rain outside - no need or desire to leave the house).  

I played the new Mofi UH1S copies of Blood On The Tracks as well as SRV's first album last night.  Holy Schitt was that a treat!  This morning it's digital versions of Wilco's library that are providing the magic.  

Thanks,

Peter


Congrats....

How do you feel about the tontrager as it looks a little precarious as a a stand....i am using skylan here in earthquake country LA.
@karmapolice 
The Tontraeger stands are amazing.  Expensive but they look and sound great.  You can add Blue Tack under the speakers but I never have and they stay put for me.  I do not live in earthquake country.  I used to live in Japan and had Sound Anchor stands with B&W 805 speakers.  I never had the speakers fall off the stands but sometimes noticed they were a bit off kilter, probably caused by minor seismic activity.  I added Blue Tack and that solved it.  
Peter,

Are are the new Harbeth 40.2’s your new forever speakers?
@joeinid 
Yes, as far as I can conclusively say right now.
It's too difficult to say I'll be happy with them forever.  Someday I might hear something I like better and switch them out.  Maybe the next gen of 40's will outdo these.  But it's safe to say I will be hanging onto these for a good while.  
I'm very interested in the Tannoy line of speakers, particularly the Westminster and Canterbury models.  I once had the pleasure of hearing Westminsters while I lived in Japan and to this day I've never heard anything so transparent and real.  
I can see buying a pair of them someday if I ever have the perfect room for them.  I can see putting them in a common living area where they don't look out of place.  They are so large they really do require the right size room.  And they are works of art in themselves.  The cabinets are beautifully made.  Very intriguing to me.  
Hi Peter,

Thank you very much. I appreciate your thoughts. I sold a pair of 40.1 with the intention of getting 40.2 but after a few pairs of speakers, I now have Avantgarde Duo XD. Way different sound but I do love them.

Have a very happy and healthy new year.

Joe
Those Avantgarde speakers look pretty cool.  I could never rock those in my listening space but they are beautiful.  
Thank you.

They are fun for sure. I’m considering a pair of 30.2 Anniversary for fun. The 40.2 are probably too big for my space.
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@snackeyp 
I'm seriously considering following in your footsteps and upgrading my trusty 40.1's to 40.2 Anniversaries.  I'm assuming you still have your 40.2's and still consider them a sizable improvement over the 40.1's?  Just want to make sure I'm not simply changing flavors for the sake of change.
Paul

What exactly is the difference between 40.1 and 40.2?
@pdreher Yes I still have them and am completely satisfied with them.  No plans to change them out anytime soon, if ever.  I think you will be happy with the upgrade if you decide to go for it.  The improvement over the 40.1's is not small.  
@mapman The 40.2's have all new drivers and tweeters, and the crossover has been redone.  
@snackeyp I never thought I'd part with my 40.1's... but I have a pair of 40.2 Anni's on order.  I'm nervous and excited at the same time, as it's hard to believe another Harbeth model can improve up the 40.1.  
@pdreher  I promise you won't regret it.  I felt the same way as you do now but once I got them I realized what a big upgrade it is.  Let me know your thoughts once you've spent some time with them.  You should know that the first hour or so of listening is pretty awful.  Once they loosen up though, they are magical from the first day and only improve with time.