To Harbeth or not to Harbeth, That is the question...


Whether it is nobler in the ear when listening primarily to vocals and acoustic music at 55-65db max?

Whether the 30.2 or the HL5+ produces the most magical sound in a mid sized room?

These are my questions.  

I like British Speakers. Not really sure why. Respect for the the duration of their businesses?
The uppity nature of some of the makers? I enjoy the sound of Tannoy, Harbeth, Graham, ProAc, ATC.

So Friends, Romans, Harbethians please share with me you HB experiences as it relates to low volume
listening. And please explain your passion for black screw heads. 


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@voodoochillin - I rotate between a Hegel H190, Forte 1A and a pair of Ampzilla 2000 2nd Edition monoblocks (Bryston BP26 preamp).

My SHL5+40s sounded great with the above SS amps. Best with the Ampzillas at higher volumes and with complex music (concertos, symphonies, big band jazz).

A few months ago my uncle gave me a Jolida SJ502 tube integrated. This is my first tube amp and I have only used it at my new place.

They really shine with the Jolida. Different in many good ways. Perhaps lacking a little bass compared with my SS gear. Can only imagine how they would sound with a higher end tube amp.

But this is where the subwoofers do their thing. And very nicely.

I also have used them in 4 different rooms. A 10’ x 12’ office and then an open space 14’ x 16’ living room at my old place.

My home office at the new place is 13’ x 16’.
There is also a 15’ x 19’ living room.

I have run them full range with and without subwoofers (4) in all mentioned rooms at both places.

I can definitely vouch for the high quality low level listening.

Hope this is helpful.




Agree 100% with @chayro 
 '' I've owned the SHL5, Monitor 30 and P3s. IMO, the SHL5s had a bigger, smoother sound and are more tolerant to equipment and cables than the others. ''

Very tolerant with the numerous amps, cables and stands that I have used.
"I would take arms against a sea of low sensitivity speakers, and by opposing, end them."

I'm with you, millercarbon. I much prefer a high-efficiency Tannoy Dual Concentric used with a SET amp.


ya get at least 3db by allowing out of phase cone movement which is…..wait for it…. 100% distortion……

Trash counts as output…..

i will take my pistonic cones any day…

and of course, i own ESL, planers and mechanical amplifier horns….that is how you learn and know…….
If I am able to give a like to akg_ca’s post, I’d do it.

Just to add, the old Monitor 30 is a far cry from the 30.1, 30.2 Anniversary and the latest 30.2 XD. If buying used, avoid the M30 at all cost as the sound is excessively shut-in, warm and thick with a severe lack in clarity and detail. Treble is rolled off and devoid of sparkle and extension.

With SHL5, the SHL5+, Anniversary or XD models are the ones to look out for. The older SHL5 does not sound as balanced as the later models.