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Listening day

Amormusic

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I spent the day with my amp and streamer in tow and went to a couple of dealers to hear some speakers.

ProAc D20R - I thought I'd love these, but I just didn't. The ribbon tweeter was nice but they were really bass heavy and it was chuffing and overblown. I think these were interacting with the room. I was very disappointed as I'd expected them to be excellent on the end of my Sugden. 

Harbeth C7ES-3 XD (what a stupid name!). - whilst I wasn't intending to listen the standmounts as I thought I'd prefer Floorstanders the dealer threw in this curveball. My gosh, what a speaker. It was truly excellent imo. I'm not sure about the stands they had it in AN stands - keen to hear what others would use? Cost of these £3.6k and my favourite from the day.

PMC Twenty5i 23 - whilst these were good, they lack bass (for me) and I already have twenty 23's. They are the same as.what I already have but just a little bit more jushed up!  

PMC Twenty5i 24 - better imo than the 23's, just more of everything. Was put off by the price though at approaching 6k.

Focal Kanta 1 - these were a bit more than I'd like to spend at £5.5k. I was.also underwhelmed but just can't put my finger on why.

The clear winner for the day, by a long margin were the Harbs. They made the hairs on my neck go up listening to a London Grammar song I know very well. Very very impressed by them. The dealer also allowed me to move them closer to the wall into a sub optimal position which would be more realistic to how they would be sited at home. I need to get these into my front room for a listen.

However, next up on the speaker tour is two more appointments in the coming weeks. Firstly next weekend to listen to the ProAc DB1's and DT8's with a different dealer (as not stocked where I was today), plus also another go with the D20R to confirm if the room or just then rule them out.

The following week I'm listening to the QA Concept 500's.

Those Harbs will take some beating though. I loved them.

Kit I took out to play:

Sugden A21a Signature.

Cambridge 851N

Plus my own power and interconnects.

Very happy to add stuff to the "must listen" list if anyone has any recommendations.

 
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Warszawa

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Sounds to me like you've already fallen for the Harbeths, but if you do decide to stick with PMC, Fanthorpes have NOS Twenty5 26 for less than the price of the Twenty5 24i. They'll certainly have the bass you desire.

 
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Rayymondo

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Does the dealer stock the newish Pro-ac SM100, could be worth a listen?

 

newlash09

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I'm sorry but those harbeths look comical, I could never own such stupid and cheap looking things. Urh  :sick:

And £3600 😆
I on the other hand, am having a terrible itch to listen to a harbeth atleast once :D

Especially after my recent friends gushing phonecall after listening to a P3ESR. But they are stupid expensive in my country, due to very high dealer markups :(

 

Psilonaught

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Those harbeths remind me of these  :p

83581.jpg


 

Amormusic

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I'm sorry but those harbeths look comical, I could never own such stupid and cheap looking things. Urh  :sick:

And £3600 😆
The visible screws is not ideal. However, they sound incredible. So it is acceptable and I'm not going to be buying any speaker based upon its looks. Agreed though, for a several grand speaker it could be a little more polished in appearance.

 
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Rockchild

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The visible screws is not ideal. However, they sound incredible. So it is acceptable and I'm not going to be buying any speaker based upon its looks. Agreed though, for a several grand speaker it could be a little more polished in appearance.
The XD version has added what was slightly missing on the previous model. I know this new XD version has been the highlight of all the XD’s hence why it’s been used at most events 

 
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Amormusic

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Does the dealer stock the newish Pro-ac SM100, could be worth a listen?
I don't think so, but will ask.

The next dealer I'm seeing has the ProAcs I've mentioned above, plus tablettes (which I think would be to small for my room)

 

Amormusic

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If you spoke directly to Proac, they would possibly assist somehow 
Already have. They suggested the dealer I'm seeing next week in Bath but they don't carry D2's.

I might fire off another email to ProAc direct as I would like to hear a set.

 
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Nopiano

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The visible screws is not ideal. However, they sound incredible. So it is acceptable and I'm not going to be buying any speaker based upon its looks. Agreed though, for a several grand speaker it could be a little more polished in appearance.
The dealer may have mentioned this, but Harbeth are meant to be listened to with the grilles on. The response is tuned to account for the grille.  They’re also difficult to remove, by all accounts, without damaging the beautifully finished cabinets, so best left as is.  

I definitely remember preferring what became ‘my’ ATCs to the ProAcs you heard, but it was a slightly odd colouration on voices that put me off.  Like you, I’d wanted to like them. 

There’s nothing like hearing them for yourself though. Onwards and upwards!

 
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Amormusic

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The dealer may have mentioned this, but Harbeth are meant to be listened to with the grilles on. The response is tuned to account fir the grille.  They’re also difficult to remove, by all accounts, without damaging the beautifully finished cabinets, so best left as is.  

I definitely remember preferring what became ‘my’ ATCs to the ProAcs you heard, but it was a slightly odd colouration on voices that put me off.  Like you, I’d wanted to like them. 

There’s nothing like hearing them for yourself though. Onwards and upwards!
Thanks. I've heard this before. Assuming I do get a pair I will deffo remove grills to point them correctly using Lazer pen. Then grills back on and left on.

 

TheFlash

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I spent the day with my amp and streamer in tow and went to a couple of dealers to hear some speakers.

ProAc D20R - I thought I'd love these, but I just didn't. The ribbon tweeter was nice but they were really bass heavy and it was chuffing and overblown. I think these were interacting with the room. I was very disappointed as I'd expected them to be excellent on the end of my Sugden. 

Harbeth C7ES-3 XD (what a stupid name!). - whilst I wasn't intending to listen the standmounts as I thought I'd prefer Floorstanders the dealer threw in this curveball. My gosh, what a speaker. It was truly excellent imo. I'm not sure about the stands they had it in AN stands - keen to hear what others would use? Cost of these £3.6k and my favourite from the day.

PMC Twenty5i 23 - whilst these were good, they lack bass (for me) and I already have twenty 23's. They are the same as.what I already have but just a little bit more jushed up!  

PMC Twenty5i 24 - better imo than the 23's, just more of everything. Was put off by the price though at approaching 6k.

Focal Kanta 1 - these were a bit more than I'd like to spend at £5.5k. I was.also underwhelmed but just can't put my finger on why.

The clear winner for the day, by a long margin were the Harbs. They made the hairs on my neck go up listening to a London Grammar song I know very well. Very very impressed by them. The dealer also allowed me to move them closer to the wall into a sub optimal position which would be more realistic to how they would be sited at home. I need to get these into my front room for a listen.

However, next up on the speaker tour is two more appointments in the coming weeks. Firstly next weekend to listen to the ProAc DB1's and DT8's with a different dealer (as not stocked where I was today), plus also another go with the D20R to confirm if the room or just then rule them out.

The following week I'm listening to the QA Concept 500's.

Those Harbs will take some beating though. I loved them.

Kit I took out to play:

Sugden A21a Signature.

Cambridge 851N

Plus my own power and interconnects.

Very happy to add stuff to the "must listen" list if anyone has any recommendations.
Bizarrely perhaps, I'm going to suggest the ProAc D30RS... and then not. Yes, they're bigger and do even more bass but:

  • D20R's are perhaps trying to be a budget D30RS and not hitting the mark. They come up for sale reasonably frequently, but the D30RS seem to be keepers and rarely do
  • The "S" is important. I had the D30R and they were hugely impressive but were poorly integrated in the midrange. The woofer on the D30RS has a wider frequency response and the crossover has been correspondingly tweaked to allow the impressive ribbon tweeter to relax into its sweetspot.

Unfortunately, I think these will be held back by your choice of Sugden. Controversial perhaps, but it's on record that I'm an A21a fan. The IA4 has less of the "character" (the naysayers would call this distortion) of the A21 and more grunt, but is a cleaner, clearer amp and would let you hear the D30RS at their very best.

If the amp is going nowhere, and who could blame you, then the D30RS may still be better but may not tick all your boxes.

 
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Amormusic

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Bizarrely perhaps, I'm going to suggest the ProAc D30RS... and then not. Yes, they're bigger and do even more bass but:

  • D20R's are perhaps trying to be a budget D30RS and not hitting the mark. They come up for sale reasonably frequently, but the D30RS seem to be keepers and rarely do
  • The "S" is important. I had the D30R and they were hugely impressive but were poorly integrated in the midrange. The woofer on the D30RS has a wider frequency response and the crossover has been correspondingly tweaked to allow the impressive ribbon tweeter to relax into its sweetspot.

Unfortunately, I think these will be held back by your choice of Sugden. Controversial perhaps, but it's on record that I'm an A21a fan. The IA4 has less of the "character" (the naysayers would call this distortion) of the A21 and more grunt, but is a cleaner, clearer amp and would let you hear the D30RS at their very best.

If the amp is going nowhere, and who could blame you, then the D30RS may still be better but may not tick all your boxes.
Thanks Nigel.

My amp is staying put so these would be to much for the amp.

I also think they'd be too big for the room. 

 
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DomT

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I'm sorry but those harbeths look comical, I could never own such stupid and cheap looking things. Urh  :sick:

And £3600 😆
Harbeth’s sound excellent to many. It’s not what something looks like that matters but they certainly look better than speakers that could be mistaken for wardrobe doors 

 

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