Spendor vs Harbeth

Birdbrain

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Okay so got the harbeths home last night and I absolutely love them! Vocals sound amazing and they are far more dynamic than I expected and seem to match brilliantly with my amplifier. However my wife HATES them (visually too imposing), so may not be staying too long. I will keep them for a couple of weeks and see if she can get used to them visually but if not, may need to try the Spendor A7s, has anyone compared them particularly on vocals and mid range? To note I will be gutted if these go home but hoping the Spendors might be close in some regards.. any other potential suggestions with similar characteristics to the harbeths are welcome.. thanks 
I'm sorry to say this, but you really need to impose your own will. Things will only get worse.

It's no wonder proper big speakers don't sell.

That's coming from an old bachelor, who uses big speakers.

 
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Three sheds

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Okay so got the harbeths home last night and I absolutely love them! Vocals sound amazing and they are far more dynamic than I expected and seem to match brilliantly with my amplifier. However my wife HATES them (visually too imposing), so may not be staying too long. I will keep them for a couple of weeks and see if she can get used to them visually but if not, may need to try the Spendor A7s, has anyone compared them particularly on vocals and mid range? To note I will be gutted if these go home but hoping the Spendors might be close in some regards.. any other potential suggestions with similar characteristics to the harbeths are welcome.. thanks 
A summary of the responses in this thread strongly suggest that the two speakers offer quite different presentations with different strengths, and that the Spendor D7 is a more natural alternative.

I think if you keep 'absolutely loving' the Harbeths - you could be in trouble - especially if you replace them with the A7's without listening (to the A7's) at home over a similar period of time.   
 

It's going to be a trade off between what each speakers brings.

So at the moment I love listening to Melody Gardot - usually later in the evening. Now I expect that the Harbeths would sound absolutely fantastic for that type of music. I also every morning play a 'motivation mix' from Spotify - all the latest club music and lots of heavy base. I play it whilst doing a combination of strength and stretching exercises. My D7's seem to infuse me with a energy from the music, and that comes from some of their strengths as described in this thread. I suppose the point being if I had both speakers side by side, it would be really hard to decide which speaker to keep or lose. 

So IMO, the worst thing you could do is send the Harbeths back without listening to the alternatives in your room, or you could end up really regretting letting them go.  

 

hiesteem

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Okay so got the harbeths home last night and I absolutely love them! Vocals sound amazing and they are far more dynamic than I expected and seem to match brilliantly with my amplifier. However my wife HATES them (visually too imposing), so may not be staying too long. I will keep them for a couple of weeks and see if she can get used to them visually but if not, may need to try the Spendor A7s, has anyone compared them particularly on vocals and mid range? To note I will be gutted if these go home but hoping the Spendors might be close in some regards.. any other potential suggestions with similar characteristics to the harbeths are welcome.. thanks 
They are a big speaker and I can understand your wife feeling that way. So I would suggest you try the Harbeth 7es3 xd.

They excel in the mids and are probably the speaker that has improved the most from the cross over upgrade in the XD range. They are not an imposing speaker and come in Tamo ash, cherry, and walnut. They have a good solid bass response and are quite holographic in their integration through the mid range. 

If you get them home and like them, why not ask your wife what wood veneer finish she would like. It should be an easy sell as their finishes are😍.

 

pmcuk

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The slim speaker in the Spendor line is the A2 with a 150mm mid-bass instead of the 180mm in the A4, A7 and D7. 

Has anyone heard these? A 150mm mid-bass may favour the mids and go some way towards the Harbeth there? 

A pair for £1199 on eBay......

 

tuga

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Yes, that’s correct. Spikes were off eBay.

I must stress that the HL5 is a heavy speaker and the floor is vital with these home made stands. Any bounce and they could topple. 
They have been great as a project and also some Celestions but I do like my Custom Design ones too. 

323632255_863654648185694_8287816262487537780_n.jpeg
I have had my Stirlings on Ikea stools for some 5 years now and had no issues with stability, even with a thick carpet underlay.

49672505907_23f229ab4d_w.jpg


 
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CnoEvil

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Okay so got the harbeths home last night and I absolutely love them! Vocals sound amazing and they are far more dynamic than I expected and seem to match brilliantly with my amplifier. However my wife HATES them (visually too imposing), so may not be staying too long. I will keep them for a couple of weeks and see if she can get used to them visually but if not, may need to try the Spendor A7s, has anyone compared them particularly on vocals and mid range? To note I will be gutted if these go home but hoping the Spendors might be close in some regards.. any other potential suggestions with similar characteristics to the harbeths are welcome.. thanks 
If the Harbeths are a No Go - I would be looking at Graham Audio Chartwell LS6/or LS5/9 f, which should give you the sound you are after.

https://www.grahamaudio.co.uk/products/ls6f/

https://www.grahamaudio.co.uk/products/ls59f/

 
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ChemMan

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A summary of the responses in this thread strongly suggest that the two speakers offer quite different presentations with different strengths, and that the Spendor D7 is a more natural alternative.
Why would that be?   Since we both have the D7 I'm curious.

 

ChemMan

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To note I will be gutted if these go home but hoping the Spendors might be close in some regards.
The Spendors all get the midrange right, but as has been mentioned by myself and others, the Harbeths excel at voice and acoustic instrumentation.  I did not realize the stands @Rockchildhas (user name change?) can be tuned for bass which makes them an even better speaker.

On aesthetics, my wife did not like the look of the SHL5+ or the ATC and it was helpful.  The D7, and by association the A7, are slim, good looking pieces of furniture.  If @CnoEvil recommendation of Graham's can be heard it might be a middle ground. 

 
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DomT

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The Spendors all get the midrange right, but as has been mentioned by myself and others, the Harbeths excel at voice and acoustic instrumentation.  I did not realize the stands @Rockchildhas (user name change?) can be tuned for bass which makes them an even better speaker.

On aesthetics, my wife did not like the look of the SHL5+ or the ATC and it was helpful.  The D7, and by association the A7, are slim, good looking pieces of furniture.  If @CnoEvil recommendation of Graham's can be heard it might be a middle ground. 
Sorry mispost 

 
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hifinutt

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the harbeths did not go down well with my family at all ... boring beths and trashbeths was the new name for them 😭

however my wife also renamed my lovely focal diablo as dustbins as they have a separate top compartment . 

personally i think the tannoy eaton legacy are no lookers but they are stayers . they are awesome speakers that blow your socks off and sound amazingly natural too 

 
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DomT

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the harbeths did not go down well with my family at all ... boring beths and trashbeths was the new name for them 😭

however my wife also renamed my lovely focal diablo as dustbins as they have a separate top compartment . 

personally i think the tannoy eaton legacy are no lookers but they are stayers . they are awesome speakers that blow your socks off and sound amazingly natural too 
Just goes to show how people’s tastes differ. I really liked the sound of the T Legacy but thought different rather than better or worse than the SHL5. That’s why our ideas are all well and good but home demo is imperative. 

 
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hifinutt

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Just goes to show how people’s tastes differ. I really liked the sound of the T Legacy but thought different rather than better or worse than the SHL5. That’s why our ideas are all well and good but home demo is imperative. 
strangely I had the shl5plus and they sounded awesome with piano but in the position near the wall they did not like it . we had a mini bakeoff here with a few audiophiles using a high end powerful 70 watt valve amp and the harbies didnt go down well 

by contrast the visiting tannoy eaton legacy [ on demo ] just sounded massive with better bass and went down very well in this room. thyat was 3-4 years ago now . it suited the massive valve amp very well .  

 
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HectorHughMunro

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I have had my Stirlings on Ikea stools for some 5 years now and had no issues with stability, even with a thick carpet underlay.

With SP1, I used to use 12” by 12” plant pots filled with sand with a piece of board resting on top of the sand. Worked well and cheap. Sonically dead.  

Obviously open frame steel is better but it was cheap and I had the materials to hand. 

 
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HectorHughMunro

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strangely I had the shl5plus and they sounded awesome with piano but in the position near the wall they did not like it . we had a mini bakeoff here with a few audiophiles using a high end powerful 70 watt valve amp and the harbies didnt go down well 

by contrast the visiting tannoy eaton legacy [ on demo ] just sounded massive with better bass and went down very well in this room. thyat was 3-4 years ago now . it suited the massive valve amp very well .  
They’re deliberately resonant cabinets. That’s probably why they didn’t like wall placement. 

 
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tuga

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With SP1, I used to use 12” by 12” plant pots filled with sand with a piece of board resting on top of the sand. Worked well and cheap. Sonically dead.  

Obviously open frame steel is better but it was cheap and I had the materials to hand. 
I could pin a couple of fabric bags full of lead to each side for ballast but I won't bother.

 

Three sheds

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If, I'm reading you correctly, as the price is pretty much the same, the Spendor gives you more versatility as a speaker?
Simply, if I was thinking of comparing speakers, one of my starting points would be the cost (my budget) and if I had been considering the Harbeths, it would be the D7 and not the A7 that I would have considered as an alternative. Of course there are other ways to look at this :)     

 

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