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Harbeth HL Compact 7ES Review in The Absolute Sound

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  • Tom Mallin
    I must somehow have been one of the first to receive my copy of the latest TAS, April/May 2007, Issue 171. The review by Paul Seydor is at page 107. Or maybe
    Message 1 of 12 , Feb 28, 2007
      I must somehow have been one of the first to receive my copy of the latest TAS, April/May 2007, Issue 171.  The review by Paul Seydor is at page 107.
       
      Or maybe the rest of you are just busy cornering all the existing stock of this new speaker based on this review.
       
      Seydor says that "between about 80 Hz and 10 kHz there is nearly nothing wrong with the frequency response" and that "for sheer neutrality the 7ES-3 rivals the Harbeth Monitor 40"  (well, in my room, that would not be saying much, given the midbass peak I get with the 40s) "and in the 2 kHz - 4 kHz range even trumps my reference Quads"
       
      He likes the stereo, the reproduction recalling "the original meaning of stereo, i.e., solid, the positions and movements of players practically diagrammable."  He similarly likes the reproduction of ambience, saying "I cannot overstate how fantastically these speakers reproduce ambience, whether real or synthesized, large spaces or small."
       
      He says it can boogie with the best.
       
      The inevitable Quad comparison:  "If it's transparency, coherence, and reach-out-and-touch-it immediacy you're after, I won't pretend that the 7ES-3 is the equal of my three generations of Quad electrostatics, but it comes breathtakingly close, which puts it streets ahead of most of the competition."
       
      He can hear Martha Argerich's fingernails hitting the keys in the DG recording of Ravel's Gaspard de la Nuit.  (Remember the controversy I stirred up claiming to hear this on the Nojima discs on RR?)
       
      He thinks the minus 3 dB frequency sounds like it's about 46 Hz.  It plays plenty loud and clean in his 22' x 15' x 8' room, but it's not for headbanging.  On very large-scale works, you may find yourself wanting more sheer bottom-end power, but the low end is otherwise fabulous.
       
      He says the rather warm, even darkish sound with a slightly edgy top end of the 7ES-2 is gone, as is the recessed presence range of that speaker.  The new speaker has a tiny bit of emphasis around 10 kHz, but:  "I am slack-jawed that Shaw has achieved such high resolution and tonal neutrality without the 7s sounding in the least clinical, analytical, or edgy."
       
      In conclusion, Seydor says:  "I'm not about to give up my Quads any time soon, but if forced to, I doubt I'd feel terribly deprived if the 7ES-3s replaced them" and that for a two-way box "this speaker sets, in my experience, a new benchmark in neutrality and natural tonal balance over its usable range, regardless of price."
       
      They cost $2,995 a pair in the USA.
       
    • Bob Stern
      ... I d be very interested to know whether Seydor previously praised the 7ES-2 without identifying these shortcomings. (I just searched TAS online and did not
      Message 2 of 12 , Mar 1, 2007
        >Tom Mallin wrote:
        >
        >[Paul Seydor] says the rather warm, even darkish sound with a
        >slightly edgy top end of the 7ES-2 is gone, as is the recessed
        >presence range of that speaker.


        I'd be very interested to know whether Seydor previously praised the
        7ES-2 without identifying these shortcomings. (I just searched TAS
        online and did not find any review of this model, but perhaps Seydor
        recommended it in one of the Recommended Systems.)

        So many audio reviews (not necessarily Seydor's) fail to point out
        shortcomings until reviewing the next generation product. I don't
        know whether it's because they don't begin to perceive the
        shortcomings until long after the original review is published, or
        whether they are intentionally sugar-coating the reviews.
        --

        Bob Stern
      • regtas43
        As far as I know(and I would know!) Paul never reviewed the earlier version. Actually, I reviewed the early one in TAS and that was the last mention of the
        Message 3 of 12 , Mar 1, 2007
          As far as I know(and I would know!) Paul never reviewed the earlier
          version. Actually, I reviewed the early one in TAS and that was the
          last mention of the speaker (except in recommended lists or side
          comments) until now.

          The old review is up on www.regonaudio.com

          I refer there to the dip at 2-5 and return to level above. Perhaps I
          should have said return to level plus a bit, although of course that
          depends on exactly how nearly you sit on axis and so on. (As I
          recall, the speaker at that time actually measured, according to the
          manufacturer, very flat on axis. I am not familiar with other version
          previous to the present one.). But in any case, the pattern of
          reduced "presence" but some zip above that is commented on.

          This review is from a long time ago actually.

          I never sugar coated things then and do not now. But of course people
          evolve in terms of what they expect and what indeed CAN be expected.
          Audio may not progress hugely(heard any original Quads recently?) but
          it does progress. I would not consider things today that I thought
          were pretty good many years ago--and that were pretty good many years
          ago compared to what else there was!!

          The Compact 7 of those days was and is a good speaker. I should know--
          my daughter still has that exact pair(and loves it).

          No speaker has ever been flat within the threshold of human
          hearing's perception of frequency response errors in an actual
          room.Anyone can hear problems in anything.

          I doubt that any speaker in a real room is likely to be audibly
          flat without DSP--ever.

          One has to be reasonable. We shall all be dead long before music
          reproduction in the home is perfect!!(if it ever happens).
          It may be amusing to pick nits, and of course it is part of my job,
          but this speaker (the earlier version) was very good. (It won the
          product of the year award over everything in Japan for example).And
          for those of us willing to do a little EQ it could be flattened a bit
          at the top and the presence range pulled up if one so wished. Not so
          good a tweeter as the one in the M40, but what were you expecting?


          REG


          --- In regsaudioforum@yahoogroups.com, Bob Stern <bob_stern@...>
          wrote:
          >
          > >Tom Mallin wrote:
          > >
          > >[Paul Seydor] says the rather warm, even darkish sound with a
          > >slightly edgy top end of the 7ES-2 is gone, as is the recessed
          > >presence range of that speaker.
          >
          >
          > I'd be very interested to know whether Seydor previously praised
          the
          > 7ES-2 without identifying these shortcomings. (I just searched TAS
          > online and did not find any review of this model, but perhaps
          Seydor
          > recommended it in one of the Recommended Systems.)
          >
          > So many audio reviews (not necessarily Seydor's) fail to point out
          > shortcomings until reviewing the next generation product. I don't
          > know whether it's because they don't begin to perceive the
          > shortcomings until long after the original review is published, or
          > whether they are intentionally sugar-coating the reviews.
          > --
          >
          > Bob Stern
          >
        • Will
          I think most owner s of the 7ES-2 (myself included) will agree with Paul Seydor s description. REG reviewed the original C7 and did describe the recessed
          Message 4 of 12 , Mar 1, 2007
            I think most owner's of the 7ES-2 (myself included) will agree with Paul
            Seydor's description.

            REG reviewed the original C7 and did describe the recessed presence range.
            I don't think there's much (if any) sonic difference between the original C7
            and the ES2.

            Anyone want to buy my C7-ES2 so I can upgrade to the ES3?? ;-) Just
            kidding. Kind of... er... PS is so persuasive! Nah... maintain the course
            for 2805 or M40 ... or maybe Harbeth will eventually come out with a
            SHL5-ES3 that's similarly neutral!

            Excuse me while I retreat to my listening room to enjoy my C7-ES2 until this
            bout of audiophilia nervosa passes!

            Will

            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "Bob Stern" <bob_stern@...>
            To: <regsaudioforum@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Thursday, March 01, 2007 3:17 PM
            Subject: Re: [regsaudioforum] Harbeth HL Compact 7ES Review in The Absolute
            Sound


            > >Tom Mallin wrote:
            >>
            >>[Paul Seydor] says the rather warm, even darkish sound with a
            >>slightly edgy top end of the 7ES-2 is gone, as is the recessed
            >>presence range of that speaker.
            >
            >
            > I'd be very interested to know whether Seydor previously praised the
            > 7ES-2 without identifying these shortcomings. (I just searched TAS
            > online and did not find any review of this model, but perhaps Seydor
            > recommended it in one of the Recommended Systems.)
            >
            > So many audio reviews (not necessarily Seydor's) fail to point out
            > shortcomings until reviewing the next generation product. I don't
            > know whether it's because they don't begin to perceive the
            > shortcomings until long after the original review is published, or
            > whether they are intentionally sugar-coating the reviews.
            > --
            >
            > Bob Stern
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > Yahoo! Groups Links
            >
            >
            >
            >
          • regtas43
            I would do was Will says, and hold out for the M40s. The new C7 are quite good, but I can promise you that I was not even remotely tempted to change to e.g.,
            Message 5 of 12 , Mar 1, 2007
              I would do was Will says, and hold out for the M40s.
              The new C7 are quite good, but I can promise you that I
              was not even remotely tempted to change to e.g., the new C7s plus a
              subwoofer as a replacement for the M40s. Not even a glimmer of this
              thought occurred to me.

              I think anyone's first close-up experience with a RADIAL Harbeth is
              likely to be a love affair. But one still has to remain calm about
              the choice between the various models when it is time to buy
              something.

              I would just wait for the M40 opportunity, rather than change with
              the C7 versions, if the M40 possibility exists.

              The new C7 is a really good speaker. But the previous one was,too.


              REG

              --- In regsaudioforum@yahoogroups.com, "Will" <will_hum@...> wrote:
              >
              > I think most owner's of the 7ES-2 (myself included) will agree with
              Paul
              > Seydor's description.
              >
              > REG reviewed the original C7 and did describe the recessed presence
              range.
              > I don't think there's much (if any) sonic difference between the
              original C7
              > and the ES2.
              >
              > Anyone want to buy my C7-ES2 so I can upgrade to the ES3?? ;-)
              Just
              > kidding. Kind of... er... PS is so persuasive! Nah... maintain
              the course
              > for 2805 or M40 ... or maybe Harbeth will eventually come out with
              a
              > SHL5-ES3 that's similarly neutral!
              >
              > Excuse me while I retreat to my listening room to enjoy my C7-ES2
              until this
              > bout of audiophilia nervosa passes!
              >
              > Will
              >
              > ----- Original Message -----
              > From: "Bob Stern" <bob_stern@...>
              > To: <regsaudioforum@yahoogroups.com>
              > Sent: Thursday, March 01, 2007 3:17 PM
              > Subject: Re: [regsaudioforum] Harbeth HL Compact 7ES Review in The
              Absolute
              > Sound
              >
              >
              > > >Tom Mallin wrote:
              > >>
              > >>[Paul Seydor] says the rather warm, even darkish sound with a
              > >>slightly edgy top end of the 7ES-2 is gone, as is the recessed
              > >>presence range of that speaker.
              > >
              > >
              > > I'd be very interested to know whether Seydor previously praised
              the
              > > 7ES-2 without identifying these shortcomings. (I just searched
              TAS
              > > online and did not find any review of this model, but perhaps
              Seydor
              > > recommended it in one of the Recommended Systems.)
              > >
              > > So many audio reviews (not necessarily Seydor's) fail to point out
              > > shortcomings until reviewing the next generation product. I don't
              > > know whether it's because they don't begin to perceive the
              > > shortcomings until long after the original review is published, or
              > > whether they are intentionally sugar-coating the reviews.
              > > --
              > >
              > > Bob Stern
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > Yahoo! Groups Links
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              >
            • Tom Mallin
              I ve noticed quite a few pairs of 7ES-2s for sale on Audiogon the last few weeks, ever since the 3 was announced. They do seem to be selling. Sorry, I don t
              Message 6 of 12 , Mar 2, 2007
                I've noticed quite a few pairs of 7ES-2s for sale on Audiogon the last few weeks, ever since the 3 was announced.  They do seem to be selling.  Sorry, I don't mean to tempt you--just conveying information.  :-)

                >>> will_hum@... 03/01/07
                09:15PM >>>
                I think most owner's of the 7ES-2 (myself included) will agree with Paul
                Seydor's description.

                REG reviewed the original C7 and did describe the recessed presence range.
                I don't think there's much (if any) sonic difference between the original C7
                and the ES2.

                Anyone want to buy my C7-ES2 so I can upgrade to the ES3??   ;-)  Just
                kidding.  Kind of... er... PS is so persuasive!  Nah... maintain the course
                for 2805 or M40 ... or maybe Harbeth will eventually come out with a
                SHL5-ES3 that's similarly neutral!

                Excuse me while I retreat to my listening room to enjoy my C7-ES2 until this
                bout of audiophilia nervosa passes!

                Will

                ----- Original Message -----
                From: "Bob Stern" <bob_stern@...>
                To: <regsaudioforum@yahoogroups.com>
                Sent: Thursday, March 01, 2007 3:17 PM
                Subject: Re: [regsaudioforum] Harbeth HL Compact 7ES Review in The Absolute
                Sound


                > >Tom Mallin wrote:
                >>
                >>[Paul Seydor] says the rather warm, even darkish sound with a
                >>slightly edgy top end of the 7ES-2 is gone, as is the recessed
                >>presence range of that speaker.
                >
                >
                > I'd be very interested to know whether Seydor previously praised the
                > 7ES-2 without identifying these shortcomings.  (I just searched TAS
                > online and did not find any review of this model, but perhaps Seydor
                > recommended it in one of the Recommended Systems.)
                >
                > So many audio reviews (not necessarily Seydor's) fail to point out
                > shortcomings until reviewing the next generation product.  I don't
                > know whether it's because they don't begin to perceive the
                > shortcomings until long after the original review is published, or
                > whether they are intentionally sugar-coating the reviews.
                > --
                >
                > Bob Stern
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > Yahoo! Groups Links
                >
                >
                >
                >



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              • george day
                Okay, since people are hot and bothered by my speaker changes, here are the speakers I have had in my home in the last two years. I have no owned all of them,
                Message 7 of 12 , Mar 2, 2007
                  My speaker trials Okay, since people are hot and bothered by my speaker changes, here are the speakers I have had in my home in the last two years.  I have no owned all of them, either:

                  1. Harbeth Monitor 30s
                  2. Harbeth Monitor 40s
                  3. Quad ESL-988s
                  4. Gradient Revolution Actives
                  5. Dali MS5

                  Okay, so I’ve tested five speakers in two years.  Of the five, I owned four.

                  1.  Desert Island Speaker

                  Probably the M30.  It does everything well, it images beautifully, and it is extremely linear and coherent, if lacking in deep bass.  I’m always amazed that such a little speaker can do so much.  REG has said the the Spendor SP 1/2 are on his list for this category.  I have no heard them.

                  2.  Really great speaker in a controlled environment

                  The Harbeth Monitor 40, hands down.  This is a beautiful speaker that projects sound like nothing I’ve heard.  It is wonderful.  However, it needs EQ, room treatment, preferably near-field listening, and all that.  It is less than family living room-friendly.  If I had or wanted a dedicated studio space, this might be the speaker I would keep.

                  3.  Really great but really odd

                  ESL-988s.  It was difficult to listen to the Quads in comparison to the Harbeths.  They image wonderfully but lack body and warmth compared to the boxes.  Not keepers for me.

                  4.  Great performance but some glitches

                  These are very, very good speakers.  They image like crazy, room placement is easy, the highs are smooths and the dipole bass is about as clear as I have heard.  However, I had some issues with the pair I had, there was the issue of a small room, etc., so they went away...with some regret.  They are not as linear as Harbeths.  I have not heard the new version; mine were two generations old.

                  5.  Fantastic performance in a family room

                  Dali MS5s.  These came highly recommended by two people I trust.  A change in living situations opened up the possibility for bigger speakers.  A good deal on TacT, which I have been eyeballing ever since I started doing measurements (how many people on this forum do that and EQ?), came up.  So, I bit.  The Dalis have performed better than expected.  They image beautifully, the highs are full, liquid, and just wonderful, and the bass is tight and goes low. Is the bass as clear as the Gradients?  I’m not quite sure.  I don’t think so.  But, say, from 200hz up, they are the best speakers, by a good measure, that I have heard in the context in which I’ll always listen to speakers — namely, in a living room.  Using TacT adjusted some subtle things and made the midrange even better.  Love at first listen...first time it has happened.

                  Okay?
                • regtas43
                  While I think the idea of owning so many speakers in a short time is quite startling, I do want to say this: First of all, I too have owned a lot of speakers.
                  Message 8 of 12 , Mar 2, 2007
                    While I think the idea of owning so many speakers in a short time is
                    quite startling, I do want to say this:

                    First of all, I too have owned a lot of speakers. The difference may
                    be that I seldom get rid of mine, so they are almost all still here!!
                    I just tend to be stable about my main references, partly for
                    professional purposes. It is a good idea to hae an ongoing reference--
                    as long as you do not persuade yourself it is a unique source of
                    sonic truth or something. (Amazingly many people who should know
                    better will latch on to something that they come to believe is "te
                    sonic truth". This is satsifying for a consumer but bad for a
                    reviewer.)

                    Second,
                    GD's list of owned speakers is quite close to the list I would make
                    of speakers that I would suggest that people try out in the price
                    range represented(substantial but not outrageous let us say).

                    The only thing I would regret, perhaps, if I were GD is that GD did
                    not(as I understand it--sometimes it is hard to keep track) have the
                    Tact on hand at the same time as he had all the speakers.

                    To take a random sample--I agree with GD about the sound of the Quads
                    unaided. But after Tact treatment ....well, the EQed Quad sound(eg in
                    my case Sigteched) is another kettle of fish. As Tony has said, they
                    can sound quite remarkable when EQed correctly. In my frequent
                    reminders to people of their need for EQ, I do not want people to
                    lose sight of how good they sound when they are EQ fixed!!

                    And the Gradients, when made to have whatever frequency response one
                    wants, really DO have that frequency response in the room to a
                    remarkable extent, and also sound amazingly good and so on.

                    I guess what I am getting at is that if you are going any time soon
                    to do room correction or indeed EQ in general, then I personally
                    would be inclined to get it FIRST and then see which speakers sound
                    like what in that context.

                    On the other hand, I really have no problems with GDs list as a list
                    of speaker prospects. One could always think of a few more, but I am
                    afraid to mention anything else(a joke, GD!!!).

                    I also find GDs descriptions of the sound of the speakers much along
                    the lines of what I might have said myself(and, comes to that have
                    said myself in reviews in many cases), if not the same in every
                    particular.

                    It is an unusual approach that he has, but it seems to be working!


                    REG


                    --- In regsaudioforum@yahoogroups.com, george day <george-day@...>
                    wrote:
                    >
                    > Okay, since people are hot and bothered by my speaker changes, here
                    are the
                    > speakers I have had in my home in the last two years. I have no
                    owned all
                    > of them, either:
                    >
                    > 1. Harbeth Monitor 30s
                    > 2. Harbeth Monitor 40s
                    > 3. Quad ESL-988s
                    > 4. Gradient Revolution Actives
                    > 5. Dali MS5
                    >
                    > Okay, so I¹ve tested five speakers in two years. Of the five, I
                    owned four.
                    >
                    > 1. Desert Island Speaker
                    >
                    > Probably the M30. It does everything well, it images beautifully,
                    and it is
                    > extremely linear and coherent, if lacking in deep bass. I¹m always
                    amazed
                    > that such a little speaker can do so much. REG has said the the
                    Spendor SP
                    > 1/2 are on his list for this category. I have no heard them.
                    >
                    > 2. Really great speaker in a controlled environment
                    >
                    > The Harbeth Monitor 40, hands down. This is a beautiful speaker
                    that
                    > projects sound like nothing I¹ve heard. It is wonderful. However,
                    it needs
                    > EQ, room treatment, preferably near-field listening, and all that.
                    It is
                    > less than family living room-friendly. If I had or wanted a
                    dedicated
                    > studio space, this might be the speaker I would keep.
                    >
                    > 3. Really great but really odd
                    >
                    > ESL-988s. It was difficult to listen to the Quads in comparison to
                    the
                    > Harbeths. They image wonderfully but lack body and warmth compared
                    to the
                    > boxes. Not keepers for me.
                    >
                    > 4. Great performance but some glitches
                    >
                    > These are very, very good speakers. They image like crazy, room
                    placement
                    > is easy, the highs are smooths and the dipole bass is about as
                    clear as I
                    > have heard. However, I had some issues with the pair I had, there
                    was the
                    > issue of a small room, etc., so they went away...with some regret.
                    They are
                    > not as linear as Harbeths. I have not heard the new version; mine
                    were two
                    > generations old.
                    >
                    > 5. Fantastic performance in a family room
                    >
                    > Dali MS5s. These came highly recommended by two people I trust. A
                    change
                    > in living situations opened up the possibility for bigger
                    speakers. A good
                    > deal on TacT, which I have been eyeballing ever since I started
                    doing
                    > measurements (how many people on this forum do that and EQ?), came
                    up. So,
                    > I bit. The Dalis have performed better than expected. They image
                    > beautifully, the highs are full, liquid, and just wonderful, and
                    the bass is
                    > tight and goes low. Is the bass as clear as the Gradients? I¹m not
                    quite
                    > sure. I don¹t think so. But, say, from 200hz up, they are the best
                    > speakers, by a good measure, that I have heard in the context in
                    which I¹ll
                    > always listen to speakers ‹ namely, in a living room. Using TacT
                    adjusted
                    > some subtle things and made the midrange even better. Love at first
                    > listen...first time it has happened.
                    >
                    > Okay?
                    >
                  • george day
                    Robert, Thanks. Really, I don¹t find the idea of owning four speakers in two years startling. Note that I usually had at least two of them at a time (M30s
                    Message 9 of 12 , Mar 2, 2007
                      Re: [regsaudioforum] Re: My speaker trials Robert,

                      Thanks.

                      Really, I don’t find the idea of owning four speakers in two years startling.  Note that I usually had at least two of them at a time (M30s and M40s, M30s and Gradients, and so forth).

                      I, too, regret not getting into TacT or whatever earlier. Just from listening to the Quads, I can only imagine what they could have accomplished with the Harbeths.  But, alas, that boat is passed.  On the other hand, I have the latest/greatest version of the TacT, so why complain?  You can’t have your cake and eat it too...Having said that, I’ve put a lot of care into room measurement and digital domain equalization.  I think I’ve gotten pretty good at it, frankly, but it is clearly not the same as DSP.

                      Overally, my two favorite speakers, for sheer performance and grab-your-attention factor, are the Harbeth M40s and Dali MS5’s.  The biggest difference between the two, and I find this odd, is that the M40s have a significantly more “forward” sound stage or sense of projection.  The Dali’s, in comparison, are laid back.

                      Is one better than the other?  Not really, I think — they’re just different and I like them both.

                      I will say this: the only speaker I regret selling was the M40.  I know, with certainty, that I will own another pair at some point.


                      On 3/2/07 2:05 PM, "regtas43" <regonaudio@...> wrote:


                       
                       

                      While I think the idea of owning so many speakers in a short time is
                      quite startling, I do want to say this:

                      First of all, I too have owned a lot of speakers. The difference may
                      be that I seldom get rid of mine, so they are almost all still here!!
                      I just tend to be stable about my main references, partly for
                      professional purposes. It is a good idea to hae an ongoing reference--
                      as long as you do not persuade yourself it is a unique source of
                      sonic truth or something. (Amazingly many people who should know
                      better will latch on to something that they come to believe is "te
                      sonic truth". This is satsifying for a consumer but bad for a
                      reviewer.)

                      Second,
                      GD's list of owned speakers is quite close to the list I would make
                      of speakers that I would suggest that people try out in the price
                      range represented(substantial but not outrageous let us say).

                      The only thing I would regret, perhaps, if I were GD is that GD did
                      not(as I understand it--sometimes it is hard to keep track) have the
                      Tact on hand at the same time as he had all the speakers.

                      To take a random sample--I agree with GD about the sound of the Quads
                      unaided. But after Tact treatment ....well, the EQed Quad sound(eg in
                      my case Sigteched) is another kettle of fish. As Tony has said, they
                      can sound quite remarkable when EQed correctly. In my frequent
                      reminders to people of their need for EQ, I do not want people to
                      lose sight of how good they sound when they are EQ fixed!!

                      And the Gradients, when made to have whatever frequency response one
                      wants, really DO have that frequency response in the room to a
                      remarkable extent, and also sound amazingly good and so on.

                      I guess what I am getting at is that if you are going any time soon
                      to do room correction or indeed EQ in general, then I personally
                      would be inclined to get it FIRST and then see which speakers sound
                      like what in that context.

                      On the other hand, I really have no problems with GDs list as a list
                      of speaker prospects. One could always think of a few more, but I am
                      afraid to mention anything else(a joke, GD!!!).

                      I also find GDs descriptions of the sound of the speakers much along
                      the lines of what I might have said myself(and, comes to that have
                      said myself in reviews in many cases), if not the same in every
                      particular.

                      It is an unusual approach that he has, but it seems to be working!

                      REG

                      --- In regsaudioforum@yahoogroups.com <mailto:regsaudioforum%40yahoogroups.com> , george day <george-day@...>
                      wrote:
                      >
                      > Okay, since people are hot and bothered by my speaker changes, here
                      are the
                      > speakers I have had in my home in the last two years.  I have no
                      owned all
                      > of them, either:
                      >
                      > 1. Harbeth Monitor 30s
                      > 2. Harbeth Monitor 40s
                      > 3. Quad ESL-988s
                      > 4. Gradient Revolution Actives
                      > 5. Dali MS5
                      >
                      > Okay, so I’ve tested five speakers in two years.  Of the five, I
                      owned four.
                      >
                      > 1.  Desert Island Speaker
                      >
                      > Probably the M30.  It does everything well, it images beautifully,
                      and it is
                      > extremely linear and coherent, if lacking in deep bass.  I’m always
                      amazed
                      > that such a little speaker can do so much.  REG has said the the
                      Spendor SP
                      > 1/2 are on his list for this category.  I have no heard them.
                      >
                      > 2.  Really great speaker in a controlled environment
                      >
                      > The Harbeth Monitor 40, hands down.  This is a beautiful speaker
                      that
                      > projects sound like nothing I’ve heard.  It is wonderful.  However,
                      it needs
                      > EQ, room treatment, preferably near-field listening, and all that.  
                      It is
                      > less than family living room-friendly.  If I had or wanted a
                      dedicated
                      > studio space, this might be the speaker I would keep.
                      >
                      > 3.  Really great but really odd
                      >
                      > ESL-988s.  It was difficult to listen to the Quads in comparison to
                      the
                      > Harbeths.  They image wonderfully but lack body and warmth compared
                      to the
                      > boxes.  Not keepers for me.
                      >
                      > 4.  Great performance but some glitches
                      >
                      > These are very, very good speakers.  They image like crazy, room
                      placement
                      > is easy, the highs are smooths and the dipole bass is about as
                      clear as I
                      > have heard.  However, I had some issues with the pair I had, there
                      was the
                      > issue of a small room, etc., so they went away...with some regret.  
                      They are
                      > not as linear as Harbeths.  I have not heard the new version; mine
                      were two
                      > generations old.
                      >
                      > 5.  Fantastic performance in a family room
                      >
                      > Dali MS5s.  These came highly recommended by two people I trust.  A
                      change
                      > in living situations opened up the possibility for bigger
                      speakers.  A good
                      > deal on TacT, which I have been eyeballing ever since I started
                      doing
                      > measurements (how many people on this forum do that and EQ?), came
                      up.  So,
                      > I bit.  The Dalis have performed better than expected.  They image
                      > beautifully, the highs are full, liquid, and just wonderful, and
                      the bass is
                      > tight and goes low. Is the bass as clear as the Gradients?  I’m not
                      quite
                      > sure.  I don’t think so.  But, say, from 200hz up, they are the best
                      > speakers, by a good measure, that I have heard in the context in
                      which I’ll
                      > always listen to speakers — namely, in a living room.  Using TacT
                      adjusted
                      > some subtle things and made the midrange even better.  Love at first
                      > listen...first time it has happened.
                      >
                      > Okay?
                      >

                       
                          

                    • george day
                      PS, Really: if you said ³you¹re moving and we¹re not telling you where,² I¹d take the M30s. That¹s why I sold the M40s in the first place. 10¹x14¹
                      Message 10 of 12 , Mar 2, 2007
                        Re: [regsaudioforum] Re: My speaker trials PS,

                        Really: if you said “you’re moving and we’re not telling you where,” I’d take the M30s.  That’s why I sold the M40s in the first place.  10’x14’ stone room in a tiny Italian house was not going to be the place for M40s.  Even with EQ.

                        Right now, with the TacT, it’s a toss-up.  Had I seen a pair of M40s for sale, the Dalis might not be in my living room...


                        On 3/2/07 2:05 PM, "regtas43" <regonaudio@...> wrote:


                         
                         

                        While I think the idea of owning so many speakers in a short time is
                        quite startling, I do want to say this:

                        First of all, I too have owned a lot of speakers. The difference may
                        be that I seldom get rid of mine, so they are almost all still here!!
                        I just tend to be stable about my main references, partly for
                        professional purposes. It is a good idea to hae an ongoing reference--
                        as long as you do not persuade yourself it is a unique source of
                        sonic truth or something. (Amazingly many people who should know
                        better will latch on to something that they come to believe is "te
                        sonic truth". This is satsifying for a consumer but bad for a
                        reviewer.)

                        Second,
                        GD's list of owned speakers is quite close to the list I would make
                        of speakers that I would suggest that people try out in the price
                        range represented(substantial but not outrageous let us say).

                        The only thing I would regret, perhaps, if I were GD is that GD did
                        not(as I understand it--sometimes it is hard to keep track) have the
                        Tact on hand at the same time as he had all the speakers.

                        To take a random sample--I agree with GD about the sound of the Quads
                        unaided. But after Tact treatment ....well, the EQed Quad sound(eg in
                        my case Sigteched) is another kettle of fish. As Tony has said, they
                        can sound quite remarkable when EQed correctly. In my frequent
                        reminders to people of their need for EQ, I do not want people to
                        lose sight of how good they sound when they are EQ fixed!!

                        And the Gradients, when made to have whatever frequency response one
                        wants, really DO have that frequency response in the room to a
                        remarkable extent, and also sound amazingly good and so on.

                        I guess what I am getting at is that if you are going any time soon
                        to do room correction or indeed EQ in general, then I personally
                        would be inclined to get it FIRST and then see which speakers sound
                        like what in that context.

                        On the other hand, I really have no problems with GDs list as a list
                        of speaker prospects. One could always think of a few more, but I am
                        afraid to mention anything else(a joke, GD!!!).

                        I also find GDs descriptions of the sound of the speakers much along
                        the lines of what I might have said myself(and, comes to that have
                        said myself in reviews in many cases), if not the same in every
                        particular.

                        It is an unusual approach that he has, but it seems to be working!

                        REG

                        --- In regsaudioforum@yahoogroups.com <mailto:regsaudioforum%40yahoogroups.com> , george day <george-day@...>
                        wrote:
                        >
                        > Okay, since people are hot and bothered by my speaker changes, here
                        are the
                        > speakers I have had in my home in the last two years.  I have no
                        owned all
                        > of them, either:
                        >
                        > 1. Harbeth Monitor 30s
                        > 2. Harbeth Monitor 40s
                        > 3. Quad ESL-988s
                        > 4. Gradient Revolution Actives
                        > 5. Dali MS5
                        >
                        > Okay, so I’ve tested five speakers in two years.  Of the five, I
                        owned four.
                        >
                        > 1.  Desert Island Speaker
                        >
                        > Probably the M30.  It does everything well, it images beautifully,
                        and it is
                        > extremely linear and coherent, if lacking in deep bass.  I’m always
                        amazed
                        > that such a little speaker can do so much.  REG has said the the
                        Spendor SP
                        > 1/2 are on his list for this category.  I have no heard them.
                        >
                        > 2.  Really great speaker in a controlled environment
                        >
                        > The Harbeth Monitor 40, hands down.  This is a beautiful speaker
                        that
                        > projects sound like nothing I’ve heard.  It is wonderful.  However,
                        it needs
                        > EQ, room treatment, preferably near-field listening, and all that.  
                        It is
                        > less than family living room-friendly.  If I had or wanted a
                        dedicated
                        > studio space, this might be the speaker I would keep.
                        >
                        > 3.  Really great but really odd
                        >
                        > ESL-988s.  It was difficult to listen to the Quads in comparison to
                        the
                        > Harbeths.  They image wonderfully but lack body and warmth compared
                        to the
                        > boxes.  Not keepers for me.
                        >
                        > 4.  Great performance but some glitches
                        >
                        > These are very, very good speakers.  They image like crazy, room
                        placement
                        > is easy, the highs are smooths and the dipole bass is about as
                        clear as I
                        > have heard.  However, I had some issues with the pair I had, there
                        was the
                        > issue of a small room, etc., so they went away...with some regret.  
                        They are
                        > not as linear as Harbeths.  I have not heard the new version; mine
                        were two
                        > generations old.
                        >
                        > 5.  Fantastic performance in a family room
                        >
                        > Dali MS5s.  These came highly recommended by two people I trust.  A
                        change
                        > in living situations opened up the possibility for bigger
                        speakers.  A good
                        > deal on TacT, which I have been eyeballing ever since I started
                        doing
                        > measurements (how many people on this forum do that and EQ?), came
                        up.  So,
                        > I bit.  The Dalis have performed better than expected.  They image
                        > beautifully, the highs are full, liquid, and just wonderful, and
                        the bass is
                        > tight and goes low. Is the bass as clear as the Gradients?  I’m not
                        quite
                        > sure.  I don’t think so.  But, say, from 200hz up, they are the best
                        > speakers, by a good measure, that I have heard in the context in
                        which I’ll
                        > always listen to speakers — namely, in a living room.  Using TacT
                        adjusted
                        > some subtle things and made the midrange even better.  Love at first
                        > listen...first time it has happened.
                        >
                        > Okay?
                        >

                         
                            

                      • george day
                        Spent time between emails (ie, family left the house) listening to Sandrine Piau singing Debussy and Renee Fleming singing Puccini. I have the Harbeth sound
                        Message 11 of 12 , Mar 2, 2007
                          Re: [regsaudioforum] Re: My speaker trials Spent time between emails (ie, family left the house) listening to Sandrine Piau singing Debussy and Renee Fleming singing Puccini.

                          I have the Harbeth sound clearly in mind.  I have Harbeth M30s set up in my room along with the Dalis.

                          I will say this: I would definitely, and I say this happily, pick the Dali.  The sound stage forward/laid back thing is not as great on classical recordings, it seems.  The women’s voices floated in the air, tightly positioned, and sounded more pure than with any speaker I have ever heard.  And, mind you, I have heard more expensive speakers (albeit in really bad rooms).

                          Sizzly?  The treble is amazing.  From what I have heard I prefer it, easily, over the Harbeth.

                          Not to say I don’t like M40s! I will have another set because they’re just so perfect in so many ways.  But, for my lifestyle, the Dalis are an end-of-the-road speaker.  The TacT, too, has convinced me in 24hrs that DSP is absolutely a great thing to do.
                        • Will
                          Thanks for this REG...I knew it in my heart, but it still helps to read it from you! Geez, TM is so lucky... I only got issue 170 of TAS in the mail last week
                          Message 12 of 12 , Mar 2, 2007
                            Thanks for this REG...I knew it in my heart, but it still helps to read it
                            from you!

                            Geez, TM is so lucky... I only got issue 170 of TAS in the mail last week
                            and TM is already reading issue 171... grrr!



                            ----- Original Message -----
                            From: "regtas43" <regonaudio@...>
                            To: <regsaudioforum@yahoogroups.com>
                            Sent: Friday, March 02, 2007 12:42 AM
                            Subject: [regsaudioforum] Re: Harbeth HL Compact 7ES Review in The Absolute
                            Sound


                            >I would do was Will says, and hold out for the M40s.
                            > The new C7 are quite good, but I can promise you that I
                            > was not even remotely tempted to change to e.g., the new C7s plus a
                            > subwoofer as a replacement for the M40s. Not even a glimmer of this
                            > thought occurred to me.
                            >
                            > I think anyone's first close-up experience with a RADIAL Harbeth is
                            > likely to be a love affair. But one still has to remain calm about
                            > the choice between the various models when it is time to buy
                            > something.
                            >
                            > I would just wait for the M40 opportunity, rather than change with
                            > the C7 versions, if the M40 possibility exists.
                            >
                            > The new C7 is a really good speaker. But the previous one was,too.
                            >
                            >
                            > REG
                            >
                            > --- In regsaudioforum@yahoogroups.com, "Will" <will_hum@...> wrote:
                            >>
                            >> I think most owner's of the 7ES-2 (myself included) will agree with
                            > Paul
                            >> Seydor's description.
                            >>
                            >> REG reviewed the original C7 and did describe the recessed presence
                            > range.
                            >> I don't think there's much (if any) sonic difference between the
                            > original C7
                            >> and the ES2.
                            >>
                            >> Anyone want to buy my C7-ES2 so I can upgrade to the ES3?? ;-)
                            > Just
                            >> kidding. Kind of... er... PS is so persuasive! Nah... maintain
                            > the course
                            >> for 2805 or M40 ... or maybe Harbeth will eventually come out with
                            > a
                            >> SHL5-ES3 that's similarly neutral!
                            >>
                            >> Excuse me while I retreat to my listening room to enjoy my C7-ES2
                            > until this
                            >> bout of audiophilia nervosa passes!
                            >>
                            >> Will
                            >>
                            >> ----- Original Message -----
                            >> From: "Bob Stern" <bob_stern@...>
                            >> To: <regsaudioforum@yahoogroups.com>
                            >> Sent: Thursday, March 01, 2007 3:17 PM
                            >> Subject: Re: [regsaudioforum] Harbeth HL Compact 7ES Review in The
                            > Absolute
                            >> Sound
                            >>
                            >>
                            >> > >Tom Mallin wrote:
                            >> >>
                            >> >>[Paul Seydor] says the rather warm, even darkish sound with a
                            >> >>slightly edgy top end of the 7ES-2 is gone, as is the recessed
                            >> >>presence range of that speaker.
                            >> >
                            >> >
                            >> > I'd be very interested to know whether Seydor previously praised
                            > the
                            >> > 7ES-2 without identifying these shortcomings. (I just searched
                            > TAS
                            >> > online and did not find any review of this model, but perhaps
                            > Seydor
                            >> > recommended it in one of the Recommended Systems.)
                            >> >
                            >> > So many audio reviews (not necessarily Seydor's) fail to point out
                            >> > shortcomings until reviewing the next generation product. I don't
                            >> > know whether it's because they don't begin to perceive the
                            >> > shortcomings until long after the original review is published, or
                            >> > whether they are intentionally sugar-coating the reviews.
                            >> > --
                            >> >
                            >> > Bob Stern
                            >> >
                            >> >
                            >> >
                            >> >
                            >> > Yahoo! Groups Links
                            >> >
                            >> >
                            >> >
                            >> >
                            >>
                            >
                            >
                            >
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