omsoc

Harbeth 40.1/40.2 vs Spendor SP100/R2

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Hi all,

Anybody fancy pointing out the good/bad points of these speakers and their respective sounds?

Cheers,

Cosmo

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Super Wammer

Are the SP100 speakers in the same vein as the original S100 ones?

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I have no experience of either so can't help, just looking for some speakers with 12" plus bass drivers.

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Super Wammer

I have had a pair of Harbeth active 40s here. IME the lowest bass is boomy and uncontrolled. I couldn't find anywhere in the room where the bass was clean. Everything else is super but I couldn't get the bass to be satisfactory.

The BBC speakers for which they are a drop in replacement have the same problem. They have been in use at Scalford for a few years and they sound sublime as long as there is no deep bass.

This is the deal breaker for me.

I haven't heard the Spendors, but they are sufficiently similar in concept for the bass to be similar I would expect.

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M40.2 is the best speaker I've ever heard. Ever.

I guess they were in a largish room?

What was the system?

- - - Updated - - -

I have had a pair of Harbeth active 40s here. IME the lowest bass is boomy and uncontrolled. I couldn't find anywhere in the room where the bass was clean. Everything else is super but I couldn't get the bass to be satisfactory.

The BBC speakers for which they are a drop in replacement have the same problem. They have been in use at Scalford for a few years and they sound sublime as long as there is no deep bass.

This is the deal breaker for me.

I haven't heard the Spendors, but they are sufficiently similar in concept for the bass to be similar I would expect.

The active 40s, were they pre 40.1s? I ask as some of the things that some searching has thrown up is that the .1 and on tidied up the lower bass control.

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I guess they were in a largish room?

What was the system?

- - - Updated - - -

The active 40s, were they pre 40.1s? I ask as some of the things that some searching has thrown up is that the .1 and on tidied up the lower bass control.

Heard the M40.2 at the launch at KJ West One.

350wpc amplifiers, can't remember the brand, expensive looking cables, all music played from an Alan Shaw compiled CD on the new DCS all-in-one unit. The system at Harbeth dealer demo's is always at the dealer's discretion.

The M40.1 to M40.2 change is only to the crossover based on the SHL5+ crossover development. More domestic focused.

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Super Wammer

The active 40s, were they pre 40.1s? I ask as some of the things that some searching has thrown up is that the .1 and on tidied up the lower bass control.

Yes the Active 40s were made in tiny numbers for professional use. They do pre-date the 40.1

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I can second that the M40.1/2 are some of the best speakers I have heard and probably the most natural/organic sounding speakers I have heard. They throw a massive 3D soundstage and are just absolutely lovely to listen to. Imaging is not pinpoint (in a hifi sense) but very natural. I am looking for a 2nd hand pair actually.

I have no experience with the Spendors though, so cannot compare

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Super Wammer

I have the original Spendor S100 speakers from which the SP100 and SP100/R2 were developed. I have had these speakers from new in the 1990's. Soon after buying them Kevin Scott (Definitive Audio and Living Voice) came round to my house to demonstrate some Audio Innovations Second Audios (which I also still have). He was amazed by the quality of the mid range with the Spendors.

After many years I had been listening to the Spendors less and less and listening to my Living Voice Avatars more and more in another room. This all changed last year when I got some decent valve amplification for the Spendors in the form of a pair of Icon Audio MM845 amps. The Spendors are now just simply stunning (as a few of the fellow wammers who have heard this system in my house will no doubt confirm). I still find them jaw dropping each time I put on some music. And not in an in your face way that would become tiring.

Assuming that the later incarnations of the S100 are even better then I would highly recommend a listen. Many seem to prefer them to the Harbeths. It will be your money though so you need to use your ears to decide.

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I have heard both and find the spendors a little more coloured but more enjoyable. The harbeths have a slight hardness where the spendors are a bit looser but more fun. Put simply, I suspect classical/vocal listeners would prefer the harbs whereas a rocker would go for the spendors. I would listen to both as well as seeking out the similarly sized graham audio 5/8 which come from the same bbc heritage.

Graham

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DSP works very well to fix room LF problems. Of course acoustic treatment would be the preferred solution but that is not always an option.

KRK, DSPeaker antimode, Lyngdorf, Audiovero all offer products that are reported to work well.

I have had a pair of Harbeth active 40s here. IME the lowest bass is boomy and uncontrolled. I couldn't find anywhere in the room where the bass was clean. Everything else is super but I couldn't get the bass to be satisfactory.

The BBC speakers for which they are a drop in replacement have the same problem. They have been in use at Scalford for a few years and they sound sublime as long as there is no deep bass.

This is the deal breaker for me.

I haven't heard the Spendors, but they are sufficiently similar in concept for the bass to be similar I would expect.

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Cheers for all the info/opinions, it's exactly what I was looking for.

Better get off my butt and go have a listen!

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In my opinion current Spendors are not in the same league as those produced when Derek Hugues still owned the company.

The Graham Audio LS5/8 might be worth a listen though...

R

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