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Harbeth vs Tannoy, Proac and Spendor

Discussion in 'audio' started by novak, Oct 21, 2020.

  1. Gervais Cote

    Gervais Cote Predator

    Without hesitation, I would go for the 282/250 combo as it seems to me it has more slam, boogie and music despite it’s probably less detailed/analytical. They are also very easy to modify or upgrade to make them even better.
     
  2. ryder

    ryder pfm Member

    Novak, based on my experience as well as those on the Naim forum, I can say that the Supernait 2 and 3 won't make the SHL5+ sound spectacular. The SN2 or SN3 may sound good with the Harbeth but not spectacular. There are several owners who use Naim amps on Harbeth SHL5+. An owner upgraded the 272/250DR to 272/300DR and reported a huge difference, saying that the 300DR is the minimum requirement for the SHL5+. Another user is using 552/300DR to drive the SHL5+.

    Although the 300DR may be a "minimum requirement" for the SHL5+ for folks who have gone up the range, the 282/250DR is the minimum requirement for me since that's all I can afford. I didn't try the higher range models. Having said that, I did try the Nait XS and later 202/200 on the SHL5 and the speakers surely sound very mediocre and lacklustre with the Nait XS. The SHL5+ sounds a lot better, more like a complete speaker when driven by the 282/250DR (than the 202/200 and underwhelming Nait XS) .

    There are few ways you can choose to go, to stay with the Harbeth and change amps, or to try the Tannoy Eatons. A SHL5+ owner on the Naim forum recently switched to the Tannoy Eatons and he preferred the sound of the latter. You can check it out on the Naim forum.

    If exploring amps for the shl5+, minimum requirement (for me) is 282/250DR while others who have tried recommended 300Dr as minimum. Out of Naim, hegel top model is reported to be a good choice for Harbeth other than LFD NCSE. You have to try the amps(or speakers) in your system to figure out which one will sound best to your ears and preferences.
     
    novak likes this.
  3. Old Shatterhand

    Old Shatterhand pfm Member

    Who defines "minimum"? Minimum of what? Power? Surly not. With 86dB efficiency at a common distance of 2-3m you can achieve 100-104dB in free field conditions, in the room you can ad another 3dB. Who will listen that loud with such a speaker? BTW: The NAP 300 has only 13 watts more power @ 6 ohms, that is nothing (less than 0,5dB). I would understand the "minimum requirement" for a demanding speaker but not for such an easy load like the SHL5+. Don't get me wrong, I don't say that the NAP 300 won't sound better, but "nice to have" is another thing than "requirement".
     
  4. JTC

    JTC PFM Villager...

    There is no lack of slam and dynamics with a Luxman L590AX-II and Legacy Arden combo, that I can guarantee
     
  5. EPear

    EPear pfm Member

    The thing is, although it may look so on paper, the SHL5s are not really so easy to drive in the real world, in my experience. In addition, they are also not extremely good at low volume listening (apart from retaining midrange)
     
    Gervais Cote likes this.
  6. Old Shatterhand

    Old Shatterhand pfm Member

    I have owned the SHL5, the SHL5+ and the SHL5+40th.A.E. and can't agree with you, I found them very easy to drive and also extremely good at low volume listening.
     
    novak and hifinutt like this.
  7. EPear

    EPear pfm Member

    well, good to know that you are enjoying them and you may have a different experience. I could only live with my SHL5+ 40th for about 5-6 months, even that felt too long.
     
  8. yuckyamson

    yuckyamson pfm Member

    So, while I used to be in this game, and clearly remember times telling people that "X is a min. required for Y", for example, I think a 250 is a really a kind of minimum for 'Briks, but I would understand using a 180, I just have a hard time with a speaker that demands a $15k power amp to "work". (I guess proportionality does matter, and if we're talking about big wilsons, chances are we have the same issue there too).

    Anyway as per earlier, Ryder, I do appreciate your response but for me dynamics aren't necessarily a "Bass" Thing. I did'nt have any problem with the bass output of the Harbeths I heard. It was the dynamics. Does a SNARE drum hit you in the face or not?

    Obviously they were very smooth, very detailed, very pleasant, and very spacious. Just not my thing. I'd rather sacrifice the colour of a Tannoy to get the boogie and jump factor than get less colouration and zzzzzzzzz from a harbeth. Personally.
     
  9. Gervais Cote

    Gervais Cote Predator

    That’s exactly what I heard too and why I didn’t buy a pair. Midrange was outstanding but couldn’t here the rest.
    Nevertheless, if I would listen to midrangy music such as folk and light organic music I would buy a pair right away !
     
    EPear likes this.
  10. Old Shatterhand

    Old Shatterhand pfm Member

    @EPear I couldn't live with the SHL5+ too, to me they sound too bright for a Harbeth speaker. I also sold the SHL5 and the SHL5+40th.A.E. (liked them very much, but have had a very good opportunity for another speaker, which I was looking for).
     
    EPear likes this.
  11. Elephantears

    Elephantears Trunkated Aesthete

    I had a VTL ST150 with the SHL5Plus for a while; that was both dynamic and beguiling; a really fine mixture of qualities. I should have been patient and waited for a VTL preamp; I was using it with an ARC LS26, which I thought was good until I compared it in a friend's system with his VTL pre; the latter was so much better. I'd been hesitant because I'm not keen on high gain US preamps, but I should have ignored that anxiety. Eventually I went back to my Unico Pre and DM because I just couldn't justify the amount I had invested in the VTL and ARC set up.

    The 5Plus were too much for my 4.5 x 3.5 room, so I moved to Tannoy Eatons. Original 70s version. Oh dear, I thought, yet another flawed speaker (the 5Plus is very good, but does have flaws other than mere incompatibility with my room). I found out that it was the 3-4Kh region of the Eatons that was irritating me, but fortunately Paul Coupe tweaked the crossovers and really improved the speakers.

    I've not yet heard the Legacy Eatons. Regarding the OP: Paul, I am a bit puzzled, since you say you hear nothing wrong with the Harbeths. I would stick with them and do some amp tourism.
     
    novak and hifinutt like this.
  12. Old Shatterhand

    Old Shatterhand pfm Member

    You should listen to an Odeon speaker.;)
     
  13. EPear

    EPear pfm Member

    agree, and so then I also tried the M30s, which for me are better in the midrange (quite brilliant there actually) but I could not bring myself to get used to and like the overall unnatural sound (yes, I know some claim the opposite??!:)
    To the OPs question, I’ve had several Spendors and miss all of them in a different way, also several Harbeths and miss none as good as they can be in some aspects.
     
  14. EPear

    EPear pfm Member

    well, that too, exact same experience
     
  15. maccar

    maccar pfm Member

    Try and get a home demo ifyou're serious, I had mine in a smaller room with no issues.
    Mac
     
  16. maccar

    maccar pfm Member

    Since SHL5+ came along that statement can't be thrown at Harbeth, complete misnoma
    Mac
     
    Moppit likes this.
  17. maccar

    maccar pfm Member

    I have the 40.2 with Accuphase pre/power and I can confirm there's certainly no lack of base or detail... an excellent combo imo, as was the E470 integrated I had with SHL5+ annies.
    Mac
     
  18. ryder

    ryder pfm Member

    Minimum requirement for making the speakers sound great, if you have the money. Not minimum power. Having said that, although the SHL5+ is an easy load, they will benefit with a powerful (and suitable) amp if one listens to dynamic music with a lot of bass in a larger room, played at moderate to high levels.
     
  19. ryder

    ryder pfm Member

    Easy to drive doesn't necessarily mean they will sound good driven by flea played amps. People have different expectations.
     
  20. ryder

    ryder pfm Member

    May I ask which Accuphase model?
     

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