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Harbeth XD - What's The Difference

Discussion in 'audio' started by ryder, Feb 29, 2020.

  1. ryder

    ryder pfm Member

    Has anybody compared the new XD series to the current models. It appears that all Harbeth models were replaced with the XD, a complete revamp.

    Sound quality wise what is the difference between the old and new? Is it something that can be easily heard, or the difference is subtle or perhaps negligible?
    Peter Leo likes this.
  2. ryder

    ryder pfm Member

    I'm particularly interested on the M30.2 XD vs M30.2 40th Anniversary.

    Is there a noticeable difference between the two models and if there is, what's the difference?
  3. PerF

    PerF Scandinavian Member

    A marketing trick perhaps ?

    As the Anniversary editions are limited, many owners wants XD
    Hope AS managed to tighten up the bas notes, too loose on some larger Harbeth's imo should be better in that pricerange.

    My favorites are M30 but I'd choose the Graham eqvivalent, no bs
    F1eng and tuga like this.
  4. Gervais Cote

    Gervais Cote Predator

    +1 for Graham. Despite the Harbeth are very very very good, the Graham speakers I heard were a tad better sonically. If I was listening mostly to classical small orchestras and vocal, Graham would be my first choice.
    gryphongryph likes this.
  5. hifi_dave

    hifi_dave Hi-Fi Retailer

    None on the market yet. Expected very late March or April for some models.
  6. notevenclose

    notevenclose pfm Member

    Yup. It'll probably be reflected in the price list. XD = Xtra Dosh.

    Not picking on Harbeth, a lot of manufacturers have either just had price increases, or they're imminent.

    It's possible even the cancellation of the Munich show will have an impact, many companies do a lot of business there, so any impact on their sales will likely be passed on at some point.
    VTA and Cereal Killer like this.
  7. Ptah

    Ptah pfm Member

    Alan Shaw said that the only XD model which was basically different from the 40th Anniversary series was the P3 whatever it's called these days, as he completely redesigned the crossover for this launch.

    All the other XD models are the same as the 40th but without the snazzy banana sockets on the back, and some of the veneers, although the C7ES3 XD I heard at the Bristol show was in Tamo Ash which looked rather nice.

    Not a marketing ploy - unless you count all hifi as marketing, which it basically is - they couldn't continue to run two ranges (standard and 40th) concurrently in practical terms so went with the higher end (as befits their reputation). A lot of their business is in the US where the prices are pretty high anyway.

    I asked AS about whether one would choose the C7 or the 30.2 and he sort of turned his nose up about 'soft dome tweeters' which was marketing I suppose, in that he was promoting the C7 at the show.
    maccar and Torris12 like this.
  8. Hiesteem

    Hiesteem pfm Member

    I heard the C7 es xd at the Bristol show and they were very out of the box in their presentation played with a Hegel 190 amplifier. Bags of detail and an exciting and enjoyable listening experience. There seemed to be more clarity and dynamics in the presentation than I have heard from Harbeth speakers that I have previously listened to at the Bristol show and he played everything from prog rock to jazz and classical . They were good fun and very engaging. I believe the price was about £3300.
    Ptah likes this.
  9. barryb

    barryb pfm Member

    Price increases seem insane - seems to be about 25%.
    Jodet likes this.
  10. dzeikei

    dzeikei pfm Member

    Yes they are basically the same as current Anniversary line except P3.

    For me C7 is significantly different from M30.1/30.2. I've had almost all the Harbeths in my house and for me the M-series is different from the rest. I now happily listen to M30.1. The setup is not 100% the same as it was with C7 but for me M30.1/30.2 has much better treble and much more tuneful bass compared to C7. Overall better resolution. I also like these 30.1s more than SHL5. SHL5 Anniversary might come close and even be better in some ways. Next step for me would be 40.2 anyway.
  11. Old Shatterhand

    Old Shatterhand pfm Member

    Maybe you would be so kind and explain it a bit further, I'm really interested in A.S. thoughts about this topic.
  12. Snufkin

    Snufkin pfm Member

    I have met Alan a few times and talked at length about many things including, as you can imagine, speakers. Alan designed the C7 and has a real soft spot for it and as much as I liked my C7's, I much preferred the M30's that replaced them. The tweeter in the original C7 was the issue for me which the C30 resolved. As I understand it, the C7 has been revised and improved a great deal since I bought mine back in the early part of this century and my guess is that it gives the M30 a closer run for its money these days.
  13. ryder

    ryder pfm Member

    So all Harbeth XD models except P3ESR are exactly the same as the current 40th Anniversary models with the exception of the WBT banana plugs? Well, that if the WBT banana plugs don't affect the sound in any way.

    Is this correct?

    Is the M30.2 XD on demo as well? Did you manage to listen to the 30.2 XD if you did?

    I asked my dealer about the M30.2 40th Anniversary and he highly recommended the Compact 7ES3 instead. If the difference between the 40th Anniversary and XD is only with the WBT banana plugs, it might be a better choice to go with the 40th Anniversary at a lower cost?
  14. ryder

    ryder pfm Member

    Please fill me in as well. I'm seriously considering a smaller Harbeth speaker although I already own the Super HL5 Plus. I totally agree with Dzeikei. The M30.1/30.2 sound significantly different from the rest. If I ever end up with another Harbeth, it would either be the Compact 7 or M30.2.

    Whether it is a 40th Anniversary, XD or standard model particularly the C7ES3, that is a choice I would have to decide later.
  15. Ptah

    Ptah pfm Member

    About the same as the 40th series.
  16. Ptah

    Ptah pfm Member

    That was about the extent of the conversation - he was demonstrating the speakers. He did say he preferred the form factor of the C7. I thought they sounded very nice but you'd need to hear them to compare.
  17. herb

    herb music live

    I find it interesting that AS is now using powerful Hegel amps for demonstrations. My C7ES3s came to life when I fed them 150 wpc from an ATC amp, even at low levels. I chose the C7s after a shop demo against SHL5s, preferring the bass. With the ATC the touch of loose bass has gone, the sound is very clean and orchestra-like.

    I am very happy but would like to hear the M30.2XD some day, perhaps just for interest.
  18. PerF

    PerF Scandinavian Member

    Do have a listen first
    I've heard them at least three times.

    Horrible bas unfortunately
    At the asking price its really an issue
    Loose slow boom bas, little or no control.

    I have really no idea why these large speakers are sought after.

    One of the seances was lead by Mr. Alan Shaw himself
    His smile indicated thats the way they should sound
    F1eng likes this.
  19. dzeikei

    dzeikei pfm Member

    It is not horrible and slow at all if the space and front end are good enough. Most of the times demonstrations for these big speakers are just really poor on big hifi fairs and sometimes even dealer demos.
    maccar likes this.
  20. Hiesteem

    Hiesteem pfm Member

    Hi, the C7es xd and P3es xd were the only two models on dem at Bristol this year. I can only say that I am looking at speakers up to about £5000 at the moment and the C7es really grabbed my attention, they integrated far better in terms of treble midrange and bass extension and were exciting to listen too in terms of an overall integrated pesentation, there was plenty of detail, seperation of instruments and bass extension . They just sounded right and a different speaker to their older model.
    The C7es xd room was packed all weekend not so much the smaller p3es xd room. I am of a mind to be patient currently and wait to see what happens with the Harbeth range. Also I was pleasantly impressed with the new PMC range that also have new crossover and tweeter in their new twenty 5i series. These and especially the 24i had me glued to my seat, they sounded very live and have that etched treble presentation in the high frequency but have lost any brightness with better projection and tighter bass control. Again great fun to listen too in a non fatiguing way which is how I like to listen.
    Panderos likes this.

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