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  #41  
Old 02-07-2018, 12:11 PM
PHC1 PHC1 is offline
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Serge - I am glad you are having a great time with your new speakers!
Thanks Greg, I really am. Can’t wait to get home and fire up my system this evening.
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  #42  
Old 02-08-2018, 02:44 AM
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One other observation is that these being British monitors and are often used in smaller living spaces than what we are used to, do very well with near field listening as in the more conventional setup. No treble peakiness near or far, the tweeters are extremely well behaved. The midrange is fantastic and either way and midbass may sound just a touch plumper and warmer if you place them closer to the walls than they should be but nothing major. Fairly easy speaker to accommodate.


+1

Yes to the smaller living spaces. I have tried 40.1s and 30.1s in my living area and could not quite get them positioned well. Too near to walls was the problem. Sounded very good at low volume levels, but a slight bass boom when turned up. I really tried to fit either one in, with a preference for the bigger 40.1... Too late to try 40.2, as no longer looking.
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  #43  
Old 03-21-2018, 01:11 PM
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The Harbeth 30.2 40th Stereophile review is in. Herb Reichert's conclusion: I also believe that Harbeth's Monitor 30.2 is the most neutral, accurate, tuneful, fun, and music-loving stand-mounted two-way speaker I've heard.

https://www.stereophile.com/content/...on-loudspeaker




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  #44  
Old 03-21-2018, 01:17 PM
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From my personal observations of living with the Harbeth 30.2 for a bit of time now is that they are the kind of speaker that makes you forget about your gear and just get into the music. No matter the genre, the playback level, great recording or not so good... They just sing along. Heck, I can even listen to Elton John now. https://youtu.be/aMf5mb8FE64
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  #45  
Old 03-21-2018, 10:22 PM
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Serge - congratulations on the Harbeths! I love British speakers, especially the monitors. Have you considered a Rogue Audio pairing with them? Edit - er, perhaps never mind. Upon closer reading (sorry),
it looks like you found a nice match with the Primaluna.
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  #46  
Old 03-22-2018, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by ylee View Post
Serge - congratulations on the Harbeths! I love British speakers, especially the monitors. Have you considered a Rogue Audio pairing with them? Edit - er, perhaps never mind. Upon closer reading (sorry),
it looks like you found a nice match with the Primaluna.
Thanks! Yes, the PrimaLuna is great with Harbeth!
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  #47  
Old 09-20-2018, 08:57 AM
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i love these M30.2... just great speakers!
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  #48  
Old 07-02-2019, 04:07 PM
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Nearly 1.5 years since I have acquired and started enjoying the Harbeth 30.2 Anniversary edition in my system.

The honeymoon phase has not ended.

The system gets daily use seeing the Luxman L-590AXII and PrimaLuna Dialogue HP integrated amplifers doing the driving in rotations. Sometime I feel like tubes, sometimes I'm in the mood for some sweet Class A solid state. Truth be told, it is more of "mood" thing rather than any clear advantage of one over the other.

Oddly I still have no clear preference as to one amp over the other... This is an unusual position I find myself in as I would have typically ruled a clear winner by now.

What this tells me is that the 30.2 are neither particularly hard to drive with their rather tube friendly easy going impedance curve, nor particularly finicky with amplification sounding clearly better one way or the other, tubes or SS.

The Triode mode satisfies as does the Pentode mode as does the much more power reserves of the Luxman SS. Obviously if I really want to put the pedal to the metal and "rock out" I would reach to swap the speaker cables from the PrimaLuna tubed integrated to the much more robust Luxman but... I still find both amps easily taking me there without signs of strain, clipping, collapsing soundstage, congestion or any other signs of things not being well in the audio land.

Now, my idea of "Rocking Out" may not be the same as yours so YMMV. I typically listen to peaks reaching no more than 95-98dB which is not exactly Rock Concert Level but I spare my ears and my wife from being tortured that way.

What do I mostly listen to? My music taste is varied, I like Blues, Jazz, some rock, a bit of pop, instrumental, acoustic, vocal or even a bit of Deep House or Trance music for some "passive listening" and I really enjoy the long electric guitar jamming sessions such as David Gilmour Live in Pompeii and Gdansk for example. All depends on the mood.

Is there such a thing as a universal speaker? I would say not exactly. I've had at least a dozen speakers from respected brands and various price ranges come and go over the years. They all do sort of guide or funnel ones preferences over time which often does manifest itself as a limiting factor when it comes to wide open music choices. The quality of the recording comes into play and one CD after the next gets put further and further away on the shelves (well, more like tags on Roon now instead of physical media as much for me. ).

It's not just the speaker but a system synergy of course but I still think the speaker does play a big role as it starts to sway one's musical preference.


Not so with the 30.2 Harbeths. I'd have to say this is the most universal speaker I have personally owned so far but that is not to say it is the only one out there by any means, just those that I have had personal experience with.

Do I agree with Herb Reichert's assessment and I quote " I also believe that Harbeth's Monitor 30.2 is the most neutral, accurate, tuneful, fun, and music-loving stand-mounted two-way speaker I've heard."

I partially do. I would not go as far as saying it it the "most" anything really. That would require to listen to all 2 way stand mounted monitors out there and I am sure Herb has heard plenty of them but still...

What I do agree with is that It is a fun, tuneful, pleasant and I'd say very accurate speaker when it comes to human voices and the all important mid-range. It does have this rather wonderful and almost magically tuned mid-range that does particularly well with human voices. After all, we all know the history behind Harbeth and BBC's quest for the most accurate monitor for human voice broadcasting/playback.


The 30.2 have yet to offend my ears with anything. No hyper resolving tweeters here, no icy and sterile or ear piercing highs emanating from these speakers. Does it sound rolled off up top? Not really. Perhaps not quite as resolving and airy up top as some of the others out there but to me that is a big plus actually. If only all the recordings were perfect, than I would perhaps complain about the soft-dome tweeter and instead yearn and search for a titanium or beryllium dome tweeter. Such is not the case so I won't.

Do my ears even resolve 20kHZ? Nope, they don't anymore. My hearing is now rolled off to just below 15kHz and it will no doubt get worse with age as seems to be the norm. So no need for hyper resolving tweeters for me, the supple highs soft-dome does sound fantastic as it is!

Can the 30.2 reach down low enough to be a completely satisfactory speaker? I'd say it is just at the cusp at what I would consider satisfactory in the bass region. Obviously if you prefer clean 20Hz reproduction (elusive goal in most rooms) keep looking elsewhere and not at a 2 way monitor that will not be augmented by subs at the very least.

What the 30.2 lack in terms of absolute depth, they more than make up for a very smooth bass that does not sound bloated at all. No fake bottom end depth here. They sign off rather cleanly and smoothly as the notes get deeper without getting bloated and unresolved in the bass. For many applications and rooms this is actually a blessing. There is nothing more that I hate than a bloated bass that obliterates the lower mids and takes away from mid-range purity. I'd rather have a bit less of it and this is exactly what 30.2 do.


All in all, I'd say this is the most enjoyable speaker that sounds great no matter what I am listening to that I have enjoyed over the years. Nothing to draw attention to but instead marvel in their uncanny ability to convey the emotional content, present a wide and deep soundstage with plenty of air and elbow room between the instruments, create a rather well presented and solidly focused images that exhibit clear depth and 3 dimensionality as any great speaker should.

Obviously I am comparing these speakers to the dozen others I have owned and there is nothing really to complain about. I've mentioned they don't get quite as low as some of the other floor standing 3 way speakers. So be it, that doesn't bother me at all. It is a tuneful, fun to listen to bottom end.

What I do smile about is when those memories take me back to my previous speakers, is that the 30.2's are a fraction of the price and that they can bring so much performance for what is a very reasonable price overall. A great value all things considered. Serious performance for a reasonable price in the grand scheme of the audio hobby. Unless the "audio nirvosa" or "upgredatitis' without merit rear their ugly heads, I have no plans to replace the 30.2 at all. If anything they would find a place in a secondary system but it is very unlikely at this point as I am having too much fun listening to them daily.

Keepers.


Last edited by PHC1; 07-02-2019 at 04:10 PM.
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  #49  
Old 07-02-2019, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by PHC1 View Post
Nearly 1.5 years since I have acquired and started enjoying the Harbeth 30.2 Anniversary edition in my system.

The honeymoon phase has not ended.

The system gets daily use seeing the Luxman L-590AXII and PrimaLuna Dialogue HP integrated amplifers doing the driving in rotations. Sometime I feel like tubes, sometimes I'm in the mood for some sweet Class A solid state. Truth be told, it is more of "mood" thing rather than any clear advantage of one over the other.

Oddly I still have no clear preference as to one amp over the other... This is an unusual position I find myself in as I would have typically ruled a clear winner by now.

What this tells me is that the 30.2 are neither particularly hard to drive with their rather tube friendly easy going impedance curve, nor particularly finicky with amplification sounding clearly better one way or the other, tubes or SS.

The Triode mode satisfies as does the Pentode mode as does the much more power reserves of the Luxman SS. Obviously if I really want to put the pedal to the metal and "rock out" I would reach to swap the speaker cables from the PrimaLuna tubed integrated to the much more robust Luxman but... I still find both amps easily taking me there without signs of strain, clipping, collapsing soundstage, congestion or any other signs of things not being well in the audio land.

Now, my idea of "Rocking Out" may not be the same as yours so YMMV. I typically listen to peaks reaching no more than 95-98dB which is not exactly Rock Concert Level but I spare my ears and my wife from being tortured that way.

What do I mostly listen to? My music taste is varied, I like Blues, Jazz, some rock, a bit of pop, instrumental, acoustic, vocal or even a bit of Deep House or Trance music for some "passive listening" and I really enjoy the long electric guitar jamming sessions such as David Gilmour Live in Pompeii and Gdansk for example. All depends on the mood.

Is there such a thing as a universal speaker? I would say not exactly. I've had at least a dozen speakers from respected brands and various price ranges come and go over the years. They all do sort of guide or funnel ones preferences over time which often does manifest itself as a limiting factor when it comes to wide open music choices. The quality of the recording comes into play and one CD after the next gets put further and further away on the shelves (well, more like tags on Roon now instead of physical media as much for me. ).

It's not just the speaker but a system synergy of course but I still think the speaker does play a big role as it starts to sway one's musical preference.


Not so with the 30.2 Harbeths. I'd have to say this is the most universal speaker I have personally owned so far but that is not to say it is the only one out there by any means, just those that I have had personal experience with.

Do I agree with Herb Reichert's assessment and I quote " I also believe that Harbeth's Monitor 30.2 is the most neutral, accurate, tuneful, fun, and music-loving stand-mounted two-way speaker I've heard."

I partially do. I would not go as far as saying it it the "most" anything really. That would require to listen to all 2 way stand mounted monitors out there and I am sure Herb has heard plenty of them but still...

What I do agree with is that It is a fun, tuneful, pleasant and I'd say very accurate speaker when it comes to human voices and the all important mid-range. It does have this rather wonderful and almost magically tuned mid-range that does particularly well with human voices. After all, we all know the history behind Harbeth and BBC's quest for the most accurate monitor for human voice broadcasting/playback.


The 30.2 have yet to offend my ears with anything. No hyper resolving tweeters here, no icy and sterile or ear piercing highs emanating from these speakers. Does it sound rolled off up top? Not really. Perhaps not quite as resolving and airy up top as some of the others out there but to me that is a big plus actually. If only all the recordings were perfect, than I would perhaps complain about the soft-dome tweeter and instead yearn and search for a titanium or beryllium dome tweeter. Such is not the case so I won't.

Do my ears even resolve 20kHZ? Nope, they don't anymore. My hearing is now rolled off to just below 15kHz and it will no doubt get worse with age as seems to be the norm. So no need for hyper resolving tweeters for me, the supple highs soft-dome does sound fantastic as it is!

Can the 30.2 reach down low enough to be a completely satisfactory speaker? I'd say it is just at the cusp at what I would consider satisfactory in the bass region. Obviously if you prefer clean 20Hz reproduction (elusive goal in most rooms) keep looking elsewhere and not at a 2 way monitor that will not be augmented by subs at the very least.

What the 30.2 lack in terms of absolute depth, they more than make up for a very smooth bass that does not sound bloated at all. No fake bottom end depth here. They sign off rather cleanly and smoothly as the notes get deeper without getting bloated and unresolved in the bass. For many applications and rooms this is actually a blessing. There is nothing more that I hate than a bloated bass that obliterates the lower mids and takes away from mid-range purity. I'd rather have a bit less of it and this is exactly what 30.2 do.


All in all, I'd say this is the most enjoyable speaker that sounds great no matter what I am listening to that I have enjoyed over the years. Nothing to draw attention to but instead marvel in their uncanny ability to convey the emotional content, present a wide and deep soundstage with plenty of air and elbow room between the instruments, create a rather well presented and solidly focused images that exhibit clear depth and 3 dimensionality as any great speaker should.

Obviously I am comparing these speakers to the dozen others I have owned and there is nothing really to complain about. I've mentioned they don't get quite as low as some of the other floor standing 3 way speakers. So be it, that doesn't bother me at all. It is a tuneful, fun to listen to bottom end.

What I do smile about is when those memories take me back to my previous speakers, is that the 30.2's are a fraction of the price and that they can bring so much performance for what is a very reasonable price overall. A great value all things considered. Serious performance for a reasonable price in the grand scheme of the audio hobby. Unless the "audio nirvosa" or "upgredatitis' without merit rear their ugly heads, I have no plans to replace the 30.2 at all. If anything they would find a place in a secondary system but it is very unlikely at this point as I am having too much fun listening to them daily.

Keepers.

This is a great follow-on review, Serge, and your comments are very consistent with comments from a FL dealer who sells (and loves) Harbeths. Summing up and paraphrasing, he said that it doesn't matter what you throw at them, amps, preamp, cables, DACs, TTs, the Harbeths just sound wonderful and musical with everything.

I'm really, really close to getting a pair of these...I browse the auction sites for them daily and think I am going to arrange a demo (again). I heard them in 2015 (with the 30.1s) and simply have not been able to forget that experience.
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  #50  
Old 07-02-2019, 06:32 PM
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This is a great follow-on review, Serge, and your comments are very consistent with comments from a FL dealer who sells (and loves) Harbeths. Summing up and paraphrasing, he said that it doesn't matter what you throw at them, amps, preamp, cables, DACs, TTs, the Harbeths just sound wonderful and musical with everything.

I'm really, really close to getting a pair of these...I browse the auction sites for them daily and think I am going to arrange a demo (again). I heard them in 2015 (with the 30.1s) and simply have not been able to forget that experience.
Perhaps Harbeth is not the most frequent flyer on the auction/preowned market for the reasons that they are not as common here nor do people part with them all too often but I’m sure you will find a pair Stephen. Good luck in your quest if you decide to pull the trigger. I’d say you will be very satisfied long term.
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