Harbeth M30.1 and Blue Circle

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larboy
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Harbeth M30.1 and Blue Circle

Post by larboy » Mon Jul 01, 2013 10:26 am

G'day. Has anybody had the opportunity to hear/or own the Harbeth M30.1 speaker? By all accounts this seems like a marvellous speaker and Harbeth has always mated well with Blue Circle. I currently have the Harbeth P3ESR's being run by a BC DAR Integrated Unit. Reviews on this speaker are superlative, but because of their improved performance over the M30's and relative newness on the market info is somewhat limited. I had also considered the C7es3 speaker. Any experiences from the BC cognoscenti out there? Tks and Happy Canada Day!

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bish
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Post by bish » Tue Jul 02, 2013 10:00 pm

Greetings. I've yet to hear the M30.1 in the comfort of home albeit in another system with which I have a considerable bit of familiarity (it's currently a foster home for some of my source components & an astonishingly large number of my LP's). That being said I may have to make a visit over the Holiday :)

The M30.1 in both by name & capabilities is an incremental enhancement over the original M30 design. I do in all fairness feel that is greatly understating the improvements Harbeth made to the crossover. As such work can be as much art as science it's quite impressive that they managed not to subjugate the original character of M30 in the process. Far to many speaker companies are releasing a new edition that forgoes much of what made the prior offering unique in favor of a bit of frequency extension to via some newage driver technology (clearly that's not the case here).

If I was looking to acquire yet another pair of speakers outright [for which the domestic strife would be rather significant] the M30.1 are quite lovely. I fear if I do have a chance to hear the M40.1's it may be time to thin the herd a bit & brace for the storm that will be coming my way :shock:

Should you decide to proceed with acquiring some M30.1's I would suggest paying special care to their setup to get the most out of the system. Besides simply being a better design I do feel the results will appeal to more folks than what traditionally would have considered them. It also helps their cause in the land of criminally expensive speakers that the M30.1's could come across as a downright rational investment. I would also recommend budgeting for proper stands. The classic Sound Anchor stands were used in this case & seemed to do the job just fine.

Other folks here have a fair bit of experience with the prior M30's & BC gear. DD if memory serves correct has/had them at some point & Bob did a comprehensive review of them many moons ago.

Cheers,
Bish

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bobneill
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Bish Post

Post by bobneill » Wed Jul 03, 2013 8:24 am

Yes I did. Must have been in the last century...!

I found, as I did with all of the Harbeths of that generation, that the best BC hybrids brought out the best in the speakers. I used an AG8000, ancestor of the current 200 series amps. Today I would use a BC204. If they were more efficient/sensitive, I'd consider the new all solid state NSL. The M30(s) are superb monitors of their kind and will respond to the best you can give them.

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bish
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Re: Bish Post

Post by bish » Wed Jul 03, 2013 8:14 pm

bobneill wrote:Yes I did. Must have been in the last century...!
Ah, how time has flown by :shock:

The AG3000 & AG8000's have aged quite nicely I might add. They're quite comparable to the '01 Chateau Lafite Rothschild in that regard -- albeit representative of another vice entirely :D

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Double D
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Post by Double D » Fri Jul 05, 2013 6:57 pm

Ok.. well, I can't comment on the new 30.1 but, I did own the original M30 and it was ab-fab with the BC204, and my 303-DWBB pre. That said, I did swap out to the SHL5's, and have not regretted the swap one bit. Quite the contrary in fact, if anything, I think I'm more "married" to my Harbeths than I was before I bought the M30 as a stopgap measure while I sorted out where I wanted to go with my next speaker choice.
The SHL5 just seems more at ease overall, some would probably call it too polite, and not having enough jump factor when the music calls for it. I don't think I'd go THAT far, however, the M30 was a bit more explicit in it's charms. The SHL5 has the virtue of being a bit more robust in the bass, occasionally even raising an eyebrow or two in it's ability to get down there when it needs to. BUT, this doesn't mean it has "Wilson-esque" mucho gusto in the bottom end. That's not what Harbeths are about anyhow.
Ironically, I was asking someone about the M30.1 just the other day, and he's had some considerable experience with both the old and the new, and his preference is for the original M30 ! :shock: Considering the balance of the original just a bit more integrated, and at peace with itself.
I still want to hear the M30.1 though.. :lol:
The P3ESR's are a total joy, I have a pair in a secondary rig, and they have just soooo much heart and soul, it's sometimes spooky what they can do. They are indeed a worthy successor to the old LS3/5a .. all the soul, and none of the warts. They are also rather revealing, and are designed to be, so, don't expect to hook them up to a less than well sorted system, and get the best from them. They work like demons in a smallish room, or in near field listening situations.

larboy
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Post by larboy » Sun Jul 07, 2013 4:19 pm

Well Double D you hit the nail right square on. I originally purchased my first pair of Harb's in 1978 in the form of HL Mk 1's, yea, the original. Felt it was the only speaker that could replace my beloved Quad ESL 57's in a box speaker. Four years later replaced the MK 1 with MK 111's. Had those for 20 years. Now I have the P3ESR's which in the right room (smaller) and if you sit about 6 feet away are pretty amazing! Heart and Soul in spades especially when run with really good gear. And we all know that Harbeth and Blue Circle are a pretty exquisite match.
Honestly, its going to be a difficult to move me off what I have but the scuttlebutt on the M30.1 is pretty overwhelming. At 5,000.00 bucks they are not cheap but they offer a lot for the money and do work in smaller rooms. Can I be swayed? Well, they are Harbeths.

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