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B&W Or Harbeth?

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Jbrlycorn

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HI I am looking to be upgrading my speakers within the next 4 months, I am currently saving up the money, I have been looking at Harbeth HL5 Plus 3 way, Bowers & Wilkins CM10 3 way or Bowers & Wilkins 805 Diamond Bookshelf speakers. Im currently using Rogers LS55 Floorstanders, so they need to sound much better than those so these was the ones I was looking at. Has anyone demoed these or heard these speakers? I was wondering if the bookshelf diamonds sound better than the cm10 series 2 by bowers & wilkins. What I am after is a wide soundstage, excellent midrange and a punchy but natural bass. My speakers are currently measuring at 2.7 metres apart from tweeter to tweeter the room is 3.2metres x 4metres its a small room but not tiny. its of a reasonable size. I was looking at spendor but I thought harbeths looked better and then I saw the B&Ws so I wasn't sure really, so I thought you may have heard how they sound. Im looking at spending no more than 4,000 I think thats about $6000 us
 
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panditji

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Harbeths are closer to the Rogers when it comes to the tonality and B&W is a completely different sound...if you are not happy with Rogers then I would suggest B&W but then you should probably hear both speakers yourself before making a decision..
 

sidvee

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HI I am looking to be upgrading my speakers within the next 4 months, I am currently saving up the money, I have been looking at Harbeth HL5 Plus 3 way, Bowers & Wilkins CM10 3 way or Bowers & Wilkins 805 Diamond Bookshelf speakers. Im currently using Rogers LS55 Floorstanders, so they need to sound much better than those so these was the ones I was looking at. Has anyone demoed these or heard these speakers? I was wondering if the bookshelf diamonds sound better than the cm10 series 2 by bowers & wilkins. What I am after is a wide soundstage, excellent midrange and a punchy but natural bass. My speakers are currently measuring at 2.7 metres apart from tweeter to tweeter the room is 3.2metres x 4metres its a small room but not tiny. its of a reasonable size. I was looking at spendor but I thought harbeths looked better and then I saw the B&Ws so I wasn't sure really, so I thought you may have heard how they sound. Im looking at spending no more than 4,000 I think thats about $6000 us
I have heard the Shl5 (not plus) and the B&W 805 Diamond. Very different speakers. I felt that the 805 diamond tweeter was a little fatiguing and preferred the Nautilus tweeter on the 805 which I used to own. The Harbeth is warmer sounding of the two and imo the better speaker. The treble is smoother on the shl5 than the 805 diamond. However it is not very revealing. In any case I would buy the Shl5 plus over the 805 diamond.
Cheers,
Sid
 

Nikhil

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Jbrlycorn,

A floorstander is a bit too much for your room in my opinion. It's bit of a challenge to give you an opinion without more info on your amps or musical tastes.

The more time you spend in this hobby the more you learn. One thing I have learned is that the bass in a floorstander is very hard to tame in an untreated room. Excessive bass can also eat into the mids. Put simply a floorstander can very easily over power a room. I would recommend a stand mount speaker.

Between the Harbeth SHL5 and the B&W 805 Diamonds - the Harbeths are easier to drive and will sound great with most amps. The 805s need power to sound their best. Going by your brief, the Harbeths might be what you are looking for.

Good luck with your search.
 

Jbrlycorn

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Well My amp is a DIY Class First Watt F5 Class A amp, 25 watts per channel and a 8000c Audiolab Preamp, but Im also thinking of upgrading these two to a sugden Masterclass at some point but for now thats what Im using. Thanks Nihil :)
 

Jbrlycorn

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What Im looking for is a warmer sound, I love my vinyl and much prefer them over cds and the majority of what I play are LPs, I rarely play Cds really Although I do have the Audiolab 8200cd when I fancy playing a cd and its got a good dac in it :) and I was wating a 3 way as 3 ways always seem to sound better. If a floorstander is too much then would the Harbeth HL5 Super be just as overpowering for my room as a floorstander? My Rogers LS55 speakers at the moment are floorstanders as well
 

panditji

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If you like a warm sound, then the Harbeths with a Sugden would be a no brainer...the SHL5+ should be a great speaker as it is supposed to be quite better than the older version...
 

sidvee

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If a floorstander is too much then would the Harbeth HL5 Super be just as overpowering for my room as a floorstander? My Rogers LS55 speakers at the moment are floorstanders as well
I had my Shl5 in a 4.2m x 3.65m room. I had them pulled out 4feet from the back wall and about 2.4 feet from the side wall. In my well treated room with corner bass traps they worked best in this position. No bloated bass or overhang. Anyways the SHl5 will not do deep bass perhaps was down 6db at 40hz in my room.
Cheers,
Sid
 

Jbrlycorn

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I like a punchy warm bass sound, high on the mids and treble. I like it natural.

Here are some pictures. of my current set up but i will eventually want a masterclass in replacement of my amp. But that will come later, speakers first :)
I'm also using a Heed Questar Moving Coil (only) Phono amp Heed Audio Questar MM review | Phono amps | What Hi-Fi? It has no microchips in the heed phono amp which I like :)
 
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Kushanava

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I have heard the SHL plus .Its a beautiful speaker. It should do well with the Sugden Masterclass. I have heard B&W CDM series speaker with my Sugden a21se. They didn't gel well.You can also look at Proac D48.
 

Nikhil

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What Im looking for is a warmer sound, I love my vinyl and much prefer them over cds and the majority of what I play are LPs, ...
and I was wating a 3 way as 3 ways always seem to sound better. If a floorstander is too much then would the Harbeth HL5 Super be just as overpowering for my room as a floorstander? My Rogers LS55 speakers at the moment are floorstanders as well
Your description points more and more towards the Harbeths.

And yes there is a chance that they can be a bit much in your room.
That is why you really should get the dealer to give you an in home demo.
Take a listen and hear what they sound like in your setup.
 

Jbrlycorn

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It is sounding more and more like harbeth is the better choice out of what sound I'm after, I think it would be a very good idea to get a home demo too, I'm really gonna have too look into that :)
 

Hassan Khani

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SHL5 should not be overpowering in a room setup. I have placed them in the hall but relatively smaller. Only 2 to 3 feet away from rear and side walls. Never felt like overpowering.
 
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