HARBETH: Speakers to replace their P3ESRs

 

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The thread starts: Of course, nothing will ever really replace my beautiful baby Harbs, but they are now sold for the greater good and it is time to move on. I'm really enjoying the Elac BS203As I bought from Myrman a while back. Fabulous little things with great tuneful bass and, contrary to what you might expect from a ribbon tweeter, a wonderfully rounded, natural sound.

Still, I miss the traditional good looks of the Harbeths so I am scanning eBay and the forums for suitable alternatives. I am after small(ish) standmounts in classic wood finishes (oak, maple, good quality black ash at a pinch). Maximum budget is £500 but the cheaper the better and I wonder if there are some real bargains to be had among the older models. I'm thinking of brands like:

Spendor - The obvious choice. I know I really like the S3/5R2s and would love to pick up a pair of S3/5R2s in oak.

Quad - The 11L or 12L models (various incarnations). Seem to be very unpopular around here but are they really that bad?

Castle - The older, made in the UK models I guess (Durham 3, Richmond 3i) but again I wonder if the new Knight 1 (made in China) might be a real bargain.

Ruark - The Sabres have caught my eye; what's the going rate for a good secondhand pair and how would they compare with the Harbeths?

I hope you get the idea - cheap, traditional looks and an nice organic sound, in the BBC mini-monitor tradition. I listen mostly to small organic ensembles so the ability to rock out at high volumes is not essential. Any thoughts about the above makes and models - or any other suggestions - much appreciated. Thanks. Nigel

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