HARBETH: “I’d like it built around Harbeth speakers and I foresee …”

Hi – I was looking to spend around £2,500 – £3,000 on a new stereo system comprising CD + AMP + Speakers and if possible I'd like it built around Harbeth speakers and I foresee me keeping the speakers longer than the other components. My friend has a set that are 25 years old and has upgraded the other components over the years but the speakers remain fantastic and hence my thinking!

My tastes are pretty mainstream e.g. Stereophonics, Manics and Placebo and often go to concerts hence am ideally looking for something that can ‘take me live’!! I've currently got a 15 year old Bose AM 5 system which is ok but I'm now looking for that next step. Unsure whether you can help and if so how?

Now then, Harbeth loudspeakers in good used condition are very thin on the ground. Those that are around usually sell for around 60% to 70% of their new price. Entry level Harbeths that would suit your musical tastes are the HL-Compact 7ES-3.  Clearly this is a big chunk out of your budget. Having said this, your situation and your desires are far from unique. Without doubt a  caring dealer can create a truly magical sound for you.

Neil McCauley