A move from Harbeth to... Wilson?

Hi gang, hoping for some thoughts. 

I'm very happy at the moment with my system, but getting a slight itch for an upgrade. So many options and directions I could go, but the one I'm pondering at the moment is moving from my Harbeth C7ES-3 speakers to Wilson Sabrinas. (The Sabrina X is now out, which may bring the Sabrina down to my budget... maybe.)

My room is approx. 10'6" x 15'6" with the speakers along the short wall and my listening chair is about 2/3 back from said wall. The C7s plus their stands are just about the right size for this room, and the Sabrinas on their floor spikes are similar in "overall" size, though obviously the speakers themselves are bigger.

Current amp is a Pass Labs XA30.5 which doubles down at 4Ohms (plus lots of headroom) and comes just within Wilson's "recommended" amplifier power. The room is on the smaller side, and I don't listen loud; I've never "wanted" for more power with the C7s. (Though every once in a while I wonder what a pair of XA60.5s would sound like in here, but that's an entirely different thread.)

Eh? Any thoughts?
128x128Ag insider logo xs@2xdon_chisholm

all excellent, well established, successful speakers are doing something very right

it just depends if their flavor of ’right’ matches your tastes and requirements

furthermore, ’live’ music comes in vastly different flavors too. .. mid hall at boston symphony vs grandstand at coldplay concert vs third row at village vanguard jazz show... substantially different sounding ’live performances’

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I owned "BBC monitor" style speakers for decades from the likes of Rogers, Spendor, KEF, B&W, et al. They are all wonderful with what my grandmother would have called a "nice tone".


Yes, but it's that 'tone' that is so incredibly appealing and addictive to so many of us.

Is it not fair to ask why can't we, after all these years of development, have the best of both?

Has it got to be one or the other?

Or is that like having our cake and eating it?

For me that's the point. A live event (of whatever sort - it's live!) does not have a "tone" as such. It is what it is. A musical instrument has a "tone". But that's just it. A loudspeaker is not a musical instrument. It is a medium through which a musical instrument is transduced. Nothing is perfect of course, but my Wilson speakers get me closer to the live sound (warts and all) than anything else I have owned and that is what I am looking for. 

I like a wide range of speaker brands.  Each has their own strengths and weaknesses.  None are really bad and I'd be happy to live with any of the top brands at their various price points.  I've just ordered a new pair of Wilsons as I love their ability to image three dimensionally.  Do they sound like live music .....no but then no speaker or recording does.