Differences between Harbeth, Spendor, Graham, etc. ?

This is perhaps a foolish question, given the subjective nature of this hobby, but is there any consensus regarding differences between the above brands? I’m interested in their "traditional" or "vintage" lines, not the more modern-voiced models.

For example, I’ve read that the Spendor Classic series speakers are, overall, warmer/darker than Harbeths and offer a bit more punch in the bass. If this is true, I would lean toward the former.














Thanks for that useful clarification.

"Warm, dark, full-bodied and organic" is my preferred direction, although I lack the cash and room for something of the 40.1's dimensions.

If you are patient, you can find Spendor SP100's for < $3,000 and SP1/2e's for < $2,000.  Hifishark.com is a good site to keep tabs of used listings.  The Spendor's would look great in your beautiful craftsmen home... and both are efficient and tube friendly.

This dealer sells those 3 brands. Give him a call and I’m sure he will give you the lowdown on all 3. BTW, I have owned every Harbeth model minus the M40 (too big for my room). I am now using the HL5 and would never call them thin sounding. As a matter of fact I like the HL5 better than any other Harbeth or Spendor that I have owned!

A review!


I think the main differences can be attributed to their names:

  1. Harbeth - named after the brother/sister (Harry and Beth) who first designed and built their bookshelf speakers in their uncle's lonely Wessex manor house. 
  2. Graham - named after founder Paul's love of gravy and ham (GRAvy and HAM) breakfasts in his Devon area farmhouse as a kid. 
  3. Spendor - named after the husband and wife founders (Spencer and Dorothy) who started operations up on the north midlands. Also the birthplace of Def Leppard. 

One of these is true, btw. 


Thanks for the suggestion.


Are you driving them with tubes or SS?

I'm aware of G. Rubin -- thanks.