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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

stuartk

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. 

@pdreher 

Thanks for the suggestion.

@yogiboy 

Are you driving them with tubes or SS?

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

@yogiboy

... as I suspected. I’d prefer to stick with SS.

@simao

Unfortunately, I’m ignorant of the respective sonic attributes of ham and gravy. . .I can only assume gravy is "wetter"while ham accentuates the playful, humorous aspects...

@pdreher

I’m familiar with hi fi shark. Thanks for your suggestions.

 

I have the Spendor classic 4/5’s. Wouldn’t necessarily say they are inherently warm in character, but they do throw a surprising amount of bass with power behind them which could be part of that “warm” assessment. Can sound far bigger than their size would suggest and seem to respond well to higher wattage without a flinch. They’re also very true to source, detailed and revealing. Very insightful. They’re also very easy to integrate with a sub. Need to be pointing at you. Lastly, I’ve found they can sound better not so far into the room but will still throw a wide and deep stage with only 2-3 feet behind them.