Harbeth 40.1 vs Sonus Faber Olympia III


I have narrowed down my choices to these two speakers.  I am looking in the used market.  Strengths/negatives of each.  My listening room is 16'x24' with 9' ceilings.  Suspended floor with carpeting.
  I have to travel a good distance to hear either of these.
mckinneymike
There's a like new pair of 40.1's listed for only $6,900.   That's a steal.   You'd be hard pressed to find a better full range speaker for that price.

A speaker preference is personal. Having heard both, I’d personally go with the SF.  The Harbeth is not “a much better speaker” -  it is a different speaker and they both have their strengths.   FWIW, I own neither right now but the SF O3 is on my list, along with the Serafina’s,  KEF Ref 5s, and Vienna Acoustics.  I’ve got some room challenges that I’m taking into consideration. I’ve listened to Harbeth a number of times compared to other speakers and while yes, they have a nice midrange and pretty sweet treble, they weren’t the most satisfying to me at their price range.  I will also say this - I have to live with and look at a speaker as part of my living space as I don’t have a dedicated room.  In that regard, the Harbeth’s are at a very serious disadvantage to SF.  
“much better” and “no contest” descriptors are frankly just not helpful

your preferences are just that, preferences, nothing more 

describing what you hear, explaining sonic differences, clarifying and comparing can help others understand and maybe help lead them to make informed choices; the ‘why’ of your preference is what matters, not simply the preference 

that said, my preferences in speakers now include aesthetics AND sonic presentation; as a result the SF brand is really tough to beat (IMHO !), they look and sound fantastic (Olympica lll)

I’d very much like to listen to a pair of Harbeth speakers but based on looks alone they would never find their way into my living room, I much prefer the looks of the SF product 

I’m very much interested in the sonic differences between the 40.1s and the Olympica lll’s, only because both are very popular and learning more about the hobby makes it more fun, not because I’m considering a change 

this I know; without sufficient power and room to breathe, it’s just not realistic to think you’ve heard what the Oly lll’s are capable of; 150 Pass Labs watts were not enough in my experience, once I upgraded to the X250.8 the SF’s literally came alive 

I had an opportunity recently to demo the Sopra 2’s which are often included in lists of considered speakers in the price range; couldn’t live with them.  Aesthetically no comparison vs the SF product, and far too bright sonically, IMHO! The Oly lll’s are coherent, smooth, dynamic, detailed, and cast such a huge soundscape they just captivate me.  A comparison with the 40.1’s would be interesting.  


I've heard Olympica II's at one store, and H 40.2's at another.  The SF was a modern, competent speaker, that didn't really distinguish itself from half a dozen other similarly priced makes/models.  The Harbeth is something very special; lots of people like them greatly, some don't.  I'm with the majority opinion in this thread, but as always, YMMV.