Moving from Harbeth m30.1 to m30.2 XD

Just took the plunge. I’ve got a pair of 30.2XD’s on their way to me. No way around here to demo the 30.2XD’s but after having the 30.1’s for about 4.5 years I just decided it was time for a change and Harbeth was really my only move. Based upon my experience over the past 35 years or so in this hobby, it was a natural move. I love the 30.1’s.

My expectations are more air on top, more ambience (space) around the performers. Other than those aspects, I’m guessing the speakers will perform similarly since they have the same DNA.

Curious about other experiences moving from the 30.1’s to the 30.2XD’s. I listen mainly to acoustic music and old rock and roll (think CSN, The Band, The Dead, etc.). Jazz like Thelonious Monk, Barney Kessel, Wes Montgomery, etc. You know the type. Lots of guitar. Lots of piano.

I’d like to hear from others that have made the move. My new speakers should be here by the end of the week and I’m excited!

Ps - I’ll be listing the 30.1’s over the next week or two (on audiogon) for any interested parties. I have the original boxes, etc. I’m like you - I have OCD too :-).  



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I have the 30.1's and listen to the exact same music. Following to hear what others have to say.  

owned and own other Harbeth models and have heard the 30.1 / 30.2XD several times.  

the new model seems to be smoother, more refined, more natural and slightly less detailed but with better bass.  not recommended for pairing with an overly smooth amplifier.  

should be an overall improvement with the type of music you listen to. 


Thanks for the replies so far.  Interesting avanti1960 on the slightly less detail.  That's not what I'm expecting but heck I appreciate your opinion! That's what I'm looking for.  I'll be able to have my own opinions next week after I get the speakers but you know how it is - we audiophiles - I love hearing what others think.  

And tubebuffer - ha - I get it :-).

Keep those thoughts coming if possible. 

I have only listened to the 30.1 and 30.2 non-XD. No experience with XD. The 30.2 sounds more open at the top with better clarity and detail in the midrange and treble. Personally I prefer the 30.2 over the warmer 30.1 which I thought lack airiness in the treble. However, there was a 30.1 owner who upgraded to 30.2(non-XD) and found it to sound too bright for his listening preferences. To each his own I guess.


The C7ES3 XD is said to be the star of the XD line, sounding more open and balanced than the older model. M30.2 XD should sound slightly brighter and more open at the top, just like all other XD models which have been tweaked to sound like that. Few P3ESR XD owners went back to the original P3ESR as they found the XD to sound too bright.

The C7ES3 XD is indeed an amazing speaker for the money, I much preferred it to the M30.2 XD.

I had the 30.1’s for a year before moving on to the 30.2 XD’s. I’m glad I did as I prefer them a lot more to the 30.1’s. The 30.1’s sounded veiled to my ears and coming from a pair of P3ESR 40th Ann, was super disappointed. The 30.2 XD’s changed all that. I can see keeping these for a long time. Once we have a bigger place, I can see selling the 30.2 XD’s and P3ESR 40th’s for a pair of SHL5+ XD and be done with it.


ullogu1 thanks!  That's the kind of feedback I'm looking for. 

I actually spent some time at a friends house recently listening to the SHL5+XD's.  Very very nice - to me they are more of  stereo speaker than a monitor.  More like a bigger version of the C7XD's.  Full, big, meaty, great sound.  I was on the fence about ordering a pair but for my musical taste I think I'll stick with the monitor series.  Since you have the m30.2XDs you might want to demo a pair SHL5's before you buy them.  A very different sound.  The bass on the SHL5'S was more extended for sure though.  I ended up buying an SVS Micro 3000 sub to augment the 30.1's.  Love it.  


I don't believe there is a Harbeth dealer in my area.  Seems like a lot of people like them.  I was surprised to read they are only rated at 85 db.  I would think buying a speaker that is at least 90 db might possibly produce less distortion.  Doesn't matter because I am sure the sound quality is there.  

Hi Larry.  The 85db references the sensitivity of the speaker, not the maximum sound level.  85db is not very sensitive but my Pass INT 25 powers them just fine; for me at least.  It's rated for 25 watts, but very conservative rating.  Most solid state amps should be able to power these babies without problem.  

I think Harbeth makes really good speakers if you're not into Head Banger music (Metallica, Black Sabbath, etc.).  Actually I used to love Black Sabbath, but that's a lifetime ago.  Today I'm more interested in accurate sound reproduction of mainly acoustic instruments and vocals.  That's where the Harbeth's shine.  Maybe to my detriment (but not by much if so) but I didn't even consider other brands - well outside of Graham or Spendor.  I'm a fan of British speakers.  

Please let us know how your impressions about the XD ?

im still with 30.1 this year and mark the longest speaker to keep .