Organic, musical and natural sounding speakers up to $12K

Getting a new place next year. Living room will be approx 12-14ft x 16-18ft x 10ft.

Getting a new system and am starting with speakers. Brands I have shortlisted (recommended from magazines and forums) are:

1) Audionote J or E
2) Spendor (model ?)
3) Harbeth (model ? - perhaps 30.2/40.1 or ?)
4) Devore (0/93 or 0/96?)

I auditioned Audionote and Harbeth briefly a few years ago. If I recall, Audionote was organic, musical and natural. Harbeth SHL5 plus was natural and musical...but don’t remember if they were more organic than the Audionotes.

HF extension/air is definitely not a priority for I find it often translates to tizz to my ears. I love a large soundstage - big full sound!

With the 4 brands, am I heading in the right direction? Any feedback from users would be greatly appreciated. I am open to other brands too.


I’ve been listening to Audionote Es quite a lot of late, my usual dealer has taken on the franchise and keeps saying ”come and hear this” if I drop in with time to spare. Not the AlNiCo magnet ones and mostly internal crossover models. I love the scale they do and they can rock well enough but they need a bit of corner or at least wall assistance so setup is critical but get it right and they seem to manage full range with their 8” driver. I hear some colouration if I listen for it but usually the music distracts me from listening for the faults. They don’t need a monster amp 10W will do but do like quality. Skip the base model.
You should really give a listen to the speakers you are mentioning. Start to narrow down your candidates for speakers. You never really will not know until you try listening to them. Everyone has different ears.

Try the Audio Note AN-E LX if you can with he copper wiring , will more than likely give you a warmer presentation. Audio Note speakers do not necessarily have to be corner loaded , but they do need to be close to the wall. That can be a nice feature depending on your room , so you do not have to have your speakers in the middle of the room. When set up right , can be very musical and organic , with really nice detailed bass

The Harbeth 40.2 speaker diffently fall into the category you are looking for also. The 40.2 version are more room friendlier than the 40.1 version. The 40.1 will require a little more room space to dial in the bass.

I prefer a warmer sound also and have tinnitus and I own the Harbeth 40.2 speaker. Prior to the 40.2 I owned the Harbeth 30.1 and The Audio Note AN-E LX before that.

Thanks yeti42 and timo62.

@yeti42 ... may I know which models of the E you have listened to and what you think of them? I wouldn’t mind an "euphonic and colored" presentation if it doesn’t fatigue. Tizz and fatigue will make my tinnitus worse.

@timo62 ... I was thinking of the AN E/LX too. I may have demoed it before. Not sure though as it was a few years ago. I am after a warm sound too, however, the top end has to be smooth and edge free. Hope I can assemble a system with those attributes. Can't afford to make mistakes, again :).  Just started my search last week.

Thanks again everyone.

I prefer Spendor and Devore to Audio Note/Harbeth. More alive and dynamic sounding. 
PC123v , 

Just take your time and listen to what feels right to you. 

Everything in your system will contribute to the final sound including your listening room.