What comes after Harbeth 30.1s?

A few weeks ago, I created a post where I was asking for advice to help a family friend create a home office system on a $6-7K budget. He ended up buying a VTL I-85 integrated amp which he really loves. After searching for speakers, he really liked my Harbeth M30.1s. He eventually bought my speakers but was going to pay in October. Unfortunately, he has had some unexpected expenses and won’t be able to pay me. So the speakers will be back in my possession next weekend.

The problem is that during this time, I started researching my next set of speakers. Of course, a safe bet was to stick with what I know and buy another pair of 30.1s whenever they pop up in the used market. Now that I will be getting them back, I’m still wrestling with the idea whether I should try something different. At this time, I’m only looking to buy used and not spend much more than what I can sell the 30.1s for. And to be honest, I will only be switching for the sake of trying a new flavor. I really like the 30.1s and something tells me that I might come to regret the decision. This speaker does pretty much everything right for my tastes and music preferences. Okay, if you put a gun to my head and force to me to share just one thing I wish was better, it would be a more airy presentation and little bit more open on the top. But otherwise, it’s hard to find fault with this speaker.

My room is 12 x 13 with almost 20 foot ceilings. Just like my friend, I’m limited on positioning options -- I can only pull out the speakers from the front wall by a foot at most. Another restriction (spousal commandment) is that I have to sell the 30.1s first to obtain the funds for the next purchase. So I won’t be able to buy something else, compare, and resell the one I don’t like as much. Secondly, I only want to buy used and well-known brands. The idea is that whenever the next upgrade itch strikes, I should be able to sell the speakers without losing more than 10-15%. And the final (whew!) restriction is that I have to be able to drive them with a tube integrated amp. I’m planning to buy a Qualiton a20i next month. This is the smaller brother for a50i which I also own.

So what do you guys think? Is this an ill-conceived, wrong-headed idea? Feel free to talk me out of it :)

If not, I would love to hear from people who have moved from 30.1s to another speaker in similar (or lesser) price range and are happy with their decision. An obvious next step is to move up to 30.2, but I’m not sure if it’s worth paying an extra $1000 or so. Or maybe it is that much better? C7ES3 is another option, but I fear it might be a little too much on the warm/lush side with difficult to tame bass especially when placed so close to the wall.

Another speaker I would love to try is the Fritz Carrera BE, but again I don’t want to buy new and I don’t see them in the used market that often. I know they have a 30-day return policy but that’s not the point. Knowing myself, I would probably end up selling them after a year or two, and don’t want to take the depreciation hit.

Proac Response D2 is another option, but I fear that it might be too forward for my taste, especially in a smaller room. If someone owns one and disagree, please chime in :)

Thanks in advance for your valuable advice!

@jmolsberg -- I have no doubt that Rosso Pienza is a really good speaker. In an ideal world, we should be basing our purchase decisions on sound quality and value alone. But the truth is that many, if not all, audiophiles tend to change gear quite regularly for various reasons. This is where brand name recognition and resale value, whether justified or not, becomes important.

Knowing myself, I know that I will be itching to try something different (not necessarily better) in a year or two. What I do know is that if I buy used Harbeth, Proac, or Spendors, I will be able to sell them with minimal loss. To be honest, Rosso Florentino is an unknown quantity in this context. Again, please realize I’m not commenting on sound quality, which very well may be equal or better than Harbeth. But it’s resale potential is a big unknown, and that is an important criteria for me.
^ it’s a silly expensive hobby honestly. i just wanted to illustrate my experience with skip (he's a good one) and a home audition! i didn’t pull the trigger on any of them. not because they weren’t great but because none of it has the purity of a single driver and set amp at a fraction of the cost. to these ears anyways 😃
JM, you need to experience the series 2. The elevation Francesco made is nothing short of astounding. I had an Audioquest rep over yesterday and he was shocked by the Elba 2. He expressed that he had never heard a speaker sound anything like that near the price. I hope to see you in a few weeks!

arafiq, in six years I’ve had one customer ‘walk away’ from the brand. He went from $13.5k Rosso to $56k magico. We don’t even have product at that price point. My point is, it’s a brand that, if you hear it set up properly, customers simply don’t sell off. They do move up the line, but that is about the only time you’ll see a pre owned pair available. 
@audiothesis -- I do not disagree with anything you said. I have never heard any Rosso products, and I know better to never comment on something I have no idea about. For all that I know, it might very well be better than Harbeth or Spendor when it comes to sound quality.

Please understand that my comment was specific to the ’perceived’ brand value in the used market. And I feel that speakers like Harbeth, Proac, and Spendor have earned their reputations over a long period of time with consistency and quality. If Rosso are that much better than these brands, let the free market speak for itself :)

Having said that, if you’re willing to setup Harbeth 30.1 and Rosso Pienza for a side-by-side comparison, I’m happy to come by and take a listen.