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!

@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.

I’d be more than happy to accommodate. My reach out to you is simply knowing how close you are and the path you’ve been down. It is definitely worth an afternoon of your time, or anyone else’s who might be in the DFW area. 
If Rosso are that much better than these brands, let the free market speak for itself :)

The free market often doesn’t work that way, unfortunately. If it always did, Bose wouldn’t sell nearly as many speakers and headphones as they do. The issue is that some companies are simply better at the marketing and distribution game. And these days it’s more difficult than ever to separate the chaff from the wheat. 
I haven’t heard any Rosso speakers but have heard plenty of Harbeths and other brands in that price range.  As such, I wouldn’t be the least surprised if Rosso outperforms Harbeth on many audiophile metrics. Harbeths have great midrange, true, but other brands are their equal in that regard. This isn’t so much a dig on Harbeth, rather, it’s to say there are many excellent speakers out there that never get their time in the “limelight” for reasons outside of sound quality. Some if the best I’ve heard are rarely mentioned in forums.

Check the Spendor D7.2. Amazingly fast, clear speakers with a midrange worthy of Harbeth’s best.

My listening sure disagreed with that.
As a fan of the Spendor classic and Harbeth midrange I’d hoped the Spendor D speakers had some of the magic. I didn’t find anything spendor-like about it. Just a competent contemporary speaker like plenty of others, missing that special human organic midrange of the classic series. (In fact the Spendor D7 was the most disapointing speaker I auditioned in a long list).

I vastly preferred my (at the time) Harbeth SuperHL5+ speakers over the Spendor Ds.

Just giving an alternative take.