Which Harbeths?

Trying to decide between the the M30.1/2 and the C7es3/XD. I’ve researched it a fair amount and I’m coming up a bid confused. Like most things it seems people have conflicting opinions. I’m coming from using various Totems for the last decade. I also just had a pair of Dynaudio special 40s for a short time before selling. I found the 40s were better at playing louder and had a bit softer top end, but overall just lacked that something special, ironically. What I’m really after is that just rightness I get with Totems. While I find there top end a bit much I’ve been willing to work with it because of the just rightness I personally get from them. My wife likes to say they sing which I think gets the just of it as well. Harbeth has sounded very attractive to me for a while and hope to find another version of a special speaker in them.  One that hopefully is a bit smoother in the presence and treble areas while also being very engaging and musical. I use a McIntosh mc302 and C46, so plenty of power for any of the Harbeths I’d think.  Anyways, I’d appreciate any feedback in these two models I can get. Anybody who has experience with both Harbeth and Toen I would have particular interest in your take. I live about 4 hours from any dealer and I don’t like to waste their time since I will inevitably buy used anyways.  
congrats!  the C7s are incredible speakers.  
they are also very rich and refined, which really is not a bad thing.  
refined is not the absence of excitement and dynamics.  refined is walking the thin line between detail and forgiving so that even bad recordings sound good and there are no frequent irritants in the sound.  Harbeth walk that line like no other.  
You can greatly offset any overly polite sound qualities with your amplification which is unfortunately very polite to begin with. 
definitely listen with the grilles off to add dynamics and transparency. 


compact 7’s are a lovely choice, enjoy!  (i also personally prefer them over the mon 30s)

you will need to play with placement and bass reinforcement to see if they please you full range, or, as many do, integrate in a pair of nice subs
OP: Congrats on your purchase! I'm guessing that you'll be happy with the C7's, and I hope that the price was right.
I arrive too late, as you have already made a decision (for C5es XD). For others, just wanted to share this...

##### M30.1 vs M30.2 comparison (What Hifi Australia)

##### my personal M30.1 vs M30.2 comparison:
(terrible Google Translation of *my* post, on a French forum). Please first note that:
  • - I have never heard the C5xx
  • - I now only the following models:M30.1, M30.2 Anniversary, M40.2 (regular), SHL5 Plus.

( < Google Translate from *my* post on a French forum, slightly corrected)
I recently own Harbeth M30.2 (40th Anniversary), an opportunity that unexpectedly occured, and decided me sell my M30.1.
I am satisfied with the change. Comparatively with the M30.1, here are the main differences in my view:
  •  the M30.2 are more "straight", more neatly defined,
  •  M30.2 have better stereo image, more "built" and more precise. Very good 3D effect..
  • the ’plom-plom’ effect sometimes a little systematic (it seemed to me) in the low-mid of the M30.1 has disappeared,
  • The treble is simply sublime, and wonderfully blends with the midrange.
  • Maybe the M30.2 lose a little the (excessive?) sweetness of the M30.1 (which was a little systematic, even denoted a slight pinkish coloration?), the M30.2 verging a little more towards a ’monitoring’ listening ( well, everything is relative), always with British signature (but the M30.2 do NOT recess the midrange, unlike many British speakers/monitors).
In short, I would say that M30.1 and .2 are more different than incontestably in a hierarchy. The M30.2 is a better speaker for my context, and in my opinion.

NB: the laid-back character of the M30.1 could be slightly compensated by
1) removing the grilles (it was easy with M30.1 >< do NOT try with the M30.2) and
2) listening a bit closer, in order to get more energy in the treble.If one can do this, and have a rather fast and transparent amplifier, the M30.1 can be a good choice 2nd hand (especially for classical and jazz; not for rock tough, I’m afraid).

Both require appropriate stands, preferably open: dedicated TonTräeger stands highly advised (better than my home-made closed stands I had previously).