Holy Church of the UK 8" 2-way BBC Monitor Thread...Harbeth, Spendor, Stirling, Rogers etc

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by ArdenHiFi, Feb 20, 2016.

  1. ArdenHiFi

    ArdenHiFi Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I'd also like to introduce the Wharfedale Denton Anniversary and the Wharfedale Diamond 220 as possible alternatives to those seeking the BBC monitor sound. These speakers are modern, easily attainable, and inexpensive. I've directly compared them side by side to Harbeth and Spendor and they definitely have something in common. They are extremely similar in terms of tonal balance and delivery. Since hearing the Diamond 220 about 2 months ago in a hifi shop, there isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about going back for them. I was extremely impressed by that speaker. It's highly musical and extremely smooth. The problem is that it's 85-86 db efficient and it's not going to work with my tube amp. (I'm waiting to hear the Diamond 250, which could be a dream, has the same mid driver, and is more efficient.)
     
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  2. Mortsnets

    Mortsnets Active Member

    There is also Quad dynamic speakers like the classic 77-10L or the modern 11L2 or the new ribbon models. I've got the discontinued 9L powered speakers and they sound good on the desktop.
     
  3. bhazen

    bhazen Re: Member

    Location:
    Newcastle, WA
    I'd agree that the 80th Anniversary Dentons sound very BBCish (as I understand the term, anyway; a great speaker.) But the Diamond 220's ... ouf. However, I really like the Diamond 10.2's: a gorgeous, fruity midrange, as well as decent bass and honest treble: a well-balanced speaker for what, $350/pair? Having owned all three of these, the ones I miss the most are the 10.2's. They're not very "BBC", though, with the bigger (7"?) woofer and trendy curved cabinets.
     
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  4. ArdenHiFi

    ArdenHiFi Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Quad 11L, 12L...other speakers I've always wanted to hear.
     
  5. ArdenHiFi

    ArdenHiFi Forum Resident Thread Starter

    ???
     
  6. ArdenHiFi

    ArdenHiFi Forum Resident Thread Starter


    Wow, they look great on paper! Nice, smooth response. I'm interested in hearing these for sure!

    www.audioexcite.com » Wharfedale Diamond 10.2 review part 2 »

    Again, though, 86db may not work for me. Do they seem difficult to drive?
     
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  7. bhazen

    bhazen Re: Member

    Location:
    Newcastle, WA
    How do the Spendor 3/5R's (or whatever the current models are called) compare with LS3/5A's?

    Not at all. I had 'em on the end of an older grey Rega Brio (35 watts?), in an 18 x 15 ft. room. I'm guessing a fairly "benign load"? Now, I'm not usually a fan of Kevlar(?) woofers, but Wharfedale seems to know how to implement them (as does Quad; the 12L's I heard were quite good, too.)

    Mainly what I recall is: that gorgeous, open midband, which didn't seem out-of-balance with the other frequencies.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2016
  8. ArdenHiFi

    ArdenHiFi Forum Resident Thread Starter


    Same here regarding Kevlar. I thought the 220s might have sounded more natural than the Dentons, but I had the Dentons at home and not the 220s, so who knows. Can you comment on the differences between the 12L, the 10.2, and the Denton, which I've heard? Just curious if the Quads are a darker or brighter and more open sound. I like full, bloomy midbass, somewhat rolled off highs, with sumptuous, seductive midrange.
     
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  9. misterdecibel

    misterdecibel Bulbous Also Tapered

    I've got a set of Rogers LS7T speakers, which are sort of part of this family, and also a pair of Stirling Broadcast "repair kit" LS3/5As which I'm presently using just for TV.
     
  10. ArdenHiFi

    ArdenHiFi Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Yes, Rogers LS7T are definitely part of the family. I almost bought a pair of those once and planned to replace the metal tweeters with soft domes. Ended up buying LS6a instead.
     
  11. bhazen

    bhazen Re: Member

    Location:
    Newcastle, WA
    I thought the 12L's were very good, but I haven't heard them at home. Sadly, no Quad dealers in the Seattle area these days. To me, the Denton's are more rolled-off or "darker"(?) than the 10.2's; the latter, a bit more "open"-sounding, with a more luscious midrange.

    But ...

    I get nervous making these comparisons; I'd hate to steer you wrong! Someone told me that of all the sense-memories, hearing is the most unreliable.
     
  12. Art K

    Art K Forum Resident

    Location:
    Corvallis, Oregon
    I owned the Dentons, Diamond 9.1's, Diamond 10.1's and Quad 11L Classics. To my ears none of them sounded particularly BBC'ish. They were all very good value speakers, however. I still own the Diamond 10.1's.
     
  13. ArdenHiFi

    ArdenHiFi Forum Resident Thread Starter

    The Dentons have a wonderful tonal balance and they are an awesome speaker, but they do exhibit a little shouty-ness from the mid driver. It's not bad and certainly not bad as some, but it's there and that's what made the speaker leave my house. The 10.2 uses a 1800Hz as the crossover point, which seems to me as being a very sensible decision. Someone is paying attention to the fact that if you try to run these drivers up too high, they're going to fall apart. This is one of the reasons, in addition to using very smooth 25mm soft dome tweeters, that the Wharfedale stuff is sounding so good. The standard BBC 3kHz crossover point is ridiculous, yet sometimes it works well enough...as in the Harbeth Monitor 30, for example.
     
  14. ArdenHiFi

    ArdenHiFi Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Will you elaborate?
     
  15. Art K

    Art K Forum Resident

    Location:
    Corvallis, Oregon
    What do ya want to know? I've kind of written about these ad nauseam on another forum. I'll say that what you just described about the Denton's is exactly what I heard. A shoutiness that on some music equaled a bit of fatigue. I have played the 10.1's REAL loud, for me (not at all loud for most of you) and was really impressed with the how easy they are on the ears. Same with the Quads...I had a pair of the 11L Classics kicking around here for 2-3 years. My wife also had a pair. Very easy on the ears and really well built. As good as they were for the money they all lacked that midrange magic that I have come to expect when listening to BBC style monitor.
     
  16. ArdenHiFi

    ArdenHiFi Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I guess what I'm curious about is as to which of these has the darker, fuller, warmer tonal balance...the Wharfedales or the Quads.
     
  17. ArdenHiFi

    ArdenHiFi Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Diamond 10.1 uses a smaller mid driver, but same, very conservative 1.8kHz crossover point. That's probably why they don't shout like the Dentons do. Interesting that Stereophile's measurements of the 10.1 show some nastiness in the HF section that the earlier referenced measurements from another review do not show for the 10.2, even though it looks like and probably is the same tweeter.

    Wharfedale Diamond 10.1 loudspeaker Measurements »

    Also, I want to apologize to you guys that were talking about the A25. I shut you down in the name of remaining on topic and now I'm talking about Wharfedales and Quads. Sorry about that.
     
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  18. Aereoplain

    Aereoplain Active Member

    Location:
    charlotte nc usa
    Harbeth Compact 7
    Spendor SP1/2 (original)
    Stirling Broadcast LS 3/6 ( one of the best values in audio)
    Any of these 3 could be final destination for most.
     
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  19. Art K

    Art K Forum Resident

    Location:
    Corvallis, Oregon
    The Wharfedales had the darker and warmer sound but the Quads were a bit more natural. The 11L Classics could really play loud and stay composed...very nice speaker.
     
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  20. ArdenHiFi

    ArdenHiFi Forum Resident Thread Starter

    That's cool that you're hip to that cone shout/breakup issue I'm talking about. Most people I talk to either don't notice or they mistake it for "dynamics". It's not dynamics. It's distortion and it's fatiguing and harsh.
     
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  21. bhazen

    bhazen Re: Member

    Location:
    Newcastle, WA
    And for my part, I was unaware of the A25's bad behaviour in that area.

    I've heard that the new versions of the Quad L series stuff, are even better (specifically, improved tweeter.)
     
  22. ls35a

    ls35a Forum Resident

    Location:
    Eagle, Idaho
    I bought my Quads from Wayne four years ago had zero problems and received a pair of speakers that were cosmetically and operationally the best I've ever seen. I've owned Quads twice before over the years - this pair from Wayne is dramatically better across the board.
     
  23. ArdenHiFi

    ArdenHiFi Forum Resident Thread Starter

    That's good to know. That brings the quality work point up to 2012 and perhaps my theory to explain my experience is correct, that with the health problems, surgeries, financial devastation, and probably copious pain meds, something went wrong.
     
  24. Larry I

    Larry I Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington, D.C.
    Salectric,

    I like the SP100 too. That is a very musically satisfying speaker. It can be a bit overwhelming in bass response in some rooms, but, it is well worth the effort required in finding the right room placement.

    As for the desirable size of a woofer cone in a two-way speaker? I don't think there is any particular size that is ideal. The very best wide range drivers I have ever heard are the various versions of the Jensen M10. These have 13" cones and utilize field coils for their magnetic structure. These drivers deliver the most amazingly natural sound, with speed and dynamics that are out of this world. The large diameter restricts dispersion above certain frequencies so these are often used with a tweeter that kicks it at a fairly high frequency. The bad news is that these are VERY old so units in good condition are VERY expensive (the typical price is near $20,000 per driver). Some day, I hope to have a system utilizing this driver in an open baffle setup and with a Western 597 field coil tweeter on top.
     
  25. ArdenHiFi

    ArdenHiFi Forum Resident Thread Starter

    If I was in Canada, I'd go pick these up just to try them:

    Harbeth H.L. Monitor MKII »

    If anyone out there is looking for an inexpensive way to experience the UK monitor sound, here it is. Furthermore, if anyone in Canada wants to pick these up and ship them to me, I'll make it worth your time.
     
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