Joseph Audio Perspective2 vs Harbeth SHL5+

I currently own Harbeth SHL5+ and I’m generally very happy with them. I’m driving them with Audio Hungary a50i tube amp (50 watts class A) and don’t feel that the amp struggles at all. I have an opportunity to buy a used pair of Joseph Audio Perspective2 Graphene in excellent condition. Just wondering if anyone has had a chance to compare the JA Perspective2 with SHL5+. From what I understand they sound quite different but I’m not sure how. The Perspectives are obviously quite a bit more expensive than the Harbeths but I understand that this doesn’t automatically imply that they are better. Someone told me that the Perspective 2 is more in Harbeth 40.x league instead of SHL5+.

As good as the SHL5+ are, I do sometimes yearn for a wider and deeper soundstage with bigger bass (although I have a pair of REL S/510s to supplement). I would really appreciate if people who have made the move from SHL5+ to JA Perespective2 Graphene, or vice versa, can share their impressions.

Note: My room is 20 x 15 with 12 foot high ceilings. The speakers will be placed along the short wall. I can pull them out by 4 feet from the front wall and about 2 feet from the side walls. My room is treated with GIK panels. My biggest concern is whether my AH Qualiton a50i will be able to drive the Joseph Audios well.



whipsaw, I received your bat signal!



I had the Harbeth SuperHL5plus for a while.  I sold them and eventually bought

Joseph Audio Perspectives (original).  I plan to upgrade them to graphene at some point.

I've been asked before to compare Harbeth to Joseph speakers so I'll grab a long reply I wrote to someone else on the subject.  He was asking about comparison between the Harbeth 30s and the Joseph Pulsars, but everything I wrote pertains to the SuperHL5+ and the Joseph speakers.

Keep in mind I ended up with the Joseph speakers and, all things considered, as much as I love Harbeth too, I wouldn't trade them for the Harbeth.   The Joseph speakers will absolutely give you a wider, deeper soundstage and over all more impressive "disappearing" act, vs the Harbeth.


Here's what I wrote:


--------------------------- someone who loves both the JA and the Harbeth speakers, I think I can give some idea of the differences. I listened to the Pulsars before I bought my Perspectives, and they sound close to identical, but the Perspectives add deeper bass.

I've listened to the whole Harbeth line, and owned the Harbeth SuperHL5plus speakers for a while.

I'm attracted to both those brands because I'm very in to tonal beauty/realism, and both do that in a close to peerless fashion...and yet sound very different.

I would say the Harbeth sound is an updated BBC monitor sound, with that richness and body in the mids, that organic filled out sense of voices that make singers sound human and present physically, not merely vivid but see-through holograms. They are masters with timbre -wood sounding "woody," brass "brassy," rather than the blanched, electronic tone of many more modern speakers. And yet being an updated BBC sound, they don't sound obviously boxy, and they do excellent detail and clarity. I find them super balanced sounding.

Though one thing I found with the Harbeth 30's is they did sound a wee bit darker than life. That's one reason I chose the SuperHL5plus, which seemed to have a more extended, airy top end. But I love the sound of the 30's as well.

If I had to generalize about the Modern Speaker Sound, it's that super low cabinet coloration, super "fast" detail and transparency of often metal drivers - exceedingly clear and clean, though sometimes at the expense of body, texture and organically real timbre.

As for the Joseph speakers, they are also masters of tone. But whereas the Harbeths have a stronger foot in the older comfy BBC sound, the Josephs have a stronger foot in the modern speaker sound. They are super clean, pure, transparent, detailed, boxless sounding, image like mad, etc. However they manage to do this without sounding sterile. Just the opposite: rather than their purity blanching the music of tonal color, you get tonal and timbral colours blooming through with greater purity. Like looking at coloured pebbles through a stream which has been suddenly cleaned of all it's silt - the vividness of the colours seem revealed. So wood sounds very distinct, as does brass, drum cymbals, all the exact timbres of a drum set, the sparkle and growl of a piano. That's one thing that astonished me when I auditioned the Joseph speakers, the utter purity and lack of grain, and even though the highs were very extended, this lack of grain lent an unmechanical ease to the presentation which many remark upon. And even though they use a soft dome tweeter, cymbals and steel instruments sound particularly "metallic" yet relaxed.

The other "trick" up the Joseph sleeve is why, despite their transparency and clean sound, they don't sound sterile: They have a very juicy lower midrange to bass. Jeff Joseph says on his website: "Live, unamplified music has unmistakable presence and clarity. Yet, at the same time it also sounds relaxed and warm." And that is precisely the balance his speakers strike. They have a richness in the warmth region that keeps things and warm, not threadbare. And with strikingly deep bass (both Pulsar and Perspectives). And the bass isn't just "low bass," it is reach-out-and-drive-the-music punchy bass. In other words, the speakers don't just do audiophile tone and imaging, don't just play audiophile standard tracks, the are FUN and give kick and drive to all genres of music. And there is a wonderful way the Joseph Speakers swell dynamically, the way their bass warmth and punch kicks in whenever required in a piece of music, that makes music swell and breath so well. Think of the dynamics of a symphony or soundtracks. Just wonderful on the Joseph speakers. I find they are one of the greatest balancing acts of the characteristics many audiophiles seek - disappearing as speakers, huge soundstage, precise imaging, tonal accuracy, amazing detail, punch and drama. It's no wonder that they seem to draw almost all accolades at shows, and from user reports.

OK...but nothing is perfect right?

What you will get with the Harbeths is they were STILL have a bit more evenly distributed body to the sound, top to bottom, for instruments and voices. To be really picky, the Joseph speakers sound super big and full with most stuff, especially when it engages the lower midrange, but can sound thinner on thinner sounds. So for instance a high voice may be more upper throat than chest, or Miles Davis' trumpet muted will be more mouthpiece than the resonating bell body you'd get with the Harbeth speakers. So in a way the Harbeths are a bit more evenly balanced. The Harbeths also have a bit more sense of "texture," that sense of bow on string kind of thing. You'll hear every nuance of detail on the Joseph, but there is something a bit more cut-through-the-air organic in how the Harbeth presents instrumental texture and voices. You can't have everything :)

So, there you go. If you move from Harbeth to Joseph, you'll lose a bit of ultimate even body through all the sound, that certain characteristic Harbeth texture, but you'll gain a more pure, clean yet colourful sound, more dazzling imaging/soundstating, probably a higher sense of detail, richer punchier deeper sound from the lower midrange down, more drama etc.

Hope that helps.

your first mistake is putting your system on the short wall you should be firing it down the length of the room the second mistake is not isolating your speakers from all vibration, get the Townshend podiums, they get rid of all the room problems so you won't have to waste time putting up all that crap around your room.

I use Pulsar 2, and had been running them on a PrimaLuna Evo400i.

now so moved to Feliks Envy preamp into a Benchmark AHB2 power amp.

I believe they moved up to a whole other level in precision, especially bass, imaging, instrument separation, everything sounds better. Due to their low sensitivity Joseph speakers require a lot of power and I believe, while your A50 will make them sing nicely, you might feel the bass a bit lose. 
I’ve tried many speakers, Klipsch Heritage line, Tannoy Cheviot, Piega, Dynaudio, Dali, but the pulsars driven properly were the most amazing for me.

they need to fire down the long wall, they have huge energy, though if the short wall is long enough it would probably work as well. Positioning is key, they need space behind and from the side walls.

Someone I know moved from Harbeth to Pulsars and they are most satisfied.


The Harbeth SHL5+ can sound beautiful and never nasty.  

Beautiful and of course slightly colored because of cabinet resonance and forgiving voicing.  

Move on to amything else and you might miss those aspects as I am currently struggling with.  

@prof  and @arthur1260 -- thank you for taking the time to provide such detailed and helpful replies. I truly appreciate it. The truth is that I'm quite happy with my SHL5+ and have come to appreciate the qualities that Harbeth brings to the table -- and I say this after owning and auditioning several speakers. That's why it has been such a difficult decision. But like @prof said, there are always tradeoffs. And sometimes the only way to find out is to try something in your own house. I will try to listen to the speakers in the seller's house as best as I can, but I understand that it's not quite the same as experiencing in your own setup. Unfortunately, buying from a private party means I can't just return the speakers if I don't like the sound. It's unfair to the seller.

I also want to address the concern regarding which wall (short or long) is going to be more suitable. Keep in mind that even the short wall is 15 feet wide, and I can easily place them about 2.5 feet from the side walls and 4 feet from the front wall. Given the layout of the room, and the fact that it doubles as a media room as well, I don't really have a choice but to utilize the short wall for this purpose. However, I have had other speakers in this room and I feel the short wall just works well. IMO, distance from the front wall is much more important than the side walls, especially for rear-ported speakers. Plus I've treated the first reflection points quite well. But I guess there's only one way to find out. BTW, my SHL5+ sound fantastic in the same position.

Reading the responses above, my fear is that I might lose the amazing vocal reproduction and that special texture that made me fall in love with Harbeth in the first place. I just hope I don't end up regretting my decision. But it's encouraging to read all the other qualities that JA Perspectives bring to the table. I also don't like thin sounding (especially in the midrange region). That's the reason I never liked Focal or B&W type of speakers. Not saying that they are thin sounding but they do sound that way when compared to Harbeth or other BBC-inspired speakers. If that turns out to be the case, then I definitely know I wouldn't be able to live with them long term.

I'm going to go listen to them on Friday. I'll keep you guys posted. Again, thank you for your very helpful feedback.


... get the Townshend podiums, they get rid of all the room problems so you won't have to waste time putting up all that crap around your room.

Sorry I disagree. While I don't doubt that Townshend podiums are great for controlling vibrations, but to say that they somehow make other room treatments redundant is silly and illogical. You still have to treat the room, especially the first reflection points and corners. Anyone who is using only podium type tweaks and not paying attention to properly treating the rest of the room is not getting the most out of their systems.

@avanti1960 If I remember correctly, do you (or did you) own JA Pulsars that replaced your SHL5+? I see exactly where you're coming from. I tried a lot of speakers, some more expensive, but there's something about the Harbeth sound that makes me go back to it every time. But I have heard a lot of great stuff about JA Perspective2's and going to take a risk. Worse case scenario, I can sell them and buy another used pair of SHL5+.

I fully agree with the treatment, it made a big difference to my listening experience.

about vocals I wouldn’t worry, they are the best I’ve heard on Pulsar, I imagine the same for Perspective :)

Best is to go listen to them, and in case they don’t have treatments you can try to listen near field, at least for vocals it helps eliminate unwanted effects of the room, good luck!

Have listened to the SHL5+ and they always sound nice even on not so nice recordings so to me they are not accurate. I'd prefer accuracy and the Perspective2's is the better speaker IMHO

I have the Pulsars (non-Graphene), and can tell you that they are balanced up and down the entire sound spectrum. They are wide and deep in soundstaging, and their bass (without a subwoofer) is incredible, particularly for a standmount. I auditioned the SH5+, but chose the Pulsars as the JA sound, to me, is totally addictive.

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Regarding the Harbeth vocal magic...

You may find you actually prefer the Joseph speakers, even in that regard.

It was actually hearing vocals on some Joseph speakers that got me interested!

I’m always comparing the sound of real voices to reproduced. It’s a habit. So when I audition speakers, or go to audio shows, there’s usually people talking.

When I’m listening to one of the inevitable demos with vocal tracks, I close my eyes and compare the sound to real voices I can hear talking, and it always reveals how artifical the voice is coming through the speakers. Voices sound "off" tonally, timbrally, compared to the organic timbre and tonal color of real human voices.

It’s actually been the Harbeth speakers that have tended to "pass" this test best at some shows.

However I was at one show (Montreal I think) and had entered the Joseph Audio room, with Jeff Joseph there (IIRC) and the Pearl speakers. There was a vocal acapella track playing. It completely startled me. It wasn’t so much that the voices were so clear and vivid. Vivid sound was typical in such speaker demos. Rather it was the pure realism and accuracy, the naturalness of the timbre of the voices. It just sounded bang on to the warm, organic timbre of real voices. It passed the "close my eyes test compare with real voices" with flying colors.

I was so blown away it led me to seek out Joseph Speakers at a local dealer, and again I heard a similar mesmerizing quality from the Pulsars, then the Perspectives. And again I was amazed by vocals. The Joseph speakers are so pure of grain and revealing of timbre that I found they actually made female voices sound more distinctly "female," male more distinctly "male." It’s very hard to describe what I’m talking about, but female recorded voices tend to be extra sibilant, and the sibilance can exaggerate any hash a speaker might have in that region, giving a slightly obscuring chalky coloration. The Joseph speakers sort of slightly wipe away the grain so even if it’s a sibilant recording, the subtle timbre of the vocalist is revealed with more purity. In that way female vocals sounded less artificial and more like...well...a female singing :-)

Of course, this is how it sounds to my ears. YMMV.

But again, on the flip side, the vocal presentation on the Joseph speakers is not the "BBC vocals" you get from Spendors or Harbeth. With the Harbeth theres that slightly added richness, palpability and density for voices. I found with the Harbeths (like my Spendor S3/5s which I still own) that there was always a human being singing in the mix, even if the recording wasn’t the most natural. So even electronica or pop with processed vocals, it was still human sounding in the sense of having that organic softness and body.

The Joseph speakers, in that sense, will be more recording dependent. An artificial recording will sound artificial, but very timbrally clear. A vocal recording with some richness will sound rich. Harbeth are more consistent from recording to recording in making vocals sound human in certain aspects.

So for vocals, it really depends on what the individual keys in on, because the JA and Harbeth speakers each capture some aspect of the real thing better than the other. The JA revealing more purity of timbre, the Harbeth adding a very life-like richness to vocals.

If you hear the Perspectives I’d be very curious as to whether your impressions are similar to mine. You never know.


The OP is using a 50W tube amp to drive the Harbeths. If I recall correctly, you were using CJ tubed monoblocks as your main power amp? Can you comment on the power requirement for the JA's? Do you feel like they need more power to sound their best?

Thanks for the help.


112 posts


your first mistake is putting your system on the short wall you should be firing it down the length of the room the second mistake is not isolating your speakers from all vibration, get the Townshend podiums, they get rid of all the room problems so you won't have to waste time putting up all that crap around your room.

If the system is on the short wall, it is firing down the length of the room. I think you meant to say something else.



My experience with the JA speakers and lower powered amps is limited.

In the store they sounded stellar with both SimAudio and Mcintosh tubes amps.

I can’t remember if it was the Mcintosh 75W or 150W tube amps.

Though I think I was probably most impressed with the JA speakers with the Simaudio amps. Best grip and control, but still super smooth and beautiful sounding.

At home I’ve only used them with my 140W CJ tube monoblocks, which work beautifully with the Perspectives. I did some long direct comparisons of the CJs vs a Bryston 4B3 amp in my system and the Perspectives sounded excellent with both, a bit more grip in the bass and solidity to transients etc with the Bryston, but overall I definitely preferred the tube amps for the more fleshed out relaxed sound, though the CJs also provide plenty of guts and punch.

I still don't really know about the JA ultimate requirement for power.  In principle, unless you play them super loud a lot, a well designed lower power tube amp should work well with the impedance, despite the lower sensitivity.

Note that the Soundstage Pulsar reviewer used an 80W tube amp with the Pulsars and raved, and the Part Time Audiophile reviewer reported his most satisfactory results with a 25W SS amp in class A mode.



@prof Thank you for such a detailed analysis, I own a pair of Pulsar 2 Graphene and a pair of Harbeth 7ES-3 XD and I could not agree with you more on their characteristics, in fact, you described things that I regularly hear with the Harbeths but haven’t found the proper terms to convey it. Both speakers are excellent but sound quite different.

In my setup and room, the Harbeths are more tonally engaging, the Pulsars sound a bit thin and lightweight but I can tell they have potential, they definitely need a pair of subs to even out. I do have 6 tube traps to tame a boominess problem but with the Pulsars it may be too much. I may think about trading up to the Perspective and/or a pair of REL S/510.

Associated equipment: Pass Labs X350.8 ARC Ref75SE, Benchmark AHB2, Holo Audio Serene, Denafrips Venus, Innuos, Aurender, and just received a pair of Dynaudio Confidence 20 that are in the rotation.


I do think the Perspectives are somewhat richer sounding, especially from the lower midrange down.   I use them with some classic Conrad Johnson tube amps, which helps flesh out the sound. 

Great discussion. I’ve not listened to Joseph Audio speakers but have been a long time Harbeth owner (SHL5s and 30.1s). I found the HL5s were more authoritative, especially in bass range, when I put more power behind them (in my case a Pass Labs X250). May be worth testing more wattage before finalizing a decision. 

Well I’m going to pick them up in about an hour or so. Will compare them to the SHL5+ in the next few days. Depending on how it goes, you might see either the SHL5+ or Perspective2’s for sale. Keeping my fingers crossed. Appreciate everyone who pitched in. I’ll keep you guys posted. 

Apples vs oranges. The Harbeths favor that British sound typically characterized by a wonderfully clear but slightly mellow midrange while the JA’s are all about speed, transparency and soundstage; not as meaty as the Harbeths through the midband. I had the Perspective2’s and unfortunately I couldn’t get them to work well enough in my room. Subsequently I tried the Pulsar2’s and they were not my cup of tea. I actually like the original Pulsars better, but I’m a British speaker guy at heart so that would make sense. My current speakers, the Graham Audio LS5/9’s, do the trick for me. I compared them head to head with the Pulsar 2’s, and while both have their strengths, at the end of the day I preferred the Grahams, but that’s me. Your taste may differ.

awesome arafiq !

I can't wait to hear whether I'm full of sh*t or not!  :-)



What was the problem with the Perspective2s in your room? Bass bloat?

I have the original Perspectives in a 13’ x 15’ room (with a large opening to a hallway). Mine are pulled out about 4 feet from the back wall. I get nice even sound with just the occasional bordering on bass emphasis.

I intend to upgrade to the graphene drivers and my only hesitation has been if the purportedly more powerful bass response may pose a problem in my room, even though the originals have worked great.


Agree - Harbeths require powerful SS amplification to sound their best - such as the Hegel amps Harbeth uses to demo their speakers at shows.

I’ve got the 30.1’s and 40.2’s and they sound superb in all respects with the Hegel H590.

Though... I have heard the Harbeth SHL5+ sound "as good as it gets" driven by the Finale Sesto tube amp!

To me... Harbeths sound so much like the "king" (Quad ESL-57's) - that I have accepted them as one of my favorites (perhaps the favorite) - in the context of "all things acoustic."

As good as the SHL5+ are, I do sometimes yearn for a wider and deeper soundstage with bigger bass (although I have a pair of REL S/510s to supplement).


You will likely get that with modern speakers but it will need to be fairly high quality to match if not surpass the strengths of the Harbeth.

There is no way that you are getting everything from the Harbeths running them with a 50W amplifier.  I am a former SHL5+ owner.

@tswisla While I agree that SHL5+ can benefit from high-powered amps, you'd be surprised how well they work with my Qualiton amp. Just for reference, I have tried the speakers with Luxman 590AXII (owned), Hegel H390 (extended home audition), Kinki EX-M1(owned), Naim Supernait 3 (home audition), VTL IT-85 (owned), ARC GSi75 (owned), and Sim Audio Moon 340i (home audition). So hopefully you can see that I've been around :)

I understand that watts are watts, yet for some reason the 50 tube class A watts seem to go a lot further than the typical A/B watts. Yes, you do give up the tight and impactful bass a little, but what you gain in soundstaging, midrange, air, palpability, and the holographic/3D sound is worth every penny. Anyways, the SHL5+ sounded (to my ears of course) the best with the a50i once I replaced KT-120s with 150s, which presumably is giving 60 watts now. I'm sure the speakers excel in many areas with big iron SS amps, but for my tastes the a50i was perfect with SHL5+.

Now having said that, it is struggling a little bit with the JA Perspective2's. I've been listening to the Josephs since Friday and will share my impressions soon.

Yikes!  The original Perspectives clock in at 84dB sensitivity!

No wonder Joseph Audio omits that specification on its website, and only lists the relatively benign impedance.

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I have the original Pulsars. I am offering this comparison as they have very similar sensitivity measurements in Stereophile to the Perspectives. It's not apples to apples but similar in nature. Yes the sensitivity (on paper) is low- Stereophile measured the Pulsars at 83.5 db efficient. I have run them on two different tube amps, a BAT VK-55SE at 55 WPC and an Audio Research Ref 75SE at 75 WPC. Both worked wonderfully well in my experience and neither left me wanting for more. My current setup uses the Ref 75SE and it is such a great combo! Will more power be better? Maybe but don't write them off running medium power tube amps. Stereophile mentioned the Pulsar's impedance and them being an easy load for amplifiers in spite of the low sensitivity. That said, it is a little suspect Joseph doesn't publish the sensitivity ratings but in my experience it played out as they claim. Of course, as always your mileage may very.

I have tried the speakers with Luxman 590AXII (owned), Hegel H390 (extended home audition), Kinki EX-M1(owned), Naim Supernait 3 (home audition), VTL IT-85 (owned), ARC GSi75 (owned), and Sim Audio Moon 340i (home audition). So hopefully you can see that I've been around :)


Apologies for a bit of diversion. May I ask which amp sounds best with the SHL5+ to you, the Luxman L-590AXII,  Hegel H390 or Naim Supernait 3?

Good luck with the Joseph audio Perspective.

@ryder For me, it was hands down the Luxman 590AXII. It was more refined and the treble was just sublime. Hegel had more bass control, but I felt the bass on Luxman, while not as visceral, was more nuanced. It also added just the right hint of warmth/sweetness without over doing it. Hegel was also quite good and I can see it being a better match if one is more into hard rock, metal, or EDM. I still miss my Luxman and wish I could have kept it. 

For some reason, I just didn’t get along with Naim. I guess the whole PRAT thing ain’t my cup of tea. I had high hopes for the Supernait 3 but ultimately was a bit disappointed. Hope this helps :)

Thanks for the response @arafiq I wasn’t too surprised that the Supernait 3 sounded poor with the Harbeth SHL5+. It’s the same experience when I tried the Nait XS on the SHL5. Somehow the Naim integrateds are not very good in my book. Perhaps they are good for easy to drive speakers only.

The Luxman L-590AXII is truly a marvelous amp. I’ve not tried a lot but this one is really something special. Refined, delicate and nuanced - these are the keywords I would use on the L-590AXII. The bass may not be the punchiest or most visceral but it’s clean and pure. In other words it’s a tight, defined and nuanced bass quality made possible by the low coloration of the amp. Other amp designs which produce more bass sound more colored to me with their forced presentation, masking some of the detail in the bass and sounding slightly unnatural or less nuanced.



I realized that I had not updated my virtual system pics in a while. I accidentally deleted the virtual system and had to create a new one. I will write more about the sonic impressions for JA Perspective2's in a day or two. But as you can see they are a thing of beauty. They look so elegant -- even my wife made a comment that these are the best looking speakers she's seen in the room thus far :) Tonight I'm going to put the Harbeth SHL5+ back in to compare with the JA's. Hope to report my impressions in a day or two.




Amazing.  Those Perspectives look so gorgeous.  I was blown away when I got mine and they are still among the best looking speakers I've ever had (or seen IMO).

I hope you'll give your impressions first without the subs!  :-)

Here's a photo of my Perspectives:


@prof Thanks for sharing the pic. These speakers are just gorgeous. Honestly, I feel pics don't do justice to them, they're even better in person. I do have a question while looking at the pic: It seems that one of the speakers is placed right against the sofa. Is this their regular position or did you pull them out further to take the pic? If so, does it not compromise the sound in some way? 


That's usually the question I get when I post those photos :-)

The explanation for the positioning is here (where I also post photos of my Thiels in the same room):



As to the sound:  Fortunately, there are no discernible sonic consequences to the right speaker being in that position.  Sometimes it's further away from the sofa, sometimes I pull it right up for more nearfield listening like in that photo.

I'm sure it works because the drivers are up higher over the sofa (same with my Thiels) and so aren't impeded at all, and bass frequencies not being directional.

So there's zero balance issues in terms of the L/R sound that I can detect.  Bass sounds terrific too!



@soix I've added some pics of the JA's from multiple angles. You can check out my virtual system.

Nice!!!  How’s the Qualiton do driving the JAs, and what are the speakers sitting on?  I’m thinking with those Rels you’re probably not far off from a pair of Pearls performance wise. 




How did you end up with those matching stands under the Perspectives?

I'm looking forward to your impressions!

@soix I was a little underwhelmed at first because the dynamics and scale were missing. I kept blaming my amp, only to realize that one of the connections was loose. My speaker cables have bananas one both sides and the Perspectives only take spades. I was using the supplied (Cardas) spade connectors but didn’t realize that one of the banana connector was loose. Once I fixed it, the amp is driving the speakers like a champ. Despite the low sensitivity, the impedance makes the speakers suitable for a lot of amps -- including my Qualiton a50i. Right now, I’m totally satisfied with the performance, albeit, I have to use my REL’s to get the bottom end to be impactful.

The matching stand/platforms that you see in the pics were custom-built for the Perspectives by the previous owner. He has put many layers in the stands for better vibration control. He was kind enough to let me have the stands at no extra cost. I love how they match the aesthetics of the speakers.


@prof I will share my impressions in detail over the weekend, but let’s just say that the Perspectives have met exceeded all my expectations, and then some more. There’s absolutely no doubt in my mind that they are superior to the SHL5+ in every aspect -- including vocals, which was a surprise to me to say the least :) I think it’s fair to say that the Perspective’s real competition is the Harbeth 40.x and not so much the SHL5+.

I have them placed 4 feet from the front wall, 2.5 feet from side walls, and about 9 feet from the listening position. After tweaking with positioning for a bit, there are absolutely no issues with bass.

You were spot on with your analysis! These are by far the best speakers that I have owned. I will write some more in the next few days.

@ghdprentice Thank you for your kind words. I have to say I'm somewhat envious of your ARC gear. At some point next year, I also plan to start upgrading to ARC separates -- but very, very gradually so it goes unnoticed by the spouse :)

Those stands look great.  Love your amp BTW.  Jeff Joseph has told me his speakers do well with tubes (except obviously the flea-watt type) so I guess I’m not surprised.  Glad you’re so happy!  Color me jealous. 

Sounds good arafiq !


Two things I forgot to mention about when I owned the Harbeth SuperHL5plus:

For some reason I could never get them to image with much depth.

I’ve always valued soundstaging and imaging (though tone/timbre above that), my room supports fantastic depth of soundstaging, and all the speakers I’ve owned have achieved this. But I could never get more than a somewhat for-shortened soundstage with the Harbeths, which was frustrating. Even if I moved them closer to nearfield.  My Thiel 2.7 and Joseph speakers do wall-melting depth of soundstaging in comparison.

Also, I just remembered that I actually briefly, just for kicks, drove the Perspectives with my old Eico HF81 14w integrated tube amp. And it sounded gorgeous. I don’t remember having any particular sense of the speakers running out of steam with those amps, though the bass was a bit more rich and loose, which was the sound of those amps on every other speaker I had as well.



@arafiq OP:

Thank you. Great plan. It has taken me decades of slow upgrades to get my system together. But the rewards have far exceeded my expectations.


For most of my time as an audiophile I researched endlessly, listened with ever increasingly discerning ears to greater nuances of sound reproduction and made good choices compromising on price. But when I put the last couple of pieces of ARC into place to sound changed to a level above anything I have heard. There is a naturalness and balance of details across the audio spectrum I have not heard before. To me a level of sophistication I have not heard. Which makes sense when you are buying from a company that has been assaulting the high end for over forty years. This stuff is not made by folks just getting their feet on the ground.


Of course, this is not to say that the ARC is for everyone. Folks listening to rock and hip-hop that want their system to loosen the nails and screws in the house might opt for something else. That is not to say my system will not play well and loud enough to deafen you… it can, but MAC / B&W might do it better for greater propondence of bass..