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My primary concern had been that the option—highly recommended by the maker by the way—of making the Obelisk Si the center of one’s system via its digital input and DAC didn’t quite prove itself. The analog inputs of the amplifier were incomparably better. That review had compared one system against a similar one from Cyrus where the DAC built into the amplifier was far superior. I thus hadn't been able to address this imbalance. It seemed to me that Heed had to redress its own opinion of said DAC module. It's a cool little option but clearly in a much lower league than the Obelisk Si itself. One simply cannot mate the digitalized integrated and transport into a system that would compete with similar proposals from other brands. The Obelisk Si asks for a much superior source to really shine.

Here the Harbeth M30.1 came in handy, making the Obelisk Si a natural partner as though tailored to fit. The amplifier costs 5.590 Polish and now is available in white. Beefed up with the X-2 outboard power supply for 3.190 Polish it really brought out the best from the Harbeth. Yes that’s right - the loaners now sounded more satisfying and appropriate than they had with my thirty times costlier reference amplifier. Of course that wasn't because the Heed even with X-2 power supply is better than the Soulution 710 amp and Ayon Polaris III preamp I normally use. It’s because this Hungarian amplifier is very synergistic with the Harbeth and not just the M30.1 model. They make for a true system.

In this company the Harbeth M30.1 retained their rather pointy somewhat colored upper bass which can occasionally grow a little dull. That’s characteristic of these boxes and something you need to live with. Now however the bass had grown more substantial to be more correct and encased in the type of 'soft tissue' that is normally heard with far more expensive and larger speakers. The vocal band deepened further and gained even more breath. Although the speakers damp decays fairly quickly, this action applies not directly to the virtual images which are thick and fleshy with excellent 3D depth to exhibit curves and contours, not just flat cut-outs.

The aural mass with the Heed amp was slightly lower than with the Soulution but in comparison to other speakers insane. This was also true for the soundstage which was very expansive, wide and quite deep. I once mentioned how Harbeth speakers interface differently with the listening room than traditional boxes. Because their enclosures resonate to play an important role as acoustic generators, their sound emits across a fairly wide field more so than usual. The result is a type of sphere or warm sound bubble with us at the center. There is no high selectivity or detail as those terms are commonly understood. The sounds are clear, fluid and rounded rather than pointy and angular. Here the treble was a bit calmer than over the Soulution since that’s what the Heed sounds like – slightly warm. It did not lack resolution nor was it damped however. I would even say that it now seemed more sophisticated in the aspects of decays, depth and ambient succulence. Cymbal crashes left imprints like an after taste. They were not dry.

Actually 'dry' is the exact opposite of what can be said about the M30.1. It's an opulent unctuous sound which errs perhaps on the side of oversaturation rather than dryness or thinness. Everything gets shown that way which means on one hand that color differentiation is averaged but on the other becomes a strong preference for most participants to this game - for people listening to music at home. Analytical speakers that lack fullness can sound extremely impressive. However if they are not refined, if they don’t show internal structures and textures but just outlines, they become terribly tiring.

The M30.1 will never get anywhere near that point. Their sound is immersive primarily due to its richness. With these speakers you can listen to solo violin like Hilary Hahn or to electronic music from Diary of Dreams and Assemblage 23 or watch movies.

The latter will be a revelation to many cineasts. Nothing ruins a home cinema session as much as do squeaky dry unnatural voices from a flat low-rent center speaker below the screen. Don’t go there! Most 5.1/7.1 surround sound systems suffer from an inappropriate use of multi-channel capabilities and serve up monaural sound in the middle without expanding it to the sides. Watching the same movie in simple stereo with the M30.1, we appreciate a soundtrack far more because now the voices are simply natural.