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View Full Version : Harbeth to the south of France



Tom France
16-12-2011, 07:42 PM
3 months ago in Scotland and it was my my first ever Harbeth demo.. and although they were pushed and in some areas maybe beaten in the demo; mids, speed (with rock or complex recordings) by another very similar designed speaker.. I went for the Harbeths because of the greater openess, lovely deep bass and of course because they look beautiful.

After purchasing I waited for a delivery company to get these to me for the past couple of months.. with anticipation! In the mean time my trusty CDM1SEs rocked away providing the same pleasure they always have for the past 10 years.. then..

The arrival.. 2 weeks ago, and certainly these speakers have brought a grin to my face and are different beasts altogether. .. any one who wants to experience this particular grin should try 11:11 by Rodrigo y Gabriella (any track but start with number 1). There are a couple of areas I feel they struggle a little, sometimes getting a little 'muddy', but I have to play with position and set-up I guess..

So I have them in a big room of 50m2 and tall ceilings, they fill it with ease, look and sound great.. That's all to say for now, Looking forward to starting to find out over the coming months how to make them sing ever more wonderfully.

Powered by a Supernait through some Chord Epic, mutilple traditional sources and also a home made streamer.

MarkNC
17-12-2011, 08:49 PM
Beautiful set-up and room. If you are able, try bringing them out from the wall behind them- you'll likely get even more openness and better bass quality. Also, in my room at least, being too far from the SHL5s seems to rob them of a certain immediacy. Of course, as you say, experimentation is vital and YMMV.

-Mark in NC, USA

Hififan
18-12-2011, 11:05 AM
3 months ago in Scotland and it was my my first ever Harbeth demo.. and although they were pushed and in some areas maybe beaten in the demo; mids, speed (with rock or complex recordings) by another very similar designed speaker.. I went for the Harbeths because of the greater openess, lovely deep bass and of course because they look beautiful.

After purchasing I waited for a delivery company to get these to me for the past couple of months.. with anticipation! In the mean time my trusty CDM1SEs rocked away providing the same pleasure they always have for the past 10 years.. then..

The arrival.. 2 weeks ago, and certainly these speakers have brought a grin to my face and are different beasts altogether. .. any one who wants to experience this particular grin should try 11:11 by Rodrigo y Gabriella (any track but start with number 1). There are a couple of areas I feel they struggle a little, sometimes getting a little 'muddy', but I have to play with position and set-up I guess..

So I have them in a big room of 50m2 and tall ceilings, they fill it with ease, look and sound great.. That's all to say for now, Looking forward to starting to find out over the coming months how to make them sing ever more wonderfully.

Powered by a Supernait through some Chord Epic, mutilple traditional sources and also a home made streamer.

Dear Tom from France ;-)

- What is the stand brand (Something solid), which model ?
- Did you compare them with other brand, like Skylan ?
- Who recommend them to you ?

Tks a lot and have a nice we.

Philippe from Switzerland ;-)

Tom France
18-12-2011, 11:35 AM
Yes.. I'll try that now.. in the picture they are about 15" from the back wall.. I've just moved them forward to about 20" to try how they get on.. My last set up was a lot different and so my ears are still adjusting to something new too. I'm struggling to hear much change with change in position, they really aren't fussy, however I'm sure there is still an optimum. However in the mean time it doesn't matter as I'm just really enjoying the music through them. I'm sure treating the room will probably help more. I need some curtains as there is a big glass door leading outside which need covering (not just for the speakers, it's getting cold coming into December!).. and the whole floor is like a varnished screed / concrete floor. Maybe another rug too.

I've a friend with a lovely Sugden Class A amp too which will be fun to try the Harbeths with.. if I can get him to bring it round that is..

KT88
18-12-2011, 06:38 PM
Hello, Tom.

Nice room and set up. I concur with Mark about perhaps moving the speakers away from the walls. As for the "muddiness" you describe, I've found that lowering the volume a bit can be very helpful, which has solved this same issue with my Monitor 30's. There is a perfect volume level for each and every recording, and when you find it, it's blissful!

I suspect you will really like the sound of your Super HL 5's with the Sugden amp, so badger your friend until he brings it over. One of the amps I use with my 30's is a 15 watt Nelson Pass Class A device, and it sounds wonderful.

Enjoy!

Bob LaBarca
USA

Tom France
18-12-2011, 09:11 PM
Dear Tom from France ;-)

- What is the stand brand (Something solid), which model ?
- Did you compare them with other brand, like Skylan ?
- Who recommend them to you ?

Tks a lot and have a nice we.

Philippe from Switzerland ;-)

Philippe, yes they are Something Solid stands, the Harbeth SHL5 version, the guys at Something Solid make them to order and they know all the Harbeth range and hence the sizes. Seemingly they make them out of whatever solid steel they have to hand and so not every pair is the same. The ones in the picture raise the speaker 17.5" from the ground (you can specify whatever you like). In the shop during the demo they were on a 12-13" high version but they seemed far too low and look better taller (more elegant, less 'stumpy').

I was initially unsure about the look of these stands when I saw them only in pictures, they seemed too lightweight.. but trust me, they look great in the flesh. Mine arrived with circular upright sections although I think I've seen them with square section uprights too. The rest of the sections are square, really well welded and nicely made, totally solid (as the name suggests). I think for around 200 they are a really good price, especially as you know someone is in a shed making them just for you too. :)

I didn't try the skylan stands, I do like the look of them for other reasons (and seeing them looking good at what I think is 18", is what pushed me to go taller with my stands). They couldn't be any more different to the something sold stands.. like you I'd be interested in anyone who compared the stands directly.

Tom

Tom France
18-12-2011, 09:21 PM
Hello, Tom.

Nice room and set up. I concur with Mark about perhaps moving the speakers away from the walls. As for the "muddiness" you describe, I've found that lowering the volume a bit can be very helpful, which has solved this same issue with my Monitor 30's. There is a perfect volume level for each and every recording, and when you find it, it's blissful!

I suspect you will really like the sound of your Super HL 5's with the Sugden amp, so badger your friend until he brings it over. One of the amps I use with my 30's is a 15 watt Nelson Pass Class A device, and it sounds wonderful.

Enjoy!

Bob LaBarca
USA

Bob, thanks, yes.. I've had a nice full weekend listening and realising that there are so many levels of production coming though the Harbeths, it's great to chose a different part of the recording, perhaps a different instrument and follow that for a bit.. not just the whole track. So good to be able to search around inside the recording and jump around as if you were looking around the band at a concert and following their playing or signing. Yes, they're now further away from the wall and they'll be staying where they are.

Yes, for sure we'll try the Sugden, he only lives a couple of minutes away.. but I'm a little scared to in case the Harbeths sound even better ;) leaving me to contemplate the amp.. To be totally honest I find the Supernait a good amp, but it's nothing outstanding, good at everything but has no "Special" zone. Anyway it's great and I use the digital input too so it suits my use, I don't need to rush searching for the holy grail, but I'll enjoy what I have for a good time yet to come.. :) I'm pretty young.. I want to leave something to find new again in 10 years, and another 10 years after.. and for as many as I can! We're lucky!

MarkNC
19-12-2011, 04:42 AM
Part of the "problem" ( as if it IS one) is that these things are very neutral and have a minimal sound of their own. So, frequently, if they are sounding sub-optimal, it's simply a poor recording. Very often I will feel like the sound leaves something to be desired, then another recording will be superb. That's a great quality in a speaker.

I do suggest again, agreeing with Bob, getting the speakers out from the wall; if you are able to (for domestic reasons), at least one meter out would be worth trying. I've had great luck with 1 and 1/2 meters out but that's likely more than most folks can get away with. (I have a tolerant wife!)

-Mark

Hififan
19-12-2011, 05:30 PM
Part of the "problem" ( as if it IS one) is that these things are very neutral and have a minimal sound of their own. So, frequently, if they are sounding sub-optimal, it's simply a poor recording. Very often I will feel like the sound leaves something to be desired, then another recording will be superb. That's a great quality in a speaker.

I do suggest again, agreeing with Bob, getting the speakers out from the wall; if you are able to (for domestic reasons), at least one meter out would be worth trying. I've had great luck with 1 and 1/2 meters out but that's likely more than most folks can get away with. (I have a tolerant wife!)

-Mark

Respect MArkNC ;-) , i was myself just able to deal for 65cm from the wall ....Harbeth are not as WAF compliant as expected ;-)

Good sound anyway but sure not 100% of C7 potential..... :-(

Cheers

Phil

Audentity
21-12-2011, 01:44 AM
Part of the "problem" ( as if it IS one) is that these things are very neutral and have a minimal sound of their own. So, frequently, if they are sounding sub-optimal, it's simply a poor recording. Very often I will feel like the sound leaves something to be desired, then another recording will be superb. That's a great quality in a speaker.
I just recieved my first pair of Harbeths, eucalyptus C7s, and have noticed this very effect. Some recordings (and radio) sound flat and lifeless; then I panic that I bought the wrong speakers. Then another recording sounds glorious and I realize it's the variability of recordings, not the speakers.


I do suggest again, agreeing with Bob, getting the speakers out from the wall; if you are able to (for domestic reasons), at least one meter out would be worth trying. I've had great luck with 1 and 1/2 meters out but that's likely more than most folks can get away with. (I have a tolerant wife!)That's my next step, to find the best placement in the room.

hifi_dave
21-12-2011, 04:44 PM
It's amazing the number of people who blame the equipment for poor sound, rather than the recording.

This started when Philips first promoted the CD system as 'Perfect sound forever' and is now perpetuated with the download culture. Recordings are extremely variable but people still believe that they are perfect and blame the system.

Needless to say, your C7's are great speakers and will show you when an iffy recording is being played.

EricW
22-12-2011, 05:17 AM
It's amazing the number of people who blame the equipment for poor sound, rather than the recording.



I think that's because most people think of stereo equipment fundamentally as "producing" a sound rather than "reproducing" a signal.

If I'm right about this, it may also be the only way to make sense of many equipment reviews.

Audentity
23-12-2011, 02:34 AM
I think that's because most people think of stereo equipment fundamentally as "producing" a sound rather than "reproducing" a signal.Profound observation!


If I'm right about this, it may also be the only way to make sense of many equipment reviews.Please elaborate. I have a vague idea of where you're going with this but not sure...