View Full Version : Harbeth sub woofer anyone?

23-01-2008, 05:22 AM
Just wondering if anyone else apart from me hopes that Harbeth may one day design a sub woofer specifically to match the 7ES, HL5s and especially the M30s ( as there the ones I own! ) specifically more for audio use rather than home theatre. It seems to me from various posts here and on various other audio sites / forums that a number of owners question which subwoofer would be best to create a fuller range sound ( especially with orchestral music) whilst keeping the wonderful midrange that all the Harbeth's have but I've not seen many posts which seem completely successful in this search.

It just seems to me what with Harbeth's newly designed in house 10" (Monitor 40.1s) woofer and there previous work with active monitors that they, and not other companies would make the best subwoofer. I really feel there would be a ready market for such a product as pretty much all there speakers could benefit from such a beast and as we all know once a Harbeth owner always a Harbeth owner. What do you think or am I just wishful thinking?

23-01-2008, 03:04 PM
That's a very interesting suggestion that we make a Harbeth subwoofer. Yes, the bass driver from the M40.1 (actually 12", 300mm not 10") could probably be optimised to work in a subwoofer arrangement.

I guess that what it comes down to is this: should Harbeth make a subwoofer where there are so many to chose from - REL being a good example. Although, on the face of it, a sub is conceptually simple compared to a full-range speaker, in practice0 is it? Or are there little tricks and techniques that are not obvious to us on the outside but are the stock in trade of skilled subwoofer designers? How long would it take us to learn that game - to run with the best? Could we ever excel at it? Would it distract us from what we have a reputation for - as you say, excellence in the middle frequencies.

If only I could live and work for one hundred years all things would be possible!

23-01-2008, 03:54 PM
It seems to me that the entry into the subwoofer business would be difficult for a speaker manufacturer because of the amplifier that is required inside the sub.

If you make a subwoofer do you then have to make a center channel? My guess is that if you build a subwoofer you would need the home theater market in order to profit, and then you would need to offer a full 5.1 package.

23-01-2008, 08:08 PM
[QUOTE=vaughn3d;2714]It seems to me that the entry into the subwoofer business would be difficult for a speaker manufacturer because of the amplifier that is required inside the sub.

From my , granted limited knowledge. Aren't most subwoofers made by Speaker orientated companies rather than Amplifier companies eg .B&W, Wharfdale & Mordaunt -Short as opposed to say Sugden, Exposure & Sim Moon? and anyway Harbeth does has experience already with Active speakers.
Alan with respect to REL whom you mention . Out of their quite large range do you have any suggestions/recommendations as to which models might work best ?, as finding any dealers ( at least here in the US) with any experience with both products is hard to find. Hence my hope for one designed by yourself specifically for your speakers.

23-01-2008, 08:42 PM
good point with respect to the active speakers

24-01-2008, 09:33 AM
The amplifiers found in subwoofers are very often subcontracted to overseas manufacturers who can turn out a custom unit, well finished and generally well made for very little money. In exchange, they need large volume orders - by the 20' or 40' sea container - and regularly. Payment 100% in advance. For us to place orders with such suppliers is no problem - the issue comes down to our confidence that we could market them in a crowded market when we could never hope to price compete with the many well established brands offering excellent value for money subs..

In short, I really think that for us to enter the sub market would be a distraction, and the most important lesson one learns in business is 'don't become distracted from your core skills and market'!

We were loaned a very small REL sub at a show some years ago. Something 30 was the name I recall. It was about half the size of an HL Compact. Worked well.

24-01-2008, 03:12 PM
I tried a sub, twin sub from SVS, REL sub too. After I sold my SVS and get my SHL5..I no regret...The born to be full-range-like SHL5 sound much better than my C7+sub...which forced to sound full-range..SVS is good subs..but sub integration is an art....

The powerful and go-down-deep subs is getting more and more in the market in very good, or I can say cheap price...like SVS 300W class D 10 inch sub is not more than US$430, BK top model 300W Mosfet 12 inch sub is not more than ?410, there is Hsu and other I may not know...which give full out loud deep bass to 20Hz or even 16Hz and below and easily go out loud at 90db and above....Can shake the room or pressurize the room like earth quake...Shall Harbeth enter to sub market..??

24-01-2008, 05:08 PM
Thanks for the response Alan. Well it was worth a try!. Looks like, if I understand the last post correctly? ( and the other observations I mentioned in first post) that I'll just have to live with a compromise. I'm certainly not interested in being able to "shake the room or pressurize the room like earth quake' which doesn't sound like it has much to do with music. All I wish for is to be able to seamlessly add a subtle amount of low end to enhance my experience of full range orchestral music.

25-01-2008, 12:48 AM
I thought when a low bass drum or organ being played in a concert hall, the bass do pressurize the hall or shake the hall's seats..that is part of the "feeling" of the music..

25-01-2008, 01:52 AM
I thought when a low bass drum or organ being played in a concert hall, the bass do pressurize the hall or shake the hall's seats..that is part of the "feeling" of the music..

You got me there! But luckly I've never been a fan of Organ music , ( apart from when its Saint- Saens 3rd symphony, a little Bach, Poulenc's Organ concerto, also a bit of Widor also Franck)........Mmmm maybe I need to reconsider my previous statement?!. But more seriously I'm not really after trying to recreate the concert hall in my 16'x 15' living room , Tried that once found everything was 'too much' for real listening please. Which is why I gravitated to Harbeths. More music for the home than HiFi if you know what I mean. I just want the low end the Monitor 40.1s probably gives but whilst keeping my Monitor 30s. On a related note just saw a report on the CES show by positive feedback raving about the 40.1s but note his last comment regarding them! http://www.positive-feedback.com/Issue35/ces08rg.htm
Now thats probably the extra sub bass I could live without.