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"This Harbeth User Group (HUG) is the Manufacturer's own managed forum dedicated to natural sound, realisable by controlling the confounding variables between tthe microphone and the listeners' ears.

For example, the design of and interaction between the hifi amplifier and its speaker load can and potentially will alter the sound balance of what you hear. To reproduce the sounds captured by the recording microphones, as Harbeth speakers are designed to do, you would naturally select system components (sources, electronics, cables and so on) that do not color the sound before it reaches the speakers.

Identifying components for their system neutrality should, logically, start with the interpretation and analysis of their technical, objective performance, as any and every deviation from a measurably flat frequency response at any point along the serial chain from microphone to ear is very likely to cause the total system to have an audible sonic personality. That includes the contribution of the listening room itself.

HUG specialises in making complex technical matters simple to understand, aiding the identification of audio components likely to maintain a faithful relationship between the recorded sound and the sound you hear. With our heritage of natural sound, HUG cannot be really be expected to guide in the selection, approval, endorsement or even discussion of equipment that is intend to introduce a significantly personalised sound to the audio signal chain. For that you should do your own research and above all, make the effort to visit an Authorised Dealer and listen to your music at your loudness on your loudspeakers through the various electronics offered there. There is no on-line substitute for that time investment in a dealer's showroom.

If you desire to intentionally tune your system sound to your personal taste, please consider carefully how much you should rely upon the subjective opinions of strangers. Their hearing acuity and taste will be different to yours, as will be their motives and budget, their listening distance, listening loudness and listening room treatment, not necessarily leading to appropriate equipment selection and listening satisfaction for you.

Alternatively, if faithfully reproducing the sound intended by the composer, score, conductor and musicians over your speakers is your audio dream, then understanding something of the issues likely to fulfill that objective is what this forum has been helping with since 2006. Welcome!"


Jan. 2018
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Bi-wire (or tri-wire) to single wire policy

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  • Bi-wire (or tri-wire) to single wire policy

    We have fitted bi-wire (or tri-wire) terminals to Harbeth speakers since about 1988. According to our research, about 3% have been confused by the choice that bi-wiring presents and decided to remain with standard wiring. This means that 97% of users are paying for a feature that only 3% use, which seems unfair.

    Starting with the Compact 7ES3 in 2006 we reverted to a single terminal pair and we will also make the Monitor 40.1 single terminal pair. As the cabinets remain (largely) the same, we will neatly blank-off the unused terminals which allows us to start production of the new model as soon as possible and to minimise the selling price.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  • #2
    Single-wired SHL5?

    Hi Alan, I am considering purchasing a 2nd pair of new HL5 Super speakers but as I have never liked the double terminals on my present pair I enquired via the factory whether I could order the new ones with just a single pair of terminals. I received a reply that said no and explained the difficulties involved, so I thought I would go to the source of all things Harbeth to see if my wishes could be accommodated.

    I see that some other Harbeth models now come with single pair terminals so maybe it is time that the HL5 Super was changed also. Regards, Stuart

    Comment


    • #3
      Why worry?

      I think something similar has been asked previously.

      The crossover is designed for and built onto the four terminals, so it's not possible to undertake any 'tweaking' as you desire but the speakers sound so good as they are, so why worry ?

      Comment


      • #4
        Anxiety about biwires

        Hello - It's my first post here!

        I own some Monitor 30 Anniversary Edition speakers. I have two pairs of terminals on each speaker, and my Naim Supernait is single wire.

        Firstly, which terminals should I use? Does it make a difference? I'm currently using the bottom pair.

        Secondly, should I swap the brass terminal links for some high quality cable links? I have just changed from Naim NacA5 cable to Tellurium Q Black cable and appreciate the extra touch of brightness and detail I am getting. I just wondered if swapping the brass links to Tellurium Q links would further improve the sound?

        Thanks

        Comment


        • #5
          Stock (as supplied) biwire jumpers are more than good enough

          Hi Novak,
          I do not have the 30 but I have 5 and old 7 both featuring bi-wire ports as your 30. For so many yrs with them since 2004, I tried bi-wire them with two pair of same model cables, changed the original jumpers to pure copper and silver, single wire direct to upper port, single wire direct to lower port, single wire (-) to upper port and (+) to lower port , vise vase etc. Now I am using stock brass jumpers with speaker cable direct to lower ports. Over the years I realised this way give me the right sound. You can experience yourself but what i can say is stock jumpers is more than enough and not to worry too much and enjoy the music.
          "Bath with Music"

          Comment


          • #6
            Good enough for Harbeth to supply

            Originally posted by Novak View Post
            Firstly, which terminals should I use? Does it make a difference? I'm currently using the bottom pair.

            Secondly, should I swap the brass terminal links for some high quality cable links? I have just changed from Naim NacA5 cable to Tellurium Q Black cable and appreciate the extra touch of brightness and detail I am getting. I just wondered if swapping the brass links to Tellurium Q links would further improve the sound?

            Thanks
            The bottom pair is the one to use.

            I too am curious to hear about the brass links from someone who knows. It seems to me that as long as the conductivity of the links is as good as that of decent gauge copper wire, it doesn't matter what is used. Brass isn't as conductive, but there is a lot more of it in the link than copper in a wire, so it should work just as well. And if Harbeth has supplied brass terminal links, I am sure they have done this with some thought.

            Comment


            • #7
              Enjoy your speakers - forget about biwire links!

              Originally posted by Novak View Post
              Hello - It's my first post here!

              I own some Monitor 30 Anniversary Edition speakers. I have two pairs of terminals on each speaker, and my Naim Supernait is single wire.

              Firstly, which terminals should I use? Does it make a difference? I'm currently using the bottom pair.

              Secondly, should I swap the brass terminal links for some high quality cable links? I have just changed from Naim NacA5 cable to Tellurium Q Black cable and appreciate the extra touch of brightness and detail I am getting. I just wondered if swapping the brass links to Tellurium Q links would further improve the sound?

              Thanks
              Oh boy. Much ink has been spilled on this subject here.

              I think I can represent the official view as follows:
              1. It will make no difference what terminals you use.

              2. Replacing the standard links will make no difference whatsoever to the sound. Save your money.

              The biwire terminals are the legacy of a time when it was a commercial necessity to offer them. Harbeth has never thought it offered any performance advantage. Eventually the terminals will go, but only when the models that still have them are otherwise redesigned and updated (and that doesn't happen very often).

              Enjoy your speakers and forget about the connections.

              Comment


              • #8
                What does the designer know?

                Originally posted by Novak View Post
                Firstly, which terminals should I use? Does it make a difference? I'm currently using the bottom pair.

                Secondly, should I swap the brass terminal links for some high quality cable links?
                I just wondered if swapping the brass links to Tellurium Q links would further improve the sound?
                It really doesn't matter which terminals you use. I've chosen to use the bottom ones, some prefer the top and some have wired on the diagonal. But in reality it shouldn't matter at all.

                The designer [A.S.] does not feel swapping out the brass links will do anything, but that hasn't stopped a few from trying.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Ever thought of Bi-amping?

                  IMO, bi-wiring terminals offer you the option to bi-amp. I did play with it for sometime before coming back to my senses.

                  ST

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Single wire causes less confusion

                    The Bi-wire terminals that Harbeth uses are of high quality and internally connected directly to the crossover-PCB. Connecting a single-wire cable with the red connector into HF+ and the black into LF- can in some cases give optimal results but this is a matter of taste, to some degree. The bi-wire option is fine in itself as some may wish to bi-amp but single-wire inputs do cause less confusion.

                    Comment

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