"This Harbeth User Group (HUG) is the Manufacturer's own managed forum dedicated to natural sound from microphone to ear, achievable by recognising and controlling the numerous confounding variables that exist along the audio chain. The Harbeth designer's objective is to make loudspeakers that contribute little of themselves to the music passing through them.

Identifying system components for their sonic neutrality should logically proceed from the interpretation and analysis of their technical, objective performance. Deviations from a flat frequency response at any point along the signal chain from microphone to ear is likely to give an audible sonic personality to the system at your ear; this includes the significant contribution of the listening room itself. To accurately reproduce the recorded sound as Harbeth speakers are designed to do, you would be best advised to select system components (sources, electronics, cables and so on) that do not color the sound before it reaches the speakers.

For example, the design of and interaction between the hifi amplifier and its speaker load can and will alter the sound balance of what you hear. This may or may not be what you wish to achieve, but any deviation from a flat response is a step away from a truly neutral system. HUG has extensively discussed amplifiers and the methods for seeking the most objectively neutral among a plethora of product choices.

HUG specialises in making complex technical matters simple to understand, getting at the repeatable facts in a post-truth environment where objectivity is increasingly ridiculed. With our heritage of natural sound and pragmatic design, HUG is not the best place to discuss non-Harbeth audio components selected, knowingly or not, to introduce a significantly personalised system sound. 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 offerings there. There is really no on-line substitute for time invested in a dealer's showroom because 'tuning' your system to taste is such a highly personal matter. Our overall objective here is to empower readers to make the factually best procurement decisions in the interests of lifelike music at home.

Please consider carefully how much you should rely upon and be influenced by 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, loudness and room treatment, not necessarily leading to appropriate equipment selection and listening satisfaction for you. Always keep in mind that without basic test equipment, subjective opinions will reign unchallenged. With test equipment, universal facts and truths are exposed.

If some of the science behind faithfully reproducing the sound intended by the composer, score, conductor and musicians over Harbeth speakers is your thing, this forum has been helping with that since 2006. If you just want to share your opinions and photos with others then the unrelated Harbeth Speakers Facebook page may be for you. Either way, welcome to the world of Harbeth!"

Feb. 2018
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Super HL5plus or M30.1 domestic, which one suits me better?

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  • Super HL5plus or M30.1 domestic, which one suits me better?


    My room is wide, but short: 7,0 m x 2,60 m. Side walls are not an issue, but, due to its short deep (2,60m), the possible distance between speakers and rear wall is around 25cm only... Thus, the equilateral triangle formed between the speakers and the sweet spot has about 1,80m sides, a bit limited.

    Even with my room limitations, I decided to buy the Super HL5 plus or the M30.1 domestic. My doubts:

    1) Due to the short distance, which model would suit better, forming a better soundstage?
    2) In my situation, M30.1 would be better to avoid "boomy", or either models will perform the same?
    3) Super HL5plus is a better and refined speaker than the M30.1, or both has different "tastes" and virtues? Which ones?
    4) Which one sounds more similar to the flagship M40.2 domestic?

    I listen music at moderate volumes without abuse at high SPL, my preferences are mainly pop and rock. I like flat and balanced response.


  • #2
    First question is, can you demo these speakers before buying?

    I tested the 30s a year ago and was not stirred by their performance. A few months ago I sat down with the SHL5+ and bought them right off the floor. They just had more presence and impact -- these are qualities I look for. I feel that both these speakers are fairly room agnostic. My friend has a pair of 40s in a relatively small room. There was a significant bass bloat in his space. However, it was easily fixed with a few quick measurements and a corner bass trap. I would have to say that neither the 30s or the SHL5+ compare to what the 40s can do: the low end reproduction of the 40s is amazing.