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INTRODUCTION - PLEASE READ FIRST TO UNDERSTAND THIS FORUM!

"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 http://bit.ly/2FEgoAy may be for you. Either way, welcome to the world of Harbeth!"


Feb. 2018
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Helsinki HifiExpo

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  • Helsinki HifiExpo

    I visited Helsinki HifiExpo today and listened Harbeth's for the first time. Room was not ideal, not damped enough with too much echo (an ordinary hotel room with wooden floor).

    Despite of that Super HL5's sounded so good that I'll arrange a home audition during the coming week. Source and amplification was from Densen.
    40.1

  • #2
    Pure WAF joy!

    I'll have to add that Neil Young's Harvest on cd has never sounded that good to these old ears of mine. And I consider myself being pretty familiar with that sound recording. Let's see, or better say hear, how it'll be at home in a bit more damped environment.

    My wife, who's usually against all audio upgrading (how surprising that is ;) ) and who has no interest in audio equipment as such, liked HL5's too and there were no traditional WAF acceptance at play, just pure sound quality. And that says a lot!
    40.1

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    • #3
      Audition

      Picked up Super HL5's for home audition today.

      Did some brief and casual listening this evening, but serious stuff will follow during the coming weekend.
      40.1

      Comment


      • #4
        Quote please

        Audition done, SHL-5's returned back to the retailer today. And a quote on them and M40.1's received by email a while ago.
        40.1

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        • #5
          SHL5 - an audiophiles friend

          Good stuff ! looking forward to hearing what you ultimately decide. If your room can adequately support M40.1, it doesn't get much better, but, if your room is perhaps a bit smaller (average !) than the SHL5 is a great stopping point. I grabbed my pair and haven't looked back, they are a music lovers speaker first, and yet an audiophiles friend as well, handily conveying the subtle differences from upstream components.

          Comment


          • #6
            Demo report

            Thanks for sharing. How was the shl5 home demo? Will you home demo the m40.1 as well?
            "Bath with Music"

            Comment


            • #7
              More on my home audiotion ...

              To shed a bit more light on my home audition, my listening room is our living room about 7m*4.5m of size where all the listening sessions were done. Loudspeakers are located on the long wall, which means that the speakers are pretty close to listening spot (2.5 to 3 metres at the max). On this wall are also windows outside, which make it a bit flexible. Secondly our listening seat (our sofa) is next on the opposite long wall with no additional room behind, just the wall (which is not made of concrete). I guess this is not considered ideal (at least thatís what Iíve read somewhere).

              Room itself is pretty, but of course not totally acoustically damped. Being our living room itís not practical to concentrate too much on damping and in our case it actually has happened somewhat accidentally. Our flat panel tv is located between the loudspeakers, but pushed as far back against the wall as possible. My current audio setup set acts as a sort of 2.0 home theatre set at the same time, too. All this to tell you that listening was done in what I feel being quite basic living room, nothing else.

              As for the audition itself, I tried to avoid excessive analytical approach and concentrate on listening music itself usually on quite modest sound levels. This is how I do it pretty often anyways in order not to bother our neighbours too much (movies from time to time might be another case). At least I, and my guess is that quite many of us, while having new component on audition do the actual audition on elevated loudness levels. This, IMHO, pretty easily gives a false impression of whatís going on. One hears details which actually have been in the old setup, but went unnoticed due to lower sound pressure levels.

              As source I used Pioneer universal player (cdís, sacdís and dvd-aís) and vinyl and tried to concentrate on tried and trusted sound recordings, which Iím very familiar with and avoided unnecessary audio pyrotechnics. No movies this time ever used.

              I didnít do any side by side comparison my existing loudspeakers (American transmission line ones with 25 Hz in-room response, which do work surprisingly well in our living room).

              What was apparent from the start with the SHL-5ís was the midrange resolution, what was easily heard at these pretty moderate listening levels (no head-banging levels were used at all). My wife, who does not concentrate on analysing the sound itself, but just listens instead, immediately noticed that character too. Based on what Iíve read, after this experience with SHL-5ís I personally do not understand comments about 'British BBC style loudspeakers being dull'. At least to these old ears of mine all the high frequencies that should have been there, were there. Of course SLS-5ís in-room response didnít go as low as 25 Hz, nor to 32 Hz which was actually tested by RCA Living Stereo sacd of Saint-Seans Organ Symphony, where the lowest pipe organ note is at 32 Hz.

              All in all, SHL-5ís are loudspeakers which tend not to draw attention onto themselves, but to the music instead giving a natural, unfatiguing listening experience. All these comments are based on a three day not so analytical audition and of course IMHO.

              Since market for M40.1ís is very limited in our country, I was unable to audition them since importer didnít have them is stock.

              Then again, I went and placed an order on a pair of M40.1ís!
              40.1

              Comment


              • #8
                Listening level and listening acuity

                Very nice, M40.1s on order, please tell us how you find these in your space.
                Listening levels. I always reduce the volume when trying out any speaker for the first time. Can't imagine what can be gained from increasing the volume in a trial situation.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Stock investment?

                  Well, there is a "market" for the M40.1 now in your country. Perhaps the distributor ccould pluck up courage and buy in a pair for demo ? Might find there's a larger market than he thought.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Acquiring M40.1

                    Originally posted by hifi_dave View Post
                    Well, there is a "market" for the M40.1 now in your country. Perhaps the distributor ccould pluck up courage and buy in a pair for demo ? Might find there's a larger market than he thought.
                    They had a demo pair at some stage earlier this year or last year, can't remember, but they have sold them. Anyhow at that time I didn't have funds available for this kind of aquisition.

                    According to the local representative they have not sold that many pairs of M40.1's here since they started importing Harbets. And that, if I remeber it correctly, was in 2009 (at the time I joined HUG in 2008 Harbeths were not available here). M40.1's are just too expensive stuff to most.

                    {Moderator's comment: do remember that the M40.1 is a professional speaker and to get the best from its generous bass response most likely some room absorption at LF will be needed...}
                    40.1

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Feedback awaited ...

                      Thank you very much to sharing us your home demo experience. I am looking forward to your M40.1 listening impression and review.

                      Cheers
                      "Bath with Music"

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Thanks

                        I second keithwwk. thanks for sharing your experience and looking forward to hearing your experience on the M40.1s. Ta.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Congratulations Matti - M10.1 one year on ...

                          Originally posted by hifi_dave View Post
                          Well, there is a "market" for the M40.1 now in your country. Perhaps the distributor ccould pluck up courage and buy in a pair for demo ? Might find there's a larger market than he thought.
                          I am a happy owner of Rosewood M40.1 since a year now and living in the same northern country as you Matti. (Finland). I bought mine unheard as you Matti only tested the SHL5 at home. There is a market and there should be demos available.
                          My listening environment is a normal living room 6x5 m. I won't be doing any changes as I am really satisfied with the setup.

                          The only thing I have ongoing is the building of my own stands. That is actually only for the looks. It is a matter of taste of course.
                          So Matti if you need stands I have my Foundation out for sale.

                          Peter

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Room tuning at LF?

                            Originally posted by Matti View Post
                            They had a demo pair at some stage earlier this year or last year, can't remember, but they have sold them. Anyhow at that time I didn't have funds available for this kind of aquisition.

                            According to the local representative they have not sold that many pairs of M40.1's here since they started importing Harbeths. And that, if I remember it correctly, was in 2009 (at the time I joined HUG in 2008 Harbeths were not available here). M40.1's are just too expensive stuff to most.

                            {Moderator's comment: do remember that the M40.1 is a professional speaker and to get the best from its generous bass response most likely some room absorption at LF will be needed...}
                            I have a listening room of similar proportions. I am very curious how your M 40.1's will turn out without the use of room absorption. I don't even dare to put SHL 5's in my room, because I am afraid I wouldn't get proper bass. I feel my M30's work fine, even pretty close to the back wall.
                            Harbeth M30

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Just arrived M40.1!

                              My M40.1's arrived to day at last. Rosewood looks absolutely gorgeous. After a very casual listening no regrets getting these ones into my listening room, which is actually our living room.

                              Works well there, with no apparent - at least to my ears - low frequency problems.
                              40.1

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