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Since its inception ten years ago, the Harbeth User Group's ambition has been to create a lasting knowledge archive. Knowledge is based on facts and observations. Knowledge is timeless. Knowledge is human independent and replicatable. However, we live in new world where thanks to social media, 'facts' have become flexible and personal. HUG operates in that real world.

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From Harbeth C7ES3 to SHL5? Change or not?

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  • From Harbeth C7ES3 to SHL5? Change or not?

    Since two years I have the Harbeth C7ES3 that I find marvellous. The question is: should be an upgrading to change them with the SHL5? The room where the loudspeakers are placed is big and the loudspeakers are 80 cm from the wall. The sofa is 2.5 meters from the loudspeakers.

    Because I love the compact 7, it will be a mistake to change? Thank you very much for helping me.
    Gianfranco

  • #2
    Why change?

    I give the obvious question would be, if you find your current speakers "marvellous" and say that you "love" them, why exactly are you considering a change? Are you feeling that there's something missing with your current speakers?

    Comment


    • #3
      Change? Why?

      Why change? Is there something that you are missing in the sound?

      Comment


      • #4
        My enjoyment of C7ES3 ...

        Originally posted by quique View Post
        Since two years I have the Harbeth C7ES3 that I find marvellous. The question is: should be an upgrading to change them with the SHL5? The room where the loudspeakers are placed is big and the loudspeakers are 80 cm from the wall. The sofa is 2.5 meters from the loudspeakers.

        Because I love the compact 7, it will be a mistake to change? Thank you very much for helping me.
        Gianfranco
        Hi Gianfranco,

        First of all, congratulations on owning one of the most musical loudspeakers available on the market today.
        Secondly, if you are curious please try to audition the SHL5 directly alongside you C7ES3s, preferrably at home. Only your ears can tell you whether it will be an upgrade in every way.

        Although the Harbeth loudspeakers are closely related in terms of Radial mid/bass driver & thin wall cabinet, the C7ES3 & SHL5 do have their own characterstics.

        Personally I really enjoy all Harbeths but I do have a soft spot for the C7ES3; it combines the lovely breathing Harbeth midrange with taut, tuneful bass and articulate, spacious highs frequencies.

        Both the C7ES3 and SHL5 are remarkably easy to use in less than ideal acoustics, the C7ES3 perhaps being the most allround Harbeth in terms of taking a very relaxed approach to amplification, stand-height or room characteristics.

        The SHL5 could give you more bandwidth, resolution and scale but you should always check which overall presentation you prefer, as the C7ES3 in it's own no-nonsense manner is an attractive transducer.

        Sorry I can't give you a simple yes or no, I can only say; you already own one of Alan Shaw's latest creations so you can rest assured that even if you do nothing, you will still have an exceptional pair of musicmakers.

        Comment


        • #5
          Try SHL5 alongside C7ES3...

          Couldn't agree more with what Spindrift has put across. Best to try the SHL-5 alongside your C7ES3 before you make any decision. I reckon that even after comparing them side by side, you may still find it difficult to say which you prefer cos each have their own charm.

          Comment


          • #6
            Why not change?

            Originally posted by quique View Post
            Since two years I have the Harbeth C7ES3 that I find marvellous. The question is: should be an upgrading to change them with the SHL5? The room where the loudspeakers are placed is big and the loudspeakers are 80 cm from the wall. The sofa is 2.5 meters from the loudspeakers.

            Because I love the compact 7, it will be a mistake to change? Thank you very much for helping me.
            Gianfranco
            if you can afford more clearance around the speakers position, why not..

            with good amplification, you can get a livelier setup...

            btw, does a change of your C7 to SHL5 means that you will not be keeping the C7?

            Comment


            • #7
              Try for yourself

              Best is to try it yourself. In the showroom, I prefer the C7ES3 over the SHL5.

              Comment


              • #8
                Any news, Gianfranco? Did you compare both the speakers in your room?
                Ciao,
                David

                Comment


                • #9
                  Room soze, speaker choice

                  Since i have practically owned all of the Harbeth speakers except for the M40.1 and having lived extensively w the C7es3, C7es2 and the SHL5. Lets just say that they are all good & i can live with any of them. However, the big but comes down to room size.

                  If you room can accommodate an SHL5, by all means, go for it, but if your room cannot accommodate the SHL5, the C7s would be more than fine!
                  In the end, and in my opinion, the right harbeth is whatever works in your room space.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Go for the SHL5

                    Originally posted by fld777 View Post
                    Since i have practically owned all of the Harbeth speakers except for the M40.1 and having lived extensively w the C7es3, C7es2 and the SHL5. Lets just say that they are all good & i can live with any of them. However, the big but comes down to room size.

                    If you room can accommodate an SHL5, by all means, go for it, but if your room cannot accommodate the SHL5, the C7s would be more than fine! In the end, and in my opinion, the right Harbeth is whatever works in your room space.
                    How big should be the room for SHL5? My is 5m long, 3,6m wide and 3m high.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Avoiding boom

                      Originally posted by kidhoward View Post
                      How big should be the room for SHL5? My is 5m long, 3,6m wide and 3m high.
                      free space around the SHL5 will be the best. in my room setup , it is 0.7meter away from the corner, and 2 meter apart. anything smaller, will boom

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Surely big enough room

                        Originally posted by kidhoward View Post
                        How big should be the room for SHL5? My is 5m long, 3,6m wide and 3m high.
                        That room should be more than enough for the SHL5. Just put some rug and cushions around.

                        I have a smaller room and it works very very well with the M40.1

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Up front/laid back?

                          I wonder if anyone ever measures the frequency response in the listening position with different setups. I can hardly believe that an M40.1 does have a flat response in such a small room without extensive bass trapping and the like. In a room 5 x 3,6 x 3 m, I have found even the SHL5 to be too coloured (because it is so close to at least one of the walls) and the M30 to be just perfect. To these ears, the M30, P3 and C7ES3 are best for smaller rooms, the SHL5 for a room of at least 4 x 6 m, preferably even a bit larger.

                          I have a soft spot for the M30 and SHL5 (each for different reasons) and find the C7ES3 a bit too laid back for my liking. If you like this laid-back character, the M30 and SHL5 might even be a bit 'too much' for you, although I would find it hard to believe if someone would call any Harbeth upfront.

                          {Moderator's comment: please bear in mind that this up front/laid back opinion is very much one person's personal opinion, and is the exact opposite of what many others say.}

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Is a fifteen year + old Harbeth design better than a current one?

                            fld777, how about the comparison between the C7ES2 and C7ES3?

                            I have a pair of C7ES2 and thinking of upgrading to C7ES3 or the SHL5, but I do not know which one to go yet...

                            Comment

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