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{Updated Jan. 2017}
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Should I upgrade my beloved SHL5 to M40.1?

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  • Should I upgrade my beloved SHL5 to M40.1?


    I would like have some input from expert or who has been owned,experienced with Harbeth M40.1.

    Here is my systems;

    2xMcIntosh MC275 tube amp as mono.
    McIntosh C2300 tube preamplifier.
    McIntosh MCD 500 CD player.
    Wadia 170i transport.
    Cardas Golden Reference XLR.
    Naim NACA speaker cable with silver jumpers on back of speakers.
    Harbeth SHL5

    I listen to mainstream jazz (1950 to 70 era ) , jazz & vocal's SACD and Classical music. Also my new turntable is on the way too.

    There is nothing... absolutely nothing wrong with my SHL5. But since I just got another amp as mono.....I think I like to have some bigger scale speakers. The problem is I don't know should I go with M40.1 or not.
    (oh! I used to own C7,M30 before so you know I'm big fan of Harbeth )

    Here is the question.

    As M40.1 ..... Is it really worth to spend double the amount of my SHL5?
    Since it doesn't have the super tweeter how is the high sound ?
    Do I get the real symbol sounds like SHL5?
    When I listen 40 piece classical music do I really get bigger scale of music too?
    ( sorry I can't do home audition )

    Also my room is little small so I'm kind of worry about that too ( like boomy bass). Well here is youtube video link for actual my system and room size if this help.

    So far I love the box sound and beautiful mid sound of my any Harbeth that I owned.

    Hope I get some opinion from you guys,

    Thanks in advance,


  • #2
    How big is your room to suit M40.1?

    It's difficult to determine the size of your room from the video. In my opinion, if your room is smaller than 12x14x8, you don't have sufficient room for the M40.1.


    • #3
      M40.1 room

      Hello, bluejazz

      Nice take on "Autumn Leaves"- who was that?

      That sure looks like a small room for 40.1's. When you owned the Monitor 30's, were they in that same listening space? I use the 30's and can't imagine that they wouldn't have been perfect in that room.

      You were wondering about the top end sound of the 40.1's, well you had it right there when you had your Monitor 30's-same tweeter. I guess the midrange would be a bit different, as the 40.1's use the Radial 2 version of that driver, and its operating bandwidth would be narrower on the 40.1 as well [because it's the midrange on the M40.1 not full range as in M30].

      You could probably make the 40.1's work in there so long as you toed them in toward your listening seat, sat pretty close and kept the volume at moderate to lower levels. For your type of music, that would likely be pretty nice. If it were me, I'd go back to the Monitor 30's and use all the money I saved for records and CD's.

      Good luck!


      • #4

        Thank you for reply ,

        KT88 : It was " Scott Hamilton " playing : ). I had C7ES3 first and when I switched to SHL5. about first 4 weeks I wasn't comfortable with thier Super Tweeter but listen to more and more with it now I fell in love with the super tweeter . I had M30 for about a month so really I didn't have much time to listen to it before I sold. Everything was good but I don't know maybe it didn't even broke in .... sound didn't open much as my SHL5.
        Lately I listen to more and more on Classical music now I'm get back to this bug again....

        Dr.Dennis : thank you and I attached the size of my room lol
        Attached Files


        • #5
          M401 room fit

          Hi Bluejazz,

          I tend to agree with KT88. You do have sufficient room size, but the shape and layout put you about 8' from the speakers. If you can try out 40.1's, then you can compare. Purists may not agree, but you do have space for a sub.