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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.

HUG has two approaches to contributor's Posts. If you have, like us, a scientific mind and are curious about how the ear works, how it can lead us to make the right - and wrong - decisions, and about the technical ins and outs of audio equipment, how it's designed and what choices the designer makes, then the factual area of HUG is for you. The objective methods of comparing audio equipment under controlled conditions has been thoroughly examined here on HUG and elsewhere and can be easily understood and tried with negligible technical knowledge.

Alternatively, if you just like chatting about audio and subjectivity rules for you, then the Subjective Soundings sub-forum is you. If upon examination we think that Posts are better suited to one sub-forum than than the other, they will be redirected during Moderation, which is applied throughout the site.

Questions and Posts about, for example, 'does amplifier A sounds better than amplifier B' or 'which speaker stands or cables are best' are suitable for the Subjective Soundings area.

The Moderators' decision is final in all matters regarding what appears here. That said, very few Posts are rejected. HUG Moderation individually spell and layout checks Posts for clarity but due to the workload, Posts in the Subjective Soundings area, from Oct. 2016 will not be. We regret that but we are unable to accept Posts that present what we consider to be free advertising for products that Harbeth does not make.

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Suggestion... replace my SP2/3E with what Harbeth?

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  • Suggestion... replace my SP2/3E with what Harbeth?

    What speaker from the Harbeth range whould you sugest to replace my Spendor SP2/3E in my quite small listening room (about 13 sq.metres ... the 2/3 work just fine in it though). I use Densen DM20/30 pre-pwer amp!
    M30, C7ES3 or may be SHL5...???

    Let's say that price isn't an issue at the moment...

    Thank you in advance!
    Michael

  • #2
    Hi Michael

    (in the absence of a reply from someone who knows better... my Harbeth experience is limited to the mini-monitors)

    If you do a search for posts by members "garmtz" and "hifi_dave" (both Harbeth dealers) that should give you a good indication of the differences in character of the speakers you are interested in. From what AS has written I get the impression that all of these speakers will be fine in that size room - but they do need space around them. Cost and WAF seem to the the main reasons someone would buy the M30s or C7ES3 over SHL5... but once again, spend a bit of time digging in the forum archives and you will learn a lot.

    Comment


    • #3
      My audition of SHL5

      Thank you very much for your answer!

      Today I auditioned the SHL5 for a while and my first impression was very very good...

      I must audition again with my cds to have a better "view" of their sound!
      Possitioning (already have space around my 2/3s) and WAF are not a problem for me.

      Regarding of the cost the thing is that the difference of their cost isn't so big so I am more curious to hear how the three models compare to each other... the problem is that the importer had for audition only the 5s and the mini 3s so I can't audition the 7s and 30s!!

      So you think that 5s are a better choice than the other two models....

      I must start reading though!!!

      Thanx again!!!!

      Comment


      • #4
        Room and speakers

        Hi Michael

        Correct me if im wrong but the 2/3es are the equivalent of the Compact 7s at least in dimensions. Your only choice for a Harbeth, unless you want a smaller speaker, would be the SHL5s or the M40s. You have said the 2/3es work fine in them so the more crucial question now is whether your room can take the bigger pair of loudspeakers.

        Comment


        • #5
          Listen to M30 and C7ES3

          Hi Michael,

          Try to listen other two models as well (M30 and C7ES3). Each model got it own charm and strength depend on what type of presentation you looking for. All are great musical instrument.
          "Bath with Music"

          Comment


          • #6
            P3ESR fresh sound in small room?

            From what I read in the threads regarding the Harbeth speakers I got very interested about the mini monitors P3ESR3 especially after I read the "SHL5 vs P3ESR" thread...

            Generally the main impression I got is that the 3s and 7s are the most "fresh" incarnation of the Harbeth sound... After all from the time you get those "jewels" you never sell them whatever speaker you buy afterwards..

            As I said my room is not big so I thinking if finally the 3s are for me...

            Comment


            • #7
              M30 and C7ES3 - each has own charm

              Originally posted by keithwwk View Post
              Hi Michael,

              Try to listen other two models as well (M30 and C7ES3). Each model got it own charm and strength depend on what type of presentation you looking for. All are great musical instrument.
              I think that you are right... I must listen those too!!! But I got also interested about the 3s as well (these are easy to audition)... and there is also the 40.1 to hope for in the future!

              Comment


              • #8
                M30s - must hear!

                Hello, Michael

                You really need to hear the Monitor 30's before you make a decision. They aren't everybody's cup if tea, but they may be yours. Here you will get the biggest sound out of the smallest package-an important consideration if you're looking for a "final"speaker. In the end, we'll all likely be living in smaller quarters, and these will work very well in tight spaces.

                Enjoy the selection process, and know that you can't go wrong with any choice you make!

                Comment


                • #9
                  M30 or C7ES3 .... or SHL5? Can't hear all of them

                  ...the problem is that the dealer doesn't have the M30 nor the C7ES3 for audition and I don't know when and if he will have them shortly! The only options are SHL5 (which I auditioned) and the P3ESR (which I will ..)

                  Anyway the conclusion until now is that someone to decide should he audition all the range to find his "cup"... the only one that I would buy even without audition is the 40.1 but unfortunately I can't affort it right now (and may be I don't have the space for it too)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    M30, c7es3, shl5 .....

                    OK, I think I understand the issue that you can't compare these models side-by-side under demo conditions although you would like to do so.

                    As I have said here before, I do not have hi-f at home because (a) I'm always working so not really any time to sit and relax to music (b) I don't want to be seduced by my own creations. So, as you may have read from Newsletter 23 I was fortunate indeed to spend time earlier this year travelling in the Far East. And in particular, when I was at Tropical Audio in Kuala Lumpur I made just the comparison you are interested in: M30 v. SHL5 v. C7ES3. Actually the M30 and C7ES3 were side by side in the front listening area, and the SHL5 in the back room - some pictures in the Newsletter, others attached.

                    Now, even though I designed all three of these speakers over about a twenty five year period, I don't think I have ever actually compared them under 'customer conditions'. I've probably made short comparisons in the lab during their development just as a sanity check that I've not lost the plot and gone off on a wild tangent but that's not quite the same as hearing them as you, the user would. And Sam Chan, the owner of Tropical Audio who I blessed to know, has an opinion on sonic matters which I'd be foolish to disregard.

                    So, when I heard the M30 v. the C7ES3 in his rather lively room (and this is a significant point) I'd say that the C7ES3 was slightly more "immediate" where as the M30 was slightly more "relaxed". Which is right? Which is best? Well, that's impossible to say outright. As for the SHL5 in the other room (v. some full range electrostatics) the SHL5 could handle much more power than the 'stats, had a much more solid and credible bass, and were at least as clean in the middle frequencies leaving me with the definite question "what is all the fuss about with 'stats when a good dynamic speaker is smaller, more convenient, has better bass and no long-term degradation issues?"

                    And now the SHL5 v. M30 v. C7ES3: to my ears, what surprised me as only an occasional listener to hi-fi was how similar in character the M30 and SHL5 are. They are very similar in the middle frequencies although, s you'd expect, the SHL5 has a little more bass due to the bigger box. The C7ES3 is a little different: equally sweet but the image is perhaps a row or two closer to the performer, or at least that's how it seemed to me.

                    Unfortunately, perhaps due to the highly specific and emotive language surrounding loudspeaker evaluation Sam and I were not exactly able to cross-translate our feelings, and even so, those feelings could reverse from preferring one speaker to another when the music changed.

                    So what did I learn from this fresh experience with my own loudspeaker designs? First, there is a market for all three depending upon user's taste. There is no overall best one amongst them. So much depends upon how you think performers should appear in front of you. Second, we must factor in the room's acoustics. If your room is well damped (curtains, floor mats etc.) then that may well swing your preference. What I can say is that the C7ES3 was designed in my back-bedroom which is very well damped because of all the books etc., my musical selection when designing the C7ES3 was a good helping of pop, rock, jazz and blues and that it sounds open and clean.

                    We could discuss all day or all year long 'which is best' but the answer has to be whichever is best for your ears in your room on your music. Final comment: all three models feature the exclusive Harbeth RADIAL™ cone material. Once you have spent an hour or two* listening to your music on these speakers, switch back to your conventional speakers and you will be shocked by how foggy they sound.

                    *One of our highly regarded dealers told me recently of a husband/wife, both professional musicians, out auditioning speakers. They'd listened to and rejected all the brands you'd assume to be in the same pool as Harbeth. He told me that within ten seconds of listening to the Harbeths they both agreed it was the sound for them. I'm so familiar with what RADIAL™ delivers that I take it for granted but it astonishes me how some folk seem untroubled by clarity and focus on peripheral matters like deep, deep bass or super high efficiency. To me, naturalness, clarity and transparency are what hi-fi is all about - that hairs on the back of the neck 'close to being there' experience.
                    Attached Files
                    Alan A. Shaw
                    Designer, owner
                    Harbeth Audio UK

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Lively room v. well damped room

                      Originally posted by A.S. View Post
                      ...........

                      So, when I heard the M30 v. the C7ES3 in his rather lively room (and this is a significant point)......
                      You made a very interesting comment on the lively room part. When it comes to music, one man's meat is another man's poison. I had always complained to Sam that his room need some damping and he says the opposite of my room, i.e too much damping. I look for clarity, Sam wants liveness. Glad Harbeth speakers could please us both.

                      ST

                      {Moderator's comment: yes the room is a critical part of the listening mix.}

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        electrostatic strengths without their weaknesses

                        Originally posted by A.S. View Post
                        "what is all the fuss about with 'stats when a good dynamic speaker is smaller, more convenient, has better bass and no long-term degradation issues?"
                        ...
                        *One of our highly regarded dealers told me recently of a husband/wife, both professional musicians, out auditioning speakers. They'd listened to and rejected all the brands you'd assume to be in the same pool as Harbeth. He told me that within ten seconds of listening to the Harbeths they both agreed it was the sound for them. I'm so familiar with what RADIAL delivers that I take it for granted but it astonishes me how some folk seem untroubled by clarity and focus on peripheral matters like deep, deep bass or super high efficiency. To me, naturalness, clarity and transparency are what hi-fi is all about - that hairs on the back of the neck 'close to being there' experience.
                        Absolutely! But as you pointed out, most dynamic speakers don't quite get there - which is why there is still the "fuss about electrostatics". In 25 years of hi-fi ownership, Harbeths have been the only box speaker I've listened to and thought: "how do I get my hands on a pair of those?".

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Three models

                          Mr. Shaw

                          thank you for your answer and fo trying to give me an opinion about how the three models compare to each other!

                          I think that generaly I prefer the "immediate" sound from a system though in the short audition I did to the SHL5 I thought that the presentation was immediate enough and I didn' t have the feeling that the musical event was taking place too far from me!

                          My room I guess is somewhere in the middle between overdamped and plain walls... and it has many non parallel surfaces because it is full of books and cds... but as I said before it is quite small!

                          Anyway even though now I have a more specific idea of how the three models sound I think I wouldn't buy a speaker that i have never heard before... As a mater of act I still want to hear them all!!

                          Any comments about the P3ESR? Do you agree with my impression that it is the most fresh incarnation of the Harbeth sound?... Along with the 40.1 of course...

                          Thanx again!!

                          Comment

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