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HUG - here for all audio enthusiasts

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.

That's it! Enjoy!

{Updated Nov. 2016A}
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Monitor 30.1 now at Radlett Audio

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  • #2
    30 > 30.1 sonics?

    Would you care to describe what differences you hear between to 30 and 30.1, Dave?

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    • #3
      Another Harbeth born

      I haven't yet done the comparison, just enjoying my music through the M30.1 this afternoon. They obviously share the great Harbeth strong vocal prescence, lack of colouration and transparency, giving you just as it is.

      Another fine Harbeth.

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      • #4
        M301 v. C7ES3?

        Originally posted by hifi_dave View Post
        I haven't yet done the comparison, just enjoying my music through the M30.1 this afternoon. They obviously share the great Harbeth strong vocal prescence, lack of colouration and transparency, giving you just as it is.

        Another fine Harbeth.
        Between the 30.1 and the Compact 7ES3, which would you recommend to a potential buyer? I have a Compact 7 ES3, but I'm curious as to how the 30.1 sounds vs the Compact 7, the former being smaller and more expensive. . .

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        • #5
          Refinement ....

          Refinement is the word which springs to mind but honestly, they are all excellent speakers and appeal/sell to different people with varying requirements.

          There is absolutely nothing missing with your present speakers but you can always visit your dealer to audition the M30.1

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          • #6
            Stereophile review of 30.1 - Sams's tease!

            Stereophile arrived yesterday with Sam Telligs' review of the 30.1. He loved it, but it is a bit of a tease, as the review is to be continued next month.

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            • #7
              On line?

              Originally posted by Drdennis View Post
              Stereophile arrived yesterday with Sam Telligs' review of the 30.1. He loved it, but it is a bit of a tease, as the review is to be continued next month.
              Is the review available online?

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              • #8
                A keeper?

                Yeah, I think Sam Tellig reiterates what 'hifi_dave' is saying above.

                He talks about the superior tonality and resolution of Harbeth speakers in general and says the M30.1 gives a bit more of these than the C7 (for his taste and the music he listens to most - classical/jazz).

                "It delivered a sound that was simultaneously more resolving and more sweet" and he goes on to talk about the tonality and truth of timbre of Harbeth speakers and says of the M30.1 vs C7 "....it resolves with more delicacy and definition".

                From his first report, I think its safe to assume that Sam will be keeping the M30.1's.
                System Details

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                • #9
                  Glad we're all singing from the same hymn sheet !!!

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                  • #10
                    Temptation and M30.1

                    When I move to a larger listening room soon, I think I'm going to find it hard to resist a pair of M30.1 speakers...

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                    • #11
                      In an M30.1. trance ....

                      I heard the 30.1's in August and I wish I never had. I can't stop thinking about them. I love my C7ES3's and will keep them forever but if some money falls out of the sky and bounces off my head the 30.1's will be mine as well.

                      I'm not good at describing how a speaker sounds but 'sweet' would be a term I'm comfortable with. We listened to Melody Gardot 'The Absence' and I drifted away into a dream like state. They really are rather special.

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                      • #12
                        They certainly are.

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                        • #13
                          The transition from LS5/9 > Monitor 30.1

                          The C7 ES3's have more obvious "warmth" of tone to me, whereas the 30.1's appear slightly "leaner" to start with, although the bass rolloff seems differently set, as the latter still has great bass extension, just more even in smaller UK rooms and at a lower level than the "fruitier" sounding C7ES3's - in my opinion. Rooms which favour one model may not necessarily favour the other I feel.

                          Being a now experienced LS5/9 listener, I've fallen madly in love with the 30.1's, even over the SHL5's, since they take all the best from the original BBC design and take the level of seamless transparency to another level WITHOUT EVER making the sound sterile or "cold" in tone, quite the opposite in fact, since this extra clarity creeps up on one over a good few minutes of listening as one becomes aware of things going on in the recorded mix that weren't so clearly reproduced before. The SHL5 would be better in a larger room I think and more efficient too, but for near to mid-field listening, it has to be the 30.1's for me

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                          • #14
                            Step-up from Harbeth Mk4 to M30.1

                            It has been a little over a month now, so a slightly belated recommendation from me for both hifi_dave and the 30.1 that he supplied.

                            The only problem is that I haven't had enough time to spend with them!

                            A slight concern I had prior to their arrival was that in moving from my previous HL1/4 to a smaller cabinet in the 30.1, I would be loosing some bass depth as it is not a small room (4.5 x 8m) - this could not be further from the truth. I should stress that I did not have both sets of speakers in the same room at the same time - but moving forward I don't feel I'm missing anything at all that was (or may have been) there before.

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                            • #15
                              The Mk4's bass ....

                              Originally posted by weaver View Post
                              It has been a little over a month now, so a slightly belated recommendation from me for both hifi_dave and the 30.1 that he supplied.

                              The only problem is that I haven't had enough time to spend with them!

                              A slight concern I had prior to their arrival was that in moving from my previous HL1/4 to a smaller cabinet in the 30.1, I would be loosing some bass depth as it is not a small room (4.5 x 8m) - this could not be further from the truth...
                              And the physical reason for that is this: the Mk4 has an Audax-made woofer with an extremely stiff and somewhat temperature-sensitive synthetic-rubber cone surround (around the rim of the bass unit). The Mk4's surround is tight (to the touch) and even though the cabinet is larger than the M30.1, the bass is (technically) overdamped because of the viscoelastic drag effect of this stiff surround. When the temperature changes, the bass quality markedly changes with this strange material, and straight out of an unheated aircraft cargo hold, the Mk4 had no bass. If you are really curious you can run a hair dryer over the Mk4's surround or a can of freezer spray and you'll hear the difference. Caution! The glue joint may fail so be careful as there are no spared available.

                              The M30.1 surround is much more pliable, the bass is more lively and the damping is just right for the cabinet. So, once again, physics gives us the answers!
                              Alan A. Shaw
                              Designer, owner
                              Harbeth Audio UK

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