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C7 ES3 Vs. M30.1

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  • C7 ES3 Vs. M30.1

    I like the C7 quite a bit - in fact I love them - but occasionally you are made aware that they are perhaps not the very last word in refinement.

    So, because of that, and because I find it hard to sit still, I am looking across the line. I have owned the SLH5+ before and while it's a great speaker, I have a personal 'theoretical' problem with two tweeters that overlap in range.

    The 40.2 I just can't afford and, also, I'm always cottoned to two-ways for the best reproduction of acoustic music.

    However, there is this issue with the M30: 5 Hz less bass extension. In my room, near-field, the C7's bass extension is just enough for me to not want for subs. In fact, I had decided to sell my pair of REL B3s (these are fantastic subs too).

    Is the reduced bass extension of the M30 v. C7 noticeable {or even true?}? I listen near-field so room gain is not an issue/help.

  • #2
    30/30.1/c7

    HI, I remember buying some C7ES3 to do a long term trial against my M30 which I wasn't quite happy with at the time. The C7 had an immediate difference with a slightly deeper bass and a little more presence.

    I later had the M30.1 but didn't get to compare with the C7 or M30. My guess is that the M30.1 brought a bit more resolution and clarity, but they didn't seem to go deeper than the M30.

    Comment


    • #3
      5Hz - really?

      Originally posted by PaulF70 View Post
      I like the C7 quite a bit - in fact I love them - but occasionally you are made aware that they are perhaps not the very last word in refinement.

      So, because of that, and because I find it hard to sit still, I am looking across the line. I have owned the SLH5+ before and while it's a great speaker, I have a personal 'theoretical' problem with two tweeters that overlap in range.

      What do You mean for "theoretical problem" ? What's going wrong with a supertweeter operating from about 15-16 khz?

      The 40.2 I just can't afford and, also, I'm always cottoned to two-ways for the best reproduction of acoustic music.

      However, there is this issue with the M30: 5 Hz less bass extension. In my room, near-field, the C7's bass extension is just enough for me to not want for subs. In fact, I had decided to sell my pair of REL B3s (these are fantastic subs too).

      Is the reduced bass extension of the M30 v. C7 noticeable {or even true?}? I listen near-field so room gain is not an issue/help.
      Do You really fear that 5Hz of difference could play so important role? I suggest it's more interesting to try understanding if there is some difference between the transient response of these speakers.

      {Moderator's comment: To make a decison on what is, anyway, a very hard to measure specification which has +/- is not sensible}.

      Comment


      • #4
        My silly sale....

        BOZEN, I think your comments/questions got mixed in with your quote of my comments. But I will respond.

        By "theoretical problem" of the supertweeter I meant that according to the Stereophile measurements, the two tweeters overlap for much of the range, creating an interference pattern. However, since I'm not an audio objectivist, why should I worry about that? I've had the SLH+ before and the treble is amazing - the whole speaker is amazing, in fact I think it is the best speaker I have owned overall, and I have owned speakers up to about $40,000 retail (Avantgarde Trios).

        As for the different of five cycles of bass extension, the difference between the Monitor 30.1 and the SLH+ is actually 10 - a spec'd -3 dB point of 50 vs. 40 Hz. Apart from the measurement, the size difference of the cabinets certainly implies more bass power & likely extension from the SLH5+.

        Moderator (Alan?), surely you would think it sensible to weigh bass extension to some extent re: the SLH5+ vs. the 30.1? 10Hz is a BIG difference in extension! For me it certainly crosses the critical threshold of whether subs are desired, as I do listen to some electronic music (Depeche Mode). I don't want to have to bother with subs - I really don't! I want to sell them.

        I have heard the SLH5+ described exactly as a M30.1 with better bass extension. How true that is, I do not know. I have not heard the 30.1 or any M30 and cannot do so without devoting a full day to driving as I have no dealer nearby (and I have four kids and a demanding job so that is difficult).

        All that said, yes, it's quite possible I would like the 30.1 better than the SLH5+ after all! I don't know.

        But I do know this: I have already owned the SLH5+ and I sold it - which was, let's say, silly of me. I sold it because I had not yet experimented with closer listening and they were not "cracking hard" enough compared to the horn speakers I was acclimated to. And also I think I was not giving them enough power. MOVING THEM CLOSER, AND GIVING THEM POWER, FIXES THAT. I know this because I'm now listening to the C7 now 8' from me with a good 80W solid-state amp and they have it all, as Harbeths do - except for the last word in refinement, which I know moving up the line will give me.

        (Alan, by the way, I gained respect for you when I saw you tell some other guy looking to upgrade his C7 to donate the money to charity instead. Bravo! Yes, indeed perhaps I should just be happy. But audio is my only material pleasure/hobby, and, well, I've already downsized a good bit.)

        So, in the end, I do think that the 10 Hz difference (and probably overall better dynamic abilities) of the SLH5+ over the 30.1 would be a deciding factor for me, and that I would prefer the former over the latter for sure, but I can't listen to them both side by side in my room without buying them both.

        I listen almost exclusively to 50s and 60s jazz, but in that 10% of the time I want to put on Depeche Mode or Rush I want it to sound great too. If someone wants to tell me I would like the M30.1 better than the SLH5+ after all, I'm all ears. I can't argue.

        I do know that when I buy these next speakers, I am done with the buying & trying audio game. No more. It's on to enjoying much and other things.

        {Moderator's comment: Alan will comment when he has a moment to the various points raised}

        Comment


        • #5
          Essay on speakers ....

          Hmm!

          I think the two tweeters in the SHL5 as a pair of models blend beautifully and seamlessly. The 'Plus' review in Stereophile used the top tweeter as the measurement point, where the entire text suggests the lower tweeter is 'the one!' Silly measurement-man..................

          The C7ES3 and 30.1 couldn't be more different and I suggest personal preference coupled with room choice is the final arbiter. Nailing my colours to the mast, my preference is for the 30.1, as I find the bass more to my liking. A larger room than mine and made of different building materials would no doubt swing the decision the other way, as the C7-ES3 seems very popular indeed in the far east.

          The 30.1 is a near (ish?) field monitor in smart clothes and I love the taut but still 'tuneful' bass reproduction (the SHL5+ seems to be a larger version in this region) and the lovely midrange on all the 'Radial' drivers is smooth and utterly seamless, so take your pick here... The C7 series has a warmer, looser, fuller tone which many enthusiasts dearly love, but get these set in the wrong environment, and the mid-bass warmth overpowers the midrange I find and for the music I play, it's not acceptable. Owners who have pictured them use them the traditional way, pulled well out from walls and well off the floor and I'm sure they sing perfectly set up this way. I love how the 30.1 can be used a little closer to walls, although high stands are important I believe, and the 'monitor' ancestry does dictate a certain 'civility' in reproduction I feel - I still have the ancestral LS5/9's as a reference point...

          It's at high frequencies where the three models may also differ ever-so-slightly. The C7-ES3 is sweet toned, where the M30.1 is precise and more 'literal' as befits a monitor product. The SHL5+ seems to combine the best of both for me. On paper, the SHL5+ and 30.1 may not *seem* to need high power to drive them, I do feel it helps to open up the dynamic range a bit to prevent them from sounding a little 'tight-a*sed' with a smaller amp - my views and experience, not necessarily anyone else's, so please take that as opinion, nothing more.

          I hope the above isn't confusing to the OP or anyone else. What is it with the C7 that causes the 'itch?' Can you borrow some 30.1's or another set of 5+ to try? Now you've experimented with positioning closer, can you go back to 5+'s?

          My personal experience is that I loved the previous SHL5 in hifi dave's place and didn't like the 'Plus' as much to start with as it was too taut and 'iffy' for me at first, dare I say as if they had a carrot stuck up their 'port-holes?' Earlier this year, a pair of original SHL5's came my way to try at home and the results were awful in this small room and too-low stands, the very low bass almost thunderous and hf rolled off in comparison with my tired old Spendor BC2's, which don't 'honk' as the classic BC1 did - they did sparkle too much due to the replacement related SA2 drivers not matching the old tweeters as well, but that's all but sorted now. This caused me great distress at the time and a lot of serious thought about speakers and rooms reacting together.

          I'm now desperate to try the Plus 5's here, as I just know they'd fix the room-speaker issue I had with the previous ones due to the re-aligned bass level and quality, together with the midrange balance. Later listening to the '5Plus' at Dave's place using different amps also fully answered my original doubts - it's not necessary I feel, but they DO like a bit of welly up 'em and the last time I heard them properly, they were singing and kicking some a** with gusto - and never sounding 'loud' until I tried to speak to Dave, something the 40 series also does with consummate ease :D Listening distance there is around two and a half to three metres I estimate..

          Sorry for the essay above. I'm trying to help rather than hinder...

          Comment


          • #6
            My music - speaker selection

            Hello,

            I own a pair of M30 (+ Naim System) at home. Last week in a store I did a long listening session in order to compare Compact 7es-3 and Monitor 30.1 (System was composed by cd Cyrus and amp Naim).

            Music session: Ben Harper, Frank Zappa, Jill Scott, Prince, D'angelo.

            I prefer more the sound presentation of Compact 7 more than M 30.1....

            Should it be possible?

            Maybe could it depend (also) by the kind of music I use to listen and "sound feeling" I use to search?

            thank you,
            Kind regards

            Comment


            • #7
              Consumer choices

              This is why both models are very much in production and available for 'us' to compare.

              The 30.1 is slightly 'brighter' tilted over the previous M30 I remember from direct comparisons, which was initially designed from the outset to be a drop-in replacement for ageing LS5/9's. I'm not in the slightest surprised you preferred the C7-ES3 in the test you did.

              All I ask is that the speakers chosen are carefully positioned in the listening room. I feel that SHL5+ and 30.1 can be used a little closer to rear walls than the earlier models but this barely touches it

              Comment


              • #8
                C7 v. M301

                Originally posted by Airdavid View Post
                Hello,

                I own a pair of M30 (+ Naim System) at home. Last week in a store I did a long listening session in order to compare Compact 7es-3 and Monitor 30.1 (System was composed by cd Cyrus and amp Naim).

                Music session: Ben Harper, Frank Zappa, Jill Scott, Prince, D'angelo.

                I prefer more the sound presentation of Compact 7 more than M 30.1....

                Should it be possible?

                Maybe could it depend (also) by the kind of music I use to listen and "sound feeling" I use to search?

                thank you,
                Kind regards
                Hello Airdavid,

                In our opinion the 30.1 is little more detailed, and a little more precise (or you may say "Monitor-Like") But the Monitor 30.1 can be a littlmore critical depending on the listening chain you have. It meens that she shows the "mistakes" in the chain relentlessly.

                The Compact 7 is easier to connect with "simplier" electronics. So that maybe a reason why you liked it more. But that is just our determination....

                take care
                Michael

                Comment


                • #9
                  Brightness is not resolution!

                  I think it is a big misunderstanding to conclude a speaker is more precise and detailed when the sound is more bright. More treble will often create the illusion the sound is more detailed, more spacious and more precise, exactly the reason why most speaker do sound bright.. (I don't say the M 30 is to bright BTW).

                  Imo the balance of both speakers is different but I really cannot tell you which speaker is more precise...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Measuring bass ....

                    Originally posted by PaulF70;42000By "theoretical problem" of the supertweeter I meant that according to the Stereophile measurements, the two tweeters overlap for much of the range, creating an interference pattern. However, since I'm not an audio objectivist, why should I worry about that? :) I've had the SLH+ before and the treble is amazing - the whole speaker is amazing, in fact ...

                    As for the different of five cycles of bass extension, the difference between the Monitor 30.1 and the SLH+ is actually 10 - a spec'd -3 dB point of 50 vs. 40 Hz. Apart from the measurement, the size difference of the cabinets certainly implies more bass power & likely extension from the SLH5+.

                    Moderator (Alan?), surely you would think it sensible to weigh bass extension to some extent re: the SLH5+ vs. the 30.1? 10Hz is a BIG difference in extension! [I
                    For me it certainly crosses the critical threshold of whether subs are desired[/I], as I do listen to some electronic music (Depeche Mode). I don't want to have to bother with subs - I really don't! I want to sell them.

                    I have heard the SLH5+ described exactly as a M30.1 with better bass extension. How true that is, I do not know...

                    But I do know this: I have already owned the SLH5+ and I sold it - which was, let's say, silly of me. I sold it because I had not yet experimented with closer listening and they were not "cracking hard" enough compared to the horn speakers I was acclimated to. And also I think I was not giving them enough power. MOVING THEM CLOSER, AND GIVING THEM POWER, FIXES THAT. I know this because I'm now listening to the C7 now 8' from me with a good 80W solid-state amp and they have it all, as Harbeths do - except for the last word in refinement, which I know moving up the line will give me.

                    (Alan, by the way, I gained respect for you when I saw you tell some other guy looking to upgrade his C7 to donate the money to charity instead. Bravo! Yes, indeed perhaps I should just be happy. But audio is my only material pleasure/hobby, and, well, I've already downsized a good bit.)

                    So, in the end, I do think that the 10 Hz difference (and probably overall better dynamic abilities) of the SLH5+ over the 30.1 would be a deciding factor for me, and that I would prefer the former over the latter for sure, but I can't listen to them both side by side in my room without buying them both.

                    I do know that when I buy these next speakers, I am done with the buying & trying audio game. No more. It's on to enjoying much and other things.

                    {Moderator's comment: Alan will comment when he has a moment to the various points raised}
                    Quite a few points raised here, so to briefly tackle them...

                    As we have discussed here on HUG many times, a mult-way loudspeaker has one, and only one reference axis, vertically, where the designer has placed his measurement microphone, and the sound waves from the drive units blend perfectly. More up or down an inch, and the results are sub-optimal. It is therefore simply unbelievable to set oneself up as a critic of others work and not to be aware of that, or worse, to not have the curiosity or courtesy to drop an email to the designer to ask where to position a test microphone. Furthermore, with the mic at some arbirtary vertical position, it merely takes a moment to wave the mic vertically up and down to find that point of best integration. So the whole thing is a mystery to me.

                    About bass extension: please bear in mind two things.

                    1) It's damned difficult to measure with precision the level of any frequency at either end of the audio spectrum, and certainly below, say, 150Hz. That's because the wavelength of the sound is so long that in effect, every surface around the speaker is interacting with it. Consequently, it's not possible to be completely certain of the output of the speaker alone not even in an anechoic chamber. So don't read too much into the numbers!

                    2) One way to give a lower printed bass cut-off figure is to design the speaker so that it has a little (or a lot) of a peak just before the ultimate roll-off. Taken too far that results in a 'one-note bass'. Done with care, it might give an extended but slightly soft bass.

                    What is a fact is that the M30.1 is the smallest possible box that I can fit the 200mm Harbeth RADIAL driver into, and unlike other Harbeth's is of relatively thick panels, cross braced.

                    BTW: Someone made the point about up-close listening. If you can find the post, I'll happily reply - its an interesting point.
                    Alan A. Shaw
                    Designer, owner
                    Harbeth Audio UK

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      SHL5plus - back in my home - Again

                      Concerning lack of courtesy regarding measurement, I assume you're referring to s-phile. I can't disagree.

                      As for the near-field listening post, I believe that was me. (At least I've been posting about the subject.)

                      I came to about the same conclusion regarding the tweeters: It doesn't matter. And I ordered my SLH5+, two days ago. And they arrived - today. And they sound FANTASTIC! Quite a healthy step up from the C7 (which is wonderful in its own right).

                      I'm done now. All around, these are the best speakers I've had in my listening room (for the second time) in 11 years. And I've had a lot.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Close-up listening

                        Originally posted by A.S. View Post
                        BTW: Someone made the point about up-close listening. If you can find the post, I'll happily reply - its an interesting point.
                        Alan, I think this is the thread you were looking for if you still want to reply or integrate it with the new topic on the near-field listening.

                        http://www.harbeth.co.uk/usergroup/s...-in-love-story

                        Comment

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