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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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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.

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Harbeth Monitor 30 domestic specific

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  • Re: Harbeth Monitor 30 domestic specific

    Audio note spks IMHO sound quite different from Harbeth. In direct comparison & driven by same amp, they are faster with sharper leading edge, more lively & transparent but also leaner, less rich in the midband & definitely more prone to fatigue than Harbeth.

    [Edited: Simply cannot agree with comments. Admin.]

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    • Re: Harbeth Monitor 30 domestic specific

      Hi ryder,
      Try to pm shutterbox. I think he can help you on SHL5 vs M30. To me, his advice on this is quite objective.
      "Bath with Music"

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      • Re: Harbeth Monitor 30 domestic specific

        Paper coned bought-in drive units with a foam (i.e. low damping, short life) surround? Are you serious?
        Harbeth PR,
        Harbeth UK

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        • Re: Harbeth Monitor 30 domestic specific

          Thanks for all replies. Never gave Spendors a thought before although I read they share some resemblance to Harbeth having have some BBC roots. I was searching through the archives on Audiogon and accidentally stumbled upon a thread on the comparison between Spendor and Harbeth. I didn't realise I had actually responded in the thread as well.

          http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr...openfrom&1&4#1

          The responses by Muzikat and Brm1 had somehow steered me away from the Spendors. Although listening fatigue is of major concern, excitement and involvement factor are equally important as well. Seems like the Spendors may not suit my listening preferences, and moreover it is a huge risk to consider the speakers prior to listening to them. The Spendor classic series do look quite a bit similar to the Harbeth line of speakers though.

          The M30 tiger ebony looks really good. Will see how it goes as I sort out my priorities for next year. The 40.1? Hmmm.. haven't really thought about that yet. Jmohd, I actually don't intend to set up a 2nd system in the living as I intend to use the additional pair of speakers as a back-up in the same dedicated room until I find another amp to set up a 2nd system in the bedroom or something. In the event I get bored of listening to the SHL5 I can always revert to the 2nd pair of speakers for a change. Placement in the living is too tricky as there isn't an ideal position to place the speakers for optimum sound reproduction due to the odd shape of the room. I enjoyed the sound from the SHL5's far more in the dedicated room than in the living. If there is allowance for a dedicated room it is a no-brainer to set up the system in the room.

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          • Re: Harbeth Monitor 30 domestic specific

            I've got a shop full of speakers but what do I put on when I want to enjoy a new LP or CD ? The M40.1 !!!

            If you can save for a pair, I would most strongly recommend you do, they are truly wonderful.

            As for Spendor, they are bloomy, sloooooow and un-communicative. Not in the same class at all IMO. Style over substance, I believe, is the expression. Their 'Classic' series is more interesting than the newer models but even here they have not moved with the times as Harbeth have.

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            • What defines the Harbeth sound?

              Any similarities between Harbeth speakers and any other brand is really nothing more than superficial. Let me list just the essential ingredients of Harbeth, which we and our users appreciate is the core of the Harbeth magical clarity:
              • Advanced RADIAL? cone, being a Harbeth made polymer compound exclusive to Harbeth developed as part of our govt. co-funded cone development project
              • Injection moulded cone (this is extremely critical to the final sound)
              • Thin-wall cabinets with removable panels to tune the sound
              • Complex multi-element crossover to separate the bass, mid and high frequencies
              • Consistent one designer, one sound, one philosophy for over twenty years

              You need to employ, to even get on the first rung of the Harbeth quality and transparency ladder, a Harbeth-exclusive RADIAL? coned, injection moulded bass/mid driver. Comparisons with other products built around older, obsolete cone technology is therefore a waste of our reader's time. Vacuum formed cones from milk bottle plastic and paper cones made from who knows what just cannot, under even the most optimistic conditions, yield the Harbeth clarity.

              If you want the Harbeth sound you have to buy Harbeth speakers.There are no direct equivalents when clarity and detail are paramount as an audition will expose.
              Alan A. Shaw
              Designer, owner
              Harbeth Audio UK

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              • This is the HARBETH user group

                Can I just remind you that we are on the Harbeth User Group. This group is run by and maintained by Harbeth UK, an independent British-owned company. We work hard here to explain what Hartbeth is all about. Our objective is to prepare you with info / background about Harbeth speakers before you vist your dealer to audition.

                Please explore other speakers alternatives at your hifi dealer. Select what you feel is right for you. To restate the link from the previous post, this is a good summary.
                Harbeth PR,
                Harbeth UK

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                • Re: Harbeth Monitor 30 domestic specific

                  Originally posted by ryder View Post
                  Hi Bob, Thanks for your thoughts. The odds of the M30 ending up as my 2nd speaker in complementing the SHL5 are high now. Need to figure out the amp later.

                  Drewturner, I do know the P3ESR are excellent speakers having listened to them in a friend's setup. I have three excellent choices in the P3ESR, C7ES3 and M30 but unfortunately can only choose one. I am aware that the P3ESR sounded quite different from both C7ES3 and SHL5 but my very brief audition of the M30 almost convinced me that they sounded *very* different from the rest. In fact, that was the sole reason I scratched the M30 out during my first audition as the speakers didn't sound as open as I wanted them to be. After thinking back, since the M30 sounded quite a bit different from the usual suspects in the C7ES3 and SHL5, I might as well consider them as it doesn't make too much sense going for a speaker that sounded almost similar to the one I already have.

                  I cannot imagine I am now considering another Harbeth speaker. I tried a different speaker, a considerably more dynamic speaker with a lively top-end in an attempt to attain a different sound. I really wanted to like the speaker but all I've got is listening fatigue. After this experience only did I realise I cannot live with other speakers other than a Harbeth. No doubt there will be other speakers that can still appeal to me but I'm not bothered to look anymore. I am truly smitten by the smooth, natural and fatigue free sound of the Harbeth. The crucial element for me is to be able to listen to beautiful music at prolonged periods with zero or minimal listening fatigue. Although I have not listened to everything out there the Harbeths have proven to be able to give me that.

                  I just wonder how many hours a person usually spends on his non-Harbeth-based hifi rig on a typical day, and whether there would be anybody who can emulate some Harbeth owners here who manage to clock 10 hours and beyond that.

                  Ryder,

                  The agent in Malaysia has both M30 and SHL5, so that why don't you set up an appointment for an audition?

                  To me, both are different enough in their presentation(apart from tonal quality) to listen for yourself to decided if you decide to own both of them and be wanting to swap listening experiences between them. i've posted a comparison between them and this week I had a repeat session to listen to them both and my experiences remain the same now and then.

                  You really have to listen to them to decide if u should go for a M30.

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                  • Re: Harbeth Monitor 30 domestic specific

                    Hi Shutterbox, thanks for the thoughts. I have read your earlier assessment on the M30 vs SHL5 in another thread and noted the differences between these speakers. I have actually listened to both speakers side-by-side together with the C7ES3 in the showroom when I first placed an order for the SHL5. At that time I preferred both SHL5 and C7ES3 more than the M30. The M30's presentation did not float my boat at that time. After auditioning other non-Harbeth speakers only did I realise it is difficult for me to consider other speakers other than a Harbeth. I will need to sort out my priorities though such as swapping speakers in the same system whenever I wanted to make a switch.

                    Do you own both SHL5 and M30?

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                    • Re: Harbeth Monitor 30 domestic specific

                      Originally posted by ryder View Post
                      Hi Shutterbox, thanks for the thoughts. I have read your earlier assessment on the M30 vs SHL5 in another thread and noted the differences between these speakers. I have actually listened to both speakers side-by-side together with the C7ES3 in the showroom when I first placed an order for the SHL5. At that time I preferred both SHL5 and C7ES3 more than the M30. The M30's presentation did not float my boat at that time. After auditioning other non-Harbeth speakers only did I realise it is difficult for me to consider other speakers other than a Harbeth. I will need to sort out my priorities though such as swapping speakers in the same system whenever I wanted to make a switch.

                      Do you own both SHL5 and M30?
                      So if M30 doesn't float you and you prefer the C7, what's your concern now?

                      Yes I own both of them.

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                      • Re: Harbeth Monitor 30 domestic specific

                        Personal concerns that are of minor importance to be discussed in the forums here.

                        Do you have both speakers in different rooms in separate systems? If yes, may I ask what amps are you using to drive the SHL5 and the M30?

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                        • Re: Harbeth Monitor 30 domestic specific

                          I feel that It's important to consider the historical timeline of these speakers. The C7ES3, M40.1 and P3ESR were all designed with a common approach (and with the same software and hardware tools) in the last three years or so. They do have a common character. That said, many love the SHL5 and M30.
                          Alan A. Shaw
                          Designer, owner
                          Harbeth Audio UK

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                          • Re: Harbeth Monitor 30 domestic specific

                            Having lived with almost all Harbeths (C7ES-2, M20, M40, M30, now P3ESR) and having auditioned carefully C7ES3 and current model SHL5, I must say I totally agree with Alan. To my ears, C7ES3 and P3ESR are more "modern" incarnations of the Harbeth sound and preferable over the other models, although I still find SHL5 and M30 absolutely lovable. They all seem to me like works of art but the latest creations seem more mature art.
                            That said, the particular "way" of Monitor Series is irresistible to me as I keep confirming when listening to M30. So I guess M40.1, which I haven't auditioned yet, must be the end of the journey - and should be with such a high price!

                            Comment


                            • Re: Harbeth Monitor 30 domestic specific

                              Originally posted by Paris Kotsis View Post
                              Having lived with almost all Harbeths ... I must say I totally agree with Alan. To my ears, C7ES3 and P3ESR are more "modern" incarnations of the Harbeth sound... So I guess M40.1, which I haven't auditioned yet, must be the end of the journey - and should be with such a high price!
                              Thank you. That's very much how I see it.

                              I could not have designed the P3ESR ten years ago. Or even five years ago. Such a project needs time, patience and maturity. Ditto the M40.1.

                              BTW, if you think the M40.1 with its cabinets, crossovers, six drive units and all my accumulated knowledge poured into it is expensive - think again! Here.
                              Alan A. Shaw
                              Designer, owner
                              Harbeth Audio UK

                              Comment


                              • Re: Harbeth Monitor 30 domestic specific

                                Originally posted by A.S. View Post

                                BTW, if you think the M40.1 with its cabinets, crossovers, six drive units and all my accumulated knowledge poured into it is expensive - think again! Here.
                                OMG (as the kids say). Well, if you've got the money ...

                                But you're right, it makes the pricetag for the M40.1 seem downright reasonable by comparison.

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