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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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Harbeth Monitor 30 domestic specific

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  • #91
    Re: Bass lift when speaker on shelf

    Originally posted by A.S.
    I think that the cabinets will be tolerant of any mounting arrangement providing that you don't screw into the crossover which sits around the terminal area.

    However, as explained elsewhere here, Harbeth speakers are optimised for use with air around them i.e. on stands, as far from reflecting surfaces (floor, wall, ceiling, back wall) as possible. OK so what if they are very near to a surface? Well, the best way to explain this is for you to hear it yourself: play music, sit in your hot seat - have someone lift the speakers off their stands whilst you listen .... you will notice that the quality of the bass will change when they put them directly onto the floor. On the floor the sound will be rich and bass heavy. This is exactly what you will hear if you mount them on a shelf, which is, of course, another nearby surface.

    If your amp has a bass control. or you are lucky enough to have a tilt control function you can significantly compensate for the bass lift.
    Hi,
    thanks for your opinion. As you know Naim preamps do not have tone controls, and I have always been happy and reassured by that. What is a a tilt control?
    Your reccomendations are very clear, but If I cannot follow them completely, am I heading for disaster or just for a suboptimality which is a big improvement on my Linn Tukan (or Katan), or n-Sat,or any other shelf speaker?

    Comment


    • #92
      Speaker optimised for use on a shelf?

      The tilt control was (or is?) a feature of the QUAD preamps.

      I freely admit that I am not familiar with the speakers you mention. At the back of my mind is the recollection that certain speakers - maybe those? - were specifically designed to be used up against a rear wall. In other words, when they were being designed, the designer made a conscious decision about how much bass to give them. If he concentrated the design on giving a high efficiency (loud) midrange at the expense of bass (which would allow the specification to quote a nice, eye catching dB sensitivity figure from the midrange) then for the speakers to sound correctly balanced it would be mandatory for them to be used against a wall to 'prop-up' the lean bass.

      From a marketing viewpoint this would be a valid approach since certain users would doubtless like their speakers nestling invisibly on a bookshelf amongst the books.

      All you will experience is a bass boost when using a 'free field' speaker (such as a Harbeth) up against a wall. If you follow my little experiment with such a speaker you'll hear the effect for yourself. Conversely, if you remove the rear wall from a speaker designed to be used against the wall (by putting it on a stand away from the wall) you can hear the converse effect: bass shyness.

      I guess the lesson from this is ..... ASK the manufacturer whether he designed the speaker for use in a free-field situation (on a stand, away from the walls) OR for use on shelf. It is not technically possible to optimise for both situations - whatever the salesman may say.
      Alan A. Shaw
      Designer, owner
      Harbeth Audio UK

      Comment


      • #93
        Re: A difficult room for the Monitor 30?

        Originally posted by Giuseva
        Hi,
        That is very encouraging to hear from you both.
        Unfortunately, the stands are not an option. What about some sort of wall (thick solid stone wall) mounts, so the speaker is suspended and not touching the cupboard?
        Do you know the Linn Tukan? In which area and in what sense should I expect an inprovement?
        Cheers,
        Giuse
        Hi,

        I don't know Linn Tukan. For me, M30 are very vrey good speakers for domestic listening, I could listen to them day and night, even with terrible headache, no fatigue.

        Hu

        Comment


        • #94
          Re: Speaker optimised for use on a shelf?

          Originally posted by A.S.
          The tilt control was (or is?) a feature of the QUAD preamps.

          I freely admit that I am not familiar with the speakers you mention. At the back of my mind is the recollection that certain speakers - maybe those? - were specifically designed to be used up against a rear wall. In other words, when they were being designed, the designer made a conscious decision about how much bass to give them. If he concentrated the design on giving a high efficiency (loud) midrange at the expense of bass (which would allow the specification to quote a nice, eye catching dB sensitivity figure from the midrange) then for the speakers to sound correctly balanced it would be mandatory for them to be used against a wall to 'prop-up' the lean bass.

          From a marketing viewpoint this would be a valid approach since certain users would doubtless like their speakers nestling invisibly on a bookshelf amongst the books.

          All you will experience is a bass boost when using a 'free field' speaker (such as a Harbeth) up against a wall. If you follow my little experiment with such a speaker you'll hear the effect for yourself. Conversely, if you remove the rear wall from a speaker designed to be used against the wall (by putting it on a stand away from the wall) you can hear the converse effect: bass shyness.

          I guess the lesson from this is ..... ASK the manufacturer whether he designed the speaker for use in a free-field situation (on a stand, away from the walls) OR for use on shelf. It is not technically possible to optimise for both situations - whatever the salesman may say.
          Sir,
          thanks a lot.
          My main question still is given the speakers placement I described am I heading for disaster or for an acceptable imperfection which is going to be balanced by the advantage of an otherwise natural and transparent speaker?

          Comment


          • #95
            Re: Speaker optimised for use on a shelf?

            That's not really possible for me to say! Yes, there will be more bass if you use a free-field speaker (such as a Harbeth) near a wall. Maybe you will like this extra bass! Or, maybe you will feel that it is excessive. I can not say as it is a matter of personal opinion. But, why not try the simple experiments I suggest and then you are in a much better position than me to decide.

            The purity of the Harbeth midrange will not technically change according to the proximity (or not) or a rear wall: what will change is your perception of overall balance which will be biased in favour of bass frequencies. Personally, I think that there will be quite a lot more bass - but this will only be really obvious when listening to music with a strong bass line. If you like "simple" music like choral or chamber music which has little bass content anyway, I think you will have no problem with mounting on a shelf.
            Alan A. Shaw
            Designer, owner
            Harbeth Audio UK

            Comment


            • #96
              Re: Speaker optimised for use on a shelf?

              Originally posted by A.S.
              That's not really possible for me to say! Yes, there will be more bass if you use a free-field speaker (such as a Harbeth) near a wall. Maybe you will like this extra bass! Or, maybe you will feel that it is excessive. I can not say as it is a matter of personal opinion. But, why not try the simple experiments I suggest and then you are in a much better position than me to decide.

              (Personally, I think that there will be quite a lot more bass - but this will only be really obvious when listening to music with a strong bass line. If you like "simple" music like choral or chamber music I think you will have no problem).
              Sir,
              thnks a lot for taking the pain to answer my questions. It is extremely kind of you to do so.
              I don't mind a bit of bass. The reason why I would like to switch from my present speakers to another one is mainly that I do not hear enough bass.
              I have a 2500 cd's collection and about 600 vinyl lp's, and I am pretty omnivorous with music. I have a preference for jazz, both acoustic and, late sixties, Miles Davies inspired, electric jazz. But I do not mind experimental electronic musicians.
              I do listen to pop too, and I am working my way through classical.
              The best thing would be to have a home audition of the Harbeth.
              Regards,
              Giuseppe

              Comment


              • #97
                Brass instruments, jazz and speakers

                It's my pleasure to help. We only want 100% satisfied customers because satisfied customers are the best form of advertising by word of mouth. So, if you ask us a question and we do not feel absolutely sure that you will be satisfied, then I feel obliged to tell you.

                It is interesting that you mention that you like jazz: I do too. I have observed a couple of things about jazz music when I listen at home ....

                1. To capture the 'jazz club feel' you need a warm, seductive bass since live music has (in my opinion) a lush quality in the bass that is difficult for normal speakers to reproduce at home. But the Harbeth thin-wall design uses the entire box surface to radiate at low frequencies so it sound like an 12" or 15" driver even though it is much smaller - say 8".

                2. It is impossible for conventional speakers to reproduce brass instruments properly. A real live trumpet is both warm and simultaneously it has a bite which demands attention. In my experience only our RADIAL cone can reproduce brass (including Miles Davis); other cones sound at one extreme too soft, dry and airless or at another excessively bright, shrill and peaky but without the attractive warmth.

                When designing I extensively use jazz because I find that the brass is an exceedingly revealing test source. It has taken me many years to actually come to like brass though but now I can hear the micro-tones I begin to understand that brass is an extension of the performer's voice box, hence his soul.
                Alan A. Shaw
                Designer, owner
                Harbeth Audio UK

                Comment


                • #98
                  Re: Brass instruments, jazz and speakers

                  Originally posted by A.S.
                  2. It is impossible for conventional speakers to reproduce brass instruments properly. A real live trumpet is both warm and simultaneously it has a bite which demands attention. In my experience only our RADIAL cone can reproduce brass (including Miles Davis); other cones sound at one extreme too soft, dry and airless or at another excessively bright, shrill and peaky but without the attractive warmth.

                  When designing I extensively use jazz because I find that the brass is an exceedingly revealing test source. It has taken me many years to actually come to like brass though but now I can hear the micro-tones I begin to understand that brass is an extension of the performer's voice box, hence his soul.
                  I always think tha my M30 are extremely good at broadcasting trumpet, horn etc.

                  Comment


                  • #99
                    Re: Brass instruments, jazz and speakers

                    Originally posted by A.S.
                    It's my pleasure to help. We only want 100% satisfied customers because satisfied customers are the best form of advertising by word of mouth. So, if you ask us a question and we do not feel absolutely sure that you will be satisfied, then I feel obliged to tell you.

                    It is interesting that you mention that you like jazz: I do too. I have observed a couple of things about jazz music when I listen at home ....

                    1. To capture the 'jazz club feel' you need a warm, seductive bass since live music has (in my opinion) a lush quality in the bass that is difficult for normal speakers to reproduce at home. But the Harbeth thin-wall design uses the entire box surface to radiate at low frequencies so it sound like an 12" or 15" driver even though it is much smaller - say 8".

                    2. It is impossible for conventional speakers to reproduce brass instruments properly. A real live trumpet is both warm and simultaneously it has a bite which demands attention. In my experience only our RADIAL cone can reproduce brass (including Miles Davis); other cones sound at one extreme too soft, dry and airless or at another excessively bright, shrill and peaky but without the attractive warmth.

                    When designing I extensively use jazz because I find that the brass is an exceedingly revealing test source. It has taken me many years to actually come to like brass though but now I can hear the micro-tones I begin to understand that brass is an extension of the performer's voice box, hence his soul.
                    Hello,
                    I went to your dealer in Milan and listened to the Home Monitors 30 and, frankly, whatever the limitations and shortcomings of my listening room, I really want a pair. It was quite a distinctive experience. Hope to be able to get them soon.
                    Regards.

                    Comment


                    • Sub Crossover Slope to Mate with M30

                      I'm trying to decide on a sub to mate with M30's and was wondering what crossover slope I should be looking for on the low pass. Some give you a choice, but most do not. Also, which subs would you recommend as being the most musical for a two channel system? Thank you.
                      -Bill

                      Comment


                      • Re: Harbeth Monitor 30 domestic specific

                        I have the , unfortunately now discontinued, Active Monitor 30s.

                        They are magic - I use them for both domestic listening and studio monitoring.

                        When it comes to loudspeakers that you can trust; that are natural and revealing and don't colour the music there are *very* few to choose from and the Harbeth are definitely in the top three and are the least expensive of the three when you compare for equal quality.

                        Comment


                        • Re: Harbeth Monitor 30 domestic specific

                          Has the change of the internal wiring with ultra pure OFC wire to the 30th anniversary limited signature edition of M30 been decided after tests with positive results? Or is it primarily a marketing decision for pleasing the general audiophiles with the tweak and the collectors with the limited signature nature in this special year? Why hasn't such wire been used in the standard edition? Should all the prospective buyers of Harbeth speakers wait for another special edition with another tweak to enjoy more of the already great design? Could I say that the standard edition is the official version that should be brought up whenever the model is called upon whilst the different special editions are only variations that are basically not what M30 was intended to be originally? If I want to buy M30, should I buy the standard edition rather than the special edition for the result supposedly closer to the very heart and mind of the designer?

                          Sorry for the many questions. As a matter of fact, I'm struggling to choose between the standard edition and the anniversary edition...

                          Best regards
                          mike

                          Comment


                          • Re: Harbeth Monitor 30 domestic specific

                            Originally posted by eelekim
                            Has the change of the internal wiring with ultra pure OFC wire to the 30th anniversary limited signature edition of M30 been decided after tests with positive results?

                            Best regards
                            mike

                            I hope no...

                            David

                            Comment


                            • What Spade Size for M30 Speaker Terminals?

                              Hello Alan,
                              I'm planning to order some spades to terminate my speaker wire and was wondering if you could tell me what size best fits the M30's binding posts. Thank you,
                              -Bill

                              Comment


                              • Re: What Spade Size for M30 Speaker Terminals?

                                I have measured a gold binding post of the type we've used for about 5 years. I measured the central pillar as 8.3mm diameter and I suggest that about 8.5mm would be a nice snug fit. 9.0mm would be a little loose but would still make good connection. You could probably bend inwards the tips of an over-size spade to improve its contact area.

                                In my opinion, it makes no real difference whether you connect your spades to the upper or lower terminal pair if the biwire links remain fitted.
                                Alan A. Shaw
                                Designer, owner
                                Harbeth Audio UK

                                Comment

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