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Harbeth Monitor 40.1 specific

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  • Re: New Skylan stand 'Oreo' spacer for Harbeth Monitor 40.1

    Originally posted by Jeff Day View Post
    I have found that 'hard coupling' M40.1s to Skylan stands helps to reduce the M40.1's somewhat exaggerated bass. I have been using 3 of the large Acoustic Revive quartz disks between the stands and speakers and that seems to work quite well, but that is really not a practical solution for most people due to their high cost and slippery nature.

    A couple of days ago I got a new set of prototype 'Oreo' spacers from Noel to try between the stands and M40.1s, and I have to say I like them quite a lot. They behave sonically much like the quartz disks, and maybe a bit better. Noel designed the 'Oreos' with 2 layers of hardwood top and bottom, with a layer of softer material between the hardwood layers (based on the same principle of the isolation platforms Noel makes). There is also a magnet in the spacers that holds them in place atop each of the assembly rods on each of the 4 stand pillars so they don't slip around as you position the speakers - a nice touch.

    Noel also mentioned that M40.1 users might try using the Skylan stands without filling them with sand, as sand filling tends to pronounce the bass a little bit. I haven't tried that, but intend to. Included a couple of photos so you could see what they look like when in place between the speaker and stands. Best, Jeff
    Hi,

    I had great luck fixing my bass problems with the Monitor 40s using the Vandersteen High Pass crossovers between my preamp and amp. They are available with SE or balanced connections and were designed for use with the Vandersteen Quatro's and Vandersteen 5 speakers. There is information on them from the Vandersteen website. They were an elegant solution that cleaned up the bass and made the midrange even better, if that is possible. This solution was suggested by my Harbeth dealer, who is also a Vandersteen dealer.

    I have not heard the 40.1s but would be surprised if they didn't work with them.

    Good Luck!

    Joe Ferrente

    Comment


    • Re: Harbeth Monitor 40.1 specific

      Originally posted by Don Leman View Post
      Jeff, if memory serves me correctly, did you not use the Super HL5's in the same room with outstanding results? If this is true, is there any difference in how the speakers were positioned or where you listen from?

      It might be interesting to bring the Super HL5's back in, place them in the same position as the Monitor 40.1's and have a listen plus take some measurments to compare.

      Alternately you could try the Monitor 40.1 in the same position you had the Super HL5's.

      I also seem to remember Alan suggesting restricting the air flow through one or both ports for those users reporting excess bass energy on the old Monitor 40.

      I'm not experiencing any bass issues with my demo Monitor 40.1's nor has anyone who has been over to audition remarked negatively. My listening room is smaller than yours at about 12' by 20'. There is a picture of it in one of the other sections of the usergroup.

      You're not that far away. If you want to come up for a listen you'd be most welcome. Be warned though, I'm a Martin man ( guitar talk for those unaware that Jeff plays a fabulous Gibson).

      Don Leman
      West Coast Audio
      Surrey, BC
      Hi there Don. Your memory is correct, the SHL5s worked like a charm in the same space.

      If I get up your way I'll stop in - thanks for the invite.

      You brought a smile to my face with the Martin comment! :-) I have fond memories of my HD-28, and these days I've added a Collings short scale OM cutaway to the collection - what a wonderful little guitar.

      Best,

      Jeff

      Comment


      • Re: Harbeth Monitor 40.1 specific

        Review of M40.1:

        http://www.tonepublications.com/MAGPDF/TA_023HDX.pdf

        Comment


        • Re: Harbeth Monitor 40.1 specific

          Originally posted by Hagto View Post
          Jeff always does a nice job on his publication, Tone Audio. It's well written, with beautiful photography, and a really nice layout.

          It appears Jeff was able to get quite natural bass performance by wearing the M40.1s as headphones (speakers 7 feet apart center to center, and ears 7 feet from the tweeters - I'm guessing he measured that on the diagonal).

          I've tried that approach, it works, but it's not my cup of tea, and you shouldn't have to do that in a large room to get acceptable performance with a loudspeaker that is billed as being "optimised for home use" like the M40.1 is.

          That's no reflection on Jeff, it's just probably what he had to do to get them to work in his room for the review. Not that the M40.1 speakers aren't wonderful in many ways, they are, or I wouldn't have purchased a pair, but they have a obvious zit in the bass.

          I want speakers that really are "optimised for home use" and can integrate into a normal living environment, and not be required to have my speakers and seating position clumped together in a tiny triangle in the center of the room, or to build an in home BBC spec studio room like Alan has done, or to have to use electronic equalization - those seem to be rather silly necessary alternatives to me for most music lovers.

          After talking with an acoustician, he didn't really think it would be possible to address the M40.1's needs in my room and still maintain it as a normal home environment, but I'm going to give it a shot anyways, because if it works it'd be well worth it, and it'd be useful for other M40.1 owners to know that.

          I shall let you know how it all turns out.

          Best,

          Jeff

          Comment


          • Re: Harbeth Monitor 40.1 specific

            Originally posted by Jeff Day View Post
            Jeff always does a nice job on his publication, Tone Audio. It's well written, with beautiful photography, and a really nice layout.

            It appears Jeff was able to get quite natural bass performance by wearing the M40.1s as headphones (speakers 7 feet apart center to center, and ears 7 feet from the tweeters - I'm guessing he measured that on the diagonal).

            I've tried that approach, it works, but it's not my cup of tea, and you shouldn't have to do that in a large room to get acceptable performance with a loudspeaker that is billed as being "optimised for home use" like the M40.1 is.

            That's no reflection on Jeff, it's just probably what he had to do to get them to work in his room for the review. Not that the M40.1 speakers aren't wonderful in many ways, they are, or I wouldn't have purchased a pair, but they have a obvious zit in the bass.

            I want speakers that really are "optimised for home use" and can integrate into a normal living environment, and not be required to have my speakers and seating position clumped together in a tiny triangle in the center of the room, or to build an in home BBC spec studio room like Alan has done, or to have to use electronic equalization - those seem to be rather silly necessary alternatives to me for most music lovers.

            After talking with an acoustician, he didn't really think it would be possible to address the M40.1's needs in my room and still maintain it as a normal home environment, but I'm going to give it a shot anyways, because if it works it'd be well worth it, and it'd be useful for other M40.1 owners to know that.

            I shall let you know how it all turns out.

            Best,

            Jeff
            Jeff,

            What did you do with your SHL5 speakers? If they worked so well in your room, why did you move to the M40.1?

            Regards.

            Comment


            • Re: Harbeth Monitor 40.1 specific

              Originally posted by Teuton View Post
              Jeff,

              What did you do with your SHL5 speakers? If they worked so well in your room, why did you move to the M40.1?

              Regards.
              I use three systems for reviewing to have comparators from three different perspectives (small, medium, large), which helps me get an idea of how equipment performs in 3 different rooms and equipment contexts should the need arise.

              I still have my SHL5s, and they aren't going anywhere - like them a lot. They reside in the 'Music Lovers' system that I wrote about for 6Moons, which resides in a small room approximately the same size as the room Alan uses as his listening / loudspeaker development room (3 by 4 meters).

              The M40.1s were intended for the system located in a large room, a room more typical of a living room in North American households. I also like the M40.1s a lot, I'm just having difficulties getting them sorted out in my large listening / living room in regards to their bass.

              The third system is in a medium-large sized bedroom, which gives me a spread of systems in 3 different sized rooms to work with during the review process should the need arise.

              Best,

              Jeff

              Comment


              • Re: Harbeth Monitor 40.1 specific

                Quick question Jeff: Have you tried the M40.1 in your other rooms i.e. smaller rooms? If so, how did they perform?



                Originally posted by Jeff Day View Post
                I use three systems for reviewing to have comparators from three different perspectives (small, medium, large), which helps me get an idea of how equipment performs in 3 different rooms and equipment contexts should the need arise.

                I still have my SHL5s, and they aren't going anywhere - like them a lot. They reside in the 'Music Lovers' system that I wrote about for 6Moons, which resides in a small room approximately the same size as the room Alan uses as his listening / loudspeaker development room (3 by 4 meters).

                The M40.1s were intended for the system located in a large room, a room more typical of a living room in North American households. I also like the M40.1s a lot, I'm just having difficulties getting them sorted out in my large listening / living room in regards to their bass.

                The third system is in a medium-large sized bedroom, which gives me a spread of systems in 3 different sized rooms to work with during the review process should the need arise.

                Best,

                Jeff

                Comment


                • Re: Room tuning - how the pro's do it

                  On the subject of rooms, and following Pluto's experiences, here is the M40.1 in use in a pro studio, and working very nicely.

                  As I said in my overview here, the problem is not the room size (big or small) but how much of the energy from the speakers is usefully absorbed into the surfaces and how much is left to run amok bouncing around the room interfering with what you want to hear: the direct sound. I suspect that most people enjoy and can certainly live-with a little warmth in the bass; what drives the listener to despair is single notes in the bass that are a consequence of an un, or underdamped room and it's geometry and construction. Pluto's room is ' minimalist' in its acoustic treatment, and would certainly benefit from some treatment - even thick curtains would make a difference - but the bass there is warm and not of especial concern.

                  Summary here: pix of studio setup go [ ^ ] up.
                  Alan A. Shaw
                  Designer, owner
                  Harbeth Audio UK

                  Comment


                  • Re: Harbeth Monitor 40.1 specific

                    Thought I'd give a short report about using my new 40.1's in an average room.

                    After reading some posts about bass problems with the 40.1, I was getting a little nervous about the pair I had on order. I had ordered them on the strength of how wonderful the 3, 5 and 7's are in my room but I hadn't actually had the opportunity to try the 40.1 and I was just taking them on trust, plus a bit of persuasion from Andy at the factory.

                    I needn't have worried as right out of the cartons, they are simply stunning in all areas including the bass which is solid and tight with no trace of 'boom' or 'hangover'. They kick and punch like a prize fighter but are clean and pacey. Needless to say, the top and mid are beyond reproach.

                    The room isn't large, it's approximately 14 x 22 x 7.2 ft, solid floor, timber frame/plasterboard walls and ceiling. Windows on two walls are curtained and the plasterboard wall behind the speakers is treated with three home made absorbent panels. One side wall is filled floor to ceiling with racks of equipment.

                    I haven't done anything special with the mains and the equipment I used today isn't exotic. Stands are custom made by Something Solid. I have so far used an LFD integrated, Rega Elicit, Croft Micro25/Series 7 and a Puresound A30. All work well with the 40.1's and I have spent an enjoyable afternoon dragging out all manner of favourite CD's. Tomorrow I start on the vinyl.

                    Comment


                    • 17 years with my S-100s

                      I 'm coming a bit late in the thread but anyway ... i have Spendor' S-100''s, but plan to replace them with the M40.1. I'm not worried abiout the bass issue as in almost every room, there's a place that allows for a balanced sound. including in the more critical bass area.

                      Spendor S-100's were said by many people to boom in the bass, by others to be nicely tight, yet deep and articulate! Much has to do with room placement in the end, at least that is what i discovered in using them for 17 years in 3 different places with clear but substantial sounding electronics (full YBA1).

                      I always follow the placement method of Dave Wilson, that is you have your partner or a friend walk about in the room while talking or singing and look for the most balanced, most un chesty and un shouty voice reproduction. Usually, it gives also the deepest, tightest bass, not to mention the best tone.

                      I'm also a bit surprised that you use them backing the long wall.... have you tried them on the shorter wall?

                      My 2 cents

                      Comment


                      • Bass and rubber surround ageing?

                        Regarding the speakers you mention (I have a pair) and I think that you'll find that the bass performance greatly depends upon how old they are. If you look at the bass unit surround, if it has a slightly milky 'mould' on the surface then it has chemically changed over the years. In consequence, the surround has hardened and the bass output has reduced. This may or may not suit your listening room! But if, as you say, you have been listening for many years, you will not have noticed this subtle acoustic change over the years. So, when you compare with the M40.1 you will immediately notice more bass because you have become accustomed - I suggest - to rather less bass.

                        Of course, your speakers may be from a different batch and/or may not have changed with time, but it's something that you should be aware of.
                        Alan A. Shaw
                        Designer, owner
                        Harbeth Audio UK

                        Comment


                        • Re: Harbeth Monitor 40.1 specific

                          Great classic's these S-100's, very musical yet precise and open sounding ... mine don't show any visual sign of ageing on the rubber surrounds though. The doping has gotten somewhat yellowish on the midrange cone, but that's it.

                          The rubber surroundings are not that supple to the touch but then again, that's the way i remind them to be from the beginning: certainly not hard but not of the thin and supple type found on other speakers either. Of course, you are still right in mentioning that i couldn't have noticed any change over the years if a change had occured in the bass performance ...

                          But in any case, i remember that they tended to be overwhelming in the bass each time when i put them initially in the living room, be it on day one or 12 years after, which was my last moving (3 different homes: rather large rooms of at least acceptable acoustics, but not treated), even well clear of the boundaries and walls ... it took very precise placement following the speach method i described to reach balances, first rate bass in the end.

                          Some tweaking helped get the last improvements for precision, bounce, pitch and extension(untightening of the drivers mounting screws followed by retightening them carefully by ear; that is slight finger pressure on the allen key for the tweeter, very slightly on the midrange, and rather tightly for the bass).

                          Comment


                          • M40.1 and M30 up against the wall .... studio set-up with video

                            Here is a short video that Trevor and I made at the Fountain TV studio last month. They make very big TV shows there, an needed a 5.1 system - and eventually - after trying many alternative 'big name' systems, they settled on the M40.1, M30 and M20s.

                            Now with all this talk about closeness to the rear wall, I was a bit surprised that they were obliged to mount the speakers so close to the rear wall (the wall is false). Actially, the wall covering is cloth, and behind the cloth thee is some absorption - but not much, and hence, not really effective at low frequencies. But everyone is delighted with the sound which is certainly not too rich.

                            The secret is that there is good absorption spread throughout the room - all surfaces are treated.

                            You can find the video on the In the Studio page
                            Alan A. Shaw
                            Designer, owner
                            Harbeth Audio UK

                            Comment


                            • Re: 17 years with my S-100s

                              Originally posted by Haddock View Post
                              I 'm coming a bit late in the thread but anyway ... i have Spendor' S-100''s, but plan to replace them with the M40.1. I'm not worried abiout the bass issue as in almost every room, there's a place that allows for a balanced sound. including in the more critical bass area.

                              Spendor S-100's were said by many people to boom in the bass, by others to be nicely tight, yet deep and articulate! Much has to do with room placement in the end, at least that is what i discovered in using them for 17 years in 3 different places with clear but substantial sounding electronics (full YBA1).

                              I always follow the placement method of Dave Wilson, that is you have your partner or a friend walk about in the room while talking or singing and look for the most balanced, most un chesty and un shouty voice reproduction. Usually, it gives also the deepest, tightest bass, not to mention the best tone.

                              I'm also a bit surprised that you use them backing the long wall.... have you tried them on the shorter wall?

                              My 2 cents
                              I have just replaced my Spendor SP-100's that resided in the same spot as the 40.1's for 10 years

                              You can see in my photo album I have them backing the long wall.

                              Room was designed by ASC for the Tube Traps both ways and for practicality it was easier to place the speakers on the long wall. What you do not see in the pictures is a 50" Plasma on the back short wall opposite the fireplace end.

                              http://www.harbeth.co.uk/usergroup/album.php?albumid=16


                              David

                              Comment


                              • S100 to Harbeth upgrade

                                Very nice .... i've ordered the M40.1 s very recently and should get them by the end of november.

                                What are your first impressions of the Harbeths, coming after SP-100's?

                                Comment

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