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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 40.1 specific

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  • Re: M40.1 improvement and room size require?

    I personally feel that the price of those stand are far too high, but if we decide to believe Jeff's words on what they actually achieved in his room. One should at least take into account the money he's now saved on what are often unsightly and equally expensive room treatments . If the stands are really as important as he argues ( and in his defensive he did a direct comparison with the excellent Skylan) then maybe we should take the review seriously and hope that a cheaper but equally significant stand will one day appear.

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    • Re: M40.1 improvement and room size require?

      P.C.
      my initial reaction was similiar. I thought, well, in the states that's almost a 23k speaker, why not move along to another speaker entirely. But, Jeff Day loves the Harbeth sound, so why not make it sound the best it can in his room? He was obviously having some sort of bass issue, and now it's gone, albeit an expensive fix. He does state that other areas improved as well.

      So good for him, and yes, maybe some day we can benefit from the trickle down effect, or the lottery.....
      I did like that in his article the photos were matched superbly with the descriptions. Other reviewers please take note.

      Comment


      • Re: M40.1 improvement and room size require?

        Originally posted by musicquest View Post
        P.C.
        . I thought, well, in the states that's almost a 23k speaker ...
        Surely part of what makes the stand so expensive is that it's a completely custom-built, one-off product. But there's no obvious reason why it would have to be. It's hard to see why, even granted that it's an effective design and does what Jeff says (and, having bought a product or two on the basis of Jeff's reviews, I'd take what he says seriously, as I think he's a reviewer who, whatever you think of reviewers in general, is very alive to how music communicates), you couldn't reproduce the basic elements of the design and materials at a far lower cost. Maybe you wouldn't get 100% of the performance, but I'm betting a determined engineer could get 95% of the performance for 10 or 15% of the price.

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        • Re: M40.1 improvement and room size require?

          perhaps, perhaps not....

          sometimes it is the little things.....I'm very much enjoying the newest tweak that Noel gave me when I bought his Skylan stands, the ceramic magnets between stand and speakers. It is the clearest, cleanest, most detailed sound that I have yet gotten out of my Harbeths.
          If Jeffy boy is getting something way better than that, he is indeed a lucky man....and lucky to have his industry accomodation, to be sure....

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          • Re: M40.1 improvement and room size require?

            Can you elaborate on the ceramic magnets? What brand are they?

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            • Re: M40.1 improvement and room size require?

              Originally posted by musicquest View Post
              perhaps, perhaps not....

              sometimes it is the little things.....I'm very much enjoying the newest tweak that Noel gave me when I bought his Skylan stands, the ceramic magnets between stand and speakers. It is the clearest, cleanest, most detailed sound that I have yet gotten out of my Harbeths.
              If Jeffy boy is getting something way better than that, he is indeed a lucky man....and lucky to have his industry accomodation, to be sure....
              Pls post some pictures of the ceramic magnets. Which Harbeth speaker?

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              • Re: M40.1 improvement and room size require?

                I don't think it's the 'magnet' which is important here, it's having something very hard. In this case it's ceramic material but you could also use graphite, sapphire , diamond (not likely) or any very hard material.

                On the Something Solid stands which we favour, the interface between stand and speaker is carbon fibre. Small pucks of it enable speedy transfer of energy from the speaker cabinet to stand upright and thence to the floor and away.

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                • Re: M40.1 improvement and room size require?

                  Thanks, hf dave, I'll have to try some. Someone mentioned on here earlier using carbon cones to great effect. I agree, I doubt it's the makeup of the magnet that is doing the magic, although it does attach itself to the metal rods in front quite nicely. I'm not sure what kind of magnets these are, Noel/Moray said they were ceramic refrigerator types...they're about 7/8 inches diameter and 1/8 inch thick.
                  I've tried oak wood buttons, herbie's fat dots, flat on the stands, and just coupled with blutak, and the magnets are the best by far so far. Herbies also has ebony wood buttons I'd like to try.

                  Or there's always the Acoustic Revive pucks that J Day was using.....pricey, I'm sure.

                  Comment


                  • Re: M40.1 improvement and room size require?

                    Far be it from me to dampen the enthusiam for the various proposed "room tuning options" or more accurately "stand tuning options" but I, as the mere speaker designer am struggling to run with this idea. As I've mentioned before, I am entirely unfussy about the stand material or construction and recall that during the development of the M40.1 I used at various times Ikea plant pot stands, metal tubular stands and a pile of Yellow Pages. I know that I'm only the designer of the speaker and my pragmatic views are not really worth much attention, but please ask yourself how all of this stand/room magic can be possible. The wavelenghth involved at low frequencies are feet (metres) long.... and would need thick or as yet iimpossibly absorptive materials in puck sizes.

                    I understand that such earnest discussion about stands are a bit of a giggle and I have no issue with injecting a bit of fun into our hobby, but to try and back-fit pseudo-secience really isn't right. Is it? I mean, where is the justification that somehow the bottom of the cabinet is actually moving when playing music? And why the bottom more than, say, the top? And can you feel the top moving? By how much? A millionth of an inch? Is that something to worry about when the bass cone may be moving half an inch?

                    Surely it is one thing to admire a stand as a beautiful piece of art or engineering fabrication but another to justify it by applying some sore of scientific reasoning.

                    Just curious.
                    Alan A. Shaw
                    Designer, owner
                    Harbeth Audio UK

                    Comment


                    • Re: M40.1 improvement and room size require?

                      The material and construction of a stand can make a (subtle) difference to the sound of the speaker on top of it. In my opinion it is not a question of IF it makes a difference, but WHY.

                      AS, you know the best of all that the thin wall cabinets that Harbeth speakers use are not dead at all, but are critically damped to reduce radiation of sound by 30 dB compared with the sound of the RADIAL cone itself. The enclosure therefore is 'tuned' in a way that is sympathetic with the music played through them. Now, if we take a thin, flat sheet of metal with finely grained sand on it and we attach a speaker to it, we will see the sand creates all sorts of figures on the plate, because of the standing waves inside the material, creating some form of Lissoujous patterns. If we however clamp one side of the sheet, the patterns change radically.

                      Can we somehow translate this in the way the stand interacts with the speaker? If the stand is light, and the speaker decoupled from it, the stand will have less effect on the enclosure resonances. If the stand is heavy and the speaker is coupled to it with Blu-tak for example, it couples the mass of the stand to the enclosure, which surely must have some overall effect.

                      Perhaps this can be measured by placing an accelerometer on one of the sides of the speaker and comparing the waterfall spectrum of the speaker coupled to a heavy stand (with Bu-Tak or a spike) with that of a speaker decoupled from it (with sorbothane or similar).

                      Comment


                      • Dancing sand....

                        Originally posted by garmtz View Post
                        .... Now, if we take a thin, flat sheet of metal with finely grained sand on it and we attach a speaker to it, we will see the sand creates all sorts of figures on the plate, because of the standing waves inside the material, creating some form of Lissoujous patterns. If we however clamp one side of the sheet, the patterns change radically.....Perhaps this can be measured by placing an accelerometer on one of the sides of the speaker and comparing the waterfall spectrum of the speaker coupled to a heavy stand (with Bu-Tak or a spike) with that of a speaker decoupled from it (with sorbothane or similar).
                        Textbook answer and the one I was looking for.

                        To take this a step further ...

                        Have you actually applied the dancing sand test to, say, the top panel? What happens? Any dancing? Or how about not sand, but talcum powder or sifted bread flower.

                        My bet is that there is no movement, no dancing. So what then? How much energy can actually be transmitted to the stand when it's of such low power that it can't even make a dust particle move?
                        Alan A. Shaw
                        Designer, owner
                        Harbeth Audio UK

                        Comment


                        • Re: Dancing sand....

                          Originally posted by A.S. View Post
                          THow much energy can actually be transmitted to the stand when it's of such low power that it can't even make a dust particle move?
                          Isn't there a prior question, however? It seems to me that there are two basic possibilities that explain the type of observations Jeff reports in this review:

                          1. He is hearing a real change to the sound of the speaker when it is placed on the Acoustic Revive stands; or

                          2. He is not hearing a real change, but only thinks he is.

                          (I will omit a third possibility, i.e. that he hears nothing but is lying about it, because I don't think that's likely.)

                          I don't think you can entirely choose between the two by asking the question of whether there's a known mechanism to explain possibility #1, and concluding that there isn't. It's not an unreasonable thing to do, but isn't it always possible that something real is being perceived that we at present simply can't explain (but for which there is an explanation)?

                          Isn't the first step to determine whether the perception (i.e. improved sound) can be reliably detected by the perceiver in the absence of visual cues, and then, based on the answer, explaining why or why not? I mean, if the perception is reliable and repeatable, that is also something that has to be amenable to a scientific explanation, no?

                          Comment


                          • Re: Dancing sand....

                            Originally posted by EricW View Post
                            Isn't there a prior question, however? ...Isn't the first step to determine whether the perception (i.e. improved sound) can be reliably detected by the perceiver in the absence of visual cues, and then, based on the answer, explaining why or why not? I mean, if the perception is reliable and repeatable, that is also something that has to be amenable to a scientific explanation, no?
                            You've said what I didn't dare to.
                            Alan A. Shaw
                            Designer, owner
                            Harbeth Audio UK

                            Comment


                            • Re: M40.1 improvement and room size require?

                              Hey!

                              Are any of you guys listening to MUSIC? It makes me cringe when I think of how much time and energy I used to waste engaging in "Audiophilia Nervosa" type behavior. If the designer says they'll sound fine on a pile of telephone directories, I suspect any decent stand will be great. Get off the merry-go-round and enjoy the art that these speakers are capable of reproducing!

                              This Minute!

                              Bob LaBarca
                              State College, PA
                              USA

                              Comment


                              • Re: M40.1 improvement and room size require?

                                I am a big believer in vibration control for all things audio. Over the last several years I have incorporated Silent Running Audio isolation bases under my cd player, power amp, integrated amp and power conditioner. These were added one at a time and with the addition of each base obvious improvements were introduced.

                                I also have Skylan stands for my 40.1s which I have customized using Star Sound Technologies products. Each speaker is sitting on 3 brass .2AP.7D Audio Points which are resting on 3 APCD2A threaded disc which are screwed into brass thread inserts that were inserted into the top plate of the speaker stand by drilling holes. The four columns are filled with SST's micro bearing steel fill. The feet are the 2.0 AP threaded 2" Audio Points which fit into either APCD discs or Sound Anchor padded discs. I find the padded discs easier to slide on the hardwood floor.

                                When making this change I heard some of the same improvements Jeff described in his review of the Acoustic Revive stands but my guess is not to the same extent as I did not have a bass problem to begin with although my changes did result in a more tight and tuneful bass.

                                I mention this as a possible cheaper alternative. Especially if someone already has Skylans and wants to experiment as Star Sound offers a money back guarantee.

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