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HUG - here for all audio enthusiasts

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.

HUG has two approaches to contributor's Posts. If you have, like us, a scientific mind and are curious about how the ear works, how it can lead us to make the right - and wrong - decisions, and about the technical ins and outs of audio equipment, how it's designed and what choices the designer makes, then the factual area of HUG is for you. The objective methods of comparing audio equipment under controlled conditions has been thoroughly examined here on HUG and elsewhere and can be easily understood and tried with negligible technical knowledge.

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.

Questions and Posts about, for example, 'does amplifier A sounds better than amplifier B' or 'which speaker stands or cables are best' are suitable for the Subjective Soundings area.

The Moderators' decision is final in all matters regarding what appears here. That said, very few Posts are rejected. HUG Moderation individually spell and layout checks Posts for clarity but due to the workload, Posts in the Subjective Soundings area, from Oct. 2016 will not be. We regret that but we are unable to accept Posts that present what we consider to be free advertising for products that Harbeth does not make.

That's it! Enjoy!

{Updated Nov. 2016A}
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Harbeth Monitor 40.1 specific

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

    I agree. But welcome to the digital age.

    I suggest as one possibility replacing the forum with "Alan's Blog". A running update from you on issues of interest, new projects, whatever strikes your fancy. It could also have a feature that allows people to write in with questions or comments. The ones that you find interesting, you could then comment on - but on your schedule: once a week, say.

    This might provide the necessary outlet for updates, new ideas, audience participation and so on; keep people tuning in to see what's new; allow for discussion on topics of interest - all without the 24/7 time commitment that a forum implies. Importantly, it would also allow you to allocate a defined chunk of time each week, or every two weeks, rather than being constantly on call. Do it, but do it on your own schedule. You could even allow people to subscribe for e-mail updates, or sign up for an RSS feed.

    I would certainly keep tuning in for that. But I think some form of new content from time to time is advisable, or people's eyeballs will simply wander elsewhere.

    Comment


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

      Originally posted by musicquest
      ...You understandably want complete control over your product. Yet any idea that comes along that can challenge your branding upsets you, i.e. better stands, amplifiers, etc. You must realize that you are only manufacturing one piece of the audio chain, and there are many pieces to that chain that have a great effect on the sound...
      I wish you all the best.
      I remind you of my comments made in the early days of this group that Harbeth inherited a great legacy from the BBC. Those professional engineers would not understand the curiosity and claims made about this or that accessory. They would set about proving and revealing the essence of the improvement, then refine it, enhance and document it. And repeat the process year after year, racking up genuine technical advantages. That is the correct way to make true, real progress.

      I have a duty to protect and promote that heritage, keep it visible and not buried under issues that my predecessors simply wouldn't comprehend. This legacy is entirely engineering based and to stray too far from that can't really sit comfortably here.

      Good luck to you too and thanks for your feedback.
      Alan A. Shaw
      Designer, owner
      Harbeth Audio UK

      Comment


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

        I am truly amazed and stunned by your remarks, and if by chance, I can be reimbursed my out of pocket expense invested in my SHL5s, M40s and 40.1s I would be most happy to send them to Walter so that he could send them along to some doctor, lawyer or indian chief as I evidently do meet the standards of a Harbeth owner. I also find your dictatorial stance as pertains to the HUG to be very self serving and in the long run more than likely yielding negative results.
        I wish you good health and happiness and much success with Harbeth in the future as I will no longer participate in the HUG.

        Comment


        • Maintaining the HUG ...

          Originally posted by A.S. View Post
          I remind you of my comments made in the early days of this group that Harbeth inherited a great legacy from the BBC. Those professional engineers would not understand the curiosity and claims made about this or that accessory. They would set about revealing the essence of the improvement, then refine it, enhance and document it. And repeat the process year after year, racking up genuine technical advantages. That is the correct way to make true, real progress.

          I have a duty to protect and promote that heritage, keep it visible and not buried under issues that my predecessors simply wouldn't comprehend. This legacy is entirely engineering based and to stray too far into subjectivism can't sit comfortably here.
          I think we all understand and respect that. But ... isn't the kind of fundamental research and engineering that took place at the BBC, and of which Harbeth is the beneficiary, dependent on a set of historical circumstances that not longer exists and is likely not to recur? Who, these days, is going to pay a group of highly-trained engineers and scientist to spend years doing what you describe? In the field of audio? No one, I venture to say.

          That it happened at all is a minor miracle for which we should all be grateful.

          However, for that reason, it seems to me that it might be an unrealistically high standard to hold other people/companies to, i.e. ones whose products are not based directly on years of high-quality, publicly funded research. It doesn't mean that they shouldn't be rigorous, and rational, and careful and all those other good things - but if no one's paying for the development work, surely commercial considerations have to be kept in mind?

          That said, I fully understand why it's something you would rather just not have anything to do with. But I would suggest - humbly and respectfully - that marketing and science are not the same. You may have studied marketing formally, but the laws of marketing are not like the laws of nature: they are mutable, and change to some degree as people's desires and expectations change (unlike, say, the laws of acoustics). Maslow's hierarchy of needs notwithstanding, your engineering mandate and mission notwithstanding, I'd suggest that in today's market what you want most of all is a passionate, committed core group of customers who will never leave you. And you have that, and you might think twice about driving them away because of a few of them sometimes want to talk about things that sometimes personally drive you batty. I think that in an increasingly fractured world, people want things that are real and solid that they can believe in - but they also want to feel, at that same time, that they are somehow part of that, and that's where I think your marketing values and your scientific values might clash a bit.

          Personally, I'm sceptical of talk in the audio industry about "we need more young people to take part". This is not new - the trade magazines have been writing about this for many years now. And yet, the industry survives, and the really good companies even thrive. Harbeth, for example, has more business than it can handle: so much so, in fact, that you've stopped even seeking reviews, because you just don't need them. Something must be working for you (having a fundamentally excellent product certainly doesn't hurt, but it doesn't always guarantee success either). Are you really so sure there's a problem that needs fixing? Some might say that things are actually going very well.

          On that point, I notice (when I think to check) that there are generally far more guests than registered users on the site at any one time. So who knows, despite the fact that most of the posting is done by a small group, both the "silent majority" and the unregistered guests might find it all very entertaining and check in regularly to see what's new. The important thing is that they're checking in at harbeth.co.uk, and not somewhere else.

          However, there's absolutely no obligation on your part to maintain a user group if you don't believe it's serving any useful purpose. Replace it with a blog, or replace it with a moderated forum, or replace it with nothing. It's your site, and your company, and your speakers will sound just as good. But might the loss of attention and traffic mean lost sales, if not immediately then somewhere down the road? Surely, in deciding what to do, that has to be the key question from a business perspective.

          Comment


          • The survival of the hifi industry ,,,, what can we all do?

            We have been struggling for nearly two weeks to migrate the database from one hosting provider to another. This is unfortunately proving impossible. We will need to trim the database back from 100MB to something much more manageable at about 50-60MB. That should allow us to continue.

            I am continuing this important discussion from the last few posts about supporting the audio industry here.
            Alan A. Shaw
            Designer, owner
            Harbeth Audio UK

            Comment


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

              Useful feedback - thanks.
              Alan A. Shaw
              Designer, owner
              Harbeth Audio UK

              Comment


              • HUG welcomes ....

                This group welcomes all with an open mind and curiosity about Harbeth speakers regardless of race, creed, colour, occupation or social status. There is no membership criteria other that the basic Membership Rules. Nothing has changed in that respect. As I myself , a mere loudspeaker does not consider myself to be in the same income, intellect or social status as the aforementioned, it baffle me why you should feel so strongly. Pragmatists continue to be welcome here.

                Anyway, best wishes to you and thank you for your contributions.
                Alan A. Shaw
                Designer, owner
                Harbeth Audio UK

                Comment


                • Re: Harbeth Monitor 40.1 specific

                  Thought's on using McIntosh MC 275 Mk IV or V tube amp (75WPC) with my M-40.1's? I've been using a Plinius SA-102 class A SS amp for 3 years with good success, but really would like to try a tube amp. Listening room is 15' wide x 21' long with 6 to 7' ceilings. I listen at moderate volume levels (classical, Jazz, female vocals, acoustic rock.

                  Appreciate your comments, especially from those that have used or heard this amp before with Harbeth speakers.

                  Thanks,
                  Paul

                  Comment


                  • Re: Harbeth Monitor 40.1 specific

                    I've used the original MC275 amps with great success with the M40.1's. The speakers are an easy drive and you can use a wide variety of amps with no problem at all. The 75 watt's per side from your Mac's will be fine.

                    Comment


                    • Re: Harbeth Monitor 40.1 specific

                      My 40.1's are in a room similar in size to yours 6-7' ceilings x 15' wide x 21' long. You should be fine with 40.1's, assuming you treat your room and don't set them up too close to other walls. Mine sit approx. 3' away from side walls and 5' away from the front wall (mine are positioned along the short wall and my room is treated with eight GIK 244 acoustic panels). You can see my system on Audiogon under username "Pdreher". I highly recommend the 40.1's and prefer them over my previous speaker, the well regarded Dynaudio C-4's.

                      Comment


                      • Re: Harbeth Monitor 40.1 specific

                        I've gone ahead and purchased the McIntosh MC275 MK V to replace my Plinius SA-102. The amp and some NOS tubes for the signal tubes should be here for me to install in about a week. Looking forward to trying a tube amp form the first time.

                        Comment


                        • Re: Harbeth Monitor 40.1 specific

                          update... I've now had the McIntosh MC275 MK V running with the stock tubes for approx. 6 hours and the sound is fantastic. Currently listening to Miles Davis "Kind of Blue" redbook cd, and the sound is remarkably better than I've experienced in any of my previous system iterations. My first foray into using a tube amp has been an overwhelming success. If you've not tried a tube amp with your Harbeth's, I think you are missing out.
                          ;o)

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by pdreher View Post
                            update... I've now had the McIntosh MC275 MK V running with the stock tubes for approx. 6 hours and the sound is fantastic. Currently listening to Miles Davis "Kind of Blue" redbook cd, and the sound is remarkably better than I've experienced in any of my previous system iterations. My first foray into using a tube amp has been an overwhelming success. If you've not tried a tube amp with your Harbeth's, I think you are missing out.
                            ;o)
                            pdreher,

                            congrats! enjoy !
                            In your room with that size, do you have bass problems with the M40.1 ?

                            Thanks for the inputs.
                            Ferds

                            Comment


                            • No bass problems, however my room is well treated with eight GIK 244 panels.

                              Comment


                              • Hi Jeff
                                I have the Harbeth Monitor 40.1 on Skylan stands (Sand Filled) with Herbies big fat dots between the speaker & stand in my room, my room measures 10.5 meter wide x 7.5 meters x 2.450 meters high, the flooring is 25 mm wood NZ Tawa floor boards over 400 mm X 50 mm wood floor joists.
                                I use Moroccan rugs to help dampen the room which is quite live, there is 2 leather lounge chairs and 4 seater leather sofa that also helps.
                                I have tried several amplifiers with the Monitor 40.1 that I have on hand, the Pass Labs XA30.5, Pass Labs INT 150 & the Pass Labs X 350.5.
                                I really like the sound of the Pass XA 30.5 on the Monitor 40.1 very musical sounding but the bass is not as tight as I like it so I am now using either the Pass Labs INT 150 or the Pass Labs X350.5.
                                The Pass Labs X350.5 is my personal favorite on the Harbeth Monitor 40.1 in my room matched with a with a very good Tube preamplifier for my musical tastes, the bass is very tight and controlled plus has great texture & tone to the bass notes.
                                Thanks Jason.

                                Originally posted by Jeff Day View Post
                                Hi Alan,

                                Thanks for asking, I appreciate your thoughtfulness in trying to help me sort things out.

                                My listening room is approximately 20 feet wide, 29 feet long, and the ceiling is of variable height from about 10 feet to 20 feet. The floor is carpeted, and the room is treated with 3 Acoustic RWL-3 Acoustic Conditioner panels in the rear corners and one sidewall (http://www.positive-feedback.com/Iss...tic_revive.htm).

                                The speakers are about 110 inches apart, 55 inches from the side walls (measured at the speaker side), and about 55 inches from the wall behind them (measured at the rear of the speaker). The speakers were set up according the method described in Jim Smith's book Get Better Sound where you adjust speaker position to give the most natural string bass sound (Ray Brown's bass was used).

                                It's probably easier to show a couple of room photos than describe it, so please see the accompanying photos.





                                Best,

                                Jeff
                                Attached Files
                                Thanks Jason.

                                www.parmentersound.com

                                Comment

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