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Feb. 2018
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Harbeth Monitor 40.1 specific

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  • Thank you. These are indeed the original M40 and shipped to your country in 2006. We cannot comment on their history during the past five years.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by STHLS5 View Post
      Dear Adnan,

      When you said “Vocals through a horn or a cave” I think you are saying the vocals are sometimes too far at the back compared to other speakers. Am I correct to say that? I did experience similar effect when I bought my S5HL. Now, I have solved the issue.

      From the Harbeth knowledge base you will find different characteristics of loudspeakers. I may be wrong but I think most of today’s loudspeakers were deliberately made “'Pinched', 'pushed', 'shouting', 'colored' type which on first listening may sound attractive. They are unnatural and can become fatiguing.

      I noticed that you have a big room, and it is very possible that you have placed the Harbeth M40 too wide apart. I made the same mistake with my Super 5. Try making the speakers closer, and you would notice that the vocal presentation is more forward than placing the loudspeakers too far apart. Alternatively, you can use my somewhat unorthodox method of listening to vocals through one loudspeaker only and see if they have the quality I am looking for. Trust me, Harbeth will give the most accurate representation. In short, they don't lie as I discovered just yesterday the thunder sound in a track I am very familiar with was actually man made sound, maybe made by hitting a oil drum or flapping a large metal plate to sound like a thunder.

      If I may suggest, you may want to consider the newer and better Harbeth. The M40.1 would be nice or even the S5HL.

      ST
      Dear ST,

      I really don't remember exactly, I had spontaneously noted down this way. What I remember is: instruments were solid but vocals were not, and vocals were more far behind the instruments.

      Speakers were about 4m apart, and I was changing my seat back and forth between 2m to 5m to find the sweet spot....
      3m or a bit closer placed seat was the most comfortable one to get 3D soundstage. Next time I'll listen once more after moving them closer to each other. Alan and Derek's conversation is mono, so I'm planning to listen through one speaker as you do.
      Did you have a chance to listen M40.1 and S5HL together, to see the difference or their strengths over each other?

      Thank you for your contribution.

      Comment


      • Experience of M40

        Hi, I heard as follow:

        - 1st gen m40 (tuning ports below woofer) and m40.1 in a same room with different source and amps,
        Both sound excellence with solid presence healthy vocal imaging.

        - m40.1 in a user house
        Same as above, solid mid and presence vocal.

        - 2nd gen m40 (tuning ports in between woofer and radial mid driver) side by side with SHL5, M30 and P3ES2 with same source and amps
        M40 sound most presence, solid and effortless from top to bottom with wonderful vocal and midrange presence.

        The vocal presentation is source or album dependence. If the recording mid or vocal is forward, m40's mid will sound forward, if laid back, m40's mid will sound laid back. You can try to listen the album you tested on m40 by using a headphone if you hear any artefact echo sound.
        "Bath with Music"

        Comment


        • I'll order M40.1

          Originally posted by keithwwk View Post
          Hi, I heard as follow:

          - 1st gen m40 (tuning ports below woofer) and m40.1 in a same room with different source and amps,
          Both sound excellence with solid presence healthy vocal imaging.

          - m40.1 in a user house
          Same as above, solid mid and presence vocal.

          - 2nd gen m40 (tuning ports in between woofer and radial mid driver) side by side with SHL5, M30 and P3ES2 with same source and amps
          M40 sound most presence, solid and effortless from top to bottom with wonderful vocal and midrange presence.

          The vocal presentation is source or album dependence. If the recording mid or vocal is forward, m40's mid will sound forward, if laid back, m40's mid will sound laid back. You can try to listen the album you tested on m40 by using a headphone if you hear any artefact echo sound.
          That makes a sense, thank you...

          I've called the man selling his M40 to test again at this weekend. He seems got tired of me, he said I'm extremely careful and analytical. He added it sounds just as I heard before and there are three other people who want to buy it; he thinks it probably will be sold before weekend. I tried to learn if it has been damaged-repaired or modified, he said he has no idea, since he's not the first owner and “didn't use it so much”.

          When I first listen that vintage speaker I didn't know anything about Harbeth. It was the first time I had seen that there is a speaker with that brand name. Now I know that midrange and vocals are the Harbeth's priority. So, I have no doubt about 40.1
          This experience has induced me to buy a new one, never think of buying 2nd hand.

          I surely made up my mind; I will order a new pair of 40.1 after X'mas, as soon as our new house gets ready to move in. If ever I feel some of my old CD's are boring (because of record quality or something else) through Harbeth's, then I'll keep them (with CD’s that sound quality doesn’t come 1st) in living room where our multichannel HomeTheatre system is.

          Why don’t you come to share your thoughts about preparing their room:
          http://www.harbeth.co.uk/usergroup/s...1163#post11163

          Comment


          • "Cave sound" solved - CD transport faulty

            Originally posted by A.S. View Post
            ...vocals that sounded as if "... singing through a horn shape pipe or from a cave"...
            In the end matter is resolved: the CD transport goes out of phase and now vocals come from a cave all the time (regardless of the speaker and the other system components). I think I couldn't understand whats happening, since it was occuring occasionally then. I'm sorry for any inconvenience.

            I'm happy to see it was not because of projected-recessed vocal preference of mine. I like what Harbeth speakers offer. I like to sit among audience, not among players:-)

            I have no chance to listen M40.1 before purchasing. I'm planning to get it with Audio Research DSi200 amplifier. I remember basses from M40 were full and loose my taste... well, it was in that untreated room and with the same cd transport:-)

            In earlier messages somewhere Alan had told that M40.1 has drier bass than M40. I'm not sure I can understand what "drier" means exactly. Does that mean I'll get tight and controlled basses through M40.1 and DSi200 amplifier? Or do basses always come fully and deeply from M40 and M40.1? Or is there any other factor that prevents to get tight and controlled bass from my prospective speaker. Any suggestions are welcome! There is no WAF for my room (only), so I can make any extreme acoustic corrections.

            Comment


            • 40.1 bass response - surprised if you are not pleased

              I can't speak to how the M-40.1's will work with the DSi200, however
              I can tell you that with the three amps I have used with the M-40.1's, the bass response was always deep and full-bodied. I'd be very surprised if you are not pleased with the bass response.

              Comment


              • Drier = tighter bass

                Your description "tight and controlled" would agree with my understanding of the term "drier bass".

                Comment


                • M401 clean bass

                  The M40.1 is tight, clean, fast and punchy with all the amps I have used with them. I doubt you will have any reservations about their performance at all.

                  However, I would advise you try the ARC and other amps before you buy. The M40.1 is quite an easy load and you might not need such an expensive amp to produce good sounds.

                  Comment


                  • Various amps - subjective experience

                    Dear pdreher and KT88,
                    thank you, it's nice to hear that I won't get a loose bass.



                    Originally posted by hifi_dave View Post
                    The M40.1 is tight, clean, fast and punchy with all the amps I have used with them. I doubt you will have any reservations about their performance at all.

                    However, I would advise you try the ARC and other amps before you buy. The M40.1 is quite an easy load and you might not need such an expensive amp to produce good sounds.
                    Dear hifi_dave,

                    Actually, I think 100w (at most) is enough for my room. DSi200 (200w ClassD) is about 6k$... when I see the price of lower powere ARC 110 and prepower, I thought DSi200 cheaper relatively :-)

                    Seriously, you're right I'd better try other amps when it arrives. Which amps do you offer me to listen with M40.1?

                    All amps I could find around and listen with vintage M40 had different tastes, all sounded so good enough to take it home as for all timbre, musical and sound quality, none of them could control the basses, I got loose bass; striking positive and negative sides from others to my humble taste that I could hear and had noted down are:

                    ARC: soft (not edgy), forgiving bad recordings and also a bit romantic and extremely detailed as well, huge soundstage and biggest images - I liked best
                    Inpol2: deep soundstage but no tactile images
                    Pass Labs (I don't remember the model): very clear sound, but soundstage depth and width has lost
                    Accuphase 550: razor sharp and relatively projected images, soundstage moved closer altogether
                    ATC-SIA2:wide and deep soundstage, palpable images, fantastic percussion and piano, not fatiguing but felt boring to listen with Harbeth... on the other hand almost heaven with ATC speakers 50 and 100 besides soundstage was not captivating as M40
                    Pathos Logos: the string instruments are dazzling but treble goes too bright for my taste

                    Comment


                    • British amps - great sound, good value

                      All you can do is listen to a variety of amps to decide which is best for you in your system. You have already listened to a few but perhaps have not found your ideal match.

                      I have no idea what is available to you but I get excellent results with Croft, Sugden, LFD, Naim, Rega and the newly introduced Albarry. All British amps and very good value.

                      Comment


                      • which amp?

                        no hope for Croft, LFD, and Albarry; but I can reach the distributors of Sugden, Naim and Rega here. I wish they have any amps on demo.

                        I am already going to buy the speaker without having a test, so why not the amp? :-)
                        which model do you think match better with M40.1 in favour of getting correct instrumental timbre, deepest and widest soundstage present in the recording, tactile images, not harsh but detailed upper tones, tight bass, and doesn't kill speaker's mid and vocal richness, not sterile etc.

                        Actually all I want is: my amp shouldn't limit the speakers abilities, I want to get most of the M40.1 is capable of.
                        for instance do you mean I can not hear any stunning difference between masterclass or A21 series of Sugden through M40.1 in my room?

                        Comment


                        • Amps are different

                          There are distinct differences between the amps, not as much as with speakers but there are characteristics you should hear.

                          If you want richness and warmth, I would suggest the more expensive Sugdens and Naim plus the Rega Osiris if that is in your budget. If you can, you should compare these with whatever else is available to you, using the M40.1's as the speakers.

                          Comment


                          • Amps and difefrences

                            Originally posted by hifi_dave View Post
                            There are distinct differences between the amps, not as much as with speakers but there are characteristics you should hear.

                            If you want richness and warmth, I would suggest the more expensive Sugdens and Naim plus the Rega Osiris if that is in your budget. If you can, you should compare these with whatever else is available to you, using the M40.1's as the speakers.
                            When I was new at photograpy hobby, I was trying to find out the optics which gives sharp images, vivid colors etc., then I have realised that composition and the light is more important to get a good image. Probably I'm looking at wrong directions for listening music at the moment... what do you (as a long term user) think a newbie should look for when choosing amp and source for M40.1?

                            Comment


                            • Amps

                              Originally posted by A. E. View Post
                              ... A21 series of Sugden through M40.1 in my room?...
                              I already made some reserve regarding the "poor" bass that the Sugden A21al provided with my SHL5 at home. I tested that unit few weeks ago. You can find the post on the HUG.

                              I was more impress in everyway by the Zen amplifier a 10W class A design by Nelson Pass. Many DIY'ers constructed it in the past.

                              Sebastien

                              Comment


                              • Giant-killing is my speciality!

                                All you can do is choose which amp gives you the most pleasure through the M40.1.

                                I have mentioned a few amps which give me the most natural and entertaining sound, there are others but these are also good value. As a dealer, I take delight in finding 'giant killing' products for my customers.

                                Comment

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