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Feb. 2018
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New Harbeth Monitor 40.2

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  • New Harbeth Monitor 40.2

    Harbeth is launching the all new model: M40.2 but HUG remains silent on this event!

    Only today the information about M40.2 was published on the Harbeth webpage, but not many details were revealed. I'm particularly interested in the changes made in relation to the M40.1. What's really new about the new M40.2?

    I noticed that power handling was raised from 200W to 650W following the recent experience, yet the suggested minimal amplifier power was lowered - it was 50W in 40.1, now it's 35W as sensitivity was raised to 86dB.

    Rumors say it's going to have a premiere at the High End show in Munich. It's been kept secret until now, no leaks whatsoever appeared about the work in progress. SHL5+ had been discussed on the HUG long before the launch but now we know nothing about the new project. Good job Harbeth in keeping the secret!

    http://www.harbeth.co.uk/uk/index.ph...0.2%20domestic

  • #2
    A new world standard

    Originally posted by Milosz View Post
    I'm especially curious about the changes made in comparison to the M40.1. What's really new about the new M40.2?
    I'm sure we'll hear all about it eventually. I would guess they received a similar fine-tuning to the reworking of the Super HL5plus: a tweaking of the crossover to optimize frequency response and driver integration even further. I'm guessing also that they got a similar slight tightening and stiffer damping of the bass response, which I suppose might make them more forgiving of less than optimally-damped rooms. They're also a bit more efficient (would be interesting to run the same music with the same amps as the recent video from Holland, to see how it affects the power requirements).

    As for price, they seem to have become considerably more expensive. Not that they're not worth it - I'm sure they are - but it's a serious investment for many. As a professional monitor, I suspect it's the new world standard. A pair of those and a Bryston 14B SST2 (600 Wpc at 8 ohms, 900 Wpc at 4 ohms) would be absolutely unbeatable.

    Comment


    • #3
      M40.2 design thoughts

      That's about it Eric. The runaway success of the SHL5 (Stereophile review apparently in the shops now) made me curious about applying the same magic to the M40.

      Yes a full recosting was undertaken, yes the retail price was corrected and production will commence late summer. Now is the time to grab an M40.1 if you can find a pair.
      Alan A. Shaw
      Designer, owner
      Harbeth Audio UK

      Comment


      • #4
        40.2 vis-à-vis 40.1

        Originally posted by A.S. View Post
        Yes a full recosting was undertaken, yes the retail price was corrected and production will commence late summer. Now is the time to grab an M40.1 if you can find a pair.
        The price increase for the newer version (at retail) appears to be in the range of 25-30%. Is that about right?

        The program[me] power rating is vastly higher for the newer version - now 650W, up from 200W. Were the drivers redesigned to accomplish this increase or did testing show that the existing drivers were capable of withstanding a much higher power level?

        Have you also verified that the cores of the inductors used in the crossover do not saturate at such a higher peak power level?

        Is the bass/woofer driver cone now made of a 'RADIAL' type of material, or only the mid-range driver, as before?

        Comment


        • #5
          Power specs

          I am sure these will be glorious speakers, particularly for those with larger listening rooms, and intent on listening to music with wide dynamics. Unfortunately the price hike will make them even more unaffordable for many ordinary music lovers.

          I also noted something else, that may be new: Harbeth now (?) advises different power requirements for their pro models compared to their technically identical domestic models. I am not sure this is anything new, or that I only noticed it now. I would think serious users had better conform to the suggestions for professional use.

          Comment


          • #6
            Price logic

            Even if the pricing I read is correct, the M40.2 would be the same price as the PMC Fact12 and about £1,000 cheaper than the ProAc K6. If the M40.2 can produce a supreme sound in a large space, I doubt the price would be an issue.

            I got the impression that there is less price sensitivity in that market compared to the SHL5+/M30.1 market. Given the amount of above the line marketing those other companies do, the M40.2 should be a lot more speaker for the money. I replaced PMC Fact8 (current RRP £6,000) with SHL5+ (£3,000) and the latter are much better. If AS's costings come out at £12,000 retail, they must be absolutely magnificent. Problem is it'll cost me £500,000 to buy a bigger house for them.

            Comment


            • #7
              My M40.1s

              The present M40.1 sound glorious in my approx 16 x 16 demo room. Like all Harbeths they are quite room friendly.

              Comment


              • #8
                We're pleased to announce that the June 2015 edition of Stereophile carries a review of the SuperHL5plus.

                Enjoy!
                Alan A. Shaw
                Designer, owner
                Harbeth Audio UK

                Comment


                • #9
                  A response to the Stereophile review of the SHL5plus aboyt power

                  I have written to the editor of Stereophile. A good review but ....................

                  "Editor

                  An excellent review of an excellent speaker by Art Dudley. Having used the Spendor SP1 for many years before switching to Harbeth, and recently replacing the previous SHL5 model with the ‘plus’ version, I agree with Art’s conclusions on the improvements in sound quality delivered by the plus model: it is more transparent, more natural-sounding and more ‘musical’.

                  Like Art I discovered the negative effects of placing four pea-sized balls of Blu-Tack between the bottom of the speaker and its stand. I had used this approach for many years and only discovered the negative effect when I wanted to make a quick comparison between the old and new SHL5 models, and replaced the Blu-Tack with some plastic ‘bumpers’ to allow this. The music was more lively and involving. After some further research and experimentation I ended up using three small disc magnets under each speaker. This more rigid interface gave further improvements in sound quality (to my ears).

                  I feel I have to take issue with the validity of Art’s conclusion “that even the best British box can’t provide the extremes of drama and scale to which….” he has become addicted. If I understand correctly Art normally uses his 25 and 45 watts amplifiers to drive loudspeakers of much higher sensitivity (92 - 96dB) than the Harbeths (86dB). Thus to make any meaningful comparisons of sound quality he would need to use correspondingly more powerful amps with the Harbeths.

                  While the Harbeth recommendation for amplification is indeed a minimum power of 25 watts, some recent measurements by Harbeth reported on their users forum showed that 25 watts may be fine for small-scale acoustic music but several 100 watts will be required for dynamic and / or large-scale music. I once used bridged monoblock amps of 1200 watts with the HL5s and they delivered startling dynamics, but now a mere 275 watts delivers sufficient drama!

                  Regards

                  David Lovell"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Price increase

                    While I applaud the launch of the revised 40.2 and am anxious to hear what it can do !, I do have to raise an eyebrow at such a dramatic increase in pricing over the outgoing 40.1. Perhaps our M.D would comment on what exactly has transpired to generate such a big difference. Is the bass driver a completely new unit ? that is much more costly to source ? Did the cabinet materials cost escalate dramatically to produce such a large box.... etc.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Rcodting manufacturing cost

                      Originally posted by Double D View Post
                      While I applaud the launch of the revised 40.2 and am anxious to hear what it can do !, I do have to raise an eyebrow at such a dramatic increase in pricing over the outgoing 40.1. Perhaps our M.D would comment on what exactly has transpired to generate such a big difference. Is the bass driver a completely new unit ? that is much more costly to source ? Did the cabinet materials cost escalate dramatically to produce such a large box.... etc.
                      Simple answer: the M40.1 was an absolute bargain. The planning of the M40.2 instigated a full re-costing of the model, and we got the shock of our lives when the total cost was rolled up. There had been a costing error in the Bill of Materials, persisting for many years, and once this was corrected, the true cost of making the 40.1/40.2 was exposed.

                      So: if you can get your hands on an M40.1 and you are on a careful budget, now is a very good time. We are still building M40.1 and are likely to do so for some months yet for customers who are entirely satisfied with the M40.1 at its price point.
                      Alan A. Shaw
                      Designer, owner
                      Harbeth Audio UK

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The appreciation of power

                        I'm starting to appreciate the merit of extra power for the SHL5+ and bought some cheap watts today effectively for an extended listen to consider the power vs. performance trade-off between some cheap solid state watts and expensive valve watts.

                        Hifi Dave gave invaluable advise again, and our discussions moved over to the amplification possibilities with the M40.2. The power band from the recommenced 35w minimum up to 650w would seem to open up the possibilities. Would a simple conversion of my 40w triode amps to 80w pentode suffice, or would the true benefit only come with a 300w or 500w muscle amp? My one experience of the latter was that it took ages to get going and I don't fancy the bills of leaving the thing on. Some careful pre-sale evaluation is likely to be in order in the form of a combined speaker/power re-think.

                        Two thoughts occurred to me:

                        1. I've just seen the press release. About £12,000 in cherry sounds like close to £13,000 in Rosewood with stands. Gosh !

                        2. Given this talk of bass slam, I may have trade in my pipe and slippers for blue jeans and a biker jacket.
                        (I was named after a great-grandfather who made a fortune in blue jeans. I got his name, but not the fortune. Right now I'd have preferred the fortune to the name: Louis. )

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Reasonable price!

                          Originally posted by Double D View Post
                          While I applaud the launch of the revised 40.2 and am anxious to hear what it can do !, I do have to raise an eyebrow at such a dramatic increase in pricing over the outgoing 40.1. Perhaps our M.D would comment on what exactly has transpired to generate such a big difference. Is the bass driver a completely new unit ? that is much more costly to source ? Did the cabinet materials cost escalate dramatically to produce such a large box.... etc.
                          It is, indeed, a lot of money but still a bargain against the competition.

                          When you consider the sound quality, performance and build up against some of the telephone numbers, style over substance designs, the M40.2 is very reasonably priced.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Enough power?

                            Ssfas 40W to 80W is a 3dB increase in headroom, do you think that is really enough?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              "get going"?

                              Louis,

                              Your post about cheap and plentiful watts leaves me a bit puzzled. You mention that it (?) took ages to get going, but does this refer to your new cheap brute or to an older powerful amplifier? Any listening experience yet with the new cheap solid state amp?

                              Comment

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