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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.

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.

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M40 vs M40.1

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Gan CK View Post
    If you understand how the BBC thin wall cabinet works, you'll understand why Harbeth will naturally be superior when it comes to reproducing that oscillating effect of a musical instrument. As far as i am concerned, electrical instruments don't have a sound of their own so how can one draw any reference to them with regards to tonality, timbre & harmonics.? Of course if someone can show me otherwise, i too shall stand humbly corrected! Many speakers can reproduce sound but not many can reproduce acoustic instruments & voices well.
    This is a friendly forum so let's keep it that way!
    Originally posted by keithwwk View Post
    Hi timleety,

    The way you post reminded me another guy nick name “Fugazi” in “other forum” in Singapore (Just realized you had changed your location from “Singapore” to “the red dot”)..

    Anyway, please try to visit below link to find your answer on "harmonics" and if you detect any "out of tune".

    Harbeth's history in speaker cone research Pt. 2
    http://www.harbeth.co.uk/uk/index.ph...okdetail&id=16

    To my ear, I do feel Radial cone is superior to other cone material….by listening? Hm…of casue, yes, is by listening. That’s why I am in HUG and I love Harbeth’s sound.

    Personal taste and subjective feelings in involved in this hobby. If you do not agree, plese feel free to disagree.

    Anyway, this is Rich thread talking abt m40 vs m40.1. Let's go back to the original topic.

    Cheers
    Hi keithwwk, I make no attempts at hiding my identity, in fact my ID on this forum is my actual name, and we have met before on amicable terms.

    Was I unfriendly in questioning your statement? Unless you feel that there is no room for discussion when it comes to your conclusions. If electronic music is irrelevant to "tonality, timbre & harmonics", are we assuming that all Harbeth listeners listen soley to acoustic music? If not, how did you decide that the Harbeth trounces the B & W on all counts?

    My point is, how does one come to an informed opinion regarding how accurately Speaker A/B reproduces harmonics. Are we really able to "hear" the harmonics? It is enough to say that one prefers a Harbeth over another make, I personally feel it is unfair to make comparisons to other speakers based on one's very subjective aural impressions.

    Yes Keith you are right - on with the programme.

    Comment


    • #17
      Originally posted by Gan CK View Post
      As far as i am concerned, electrical instruments don't have a sound of their own so how can one draw any reference to them with regards to tonality, timbre & harmonics.?
      Hi Gan, I actually know of musicians who can successfully identify (by listening) the sound of a Gibson Les Paul over the sound of a Fender Tele. Or the kind of pedals used in between.

      The Moog, Fender Rhodes and Wurlitzer are equally valid "electrical" (as you say) keyboards with a distinct sound ("tonality, timbre & harmonics") of their own.

      Check out this webiste: http://paulineoliveros.us/. It shows that "other" kinds of music that are "out there" are very much alive and well. And recognised and acclaimed.

      So let's not dismiss other kinds of music because we don't dig. I am not arguing with you, simply offering an alternative view.

      Comment


      • #18
        Originally posted by keithwwk View Post
        Anyway, please try to visit below link to find your answer on "harmonics" and if you detect any "out of tune".

        Harbeth's history in speaker cone research Pt. 2
        http://www.harbeth.co.uk/uk/index.ph...okdetail&id=16
        Why would you point me to a Harbeth (commerical, not acedemic) page documenting the development of the cone when the speaker in question is a B & W? The article makes no mention whatsoever on "harmonics", nor support your claimed knowledge of the term.

        Try this instead: http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=11906. If you think the discussion is terribly technical, then my question is how does one "hear" harmonics and decide which speaker is "better" in that aspect?

        I really wonder if you truly understand what I'm trying to get across.

        Comment


        • #19
          Ah, that explains the hostility earlier. Anyway, i agree with Keithwwk that we've gone "out of tune" on this one. No point getting on to each other's throat on who's right or wrong as mileage & experience varies from one individual to another.

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by timleety View Post
            Why would you point me to a Harbeth (commerical, not acedemic) page documenting the development of the cone when the speaker in question is a B & W? The article makes no mention whatsoever on "harmonics", nor support your claimed knowledge of the term.

            Try this instead: http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=11906. If you think the discussion is terribly technical, then my question is how does one "hear" harmonics and decide which speaker is "better" in that aspect?

            I really wonder if you truly understand what I'm trying to get across.
            Hi timleety,

            I think you shd read carefully what you had posted here. You shd able to see nobody but you keep mentioning "B & W" and nobody but you keep saying "B & W out of tune". You like to say that, I got no comments.

            I was expressing my view on "harmonics" and "out of tune" only. It is ok if you do not agree what I said. I am alright to agree to your disagree.

            I am here to learn to share but not debate.

            Cheers
            "Bath with Music"

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by timleety View Post

              Is not pitch derived from the perceived structure of harmonics?
              I believe the correct answer to this is "no". As I understand it, pitch derives from the fundamental frequency of a note. The harmonics, or overtones, are at multiples of the fundamental, so if the fundamental is in tune, i.e. at the correct pitch (e.g. A = 440hz), then the harmonics will be in the proper relation to the fundamental.

              I have no idea what Gan CK meant to say, but I'd hazard a guess that he might have been to referring to the excellent low-level resolving capability of Harbeth speakers: because harmonics typically are much lower in amplitude than the fundamental, but determine the character or timbre of an instrument, Harbeths will have a very "true to life" quality at least in part because they do resolve the harmonics very well, and hence instruments sound through them very much as they sound in real life.

              Now, what is the "real" sound of an electric guitar, say, can be a complicated question. I tend to agree that music that uses electric or electronic instruments (much of which I'm a fan of) is inherently no less artistically valid than acoustic music. It's just harder to say what those instruments "should" sound like (though they also sound great through Harbeths). I think this is why Harbeth puts so much emphasis on natural reproduction of voice. We all know what voices sound like, and we can all hear it if they're not reproduced properly.

              Incidentally, I mean no slight against any other speaker brand and I'm not making comparisons. To each his own.

              Sorry to all for perpetuating the off topic discussion.

              Comment


              • #22
                OK...I'm near to sorry that I mentioned B&W, but this journey I'm presently on makes the reference valid - predominantly because until now I had found the 801 S3's to be nearest MY musical ideal.

                The M40's replaced a pair of Monitor Audio PL-300's, another speaker I gleefully admit I enjoyed a great deal...I have yet to hear a speaker that could remain as composed as the PL-300's at elevated volumes, unfortunately I only listen to music "loud" these days when I get the penchant to have Page and Plant in my listening room. In direct comparison to the M40's, the MA's were less "real" through the all important midrange.

                Stepping back to the 801 S3's, I will disclose that the most recent pair I owned had heavily modified and custom upgraded external XO's, these "changes" brought the 801's to a performance level that amazed me (still don't know why I sold them). Happily I report that the M40's are delivering similar performance while listening at low to medium volumes...at higher volumes I'm finding a little loss in clarity, but I'm working through things like stand height etc. before I send up an alarm.

                Rick.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by audio39 View Post
                  OK...I'm near to sorry that I mentioned B&W, but this journey I'm presently on makes the reference valid - predominantly because until now I had found the 801 S3's to be nearest MY musical ideal.

                  The M40's replaced a pair of Monitor Audio PL-300's, another speaker I gleefully admit I enjoyed a great deal...I have yet to hear a speaker that could remain as composed as the PL-300's at elevated volumes, unfortunately I only listen to music "loud" these days when I get the penchant to have Page and Plant in my listening room. In direct comparison to the M40's, the MA's were less "real" through the all important midrange.

                  Stepping back to the 801 S3's, I will disclose that the most recent pair I owned had heavily modified and custom upgraded external XO's, these "changes" brought the 801's to a performance level that amazed me (still don't know why I sold them). Happily I report that the M40's are delivering similar performance while listening at low to medium volumes...at higher volumes I'm finding a little loss in clarity, but I'm working through things like stand height etc. before I send up an alarm.

                  Rick.
                  Hi Rick, i'd recommend that you try the M40 with open frame unfilled metal stands.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by EricW View Post
                    I believe the correct answer to this is "no". As I understand it, pitch derives from the fundamental frequency of a note. The harmonics, or overtones, are at multiples of the fundamental, so if the fundamental is in tune, i.e. at the correct pitch (e.g. A = 440hz), then the harmonics will be in the proper relation to the fundamental.
                    It may not be true universally. I have read that the harmonics of a violin is louder than the fundamental. But harmonics are 2X (second harmonics), 3X (3rd harmoics) etc of the fundamental, so they are 1, 2, ... octaves higer, so they are in-tune in that sense.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Gan CK View Post
                      Hi Rick, i'd recommend that you try the M40 with open frame unfilled metal stands.
                      This is were the confusion resides...the bulk of available info suggests that the Skylan stands are best for the M40(.1)?

                      In fact in one thread I found on-line it was suggested that the slight muddying I'm hearing is alleviated by the Skylan stands...so what's the difference?

                      Although the Canadian distributor (Planet of Sound) has suggested the open frame stands, stating they work best with the Harbeth "lossy" bass - I won't claim that I know what that means.

                      Your help on this rather expensive subject would be most appreciated.

                      Rick.
                      Last edited by audio39; 17-03-2010, 11:32 PM. Reason: Additional info

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by keithwwk View Post
                        Anyway, please try to visit below link to find your answer on "harmonics" and if you detect any "out of tune".

                        Harbeth's history in speaker cone research Pt. 2
                        [url]http://www.harbeth.co.uk/uk/index.php?section=products&page=designersnotebookd etail&id=16[/url
                        Originally posted by keithwwk View Post
                        Hi timleety,

                        I think you shd read carefully what you had posted here. You shd able to see nobody but you keep mentioning "B & W" and nobody but you keep saying "B & W out of tune". You like to say that, I got no comments.
                        Hi Keith, just a clarification so we understand each other and let's end the animonsity here - it was really not intended. I guess I was a little frustrated that you and Gan CK don't seem to get what I was trying to say.

                        I think you should read carefully what you posted here, nowhere on the Harbeth link that you recommended makes any mention of harmonics or B & W (or Harbeth) being "out of tune". In any case the quetion was tongue-in-cheek, so I'll refrain from having a sense of humour from here on.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Hi EricW, thanks for the sensible and informative post.

                          Originally posted by EricW View Post
                          I believe the correct answer to this is "no". As I understand it, pitch derives from the fundamental frequency of a note. The harmonics, or overtones, are at multiples of the fundamental, so if the fundamental is in tune, i.e. at the correct pitch (e.g. A = 440hz), then the harmonics will be in the proper relation to the fundamental.
                          Absolutely. Which was why it confounded me that one could say a speaker is better than another in the aspect of "harmonics". Given your explanation, if a speaker is NOT producing the harmonics AT A CORRECT LEVEL IN RELATION TO THE FUNDAMENTAL, the result would be a less realistic and natural portrayal of the instrument. "Out of tune" was said in jest, but unfortunately has taken a rather nasty turn.

                          Incidentally, I happen to agree wholeheartedly that the Harbeth sounds far more natural and realistic than the 801s (which a mate used to own). That was never a point to contend with.

                          Originally posted by EricW View Post
                          Sorry to all for perpetuating the off topic discussion.
                          My sincere apologies to all as well. Back to the topic, our local dealer has hinted that he may be able to bring in Skylan stands for our Harbeths, and I must say I'm curious to give them a try. In my personal experience and opinion, my Super 5s sound better on open frames, though.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by timleety View Post
                            In any case the quetion was tongue-in-cheek, so I'll refrain from having a sense of humour from here on.
                            This is a common problem in casual electronic written communication, most frequently found in e-mail but also in this kind of posting.

                            It's frequently the case that someone will write something intending it to be funny, only to be surprised that the recipient interprets it as hostile, sarcastic, aggressive, whatever. It's very easy to forget, particularly when we're being ironic or humorous (or intending to be) that the usual cues that signal this - tone of voice, facial expression, lift of eyebrows, body language, and so on - are all missing. All that's there are the words, and you might think they signal your humorous intent (because you know you're being funny), but the reader just doesn't get it.

                            We communicate as much or not more with non-verbal cues as we do with words. Worth remembering, in a context such as this.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by audio39 View Post
                              This is were the confusion resides...the bulk of available info suggests that the Skylan stands are best for the M40(.1)?

                              In fact in one thread I found on-line it was suggested that the slight muddying I'm hearing is alleviated by the Skylan stands...so what's the difference?

                              Although the Canadian distributor (Planet of Sound) has suggested the open frame stands, stating they work best with the Harbeth "lossy" bass - I won't claim that I know what that means.

                              Your help on this rather expensive subject would be most appreciated.

                              Rick.
                              Hi Rick, IMHO, Harbeths in general work better with stands that are light, UNFILLED & open framed, even more so for M40. The reason for this is to prevent the speaker from sounding too thick or lacking in sparkle. Just to quote an example, a friend of mine recently had his stands filled with kitty little & didn't like the sonic results as the sound became dead. High end extension & airiness were curtailed though bass became a tad more solid. The M40 is a very substantial sounding speaker & if the stands are of the heavy & mass loaded variety, it might get a tad too thick & loss of clarity will result.

                              I haven't heard any Harbeth with Skylan before so can't comment on how they would sound. My best bet is to get someone to custom build a pair of open framed metal stands with pillars about 1.5 to 2 inches thick & do not fill the pillars with anything. Just let it ring. Make sure its spiked at the 4 corners. Try it & see if it works for you.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Gan CK View Post
                                Hi Rick, IMHO, Harbeths in general work better with stands that are light, UNFILLED & open framed, even more so for M40. The reason for this is to prevent the speaker from sounding too thick or lacking in sparkle. Just to quote an example, a friend of mine recently had his stands filled with kitty little & didn't like the sonic results as the sound became dead. High end extension & airiness were curtailed though bass became a tad more solid. The M40 is a very substantial sounding speaker & if the stands are of the heavy & mass loaded variety, it might get a tad too thick & loss of clarity will result.

                                I haven't heard any Harbeth with Skylan before so can't comment on how they would sound. My best bet is to get someone to custom build a pair of open framed metal stands with pillars about 1.5 to 2 inches thick & do not fill the pillars with anything. Just let it ring. Make sure its spiked at the 4 corners. Try it & see if it works for you.
                                I would tend to agree. On mass-loaded stands I've heard clearer dilineation of the lower registers but like you said, seems to stifle the highs. Letting it ring, in the case of Harbeths, seems to be the best thing the speakers like!

                                Comment

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