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"This Harbeth User Group (HUG) is the Manufacturer's own managed forum dedicated to natural sound from microphone to ear, achievable by recognising and controlling the numerous confounding variables that exist along the audio chain. The Harbeth designer's objective is to make loudspeakers that contribute little of themselves to the music passing through them.

Identifying system components for their sonic neutrality should logically proceed from the interpretation and analysis of their technical, objective performance, since deviations from a flat frequency response at any point along the signal chain from microphone to ear is likely to create an audible sonic personality in what you hear. That includes the contribution of the listening room itself. To accurately reproduce the recorded sound, as Harbeth speakers are designed to do, you would be advised to select system components (sources, electronics, cables and so on) that do not color the sound before it reaches the speakers.

For example, the design of and interaction between the hifi amplifier and its speaker load can and potentially will alter the sound balance of what you hear. This may or may not be what you wish to achieve, but on the face of it, any deviation from a flat response - and the frequency balance of tube amplifiers are usually influenced by their speaker load - is a step away from a truly neutral system. HUG has extensively discussed amplifiers and the methods for seeking the most objectively neutral amongst a plethora of available product choices.

HUG specialises in making complex technical matters simple to understand, aiding the identification of audio components likely to maintain a faithful relationship between the recorded sound and the sound you hear. With our heritage of natural sound and pragmatism, HUG cannot be expected to be a place to discuss the selection, approval or endorsement of non-Harbeth system elements selected, knowingly or not, to create a significantly personalised sound. For that you should do your own research and above all, make the effort to visit an Authorised Dealer and listen to your music at your loudness on your loudspeakers through the various offerings there. There is really no on-line substitute for time invested in a dealer's showroom because 'tuning' your system to taste is such a highly personal matter.

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If faithfully reproducing the sound intended by the composer, score, conductor and musicians in your home and over Harbeth speakers is your audio dream, then understanding something of the issues likely to fulfill that intention is what this forum has been helping to do since 2006. Welcome!"


Feb. 2018
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Speaker Stand Recommendations

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  • Speaker Stand Recommendations

    Hello friends,
    I'll be taking delivery on a pair of rosewood HL5 Plus in February. They're targed for a rectangular room, normal living/family room acoustics and measuring approx. 12X20'. What height speaker stands are recommended? Is there a preference of wood over metal or vice versa?
    I plan to run these with a Mcintosh 5200 integrated amp and a Rega RP6 turn table. Any mistakes there?

    Just finding hi-fi again after a 30 yr hiatus...thanks everyone and Happy New Year!
    gm

  • #2
    I use and recommend Skylan stands from Skylanstands.com. Noel makes stands at the correct height for each Harbeth model.

    Comment


    • #3
      Speaker stands should be stable, and the main tweeter should be at ear height. That main tweeter is 475 mm from the bottom of the speaker, so you can do the sums for your situation. Beyond that, it is only a matter of aesthetics (there is a lot of mythology on the sonic signature of stands).
      The McIntosh 5200 amplifier should be powerful enough, but if you happen to plan on buying a new one, I would prefer a bit more power. As for sources, it is my view that digital sources are technically superior. I am about to sell off my glorious Linn Sondek LP 12/SME3009i/V15iii because it is obviously beaten by even a modest Chromecast Audio. The last 30 years have seen many technical advances.

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      • #4
        I have used Something Solid XF stands for many years with other brands of speaker and always with Harbeth. I've not found anything better and they can be ordered at any height to suit.

        You need to get the main tweeter at your seated ear height.

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        • #5
          Dave/Willem/Don - thanks for the info. Good stuff to check out.

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          • #6
            Interesting that I have found much insistence by "experts" (see the reviews) that stands for the C7ES need to be 19" but no statements about the height of stands for SLH5s. Given that Harbeth give a difference between the bottom of the C7ES to tweeter and the bottom of the SLH5 to tweeter of 35mm (1.5") that would give an equivalent of 17.5" for SLH5s. Skylan says theirs for the SLH5 are 18" but it's unclear if that includes the spikes. Resonant Woods says their standard for SLH5s is 16", plus 3/4' for spikes, but I ordered mine at a custom height of 18" and they will be on footers that can be 1/2". Maybe should have gone 17", but trying not to obsess too much on this issue -- figure that if need be I can always tilt the stand forward a tiny bit. But I know the free stands I was given -- at 14" plus maximum footer extension of 1" are TOO short.

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            • #7
              I just picked up my Resonant Woods Linear II stands for my new SLH5 Plus yesterday. I ordered mine with the ball feet for placement on hardwood floors. With the ball feet screwed in all the way, the distance from the floor to the top of the stand is 17 1/2". I was temporarily using stands loaned to me that are similar to Skylan prior to this. When I owned the C7ES3 speakers I used Skylan stands exclusively. You can't go wrong with either stand if you live in North America. The Resonant Woods stands are solid wood, light weight and are shipped assembled. The Skylan are not assembled although easily assembled, and can be filled with your choice of 'fillings' for lack of a better term. I used clay kitty litter and was very happy throughout the years. Others have used sand, lead shot or rice.

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              • #8
                Hackensack - do not get too obsessed over the height of the actual stand because the criterium is that the tweeter needs to be at ear height. It is just as important to know your ear height when you are in your listening seat. For different people and different seats that will vary

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                • #9
                  Some seats are high, and others low. And some people are tall, and some short. So rather than advice on stand height, the correct approach is to insist on main tweeters at ear height, whatever that may be in a given situation.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by willem View Post
                    Some seats are high, and others low. And some people are tall, and some short. So rather than advice on stand height, the correct approach is to insist on main tweeters at ear height, whatever that may be in a given situation.
                    That's good advice.

                    I assume that the basic logic behind finding the optimum vertical point for the ear relative to the speaker/stand is clear and unambiguous? If not, then an explanation is required because this is actually an objective matter, not a subjective one.

                    In other words, even in this post-truth world, there is a real, physical reason behind this story of stand/speaker height. It's not a random matter of picking a speaker, picking a stand and settling back into the chair if you want the achieve the very best possible Gold Standard sound that any multi-way speaker is capable of giving. To get the optimum, best possible sound, you do have do think the combination through.
                    Alan A. Shaw
                    Designer, owner
                    Harbeth Audio UK

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by A.S. View Post
                      I assume that the basic logic behind finding the optimum vertical point for the ear relative to the speaker/stand is clear and unambiguous? If not, then an explanation is required because this is actually an objective matter, not a subjective one.

                      In other words, even in this post-truth world, there is a real, physical reason behind this story of stand/speaker height. It's not a random matter of picking a speaker, picking a stand and settling back into the chair if you want the achieve the very best possible Gold Standard sound that any multi-way speaker is capable of giving. To get the optimum, best possible sound, you do have do think the combination through.
                      One wonders how many dealers are even aware of the significance of this matter, let alone make any attempt to address it when you are there to audition speakers in their showroom?



                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I don't know any dealers taking trouble over stand height but then again, few dealers stock anything but floor stand speakers unless it's a small, inexpensive model.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by IMF+TDL View Post
                          One wonders how many dealers are even aware of the significance of this matter, let alone make any attempt to address it when you are there to audition speakers in their showroom?


                          This is a non issue for me because I already have most ofl the information I need going into the dealer. I go to the dealer to listen. We also have stand manufacturers around the globe that make stands specifically for each model of Harbeth. A chair, not unlike a dining table, has an average height which I'd imagine is what's taken into consideration when determining the heigh of the stand.

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                          • #14
                            Following advice that Alan gave me at a Harbeth event regarding tweeter height, I got my wife to measure my ear height when I was seated in the rather low reclining chair I occupy when listening to music. I then worked out how tall I needed my speaker stands to be in order to place the main tweeter at the correct height. I ordered some Skylan stands and Noel made the stand legs slightly shorter than usual to achieve this. He's an accommodating guy and was happy to help with this slight modification at no extra cost. I've had different speaker stands (made of different materials) supporting my Harbeths and to be perfectly honest I could tell no difference between them sonically. The Skylans are made specifically to match the dimensions of Harbeth speakers and they look great as a result. That was reason enough for me to get them. Personally, I would worry less about what stands are made from and concentrate on getting the height right for you personally in the chair you'll be using. Then sit back and enjoy what are an extraordinary pair of speakers. Mine impress me every time I use them and that's a lot.

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                            • #15
                              Thanks all for the great info no recommendations. Speakers arrived today and listening now as I type. Some ole K D Lang playing and sounds great. First impressions

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