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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.

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Harbeth SHL5 specific

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  • Re: Harbeth SHL5 specific

    thank you guys for your inputs..very helpful...

    i will experiment with the very low cut off to the sub as denjo suggests and see if i can detect a bluring of the midbass and mid..

    i have had experience integrating a good sub with another brand of mains but im not sure if the harbeths will adapt well...

    Comment


    • Re: Harbeth SHL5 specific

      Hi Alan

      I have several questions relating to cabling of Harbeth SHL5s.

      First, if I don't bi-wire (and indeed simply use the bridging bracket provided by Harbeth), does it make a difference whether the speaker cables are attached to the top pair or lower pair binding post?

      Second, if I bi-wire, does it matter that I use two different brands of cables, one for HF and the other for LF? What if the cables are not exactly the same length, one is slightly longer by 3 feet?

      There is also the question of spades v bananas; from what I have heard from one cable manufacturer who conducted several blind tests, the worst spades are better than the best banana connection. What is your view about this?

      When I briefly bi-wired, I found that the sound was more detailed, suggesting that bi-wiring is an adavantge. During the short time listening time, I would say the difference was quite discernible.

      I would appreciate your views.

      Best Regards
      Dennis

      Comment


      • Re: Harbeth SHL5 specific

        I'm sure that a search here will give you my opinion on bi-wiring. But what matters is not what I think but what you believe. You say "During the short time listening time, I would say the difference was quite discernible". That's your answer then!
        Alan A. Shaw
        Designer, owner
        Harbeth Audio UK

        Comment


        • Re: Harbeth SHL5 specific

          Hi Alan

          Thanks for the advice.

          Single runs are indeed much simpler, more practical and safer! I have an aversion to messy cables and bi-wiring will only add to the clutter! So, I will stick with single runs!! )

          I managed to read the Harbeth speaker Guide, for the first time! What a revelation! I discovered that I had my single run speaker cables connected to the upper speaker binding post (HF) rather than, as advised, connected to the lower post. I duly switched connectors and discovered that the bass had more body and everything sounded much better, more organic and whole! Moral: carefully read all instructions and abide with manufacturer's suggestions!

          Best Regards
          Dennis

          Comment


          • Re: Harbeth SHL5 specific

            Finally got my 30th Anniversary SHL-5 today.



            1st track of music I played, my jaws almost drop.

            Comment


            • Re: Harbeth SHL5 specific

              Congratz Dom..finally..not easy...I can very sure it is worth..
              "Bath with Music"

              Comment


              • Re: Harbeth SHL5 specific

                Originally posted by keithwwk View Post
                Congratz Dom..finally..not easy...I can very sure it is worth..
                Yes. After travelling for few hundred miles, I came back set it up, play & WAHLA!!!
                This is what I call MUSIC AT ITS BEST!!!

                Comment


                • Re: Harbeth SHL5 specific

                  After having the SHL5 for a week, no matter what music I played, be it vocals, instruments it sounded so good and so musical.

                  I switched from tubes to solid state and still sound RIGHT!!

                  I wonder what magic Mr Alan Shaw used on this SHL5. Some magic lotion sprinkled on the drivers.

                  Comment


                  • Re: Name plate being peeled off fromHarbeth SHL5

                    Hi Alan,
                    My naughty son peeled off the plastic name plate? Harbeth? on grille of my SHL5, so sad.
                    What adhesive glue would you suggest to me to stick it back? Thx you for your adv.
                    Cheers,
                    Kent

                    Comment


                    • Re: Name plate being peeled off from Harbeth SHL5

                      Hi Alan,
                      My naughty son peeled off the plastic name plate? Harbeth? on grille of my SHL5, so sad.
                      What adhesive glue would you suggest to me to stick it back? Thx you for your adv.
                      Cheers,
                      Kent

                      Comment


                      • Re: Name plate being peeled off from Harbeth SHL5

                        Hi Kent,

                        The best luck I've had is with double sided carpet tape.

                        Don

                        Comment


                        • Re: Name plate being peeled off from Harbeth SHL5

                          I agree with the double-sided tape recommendation. 3M makes some excellent x2 tapes!

                          Best Regards
                          Dennis

                          Comment


                          • Re: Harbeth SHL5 specific

                            Hi Don & Denjo,
                            Thx you so much for your adv.
                            Cheers,
                            Kent

                            Comment


                            • Re: Harbeth SHL5 specific

                              Originally posted by A.S. View Post
                              This thread specifically relates to the SuperHL5
                              I now have a pair of SHL5s for which I posted some impressions on audiogon and I am
                              copying here. (This is not a polished review, just some raw notes.)

                              I am driving them with an Edge NL12.1 amp, EMM CDSD-SE + EMM DCC2-SE digital (using the DCC2's preamp), Stealth Indra IC, Cardas Golden Ref speaker cable, Hydra 8 power conditioner, and a mix of Shunyata Anaconda alpha, Kimber PK10 Palladian, TG SLVR AC cables. One thing I noted is that I had much better results connecting the speaker cable to the upper speaker posts on the SHL5s (denser, more solid, less "shimmery" images.
                              The SHL5s replaced Kharma 3.2FEs which were too unforgiving in the highs on popular CDs.
                              Here are my comments:

                              These are debriefing notes I made to myself.
                              I thought they would be valuable as a kind of rough-draft review that I will add comments to and entertain questions as time goes on, since this is a popular speaker.
                              Thanks for reading.

                              Just as a point of reference, I also do a lot of headphone listening with my pair of Sony MDR R10s and a Ray Samuels B52 tubed headphone amp.

                              Quick comments on SHL5s (2007 30th anniversary edition with upgrade OFC internal wiring) on the floor (still awaiting Skylan Stands):

                              Outstanding overall speaker. No offending characteristics.
                              No longer have to segregate my CDs based on how listenable they are--all are musical. Very nice vocals. Not state-of-the-art imaging in any direction but still has images in a nice 3D space with natural size sounds. A nice balance between fullness and deliniation of image-boundaries. Reminds me very much of Sennheiser 650s (with a great headphone amp) but with better definition and detail. Silky and not abrasive at all. No screeching, grain, or hash or buzziness. Bass is solid and full but not boomy, a bit muddy on the floor, but really excellent on temporary tables I tried for a while. Overall, not nearly as tonally or spatially detailed as former Kharma 3.2s or Wilson WP6s,
                              but none of the pain from overexposure either that led me away from these. More transparent and better soundstaging than former Aerial 10Ts I had, with out the occasional overrought bass or rare piercing lower treble. But, like Aerials, I can sit for long periods with zero fatigue.
                              Very balanced sound from top to bottom. Deep bass or sparkling highs only hinted at, but enough to be satisfying.

                              Sounds better with my single-wire Cardas Golden Ref speaker cable on the upper posts, despite Harbeth's recommendations. Sounds better using EMM DCC2-SE's preamp
                              rather than separate preamps I have (Mac C46 or Jeff Rowland Capri). I use Stealth Indra ICs for all. (Actually, only one pair used for DCC2 to Edge NL12.1 amp.) I also use a Hydra 8 to plug in sources, and plug the amp right into the wall. The amp really grips the bass on the Harbeths well and makes it tight and formidable, but never abusive.

                              Again, I can listen to any disk with no fear, and that is so extremely valuable to me. What a sense of power that my system isn't dictating my musical tastes or moods. But, nonetheless,
                              SACDs sound extrordinary, with real focus and drive, but still relaxing, so I know the Harbeths do reflect the benefits of good upsteam equipment.

                              So, yes, I do miss the live, totally natural, liquid, you-are there sense you get with more sophisticated speakers with great recordings, but I need to live in the real world, too. If I only listened to classical, I would have stayed with the Kharmas with their extreme differentiation of tonality and layered micro-spatial cues that were really a joy, but I need to hear the Beatles and Boston and Blood Sweat and Tears and Chicago and Carole King and all that great British Invasion music without any abuse or abrasion to trigger those important synapses in my brain.

                              Associated gear
                              Edge NL12.1 amp.
                              EMM CDSD-SE and DCC2-SE digital+preamp.
                              Stealth Indra IC.
                              Shunyata Hydra 8 on all but amp.
                              AC cable: Shunyata Anaconda Alpha,
                              Kimber PK10 Palladian, TG SLVR.

                              Similar products
                              Kharma 3.2 CRM-FE,
                              Aerial 10T,
                              Wilson Watt Puppy 6,
                              Apogee Stage.

                              Just to put things succinctly after some more burn-in and listening, my impression is that the SHL5s just create this big, friendly, safe, warm and inviting blob of sound in most of the space between the speakers where all is well.

                              I did some listening to an SACD of Tapestry (Carole King), and the gentle distortion of her voice is now just right,
                              smooth but still detailed, but not harsh. That about sums up the affect these speakers have on everything. It is probably a sound where some of the nasty thorns and sharp edges have been excised, at the expense of some openness
                              or spaciousness, but the character of the sound, the individual personality of the vocal or instrument still comes across, just not as loud and clear as in more revealing speakers. But it is direct, not at all forward, pushy, or heavy. Just plain nice.

                              And yes, I think this may be a coloration of some sorts,
                              as there is a bit of sameness to all recordings, but it is painted in such a pleasant way, you just go with it, in don't-worry-be-happy mode.

                              But again, it is not boring, or rolled off like a tone control would do. It is toned down in a non-electronic way,
                              as if that is the way it sounded in real life, a believable type of softness (or at lease lack of harshness) that rings true.

                              I think this is a a rare speaker I can recommend to people to buy without even hearing it first...

                              These are keepers. It's amazing how many big name speakers have some fatal flaw or need lots of tubes to work well. (Maybe I'll look at 40.1s some time but I have my speakers on the long wall and was afraid they would overdo the bass.) I'm really wary now when speakers are called revealing, which now I'm starting to think is a euphemism for painful. I don't think there's any holy grail in speakers out there.

                              I also like the image sizing on the Harb's. Sometimes you hear a speaker with a big wall of sound and this tiny little telephone-speaker-sized image coming from it.

                              The SHL5s kind of remind me of my old Apogees, which combined live realism with a kind of friendly, relaxed natural sound (a very neat trick). The Harbs can't compete with the truth of the Apogees, but have a deeper, 3D soundfield that you can just lean into.

                              I think, if I thought they were reliable, I would scout out Apogees (or the new Graz versions, I think). My Apogees broke (one of the woofers buzzed) and could not be repaired, and I don't want to hassle with that again. That's why I avoid Quads, too.

                              Thanks for reading this rambling piece, as it was just really a stream of consiousness.
                              Last edited by rgshar; 21-11-2008, 11:10 PM. Reason: Typos and awkward wording corrected.

                              Comment


                              • Re: Harbeth SHL5 specific

                                Thanks for your comments - I felt the same way coming from CD coaxial horns to Compact 7's. The speakers get out of the way of the music - reminds me of a quote from a fellow I know:
                                " when you stop listening to the system and start listening to the music - that is the system you want". Amen.
                                Cheers
                                Andrew

                                Comment

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