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HUG - here for all audio enthusiasts

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.

The Moderators' decision is final in all matters regarding what appears here. That said, very few Posts are rejected. HUG Moderation individually spell and layout checks Posts for clarity but due to the workload, Posts in the Subjective Soundings area, from Oct. 2016 will not be. We regret that but we are unable to accept Posts that present what we consider to be free advertising for products that Harbeth does not make.

That's it! Enjoy!

{Updated Nov. 2016A}
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Harbeth SHL5 specific

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  • Smells

    Originally posted by Sebastien View Post
    Since I received my SHL5 last June and I've taken them out of the box, I discover a proeminent "rubber, plastic, synthetic smell" from them. I quickly realized that it cames from the Radial woofer. ...
    Hi Sebastien:

    It's not the radial cone, the smell go out for the bass reflex port, also when I play louder the music.

    It is due to the viscoelastic damping material, that it covers the internal walls cabinet, i hope isn´t toxic.

    Best regards, enjoy of your new SHL5 speakers, they are fantastic.

    **Mr. Moderator, please, don´t cut any piece of this text, it is important to explain any doubt on the matter.**

    Comment


    • Air tight room?

      I place my SHL5 in a practically air tight room. I have never experienced any smell except for the the wood smell and varnish, maybe.

      However, many years ago I did experience some pungent smell and vapours around the driver from my other speaker make (Not Harbeth). It was later discovered that it was due high humidity in my country produce vapour condensation that reacts with their glue. After, a few month everything was normal.

      Do you place your Harbeth next to window? Is your place unusually high in humidity?

      ST

      Comment


      • Long-term report from an Harbeth user ....

        Hi everybody

        Having recently (re-)joined the current user group, I just thought I'd post a comment as a long-term Harbeth user. Having experimented with a few speakers since starting my "hifi" career with a Pye Black Box in the 1960's, I invested in a pair of the original HL5s shortly after their introduction in the late 1970s. I enjoyed them immensely for the next quarter-century, finally replacing them with my current Super HL5s in 2004. Mr Shaw took my old units (which were still perfectly functional) back for some purpose of his own - perhaps he just wanted to have a look at these antiques! I had also been using the same amplification and turntable since the '70s, so you can gather I don't upgrade very frequently! By the way, the old amp (a late '70s Yamaha CR 2020 receiver) is still happily playing tunes for a friend of mine, and the Thorens TD150 turntable (1971 vintage), with SME arm, is still spinning discs for another. Quality obviously counts in the long run.

        I hope to achieve similar longevity with my current equipment, which consists of Rotel RA 1062 amplifier driving a pair of Rogers LS3/5as I inherited from my father, with the preamp outputs linked to a Rotel RB1080 power amplifier to drive the Harbeths. This means I get to have two different versions of the "BBC sound", to which I am clearly addicted! I recently purchased a Marantz SA8003 SACD player, as I'm fond also of the "Marantz sound", which seems to be quite compatible with the Harbeths. I don't actually have very many SACDs, as I find recording quality more relevant than differences between formats, but it spins both sort of disc satisfactorily. Actually, I've had more CD players (this is my fourth since the mid-80s) than any other type of audio device, as they don't seem to have quite the longevity of amps and speakers, the previous occupant having recently decided to give up playing any kind of disc. Perhaps it will be my last, as I suspect that eventually I'll rip my disc collection onto some type of server.

        One phenomenon, not entirely welcome, that I noticed after the recent change is that I couldn't help indulging in a certain amount of "listening to the equipment". I regard this as a species of "audiophile disease", one that I credited Harbeth with curing me of (as I thought) more than 30 years ago, as the transparency and consistency of the "Harbeth sound" allows one, as it were, to "delete" the equipment and listen to the music - which is, of course, supposed to be the point of it all. Fortunately, I was able to conclude after a short while that the new system "sounds" very much like the old one (which was the desired outcome) and I can happily go back to being a music lover.

        Anyway, I don't suppose that I'll have much more to contribute here, as I'm not planning any further changes (fingers crossed!). It's very interesting to read of others' experiences with Harbeth - music (and hifi) are truly international! I'm glad so many from around the world share my long-term enjoyment of this fine equipment.

        David Nyman

        Comment


        • Baby daughter ....

          Originally posted by STHLS5 View Post
          Do you place your Harbeth next to window? Is your place unusually high in humidity?...
          No, my SLH5 are in the center of my living room. The humidity level is normal. I believe in Francisco post above. We experience the same thing.

          Bests regards,

          Sebastien

          P.s.: actualy, I don't spend much time on the HUG since I have my little daughter of 2 months old. It has also changed my Hifi experience. We still listen to a lot of music, but I don't have much time to sit quietly in front of my Harbeth for a listening session.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Sebastien View Post
            No, my SLH5 are in the center of my living room. The humidity level is normal. I believe in Francisco post above. We experience the same thing.

            Bests regards,

            Sebastien

            P.s.: actualy, I don't spend much time on the HUG since I have my little daughter of 2 months old. It has also changed my Hifi experience. We still listen to a lot of music, but I don't have much time to sit quietly in front of my Harbeth for a listening session.
            Hi, exactly, the problem isn´t the humidity, is the viscoelastic polymer, (the black layer, of the speaker rear cover):



            I would like to know the material composition, or to what extent is health dangerous, I´ve been standing the unpleasant smell like to petroleum, (the viscoelastic material is a petroleum derived), since a lot of months ago.

            It will be great, if Mr. Shaw, could to explain something about this problem.

            Otherwise, i am delighted with my Harbeth speakers, they are very musical.

            Regards.

            Comment


            • Hi

              An interesting photo. This does not appear to be a recent model as (1) the port is not offset from the centre line and (2) there does not appear to be a super tweeter.
              See:
              http://www.harbeth.co.uk/hifispeaker...rhl5/index.php

              regards

              David

              Comment


              • Originally posted by davidlovel View Post
                Hi

                An interesting photo. This does not appear to be a recent model as (1) the port is not offset from the centre line and (2) there does not appear to be a super tweeter.
                See:
                http://www.harbeth.co.uk/hifispeaker...rhl5/index.php

                regards

                David
                Hi David,
                That is 7 not the 5

                Cheers
                "Bath with Music"

                Comment


                • Originally posted by davidlovel View Post
                  Hi

                  An interesting photo. This does not appear to be a recent model as (1) the port is not offset from the centre line and (2) there does not appear to be a super tweeter.
                  See:
                  http://www.harbeth.co.uk/hifispeaker...rhl5/index.php

                  regards

                  David
                  Yes, is a recent model; is the Harbeth Compact 7 ES-3.

                  Is an example to see the viscoelastic polymer, that cause the unpleasant smell.

                  Regards.

                  Comment


                  • Shl5

                    OK
                    I guess I just read your contribution to the Super HL5 thread and assumed that that was what was being discussed. My mistake.

                    David

                    Comment


                    • Super HL5 at RMAF

                      This paragraph is from avguide.com (affiliated with Hi Fi + and the The Absolute Sound), specifically their coverage of this year's Rocky Mountain Audio Fest:
                      TAS writer Dr. Robert E. Greene has commented favorably on Harbeth designs many times, and I’m ready to join in, too, now that I’ve heard Harbeth’s Super HL5 ($4995), a beautiful three-way, three-driver standmount monitor cast, more or less, in the mold of classic BBC studio monitors from the past. If you wanted to, you could analyze this speaker’s strengths using the usual catalog of audiophile virtues, but that would be missing the central point. These babies purely and simply manage to sound like music, while leaving the all-important element of natural, organic warmth intact (an essential musical ingredient that, through many über-speakers, often gets lost in translation).

                      Comment


                      • SHL5 woofers?

                        hi all,

                        is it still valid that SHL5 woofers are not available? since i am very close in buying a new pair of speakers for myself early next year i would feel more comfortable knowing that full repair parts still exist for my new speakers in case something goes wrong...my mistake that being...

                        best regards from Athens

                        Vasilis

                        Comment


                        • SHL5 woofers

                          my query relates to post 6 of this threat (by Mr Alan Shaw)

                          {Moderator's comment: typographic error corrected. Obviously the SHL5 woofer has been in continuous production for many years and is and will continue to be. Thanks for pointing out this error in a 2006 post.}

                          Comment


                          • SHL5 woofer

                            You are most welcome since your reply is good news for me as well thanks for your prompt reply.

                            Nothing to worry about a SHL5 purchase then!

                            ps since my registration i think i have read most of this useful, at least, forum... but repetition, as we say in Greece, is mother of knowledge

                            Comment


                            • My new SHL5 - EXACTLY what I wanted (no fatigue) MUSIC!

                              it's been almost a week now, since i received my couple of SHL5.. i immediately fell in love with the sound actually it is music thas's coming out of the speakers... moving on from ProAc response series, i think i've finally found what EXACTLY i was looking for, MUSIC without listening fatigue.... a big thanks to alan & harbeth

                              Comment


                              • Listening room temperature

                                quick question... i've read somewhere about in room temperature spectrum for the harbeths to run efficiently... does this include both radial and radial2 models? if yes could you please repeat once again this spectrum... I live in Athens, Greece and even though high humidity is not tthe case here high temperature for long periods during the year is...

                                {Moderator's comments: there is absolutely no issue with using Harbeth speakers in Athens where we have many very happy customers. This is one of those issues where we almost regret raising the subject because even rational discussion of basic mechanics and temperature creates anxiety when our objective is the exact opposite,}

                                Comment

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