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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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  • #91
    Re: Super HL5

    J. A. Boonstra,

    I am happy to read that you are happy with your 'new' electronics - and your SHL5s. The terrific mid-range you speak of is - I believe - directly due to the Radial driver; an almost uniquely fine driver.

    In the time I have owned SHL5s and M40s, I have driven them with two different solid state amps and one tube amp. In each case, the sound has been as you described. In a word, wonderful. I have said this in different words before on this forum, but continue to believe it strongly. The Harbeth speakers are marvelous speakers. They sound as wonderful as they do because of this, and not because of the electronics use with them.

    Take care in how you place them in the room and you will indeed enjoy long term listening pleasure!

    Ned

    Comment


    • #92
      Re: Super HL5

      Ned,

      I agree, the SHL5s sound terrific. But my experience is, that the electronics can and will influence the sound. As I mentioned, I have listened to a lot of amplifiers and there clearly is a difference. A loudspeaker, that is as well designed and built as the SHL5, deserves to be fed a good signal from good "electronics".

      The SHL5s are fantastic loudspeakers (that's why I bought them), and in combination with a good setup (good "electronics", the right placement, and so on) the music will get better. And music is what this is all about, right?

      Enjoy your Harbeths as I enjoy mine. Let's play music!

      J.A. Boonstra

      Comment


      • #93
        Re: Super HL5

        Thanks for your message and the link.
        It is always nice to read a good review.

        J.A. Boonstra

        Comment


        • #94
          Re: Super HL5

          J. A. Boonstra,

          I think the only differences we have would be in what we consider good electronics. Well, perhaps in how we audition components - I'm a believer in double-blind testing. That aside, we certainly agree on the Harbeth speakers.
          When I was getting ready to buy new speakers, Harbeth was one of about 3 or 4 makes I was considering. As it turns out, Harbeth was the only one I could find a dealer for in my area - 1 1/2 hours drive away. I am continually grateful to him for taking the time to let me listen to various models, and eventually letting me take a pair home to try in my room. And each time I listen, I feel gratitude towards Alan Shaw for giving us these wonderful instruments.

          Happy listening and Happy New Year!

          Ned

          Comment


          • #95
            Which amplifier NOT for SHL5

            hello,

            in the other threads we discuss, which amplifier is good for a harbeth. I'm interested to learn, which amplifier has to be drop out. So please answer the following questions:

            1) Which amplifiers did your hear with harbeth and it sounds not so good
            2) Which amplifiers did you hear, that sounds good and what is the best?

            regards

            heflo

            Comment


            • #96
              Re: Which amplifier NOT for SHL5

              Originally posted by heflo
              ... I'm interested to learn, which amplifier has to be drop out ...
              Before I hand this over to others for comment, I'd like to clarify a couple of important points from my side, as the designer of the SHL5.

              First, as I have stated here before, ANY competent amplifier regardless of age, solid state or tube, inexpensive or expensive, integrated or separates providing that it is in original condition and serviced to specification, will work very well with the SHL5 - or indeed any other Harbeth. I do not think that very small amps offering just a few Watts are really ideal for such a big speaker but even I have been astonished by how well a 300B (tube) amp can drive a SHL5 under non-controlled listening tests.

              Second: It worries me that implied in the question is that there is some characteristic of the SHL5 that demands an amplifier of specific (high) performance. This is completely untrue.

              Third: As I have also said before here, during the design process (of any Harbeth speaker) I keep a very close watch on my simulator's prediction of the loudspeaker systems impedance - the load the amplifier sees - to be absolutely sure that the speaker will work with any competent amp. In fact, I have two Windows open on my (widescreen) monitor and in one I have the frequency response and in the other the impedance curve. As I make changes to the crossover which changes the frequency response I watch the impedance and no matter how attractive the new system frequency response is, if the system impedance drops low and/or becomes reactive, I immediately abandon that line of design attack and seek another with a more benign impedance.

              Yes, it greatly extends the design process; it is frustating to have an extra level of concern (aside from the frequency response) but it allows me to be nearly 100% sure that I am not swamped with after-sales calls concerning amplifiers - and the proof is that nobody asks me: it is a non-issue.

              Fourth: Again, as stated before, I use very modest electronics right through the design process. Nothing fancy, and available for little money. If I can get great results from such humble equipment - imagine what you can achieve if you want to invest serious money! But it is not necessary to junk perfectly good electronics to become a member of the Harbeth club. Nor, from an ecological point of view should you.

              If you can point me towards an amplifier that meets my criteria above (i.e. is in proper serviceable condition, to original spec) that gives you problems I'd be very keen to borrow it!

              Sorry if this sounds a little hard - but we really do not want to create the impression that there is a problem when there most definitely isn't.
              Alan A. Shaw
              Designer, owner
              Harbeth Audio UK

              Comment


              • #97
                Re: Which amplifier NOT for SHL5

                Greetings Heflo,

                I have found my SHL5's to be very tolerent of a wide range of electronics that I have used with them, for example:

                1-Leben CS600 integrated amplifier, 20-30 watts depending on tubes used,

                2-Shindo Monbrison preamp with Cortese power amp, about 10 watts,

                3-Tom Evans Audio Design Vibe preamp, Pulse power supply, and Linear A amp, about 20 watts.

                All of these amps drove the SHL5 quite easily and to excellent effect. These are all somewhat expensive products, but I also think inexpensive amplifiers like the Naim Nait integrated would work well based on my other experiences with Naim products.

                Did you have any particular amps in mind?

                Kind regards,

                Jeff

                Comment


                • #98
                  Re: Which amplifier NOT for SHL5

                  Hello Heflo,

                  I would consider well what Alan has said. Your SHL5s will sound wonderful with ANY competently designed amp. I have owned SHL5s and now M40s and have used an expensive McIntosh tube amp (loaned to me) and quite inexpensive solid state amps, all to excellent effect. Best get a moderately powered and priced amp and concentrate your energies and remaining funds on getting the best placement of the SHL5s in your room, and getting some room treatment if needed. Happy listening!

                  Ned

                  Comment


                  • #99
                    Re: Which amplifier NOT for SHL5

                    I had the pleasure of hearing the SHL5 at various friend's set-up. They all sound great with the SHL5. Ranging from BAT amps, to vintage Marantz 20watter s/s amps.

                    These speakers are easy to please. Even regular speaker cables from Radio shack sounds good with them.

                    Good stuff!!

                    Comment


                    • Re: Which amplifier NOT for SHL5

                      Just to follow up on Jeff's comment regarding Naim and the SHL5. I am using a Nait 5i integrated amp (50w/ch) with them. I find this to be a great combination. I have no plans to use a more expensive/more powerful amp with the Harbeths. Rather I will improve my source down the road.

                      I'm also just using Naim NACA 5 speaker cable to connect the two.

                      Comment


                      • Can I have too much power?

                        I own two 100watt tube monoblocks (i am waiting for the SHL5 to come this week-i hope). I am just wondering if there is too much power for the speakers. Alan is there going to be a problem?

                        Comment


                        • Power is your servant .... you are the master

                          I think we've covered this one before. It's a common misunderstanding.

                          I assume that your 100W amplifier has a volume control. Correct? I also assume that you are capable of using that control to regulate how much power is delivered to your speakers. It is the user who decides by how much to open the amplifier's 'power gate' to make available the amplifiers power reserve to the speakers. Note the words 'power reserve'. Until you open the dam gate [the volume control] the power is benign, harmless, quiescent.

                          The situation is exactly the same as sitting at the wheel of a turbo charged Bentley* with an 8 litre engine and huge power reserve. The question you could be pondering before you start the engine is 'am I going to lose control of this car and crash it?'.

                          The answer is that the car's throttle (gas) peddle is your amplifier's volume control. IF you stab your foot down to the floor [i.e. turn the volume fully up] you will have so much power avalable to the wheels [the speakers] that the tyres will smoke [the voice coil will smoke]. But, if you are sensible, and use the power with care, there will be no problem, just the satisfaction of knowing that for occasional overtaking [loud musical passages] there is plenty of reserve.

                          * To complete this analogy, here is a quote and a link ....

                          "Although both Rolls-Royce and Bentley traditionally didn't divulge power output of their engines, merely saying that the power was "adequate," estimates put the numbers at around 310 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque. The end result was that the stately 5,300-pound motorcar could dash to 60 mph in 6.7 seconds and hit a top speed approaching 140 mph."

                          http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do...rticleId=89619

                          Available power is not the problem - user abuse is.
                          Alan A. Shaw
                          Designer, owner
                          Harbeth Audio UK

                          Comment


                          • Super HL5: Best loudspeakers in the world?

                            After many weeks of gathering information about loudspeakers in the ?4500-8000
                            range, I have come down to the following:

                            Quad 2805
                            Quad 2905
                            Harbeth Monitor 40

                            i have a room that is 5m deep by 4m wide. What I' m most interested in is a realistic soundstage, with beliavable depth and width, along with neutrality and precise imaging. Deep bass is not compulsory, as long as it is capable of sounding
                            realistic. My amplifier is currently a Mac MC275 with a C2200 preamplifier. My previous speakers were a well-designed DIY.

                            P.S. sorry about my English.
                            P.S. 2) The thread took its name from the fact that the above mentioned loudspeakers are considered to be some of the best in the world.

                            Comment


                            • SHL5 crossover frequencies

                              I am curious about the crossover points of the bass/mid, tweeter and super tweeter of the SHL5. Alan, is it ok to share in this forum the crossover freq?

                              Comment


                              • Re: SHL5 crossover frequencies

                                Xover frequencies at 3.3kHz (very typical for a Harbeth) and 12kHz.
                                Alan A. Shaw
                                Designer, owner
                                Harbeth Audio UK

                                Comment

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