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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.

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.

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{Updated Nov. 2016A}
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Harbeth SHL5 specific

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  • Re: Optimal amp load for SHL5

    Alan -

    Thanks for the reply and directing me to the info on the site. The amp is indeed tube. I'm certainly not inclined to spend $ without reason, but my hope was that I could extract more from the amp (I've been told as much as 2-2.5db), so that on those days when I want to listen at, say, two levels above normal, I wouldn't experience that excessive loudness that makes me think that the amp could be clipping. One other question for you: on the web link to the impedance information on the SHL5, it states "The electrical load impedance and phase curve of Super HL5 which confirms that it has an easy load and suits almost all amplifiers." Could you explain this for me?

    Thanks again, Andre

    Comment


    • Re: Optimal amp load for SHL5

      The two impedance charts have to be read together. What they tell is that the electrical resistance never drops very low (the left chart) and that as the electrical phase angle (right chart) hovers around zero degrees. This says, taken together, that the speaker presents a very benign load to the amplifier.

      I demonstrated to Walter Swanbon (of Harbeth USA) when he was here last week that during the design of a Harbeth speaker crossover on my simulator I keep two screens open simultaneously. One shows me the predicted frequency response of that crossover plus those drivers and box and the other shows me the two electrical impedance charts. So, every time I change a component in the crossover model I can instantly see if it has an unwelcome effect on the load presented to the amplifier. If it does, I abandon that line of design, and find another solution even if that takes much longer and a lot of head banging.

      As I have said before, it is of paramount importance to me that all Harbeth speakers present a relatively benign electrical load to the amplifier. We are a commercial business with the desire to sell more and to avoid after-care issues relating to amplifiers. That means, quite simply, Harbeth speakers will work with any and every credible hifi amplifier that exists.

      The Monitor 40 is a rather special case. The load was more difficult but the new upcoming M40 has been comprehensively redesigned to be no more difficult than the SHL5.
      Alan A. Shaw
      Designer, owner
      Harbeth Audio UK

      Comment


      • Re: Optimal amp load for SHL5

        Looking at the left chart, I'm going to guess that at the two times the resistance drops to about 4-5 ohms, this would present a challenge to the amp if I rewired it for 8 ohms - even with a good portion of the speakers' resistance being well above 10 ohms over the frequency range. A good lesson for me here is that the nominal impedance figure for any speaker doesn't come close to capturing the its "real" resistance characteristics.

        An aside on the issue of amp power: I have an old 125 watt receiver that powers the P3es2s, having formally used a 30 wpc amp with them. I find the higher powered receiver makes them come to life quite a bit more, though I am mindful of your Bentley analogy, and hit the accelerator carefully!

        Thanks again for the thoughts. Think I'm inclined to leave well enough alone...

        Andre

        Comment


        • Electrical load across an entire country ...

          Yes, that's how to read the charts. But not only read the impedance minima (say, 4 or 5 ohms as you found) but note the frequencies at which you find those on the x horizontal axis. Then look across to the phase chart and see what the electrical phase would be encountered at those impedance minima. If the phase is say, plus or minus 30 degrees then that can be considered an easy load. You'll find that to be true of all Harbeths.

          The issue is quite similar to that of the load presented to the National Grid's power stations which distributes power to the country to all the electrical equipment in our homes, offices and factories. From the viewpoint of the power station looking out down the wires to the load we are drawing, much of the load is driving motors - in fridges, airconditioners, vacuums, heating pumps, fans etc..

          Motors are inductive loads - unlike an electric kettle which is a purely resistive load, a motor presents a 'phasey' load and it does not couple efficiently to the National Grid. Nor do fluorescent strip lights which have a large coil inside as part of their firing circuit offset by a capacitor to cancel the coil and make the load more resistive. The electricity companies keep a close watch on the phase of the load presented to the power stations and hopefully, it all balances out giving a close to zero phase load which makes for efficient production of electricity. However, where a large housing or industrial estate draw from a common point, the electricity supply company will determine how phasey the load is and apply appropriate correction, typically with banks of huge high power capacitors hidden behind safety barriers.

          So the issues we face between amplifier and speaker load are mirrored in the national distribution of electricity.
          Alan A. Shaw
          Designer, owner
          Harbeth Audio UK

          Comment


          • Rosenut veneer

            Hi,

            Is rosenut veneer discontinued? The June newsletter only mentions 3 veneers, namely cherry, tiger ebony and eucalyptus.

            Thanks,
            Kel...

            Comment


            • Re: Rosenut veneer

              Cherry and eucalyptus are considered 'standard' veneers; tiger ebony and rosenut are specials that we run from time to time according to customer requirements. There is also a price premium.
              Alan A. Shaw
              Designer, owner
              Harbeth Audio UK

              Comment


              • SHL5 supertweeter etc.

                Hi Alan,
                I was hoping that you might be able to clear some question about the new SHL-5 30th Aniversary OFC model. I heard from my local dealer is the OFC cable use within the speaker box. Is there anything change?
                • Does the SHL5 OFC use the same Radial Driver as the the Current C7ES3?
                • Apart from OFC Cables is there any other changes?
                • Does it use the same tweeter as the current C7ES3 or C7ES2?
                • For the SuperTweeter what is the maximum high extension (kHz) physically it can produce before it breakup?
                • What is the crossover frequency for the main driver to tweeter and super tweeter?


                Thanks a million... I am currently using a C7ES2 and thinking of upgrading into the SHL5 OFC

                Cheers.

                Comment


                • SHL5 supertweeter etc.

                  To answer your question about 30th Anniversary OFC Super HL5:

                  1. No; the driver used in the C7ES3 has the new surround.

                  2. The OFC cable and the metal 30th Anniversary Edition label are the main changes.

                  3. No; the Super HL5 uses the tweeter that has been used in the HL5/SuperHL5 for many years. The Compact tweeter has never been used in the HL5/Super HL5.

                  4/5. The supertweeter augments the main tweeter above about 15kHz up to beyond 20kHz and there is no electrical crossover to the super tweeter from the main tweeter. The supertweeter is driven from a crossover section which ensures that it only handles the very highest frequencies.

                  If you enjoy your Compact 7ES2, you may wish to consider the C7ES3 which is also available as a 30th Anniversary OFC version and has been very successful for Harbeth this last year.
                  Alan A. Shaw
                  Designer, owner
                  Harbeth Audio UK

                  Comment


                  • SHL5 - OFC cable

                    Is the OFC wire only going to be used in the 30th Anniversary speakers? Will Harbeth revert back to non-OFC wire next year?

                    More importantly, if Harbeth does change back to non-OFC wire, will there be any sonic difference?

                    Does my 25th Anniversary C7-ES2 have OFC wire too?

                    Comment


                    • SHL5 supertweeter etc.

                      Thanks Alan as always - speedy response and your willingness to share.

                      Just a few more questions...

                      Originally posted by A.S.
                      To answer your question about 30th Anniversary OFC Super HL5:
                      4/5. The supertweeter augments the main tweeter above about 15kHz up to beyond 20kHz and there is no electrical crossover to the super tweeter from the main tweeter. The supertweeter is driven from a crossover section which ensures that it only handles the very highest frequencies.
                      • I am really into extreme high frequency response as I love clear and unobstructed as I chose SACD over normal CD (if avalaible) and LP using Low output MC to get high extension clear. Even my amp support well above 20kHz (not too sure but I think it is in a range of 50kHz). I understand from your explaination it the crossover doesn't limit the high frequency but what is the theoretical limit of the SHL5 Supertweeter can handle?
                      • For the Main driver to the main tweeter what is the crossover cutover Hz?

                      Thanks for the heads up for Compact 7ES3 OFC model - You pretty much help me make my decision in going for the SHL5 with the OFC due to the supertweeter.

                      Cheers

                      Comment


                      • SHL5 supertweeter

                        Concerning the supertweeter in the SHL5 .... I've selected the supertweeter so that it gently rolls off as the frequency extends. I consider that this is a safe design strategy because you do not want to find yourself in a situation where, say, surface clicks on a record cause untamed oscillations of the tiny diaphragm. That would be extremely irritating and tiring to listen to. Too much or too extended extreme HF is rather like driving on a bumpy road with 'sports' suspension where you feel every small bump. My approach is more like the 'comfort' setting where you just glide along enjoying the musical journey.
                        Alan A. Shaw
                        Designer, owner
                        Harbeth Audio UK

                        Comment


                        • Re: SHL5 supertweeter

                          Thanks Alan. I have change my Compact 7ES2 to the 30th Anniversary SHL-5 OFC and it blew me away... it is clear extension and deeper bass note. Initially I was afraid of bass boom in my smallish hall... but it turn out alright - a bit of bass hump - need better placement and some room treatment. My local harbeth dealer was very helpful in resolving issues that I had.

                          Thanks for a wonderful product and I am looking forward hear the M40.1

                          Cheers.

                          p.s. I understand that you were in the local forum replying to the masses to clarify stuff... Personally I have been attack (through words) by another forumer for purchasing it from local harbeth dealer due to the price difference. I understand and fully appreciate the clarification of the pricing difference. To me if I gotten a good service and ease of mind in purchasing a product - even though it is slightly expensive I will pay for it for the above reason.



                          Originally posted by A.S.
                          Concerning the supertweeter in the SHL5 .... I've selected the supertweeter so that it gently rolls off as the frequency extends. I consider that this is a safe design strategy because you do not want to find yourself in a situation where, say, surface clicks on a record cause untamed oscillations of the tiny diaphragm. That would be extremely irritating and tiring to listen to. Too much or too extended extreme HF is rather like driving on a bumpy road with 'sports' suspension where you feel every small bump. My approach is more like the 'comfort' setting where you just glide along enjoying the musical journey.

                          Comment


                          • Re: Harbeth SHL5 specific

                            Hi Soundbyte,
                            Very happy to read you feel happy with your C7 to SHL5 upgrade...bcos I will doing that soon too..

                            May I know your current room size for your SHL5?

                            Thanks...
                            "Bath with Music"

                            Comment


                            • Re: Harbeth SHL5 specific

                              My room size is actually quite small 4 meters X 5.5 meters - I use the long side of the room. Thanks for your recommendation - I was intially afraid that the SHL-5 will be too big in my room but it was fine and just a bit of bass gain in the 40Hz region I guess... may need further room treatment to fix the issue.

                              Cheers.

                              Originally posted by keithwwk
                              Hi Soundbyte,
                              Very happy to read you feel happy with your C7 to SHL5 upgrade...bcos I will doing that soon too..

                              May I know your current room size for your SHL5?

                              Thanks...

                              Comment


                              • Re: Harbeth SHL5 specific

                                My room is slightly smaller than yours, which is 3.5 x 5.5....now I am start to worry if e 5 will boom even more than yours....my room is closed room..hm..worry now..

                                Originally posted by Soundbyte
                                My room size is actually quite small 4 meters X 5.5 meters - I use the long side of the room. Thanks for your recommendation - I was intially afraid that the SHL-5 will be too big in my room but it was fine and just a bit of bass gain in the 40Hz region I guess... may need further room treatment to fix the issue.

                                Cheers.
                                "Bath with Music"

                                Comment

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