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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 speaker or Rogers LS3/5a + subwoofer?

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  • Harbeth speaker or Rogers LS3/5a + subwoofer?

    Hi,
    Sorry for this stupid question. In my new room (60 square meters), my Rogers LS3/5a (15 ohm model, 1986, serial number S025054B) are lacking of bass. I have two options :

    - either buy a pair of speakers with more bass (SHL5?)

    - or keep the LS3/5a and add a subwoofer (such as new Velodyne SPL-1500R, 15" speaker, with automatic room response equalization, 2000 Euros)

    What is best? I listen to jazz (Oscar Peterson, Count Basie, Ahmad Jamal etc.) and "pop/rock" (Tom Petty, John Mayal, ZZ Top, Cors etc.), therefore imaging is not of the first importance for me.

    Regards,
    Laurent.

    P. S.: it seems difficult to buy a pair of SHL5 in France, as the importer wants absolutely to sell Monitor 30 instead.

  • #2
    Re: Harbeth speaker or Rogers LS3/5a + subwoofer?

    Most who have tried integrating subwoofers with the LS3/5 wind up frustrated.

    Moving to the Super HL5 gives you a wonderfully integrated system plus all the advantages of RADIAL.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Harbeth speaker or Rogers LS3/5a + subwoofer?

      Thanks, Don.

      Would I hear a noticeable improvement when changing my Rogers LS3/5a to get SHL5?

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Harbeth speaker or Rogers LS3/5a + subwoofer?

        Hello LD31,

        I am enjoying my SHL5 and can recommend them without hesitation.
        Buying a pair of SHL5 is a a far better solution when compared to buying a subwoofer.
        The SHL5 will sound far more organic. The subwoofer will always be a separate item. Integrating a subwoofer is very difficult.

        If the french importer/distributor doesn't want to sell you a pair of SHL5's, you can always "threaten" him by saying that you will order them directly from the UK. The customer rules!

        Good luck.
        J.A. Boonstra

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Harbeth speaker or Rogers LS3/5a + subwoofer?

          I do know one fellow who collects LS3/5a's. He has Rogers, Chartwell, Spendor, Harbeth etc.

          He recently obtained a pair of SHL5's and is very happy with them.

          Originally posted by LD31
          Thanks, Don.

          Would I hear a noticeable improvement when changing my Rogers LS3/5a to get SHL5?

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Harbeth speaker or Rogers LS3/5a + subwoofer?

            Originally posted by Don Leman
            He recently obtained a pair of SHL5's and is very happy with them.
            It is surely the case that a big box like the SHL5 will outperform a small box like the LS3/5a according to The Laws of Physics? And yes, the Harbeth RADIAL cone is extremely clean and free of colouration which, logically and actually, beats a first generation 1960s heavily doped bextrene cone: heavily doped to disguise cone colourations.
            Alan A. Shaw
            Designer, owner
            Harbeth Audio UK

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Harbeth speaker or Rogers LS3/5a + subwoofer?

              I own the Model 30 for one year and they have a very natural sound but I miss some low level information. A few weeks ago I heard a Anne Sophia Mutter recording that I am very familiar and there in the back of the sound stage was a tympani being played very softly. Is harbeth considering a subwoofer to intergrate with the model 30 or do you recommend any. The verity Parsifal ovation($20,000 +) and audio Research VT 200 (I currently use a VT 100)which revealed this music is out of my reach.
              Joe Hartmann

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Harbeth speaker or Rogers LS3/5a + subwoofer?

                We have no plans for a sub, although there are many good subs on the market we are told.

                Harbeth specialise in an excellent and pure midrange, and to my taste this 'carries' the entire spectrum along with it so that the Harbeth listener is not left craving bass.
                Alan A. Shaw
                Designer, owner
                Harbeth Audio UK

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Harbeth speaker or Rogers LS3/5a + subwoofer?

                  I have purchased (in England) a pair of used Monitor 30, I will receive them next week. I am very curious to compare them with my Rogers LS3/5a.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Harbeth speaker or Rogers LS3/5a + subwoofer?

                    This message is corrupt.

                    Hu commented that she preferred vocals as presented on LS3/5a ....

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Psychoacoustics in the midrange ....

                      I must say that for subjective comments contrasting a 30 year old speaker with its first generation bextrene cone against a fourth generation RADIAL cone but on a non A-B switchover basis demands a great deal of scrutiny for it to be considered truly valid!

                      I draw your attention (we have touched on this more than once) to the fact that the LS3/5a does not have a flat frequency response in the vocal region: it is significantly boosted there, which gives it an immediacy which certainly can be attractive on a casual basis, but is not a true rendition of the recording. The effective frequency response of the 3/5a is shown in the attached image as the listener would perceive it, and yes, this does give a certain attention-grabbing to the sound. It is in part an intentional psycho-acoustic conjuring trick at the design stage, but as with all illusions, you should dig down to find out how it works on your brain. In fact, should I be so motivated (I'm not) I could fake-up this presence boost on any Harbeth speaker which would then doubtless attract another type of customer.

                      There is one key point to note about this boost issue. There is a fixed amount of electrical energy going into the speaker from the amplifier at any volume setting. The speaker converts this electrical energy into acoustic energy (sound waves). If the speaker, by virtue of its design, concentrates this energy in one frequency band (say, the presence region) then there will be less energy available for other bands. The general principal is known as Conservation of Energy. See: http://www.answers.com/topic/conservation-of-energy

                      How does this relate to our example? Well, concentrating energy in the presence (vocal) region may for example rob energy from the midrange region or the soundstage may be perceived as quite narrow and without depth.

                      It is, in my view, absolutely mandatory that when any of us here voice an opinion without the necessary means of corroborating the subjectivity with measurements (and an understanding of just how speakers can play tricks on the brain) we must apply maximum self discipline. We should self-moderate our opinions drawing on rationality - please - to avoid misleading (or disappointing) others who may waste their hard earned money chasing illusions based on what we say.

                      I've written at length about the pshychoacoustics of speaker perception here:
                      http://www.harbeth.co.uk/designersnotebook/chapter7/chapter7-1/index.php

                      I've developed this subject here: http://www.harbeth.co.uk/usergroup/s...=1722#post1722

                      >
                      Attached Files
                      Alan A. Shaw
                      Designer, owner
                      Harbeth Audio UK

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Harbeth speaker or Rogers LS3/5a + subwoofer?

                        Hello, Laurent. I have a pair of Studio 3, which is a continuation of Rogers LS3/5A. About ten years ago, I had added a pair of AB1 subwoofers, made by Rogers around 1990, and for my ears, this combination works very well. Maybe the bass does not go down to the bottom of the earth, but the bass I hear is clean and articulated.
                        I think, if you could find a pair of AB1 used, you will enjoy your Rogers a lot.
                        Regards Jacques

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Harbeth speaker or Rogers LS3/5a + subwoofer?

                          Hello,

                          Thank for your answers.
                          Finally, I have purchased a pair of used Monitor 30 (in Toulouse, France, it is not possible to listen to M30's, you must go to Paris, so I preferred buy it used, in order to sell them if I did not like them), and it is far better than my old LS3/5a's, especially because, as Alan explained, the dip around 3KHz is no longer there. Also the bass is far better, partly due to size of the speaker, and the medium and treble are also better (I have seen the price of the tweeter used in the M30's, very expensive!). Not speaking of the power handling.

                          The M30's sound is both very detailed and uncoloured BUT pleasant to listen. Most speakers who have a flat response and are analytical are boring to listen to (I had a friend who had buit a huge expensive system with a Onken enclosure, compression chamber medium etc.: he told me he needed an aspirin after listening to them!).

                          I have tried other speakers of similar prices (in the same room, same discs etc.), after a few seconds it was obvious that the M30's were better; and I am not specially skilled to evaluate speakers, although I started building enclosures at the age of 13 (after finding a book from G.A. Briggs in a bookshop).

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