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Feb. 2018
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Speakers on a deep shelf - will Harbeths work there?

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  • Speakers on a deep shelf - will Harbeths work there?

    It may be for reasons of having small children or animals but in some rooms there is only one possible place to mount loudspeakers, be they Harbeths or any other brand. The speakers will have to be pushed into an alcove or on a window ledge.

    Harbeth - and indeed most - speakers will work regardless of the immediate environment around the speakers, even a large glass windo behind them. The issue is how can we get the best possibel sound out of what we all know is not an ideal location. The ideal location is to have as much free air aroudn the speakers as possible, so that sound waves can radiate in all directions without fear or favour.

    So what does happen when normal speakers are placed on a shelf? And can anything non-visual be done to get the best out of that sub-optimal arrangement in the listening room?

  • #2
    Bring to front

    Originally posted by HUG-1 View Post
    So what does happen when normal speakers are placed on a shelf? And can anything non-visual be done to get the best out of that sub-optimal arrangement in the listening room?
    Place them as close to the forward edge of the shelf as possible. Gives more space behind them, and minimises reflections of sound waves off the shelf surface in front of the speakers.

    Comment


    • #3
      Any user feedback?

      Before I invest in a technical look at this (time needed!), is there any Harbeth user who could provide a photo of their set-up which places the speakers on some sort of shelf or ledge please? I'm very curious to see how speakers are used in the real world.

      Alternatively, does anyone want to discuss why they selected shelf/ledge mounting, how they describe the overall sound, what type of music they enjoy and if they have taken any measures - such as tone controls or EQ - to adjust the sound to taste.
      Alan A. Shaw
      Designer, owner
      Harbeth Audio UK

      Comment


      • #4
        My shelf speaker set-up

        Originally posted by A.S. View Post
        Before I invest in a technical look at this (time needed!), is there any Harbeth user who could provide a photo of their set-up which places the speakers on some sort of shelf or ledge please? I'm very curious to see how speakers are used in the real world.

        Alternatively, does anyone want to discuss why they selected shelf/ledge mounting, how they describe the overall sound, what type of music they enjoy and if they have taken any measures - such as tone controls or EQ - to adjust the sound to taste.
        Attached is a photo of the bedroom set up, not with Harbeths, since I have C7s only in my main system. Perhaps one day I will get P3s here!

        The speakers are on a shelf/case that runs most of the length of the room facing the beds, and there isn't any other place to put the speakers on. Placed close to the front edge, they sound pretty good for my tastes in music that run to acoustic of all kinds - Indian classical, Jazz, Acoustic Vocal.

        The little box of tricks next to the left speaker is a Sonos amplifier, rated at 55wpc. Sitting there, it wirelessly pulls all my CDs that have been transferred to a hard disc that is connected to a wifi router in another room. It also pulls music from the net. What you see is all that my current bedroom system is today. I can listen to any or all of my 600-700 CDs without a fuss from just this, and any of the thousands of internet radio stations. Sound quality is as good as I expect for the room and for the size of the speakers. The C7s sounds a lot better, but for the bedroom, this set up is sweet.

        The Sonos controller app that is hosted in my Ipod touch has tone controls, but I rarely need to move them away from the center positions.
        Attached Files

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        • #5
          Speakers and animals.

          Sad to say I had to part company with my rather large lurcher recently. He being close to 14 years of age and riddled with cancer I had to do right by him and not let him suffer. As an aside, hope i'm treated the same way if I ever have similar issues in my old age.
          Anyway, speakers and Oscar. I have my 30'1's on stands at the end of the room. I have little issue about my dogs in the room even though they are all big enough to knock the speakers over. life is too short and if it is such a big deal then I'd get accident cover on the insurance :-)
          Oscar, the departed hound would always take up his position when I pulled up my chair for a good audio session in the "sweet spot". His location? Slap bang between the speakers every time.
          His last session, a day and a half before his final vets visit was Hendrix in mono. Axis. Bold as Love original Track pressing up against the Classic Records 2000 repress.

          Children, well they are a different animal all together :-)

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          • #6
            Speakers on a long surface

            Originally posted by A.S. View Post
            Before I invest in a technical look at this (time needed!), is there any Harbeth user who could provide a photo of their set-up which places the speakers on some sort of shelf or ledge please? I'm very curious to see how speakers are used in the real world.
            Here's a ''real world" example of my monitors, set up on an a credenza. It's not a shelf, but it is a long, shared surface, that's pretty close to the wall. I realize that the monitors are set back a bit from the edge (I set them up to clear the TV). I assume they should they be moved closer to the front edge...

            Click image for larger version

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            • #7
              Isolators?

              Kumar,
              What are the isolation feet you have under your speakers?

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              • #8
                Slight adjustment?

                Originally posted by cornelius View Post
                I assume they should they be moved closer to the front edge...
                Worth trying, to see if you get clearer/tighter bass, that then also allows the midrange to project better.

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                • #9
                  Vibrapods

                  Originally posted by yankel View Post
                  What are the isolation feet you have under your speakers?
                  Vibrapods. Not sure how much they add to SQ, but they do protect the speaker veneers.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Making some measurements on a long sideboard

                    I'm promising myself that shortly I'll synthesise a long bookshelf (actually, using my long sideboard equipment rack - similar to that shown in post #6 - at the R&D centre) and make some acoustic measurements just to see what really happens at low frequencies when speakers are sitting on a large surface.

                    I'm also hopeful that the judicious application of a little QUAD-like bass down tilt (an ingenious tone control, designed for just this sort of situation) will restore bass normality. I'll share the results with you.
                    Alan A. Shaw
                    Designer, owner
                    Harbeth Audio UK

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      P3ESRs on shelved - perfect

                      Originally posted by A.S. View Post
                      Before I invest in a technical look at this (time needed!), is there any Harbeth user who could provide a photo of their set-up which places the speakers on some sort of shelf or ledge please? I'm very curious to see how speakers are used in the real world.

                      Alternatively, does anyone want to discuss why they selected shelf/ledge mounting, how they describe the overall sound, what type of music they enjoy and if they have taken any measures - such as tone controls or EQ - to adjust the sound to taste.
                      Click image for larger version

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ID:	62512 I had to move my HiFi into the back room no room for stands or large speakers the P3esr's work a treat on these sheves.

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                      • #12
                        Update?

                        Just checking if you had any updates on this.

                        Originally posted by A.S. View Post
                        I'm promising myself that shortly I'll synthesise a long bookshelf (actually, using my long sideboard equipment rack - similar to that shown in post #6 - at the R&D centre) and make some acoustic measurements just to see what really happens at low frequencies when speakers are sitting on a large surface.

                        I'm also hopeful that the judicious application of a little QUAD-like bass down tilt (an ingenious tone control, designed for just this sort of situation) will restore bass normality. I'll share the results with you.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Now on a shelf to save space

                          I've had a bit of a rearrange at The Old Barn, our R&D centre, and now have the P3ESRs not on tall stands, but on deep shelf behind a flat screen PC monitor. That allows me to push the workstation even closer towards the wall, saving floor space.

                          Pictures to follow in the next few days.
                          Alan A. Shaw
                          Designer, owner
                          Harbeth Audio UK

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            News?

                            Any news here? I'm currently debating this option as my p3s don't seem safe anywhere.

                            Building bookshelves this week, planning on making a dedicated shelf for each.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              raise them

                              I have LS3/5a's as desk top speakers in my study. They originally sounded pretty boomy, to be honest, even though they were at least a foot if not more away from the rear wall. Using the tone control on the amplifier made a difference, but I decided to get some (low) desk top stands. I bought the IsoAcoustics stands to raise and tilt the speakers a bit (they also provide some damping).

                              I am not sure if the damping had any effect (I think the improvement mostly comes from raising the speakers above the large desk), but the sound is certainly a lot better. I don't need to reduce the bass output anymore. I am afraid I have not had any time yet to do any measurements. For those with children the bad news is that these are not very stable stands.
                              Willem

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