"This Harbeth User Group (HUG) is the Manufacturer's own managed forum dedicated to natural sound from microphone to ear, achievable by recognising and controlling the numerous confounding variables that exist along the audio chain. The Harbeth designer's objective is to make loudspeakers that contribute little of themselves to the music passing through them.

Identifying system components for their sonic neutrality should logically proceed from the interpretation and analysis of their technical, objective performance. Deviations from a flat frequency response at any point along the signal chain from microphone to ear is likely to give an audible sonic personality to the system at your ear; this includes the significant contribution of the listening room itself. To accurately reproduce the recorded sound as Harbeth speakers are designed to do, you would be best advised to select system components (sources, electronics, cables and so on) that do not color the sound before it reaches the speakers.

For example, the design of and interaction between the hifi amplifier and its speaker load can and will alter the sound balance of what you hear. This may or may not be what you wish to achieve, but any deviation from a flat response is a step away from a truly neutral system. HUG has extensively discussed amplifiers and the methods for seeking the most objectively neutral among a plethora of product choices.

HUG specialises in making complex technical matters simple to understand, getting at the repeatable facts in a post-truth environment where objectivity is increasingly ridiculed. With our heritage of natural sound and pragmatic design, HUG is not the best place to discuss non-Harbeth audio components selected, knowingly or not, to introduce a significantly personalised system sound. For that you should do your own research and above all, make the effort to visit an Authorised Dealer and listen to your music at your loudness on your loudspeakers through the various offerings there. There is really no on-line substitute for time invested in a dealer's showroom because 'tuning' your system to taste is such a highly personal matter. Our overall objective here is to empower readers to make the factually best procurement decisions in the interests of lifelike music at home.

Please consider carefully how much you should rely upon and be influenced by the subjective opinions of strangers. Their hearing acuity and taste will be different to yours, as will be their motives and budget, their listening distance, loudness and room treatment, not necessarily leading to appropriate equipment selection and listening satisfaction for you. Always keep in mind that without basic test equipment, subjective opinions will reign unchallenged. With test equipment, universal facts and truths are exposed.

If some of the science behind faithfully reproducing the sound intended by the composer, score, conductor and musicians over Harbeth speakers is your thing, this forum has been helping with that since 2006. If you just want to share your opinions and photos with others then the unrelated Harbeth Speakers Facebook page may be for you. Either way, welcome to the world of Harbeth!"

Feb. 2018
See more
See less

Mass-loading speaker stands and speaker / room interaction or my imagination?

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Mass-loading speaker stands and speaker / room interaction or my imagination?

    Does mass-loading speaker stands alter the loudspeaker / room interaction? The reason I ask is that I set my new M30.1s on Atacama 4-pillar s500 stands with no filling material in the stands. Room is 15' by 9' and speakers are away from walls firing down the length of the room. I was very happy with the sound. After a week, (on advice) I added mass to the stands. ( I won't say with what since I don't want to get dragged into a debate over whether brown rice sounds more "organic" than sand or cat litter!!).

    With no change to either speaker position or volume control on the amplifier I noticed what I can only describe (probably badly) as a mid-range "resonance" on the same music (both acoustic and electric) previously played. I wondered if it was a room-induced interaction. I went away for a few days over Easter and on returning played the same music again. The stands are still mass loaded and the resonance persists. I can obviously experiment with moving the speakers or emptying out the filling material but before I do I was just curious to know whether or not my imagination could be playing tricks on me.

  • #2
    Skylan write-up

    I wrote up some impressions a while back on the effect the Skylan stands had on the sound from my Harbeths here:


    • #3
      Stands and their sonics

      I've been hoping that Harbeth would chip in on this subject one day. Mass loading stands can make a huge difference. It would be great to have the physics behind this explained so that its bit such a shot in the dark!

      I had some bookshelf speakers (Von Schweikert - sorry if spelt wrong!) some years ago on atacama stands, they sounded like small boxes when stands sand filled, but sort of 'disappeared' when I tipped the sand out. My 40.1's with sand (skylan) in the stands sounded awesome when quiet but overloaded the room with bass, without sand they don't sound quite so 'tight' but they can now be turned up with most music without problems.


      • #4
        Just a touch of damping

        I find it is usually best to apply minimal damping material. Just enough to do the job and no more.