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For example, the design of and interaction between the hifi amplifier and its speaker load can and potentially will alter the sound balance of what you hear. To reproduce the sounds captured by the recording microphones, as Harbeth speakers are designed to do, you would naturally select system components (sources, electronics, cables and so on) that do not color the sound before it reaches the speakers.

Identifying components for their system neutrality should, logically, start with the interpretation and analysis of their technical, objective performance, as any and every deviation from a measurably flat frequency response at any point along the serial chain from microphone to ear is very likely to cause the total system to have an audible sonic personality. That includes the contribution of the listening room itself.

HUG specialises in making complex technical matters simple to understand, aiding the identification of audio components likely to maintain a faithful relationship between the recorded sound and the sound you hear. With our heritage of natural sound, HUG cannot be really be expected to guide in the selection, approval, endorsement or even discussion of equipment that is intend to introduce a significantly personalised sound to the audio signal chain. 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 electronics offered there. There is no on-line substitute for that time investment in a dealer's showroom.

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Adjusting Room sound using material damping methods (not DSP)

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  • Adjusting Room sound using material damping methods (not DSP)

    i am just a newbie here and trying to set up a system....need some suggestion

    my room is 7feet W x 14 feet L x 7 feet H carpeted

    i was thinking of getting a super hl5 for my room. i a worry that it will "over kill " with such size of speakers. Actually, the reason for purchasing ( yet to purchase ) the super HL5 is because i will transfer this speakers to my new dining hall at home. Currently i am working outstation and is renting a room. I might be staying in this room for a while.

    i am using a Epos m12.2 at the moment.

    need some expert advice. mind advice on the amps too. intergrated, pre/power, s/s, tubes, hybrid ........

    since spending this "huge" amount on the speakers, i wanna check on the right amplification.

    thanks a lot.

  • #2
    Though I have no personal experience with the SHL5, I use the C7ES2's in a room that's 19.6x14x8.9ft (LxWxH). They sound fabulous.
    Your room has roughly 1/4 the volume of mine....I'd certainly think twice before trying to squeeze in a speaker the size (and bandwidth) of the SHL5. I think all Harbeths prefer some room to breathe. That said, I've seen many people comment that the C7's work well in smaller rooms - better even than the slightly smaller M30.
    But maybe the HLP3 would be a better match to your room size.


    • #3
      I use M30 and they sound bass heavy in my small (9x12x15ft) room.
      When I put it in my living room (9x15x20ft) the sound is ballance and I could never be happier with the result.


      • #4
        hmmmm... actually i am trying to buy only ONE pair of harbeth. after all i will be sitting the super hl5 in my dining room. the placement at my room is .....well i could say temporary.

        i did thought of getting the c7es but, i would feel that super hl5 suits my dining hall. i just cam't the best out of two coins......

        btw....what amps are you gentlemen using?


        • #5
          I'm using Plinius amps - details in my system link below.


          • #6
            I really think the notion that the SHL-5's require a large space is somewhat overstated. I use them in a crowded apartment, set up in basically a 8' triangle, flanking a tv and my hifi rack. Everything you're not supposed to do.

            Nevertheless, they still sound absolutely stunning. Plus, they don't need to be loud to sound full, which is important to apartment dwellers. The thing about Harbeths is, although they do work well in large spaces, they also work well listening nearfield. Many speakers, such as Thiels or Dynaudio, require at least 10 feet of space or the sound won't come together. They're good speakers, but they're not designed for nearfield.

            If you intend to move into a larger space, I think the 5's would work well for you temporarily. Also, as far as space goes, they take up exactly one square foot of floor space. In practical effect, no more than any standmounted speaker. Of course, you wouldn't go wrong with the Compact 7's or the Monitor 30's either.

            Just as a final thought about space. When I first demo'd the speakers, it was in a large loft, with the speakers far from any room walls, set quite far apart and toed-in to the listener. Set up this way, the SHL-5s were the finest sounding speaker I have heard to date. I am just mentioning this in case you can later duplicate this setup in your larger space.
            Last edited by Chayro; 04-02-2006, 03:01 PM.


            • #7
              chayro, i tend to agree with you. it does need to pump up the volume to sound full. that is my rational behind it. as a matter of fact, my listening position in quite near.

              hmmmm....i am going to pull the trigger. shl5 will be in my room soon. anyway, i just wanna do one final audition. ( do i have to???? ) i dun think so........harbeth will always be a harbeth......

              now for the amp.......plinius, bryston.....this must really audition. i am going to put my audiolab to rest. he has served me well through the years. what shall i do to my 6 months old Epos 12.2?????


              • #8
                Room size considerations

                When looking at speakers for room sizes, what constitutes the room size? My home is an open floor plan. The room size of my living area which is the listening area is 16' x 17' with a ceiling that is 11' that slopes to 9' over where the speakers are. But it is open to the kitchen and dining room area separated by a 32" wall and column at the dining room and partially separated by a peninsula counter 36" high and a column at the kitchen. The kitchen is behind the listening area and the dining room is to the left. So what constitutes the room size - the 16' x 17' listening area or the whole space? The reason I'm asking is I was looking at the Super HL5's but I think the Compact 7-ES2 might be a better choice for my room size and the 40 wpc tube amp I plan on driving them with.

                Anyone have any links or suggested resources discussing room size parameters?


                • #9
                  The Epos should be very easy to sell. They're nice speakers for the money. As far as amplification, how much do you want to spend? If you want moderate-volume purity of tone, try a Lavardin integrated, or perhaps an Exposure or Naim integrated.

                  What can you get out where you are without spending a huge premium? I can never quite understand why some people spend twice the list price to get some foreign kit, when they can get Accuphase, Zanden and other top-shelf stuff at very reasonable prices. If it's a unique product like Harbeths, yes, but there's some great electronics manufactured in Japan and China.


                  • #10
                    M30 Bass Heavy?

                    I'm thinking of selling my C7s and getting M30s for the 10.5 x 13ft room being used. I'd thought that since the M30 is smaller than the C7 it might work better in a more confined space. Any ideas as to why the M30 would sound bass heavy? The C7s certainly don't.

                    By the way, I use an EAR 890 70 wt tube amp and it makes great music with the Harbeths. Prior I had a Plinius SA50MKIII which also worked well but didn't have the scary lifelike presentation. It actually was, though, the best SS amp I've owned and very reasonably priced. Also had an Air Tight ATM2 (80 wt tube) and it was very good. Tried my AMT300 (9wt 300B SET) and it couldn't get the C7s up and running.


                    • #11
                      Watts and Watts of Watts

                      Are we talking Manley Stingray, just out of curiosity?

                      I heard a Stingray drive an HPL3 in a pretty large room and i was surprised how good it worked.

                      I have auditioned the compact 7 with a 50 Watt SS amp in the nearfield - about a 3 M equilateral triangle (room size doesn't matter and volumes are low, never past about 10 o'clock). It worked fine, but my hifi mentor says that isn't enough power to play it loud in a big room and he uses a 150 Watt SS amp in a room that is about 18x18 with high ceilings.

                      I hear, but do not know, that the HL5 is harder to drive than the Compact 7.

                      The only way to tell is to take it home and listen there. If you find you have to turn it up high to hear at moderate levels, it will be easy to tell if it runs out of gas on fast pieces with lots of big tonal shifts.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Frihed89
                        Are we talking Manley Stingray, just out of curiosity?

                        I hear, but do not know, that the HL5 is harder to drive than the Compact 7.

                        The only way to tell is to take it home and listen there.
                        PrimaLuna Prologue 2 with KT88's.

                        I'm in Houston, TX USA. Bad place to live if you want to buy speakers. No Harbeth or Spendor dealers. So it's hard to audition.


                        • #13
                          The Compact 7 is rated at 87 dB per W, and the Super HL5 at 86 dB per W - so there's not a huge difference. The impedance curves are available on the Harbeth web-site - neither is too challenging. If I read them correctly, the Super HL5 might actually be a slightly easier load.

                          As for the room size thing, I'd guess it's the basic dimensions of the living space that will determine how close you sit to them - and that's probably the most important factor. I drive Compact 7s in a 13' by 20' room with a 60W solid state amp, and feel that is plently of power. A 40W amp may well be fine for either speaker - but it will depend very much on your preferred listening levels. That's probably the most important factor of all.



                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Frihed89
                            ... I hear, but do not know, that the HL5 is harder to drive than the Compact 7 ...
                            This simply can not be true!
                            Alan A. Shaw
                            Designer, owner
                            Harbeth Audio UK


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Ian Boyd
                              The Compact 7 is rated at 87 dB per W, and the Super HL5 at 86 dB per W - so there's not a huge difference.
                              In practice, it is very difficult to say with absolute certainty whether the sensitivity of a speaker is 86, 86.5 or 87dB. What do you select as the point of maximum sensitivity? The crest of the highest little blip or wriggle in the frequency response, perhaps at 20kHz, at the edge of hearing or a visual average of the frequency response curve at some band of middle frequencies?

                              Even a trained listener could not consistently tell the difference between a stated 86 and 87dB i.e. 1dB level difference.

                              According to the standard text books on hearing acuity, the average listener can *just* detect a difference of 3dB.
                              Alan A. Shaw
                              Designer, owner
                              Harbeth Audio UK