I have been watching this forum for awhile and finally decided to post. After reading all the reviews I finally took the plunge, six months ago I purchased a new pair of Harbeth Super HL5s, 30th Anniversary Edition wrapped in Eucalyptus. The hype is all true, talk about happy!*
I finally settled on purchasing a pair of Skylan stands from Noel. I have been reading some of the posts about how some of the members decouple their speakers from the stands or the floor. *
I thought I would share my findings, I have been talking to Noel on and off for about two months on how to get the best sound available using his stands. I took his advice and filled the columns with rice instead of kitty litter and I was more than pleased with the results. I have my stands on sitting on granite slabs with felt pads protecting wood floors. I have tried everything from pennies, to all different types of rubber and wood discs to try to achieve sonic nirvana between the speakers and the stands.*
Noel said he was working on a few prototype discs for his stands and sent me two different sets to try out. *One set was the diameter of a quarter and the other a nickel, they were about 1/4" thick, not sure what they were made of; think miniature hockey pucks. *I decided to use the medium size discs to decouple the speakers from the stands. I didn't know what to expect, maybe pick up a little on the high or low end or nothing at all.
I was not ready for what I heard, I actually made the change in the middle of a song, when I dropped the arm the first thing I noticed was that volume was definitely louder, the next thing I noticed was more pronounced textured bass. There was more air and separation around the instruments, the soundstage widened and had more depth. The instruments are more focused and where they should be, there is nothing linear about the presentation at all. The speakers just seemed to open up, the operative word is bloom!
The imaging is pinpoint, midrange and the center stage moved slightly forward. The one thing I love about the Super HL5s is the killer timbre and the realism of the instruments and the discs further enhance these qualities. Piano keys are sharp, have incredible reverb and decay, bass is deep and taught, woodwinds and brass are to die for, not to mention the micro details, you hear everything that was recorded and I mean everything. One final thing, the background is absolutely black! Music emanates out of total obscurity, I never thought it could be this good.
The discs Noel provided made a significant improvement in my system and worth trying out.