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Thread: Second hand Mint C7es-2 vs New C7es-3 or M30.1 or SHL5??

  1. #1
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    Default Second hand Mint C7es-2 vs New C7es-3 or M30.1 or SHL5??

    Hi All, from the Antipodes (Australia)

    I had a most wonderful experience hearing my first Harbeth today...... the 40.1s ... The speakers just dissapeared... the depth of the soundstage was astounding.. powered by a the top of the range Luxman integrated... It's a speaker I would not hesitate to buy if I had the funds... Don't tell the wife but I'm "in love"..

    OK now to be a bit more serious...

    I have shot off a email to Harbeth with some questions and I'm currently waiting back on a reply...

    While I'm waiting I thought I'd get some input from this forum regarding "Second hand Mint C7es-2 vs New C7es-3 or M30.1 or SHL5?? "

    I can get a C7es-2 for about AU $2,300.00 which also includes Skylan stands... Unfortunately they are in another state from me, about 1,000 miles away, so I'm unable to hear them..

    My current room layout is 5x7m, ceiling height 2.3m. (Sorry to use metric but well even an oldie like me now has to these days). Due to room layout, I have to use the short dimension of the room. So I sit 3m back with current speakers being 3m apart.. Plently of room to the sides of any speaker with room to play at the back of any potential Harbeth... Concrete floors with tiles but rugs and soft furnishings a plenty... Current amp is a Aussie (Weston Accoustics) hand built point to point wiring KT88 valve 70w approx.. Vinyl being my main source either by a Garrard 401 or by a Michell Gyro SE with Orbe upgrades...

    So if I don't buy the used C7es-2, what would possibly be the best option of the new models... I do like all kinds of music form ABBA to Bach to AC/DC to Mike Oldfield... I do currently have a couple of Subs I purchased recently, again from a Aussie manufacturer VAF... Regardless of who built them, I have that option if needed. Although I haven't really got the nack of tuning them in to my current speakers...

    This possible speaker change will be my last... That is why I'm after a neutral none fatiguing sound that will give me great pleasure for years and stop any sort of "upgraditis"

    My current speakers??? If I've done this right... Here's a pic

    aslan 3.1.jpg

    The super tweeter is a Fostex T925A The horn is a Beyma CPD 750 ND
    The woofers are a PAudio C16-600EL model... 8ohm 96 dB 55-2000 Hz power rating 1200W.. Using external x overs...

    Err a bit different from a Harbeth... Very dynamic and a full sound, a more "in ya face" type of sound... Absolutely great with some music but probably in the end needs a bigger space than I can give them...

    Here's a pic of the amp..

    tempest.jpg

    Oh and the Garrard 401

    garrard 05.jpg


    OK enough of system "show and tell"

    I know that each of the Harbeth models will have their own characteristics but I hope someone can help with a suggestion of a Harbeth model to fit my size room...

    {Moderator's comment: thanks for the post. Please be aware that this *manufacturer's site* cannot exist to give detailed advice on used Harbeth speakers. There are too many factors which are beyond our control. Plus, we have mortgages to pay and used sales don't contribute a dime to them! So please use your own judgement about second hand. For new Harbeths this group can help.}

  2. #2
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    Default M40.1 or SHL5?

    Given your rom size, i reckon a M40.1 should work very well in there. If not, than SHL-5 should suffice as well.

  3. #3
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    Default A lona from your dealer?

    Hi Kensell21.

    If you can afford it go new. If needs be "cheap out" on the stands as I found they are none critical for the "Harbeth sound".

    Given your room size and that you sit 3m from the speakers maybe the 30'1's are not for you. I found a closer listening position for these made a significant difference.

    Which ever way you go I'm sure you'll be happy with the sound.

    I'm sure the 5's will fit your room but until you try them out you will never know for sure. Can you loan a pair from the dealer? If they do fit your room, I just don't see you having any questions about type.

  4. #4
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    Default Australia

    Quote Originally Posted by Gan CK View Post
    Given your rom size, i reckon a M40.1 should work very well in there. If not, than SHL-5 should suffice as well.
    The 40.1 is beyond my price range..... And unfortunately there is no Harbeth dealer in Australia that I'm aware of..

    {Moderator's comment: no distributor but dozens of recent Harbeth users there. Perhaps you could appeal to them via HUG?}

    Thanks Moderator for your coments. It would have to be a big HUG.. I might be be able to hear a C7es-3 but that means traveling ATM 1,000 km which I'm prepared to do But I don't have time until November. I am a member of a Aussie online audio site, thats why I was able to hear the 40.1s. Which were nearyby..(that 40.1 owner believes that his might be the only ones in Australia, which may or may not be the case).

    In the mean time, i will keep looking for a owner who lives closer. This distance issue we have in my country and the lack of nearby owners is why I joined this site.

  5. #5
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    Default My M30s in 35m2

    I use a Monitor 30 in a 35sqm room without any problem. Distance to listening position is about 2,50 m, between the speakers same. I liked them more than the c7ers in my room. The HL5 were too big for the lady.

  6. #6
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    Smile Narrowing choices ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kensell21 View Post
    ... I had a most wonderful experience hearing my first Harbeth today...... the 40.1s ... The speakers just dissapeared... the depth of the soundstage was astounding.. powered by a the top of the range Luxman integrated... It's a speaker I would not hesitate to buy if I had the funds... Don't tell the wife but I'm "in love"..

    OK now to be a bit more serious...

    I have shot off a email to Harbeth with some questions and I'm currently waiting back on a reply...

    While I'm waiting I thought I'd get some input from this forum regarding "Second hand Mint C7es-2 vs New C7es-3 or M30.1 or SHL5?? ".....
    Thanks for the post. Now, I think you are going to have to narrow down your choices or you are possibly going to go around in circles, and that's going to get in the way of great music, which is, all that matters. The gear is merely a conduit.

    Perhaps the first step is to think about the C7ES-2 and the current C7ES-3. As you will doubtless know, we're in the business of introducing new products which offer a genuine improvement generation on generation. You've recently seen that with the M30.1 and before that the P3ESR. So, there is not the slightest shadow of doubt that the C7ES-3 is an upgrade on the C7ES-2. How a big a jump? You must decide, but the C7ES-3 is one of our best selling models and hugely revered (that really is the only suitable word) in Japan, the land of infinite consumer choice.

    The SHL5 is a much bigger box. So perhaps the next step is to decide if domestically (I mean, cosmetically and WAF) there is room for the SHL5. If there isn't then that's simple - you're down to the C7ES3 and the Monitor 30.1.

    Agree?
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  7. #7
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    Default Go for C7ES-3

    Quote Originally Posted by Kensell21 View Post
    So I sit 3m back with current speakers being 3m apart..
    More than the dimensions of the room, I think it is this specification that is more relevant. The C7s should work very well, and if you are looking for the last pair of speakers you will ever buy, getting the latest C7ES-3 version is the way to go.

  8. #8
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    Default Calling Adelaide/ south Australia Harbeth owners?

    Quote Originally Posted by A.S. View Post
    Thanks for the post. Now, I think you are going to have to narrow down your choices or you are possibly going to go around in circles, and that's going to get in the way of great music, which is, all that matters. The gear is merely a conduit.

    Perhaps the first step is to think about the C7ES-2 and the current C7ES-3. As you will doubtless know, we're in the business of introducing new products which offer a genuine improvement generation on generation. You've recently seen that with the M30.1 and before that the P3ESR. So, there is not the slightest shadow of doubt that the C7ES-3 is an upgrade on the C7ES-2. How a big a jump? You must decide, but the C7ES-3 is one of our best selling models and hugely revered (that really is the only suitable word) in Japan, the land of infinite consumer choice.

    The SHL5 is a much bigger box. So perhaps the next step is to decide if domestically (I mean, cosmetically and WAF) there is room for the SHL5. If there isn't then that's simple - you're down to the C7ES3 and the Monitor 30.1.

    Agree?
    Hi Alan,

    I really appreciate that you have taken the time to read and answer my post...

    The last time a owner of a audio product who actually spent time with me was John Michell, years ago... There couldn't have been a nicer gentleman. Several long phone calls from half way around the world and yep, bought a gyro SE and still have it.. And would you believe another product I wasn't able to hear before buying.

    The only reason why i mentioned the second hand C7es-2 was a suggestion from a friend of mine to buy them so it would enable me to not only hear a Harbeth, but with my equipment and in my environment... This has some merit... But thinking it through, I'd be less likely to buy the newer C7 let alone a SHL5. And i probably regret it in the end... Remembering I wanting this to be a long term purchase...

    And as to "cosmetics and WAF" if you saw the pic I posted of my current speakers, they're a little bit bigger than the 40.1s so a pair of SHL5s would be no problems.....

    So narrowing the choice down to the C7es3 and the SHL5. I have found owners in Australia for both models... Most Australians don't mind traveling, we're mostly used to the size of the place. But the owners are both about 1,000 kms away, (at least there in the same direction ) it could take me a while until I can get time to do the trip...

    Any owners of either model in Adelaide south Australia??? Please contact if you could....

    So are the sonic differences between the two models slight? I assuming that have the signature sound but with different flavours..

    Thanks so far for the replys to my queries...

  9. #9
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kensell21 View Post
    .... So are the sonic differences between the two models slight? I assuming that have the signature sound but with different flavours..

    Thanks so far for the replys to my queries...
    That's a good summary. Thy can't logically be miles apart because they are using similar parts in broadly similar box sizes, crucially designed by one person (me). However, they do represent products developed at fifteen + years apart which may or may not be significant (I can't really decide).
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  10. #10
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    Default You just can't go wrong with Harbeth!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kensell21 View Post
    So are the sonic differences between the two models slight? I assuming that have the signature sound but with different flavours..
    Having heard the whole Harbeth lineup (except for the M30.1), I'd say that's a good way to describe it.

    If you had to buy a speaker without hearing it, you're not taking a huge risk with a Harbeth. What they all have in common is incredible clarity, especially in the midband, and an easy listenability that allows you to forget the speaker and just focus on the music.

    Of the two you're looking at, I'd say the the C7ES3 is probably the more strictly neutral and "tighter" of the two, and one that will probably work better in a smaller room than would ideally suit the SHL5. However, the SHL5 has (in my purely subjective opinion) a very relaxed, easeful yet highly informative quality that makes it just a joy to listen to, even if it's probably just a hair less neutral than the C7ES3 and - likely - the M30.1 (I base that on having heard the M30).

    If you have to buy without audition, and the size of the speaker is not a problem, then I'd go for the SHL5, personally, especially given the size of your room. But if you ended up buying the C7ES3, you'd have a highly competent music maker as well. You can't go wrong either way. At the end of the day, they're just conduits - and Harbeth makes an excellent conduit to the music.

    (BTW, having looked at the pic of your current speakers and amp, I think even more the SHL5 might be the way to go: it's bigger than the C7ES3, so the transition from the scale of your current speakers won't be quite as abrupt, and it's slightly more efficient as well, which may better suit the tube/valve amp you're using - depending of course on your volume demands.)
    Last edited by EricW; 28-08-2012 at 09:29 PM. Reason: Additional comment

  11. #11
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    Default How about low-level listening with Harbeths?

    Hi all

    Thanks to all who have replied so far.

    I'm definitely leaning towards to SHL5. I hoping that the slightly bigger box will, as EricW mentioned, lessen any change to the scale of music that I'm used too. I'm hoping also that the bigger box will give me that tad more bass. As I mentioned earlier, it would be really nice if I didn't need to use the subs that I have... But will if I think they are still needed... I do like a firm foundation...

    I assuming that Harbeths are good at low level listening???? No loss of detail and dynamics?

    I thought that trying to choose between models would be hard, but choice of colours???? The 40.1s, I were able to hear, looked smashing in Cherry. With the black covers, looked great. Seem to be made for each other.. I have a few pieces of equipment in walnut, the rest is silver. The leather seats area a nice dark leather. I'm thinking that Rosewood might be the best match. But what do they look like with the black covers on???

    Oh well, I hope it all comes together... It's a big directional change for me going fo a Harbeth, a life long one I hope..

  12. #12
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    Default Dump the sub!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kensell21 View Post
    Hi all
    it would be really nice if I didn't need to use the subs that I have... But will if I think they are still needed... I do like a firm foundation...
    I would dump the sub. Getting sub/subs properly integrated into the main speakers, retaining coherent sound across the system, is almost never achieved. Since you have them already, you have the luxury of experimenting of course, but my choice would be to stay with 100% Harbeth sound. Work on speaker positioning and room acoustics to get the bass you want from your Harbeths.

    Good luck!

  13. #13
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    Default You can't go wrong with SHL5!

    You won't go wrong with the SHL5, a truly great speaker and yes, it does do well at low listening levels. That is one thing I usually demonstrate to my customers.

    Finish is a personal choice but I am very fond of Tiger Ebony, which is far darker than the Rosewood but with a similar grain patterning.

  14. #14
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    Default SHL5 = great value

    Have been in love with the SHL-5 since it was launched in 2001/2002 thereabouts. Like all other Harbeths, the SHL-5 has the uncanny ability to see off speakers many many times its price & size with regards to tonal/timbral accuracy & overall musicality!

  15. #15
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    Default Great speakers for television as well

    Yes, very good speakers. I forget im listening to “something”. I’ve started watching tv and listening through the SHL5’s. I run the output from a playtv - playstation 3 (hdmi) into my tv out to the amp.

    These loudspeakers make television a much more enjoyable experience by elucidating voice.

  16. #16
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    Default How deep is deep?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kumar Kane View Post
    I would dump the sub. Getting sub/subs properly integrated into the main speakers, retaining coherent sound across the system, is almost never achieved. Since you have them already, you have the luxury of experimenting of course, but my choice would be to stay with 100% Harbeth sound. Work on speaker positioning and room acoustics to get the bass you want from your Harbeths.

    Good luck!
    My hope is to dump the subs... But as I've only heard the 40.1s, Im unsure as to the quality and how deep the bass can be on the SHL5s...

  17. #17
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    Default Load?

    Quote Originally Posted by hifi_dave View Post
    You won't go wrong with the SHL5, a truly great speaker and yes, it does do well at low listening levels. That is one thing I usually demonstrate to my customers.

    Finish is a personal choice but I am very fond of Tiger Ebony, which is far darker than the Rosewood but with a similar grain patterning.
    I'm assuming that within reason they'll go loud as well?

  18. #18
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    Default They will GO LOUD!

    They go as loud as most Hi-Fi speakers. It's a common question from potential Harbeth customers - "will they go loud ?" Well, they will and louder than some which are renowned for bass and volume, as I often demonstrate.

    You will have no worries with the SHL5.

  19. #19
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    Default Only a Harbeth can ...

    As Dave has mentioned, the SHL-5s do go loud. However, they don't need to be played at elevated levels to come alive & detailed.

    If you are constantly exposed to live unamplified acoustic music, you'll be astounded by the way they reproduce music like ONLY a Harbeth with a RADIAL cone driver can deliver. That inherent rightness to tone, timbre & texture of instruments. Voices too, in typical Harbeth fashion, is outstanding.

  20. #20
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    Default My Harbeth overview, model by model

    My personal take on the different models: the C7ES3 is the most intimate sounding of the three (excluding the ES2), the M30.1 the most articulate and analytical and the SHL5 has the biggest soundstage and is the most relaxed.

    The C7ES3 makes you listen to nothing but the music, but best in a smaller room, the M30.1 will have you marvel at good recordings, but will be less forgiving of bad recordings and can lose composure with listening distances much larger than 2,4 - 3,0 m and the SHL5 is the most involving in bigger rooms with it's warm balance and 'wrap around' soundfield.

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