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Thread: "Which Harbeth is best for me?" New users ask ...

  1. #21
    Myron Guest

    Default Re: "Which Harbeth is best for me?" New users ask ...

    Since you live in Italy why don't you buy the Graaf GM50 integrated amp to drive your SuperHL5 speakers? I think that you must check it...!

  2. #22
    Jacques Guest

    Default Re: "Which Harbeth is best for me?" New users ask ...

    Hello. I am new to this forum. I am considering to buy a Harbeth for my second system. I auditioned three models in a dealer's room: SHL5, Monitor 30 and Compact ES2. I was prepared for one of the first two models, but to my surprise I found both of them too bloated, or muddy, or I don't know what term to use- anyway, not accurate in the bass. The only one with a clear and articulate bass, although not extended, was the Compact ES2 ( the dealer did not have the new ES3).
    The electronics used were Primare, the speaker cables Nordost. The speakers were situated at a good distance from front and lateral walls.
    Maybe the room was "guilty", although it was an ordinary, medium sized one.
    Does anybody have an explanation? Regards Jacques

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    127

    Default Re: "Which Harbeth is best for me?" New users ask ...

    Jacques, I would absolutely suspect the room as being the problem with the bass response of the SHL5s and the M30s. I have owned the SHL5s and they were very clean in the bass in my room (aproximately 21'x14'x8.5'). They were on 17" stands. On the other hand, when I listened to the M40s in the dealer's demo room (slightly larger than my room) they did not sound clean in the bass. Fortunately, he allowed me a trial in my own room, where they sound terrific throughout their range. So, see it the dealer will allow you to try the speakers for a few days in you own room. That is the only way to be absolutely sure how it will sound there. And try different locations for the speakers.

  4. #24
    midwoofer Guest

    Default Thinking of buying Harbeths ...

    Hi folks, it?s my first post.

    I own a pair of Spendors SP1/2R and I?m thinking to buy a pair of Harbeths, Compact7 or SHL5.
    What are the differences that I will find between Spendors and Harbeths?

    Best Regards.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    British Columbia, Canada
    Posts
    162

    Default Thinking of buying Harbeths ...

    Here is a link to a review who compared the Monitor 30 with the Spendor 1/2.

    http://www.enjoythemusic.com/magazin.../harbeth30.htm

    While not exactly what you were after, I expect you will find his description interesting.

    What is it about your current speakers that is prompting you to consider a change?

    Regards
    Don

  6. #26
    midwoofer Guest

    Default Thinking of buying Harbeths ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Leman
    What is it about your current speakers that is prompting you to consider a change?
    Spendor?s are perfect for Classical and acoustical music, its timbrical accuracy and neutrality is wonderful, but sometimes and for other musical genres with more dinamic as pop, rock, I feel like they are lifeless. Perhaps it is for the amplifier, a 35 wpc Pathos TT, I?m not sure. The fact is that they doesn?t match completly with my musical tastes. For this reason, I?m looking for a speakers with the same magical midrange and more punchy and vitality as Harbeth?s, I guess.

    About matching with my amp. I?m concerned about low sensibility and wattage demand of Harbeths.

    Regards.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    South of England, UK
    Posts
    3,809

    Default Speaker cones and cassette tapes?

    Quote Originally Posted by midwoofer
    ... I feel like they are lifeless. Perhaps it is for the amplifier... I?m looking for a speakers with the same magical midrange and more punchy and vitality as Harbeth?s
    The reason you have a dead, lifeless, airless lacklustre sound is very simple and has nothing to do with your amplifier. What you are hearing is the sonic signature of vacuum formed homopolymer polypropylene as used in the bass/mid cone.

    Nothing - I repeat - nothing - inside the speaker system, outside in the electronics, the room or even the music can restore what V.F.H. polypropylene robs from the micro-detail in the music. Once music has passed through V.F.H. polypropylene cones on its way to your ears as sound, something will have been removed from the music. In fact, as you may know from our Govt. funded cone research project, what actually happens is that the low-level sonic detail* is converted to heat inside the cone (due to friction in the V.F.H.polypropylene molecules) and there is no return path from friction back to sound. Once the sound has gone, it's gone. The process is exactly akin to recording the finest digital recording onto cassette tape; the detail is lost below the granular noise of the tape particles and merges into the background noise as a continuous mush. This seems to be a serious problem in V.F.H.P 8" 200mm driver cones: the missing detail can never be restored and what's left is certainly smooth - but foggy.

    The reason only a Harbeth sounds like a Harbeth (that is, it has incredible detail) is because of our RADIAL cone material. Simple as that really! You could spend years chasing this speaker or that and wasting much time and money in pursuit of the resolution you are missing. Please don't waste your time and money. You can't out-Harbeth a Harbeth by using yesterdays speaker technology.

    * The best examples of this fogging process at work -

    a) listen to a clean recording of a soprano in a large hall on V.F.H.P. cones and observe how, in the gaps between phrases as her voice decays into the acoustic space, it is as if the walls concert hall walls are covered in cotton wool. The micro detail, just above the recording's noise floor has been rubbed out. You can not really determine how large the hall is because the reverberation tail behind the voice has been corrupted.

    b) listen to brass instruments on V.F.H.P cones - it is not capable of resolving the complex harmonic 'rasp' of brass, which in real life, and on Harbeth's RADIAL cone, has the correct 'bite'. Yes, V.F.H.P. is definitely smooth but has the sonic corners rounded off; it acts like an acoustic filter.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  8. #28
    midwoofer Guest

    Default Re: "Which Harbeth is best for me?" New users ask ...

    Alan, thanks for the technical description.
    Now my question is which model, Compact7 or SHL5?
    Which one will match better with my Pathos TT?
    Best Regards.

  9. #29
    midwoofer Guest

    Default Re: "Which Harbeth is best for me?" New users ask ...

    Quote Originally Posted by midwoofer
    Alan, thanks for the technical description.
    Now my question is which model, Compact7 or SHL5?
    Which one will match better with my Pathos TT?
    Best Regards.
    Alan, please.
    I have not the possibility to perform a previous listening, so I have to do a blind buy.
    Thanks a lot.

  10. #30
    Rabbit Guest

    Default HL-3P-ES for a modest room/system?

    Hello, I am thinking of trying the HL-3P-ES for my small room (18' x 15' approx.), to be driven by a Naim CD5X and Nait 5i amp. My ears are very sensitive to high-frequency sounds (I don't like "brightness") and I like accurate, "present" midrange (voice, flute, piano etc.) Big bass isn't an issue - I have neighbors who I'd like to stay on good terms with. How might this work out?

    Cheers,
    Rabbit

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    South Africa
    Posts
    85

    Default Re: HL-3P-ES for a modest room/system?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rabbit View Post
    Hello, I am thinking of trying the HL-3P-ES for my small room (18' x 15' approx.), to be driven by a Naim CD5X and Nait 5i amp. My ears are very sensitive to high-frequency sounds (I don't like "brightness") and I like accurate, "present" midrange (voice, flute, piano etc.) Big bass isn't an issue - I have neighbors who I'd like to stay on good terms with. How might this work out?

    Cheers,
    Rabbit
    Wonderfully! They're very fine 'speakers, which match your requirements perfectly. They can be easily driven by 20 or so watts, and they're completely non-fatiguing, crystal clear and very musical. They're also very handsome to look at....

    David

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    British Columbia, Canada
    Posts
    162

    Default Re: HL-3P-ES for a modest room/system?

    I have the feeling you won't be disappointed!

  13. #33
    Rabbit Guest

    Default Re: HL-3P-ES for a modest room/system?

    How do you think the HL-3P-ES would do with rock music? (Oasis, Led Zeppelin, Queen etc.)

    Although I do listen to a fair amount of rock, I tend to be less frightened by jazz, Bossa Nova and baroque flute concerti.

    Cheers,
    Rabbit

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: "Which Harbeth is best for me?" New users ask ...

    Rabbit, don't be afraid to use Harbeths for Rock music. I feel there is an unfair view in some circles that Harbeths are unsuitable for rock, and I totally disagree with that. I listen to 95% rock music and find that my C7s are outstanding . Oasis is my favorite band and Harbeths can give you every bit of Liam that you can handle.

    If anything I feel that Harbeths are better than many speakers for rock because their relaxed nature allows me to get a bit aggressive with the volume without the massive fatigue that other speakers give.

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    9

    Smile Re: "Which Harbeth is best for me?" New users ask ...

    Hi my 1st post in Harbeth forum.

    Presently looking for a Harbeth.
    My room size is 6m(L) x 3m(W), will the SHL5 be too big for the hall.
    I listen to mostly vocals.

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    South of England, UK
    Posts
    3,809

    Default Re: "Which Harbeth is best for me?" New users ask ...

    Welcome. Many/most SHL5s are used in a room that size, or smaller.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  17. #37
    Rabbit Guest

    Default Re: "Which Harbeth is best for me?" New users ask ...

    Hello again, Rabbit here...

    ...Hurrrah!! I'm hopping down to Portland (Stereotypes Audio) to hear some Harbeths (and some BBC-style Spendors, truth be told) on Friday; I'll be hearing the Compact 7, Monitor 30 (well, can't afford that one)...pity they don't have the HL-P3ES, that's the truly Rabbit-sized one.

    Finally, will get to hear the sound I've read about so much! Will be taking my chequebook along, as well as CDs of the Brandenburgs, Led Zeppelin II (look out woofers!), some Moody Blues (Rabbit's favourite), Beatles, Ravi Shankar, Chet Baker, Pink Floyd, Beethoven, Bill Frisell...

    Cheers,
    Rabbit

  18. #38
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: "Which Harbeth is best for me?" New users ask ...

    Excellent, I'm looking forward to hearing your impressions. Your electronics are almost the same as mine (CD5x to be delivered on monday, FC2, Nait 5)

    Why no Oasis on your music list?

  19. #39
    Rabbit Guest

    Smile Re: "Which Harbeth is best for me?" New users ask ...

    Quote Originally Posted by vaughn3d View Post
    Why no Oasis on your music list?
    Good point; Stop The Clocks will be in my CD bag.

    Best,
    Rabbit

  20. #40
    Rabbit Guest

    Default !!! I have HL C7 ES3's!!!

    Well.

    Rabbit's done it.

    HL C7 ES3's (#'s C7 221R/L) are now in my little space, spinning the Beatles (which is a good way to start, innit?) I got 'em reasonably, as they were demos at the shop, and are missing one of the little plastic Harbeth badges from the upper left corner of one speaker :-( (does Harbeth sell replacements?)

    I tried some little Spendors at the shop yesterday but, although they were good, when I heard the C7's I fell over. Hearing music through those, in that room, was like seeing a 70mm print of Lawrence Of Arabia in the theatre, as opposed to watching it on a little CRT television. With no fatigue at all, running off Naim gear (like what I have).

    My only problem is, they're on wobbly old 18" ADS stands here at home, so some of the bass and big-ness is missing. Shopping for stands begins today!

    Cheers,
    Rabbit

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