View Poll Results: Hi-fi or AV owners preferences

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  • I don't have an AV system - and I never will

    9 42.86%
  • I have an AV system but rarely find time to watch it

    2 9.52%
  • I like my AV system and I frequently watch it

    9 42.86%
  • I've lost interest in AV an returned to my hi-fi

    2 9.52%
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Thread: MULTICHANNEL (AV) WITH HARBETHs

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Sweden
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    8

    Default MULTICHANNEL (AV) WITH HARBETHs

    When will the NRG center speaker be available? Or even better: a center speaker with radial, matching my C7?

  2. #2
    Jodet Guest

    Default

    Yes, I've been waiting for a radial center as well. I was surprised the first speaker with the new 6.5" radial was not a smallish monitor or a center, which I believe would be much in demand.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    South of England, UK
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    4,267

    Default Harbeth - AV centre?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jodet
    Yes, I've been waiting for a radial center as well. I was surprised the first speaker with the new 6.5" radial was not a smallish monitor or a center, which I believe would be much in demand.
    There are a couple of technical issues here, and one commercial one.

    We intend to complete our investigation into the 6.5" driver possibilities this year. One hurdle is the design and sourcing of the rubber surround (that glues around the edge of the cone and attaches to the driver's chassis). We have experimented with various supplies offerings and drawn the reluctant conclusion that we are going to have to engineer our own. There is nothing acoustically good enough available to match the performance of the Harbeth RADIAL cone. Then there is the injection moulding tooling for the cone itself ....

    Commercially, I'm not as convinced as I was a year or two ago that there is a worthwhile market for Harbeth in AV. There is a market, but it appears to us that most Harbeth customers seem to be disinterested in AV and are more than delighted with the pleasure their two channel systems bring them. I for one have an AV system at home; in the last year I have half-watched one film. Am I typicial?
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    South of England, UK
    Posts
    4,267

    Default Home AV system v. home two-channel

    I'm interested in how you allocate your free time between your hi-fi and AV systems.

    You can vote for more than one selection if appropriate.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Hong Kong
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    29

    Default

    Although my vote goes to "I like my AV system and I frequently watch it", I should also add a remark that I only use 2 channel music material to evaluate speakers when I shop for a new pair of speaker. In other words, 2 channel music performance is much more important than AV performance and other related consideration. AV is nice to have on top of my hifi system, but never compromise music performance to accomodate AV need. For instance, my M40 even blocks my projector screen a bit for better stereo position.

    Kevin

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Sweden
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    8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by A.S.
    There are a couple of technical issues here, and one commercial one.

    We intend to complete our investigation into the 6.5" driver possibilities this year. One hurdle is the design and sourcing of the rubber surround (that glues around the edge of the cone and attaches to the driver's chassis). We have experimented with various supplies offerings and drawn the reluctant conclusion that we are going to have to engineer our own. There is nothing acoustically good enough available to match the performance of the Harbeth RADIAL cone. Then there is the injection moulding tooling for the cone itself ....

    Commercially, I'm not as convinced as I was a year or two ago that there is a worthwhile market for Harbeth in AV. There is a market, but it appears to us that most Harbeth customers seem to be disinterested in AV and are more than delighted with the pleasure their two channel systems bring them. I for one have an AV system at home; in the last year I have half-watched one film. Am I typicial?
    I think a growing percentage of Harbeth users are setting up a "combo" (used both for stereo listening and multichannel) system with Harbeth speakers as really good left/right speakers. How could anyone be "disinterested" in a system that provides superb stereo AND a multichannel movie experience?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    45

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by lasseolsson
    I think a growing percentage of Harbeth users are setting up a "combo" (used both for stereo listening and multichannel) system with Harbeth speakers as really good left/right speakers. How could anyone be "disinterested" in a system that provides superb stereo AND a multichannel movie experience?
    This is basically what I've done - though the AV component is very modest.
    My stereo preamp (like many others) has a processor bypass input which allows the integration of an AV receiver without interfering with my dedicated two-channel setup. The C7's are excellent speakers for movie dialogue and music - I can't tolerate the abysmal muffled dialogue on many of my friend?s setups.
    My old Proac R2's are used for rears, I currently have no centre or subwoofer. I'll wait to get something worthwhile rather than compromising the basic excellence of the C7 fronts.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    usa
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    Default

    For logistic reasons, my AV system is located in our bedroom where the TV is and the "listening room" with the Harbeths is in the basement.

    The AV system is 2 channel only, using a pair of Spendor s3/5, with a subwoofer. I confess that while not surround, it gives me what I feel is 80-90% of the home theatre experience. And FM radio is playing constantly when the other primary source (tv sound from the digital cable box) isn't being used.

    If my Harbeths were smaller (and my wife enjoyed listening to cds), they would be in my bedroom system.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Sweden
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    Default

    I'm having problems with "Home AV system v. home two-channel "...why the "v."? An av system can play two channel, just pop in in two channel material and set the processor/receiver to "stereo".

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Athens, Greece
    Posts
    201

    Default

    Hi everybody,

    Why vs? Simply because in stereo you listen. Just listen. I'd prefer something small, compact and budget priced put around my TV. Why draw cables, turn the world upside down by adding, adding...? When watching a movie, do you really need a big 7.1 system to put you in the mood? I guess it's a personal taste/preference/habbit. After all, is complication a solution to somebody's audiophilia? And I'm talking about music, not equipment or sounds of bombs, machines, trucks or airplanes... An essential exception I would make for listening and watching a great opera performance. Ah... now we talk. It's a complicated work that contains everything eyes and ears need to get to the sky. I'd say that, if proposals -not costing a fortune- would be available, in order to fulfill audiophile expectations on such a topic, then they are largely helpful. But, please, lets separate the origins, purpose and methods of running an AV system from running a Hi-Fi system. IMHO, a very different approach and story. Vs stands well only in terms of direct comparison of music reproduction, that's fidelity.

    Many warm regards,
    Thanos

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    45

    Default

    Thanos, I disagree.

    If you have your stereo system set up in one of the main living rooms, it makes perfect sense to utilise the main amp and speakers for AV use. Many preamps now have processor bypass inputs which allow the integration of an AV amp and video sources without interfering with the pure stereo setup.
    Stereo setup still has the higher priority in my system.
    Frankly, my wife and kids don't do much pure listening, so to do otherwise would be selfish.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Athens, Greece
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    Default

    Yes Tobes,
    I see your point and photos (beautiful system & setup btw). I didn't want to reduce importance of AV. its a very personal matter. Just to explain differences. I guess with normal houses nobody has the luxury of separate systems. I don't really know how good last generation AVRs have become (perhaps a bit reluctant due to age and tradition/dedication to stereo...).
    Anyway, as ancestors said, "The truth is always in the middle, and you can get fruits only through synergy, not through confrontment...".
    Well, lets carry on with AV+Stereo then, not AV vs Stereo...!
    Cheers,
    Thanos

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Sweden
    Posts
    8

    Default

    One of the really nice things with Harbeths is that they sound really really good with a pretty moderate receiver.

  14. #14
    thomas_pfenning Guest

    Default

    Same here. My main speakers are Monitor 40 and the center and surround speakers are Spendor. The integration with the center speaker is particularly bad but phantom center mode results in a tilted sound stage for anyone sitting outside the ideal listenng position.

    Please build a matching center speaker, I have been asking for one ever since you did the test project quite some time ago.

    For me a center speaker is a definition of form factor and dispersion pattern. More width than height (W > 2 x H) and a wide dispersion pattern so that people sitting of axis still get a sense that the dialog is pinned to the center of the screen.


    Until very recently my digital to analog converter was a Bryston SP1.7 processor mainly used in 2 channel mode but I have switched to a Lavry Black converter which produces simply gorgeous sound at a much higher level.

    I am currently looking into getting either an old Theta Casanova or a Tact Theater system to get 3 pairs of decoded S/PDIF PCM outputs for surround sound.

    P.S.: My first post on your new forum which I like much better than the smartgroups system.
    Last edited by thomas_pfenning; 25-02-2006 at 10:55 PM.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    South Africa
    Posts
    87

    Default Do we have/use AV systems?

    Quote Originally Posted by A.S.
    There are a couple of technical issues here, and one commercial one.

    We intend to complete our investigation into the 6.5" driver possibilities this year. One hurdle is the design and sourcing of the rubber surround (that glues around the edge of the cone and attaches to the driver's chassis). We have experimented with various supplies offerings and drawn the reluctant conclusion that we are going to have to engineer our own. There is nothing acoustically good enough available to match the performance of the Harbeth RADIAL cone. Then there is the injection moulding tooling for the cone itself ....

    Commercially, I'm not as convinced as I was a year or two ago that there is a worthwhile market for Harbeth in AV. There is a market, but it appears to us that most Harbeth customers seem to be disinterested in AV and are more than delighted with the pleasure their two channel systems bring them. I for one have an AV system at home; in the last year I have half-watched one film. Am I typicial?

    If you mean, do I have a full-blown systen with surround sound, no. What I do have a is a decent Sony TV, a DVD player, and a stereo amplifier with four (non-Harbeth loudspeakers). Pathetic? Maybe. But except for the TV set it was cheap, and it satisfies my desire to watch movies with some sense of realistic sound. I watch the system quite a lot, late at night, when I've finished work. Otherwise I listen to music, mostly vinyl, in a different room. I've never wanted a proper 5.1 system, but this is a nice step up from TV speakers. How typical is this, I wonder?

    David

  16. #16
    tomryan Guest

    Default

    Alan,

    I don't know about other Harbeth users but my wife and I set up an HT system in a family room addition built 4.5 years ago. Used it a few times and both agreed the rear channel speakers had to go. I mean, this is our home...neither of us appreciated stuff blowing up near the patio doorwall behind our heads. We are both much happier with just two fronts, a center, and small subwoofer. I like the Harbeths all alone in a room by themselves for Mozart, Monk, and Miles. Oh yeah, and the real Fleetwood Mac (with Peter Green). For a superb live recording check out Fleetwood Mac "The Boston Tea Party, Part 1" recorded in January of 1970.

  17. #17
    northwoods_maine Guest

    Default Re: Home AV system v. home two-channel

    First let me say that I'm a video watcher and music listener, and not a audiophile or videophile. My primary interest is 65% audio / 35% video ... though I have to admit that recently I found myself building a library of "concert" dvds. I became tired of trying to have a "one system does it all" that really worked for me. I'm not enough of an equipment junkie to deal with so much gear all trying to be tied into one system. I guess as I have gotten older I seem to have less patience in dealing with connectivity problems, etc.

    Since I was going to do some long overdue upgrading (finally got daughter's college and wedding paid off), I decided to separate the audio from the video. I'm going to put together a very good, but very simple new 2 channel audio system from the ground up and leave older equipment in the video system. I started the audio system with my existing Thorens turntable, have purchased an Ayre 7e redbook player on A'gon, and am now strongly considering Harbeth Super 5s for speakers and then will search out a good integrated amp.

    When I'm done there, I'll look to simplify the HT system. It's somewhat ironic that at a time/age when I have more disposable income and can afford more "stuff", I find I have a strong desire to simplify things. I think age often brings a need to simplify one's life.

  18. #18
    juncool Guest

    Default Re: Harbeth center speaker

    I am absolutely a stereo fan,but I built a HT system for 6 years. last year I replaced my old Avance 960 loudspearks with a harbeth nrg-4 that may be designed for AV systems, Now I am enjoying nrg-4's great sound in both 2 channel or multichannel . though I just watch DVD a few times in a year,but I think a compatible system will be fine , right?

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: Harbeth - AV centre?

    Quote Originally Posted by A.S.
    Commercially, I'm not as convinced as I was a year or two ago that there is a worthwhile market for Harbeth in AV. There is a market, but it appears to us that most Harbeth customers seem to be disinterested in AV and are more than delighted with the pleasure their two channel systems bring them. I for one have an AV system at home; in the last year I have half-watched one film. Am I typicial?
    Alan, I have the pleasure of owning M30 and M40 speakers so I have 2 separate systems. If I am going to watch a film, I take one of my M30's and use it as a center channel speaker with my M40's being the L&R main speakers. It really sounds great having a Harbeth M30 as the center channel speaker, of course in an ideal world I would have three M30's or M40's up front.

    Alan, Is it possible to purchase just one M30 or one M40 speaker?

  20. #20
    ikin1 Guest

    Default MULTICHANNEL WITH HARBETHs

    Hallo everybody. I recently purchased one pair of SHL5 of which - guess - I shortly felt in love. My system is in a small room, surrounded by a bookshelf, of about 3 by 4 meters. Speakers are along the smaller side. On top to music, I enjoy movies a lot and I own more then 300 quad Lps. So I'd like to set up a multichannel system around the SHL5.

    In my view the rear channels are just giving some spatial information and - anyway - I have no option but to place the speakers above the top of the bookshelf which is about 2 meters from the floor. So I would go for a small - not disturbing - 2 ways system. I don't think such application is justifying any Harbeth speakers. The critical point is the front center channel which - as any films lover knows - is reproducing many of the dialogues from the movies.
    So I wonder which center channel is - to anyone experience - giving the same (?)voice quality of my SHL5 ?

    The center speakers in my system can only be just below the LCD panel, where I have available an height limited to 25 cm, a depth of about 40 cm, while the width is more then 1 meter.

    Many thanks, Ciao from Italy,
    Vincenzo

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