Re: SHL5 - involving even at a low replay level
ll noted and a perfectly reasonable line of reasoning.
I return to the point I made, and which will only really 'click' when you are actually listening to Harbeths. You mention two other speakers which must have their strengths too. But I can say with certainty that Harbeth excels at a low/medium listening level in normal rooms. That is why the majority of our customer base (I believe) are listening to their Harbeths is relative small rooms, close to the speakers and anxious to hear the full sound experience without disturbing the neighbours. There is no better example that our huge installed base in Japan, where courtesy and respect for neighbours (and hence a low listening level) is a cultural must.
All this must sound completely incomprehensible - I fully understand that - but when you finally get to hear the Harbeths all I've been saying will instantly make sense.
By the way - a suggestion. Why not call the sales dept. in the various speaker companies you may be interested in and pose the question to them "what techniques - if any - do your designers employ to ensue that the sound if full bodied, sweet and seductive (and fatigue free) even at a low listening level late at night with the neighbours new baby asleep?". Then consider what they say and decide for yourself if its credible or just sales talk. There definitely are steps that you can take at the very beginning of the design process to optimise the speaker for a particular application, and in our case, a Harbeth is designed for moderate listening level and high resolution. Conversely, for long periods of head-banging rock and roll at high sound pressures a Harbeth would definitely not be the right speaker to chose. Loudness and 'body' are critically linked and you can optimise one, but not both simultaneously.
Alan A. Shaw
Harbeth Audio UK