M30 > SHL5 ?
BTW, what is the different between domestic and non-domestic version?
M30 > SHL5 ?
BTW, what is the different between domestic and non-domestic version?
Merry Christmas everybody.
I am toying around the idea of getting another Harbeth speaker to add some variety in my music and am looking at the M30 that previously did not push the right buttons. Although my brief audition between the SHL5 and M30 previously revealed the latter to be more shut-in and less open, the M30 does sound more controlled and exhibit better crescendos and transient attack compared to the other two. Sound of instruments on the M30 such as guitar, saxophone and trumpet possess more bite as well. Silent passages on the M30 seem to be pitch black compared to the SHL5 as the crescendos lept forward more prominently from a silent background. The significantly different sonic character of the M30 steered me towards it as the similarities between the SHL5 and C7ES3 are more alike.
As an SHL5 owner I would like a 2nd opinion in justifying my decision to go with the M30 and not the C7ES3. The reason I am considering the M30 is because it sounded substantially different compared to the SHL5 whereas the C7ES3 sounded almost similar to the SHL5. I would want a different sounding speaker to add some variety in my listening experience.
The other reason I am considering another Harbeth and not other brand of speakers is because after listening to another pair of speaker in my system just recently(I was considering another more dynamic speaker to add some spice in my musical collection ), I seriously don't know whether I can live with other speakers anymore in long-term. No doubt the particular speaker seems to possess excellent transparency, dynamics and high-end extension and has a raw sound to it that sounded pretty darn impressive at first. After about 30 minutes of listening at above average volume levels, my ears started to hurt, buzzed a little, and I then sensed a severe headache coming. I quickly lowered down the volume and listened at below average levels after that but things were not improving. Listening fatigue was high with this speaker. I then switched back to the SHL5 and man, I can't help but keep cranking up the volume and tapping my feet along the beat. Ears don't hurt anymore and headache gone.
Certain people may find Harbeths little dull for their tastes, and I can understand that. However, the extremely low listening fatigue of these natural-sounding speakers that promotes endless hours of sheer musical bliss is the key factor that made Harbeths so special IMO. Most people keep coming back to the Harbeths after a while and won't get tired of them.
Okay now, M30 or C7ES3? I can seriously settle with any Harbeth and be happy with all of them. However, I can only limit myself to two pairs. Any opinions would be appreciated.
Don't forget the new P3ESR.This little GIANT KILLER give the Compact 7's a real run for the money.To my ears,the P3ESR's sound has a different character then the the 7's or the 5's.
I find myself in a similar situation...I love my C7es2s, but have the opportunity to move to either M30s or SHL5s...wondering which way to go. I cannot imagine owning any other speaker besides Harbeth, at least that makes the decision process a bit easier.
Hello, Ryder and Merry Christmas!
My first exposure to Harbeth was through the Compact 7 Es-2's, which I still own and love. As I got involved with this user group and learned more about the history of Harbeth, it became very clear that Alan's inspiration and passion comes from the BBC heritage. It was for this reason as well, that when the opportunity came along to own another pair of Harbeths, I chose the Monitor 30. These are direct descendants of the BBC spec LS-5/9. I suppose this might seem to be an irrational decision-making process, but I wanted a piece of that history. As a professional musician, I knew that a monitor speaker is designed to tell the truth, warts and all, and that I would likely have no regrets...I don't, and never will.
The Monitor 30's will be a very complimentary second pair of Harbeths to your SHL 5's, as I feel they are to my Compact 7's. Take the plunge-you won't regret it!
State College, PA
Hi Bob, Thanks for your thoughts. The odds of the M30 ending up as my 2nd speaker in complementing the SHL5 are high now. Need to figure out the amp later.
Drewturner, I do know the P3ESR are excellent speakers having listened to them in a friend's setup. I have three excellent choices in the P3ESR, C7ES3 and M30 but unfortunately can only choose one. I am aware that the P3ESR sounded quite different from both C7ES3 and SHL5 but my very brief audition of the M30 almost convinced me that they sounded *very* different from the rest. In fact, that was the sole reason I scratched the M30 out during my first audition as the speakers didn't sound as open as I wanted them to be. After thinking back, since the M30 sounded quite a bit different from the usual suspects in the C7ES3 and SHL5, I might as well consider them as it doesn't make too much sense going for a speaker that sounded almost similar to the one I already have.
I cannot imagine I am now considering another Harbeth speaker. I tried a different speaker, a considerably more dynamic speaker with a lively top-end in an attempt to attain a different sound. I really wanted to like the speaker but all I've got is listening fatigue. After this experience only did I realise I cannot live with other speakers other than a Harbeth. No doubt there will be other speakers that can still appeal to me but I'm not bothered to look anymore. I am truly smitten by the smooth, natural and fatigue free sound of the Harbeth. The crucial element for me is to be able to listen to beautiful music at prolonged periods with zero or minimal listening fatigue. Although I have not listened to everything out there the Harbeths have proven to be able to give me that.
I just wonder how many hours a person usually spends on his non-Harbeth-based hifi rig on a typical day, and whether there would be anybody who can emulate some Harbeth owners here who manage to clock 10 hours and beyond that.
Hi Ryder, Merry Christmas. Another brand which you may like to try is Audio Note's ANJ-spe. They are about similar size as M30. They too sound very musical and non-fatiguing.
[Admin: May I remind you that this forum is run by Harbeth. It does not exist to promote other products]
Is it for your second system intended for your previous listening room?
IMO, save a little more and get the Ultimate Harbeth - M40.1 and the Super 5 as your second system. You can place the M40.1 in your large living room.
As for audionote speakers, they are designed to be placed at the corners for the room.
Audio note spks IMHO sound quite different from Harbeth. In direct comparison & driven by same amp, they are faster with sharper leading edge, more lively & transparent but also leaner, less rich in the midband & definitely more prone to fatigue than Harbeth.
[Edited: Simply cannot agree with comments. Admin.]
Try to pm shutterbox. I think he can help you on SHL5 vs M30. To me, his advice on this is quite objective.
Paper coned bought-in drive units with a foam (i.e. low damping, short life) surround? Are you serious?
Thanks for all replies. Never gave Spendors a thought before although I read they share some resemblance to Harbeth having have some BBC roots. I was searching through the archives on Audiogon and accidentally stumbled upon a thread on the comparison between Spendor and Harbeth. I didn't realise I had actually responded in the thread as well.
The responses by Muzikat and Brm1 had somehow steered me away from the Spendors. Although listening fatigue is of major concern, excitement and involvement factor are equally important as well. Seems like the Spendors may not suit my listening preferences, and moreover it is a huge risk to consider the speakers prior to listening to them. The Spendor classic series do look quite a bit similar to the Harbeth line of speakers though.
The M30 tiger ebony looks really good. Will see how it goes as I sort out my priorities for next year. The 40.1? Hmmm.. haven't really thought about that yet. Jmohd, I actually don't intend to set up a 2nd system in the living as I intend to use the additional pair of speakers as a back-up in the same dedicated room until I find another amp to set up a 2nd system in the bedroom or something. In the event I get bored of listening to the SHL5 I can always revert to the 2nd pair of speakers for a change. Placement in the living is too tricky as there isn't an ideal position to place the speakers for optimum sound reproduction due to the odd shape of the room. I enjoyed the sound from the SHL5's far more in the dedicated room than in the living. If there is allowance for a dedicated room it is a no-brainer to set up the system in the room.
I've got a shop full of speakers but what do I put on when I want to enjoy a new LP or CD ? The M40.1 !!!
If you can save for a pair, I would most strongly recommend you do, they are truly wonderful.
As for Spendor, they are bloomy, sloooooow and un-communicative. Not in the same class at all IMO. Style over substance, I believe, is the expression. Their 'Classic' series is more interesting than the newer models but even here they have not moved with the times as Harbeth have.
Any similarities between Harbeth speakers and any other brand is really nothing more than superficial. Let me list just the essential ingredients of Harbeth, which we and our users appreciate is the core of the Harbeth magical clarity:
- Advanced RADIAL? cone, being a Harbeth made polymer compound exclusive to Harbeth developed as part of our govt. co-funded cone development project
- Injection moulded cone (this is extremely critical to the final sound)
- Thin-wall cabinets with removable panels to tune the sound
- Complex multi-element crossover to separate the bass, mid and high frequencies
- Consistent one designer, one sound, one philosophy for over twenty years
You need to employ, to even get on the first rung of the Harbeth quality and transparency ladder, a Harbeth-exclusive RADIAL? coned, injection moulded bass/mid driver. Comparisons with other products built around older, obsolete cone technology is therefore a waste of our reader's time. Vacuum formed cones from milk bottle plastic and paper cones made from who knows what just cannot, under even the most optimistic conditions, yield the Harbeth clarity.
If you want the Harbeth sound you have to buy Harbeth speakers.There are no direct equivalents when clarity and detail are paramount as an audition will expose.
Alan A. Shaw
Harbeth Audio UK
Can I just remind you that we are on the Harbeth User Group. This group is run by and maintained by Harbeth UK, an independent British-owned company. We work hard here to explain what Hartbeth is all about. Our objective is to prepare you with info / background about Harbeth speakers before you vist your dealer to audition.
Please explore other speakers alternatives at your hifi dealer. Select what you feel is right for you. To restate the link from the previous post, this is a good summary.
The agent in Malaysia has both M30 and SHL5, so that why don't you set up an appointment for an audition?
To me, both are different enough in their presentation(apart from tonal quality) to listen for yourself to decided if you decide to own both of them and be wanting to swap listening experiences between them. i've posted a comparison between them and this week I had a repeat session to listen to them both and my experiences remain the same now and then.
You really have to listen to them to decide if u should go for a M30.
Hi Shutterbox, thanks for the thoughts. I have read your earlier assessment on the M30 vs SHL5 in another thread and noted the differences between these speakers. I have actually listened to both speakers side-by-side together with the C7ES3 in the showroom when I first placed an order for the SHL5. At that time I preferred both SHL5 and C7ES3 more than the M30. The M30's presentation did not float my boat at that time. After auditioning other non-Harbeth speakers only did I realise it is difficult for me to consider other speakers other than a Harbeth. I will need to sort out my priorities though such as swapping speakers in the same system whenever I wanted to make a switch.
Do you own both SHL5 and M30?