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Thread: Harbeth Monitor 40 domestic specific

  1. #61
    Hu Guest

    Default Re: Skylan Stands for Harbeth Monitor 40s

    Thank you very much for your post, Tom!

  2. #62
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    Default Re: Skylan Stands for Harbeth Monitor 40s

    Hi Tom,

    Great post. I think Noel is sincerely interested in providing the best possible support for Harbeth speakers. However, you mentioned that you were using the little black rubber bumpers between your M40's and the Skylan stands. I have a customer with SHL5 speakers set up similarly in south Florida (humidity?). After his SHL5's were on the Skyan's for a couple of months he needed to remove them from the stands. The rubber bumper (neoprene?) was stuck to the bottom of the speaker. As a result it lifted the veneer of the cherry finish in one of the four spots where the speaker was sitting. My first though was that this must be unique. As a Harbeth dealer, I am routinely moving speakers and stands so I have never had such an experience. However, I did have a stack of six albums sitting on top of the some Skylan 24" stands for about a month. When I went to move the albums two of the bumpers stuck to the back of the bottom album cover damaging it. The other two did not cause any damage. I have come to the conclusion that the little black bumpers can be dangerous and choose not use them. This is not meant in any way to disparage Skyan stands or Noel. I think he makes a great product. It is only meant to caution you (and others) from thinking your speakers are safe resting on the little black rubber pads for a lengthy period of time.

    John Geisen

  3. #63
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    Default Re: Skylan Stands for Harbeth Monitor 40s

    I have not had any problem with the pads on Skylan stands sticking to any of the Harbeth speakers. Perhaps it is related to your climate in Florida.

  4. #64
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    Default Re: Veneer damage due to BlueTak (or similar)

    We have specifically mentioned in the User Guide that accompanies our speakers http://www.harbeth.co.uk/library/use...erguidance.pdf .... to repeat ...

    be VERY careful about using these materials as they will bond to the veneer which will de-laminate when you try and remove the speaker from the stand after some months. Hot conditions make this even more of a problem. The tell-tale signs of this are unmistakeable and obviously our Warranty does not cover this.

    I hestitate to say how much BlueTak you can use without risk of damage, but I would guess that it can't be more than about half a small pea size at each point of contact.

    I am aware of another material called WhiteTak which is non-greasy which may be a better choice but I have not tried it.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  5. #65
    Myron Guest

    Default Re: Skylan Stands for Harbeth Monitor 40s

    Has anyone pertenered the SHL5 with four legs Soundanchors? I am interested because
    i am waiting for them to come next week. Any answer is wellcomed...

  6. #66
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    Default Re: Skylan Stands for Harbeth Monitor 40s

    Myron,

    I partnered my SHL5s with the three posted Sound Anchors, and I can't imagine the four posted version will not mate at least as well. I was very happy with the combination. I used some stick-on "bumpers" I picked up at the hardware store between the speakers and the stands and between the stands and the floor (mine were sitting on a tile floor just off the carpet). There is the view that metal stands can ring from energy transmitted from the speaker; I didn't notice this, but you can listen for it and if you have any sense of it, use more isolation between the speaker and stand.

    Congratulations on the SHL5s - a most wonderful speaker!

    Ned

  7. #67
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    Default Sound Anchor stands for SHL5

    I used to have 21” 4-post Sound Anchors, Compact 7 ES2, and non-sticking Big Fat Black Dots by Herbie’s Audio as interface. With some RPG sound treatment, the sound staging was grand with excellent focus. Imagine going to a store and listening to the revered MBL111 in an MBL system, coming home, and feeling not one bit underwhelmed except for the bass weight. I already achieved the voluptuous sound staging so touted of SHL5.

    I now use 17.75” 4-post Sound Anchors with new SHL5 and Big Fat Black Dots. The music making ability is nothing less than marvelous. The expensive Sound Anchors do provide fine definitions. Unfortunately, one SHL5 bottom may not be perfectly level. After trying two pairs of stands, I concluded that one speaker had movement when the dots were at 4 corners. I had to settle for a triangular arrangement with felt pads over the two back posts to protect speaker veneer. My experience shows that toe-in may also play an important role. I thought initially 12 degree toe-in would increase image focus. On some CD’s (such as the 1st track on Closer Than They Appear by Sara K on Chesky), I found left and right plucked string instruments to come straight out of the speakers. I could readily localize the speakers. I reset toe-in to 8 degrees and did away with the anomaly without degradation of center image.

    I reckon SHL5 to be really lovely for all sorts of music. 50% more expensive Dynaudio Confidence C1’s also have pure human voice, but not close in bass definition/richness. The one model I may concede to outperformance and it better for the price is the equally laid back Sonus Faber Amati Anniversario for cool $27,000 USD. They are dynamic, equally life-like, and can remarkably disappear for floor standers. I have some curiosity about Still Point Resonance Dampers as a replacement for Herbie’s products. However, I am hesitant to take a leap of faith based on a “glorious” review for the prohibitive price. With some care in setup, your SHL5 and Sound Anchors can be truly outstanding.

  8. #68
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    Default Re: Bi-amping the M40.

    Link to another thread discussing this and recommending not to:

    http://www.harbeth.co.uk/usergroup/s...=1730#post1730
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  9. #69
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    Default M40 woofer discontinued?

    Alan, I have heard rumours flying that the M40 is not being manufactured due to raw material for the woofer being unobtainable. Is this true?

  10. #70
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    Default Re: M40 woofer

    The rumour is not quite correct. There is nothing unusual about the materials used in the woofer. The situation is actually this:

    Those nice people at Vifa ceased production of the M40s woofer some time ago. It would have been considerate if they had deemed us important enough to ask if we would like to make a final buy. They didn't. We have some stocks which we have reserved mainly for M40s going into the BBC, so the domestic hifi version is in short supply at the moment.

    Derek and I have designed a Harbeth-made 12" woofer that does the job, Derek having much more experience in 12" design from the ground up than I do. We have jointly agreed every step of the design which does not need to be RADIAL because it is only covering the very lowest frequencies, but does need a good stiff cone, which it has. Together we've prototyped five or six experimental generations of this unit with various combinations of cone/surround, magnet and voice coil and now we are extremely pleased with one particular set of parameters which we have settled upon. Soon we will release the new unit. From the outside you will have to look very closely to see the difference, this being a key decision on my design brief.

    In fact, this unfortunate supply strangulation has ultimately done us a great favour.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  11. #71
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    Default Re: M40 woofer etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by A.S.
    No. The M40 is our flagship.

    Those nice people at Vifa ceased production of the M40s woofer some time ago. It would have been considerate if they had deemed us important enough to ask if we would like to make a final buy. They didn't. We have some stocks which we have reserved mainly for M40s going into the BBC, so the domestic hifi version is in short supply at the moment.

    Derek and I have designed a Harbeth-made 12" woofer that does the job, Derek having much more experience in 12" design from the ground up than I do. We have jointly agreed every step of the design which does not need to be RADIAL because it is only covering the very lowest frequencies, but does need a good stiff cone, which it has. Together we've prototyped five or six experimental generations of this unit with various combinations of cone/surround, magnet and voicecoil and now we are extremely pleased with one particular set of parameters which we have settled upon. Soon we will release the new unit. From the outside you will have to look very closely to see the difference, this being a key decision on my design brief.

    In fact, this unfortunate supply strangulation has ultimately done us a great favour.
    Thanks for the detailed response Alan.

  12. #72
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    Default Re: M40 woofer pictures

    Here are some pictures of the Harbeth-designed driver.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  13. #73
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    Default Support points for M40s

    Alan, I have my M40s sitting on stools the tops of which are 14 inches square. Using four 2 1/2 inch square blocks - one at each corner of the stool - means that the M40s are supported about one inch in from the front and backs of the cabinets and about 1 1/2 inches in from the sides of the cabinets. Do you view this is a problem? If so, I could construct something to support the speakers closer to their outside edges.

    Thanks, Ned

  14. #74
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    Default Re: Support points for M40s

    Ned,

    You are worrying far too much about this. Even I wouldn't be concerned to this level of detail and I can't pretend otherwise. The Yellow Pages makes a great support I've found, which means, in essence, anything goes!

    Actually, by coincidence I've just spent the afternoon out in the sunshine with some cardboard tubes, a stethoscope, an oscillator a cheap speaker, a Slinky and a skipping rope just to refresh my memory about cabinet resonances/standing waves etc. etc. etc.. The theory is fine but fitting it precisely to the actuality is much more challenging - impossible in fact. Still, it was nice to get outside!
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  15. #75
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    Default Re: Support points for M40s

    Thanks, Alan -

    I'm reassured. The sound didn't concern me - as soon as I got them high enough off the floor, the M40s sang beautifully. I just wondered if there was any structural reason to have the weight supported closer to the strong vertical sides.
    I won't worry, but will simply enjoy the music.

    Ned

  16. #76
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    Default Re: Support points for M40s

    Quote Originally Posted by Ned Mast
    ...I won't worry, but will simply enjoy the music. Ned
    That's the idea! The truth is that the mechanics of the cabinet is so extremely complicated that I don't think anyone comprehensively understands what is going on in micro-detail - least of all me. So, for me to give you an authoritative statement that you must/must not do this or that would be irresponsible. If it works and sounds good for you that it must be OK!
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  17. #77
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    Default New generation Monitor 40 [M40.1] - development status @ May 07

    As you may be aware, last year VIFA terminated the supply of our 12" (305mm) woofers without notice or explanation. We scoured the world for these and found enough to keep production running until the end of 2006. Derek and I set in motion an immediate plan to design our own 12" woofer which involves many detailed steps. This proves the point that our own Harbeth-made drivers give 100% security of supply and the precise performance we need but does demand a substantial engineering input upfront.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Just as an example of the issues that need to be addressed here are a few:

    1. Check stock of M40 cabinets at Harbeth and then attempt to source a 12" chassis that will fit existing cabinet stock. Done.

    2. Design the metalwork for the magnet system, have metalwork made. Done.

    3. Design or find a suitable cone of the correct height, stiffness, weight and diameter and neck opening that will suit chassis in (1) above. Done.

    4. Identify a source of suitably powerful ferrite magnet rings. Arrange and test samples. Done.

    5. Design a voice coil of the correct resistance and dimensions to suit (2) and (3) above. Await for supplier to tool-up, as with all custom made parts. Done.

    6. Design or find a suitable rubber cone surround to suit (1) and (3) above. Done.

    7. Design or find a suitable dust cap to suit (3) ensuring cosmetic similarity with existing M40 VIFA woofer. Done.

    8. Bring together and glue (1) - (7) above in various experimental combinations. Done.

    9. Measure Thiele-Small parameters for all prototypes and tabulate results. Done.

    10. Run software simulator of various prototypes when used in a cabinet of M40 dimensions; adjust tuning as necessary. Verify results by acoustic measurement of actual drivers in M40 cabinet. Done.

    11. Select most promising 12" prototype for further refinement. When convinced mount 'final' driver in M40 cabinet. Done.

    12. Take M40 outside on warm windless day and measure under quasi-anechoic conditions. Underway.

    Covered here: http://www.harbeth.co.uk/usergroup/showthread.php?t=250
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    We are now at this stage. I am currently optimising the M40s midrange driver by making detail adjustments and soon will be marrying the optimised 12" with the optimised midrange. Then, again outside, I will capture the entire acoustic measurements for all three drivers without a crossover but in the M40 cabinet and feed into the crossover simulator. Only then can system intergration work begin i.e. the crossover design and relative drive unit balance.

    There is still some work to be undertaken but the bulk of the core engineering is completed. I apologise that this has taken rather a long time and for those of you who have been waiting to take delivery of your M40s but we are working as fast as we can. Our goal, as always, is complete perfection.

    Attached: two pictures of the Harbeth designed and made M40 woofer undergoing magnetic strength evaluation and prototype assembly at the Harbeth UK factory. Also, a picture of the 'redband' (codeword) M40 midrange driver being adjusted according to my request.

    >
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  18. #78
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    Default Re: Harbeth Monitor 40 domestic specific

    This is great news Alan! I aspire to owning a pair of M40's one day.

    For the longest time I was deciding between Quads and M40's to eventually replace my C7's but a couple of recent Quad auditions made me realize that the Radial driver in my C7's have spoiled me for all other speakers!

    The bad news is that the price of the M40 seems to be climbing faster than I'm able to save for them!!!

  19. #79
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    Default Re: Harbeth Monitor 40 domestic specific

    Thanks for the feedback. Some days I'm almost paralysed with indecision just in case I make a mistake so fine are the arguments and judgments at this level of precision.

    I have not heard the electrostatics that you mention myself but I have discussed their public demonstration with someone I greatly respect. Under, I suppose non-ideal conditions with unknown electronics, they were described to me as 'exceedingly bright' (i.e. boosted output and/or ringy in the higher frequencies) which to my mind would make them a dramatic contrast with their previous generations.

    Could this have been something to do with the electronics or the system setup? Possibly. Could this have been the result of deliberately tweaking them for a new market, a new audience where the brightness would be attractive? Maybe. Could it be that, just as RADIAL defines the (non) sonic signature of Harbeth, a new diaphragm film has been used and that is unfortunately imparting some of its inherent sonic thumb print on the perceived sound? Or could it just have been a bad listening day? Maybe all or any of the above! Or maybe my friend is just wrong.

    This is not the place to critique competitor speakers especially such unique ones with such an illustrious pedigree but I wonder if this reflects on what society at large thinks of as a 'reference sound'. I stress, I have not heard them.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  20. #80
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    Default The astonishing, transparent and natural SHL5

    As a P.S. I have just recalled helping out at Harbeth's exhibition room several years ago in some far off country.

    As you may know, I do not have hi-fi at home: if I did it would be impossible for me to be objective and I would be seduced by my own creation - a very slippery slope indeed. So it's always a treat to hear speakers - any speakers - in unfamiliar surroundings and to learn something new.

    Anyway - the point is that in a nearby (hotel bedroom) room along the corridor an electrostatic speaker was on demonstration, and as the doors were kept open their sales people visited our room and we theirs. I'd pop in for a few minutes every couple of hours and heard quite a selection of music over the three days.

    Even applying maximum objectivity and self honesty it was a shock (a pleasant one, but still a shock to me) was how astonishingly good the Super HL5 was in every way. It was cleaner, clearer, more true-to-life, better bass, sweeter and drove the room better. Above all, the SHL5 had no sonic signature, nothing at all that said 'this is a man made box'. Nobody was more surprised (and delighted) than me since I had read so much about electrostats but not really listened to one.

    Why surprised? Well, one reads so much wonderful theory about how electrostatics have such thin diaphragms that can trace the music etc. etc. and I'm sure that is all true, but does that necessarily mean that all electrostatics are great speakers? No it doesn't. The downside of the light, taut diaphragm is that it definitely has a Cling Film-like twang that, to my ears, is ever present and so evidently man-made. It could never be the signature of an instrument or voice since no instrument or human voice is generated by wobbling a large sheet in the air.

    Remind me to tell you of my experience in Japan when I was invited to be one of the first visitors to the new Stereo Sound listening room an couple of years ago! Again .... the wonderful SHL5.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

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