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Thread: "Why we like Harbeth speakers" - Users feedback

  1. #21
    Ted Rook Guest

    Default I like Harbeth because

    because they don't make unscientific claims for magical performance

    because they are beautifully made precision speakers

    because the speakers are good enough for the BBC

    because "the boss" is dedicated in a way that is rare

    because they sound great loud and soft, high and low, precise

  2. #22
    Ted Rook Guest

    Default I like Harbeth because..........PS

    I forgot one

    because when properly set-up the speakers disappear and the sound floats in space between them.
    That is magical and I have been searching for a room and speakers to do that for thirty years.
    At last I have it. The search is over.

    Ted

    LS5/12A and M30

  3. #23
    Ted Rook Guest

    Default I like Harbeth because

    oh and one last thing.............

    because they make listening a pleasure.

    I sit with FM radio playing music and I am entranced by the magic of the stereo mix playback just as it was heard when it was made. There's the voice, there's the piano, there's the guitar, there's the drums, there's the tambourine, it's all there, spell binding. Thank you Alan Shaw, thank you.

    Ted Rook

    past bedtime...zzzzzzzzzzzzz

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Athens, Greece
    Posts
    201

    Default

    The story of .... De Havilland Mosquito !!!
    The D.H. Mosquito was, according to internationally accepted opinions and evidence, the most versatile aircraft of WW2. Fighter, night fighter, bomber, target towing, hi alt. photo-reconnaissance, low alt. photo-reconnaissance, ground attack & straffing, trainer, single or multiseater, light cargo, radar carrier and path finder, anti-submarine and mine-destroyer, target indicator, etc.!
    Now, it was made from wood! Like Harbeths.
    Ah, I think I see many similarities! Mosquito was multi-role all weather, Harbeth is any equipment matching (multi role) and of course any type of music at any listening environment/level.
    Both with excellent history, results and user's affection...
    Now, ALAN, please excuse me, perhaps I'm being weird or a bit funny, but as a WW2's fighter pilot's son (RAF-Spifires), this what I found to send!
    Warmest Regards to all Friends! With a huge smile!
    Thanos, Athens, Greece

  5. #25
    sonofcolin Guest

    Default Re: "Why we like Harbeth speakers" - Users feedback

    As a new Harbeth owner, I'd like to share some observations about the compact 7ES2 in my system.

    First. Wow. No need to repeat what has already been said about the sonic attributes of these speakers.

    Second. These speakers can play ANY music. I have read lots of twaddle about Harbeth not being suited to rock and heaven forbid electronic music. Well, from what I have heard that simply is not true. They do not have a prefered 'style'. They just get on and play whatever they are given. Classical, jazz, dub, electronica, rock all sound fantastic through the 7's.

    Third. The cabinets are real works of art. I really appreciate the love and care that has gone into making these speakers. It really shows.

    Congratulations to everyone at Harbeth.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Japan
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: "Why we like Harbeth speakers" - Users feedback

    Even in my moderate system and poor listening room i can be transported by the music. No fatigue, no harshness, fantastic voice, balance, clarity, realism and the emotion! The EMOTION - that's the best part. Fantastic. I picked up my compact 7 speakers used as i now live in Japan and wanted to go back to British Hi-fi. Coupled with a quad 306 and a mid price cd player i now find my pace quickening as i leave Tokyo station and look forward to another evening ensconced in front of the Harbeths. i've got over 500 cds and all of them sound better than on other speakers i've owned. A great all rounder.

  7. #27
    Arlequen Guest

    Default Re: "Why we like Harbeth speakers" - Users feedback

    "Why we like Harbeth speakers"

    Speaking about the C7ES .. first of all because at that money you can't find nothing so good on the worldwide hi-fi market and second beacause I litterally love the "finesse" of this Alan jewel
    We , in Italy , have Sound Faber of my collega Franco Serblin (a good dentist like I'm) another very nice and good sounding loudspeaker but they don't have the Anima that Alan put into his products .. same for Thiels I had for long time .. good speakers but "plasticose" :-) (trad. kinda artificial cold sound)
    No anima = no poetry .. just a good commercial product
    A part this human concept I find C7ES a fantastic all rounder .. surely not a special rocker but I don like so much rock music but lovely with jazz blues and classical music included Opera I like very much .. and this thanks to the sugar honey midrange
    When I listen C7ES I think to Alan and I thank him to give me his Anima .. read as his professional knowledge and his musical culture and sensibility .. every time

    Viva Harbeth!

    Curio

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: "Why we like Harbeth speakers" - Users feedback

    Tonight has been my first real taste of Harbeths. I purchased some C7es2s second hand and while waiting (very impatiently) for my Skylans to arrive, I put them on some 20" tall tables that I have. I am just so thrilled with what I heard, all of the adjectives that others have used to describe these speakers are accurate, and I simply can't believe how smooth the midrange is. Vocals flow and guitar solos and rhythm have great texture. fyi, I use a Naim Nait5 with flatcap2 and an Arcam DV-78.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Sweden
    Posts
    32

    Default Bought the Super HL5 and almost got religious

    Well it was like this one of the first days I had the S HL5, I had been listening to a news program on the radio for an hour or so, when the next program was a live broadcast from a morning service.
    I can honestly say it is not generally my cup of tea, not even as this, on a sunday morning.
    I suddenly had a church in my living room. Never ever before have I heard the accoustics of a church like I did this time on the new Super HL5. Very impressive. I sat for quite a while listeing to the different voices of the choir.
    At least one can say thank god for a truly amazing loudspeaker. Or is it thank you Alan not making any other comparison.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    459

    Default Re: "Why we like Harbeth speakers" - Users feedback

    Hi folks, i hail from sunny singapore & currently own a pair of SHL-5. I have been an avid fan of Harbeth since the first time i heard the HL-MK4 about 20 years ago. Since then, i have either heard or owned countless other speakers & suffice to say, Harbeths are still the best irregardless of price or size. They don't just reproduce sound, but convey the full purpose, art & emotion of the music as well. These speakers are also unparalled in the area of timbre & tonal accuracy even when compared to other speakers many many times its price. The result is a sound so natural, real & beguiling & not bearing any artificial artefacts at all. Ultimate musicality plus whatever hifi terms that you may want to add in like wide & lifelike soundstage, transparency & precise stereo imaging....only Harbeth can deliver all these. A big kudos to Mr Alan Shaw & his team for making what i consider to be the finest range of speakers on this planet.

  11. #31
    James Beltran Guest

    Default Re: "Why we like Harbeth speakers" - Users feedback

    Lars,
    What is your set up in terms of source ,amp and cables? This may enable me to meet my religious obligations if I cant get up in time.
    Regards
    James Beltran
    Malaysia

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Sweden
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: "Why we like Harbeth speakers" - Users feedback

    I use nothing to fancy. A Primaluna Prologue 5 power amp but I have changed the original KT88 tubes to JJ 6L6GC . This changes the balance slightly towards a more laidback sound. One strange thing I have noticed is that the power amp sounds better in my setup with the tube cage in place. I can not really explain why.
    Preamp is either a Sunfire Classic Tube Preamp or an Xindak 3250. I can not really decide which one I like best. Tuner is an old faithful Sugden T48 II from 1981(I think)
    New caps in it, that is all I have changed and it sounds really great.
    Cables are Eichmann 6 mk II and speaker cables comes from Marcus cables.
    The 35 watts from the Primaluna is quite enough to drive my Super HL5 in a room 5 x 6 meters.
    I do listen a lot more to radio now with the S HL5 speakers. Everything sounds so right,
    especially live broadcasts. But then if you listen more to how the broadcast sounds instead of the actual music, the musicians can always blame the speaker designer for taking the focus away with a too good design.

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Japan
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: "Why we like Harbeth speakers" - Users feedback

    I've already posted my feelings about Harbeth speakers. However, i upgraded to the Compact 7-es2, and got a Leben Hi-fi valve amp as well as better cables. The Leben is superb. This is probably not hi end stuff but i have to say that the Harbeths just seem to get better with whatever you throw at them. They now sound even more glorious and more addictive than before. Each recording's character comes to the fore and i never listen to anything but a whole album. Never an offensive note in all of my varied cd collection. Captivating stuff! I feel confident that however i upgrade, the Harbeths will sit back and confidently deliver. They won't be going anywhere fast.

  14. #34
    scalanc Guest

    Default Re: "Why we like Harbeth speakers" - Users feedback

    I've got Compacts 7 es 2 coming from Rogers Studio 1a (used to haver AR 10).
    (Yes I'm an old listener!)

    What a world I discovered. I was not aware of what a speaker can offer: and I'm nort ruined as they're cheap enough.
    I drive these speakers with Densen DM 10 and this is a beautiful combination:
    Cables are Kimber 8 TC and interconnects areMadrigal HPC: do you think I can improve from those?

    Bye Bye, new friends and many thanks to people like those in Harbeth which takes care to keep us away from Ipod and so.
    (These speakers let my daughters understand the difference between music and confusion)

    Sergio

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    23

    Default C7ES3 - power/ loudness issue?

    WHERE AM I GOING WRONG????

    I have always liked Harbeth Speakers.

    I used to own a pair of HLP3s and it was one of those times when you move a piece of hifi on and always regret it.

    I recently bought a pair of Harbeth Compact 7- brand new latest version and set them up in my lounge. I am using a Karan Integrated Amp and Resolution Audio CDP Player with Chord Cables. Not an insignificant combination.

    The problem I have is that I am really struggling to get any decent sound from the Harbeths after 3 weeks or so of owning them. They are quite bright with no real warmth to the sound. Very little bass. Imaging is poor and vocals indistinct.

    Where am I ging wrong? I know the potential of these speakers and feel I am missing out somewhere.

    Any ideas, advice, suggestions?

    Rob

  16. #36
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    459

    Default C7ES3 - power/ loudness issue?

    Quote Originally Posted by Robmoores1 View Post
    WHERE AM I GOING WRONG????

    I have always liked Harbeth Speakers.

    I used to own a pair of HLP3s and it was one of those times when you move a piece of hifi on and always regret it.

    I recently bought a pair of Harbeth Compact 7- brand new latest version and set them up in my lounge. I am using a Karan Integrated Amp and Resolution Audio CDP Player with Chord Cables. Not an insignificant combination.

    The problem I have is that I am really struggling to get any decent sound from the Harbeths after 3 weeks or so of owning them. They are quite bright with no real warmth to the sound. Very little bass. Imaging is poor and vocals indistinct.

    Where am I ging wrong? I know the potential of these speakers and feel I am missing out somewhere.

    Any ideas, advice, suggestions?

    Rob
    Brightness & lack of warmth is the last thing that anyone can use to describe a Harbeth. Something is extremely wrong with your setup. I suspect its your Karan amp. I've heard this amp before, though with other speakers & have found them to be bright & brash. Recently, i found that LFD goes very well with Harbeth. Smooth, very sweet, controlled, musical, & transparent. Contact Stereonow & have a listen to LFD & Harbeth. To me, the pairing is simply magical.

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    South of England, UK
    Posts
    4,015

    Default C7ES3 - power/ loudness issue?

    There is indeed something seriously wrong with your system. Overall warmth and clean, clear vocals and a sweet un-hifi like top end (i.e flat) are the outstanding features of the C7ES3. As you may know, I do not have hi-fi at home (for various reasons) and that means that months (or even years) can pass before I have the chance to hear production-Harbeths again. I am always listening to development Harbeths, but once production has commenced, I don't need to listen again. My job is complete to the best of my ability. Occasionally I do hear production-Harbeths at a Hi-Fi show, in a customer's house, at a hi-fi dealers store.

    So, when I was at the Montreal show just a few weeks ago, it was an ideal opportunity to reacquaint myself with Harbeths afresh. I can not recognise the Compact from your description. You would expect the bigger RADIAL-coned Compact 7ES3 to be warmer and more involving than the smaller P3, and that is absolutely true, it is: but of course the C7 is much more expensive (and bigger).

    OK so how do we go about resolving this? First of all, please be sure that you have Registered these speakers on the Harbeth web site then we can have a look at their history - this is important. Did you buy them new in sealed cartons? Do you still have the P3s available so you can do a real side-by-side and not rely on your memory?

    Second, can we see a photo of your listening room please to see where the speakers are and on what types of stands.

    Third: have you tried another amplifier? I can not really believe that you are experiencing an amplifier issue - but you may be. Finally - what does your Dealer say?
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  18. #38
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    23

    Default C7ES3 - power/ loudness issue?

    Alan,

    Thanks for taking the time to respond.

    Rather than writing an essay I will shorten my response into the following points:

    1. I bought the speakers direct from yourselves The serial numbers are C7 789L/R. They have been registered on the website.
    2. The P3's went a long time ago so cannot do a direct comparison.
    3. I do not have another amplifier to try although I may well borrow one next week.
    4. I have the speakers on Atacama SL500 stands. They are in my well furnished lounge around 18 inches from the wall (long wall) and 6 feet 5 feet from the side walls. The room is around 20 feet by 11 feet.

    I will see what my finding are with the new speakers. Having listened again it is almost as though very little power is getting through to the woofer - it is a strange situation. Almost as though the speakers are being driven by a 5 watt amplifier rather than a 180 watt one.

    If you have any further suggestions I would appreciate hearing them.

    Regards,

    Rob

  19. #39
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    South of England, UK
    Posts
    4,015

    Default C7ES3 - power/ loudness issue?

    Quote Originally Posted by Robmoores1 View Post
    ...Having listened again it is almost as though very little power is getting through to the woofer - it is a strange situation. Almost as though the speakers are being driven by a 5 watt amplifier rather than a 180 watt one...
    The only thing I can imagine is that the woofer's cone/coil assembly is not free to move in the magnetic gap. That could be caused by overload or obstruction - for example, a metallic particle has become wedged in the 'gap'. But for a particle to creep into both woofers is frankly, almost unbelievable. Or, maybe some glue has crept into the gap? The 'gap' into which the voice coil fits is very narrow - I've shown it here.

    I will be overseas from the end of next week, and I would like to resolve this before I go. Could you email me directly (you can do that here on the User Group) and tell me please where you are, give me your post code and phone number. I will try my best to make a trip to hear these for myself in your home, if that is acceptable to you before I depart. Alternatively, please immediately repack them in the original cartons exactly as we sent them out and have them ready for UPS to collect on Monday/Tuesday for return to us. I can not give you an exact time they'll collect - could be between 9am and 6pm - so please have someone available during that (long) period to hand them over. PLEASE NOTE: it is essential that you return them in the original cartons as these will protect the speakers. Please check that the cartons are in good condition.

    In any event, we will measure the frequency response of the speakers, listen to music on them then dissect these woofers and video the result. I apologise for the inconvenience this has caused and would very much like to resolve it before my flight on Thursday night.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  20. #40
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: C7ES3 - power/ loudness issue?

    Alan,

    Thanks for your response and concern. I have spent the last few hours attempting to see if I can find a solution to the issues I am having.

    To fill you in a little more the music I listen to most of the time is acoustic (solo guitar and singer) and piano music. It is on this type of music where the vocals and guitars lack any real body or midrange warmth that I had anticipated. I put some CD's on today that actually had some proper bass and can confirm that there is certainly nothing wrong with the radial drivers in the lower bass regions.

    I am almost convinced (contrary to you you said) that the amplifier is at fault. The more question I have asked about the Karan amplifier the more obvious it is that this is where I have a problem. I am borrowing another amplifier tomorrow which should be a better match.

    I will let you know how I get on.

    Regards,

    Rob

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