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Thread: M40 vs M40.1

  1. #1
    audio39 Guest

    Default M40 vs M40.1

    I have just purchased a pair of M40's (won't get them home for another 2 weeks) in Eucalyptus...very excited. I purchased them based on numerous listening sessions with the M40.1 were I came away very appreciative of the brand.

    So my question is...what difference will I hear with the 40's? I have heard the 40's before, but it was quite awhile back, and with tubes, of which I am not a fan. My memories of the 40's were positive, but the tube amps could not control the low frequency driver properly and so I was not overly impressed overall.

    Although I'm asking feedback after the fact, I am still interested in hearing from those in the know.

    Thanks in advance,

    Rick.

  2. #2
    audio39 Guest

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    OK, so no feedback...a little surprising.

    The M40's are now home, I've got about 8 hours of listening on them...quite amazing and real mids, vocals are startlingly real.

    Most of my listening has been to the Beatles and Chicago, but this afternoon I ventured into some heavier music - Led Zeppelin and Def Leppard - and with music of this type the volume went up considerably! So very quickly I realize that these big guys can be a hefty load for an amplifier, and since my beloved Luxman M-05 is in being completely restored I'm using a Luxman M-117 with about 30% of the power supply of my big pure class 'A' beauty.

    So I'd like to know what the lowest impedance an amp will see with the M40's. I actually have (2) M-117's meaning I could bridge them, but they won't like a load less then 6 ohms.

    Any feedback would be appreciated.

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    I heard the original 1st generation M40 (with 2 ports right at the bottom corners of the front baffle) some years back & when i heard the M40.1, the 1st thing that struck me was the new M40.1 has improved quite a fair bit on midband transparency, detail,low level resolution & overall balance. The original M40 had a tendency to sound somewhat 'heavy' in balance & that in turn 'clouded' midband & highs. But overall, the original M40 was still very smooth, musical & very substantial sounding. The new M40.1 is still a very substantial sounding speaker but avoids getting too thick or heavy sounding. IMO, the new M40.1 is more involving, detailed & exibits much better finesse & micro dynamics in the critical midband. Pls take note that the above differences are pointing at the old 1st generation M40 in comparison to the latest M40.1. I haven't heard the 2nd generation M40 though. The 2nd generation M40 has the position of the 2 ports shifted upwards like what you see on M40.1 now. I believe the 2nd generation M40 has improved on the shortcomings of the older M40 but can't say how it compares to the current M40.1. I believe your M40 is the 2nd generation model.

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    I can't comment on the M40 but the M40.1 is tight and sweet and clean with not a trace of bloom or colouration. They are fast and articulate and bl**dy good fun. The bass is that tight and punchy sort that only occurs when the music provides it - they don't drone like so many large speakers.

    As for power requirements, I have used them with vintage Quad II's and Leak Stereo 20 with good results. Obviously with only 12 wpc, the Quad isn't an ideal match but it certainly works well unless you want loud and deep drum & bass. I have had great results with the Rega Brio, a £300 budget amp and the Puresound A30 with only 30 watts to hand. You don't need massive muscle amps to enjoy the M40.1.

  5. #5
    audio39 Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gan CK View Post
    I heard the original 1st generation M40 (with 2 ports right at the bottom corners of the front baffle) some years back & when i heard the M40.1, the 1st thing that struck me was the new M40.1 has improved quite a fair bit on midband transparency, detail,low level resolution & overall balance. The original M40 had a tendency to sound somewhat 'heavy' in balance & that in turn 'clouded' midband & highs. But overall, the original M40 was still very smooth, musical & very substantial sounding. The new M40.1 is still a very substantial sounding speaker but avoids getting too thick or heavy sounding. IMO, the new M40.1 is more involving, detailed & exibits much better finesse & micro dynamics in the critical midband. Pls take note that the above differences are pointing at the old 1st generation M40 in comparison to the latest M40.1. I haven't heard the 2nd generation M40 though. The 2nd generation M40 has the position of the 2 ports shifted upwards like what you see on M40.1 now. I believe the 2nd generation M40 has improved on the shortcomings of the older M40 but can't say how it compares to the current M40.1. I believe your M40 is the 2nd generation model.
    Hi Gan CK...the pair I've purchased are the 2nd gen, they look identical to the 40.1.

    Although I suppose it may be different if I had both the 40 and 40.1 on hand to compare directly against one another, my initial listening impression leaves me unable to hear the difference between the 2 versions of the speakers. I am very pleased with the bass, it's full and substantial, yet it fits neatly in with the whole - as it should.

    What I wasn't prepared for was how similar I find this speaker to my all time favourite B&W 801 S3's. From top to bottom I find a great deal of similarities, I would give the edge in imaging to the 801's, I would give the edge in vocal reproduction to the 40's. Just for reference, I do not believe the later iterations of the 801 to be improvements - different - but not improvements.

    I'm going to have the chance to try out a Luxman M-800a amp this weekend, it should be a great synergy, I'm expecting to have a great deal of fun.

    I'll keep posting as I move forward, I will be getting the chance to set up a pair of M40.1's in my home before summer, a friend owns a pair and we are going to get together to discern any audible differences.

    And by the way...the Eucalyptus is absolutely gorgeous!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by audio39 View Post
    Hi Gan CK...the pair I've purchased are the 2nd gen, they look identical to the 40.1.

    Although I suppose it may be different if I had both the 40 and 40.1 on hand to compare directly against one another, my initial listening impression leaves me unable to hear the difference between the 2 versions of the speakers. I am very pleased with the bass, it's full and substantial, yet it fits neatly in with the whole - as it should.

    What I wasn't prepared for was how similar I find this speaker to my all time favourite B&W 801 S3's. From top to bottom I find a great deal of similarities, I would give the edge in imaging to the 801's, I would give the edge in vocal reproduction to the 40's. Just for reference, I do not believe the later iterations of the 801 to be improvements - different - but not improvements.

    I'm going to have the chance to try out a Luxman M-800a amp this weekend, it should be a great synergy, I'm expecting to have a great deal of fun.

    I'll keep posting as I move forward, I will be getting the chance to set up a pair of M40.1's in my home before summer, a friend owns a pair and we are going to get together to discern any audible differences.

    And by the way...the Eucalyptus is absolutely gorgeous!!
    In addition to better vocals, i'd expect the M40 to outperform the B&W 801 S3 in terms of overall tonality, harmonics & natural instrumental timbre. Good as they are but the 801 S3 can sound a tad clinical & cold IMHO. Enjoy your M40 to the max. Oh & do update us on the differences of your M40 against the latest M40.1. I am sure the comparison will be fun & interesting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gan CK View Post
    In addition to better vocals, i'd expect the M40 to outperform the B&W 801 S3 in terms of overall tonality, harmonics & natural instrumental timbre.
    Just want to clarify, how should we understand the term "harmonics"?

    Are you suggesting that the B&W plays notes out of tune?

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    Quote Originally Posted by timleety View Post
    Just want to clarify, how should we understand the term "harmonics"?

    Are you suggesting that the B&W plays notes out of tune?

    Interesting question....Hormonics is nothing related to "out of tune". Each instrument have it unique harmonics structure. If an instrument in an orchestra is not tuned properly by following the 1st violinist key, its key is "out of tune".
    Last edited by keithwwk; 15-03-2010 at 01:48 PM. Reason: typo
    "Bath in Music"

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    Thks to Keithwwk for helping me out on that. Just to add on, harmonics is IMHO like the oscillating effect of a string instrument when it is plucked. In that sense, its also closely related to overtones. Well, i may be wrong on that but that's the way i look at it. Out of tune is referring to wrong pitch, or out of key.

  10. #10
    audio39 Guest

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    I'm very happy to report that the M40's and the big Luxman amp sound nothing short of amazing together. I'm equally happy that the new Lux has nearly the same sonic signature to that of my beloved Luxman M-05.

    I would find it hard to imagine a better pairing then the Lux with the Harbeths.

    Rick.

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    Congrate! Welcome to music paradize!
    "Bath in Music"

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    Quote Originally Posted by audio39 View Post
    I'm very happy to report that the M40's and the big Luxman amp sound nothing short of amazing together. I'm equally happy that the new Lux has nearly the same sonic signature to that of my beloved Luxman M-05.

    I would find it hard to imagine a better pairing then the Lux with the Harbeths.

    Rick.
    Hi Rick, great to hear that. Any pics to show us your setup btw?

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    Quote Originally Posted by keithwwk View Post
    Interesting question....Hormonics is nothing related to "out of tune". Each instrument have it unique harmonics structure. If an instrument in an orchestra is not tuned properly by following the 1st violinist key, its key is "out of tune".
    Quote Originally Posted by Gan CK View Post
    Thks to Keithwwk for helping me out on that. Just to add on, harmonics is IMHO like the oscillating effect of a string instrument when it is plucked. In that sense, its also closely related to overtones. Well, i may be wrong on that but that's the way i look at it. Out of tune is referring to wrong pitch, or out of key.
    So are we saying that when compared to the Harbeths, in the aspect of harmonics, the B & W is less capable of accurately producing "the oscillating effect of a string instrument when it is plucked"? Bearing in mind also that not everyone listens only to acoustic and/or orchestral music - how do we apply your definition of harmonics to, say, electronic music?

    I don't think we can also say irrefutably that "harmonics is NOTHING related to out of tune". Is not pitch derived from the perceived structure of harmonics? Whether your first violinist is setting the note right or not by tightening or loosening the strings, the pitch produced is not without harmonics.

    In other words, if you are saying that Speaker A is inferior is producing the correct harmonics, would it imply that it is producing notes out of tune? I may be wrong, but should someone show me otherwise, I shall stand humbly corrected.

    If "timbre", "tonality" and "harmonics" are so challenging to discern with words, I wonder how one should make such statements about them. How do we reach so conclusively that Speaker A is superior to Speaker B in these categories by just mere listening?

    Suffice to say that we all have a personal predilection for "the Harbeth sound", I don't feel it is fair to put down other brands simply based on one's subjective preference.

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    Quote Originally Posted by timleety View Post
    So are we saying that when compared to the Harbeths, in the aspect of harmonics, the B & W is less capable of accurately producing "the oscillating effect of a string instrument when it is plucked"? Bearing in mind also that not everyone listens only to acoustic and/or orchestral music - how do we apply your definition of harmonics to, say, electronic music?

    I don't think we can also say irrefutably that "harmonics is NOTHING related to out of tune". Is not pitch derived from the perceived structure of harmonics? Whether your first violinist is setting the note right or not by tightening or loosening the strings, the pitch produced is not without harmonics.

    In other words, if you are saying that Speaker A is inferior is producing the correct harmonics, would it imply that it is producing notes out of tune? I may be wrong, but should someone show me otherwise, I shall stand humbly corrected.

    If "timbre", "tonality" and "harmonics" are so challenging to discern with words, I wonder how one should make such statements about them. How do we reach so conclusively that Speaker A is superior to Speaker B in these categories by just mere listening?

    Suffice to say that we all have a personal predilection for "the Harbeth sound", I don't feel it is fair to put down other brands simply based on one's subjective preference.
    If you understand how the BBC thin wall cabinet works, you'll understand why Harbeth will naturally be superior when it comes to reproducing that oscillating effect of a musical instrument. As far as i am concerned, electrical instruments don't have a sound of their own so how can one draw any reference to them with regards to tonality, timbre & harmonics.? Of course if someone can show me otherwise, i too shall stand humbly corrected! Many speakers can reproduce sound but not many can reproduce acoustic instruments & voices well.
    This is a friendly forum so let's keep it that way!

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    Quote Originally Posted by timleety View Post
    I don't think we can also say irrefutably that "harmonics is NOTHING related to out of tune". Is not pitch derived from the perceived structure of harmonics? Whether your first violinist is setting the note right or not by tightening or loosening the strings, the pitch produced is not without harmonics.

    In other words, if you are saying that Speaker A is inferior is producing the correct harmonics, would it imply that it is producing notes out of tune? I may be wrong, but should someone show me otherwise, I shall stand humbly corrected.

    If "timbre", "tonality" and "harmonics" are so challenging to discern with words, I wonder how one should make such statements about them. How do we reach so conclusively that Speaker A is superior to Speaker B in these categories by just mere listening?

    Suffice to say that we all have a personal predilection for "the Harbeth sound", I don't feel it is fair to put down other brands simply based on one's subjective preference.
    Hi timleety,

    The way you post reminded me another guy nick name “Fugazi” in “other forum” in Singapore (Just realized you had changed your location from “Singapore” to “the red dot”)..

    Anyway, please try to visit below link to find your answer on "harmonics" and if you detect any "out of tune".

    Harbeth's history in speaker cone research Pt. 2
    http://www.harbeth.co.uk/uk/index.ph...okdetail&id=16

    To my ear, I do feel Radial cone is superior to other cone material….by listening? Hm…of casue, yes, is by listening. That’s why I am in HUG and I love Harbeth’s sound.

    Personal taste and subjective feelings in involved in this hobby. If you do not agree, plese feel free to disagree.

    Anyway, this is Rich thread talking abt m40 vs m40.1. Let's go back to the original topic.

    Cheers
    "Bath in Music"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gan CK View Post
    If you understand how the BBC thin wall cabinet works, you'll understand why Harbeth will naturally be superior when it comes to reproducing that oscillating effect of a musical instrument. As far as i am concerned, electrical instruments don't have a sound of their own so how can one draw any reference to them with regards to tonality, timbre & harmonics.? Of course if someone can show me otherwise, i too shall stand humbly corrected! Many speakers can reproduce sound but not many can reproduce acoustic instruments & voices well.
    This is a friendly forum so let's keep it that way!
    Quote Originally Posted by keithwwk View Post
    Hi timleety,

    The way you post reminded me another guy nick name “Fugazi” in “other forum” in Singapore (Just realized you had changed your location from “Singapore” to “the red dot”)..

    Anyway, please try to visit below link to find your answer on "harmonics" and if you detect any "out of tune".

    Harbeth's history in speaker cone research Pt. 2
    http://www.harbeth.co.uk/uk/index.ph...okdetail&id=16

    To my ear, I do feel Radial cone is superior to other cone material….by listening? Hm…of casue, yes, is by listening. That’s why I am in HUG and I love Harbeth’s sound.

    Personal taste and subjective feelings in involved in this hobby. If you do not agree, plese feel free to disagree.

    Anyway, this is Rich thread talking abt m40 vs m40.1. Let's go back to the original topic.

    Cheers
    Hi keithwwk, I make no attempts at hiding my identity, in fact my ID on this forum is my actual name, and we have met before on amicable terms.

    Was I unfriendly in questioning your statement? Unless you feel that there is no room for discussion when it comes to your conclusions. If electronic music is irrelevant to "tonality, timbre & harmonics", are we assuming that all Harbeth listeners listen soley to acoustic music? If not, how did you decide that the Harbeth trounces the B & W on all counts?

    My point is, how does one come to an informed opinion regarding how accurately Speaker A/B reproduces harmonics. Are we really able to "hear" the harmonics? It is enough to say that one prefers a Harbeth over another make, I personally feel it is unfair to make comparisons to other speakers based on one's very subjective aural impressions.

    Yes Keith you are right - on with the programme.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gan CK View Post
    As far as i am concerned, electrical instruments don't have a sound of their own so how can one draw any reference to them with regards to tonality, timbre & harmonics.?
    Hi Gan, I actually know of musicians who can successfully identify (by listening) the sound of a Gibson Les Paul over the sound of a Fender Tele. Or the kind of pedals used in between.

    The Moog, Fender Rhodes and Wurlitzer are equally valid "electrical" (as you say) keyboards with a distinct sound ("tonality, timbre & harmonics") of their own.

    Check out this webiste: http://paulineoliveros.us/. It shows that "other" kinds of music that are "out there" are very much alive and well. And recognised and acclaimed.

    So let's not dismiss other kinds of music because we don't dig. I am not arguing with you, simply offering an alternative view.

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    Quote Originally Posted by keithwwk View Post
    Anyway, please try to visit below link to find your answer on "harmonics" and if you detect any "out of tune".

    Harbeth's history in speaker cone research Pt. 2
    http://www.harbeth.co.uk/uk/index.ph...okdetail&id=16
    Why would you point me to a Harbeth (commerical, not acedemic) page documenting the development of the cone when the speaker in question is a B & W? The article makes no mention whatsoever on "harmonics", nor support your claimed knowledge of the term.

    Try this instead: http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=11906. If you think the discussion is terribly technical, then my question is how does one "hear" harmonics and decide which speaker is "better" in that aspect?

    I really wonder if you truly understand what I'm trying to get across.

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    Ah, that explains the hostility earlier. Anyway, i agree with Keithwwk that we've gone "out of tune" on this one. No point getting on to each other's throat on who's right or wrong as mileage & experience varies from one individual to another.

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    Quote Originally Posted by timleety View Post
    Why would you point me to a Harbeth (commerical, not acedemic) page documenting the development of the cone when the speaker in question is a B & W? The article makes no mention whatsoever on "harmonics", nor support your claimed knowledge of the term.

    Try this instead: http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=11906. If you think the discussion is terribly technical, then my question is how does one "hear" harmonics and decide which speaker is "better" in that aspect?

    I really wonder if you truly understand what I'm trying to get across.
    Hi timleety,

    I think you shd read carefully what you had posted here. You shd able to see nobody but you keep mentioning "B & W" and nobody but you keep saying "B & W out of tune". You like to say that, I got no comments.

    I was expressing my view on "harmonics" and "out of tune" only. It is ok if you do not agree what I said. I am alright to agree to your disagree.

    I am here to learn to share but not debate.

    Cheers
    "Bath in Music"

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