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Thread: M40 vs M40.1

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by timleety View Post

    Is not pitch derived from the perceived structure of harmonics?
    I believe the correct answer to this is "no". As I understand it, pitch derives from the fundamental frequency of a note. The harmonics, or overtones, are at multiples of the fundamental, so if the fundamental is in tune, i.e. at the correct pitch (e.g. A = 440hz), then the harmonics will be in the proper relation to the fundamental.

    I have no idea what Gan CK meant to say, but I'd hazard a guess that he might have been to referring to the excellent low-level resolving capability of Harbeth speakers: because harmonics typically are much lower in amplitude than the fundamental, but determine the character or timbre of an instrument, Harbeths will have a very "true to life" quality at least in part because they do resolve the harmonics very well, and hence instruments sound through them very much as they sound in real life.

    Now, what is the "real" sound of an electric guitar, say, can be a complicated question. I tend to agree that music that uses electric or electronic instruments (much of which I'm a fan of) is inherently no less artistically valid than acoustic music. It's just harder to say what those instruments "should" sound like (though they also sound great through Harbeths). I think this is why Harbeth puts so much emphasis on natural reproduction of voice. We all know what voices sound like, and we can all hear it if they're not reproduced properly.

    Incidentally, I mean no slight against any other speaker brand and I'm not making comparisons. To each his own.

    Sorry to all for perpetuating the off topic discussion.

  2. #22
    audio39 Guest

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    OK...I'm near to sorry that I mentioned B&W, but this journey I'm presently on makes the reference valid - predominantly because until now I had found the 801 S3's to be nearest MY musical ideal.

    The M40's replaced a pair of Monitor Audio PL-300's, another speaker I gleefully admit I enjoyed a great deal...I have yet to hear a speaker that could remain as composed as the PL-300's at elevated volumes, unfortunately I only listen to music "loud" these days when I get the penchant to have Page and Plant in my listening room. In direct comparison to the M40's, the MA's were less "real" through the all important midrange.

    Stepping back to the 801 S3's, I will disclose that the most recent pair I owned had heavily modified and custom upgraded external XO's, these "changes" brought the 801's to a performance level that amazed me (still don't know why I sold them). Happily I report that the M40's are delivering similar performance while listening at low to medium volumes...at higher volumes I'm finding a little loss in clarity, but I'm working through things like stand height etc. before I send up an alarm.

    Rick.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by audio39 View Post
    OK...I'm near to sorry that I mentioned B&W, but this journey I'm presently on makes the reference valid - predominantly because until now I had found the 801 S3's to be nearest MY musical ideal.

    The M40's replaced a pair of Monitor Audio PL-300's, another speaker I gleefully admit I enjoyed a great deal...I have yet to hear a speaker that could remain as composed as the PL-300's at elevated volumes, unfortunately I only listen to music "loud" these days when I get the penchant to have Page and Plant in my listening room. In direct comparison to the M40's, the MA's were less "real" through the all important midrange.

    Stepping back to the 801 S3's, I will disclose that the most recent pair I owned had heavily modified and custom upgraded external XO's, these "changes" brought the 801's to a performance level that amazed me (still don't know why I sold them). Happily I report that the M40's are delivering similar performance while listening at low to medium volumes...at higher volumes I'm finding a little loss in clarity, but I'm working through things like stand height etc. before I send up an alarm.

    Rick.
    Hi Rick, i'd recommend that you try the M40 with open frame unfilled metal stands.

  4. #24
    yeecn Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by EricW View Post
    I believe the correct answer to this is "no". As I understand it, pitch derives from the fundamental frequency of a note. The harmonics, or overtones, are at multiples of the fundamental, so if the fundamental is in tune, i.e. at the correct pitch (e.g. A = 440hz), then the harmonics will be in the proper relation to the fundamental.
    It may not be true universally. I have read that the harmonics of a violin is louder than the fundamental. But harmonics are 2X (second harmonics), 3X (3rd harmoics) etc of the fundamental, so they are 1, 2, ... octaves higer, so they are in-tune in that sense.

  5. #25
    audio39 Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gan CK View Post
    Hi Rick, i'd recommend that you try the M40 with open frame unfilled metal stands.
    This is were the confusion resides...the bulk of available info suggests that the Skylan stands are best for the M40(.1)?

    In fact in one thread I found on-line it was suggested that the slight muddying I'm hearing is alleviated by the Skylan stands...so what's the difference?

    Although the Canadian distributor (Planet of Sound) has suggested the open frame stands, stating they work best with the Harbeth "lossy" bass - I won't claim that I know what that means.

    Your help on this rather expensive subject would be most appreciated.

    Rick.
    Last edited by audio39; 17-03-2010 at 10:32 PM. Reason: Additional info

  6. #26
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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
    [url]http://www.harbeth.co.uk/uk/index.php?section=products&page=designersnotebookd etail&id=16[/url
    Quote Originally Posted by keithwwk View Post
    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.
    Hi Keith, just a clarification so we understand each other and let's end the animonsity here - it was really not intended. I guess I was a little frustrated that you and Gan CK don't seem to get what I was trying to say.

    I think you should read carefully what you posted here, nowhere on the Harbeth link that you recommended makes any mention of harmonics or B & W (or Harbeth) being "out of tune". In any case the quetion was tongue-in-cheek, so I'll refrain from having a sense of humour from here on.

  7. #27
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    Hi EricW, thanks for the sensible and informative post.

    Quote Originally Posted by EricW View Post
    I believe the correct answer to this is "no". As I understand it, pitch derives from the fundamental frequency of a note. The harmonics, or overtones, are at multiples of the fundamental, so if the fundamental is in tune, i.e. at the correct pitch (e.g. A = 440hz), then the harmonics will be in the proper relation to the fundamental.
    Absolutely. Which was why it confounded me that one could say a speaker is better than another in the aspect of "harmonics". Given your explanation, if a speaker is NOT producing the harmonics AT A CORRECT LEVEL IN RELATION TO THE FUNDAMENTAL, the result would be a less realistic and natural portrayal of the instrument. "Out of tune" was said in jest, but unfortunately has taken a rather nasty turn.

    Incidentally, I happen to agree wholeheartedly that the Harbeth sounds far more natural and realistic than the 801s (which a mate used to own). That was never a point to contend with.

    Quote Originally Posted by EricW View Post
    Sorry to all for perpetuating the off topic discussion.
    My sincere apologies to all as well. Back to the topic, our local dealer has hinted that he may be able to bring in Skylan stands for our Harbeths, and I must say I'm curious to give them a try. In my personal experience and opinion, my Super 5s sound better on open frames, though.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by timleety View Post
    In any case the quetion was tongue-in-cheek, so I'll refrain from having a sense of humour from here on.
    This is a common problem in casual electronic written communication, most frequently found in e-mail but also in this kind of posting.

    It's frequently the case that someone will write something intending it to be funny, only to be surprised that the recipient interprets it as hostile, sarcastic, aggressive, whatever. It's very easy to forget, particularly when we're being ironic or humorous (or intending to be) that the usual cues that signal this - tone of voice, facial expression, lift of eyebrows, body language, and so on - are all missing. All that's there are the words, and you might think they signal your humorous intent (because you know you're being funny), but the reader just doesn't get it.

    We communicate as much or not more with non-verbal cues as we do with words. Worth remembering, in a context such as this.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by audio39 View Post
    This is were the confusion resides...the bulk of available info suggests that the Skylan stands are best for the M40(.1)?

    In fact in one thread I found on-line it was suggested that the slight muddying I'm hearing is alleviated by the Skylan stands...so what's the difference?

    Although the Canadian distributor (Planet of Sound) has suggested the open frame stands, stating they work best with the Harbeth "lossy" bass - I won't claim that I know what that means.

    Your help on this rather expensive subject would be most appreciated.

    Rick.
    Hi Rick, IMHO, Harbeths in general work better with stands that are light, UNFILLED & open framed, even more so for M40. The reason for this is to prevent the speaker from sounding too thick or lacking in sparkle. Just to quote an example, a friend of mine recently had his stands filled with kitty little & didn't like the sonic results as the sound became dead. High end extension & airiness were curtailed though bass became a tad more solid. The M40 is a very substantial sounding speaker & if the stands are of the heavy & mass loaded variety, it might get a tad too thick & loss of clarity will result.

    I haven't heard any Harbeth with Skylan before so can't comment on how they would sound. My best bet is to get someone to custom build a pair of open framed metal stands with pillars about 1.5 to 2 inches thick & do not fill the pillars with anything. Just let it ring. Make sure its spiked at the 4 corners. Try it & see if it works for you.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gan CK View Post
    Hi Rick, IMHO, Harbeths in general work better with stands that are light, UNFILLED & open framed, even more so for M40. The reason for this is to prevent the speaker from sounding too thick or lacking in sparkle. Just to quote an example, a friend of mine recently had his stands filled with kitty little & didn't like the sonic results as the sound became dead. High end extension & airiness were curtailed though bass became a tad more solid. The M40 is a very substantial sounding speaker & if the stands are of the heavy & mass loaded variety, it might get a tad too thick & loss of clarity will result.

    I haven't heard any Harbeth with Skylan before so can't comment on how they would sound. My best bet is to get someone to custom build a pair of open framed metal stands with pillars about 1.5 to 2 inches thick & do not fill the pillars with anything. Just let it ring. Make sure its spiked at the 4 corners. Try it & see if it works for you.
    I would tend to agree. On mass-loaded stands I've heard clearer dilineation of the lower registers but like you said, seems to stifle the highs. Letting it ring, in the case of Harbeths, seems to be the best thing the speakers like!

  11. #31
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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.
    Quote Originally Posted by timleety View Post
    nowhere on the Harbeth link that you recommended makes any mention of harmonics or B & W (or Harbeth) being "out of tune".
    Hi timleety,

    Bingo! Yes, correct. That is the reason I gave you the link. I am glad you finally could heard both drivers were not "out of tune". Very obvious right?

    So now we know a same key was sent to both drivers and both sounded in tune (basic requrirement when do AB comparison), I believe you shd also able to detect the superior sonic from Radial cone to reproduce live like piano sound which, IMO, played better piano harmonics structure by listening to the sound from the video against to other cone. Just like what EricW said : "Harbeths will have a very "true to life" quality at least in part because they do resolve the harmonics very well, and hence instruments sound through them very much as they sound in real life."

    That's all what I was trying to express.

    Anyway, glad to see "timleety aka Fugazi" did not hidding his true nature and character of posting pattern in HUG here.

    Cheers.
    "Bath in Music"

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gan CK View Post
    I haven't heard any Harbeth with Skylan before so can't comment on how they would sound.
    i've had them on open frames, but now put SHL'5s on skylans (filled with Attapulgite clay), not because they sound better but its safer. Its heavily weighted and there is very little chance of it toppling over (after a few drinks and moping about). i thought i hazily heard a difference between frame and mass, something like what is being described here, but i wouldn't say its so distinct and memorable that id prefer one over the other (with the trade offs of each). The speakers are so listenable, even while laying on the floor in front of them, with it towering above. But recently i discovered that the bass from the rear of the speaker (since i have it about 3-4 feet away from the walls) is quite incredible. there is a spot now (at the back of the speaker) if anyone is in the mood for a bit of bass. i will try and lay down there tonight.

  13. #33
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    I do think there is no best stand for a particular speaker. Stand matching is very room and position related. In my case, open frame light weight stand let my harbeth sound closer to what I like but I did hear my friend harbeth sound fantatic on heavy mass stand as well. From my experience, open frame stand do help produce better bass in a room with bass problem.
    "Bath in Music"

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by kittykat View Post
    i've had them on open frames, but now put SHL'5s on skylans (filled with Attapulgite clay), not because they sound better but its safer. Its heavily weighted and there is very little chance of it toppling over (after a few drinks and moping about). i thought i hazily heard a difference between frame and mass, something like what is being described here, but i wouldn't say its so distinct and memorable that id prefer one over the other (with the trade offs of each). The speakers are so listenable, even while laying on the floor in front of them, with it towering above. But recently i discovered that the bass from the rear of the speaker (since i have it about 3-4 feet away from the walls) is quite incredible. there is a spot now (at the back of the speaker) if anyone is in the mood for a bit of bass. i will try and lay down there tonight.
    Hi Kittykat, were your open frame stands filled? If they were filled, then the difference compared to your current Skylan will not amount to much. But if you compare 2 pairs of stands of the same kind, one filled & the other unfilled, then i reckon the difference will be quite a fair bit. For example, some 20 yrs ago when i bought my first Harbeth, it came with a pair of open frame stands that had its pillars filled with leadshot. It was very heavy but the more i listened to it, the more i felt something was not right. Out of curiosity, i took out the stands & put in a pair of plastic stools (similar height) underneath the old HL-5s & was shocked at the difference. The sound opened up considerably & became quite a fair bit more transparent.

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by keithwwk View Post
    Hi timleety,

    Bingo! Yes, correct. That is the reason I gave you the link. I am glad you finally could heard both drivers were not "out of tune". Very obvious right?

    So now we know a same key was sent to both drivers and both sounded in tune (basic requrirement when do AB comparison), I believe you shd also able to detect the superior sonic from Radial cone to reproduce live like piano sound which, IMO, played better piano harmonics structure by listening to the sound from the video against to other cone. Just like what EricW said : "Harbeths will have a very "true to life" quality at least in part because they do resolve the harmonics very well, and hence instruments sound through them very much as they sound in real life."

    That's all what I was trying to express.

    Anyway, glad to see "timleety aka Fugazi" did not hidding his true nature and character of posting pattern in HUG here.

    Cheers.
    It would be hilarious if a company put out an article claiming "superiority in harmonics" or an admission to manufacturing speakers that play "out of tune". Reverse satire?

    As EricW so astutely pointed out, my "out of tune" comment was only half serious, so please do not take offence or mistake this for hostility.

    Likewise, I am glad to see that both yourself and Gan CK did not "hidding" your "true nature and character" in this official Harbeth forum. After all, it is okay to incessantly trumpet the merits of a brand in its own forum, without getting under other forumers' collective skins.

    Oh well, I'll attribute it to your sense of humour then. To each his own - can we please give this a rest already?

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by keithwwk View Post
    From my experience, open frame stand do help produce better bass in a room with bass problem.
    Oddly enough, I find the reverse to be true. As I have bass boom on certain frequencies only, I borrowed my friend's mass-loaded stands to experiment. The result was better control over my lightweight open frames.

    Not sure why, maybe it varies with rooms, like you said. Best possible scenario is a home trial! Will you guys be trying out the Skylans when the SG dealer brings em in?

  17. #37
    audio39 Guest

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    In the interests of making things more interesting...here goes.

    I presently have the M40's on custom stands I had built for a pair of Magnat 10p speakers many years ago...when levelled the top of the stand is ~15". The stands are not filled with anything, but are substantial and weigh 42 pounds each.

    At first listen I liked the sound, after a bit of "adjusting" I began adding phone books under the speakers...between 18" and 20" was were I felt the bass dialed in best for my room. Now most of what I read suggests the big Harbeths should sit about 14" off the floor...one review I found went so far as to suggest the ideal height being 22" to middle of the bass driver. Obviously the height I have found the greatest nirvana is much higher.

    Numerous speakers have been set up in this room...including of course the Magnats (Dahlquist DQM-9 is the same) which I pull out when I want to revisit the 70's and 80's, the room has never seemed "bass heavy", and I have full length and very heavy and dense velour curtains hanging strategically on both end walls and in 3 places down the long walls...and there has never been any noticeable reflection with this setup.

    The room is 14' x 25', the listening position is ~ 11' from the M40's which sit a full 50" from the back wall, the speakers are 7' apart.

    So what are your thoughts?

    Rick.

  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by audio39 View Post
    In the interests of making things more interesting...here goes.

    I presently have the M40's on custom stands I had built for a pair of Magnat 10p speakers many years ago...when levelled the top of the stand is ~15". The stands are not filled with anything, but are substantial and weigh 42 pounds each.

    At first listen I liked the sound, after a bit of "adjusting" I began adding phone books under the speakers...between 18" and 20" was were I felt the bass dialed in best for my room. Now most of what I read suggests the big Harbeths should sit about 14" off the floor...one review I found went so far as to suggest the ideal height being 22" to middle of the bass driver. Obviously the height I have found the greatest nirvana is much higher.

    Numerous speakers have been set up in this room...including of course the Magnats (Dahlquist DQM-9 is the same) which I pull out when I want to revisit the 70's and 80's, the room has never seemed "bass heavy", and I have full length and very heavy and dense velour curtains hanging strategically on both end walls and in 3 places down the long walls...and there has never been any noticeable reflection with this setup.

    The room is 14' x 25', the listening position is ~ 11' from the M40's which sit a full 50" from the back wall, the speakers are 7' apart.

    So what are your thoughts?

    Rick.
    Well, the addition of books underneath the M40 tells me that the bass of the M40 in your room is a tad overpowering for your? Not too sure about the Magnets but the Dahlquist is a totally different animal compared to M40.

  19. #39
    audio39 Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gan CK View Post
    Well, the addition of books underneath the M40 tells me that the bass of the M40 in your room is a tad overpowering for your? Not too sure about the Magnets but the Dahlquist is a totally different animal compared to M40.
    The Magnat's and the Dahlquists are one in the same...John Dahlquist simply assembled them in New York and sold them under his name. Magnat is German and still in business, the 10p and DQM-9 are 3 way bookshelf speakers with a low frequency capability of 24 cycles.

    I don't know that I would agree that the bass is overpowering, I just find that at the height I have mentioned the bass integrates better with the whole...when I use the stands alone I find the bass a bit more pronounced, but also not as tight. It's not that the bass is really that much more "there" though.

    I'm going to try different locations for the M40's this weekend, and I'll also try having the speakers firing a little less "at me". I know with the B&W's that if I had the big 12" bass drivers toed in the low frequencies would be felt in the gut, so I'll try a bit less toe in.

    Looks like I'll have a pair of Foundation stands to try out, I'll have to pay full price for them, but we have agreed that if I'm not satisfied I can return them.

    Rick.

  20. #40
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    Every room is different, and every speaker is different. I don't see how it could possibly be valid to say that one particular speaker position, or speaker height, will always provide optimum bass response. Beyond the general guideline that the tweeters should be at ear height (or as close as you can manage), it seems to me that getting the optimum bass response from a specific combination of room and speaker is always going to require some experimentation.

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