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Thread: Which Harbeth for my Naim Supernait Setup ?

  1. #1
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    Default Which Harbeth for my Naim Supernait Setup ?

    Dear All

    Just looking which speakers could match my current setup (see below), to eventually replace my D15

    What i'm looking for, is speakers with less high (fill SN pairing D15 a bit aggressive when listen violin of voice in Opera...and this with both Vinyl and Streamer a source...) Also looking for a sweet, voiced medium.
    - 40% pop
    - 60% Classic and Jazz


    My room :
    A bit less than 25m2 (4.10x5.40mx2,30m) and more on the dark side of the neutrality (wall-to-wall carpet, with wood furniture)

    Listening position :
    circa 2.6 in front of the speakers, with circa 1.2max behind me
    1.2 max Behind speakers
    2.2 m Between Speakers
    Closer near wall at 80cm from the right speaker, not limit to the left one.

    My Setup :
    =======
    • SupeNait + Hicap
    • Avid Diva II
    • Stage line "N"
    • Naca5
    • Proac D15
    • Temporary source (via NAS) Logitech SqueezeBox 3 using Supernait DAC


    As i cannot listen Harbeth sepakers from here would appreciate any comment/tips before asking for a demo session.

    Tks in advance for your advice

    Phil

  2. #2
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    Default Any Harbeth is a good Harbeth ...

    I was tempted to say, "just buy the most Harbeth you can afford", but I think the Monitor 40.1 may be perhaps just a bit big to fit comfortably in your room.

    At the opposite end of the scale, while the P3ESR is a superb minimonitor, it does inevitably have some of the limitations that any small speaker will have, i.e. some limitation of bass extension and absolute output.

    But anything in between would do just fine, I think. While each model has its own personality, these are subtle variations rather than night and day differences. All models are sweet and natural-sounding, and pull off the very good trick of being both highly revealing and totally unfatiguing at the same time.

    They're also very easy to drive, and I would think that a Supernait is more than enough amplifier for any model in the Harbeth lineup.

  3. #3
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    Default 7 or SHL5

    The Compact 7 or SHL 5 will sound very good with your SN. I am currently pairing the NaimUniti (essentially a 5i) with the SHL5 and I must say the synergy is quite special.

    I can only imagine what your SN with PSU might sound through the above Harbeths!

  4. #4
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    Default SHL5 over M30?

    Most of my clients who listen mainly to classical music wind up preferring the Super HL5. It has an extended bass response relative to the Monitor 30 and Compact 7ES-3 and the super tweeter adds a bit of air and broadens the soundstage.

  5. #5
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    Default Changing bridge cables ....

    Tks Denjo and Don.

    I made some addit test today on my D15 (changing bridge with copper, high def cable,...) and this change a lot...but ...hum....the change was not black/white..some pros and some cons ;-) .

    The big change was is the med/high frequ. that have a direct impact on the soundstage. Less high/mid on the D15 is reducing by a lot the soundstage and the impression of "air" between instrument...this is creating a "flat sound"...not really exiting at all..

    So your comment about the HL5 " the super tweeter adds a bit of air and broadens the soundstage." is fully inline with this test.

    I have now to see where i can listen a pair of SHL5 with an SN..and ideally with my AVID TT ;-)

    Any other recommendation advice ?

    Tks a lot for your support

    Phil

  6. #6
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    Default C7 or SHL5?

    I use the C7es2 with a Supernait and love it, this combo being the first time I am really thrilled with my stereo. I would say choose between the C7es3 and SHL5 depending on your financial situation and how large of a cabinet you want. Either choice is likely to sound fantastic. However, if violin & vocal in Opera is what you love, I can see the dual tweeters in the SHL5 being a great match for that.

  7. #7
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    Default What speakers to replace mine ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Hififan View Post
    ...Just looking which speakers could match my current setup ...What i'm looking for, is speakers with less high (fill SN pairing D15 a bit aggressive when listen violin of voice in Opera...and this with both Vinyl and Streamer a source...) Also looking for a sweet, voiced medium.
    Judging from your description you are on the right track considering Harbeth speakers. You may want to check the Naim forum. One Supernait owner replaced his Proac D25 to the Harbeth SHL5 and was pleased with the results.

    The Proacs have a more forward and leaner sound in the midrange and a sharper treble in comparison to the Harbeth. Listening fatigue will be higher with the Proacs in extended listening sessions. The Harbeths are more organic and sweet sounding, and the highs are smoother and more airy. All the traits you are looking for seem to be present in the Harbeth.

    For your room size either the Compact 7ES-3 or Super HL5 will work well. Compact 7ES-3 for a slightly more dynamic, forward and lively sound and SHL5 for a larger and effortless scale.

  8. #8
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    Default SHL5 or M30?

    My previous setup was SN+Hicap+200 biamping SHL5 and it's a quite effortless combo. I will think either SHL5 or M30

  9. #9
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    Default Go listen ....

    Quote Originally Posted by vaughn3d View Post
    I use the C7es2 with a Supernait and love it, this combo being the first time I am really thrilled with my stereo. I would say choose between the C7es3 and SHL5 depending on your financial situation and how large of a cabinet you want. Either choice is likely to sound fantastic. However, if violin & vocal in Opera is what you love, I can see the dual tweeters in the SHL5 being a great match for that.
    Dear Vaughn3d

    Would the C7es2 compete my current D15 in term of sonic mass (i dont like a fat sound but like having a piano sounding like a piano not like i synte ;-) ... feeling the wood and the size of the piano.
    What about Violin ? sweet ? What were the other speakers tested before choising your C7 ?

    As the hight seams a bit more than usual on the SN would the Shl5 double tweeter not be to much.....falling to same problem i have today with my D15 ?

    {Moderator's comment: you here on the Harbeth User Group. We don't feel comfortable with a blow-by-blow critique of your D15s. Lets just say, the Harbeth sound is totally different and will give you the characteristics you want. Please GO LISTEN to Harbeth and then truly you can decide!}

    Take care

  10. #10
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    Default Harbeth score - in the midband

    The most noticeable attribute of all the Harbeth speakers is a bold, solid, tactile and (above all) natural mid band. The majority of speakers nowadays are thin and lean through the vital mid band and this is where a Harbeth scores.

  11. #11
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    Default The British v. European sound - cannot be confused.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hififan View Post
    {Moderator's comment: you here on the Harbeth User Group. We don't feel comfortable with a blow-by-blow critique of your D15s. Lets just say, the Harbeth sound is totally different and will give you the characteristics you want. Please GO LISTEN to Harbeth and then truly you can decide!}
    Dear Moderator, just a clarification, im not asking anybody to critizice the very good Proac D15 i'm using now.
    I was just asking about the change (if you dont like the "improvement" term) i can expect from a pair of SH5L pairing my SN. (if course i have to mention the D15 to say what i'm looking for....as a basis.)

    As some people spend a lot of time listening Speakers i would just take the opportunity to talk with them before checking which model a would like to test (FYI : the nearest Harbeth dealer is around 550 km from my home...so i'm convince that you can understand my approach)

    {Moderator's comment: all understood, thank you. But a Harbeth is a totally different sound. It's impossible to confuse it with any other. Harbeth is a 'Brtitish' sound. The other brand is the 'Central European sound'. Totally different. If you love one you may not like the other. But the 'British' sound is far more natural, like real acoustic music because of the BBC influence over 50 years.}

  12. #12
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    Default A Harbeth is above all, natural

    Quote Originally Posted by hifi_dave View Post
    The most noticeable attribute of all the Harbeth speakers is a bold, solid, tactile and (above all) natural mid band. The majority of speakers nowadays are thin and lean through the vital mid band and this is where a Harbeth scores.
    Tks a lot Hifi_Dave

    Will then contact the nearest dealer to see how i can test a SLH5 at home......testing them in another situation will not be accurate...so have to convince him ;-)

    Tks to all for your support, will keep you posted after the test.....future owner of Haberth ?....who knows ;-)

    Take care

    Phil

  13. #13
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    Default The charm of the SHL5

    Hi Phil. Try and get a listen if you can, and bring not only good quality recordings, but also bad ones (loud noisy and heavily compressed) as well as your favourites. Give yourself some time too. The charms of the SHL5 did not jump straight out at me. From the first listen (i bought without listening), I thought “umm, this is ok”, but after a while (3-4 hours) it had me fully charmed. It is unobtrusive, reflects the recorded material transparently yet does so without assaulting anyone’s senses. The result is a truthful musical experience. But of course, your opinion would be the most important in this instance. Good luck!

  14. #14
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    Default Listen and compare

    Quote Originally Posted by kittykat View Post
    Hi Phil. Try and get a listen if you can, and bring not only good quality recordings, but also bad ones (loud noisy and heavily compressed) as well as your favourites. Give yourself some time too. The charms of the SHL5 did not jump straight out at me. From the first listen (i bought without listening), I thought “umm, this is ok”, but after a while (3-4 hours) it had me fully charmed. It is unobtrusive, reflects the recorded material transparently yet does so without assaulting anyone’s senses. The result is a truthful musical experience. But of course, your opinion would be the most important in this instance. Good luck!
    Hi KittyKat.

    I fully agree that i should take some time before deciding. Would see if I can also compare (one by one) the SHL5 with a pair of B&W 805S (would think that the bass will be below my expectation) and Spendor A6 (On which i would not expect so much as 99.9% the same size as my current D15).

    My objective is realy to be able to finalize my system for the next.......hummm 6-10 years years ;-)

    Will keep you posted on result.

    Take care

    Phil

  15. #15
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    Default

    Just for info i'm expecting to have a M30 (rosewood) brand new for a test @home in september. I'm really curious about the result of the Proac D15 Vs Monitor 30 (domestic) comparison......hope that Harbeth will help me to reach my "listening graal" ;-)

    Just need to find good stand for the test (60 cm if i'm not wrong)

    Keep you posted soone for the result.

    Phil

  16. #16
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    Unhappy Test will start soon...hopfuly

    Quote Originally Posted by Hififan View Post
    Just for info i'm expecting to have a M30 (rosewood) brand new for a test @home in september. I'm really curious about the result of the Proac D15 Vs Monitor 30 (domestic) comparison......hope that Harbeth will help me to reach my "listening graal" ;-)

    Just need to find good stand for the test (60 cm if i'm not wrong)

    Keep you posted soone for the result.

    Phil
    Update : I also asked about direct M30 vs Shl5 comparison....but not sure that will be possible as no Shl5 on stock now..grrrr.

    Just a question (as i will not be able to test all the sepakers) : What about Radial 2 (like wich installed on the 7es) and the basic radial (like which on SHL5)...Benefits ? new SHL5 "R2" planned ?

    Tks a lot for your support

    Phil

  17. #17
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    Default

    It might be best to concentrate more on the sound of these speakers rather than worry about the technology of the cones. All of the Harbeth range have different characteristics but all have the solid, tactile, natural mid-band which sets them apart from most other speakers.

  18. #18
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hifi_dave View Post
    It might be best to concentrate more on the sound of these speakers rather than worry about the technology of the cones. .
    100% in line with you ;-)

  19. #19
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    Default

    Hi Everybody.
    My Proac D15 are not anymore in my room....sell them yesterday ;-) ..so it's time for me to find what i'm looking for in term of sound.

    Just as addit info , my room size is :
    - 4.2m X 5.4m X 2.3 => so not so big
    - If speaker 1m from the front wall, with 1m behind the listening position and the rear wall. Distance speaker listening position could be 3m max

    - Today my setup is 0.9 from side wall, 1m from front wall, 2m between speakers, and 2.1m between speakers and listening position (means 1.1m from listening position and rear wall)


    As mentionned previously, it's very difficult (would name it "a nightmare") to be able to listen Harbeth speakers here .....
    - Have to drive at least 4 hours (Nothing available on my country)
    - Should accept listen them in another room than mine.
    - Should accept listen them on an another system (as reminder, mine is NAIM Supernait "SN" + Hicap with AVID Diva Turntable + squeezebox on SNDac)....
    - And finally only limited (2) speakers are on demo (the P3ESR and M30)....my wish was to compare the M30, Shl5 and the 7ES3 to take the right decision.....made one "mistake" with the D15 (not fully my taste pairing SN..but just my taste...some like it ;-) ) so dont want to do it twice.....lot of money loss too :-(

    Question :
    Should i travel to UK to test Harbeth with NAIM using the same system as mine ? (not my room sure but......)
    if yes where ? (Close to an airport would be nice ;-) )

    The test (other Brand) made so far :
    B&W 805 Matrix (1994) : Metal dome =>still sounds aggressive, nice mid, limited bass and finally sound boxy on complex message => Overall : Will let them as "home cinema speaker" as set today.
    B&W 805D (2010) : Diamond dome => High seams fine..perhaps still a bit to high... (not tested on NAIM but another brand..home demo will be needed), limited bass but well integrated, airly sound..speakers disappears. => Overall : Nice speaker but as i want to feel the piano and contrabass size the bass could be the bottleneck.

    Tks for your support....

    Phil

  20. #20
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    Default

    Well, you're certainly welcome here, only 25 minutes from Stansted airport.

    Your room is about average for a British room and I've sold all models of Harbeth for use in such rooms with no complaints so far. The M30 and C7ES will be perfect and the SHL5 also if you don't mind a large speaker in your room.

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