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"This Harbeth User Group (HUG) is the Manufacturer's own managed forum dedicated to natural sound from microphone to ear, achievable by recognising and controlling the numerous confounding variables that exist along the audio chain. The Harbeth designer's objective is to make loudspeakers that contribute little of themselves to the music passing through them.

Identifying system components for their sonic neutrality should logically proceed from the interpretation and analysis of their technical, objective performance. Deviations from a flat frequency response at any point along the signal chain from microphone to ear is likely to give an audible sonic personality to the system at your ear; this includes the significant contribution of the listening room itself. To accurately reproduce the recorded sound as Harbeth speakers are designed to do, you would be best advised to select system components (sources, electronics, cables and so on) that do not color the sound before it reaches the speakers.

For example, the design of and interaction between the hifi amplifier and its speaker load can and will alter the sound balance of what you hear. This may or may not be what you wish to achieve, but any deviation from a flat response is a step away from a truly neutral system. HUG has extensively discussed amplifiers and the methods for seeking the most objectively neutral among a plethora of product choices.

HUG specialises in making complex technical matters simple to understand, getting at the repeatable facts in a post-truth environment where objectivity is increasingly ridiculed. With our heritage of natural sound and pragmatic design, HUG is not the best place to discuss non-Harbeth audio components selected, knowingly or not, to introduce a significantly personalised system sound. For that you should do your own research and above all, make the effort to visit an Authorised Dealer and listen to your music at your loudness on your loudspeakers through the various offerings there. There is really no on-line substitute for time invested in a dealer's showroom because 'tuning' your system to taste is such a highly personal matter. Our overall objective here is to empower readers to make the factually best procurement decisions in the interests of lifelike music at home.

Please consider carefully how much you should rely upon and be influenced by the subjective opinions of strangers. Their hearing acuity and taste will be different to yours, as will be their motives and budget, their listening distance, loudness and room treatment, not necessarily leading to appropriate equipment selection and listening satisfaction for you. Always keep in mind that without basic test equipment, subjective opinions will reign unchallenged. With test equipment, universal facts and truths are exposed.

If some of the science behind faithfully reproducing the sound intended by the composer, score, conductor and musicians over Harbeth speakers is your thing, this forum has been helping with that since 2006. If you just want to share your opinions and photos with others then the unrelated Harbeth Speakers Facebook page http://bit.ly/2FEgoAy may be for you. Either way, welcome to the world of Harbeth!"


Feb. 2018
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Modifying your Harbeths - real benefits or not?

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  • #16
    Re: Accessories for your Harbeths

    Hej Massimo,

    Look at this picture from CES: http://blog.stereophile.com/rmaf2007/Harbeth-450.jpg. I think those are Syland stands on the right that were at RMAF 2008. But the subject of high mass vs. open stands is a topic of hot debate, esp. with respect to the minis. I am not sure where Alan Shaw stands on this topic, nor I.

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    • #17
      Re: Accessories for your Harbeths

      Hi Dimosko,

      The Epos stands that you have are the correct height for the Compact - 7 and you may be able to add a bit of Mass by filling the legs with fine sand. If there are no holes there already you may be able to drill some and later covet them with black tape or sticker. You can also add to the performance by having an MDF board cut to the same size as the cabinet and the fitted to the top of the stand with Blue-Tac. Then place 4 Polyurethane Bumpons athe corners directly under the cabinets. This board will act to dampen Resonances that may migrate back from the steel. Supporting the cabinet out near the corners will also alow the bottom panel to very slightly flex as intended. Be sure to use pointed feet if on a carpet floor as this will add to stability and give overall best imaging.

      Noel.

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      • #18
        Re: Accessories for your Harbeths

        This is the second time today I've read recommendations for sand filling Epos style stands...

        There definitely seems to be two views on Harbeth stands. The ones I like (for UK rooms anyway) is the rigid, light, carbon pad decoupled one specially made by "Something Solid," which I found to "open them up" - sorry Alan...

        In more bass absorbent rooms, it seems that wooden or heavy metal stands seem the way to go - interesting.

        P.S. I used 12.7mm dia, 3.5mm thick approx clear plastic feet to sit the speakers on, one at each corner, and these were great. Dealers in the UK can get these from RS Components and I found they extended the life of demonstrator speakers too, as well as letting the cabinets flex slightly as designed.
        Last edited by DSRANCE; 01-02-2008, 02:50 PM. Reason: Corrected clear feet dimensions

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        • #19
          Re: Accessories for your Harbeths

          Originally posted by DSRANCE View Post
          This is the second time today I've read recommendations for sand filling Epos style stands...

          There definitely seems to be two views on Harbeth stands. The ones I like (for UK rooms anyway) is the rigid, light, carbon pad decoupled one specially made by "Something Solid," which I found to "open them up" - sorry Alan...

          In more bass absorbent rooms, it seems that wooden or heavy metal stands seem the way to go - interesting.

          P.S. I used 3.6mm dia, 1.5mm thick approx clear plastic feet to sit the speakers on, one at each corner, and these were great. Dealers in the UK can get these from RS Components and I found they extended the life of demonstrator speakers too, as well as letting the cabinets flex slightly as designed.
          Please provide the part number for the "clear plastic feet" and which section of the catalogue ..electrical, mechanical..


          Thanks

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          • #20
            Re: Accessories for your Harbeths

            The current stock number is 248 - 451

            Home >Mechanical Components> Anti-Vibration Mounts and Feet> Anti Vibration Feet

            I'm sorry, I got the original dimensions completely wrong.....

            - Height 3.5mm, dia 12.7mm - clear or grey (I always used the clear ones as I often fitted them to small speakers that were sitting on a metal "display shelf" but it doesn't matter.

            Hope this helps......

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            • #21
              Re: IKEA Lack stands. IMPORTANT UPDATE Jan 2008

              Originally posted by A.S. View Post
              ...of Ikea "Lack" side table - I have bought two for experimental use under Monitor 40.1
              In the light pink finish I trust ;-)

              http://www.ikea.com/gb/en/catalog/products/40104270

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              • #22
                Re: IKEA Lack stands. IMPORTANT UPDATE Jan 2008

                That's the very one! Only available in a beach effect.

                Now, this stand is quite a bit bigger than the original one used under Compact 7ES3 and bigger than the M40 - M40.1 itself. I have noticed that the top board sounds rather hollow to the knock and as a precaution, I'm going to staple some roofing felt (the dry type) onto the underside to mass-damp it, just as you would a thin-wall cabinet. Tempting though it may be, do not apply (liquid) bitumen rubber because you will not be able to eradicate the smell.
                Alan A. Shaw
                Designer, owner
                Harbeth Audio UK

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                • #23
                  Re: Accessories for your Harbeths

                  Not sure this is the appropriate section but it is the closest I've found.

                  I was wondering if anyone else shared my belief that brown rather than black might be more pleasing to the eye when it comes to speaker grilles? There are references on the Harbeth site, and I dare say in the literature, to speakers 'disappearing' in domestic environments (If I recall corerctly, the smaller dimensions of the Monitor 30 are said to help in this regard), but I think that black makes speakers more imposing (i.e., noticeable) than they need be. Given the care taken to finish the speakers in attarctive veneers, might something other than black round the aesthetic off? A couple of other manufacturers do this (Tannoy and Quad spring to mind) and I was wondering if it's been considered at Harbeth? Not that it's a clincher - I ordered my C7s the other day and am looking forward tremendously to them arriving. I'd have fewer worries on the domestic front if they had brownish rather than black fronts on them though.....

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                  • #24
                    Re: Accessories for your Harbeths

                    Originally posted by Kevin M View Post
                    Not sure this is the appropriate section but it is the closest I've found.

                    I was wondering if anyone else shared my belief that brown rather than black might be more pleasing to the eye when it comes to speaker grilles? There are references on the Harbeth site, and I dare say in the literature, to speakers 'disappearing' in domestic environments (If I recall corerctly, the smaller dimensions of the Monitor 30 are said to help in this regard), but I think that black makes speakers more imposing (i.e., noticeable) than they need be. Given the care taken to finish the speakers in attarctive veneers, might something other than black round the aesthetic off? A couple of other manufacturers do this (Tannoy and Quad spring to mind) and I was wondering if it's been considered at Harbeth? Not that it's a clincher - I ordered my C7s the other day and am looking forward tremendously to them arriving. I'd have fewer worries on the domestic front if they had brownish rather than black fronts on them though.....
                    Personally my preference for grilles is still black though i would prefer the foam grille (like old HL-5) or the tygan one like those used on the old Rogers studio 1 & LS-3/5A. In fact black matches easily into most home decos as compared to brown though i understand that brown grilles like those used on Tannoy prestige range gives a more classic look.

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                    • #25
                      Re: Accessories for your Harbeths

                      Can a Compact 7 stand made from solid granite / marble???What probable sound will it be...

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Re: IKEA Lack stands. IMPORTANT UPDATE Jan 2008

                        Originally posted by A.S. View Post
                        Today I visited the IKEA store in south London to investigate the comment made here recently that IKEA have changed the dimensions of the stand. It seem to be true. Originally, they sold this Lack product as a plant-pot stand, but they now seem to have redesigned it as a mini-table with a much increased top-plate. I have bought two for experimental use under Monitor 40.1.

                        The IKEA part number is now: 401.042.70. The top plate measures 55cm x 55cm and when assembled, the bottom of the speaker will sit 45cms above the floor (about 18 inches) - rather tall for M40.1. This larger top plate is now really too big for all but the M40/M40.1 and even so, is bigger than the speaker's footprint: it doesn't look great but will get you going.

                        I strongly suggest that you invest in proper, approved stands like the Skylan or Brooke's stand as shown at our CES room, Jan. 2008.
                        Update.

                        The beloved lak mini-stand (high enough to accommodate 12" minis) survived a few extra years in Denmark and I was shipping them out as fast as i could get them, even after the catalog dropped them. I kept pushing up the price to cut the volume, and when that didn't work i just stopped. I'm old.

                        Well, they ARE really gone, now, according to my original inside source.

                        Too bad for mini-owners, as this stand was really quite good for all the LS3/5As and close relatives. It's funny, you'd think for a single spec-type speaker, like the "original" LS3/5As, that one stand would be optimal for all of them. But that wasn't true at all. Some liked low mass stands, some sounded better on high mass stands, but of course that was also a function of the ears and preferences of the individual. I have now owned and sold all but 1 of 3 different LS3/5A-types (and i am not saying which ones) and I have "interviewed" the Harbeth and Spendor relatives. The old Lak stand was not the absolute best for any of them to my ears, but it sounded very good on all of them.

                        I have never owned the bigger Harbeth or Spendor boxes for which a shorter Lak stand still survives. I don't have the room for them, but if the shorty is anything like the taller one that has been discontinued and if you are not fond of shedding several (or more) ?100 notes every 2-3 years for the latest metal rage, try it.

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                        • #27
                          Re: Accessories for your Harbeths

                          Originally posted by bbtan View Post
                          Can a Compact 7 stand made from solid granite / marble???What probable sound will it be...
                          Sure why not, but that might render the sound dead & lacking in air. Those metal stands that Tropical Audio supplies with their Harbeth speakers are good enough.

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                          • #28
                            Re: Accessories for your Harbeths

                            Originally posted by Gan CK View Post
                            Sure why not, but that might render the sound dead & lacking in air. Those metal stands that Tropical Audio supplies with their Harbeth speakers are good enough.
                            The metal stand supplied by T/Audio seem to be very flimsy.....tq

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                            • #29
                              Re: Accessories for your Harbeths

                              Originally posted by bbtan View Post
                              Can a Compact 7 stand made from solid granite / marble???What probable sound will it be...
                              I used 26" granite stands under my Harbeth HP3s. They sounded absolutely fine. The stands were too tall and narrow for my Compact 7s, though. As I wrote some months ago, I used coffee tables with large dictionaries for the C7s until I could get some metal stands made. The metal stands firmed up the bass a bit, but I can endorse Alan's claim that the kind of stand does not seem to matter much with Harbeth 'speakers. As he put it (if I remember correctly), you could use a pile of telephone directories. From my experience, I agree.

                              David

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                              • #30
                                Since this thread is dedicated to "Accessories" in general, I have one that I would like to share and suggest to Harbeth users: I bought (8) 3/16"ID by 1/2"OD Herbie's Grungebuster washers and placed them on the back side of the Radial drivers in my M-30's with a metal washer over top of them. Teflon washers are also available through Herbie's. This process involves removing the front panel of the speakers and takes about 15-20 minutes, so I wasn't able to do a quick side by side comparision, however, I'm convinced that it made a slight improvement. Lower frequencies are less "muddy"; tighter and more impactful. During fortes or crescendos, I am better able to distinguish groups of instruments. The sound seems to have an improved focus. I don't exactly recall the price of these washers, but its safe to say that you could do it for under $10 (US). It will also give you an opportunity to have a look inside your Harbeths (if you haven't already).

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