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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.

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Feb. 2018
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What coupling (if any) do i use in between my SHL5's and Sound Anchor stand? Blu Dots are awful!

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  • What coupling (if any) do i use in between my SHL5's and Sound Anchor stand? Blu Dots are awful!

    Due to my ignorance I had been using the "Blu Dot" pads that Sound Anchor provides but they, to my dismay, made awful (and permanent) rings on the cabinets and have too much glue...when i took the speakers off the stands one Blue Dot actually ripped a small piece of the veneer right off! I had to pry the speakers off the stands.

    Any suggestions?? Thanks.


  • #2
    \stand-speaker isolation

    Hey, Noel

    I'd definitely use something.

    The stands I use under my Compact 7 ES-2's have small upward facing spikes, which contact the bottoms of the speakers (and yes, they leave small marks on the underside-not a problem for me). Under my Monitor 30's are Foundation stands, which use four small self-adhesive rubber pads at each corner. I'm a big believer in de-coupling the Harbeths from the stands in order to allow the thin wall cabinets to "breathe" on the undersides of the cabinet as well as the sides and tops. These self-adhesive rubber discs can be found at Lowes, Home Depot, etc.-they're typically used on the bottoms of chair legs and the like.

    Hope this is helpful, it's a cheap experiment to be sure.


    • #3

      I use 3 very small pea sized bits of blue tack. Acutally its not blue but white made by Elmer. Noel of Skylan suggests that when you use any tack like material that you twist the speaker a bit when removing it to avoid it tearing the veneer.

      An option to using sticky stuff would be to purchase little neoprene bumpers you can get at hardware store that are used to provide a cushion to kitchen cabnet doors.


      • #4
        Bumpons stand isolators

        Hi Noel,

        You could use large Polyurethane Bumpons,(3M) on your stands and these will add nice friction and help to dampen the contact of the cabinet to the hard steel,(place the bumpons on the stand top surface). Also there is quite a few folks that are happy using Herbies Big Fat Dots on their steel stands, and you can give them a tryout for around 30 days and if they don't suit you can return them.



        • #5

          Hi Noel,

          Spike. I used blue-tac previously, but now my Compact 7 sits on spike.
          It will leave a mark underneath, but you'll soon forget about the mark coz it sounds wonderful

          Best regards


          • #6
            BluTak or similar - not recommended

            As we say here in the Basic Guide, Item 12, BluTack or similar is not recommended. Over a period it will bond to the veneer and will rip it when attempting to remove the speaker from the stand. This is not covered by the Warranty! You have been warned (again)!

            During development we do not use any isolating agent. Alan just plonks the speakers on the stands so that he can swing them laterally to make masurements and do his listening.
            Harbeth PR,
            Harbeth UK


            • #7
              M401 BluTak sandwich

              i use for my m40.1 the following sandwich: skylan stand -> blu tack -> small pieces of anti-rubber foil -> speaker.
              it works fine and the speakers do not have any contact with the blu tak.

              Harbeth M40.1-Naim NAC52-Supercap-NAP 135-CDS2-XPS


              • #8
                BluTak sandwich again

                You can use Blue Tac and not worry about pulling off vaneer by placing a paper mailing label on the bottom of the speaker where it will come in contact with the veneer.


                • #9
                  Stand concepts and energy coupling

                  Some stands are designed to dissipate energy quickly without storing it. For these stands you need to couple the speaker to it rather than decouple. Suck it and see, as always.


                  • #10
                    Isolation pads

                    I know this reply is coming many months after the original post, but I'll give it a shot anyway - I use isolation pads from the German brand SSC (String Suspension Concept, They operate like isolation cones - you place them on the stand and the speaker rests on the felt pads that are on their upper surfaces so there's no chance of any damage to the veneer.