"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 may be for you. Either way, welcome to the world of Harbeth!"

Feb. 2018
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Please suggest some modestly priced stands for 30.1 in the UK

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  • Please suggest some modestly priced stands for 30.1 in the UK

    Well I have bitten the bullet and ordered a pair of 30.1s in tiger ebony!

    It's a painful 3 to 4 week wait though...

    However, that gives me time to organise my room.

    My current speakers are sat atop heavy cabinets containing LPs. I have a marble slab (£10 chopping board from Argos) fastened to the cabinet top with blu tac, and rubber feet between the slab and the speaker. The front of the speaker sits flush with the front of the cabinet, and the tweeter is at ear height.

    So in theory...I guess there's not much wrong with that? Would the cabinet surface to the left and right of the speaker be creating 'reflections' or unwanted resonances (or whatever the terminology may be?)

    Either way, I'm thinking of discarding those cabinets altogether and getting dedicated stands, so the speakers are in free space (albeit only about 24" to the back and side walls).

    So I am looking for stands. But I am just not prepared to pay £300 plus, which some stands I see recommended on here go for.

    I have looked at IKEA stools, but they are too low, and the top surface of odd proportions.

    Can anyone recommend anything please?

  • #2
    Hi Fi Racks X 50 Large are £226 in the standard oak finish:


    • #3
      Hi Keiron99, and congratulations for being a soon to be owner of a pair of magnificent M30s! I perfectly understand your position. When i first got my Harbeths, I remember flatly rejecting the idea of spending further £££ on a pair of stands that to my mind were just dumb - yet so expensive! - supports for my already expensive speakers. I changed my view since. Not because my current stands - I’ll tell you what they are in a moment - aren’t up to their job, but because I appreciate better their role in bringing to my listening experience the satisfaction with the overall sound that my Harbeths are capable of. There is also the visual aspect in play, that if you like the Harbeth design - i do - some way down the line you’ll want to enhance it. And what better way to do it than to put them on a pair of nice looking stands that look the part technically and visually (I find black metal to be the best compliment to Harbeth’s cherry veneer and those elegant black grilles).

      In the meantime… I would not hesitate in recommending you my stands. They are the easily available in the UK Atacama SL500i, 50cm tall and sufficiently heavy and solid for the job. They’ll set you back £170 which in the world of hi-fi profiteering is not that much. They are decently (well) made. My experience with using blue tac as an interface between the stands and speakers, as well as the floor, is decidedly negative (others might disagree). Much better is to decouple at both ends (the smaller the contact area between the surfaces the better). I use ’spike shoes’ on the floor, not to protect the floorboards, but to stop the ‘bass leakage’ into the floor and trim the sound of all the excess bass. They also allow you to easily reposition the speaker along the floor at will without scarring the boards.

      Other alternatives include Something Solid stands that offer the benefit of an open top plate but inconvenient the user with a rather large footprint. The latter may not be an issue for you if you’re not strapped for space as I am.

      You might find that the Atacama top plate does not quite match the size of your speaker base. In that case Homebase is your friend. I found a ceramic tile the exact width of my C7 and screwed it to the top plate. Not ideal, but hey, what is?

      Good luck you lucky guy!


      • #4
        The Hi-Fi Racks X50 is not ideal as the base is too small, which makes them unstable. The Hi-Fi Racks stand made for the M30.1 is a better choice but is now £600/pair, due to the popularity of the speakers.

        My recommendation is Something Solid XF. Very stable and can be ordered at the exact height required. You have premium speakers, don't skimp on the stands.


        • #5
          In my own experience using the little P3ESRs as desktop speakers the desk surface clearly generated an unwanted bass hump. Even lifting the speakers some 20 cm from the desk surface with little stands still left a bit of a bass hump that I then corrected with REW. I would imagine that the M30.1 with its lower extension would suffer more. So yes, stands seem like a good idea. You could try to find a blacksmith to make you a set of steel ones to measure and have them powder coated in black.


          • #6
            Originally posted by hifi_dave View Post
            My recommendation is Something Solid XF.
            What is the price of those stands?


            • #7
              Originally posted by willem View Post
              IYou could try to find a blacksmith to make you a set of steel ones to measure and have them powder coated in black.
              Which is pretty much what Something Solid stands are, so I agree with hifi_dave - get some Something Solids tailor made to your specifications - it's what they do and many Harbeth owners can attest to their suitability.

              It really is a very good way to get the best from your Harbeths.


              • #8
                Thanks everyone for the suggestions!

                But some of these prices are crazy...

                The Atacama option seems more reasonable - but having to mess about with attaching another base to the top plate seems less than ideal.

                The problem is, these things rarely become available on the used market, and shipping costs are prohibitive.

                What a dilemma!


                • #9
                  It is a dilemma, but good stands are important. Something Solid ones do occasionally come on eBay, but not often unfortunately.

                  Good luck with your search


                  • #10
                    Hi Keiron - I am also awaiting a pair of 30.1' s - due to arrive next week so our speakers have probably 'passed each other' in factory. A point I have taken from this excellent help group is that on many occasions (not all) Harbeth's are a life time purchase it maybe follows that good stands are the same?. I have ended up buying FS108's from Custom Design - I will let you know how I get on as the whole system should be up and running this time next week.........


                    • #11
                      The Custom Design FS is great option. I ordered Custom Design FS 104 Signature -custom built- to my Harbeth M30.2 40th Anniversary Edition. Perfectly match with all dimension and the tweeter in exactly in ear level. Highly recommended the Custom Design stand. We really like how it looks together with our beloved M30.2. Which is simply stunning. Real pleasure to listen every single time. Best speakers I ever had. Thank you Harbeth.

                      Attached Files


                      • #12
                        Those Custom Design stands look like something NASA is about to launch!


                        • #13
                          Does anyone have any thoughts on whether this lamp table from Amazon (UK) would be suitable? (Snipped image below)

                          It seems to be almost perfect dimensions: 55cm high and a top of 27cm x 27cm.

                          I really can't see a lot of difference between this and some 'bespoke' stands going for upwards of £500 a pair.

                          Any thoughts?

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                          • #14
                            It depends on your expectations. Your new speakers, being what they are, will sound good regardless of what you put them on as long as the height roughly matches that of your listening ear. So 'decent to very good' sound is guaranteed to you from the start. If on the other hand you expect the absolute best that M30 can give you, then no un-spiked stand will get you there. It’s physically impossible. But hey, if your objective is - you haven’t stated what your objective is - to find a temporary place to put your boxes on then I would say go for it, they seem good enough and being Ikea they can’t be expensive. (And even if you decide later on to replace them with real stands you’ll probably find good use for them elsewhere in the house!).

                            P.S. I read you post again and what strikes me is where you say that you can't 'see' a lot of difference... It made me smile. I'm sure you didn't buy your M30 with your eyes, did you? :-)


                            • #15
                              Believe it or not,I've had very good luck using two folding iron book racks sold by the container store,they seem to be the right height and the top shelf holds each speaker perfectly and even the connections for the wire are left clear, a square silicone mat (kitchen supply) sits under each speaker. I have to admit, I can't hear any difference when the other shelves are weighed down by books.