"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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Harbeth Monitor 40.1 specific

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  • Sound Anchor in Florida makes a good stand but if they are that much there several other options. The two above are good. So are stands made by Skylan and Noel is a great guy to work with especially if you have any special needs. or give him a call at (403) 273 1735. Lots of options.



    • Hello again, trh

      Here's a P.S. to my reply: The 500.00 is Canadian, so they should be cheaper in USD's!


      • Thanks alot everyone. I'll let you know what i decide on. Looking forward to getting the 40.1s and comparing them to my greatly enjoyed SHL5s.


        • I am going to go with the Foundation stands for the 40.1s. Anyone else using them?


          • Hello,trh

            I suggested them originally and use them under my Monitor 30's. They're classically "British looking" and will allow your 40.1's to "breathe" sonically.

            Excellent choice!


            • Originally posted by KT88 View Post

              I suggested them originally and use them under my Monitor 30's. They're classically "British looking" and will allow your 40.1's to "breathe" sonically.

              Excellent choice!
              Yep, it was your link that sent me to them. Thanks. I like the thinner look of the stands alot.


              • M401s arriving soon

                My 40.1s get here today.


                • resonant characteristics of the speaker cabinet

                  Dear Alan,

                  I own a pair of 40.1s. There has been much debate in the HUG about the type of stands which can be used with these fine speakers and I know that your position has been largely neutral. However, I wanted to seek your opinion on the theory that the amount of contact surface area between the bottom of the speaker cabinet and speaker stand may have an impact on the resonant characteristics of the speaker cabinet which in turn may affect the perceived timbral balance of the speaker. Notice that I have stayed away from the contentious topic of the type, amount or thickness of contact material between the speaker cabinet and the speaker stand.


                  • M401

                    Hi jeff, I am Lucho from Lima, Peru, and I own a pair of shl 5 in part thanks to you, you convinced me with your stuff at 6 moons.

                    I am very grateful for that because I love the speakers but i'm very interested in knowing if you had made advances in controlling the bass in your 40.1. If you can't do it i'll never do it in my room and so my must forget my dream of upgrading. Let us know please how the process is going. Thanks.

                    {Moderator's comment. No, we have not made or needed to make any changes to M401 bass. The M401 is a professional speaker and is designed to be used in a well controlled (damped) acoustic for the optimum sound}


                    • M401 - no problems in all rooms

                      I use the M40.1 in a relatively small room with the backs no more than 15 inches from the wall and the sides around 18 inches. I can assure you that the bass is tight, clean, punchy and definitely well controlled with every amp I've used.

                      I don't know where you got the impression that there is a problem with the bass but I have not found any problems at all in any of the rooms I have used them in.


                      • M401 in 12 x 20' room

                        Here are the Monitor 40.1's in a 12.5 x 20' room. Although they are fairly close to the side walls, the bass response is not at all overpowering. Most who have heard the system are favourably impressed.



                        • Haven't try such an angled position with my SHL5. Is there any advantages?



                          • M401 use at home (imaging etc.)

                            Listening on axis will provide the flatest response. Toe-in will to some extent reduce the speakers interaction with the side walls at the listening position. The phantom centre image will be more focused. For some they may find a reduction in the soundstage width, but if this is true I have never found it bothersome. Listening nearfield really helps take the room out of the picture as you are hearing more direct vs reflected sound.

                            This is how I see things. Others may have differing opinions and priorities. For me focus and image clarity are very high on my list.


                            • Is 40.1 right choice for me?

                              Hello everybody,

                              I’m a newbie and have an empty (as yet) study room (4mX8m and height is 3m) as a listening room. So there will be no WAF, and any ugly acoustic solution won't cause a problem. I'm trying to read all posts about 40.1 before buying, still have questions in my mind:

                              So far, I have listened the same CD’s through lots of speakers including ATC, ProAc, Esoteric, M.Acoustics, Sonus Faber, KEF, Quad, Dali, Cabasse, Focal, Gryphon Motto, Paradigm in different hi-fi shops throughout a few monthes (not an AB test; I have just note down what I liked and what I didn't).


                              At the end , an old used Harbeth 40 became my favourite, because of the best of the best 3D soundstage + palpable imaging together, I have ever met.
                              Q1) Is this (soundtaging and imaging) up to room acoustics or Harbeth 40’s characteristics?


                              The only thing I didn’t like is: I felt the mids (or lower trebles) were muffled, as if vocal was singing through a horn shape pipe or from a cave.
                              Q2) Do you think if this is up to room acoustics or Harbet 40’s characteristics? Instruments (besides vocals) were ok... and there was no this feeling (vocals through a horn) when I listened after changing just 40's with ATC 100's in the same room.


                              Q3) I have no chance to listen 40.1 before buying. I have read the following Alan's message but still I'm not sure what has been changed when it comes to listening music for about both these aspects? what will I lose and get extra?
                              Basses was boomy with 40 in that room and I think I'll get "tighter bass" with 40.1;
                              "...vocals will become more realistic" Does it mean what I called muffled vocals will become normal?


                              Q4) There is another interesting note: boring.
                              First, it was boring to me to listen ProAc speakers with Chord amplifier. When I matched another amplifier and speakers, I had realized that both were not boring anymore.
                              My notes says, I felt bored to listen the CD's I liked before, with ATC amplifier and Harbeth 40 speaker match.
                              But ATC amplifier and ATC speaker were not playing boringly together.
                              I did't have a chance to listen 40 with another amplifier.
                              What causes that: while some match of components plays boringly and some other makes me toe tapping? Does 40.1 changes over 40 made any difference about that?


                              Q5) Where can I download this (4MB article about damping a room) file?


                              Q6) Is active 40.1 on the road? Should I wait for it?


                              Any recommendations are welcome.

                              kind regards,

                              {Moderator's comments: a) if you like the pushed-forward sound of some speakers then a speaker with a neutral balance will in contrast sound recessed. That's just how the ear works b) no active M40.1 planned at this time.}


                              • M40.1 - most natural ....

                                If you liked the M40, you will enjoy the M40.1 even more as it is cleaner, tighter, more communicative whilst retaining the tactile, 3D imaging. The M40.1 is the most natural, easy going effortless speaker I have heard.