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Tweeters at ear level for 30.1s?

SalDag

New member
I've been having a little trouble either properly mounting my new 30.1s or with my hearing, which isn't very far-fetched at my age. My 7ES3s sat on 19" Sound Anchors, which were too low for the new guys. The 30s seemed a little too polite, too plain dull and bass-heavy down so low.

I realized that Mr. Shaw wasn't kidding when he said the tweeter should be at ear height. A quick measure and it certainly looked like 24" stands would be ideal, and there they were in the catalogue: 24" Sound Anchors 'for Harbeth 30.1s'. How could I go wrong? I phoned in the 700 USD and in a few days my tweeters were sitting exactly at ear level. But it just looked wrong.

I've had stand-mounted speakers all my life and I'd never seen any this high. I quickly learned how much louder, brighter and more aggressive speakers can sound when they are literally in your face. Maybe I'm wrong, but I think woofer height may be important as well. If my ears were another 4" off the floor and I used 28" stands, the tweeters would be at ear level but the woofers would be even farther from the floor. I don't think the resulting sound would be very appealing.

Now that I've unboxed these stands, which were WAY overpacked (if Fat Man and Little Boy had been packed like these we'd still be fighting the Japanese), they're staying here, but I'd give anything for a set of 22" inchers, which I think would be the perfect compromise between correct tweeter height and correct woofer reinforcement. Just my two cents.

{Moderator's comment: 90% of speakers on the market will be at their best when the listener's ear is approx. level with the tweeter. That's just physics.}
 

EricW

Active member
Below optimum stand height - then elevated more

Below optimum stand height - then elevated more

If you're not sure of the precisely correct stand height, one advantage of going a little bit on the shorter side (of what you think might be optimal) is that it's always possible to raise the stand height by adding, say, a stone tile underneath, or a taller set of feet or spikes. That way you can fine-tune. You can make them taller, but you can't make them shorter (at least not with something like the Sound Anchors).

That said, it may be that you just need some time to adjust to the new balance - it's different from what your ear/brain is used to, but there's a good chance you'll acclimatize over time and cease to perceive a problem.
 

Dragan

New member
Prefer shorter shands

Prefer shorter shands

My experience with the 30.1s is the same as yours: I prefer slighty lower tweeter level,from 60cm(24") i've gone to 50(20").

I find that tonal balance is better and more comfortable for longer listening !
 

SalDag

New member
Tweeter height

Tweeter height

Thanks for confirming my sanity, brother. (To the moderator: there has to be some physics involving floor reinforcement of woofers. No?)
 

pkwba

New member
Design axis?

Design axis?

My experience with the 30.1s is the same as yours: I prefer slighty lower tweeter level,from 60cm(24") i've gone to 50(20").

I find that tonal balance is better and more comfortable for longer listening !
It can also depend on the acoustics (shape, walls, floor etc. etc.) of listener's room. Decreasing the height of speakers results in changing tonal balance (more lower tones reflected from the floor).

Commonly loudspeakers are designed with the ear level located on tweeter's axis, sometimes this horizontal axis is located between tweeter and midranger but in this case loudspeaker should be positioned a bit upwards. Quod libet.
 

acroyear

Active member
Wanting more, more and more!

Wanting more, more and more!

That said, it may be that you just need some time to adjust to the new balance - it's different from what your ear/brain is used to, but there's a good chance you'll acclimatize over time and cease to perceive a problem.
I think this point is interesting and sometimes I wonder what we expect/want our systems to sound like, I'm making a general comment here and not relating necessarily to the original poster, when we play a track it is easy to imagine perfection (and often the recording just does not have what it takes) it is easy to want more 'extension', bass, detail, air, etc, etc ad nauseum, comparing more conservative sounding speakers to others that may ultimately be fatiguing does take a bit of time.
 

A.S.

Administrator
Staff member
The reference axis

The reference axis

Of course, listning preference - which would vary recording by recording - is one matter. But the technical situation is that the M30.1 was designed with the measuring microphone on axis with the tweeter. That's call the reference axis. Along the reference axis the two drive units are optimally integrated, bearing in mind that the tweeter's voice coil is physically in front of the woofer by several cms.

At any other point in space, vertically or laterally, by implication and fact, the drive units are not as well integrated, a situation common to all multi-driver speakers.

You may recall that for the Bristol show, where we had a mixture of a seated and standing audience, we had some atypically tall stands made to try and achieve the best compromise for the entire audience.
 

Cacophonix

New member
I keep seeing stand heights in discussions, but not the total height from the floor.

What exactly is the height of the tweeter from the bottom of the speaker for the Harbeth 30.1s?
 

witwald

Active member
If you don’t get a reply, then just grab a photo of the M30.1 taken front on. Then just take the ratio of the height in pixels to the distance in pixels the tweeter is above the base. Then multiply this by the physical height in inches or mm. I’m on the train now so can’t quite do all of that all that easily. :)
 

witwald

Active member
Cacophonix said:
What exactly is the height of the tweeter from the bottom of the speaker for the Harbeth 30.1s?
By my calculations, the height of the tweeter from the bottom of the Harbeth M30.1s is 320 mm (give or take a few millimetres, as this was scaled from a photo). Note that the M30.1s are 460 mm tall, according to their specifications provided on the Harbeth website.
 

chirhonix

Member
Look at the product page: 320mm up from the base of the speaker. On the product page for all speakers there is info about the location of the tweeter.
 
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