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Harbeth speakers - discussion thread

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Post by 123_rocketman on Wed Mar 16, 2011 11:22 am

mugenfoo wrote:

- They all use the RM3.00 pasar-road black interconnects and swear that it gives the best sound in the world.


Mugen,

The interconnects look cheap but they are definitely not from Pasar Road. They are from QAUD.

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Post by VS126 on Wed Mar 16, 2011 11:35 am

Opening up a hugh can of worms here. I better stop soon. Some of my good friend use Harbeth.

Harbeth's bass woofer is not big. I hv listened to some 12" and 15" woofer that gives good control. Not one note dead bass.

Although I do not own SOTA equipments, some of my friends have SOTA systems with hugh floorstanders in moderate sized rooms without bass boom.
An extreme example I heard a setup with Andra3 (hugh speaker in a tiny room approx 10 X 14") driven by hugh krell monoblock and played extremely loud. Bass is very well controlled, excellent mids and pristine highs. The owner never states that his is the best speaker available. (Not Harbeth owner's gang).

I am sure as a Harbeth owner, there are many songs that you cannot play coz of bass boom. If you are not aware, PM me and I will let you know which track.

When you go for live shows, is that the yardstick you use to measure Natural sound? Or yr daughter's voice? Do you hear Boom in live shows? In a Jazz Club, In a thunderstorm? Lion dance big drum??? Even big bass from kick drum inside a music school room does not produce bass boom. Those are unamplified bass. It is as Natural as Nature itself.



Listen to MJ's Beat It on a proper full range set up and then to a Harbeth/Quad setup, I think you will cry.

Now now, Harbeth is not all that bad. It is just not the best.

Now Harbeth diehards will say That I do not know how to listen.. True maybe.

BTW, Sorry if I ruffle a few feathers. Case closed.







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Post by VS126 on Wed Mar 16, 2011 11:51 am

MF,
Let's not name names, it is not nice.

I have the most respect for the man itself. Just tell me, who in the world can convince people to part with their hard earn cash, believing in all what have been said and trumpeted to the rest of the world that if you are not using Harbeth, you are listening to Unnatural Sound.

This is not to bash Harbeth owners, but please realise that other brands have their merits too. You like Harbeth, so be it. Respect others who like other brands.
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Post by htkaki on Wed Mar 16, 2011 12:15 pm

VS126 wrote:Although I do not own SOTA equipments, some of my friends have SOTA systems with hugh floorstanders in moderate sized rooms without bass boom.
An extreme example I heard a setup with Andra3 (hugh speaker in a tiny room approx 10 X 14") driven by hugh krell monoblock and played extremely loud. Bass is very well controlled, excellent mids and pristine highs. The owner never states that his is the best speaker available. (Not Harbeth owner's gang).

Listen to MJ's Beat It on a proper full range set up and then to a Harbeth/Quad setup, I think you will cry.

Now now, Harbeth is not all that bad. It is just not the best.

Now Harbeth diehards will say That I do not know how to listen.. True maybe.

BTW, Sorry if I ruffle a few feathers. Case closed.
I bet it is the gigantic FPB450 Monos that drive the Andra 3 Smile

I have auditioned MJ's Beat It with one of the very well set up system. Very good bass notes!

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Post by moderneagle on Wed Mar 16, 2011 12:45 pm

Any Harbethians want to join me for a beer? We got to strategize a comeback.

Yours, defending the hype, moderneagle.

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Post by mugenfoo on Wed Mar 16, 2011 12:54 pm

Someone can invite AS to come and chip in a reply.... Twisted Evil
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Post by ryder on Wed Mar 16, 2011 12:59 pm

Can of worms getting bigger. No point debating on the bass boom as brought up by VS126. There is a bigger picture to it, and to open another can of worms may initiate another string of arguments. Sam is quite good in this sort of thing, and he does it face to face like a man-much better and efficient than posting his thoughts on forums. :-)

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Post by sph on Wed Mar 16, 2011 1:42 pm

Let's not bash or ridicule others of their choices and preferences.
If one thinks that using thin bell wires to hook up their speakers is the best way, so be it. If others think that using expensive cable is the way to go, so be it. The important thing is to be open minded.

Many hifi owners listen to their salesmen rather than the equipment.
It is natural that these salesmen try to influence a potential buyer with their sales talk. Their idea is to sell. So we often hear of this and that "hifi guru" giving their opinions. It's entirely up to us to accept or reject their opinions.

One man's meat is another man's poison.

ENJOY!

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Post by 123_rocketman on Wed Mar 16, 2011 2:13 pm

VS126 wrote:

Harbeth's bass woofer is not big. I hv listened to some 12" and 15" woofer that gives good control. Not one note dead bass.

I also experienced bass boom from my 14" woofer. IMHO, bass boom is more than just the size of woofer.

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Post by VS126 on Wed Mar 16, 2011 2:19 pm

123_rocketman wrote:


I also experienced bass boom from my 14" woofer. IMHO, bass boom is more than just the size of woofer.

It is how well the speaker is designed.
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Post by moderneagle on Wed Mar 16, 2011 2:31 pm

Just wanna add that Sam provided me an exemplary level of service akin to full package including a back massage. No, but it was good nonetheless. Showroom audition, home audition, loaner cables which was delivered to my home after I've paid for the C7, hours in my house tuning and listening for bass boom etc. I think "charlatan" is too strong a word and while he has his hulking strong opinions as any man has a right to, the man never come across as a charlatan if that makes a difference to the issues at hand including bass boom.

Yours, defender of the bass, moderneagle

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Post by mugenfoo on Wed Mar 16, 2011 2:46 pm

ok ok , not "charlatan" then.... perhaps "too much over-eager defender promoter of the brand" then ....

geek


Last edited by mugenfoo on Tue Mar 22, 2011 1:37 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Mikapoh on Wed Mar 16, 2011 3:03 pm

Hey htkaki, very surprised to your posting here. This shows you are watching this thread with interest since your first post here Very Happy

Guys, which model of the Harbeth is generating "Bass Boom", P3? SHL5? C7s? I think this got to do with room acoustic or speakers placement. Even the speakers are well designed, if the room is not properly damped, the problem will still exist. Sam does not believe in bass trappers especially so understandable.... I have the SVS in my small room yet did not encounter any serious bass boom as there are 12 trappers to help.




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Post by mugenfoo on Wed Mar 16, 2011 3:23 pm

To set the record straight .... Bass-Boom is usually NOT the FAULT of the speakers alone, but the main culprits would be:

- Room dimensions

- Speaker placement & Boundary conditions

- Listener's seated position.

- Power amp not having enough power to control the speaker load. (insufficient damping factor). Naturally, more demanding speakers will need better amps to control these speakers properly.

Harbeths are not particularly demanding loads in this respect.
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Post by htkaki on Wed Mar 16, 2011 6:58 pm

Mikapoh wrote:Hey htkaki, very surprised to your posting here. This shows you are watching this thread with interest since your first post here Very Happy

Guys, which model of the Harbeth is generating "Bass Boom", P3? SHL5? C7s? I think this got to do with room acoustic or speakers placement. Even the speakers are well designed, if the room is not properly damped, the problem will still exist. Sam does not believe in bass trappers especially so understandable.... I have the SVS in my small room yet did not encounter any serious bass boom as there are 12 trappers to help.



I very key poh one Embarassed I browse through most of the threads here. Sometime you can get useful information or knowledge. It is never a bad thing to know more Smile

It is very subjective. IMHO, there will not be a singular product that can meet everyone's needs / preference. That is why we have variety to choose from.

He likes BMW, I like Merc, you probably prefer Audi, mugenfoo might like Honda, so can't say who is wrong and who is right. As long as the owner likes it and enjoy his system, I think it is already good enough. Just my dua sen.

Cheers
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Post by WongKN on Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:15 pm

htkaki, you need to upgrade yourself la. two sens not worth anything nowadays, inflation way too high. Next time we need to have at least 20 sens before we can say something. Laughing
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Post by htkaki on Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:11 pm

WongKN wrote:htkaki, you need to upgrade yourself la. two sens not worth anything nowadays, inflation way too high. Next time we need to have at least 20 sens before we can say something. Laughing
Upgrade?! In which way? It is scary enough for me when I hear you mentioning the word 'upgrade'.

Need to flip my buku 555 for record. Ah.... yes, my bank account is depleting at a fast pace after knowing you Very Happy . Been on almost a buying spree. Still need to complete the missing link. Nevertheless, thank you for all the information and also advice (which really reads POISON).

After the last upgrade, only then I knew what you meant by "It separates Men from boys". I am lucky that I was given the chance to audition many different hi-end systems. It does widen my experience and knowledge.
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Post by WongKN on Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:26 pm

You mean your still have a positive balance in your bank account. Then you are not spending fast enough man !! SPEND SPEND SPEND !! Laughing
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Post by moderneagle on Sun Mar 20, 2011 9:54 pm

Ok, so Sam came over this afternoon to change the Van Damme OFC cables that came with the Anniversary C7. I've been listening to the mojo cables he put in, these were the same ones that AS puts into his normal C7s and they sound quite splendid old chap. Best served with tea and scones if you asked me. Robben Ford doesn't sound as constipated and his Dumble amp? Well it's starting to sound more like what I'm used to hearing in my car entertainment system and by that I mean the stock standard 10-speaker CD unit that is controlled with a knobby thing. No, this here C7 sounds better. The speakers have been working OT and I'm very acclimatised to their sound now. Dammit, it's school day tomorrow. Best give them a rest now.

Yours, can't afford MBL's Harbeths are the next best things, moderneagle.

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Post by Lamkochai on Sun Mar 20, 2011 10:37 pm

Mikapoh: I have harbeth shl5 and proac studio 125 in the same listening area. having done side by side comparison, i can confidently say that harbeth sounds 100% better than proac studio series. in fact i will say it sounds better than some over 15k speakers if matched well with your component and room. price performance ratio wise harbeth is indeed value for money compared to other brand sold in malaysia.

However, like what vs 126 said, the bass boom of the shl5 is one hell of problem due to its "thin wall" design. i am sure now its due to the harbeth compounded by my room resonance after experimenting with so many speakers eg monitor audio, B&W, proac, onix and audio physics. i have met another Harbeth shl5 owner who change his speakers to Manger Zerobox because he cant solve the bass prob. if you intend to buy harbeth, you better try it with your own component and room first.

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Post by ryder on Sun Mar 20, 2011 11:13 pm

Lamkochai, do you still have the SHL5s?

I think the bass boom issue of the Harbeth is being blown up. Most bass problems associated with a Haberth-based system are mainly due to the room.

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Post by Lamkochai on Mon Mar 21, 2011 12:38 am

yes. i haven sold it yet. still in search for suitable speakers performance and price wise. unless u can convince me not to sell it with your system Very Happy .

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Post by chewkwokhon on Mon Mar 21, 2011 12:47 am

I have a pair of HL5 that is driven by a 2 x 200 watt SS amp. Most, if not all would probably say that it is best driven by Tube amp.
Let’s put that perception of SS vs Tube amps aside for the time being.
Welcome those who wish to audition in my home setup in Kelana Jaya to judge for themselves HL5 has no Bass Boom issue.
I did not modify these original HL5 to deceive anyone, every point and parts appeared as good as original form.
On another note: for those who owned HL5 or SHL5 who think theirs are having Bass Boom issue can also bring them to my house to hook up if they think I have done something fishy.
Contact me at: 019-3384067 Chew
Or send me a PM


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Post by mugenfoo on Mon Mar 21, 2011 10:39 am

ryder wrote:Lamkochai, do you still have the SHL5s?

I think the bass boom issue of the Harbeth is being blown up. Most bass problems associated with a Haberth-based system are mainly due to the room.

The sad part is that while the SHL5 is quite a good speaker, most of its owners do not properly set up the SHL5s ...

One good reason why the boom problem is prevalent is because the poor SHL5s are almost always mounted on sub-quality stands. This problem is further exaggerated by owner's ignorance or certain beliefs that "any speaker stand" would suffice. Sadly, this is NOT the case and one of the many factors of such bad bass performance from the Harbeths.

Room setup is another big factor. Harbeth speakers on its own has quite a conventional radiation pattern, so its challenges in placement are quite similar to most cones&domes speakers.
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Post by ryder on Mon Mar 21, 2011 10:49 am

As a matter of fact many people on Pinkfish and Naim forum who own SHL5s and C7ES3s do not experience bass problems except a few which I am quite certain are due to room issues. The open frame lightweight stands as brought up by Mugenfoo may be a valid reason but my belief is the main culprit is the room. Most if not all Harbeth speakers here are supported on the lightweight open-frame stands including mine, and I do not experience any issues with the bass except for recordings from Joe Satriani which I feel are poorly recorded. I have listened to C7ES3s and SHL5s in some rooms and regrettably one setup shows serious bass boom while a few, "manageable".

Of course I do not deny that folks like VS126 or Lamkochai have heard erratic bass response on Harbeth speakers since I've experienced it myself. These are just systems set up in a bad room.

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Post by ryder on Mon Mar 21, 2011 11:05 am

To add to the above, it's not that the bass on Joe Satriani's albums is bloated. It's just that they sound "artificial" and detached from the rest, and the electric guitars don't sound too good. I feel the recording quality is less than stellar.

Anybody who has albums "Crystal Planet" or "Is There Love In Space" can confirm?

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Post by Mahler 9 on Mon Mar 21, 2011 11:37 am

harbeth bass do not boom. For those who detect boom from harbeth is due to different perception on what is good bass. Classical listener who really into musics, spend time to enjoy a full works hrs by hrs, listen true classical pieces from true album but not all these highly EQed tracks in so call audiophiles recording, can appreciate full, warm, rich, resonant and harmonic quality bass frm harbeth. For those who always listen to few track repeatably tend to listen sound effect rather than music can not appreciate that kind of bass they like fast dry clean bass. choose the 1 u like. For some, any setup can play Mj musics powerfully and loudly is nothing bcos Mj musics is noisy. Some value harbeth kind of gorgeous presentation when playing music but some feel that is boring.

Nothing to serious, choose the one u like and suite 90% of ur music taste and enjoy it.

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Post by 123_rocketman on Mon Mar 21, 2011 12:15 pm

IMHO, I believe it is unfair to pin the bass boom problem on Harbeth speakers. I have Harbeth and other speakers placed in the same room and they boom when certain tracks are played. I believe my bass boom problem is due mainly to placement and standing waves rather than the speakers.


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Post by SHL-5 on Mon Mar 21, 2011 1:20 pm

Greetings to all Harbethians in Malaysia. Good to see a Harbeth thread here. As usual, there are always detractors of the Harbeth sound. Some comments here are very interesting, like Harbeth's good marketing & Harbeth having metallic sharp highs, one note bass & now serious bass boom. It all goes to show how different we perceive sound as Mahler 9 has mentioned above.

Well, i've been an ardent fan of Harbeth since 1986 when it was introduced into S'pore. I won't say that the Harbeth sound is all things to all people. It depends alot on the type of music one listens to. Fans of heavy metal, rock, punk or electronically penned music may be better served by any other spks except for those from Harbeth or Spendor. The BBC sound is one that is highly prized on accurately reproducing the natural & beautiful tones of live unamplified acoustic instruments & voices. Voice is a vital part in the Harbeth or BBC sound on the whole. However, not everybody is able to discern what is natural sound as evidenced from some of the various posts above. It depends on one's exposure/experience to live unamplified music. The ability of Harbeth to not just reproduce sound but the soul of the music is not something every spk, irregardless of price, can achieve. The Japs call it emotional fidelity. Sam Tellig of stereophile has said that a bondage can be forged between the Harbeth user & Harbeth spk owned. Some folks even have photos of their Harbeth spks on their office table. All these goes to explain why many Harbeth or Spendor users are all so emotionally attached to their spks & would go all out to say that their spks are the best in the world! Very few other spks can ignite so much passion from their owners.

Over here in S'pore & everywhere in the world, i keep hearing/reading people 'downgrading' to Harbeths from spks costing 5 to 20 times more. Are these people mad? Go figure.

Sorry for rambling on my maiden post, but a well setup Harbeth has no bounderies as far as musicality goes. Simply get washed or swept away by the music. My good ole buddy always tell me that he's purified into the music. No need to bother about soundstaging, boom, imaging or any other hifi jargon! Music is all that matters.


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Post by ryder on Mon Mar 21, 2011 1:56 pm

Great post from SHL-5 whom I believe is one of my good Harbeth buddy from across the border. It has been quite a while since I last heard from you and nice to see you posting here for the first time.

I believe detractors will be everywhere since everybody hears things differently and have a strong preference to a specific sound that he/she prefers, most likely speakers or gear that they now own in their rooms. In other words, everyone has their own favourites. As I have mentioned numerous times on other forums, some like chocolate while some like vanilla.

A recent post on the Naim forum that I came across was pretty interesting. This post will not make it to the Harbeth forum if it's the other way round ie. poster favours the S400s or Fact-8's more than the SHL5s. The points highlighted in bold made me chuckle for a while. Of course, S400 owners aren't too happy with this fellow's assessment..

Many other happy Harbeth owners around the globe.

Enjoy~



Surprising Home Audition nDac, s-400, Fact-8 with Supernait+H-Cap & SHL5


I thought my experience would be interesting to share.

My current setup is SB Touch > Supernait (DAC) + HiCap > NACA5 > Harbeth Super HL5.

I was on one end very happy with the (musicality of my) setup, but I always felt I missed something. Specifically resolution and communication in the high frequencies. I thought my Harbeths SHL5 were the weak point.

After reading some reviews of the PMC Fact-8, I decided to give them an audition in the store of a local dealer on exactly the same setup as my system. Although the impressive bass and high's had clearly more resolution, in my opinion the Fact-8 left my leaving disconnected to the music: probably because of the lean presentation.

I finished my demo with 15 minutes with the nDAC connected, it was immediately apparent something was different, but it was difficult to judge on with speakers that were new to me. I decided to focus on speakers.

I really wanted to like the speaker, technically it had so much to offer, that I re-auditioned 2 weeks later. However this 2nd audition had the same result: no emotional connection. I was truly disappointed and blamed room acoustics. The dealer is great, but I am not impressed with his small listening room.

The dealer told me to wait for the s-400, he was very enthusiastic about it. You can imagine reading this forum, I was extremely interested too.

Five weeks later a new appointment was made. Last Friday I packed my SB touch and was ready to go to the dealer immediately after work.

Then he called: there was a mixup in his auditioning schedule. He had set-up a massive Bryston + PMC system for Saturday morning, logistically it would be difficult to facilitate my audition on Friday late afternoon. Shit happens, I was fine with a reschedule, this allowed me to enjoy this beautiful evening. But then he offered to bring the s-400 to my home directly, and leave them for weekend. This was an offer I could not refuse, and I asked him to also bring the nDac. I also asked if it was possible to audition the Fact-8: hoping that my room (with decent acoustics) would do these speaker a favor.

To make a long story short: Friday evening I suddenly had a nDac, the s-400 and the Fact-8 at home. I knew my weekend was ruined, and I would miss much of the beautiful start of spring. I did not mind, it does not happen often that you can compare so much high-end gear, so thoroughly and so comfortably. I almost felt like a pro audio reviewer (which I am clearly not).

So what are my conclusions (to my unprofessional ears and with the nDAC connected).

(I only listened at moderate volume levels because I live in an apartment complex)

Fact-8:

Fantastic soundstage, extreme resolution specifically in the highs, but also the lows are impressive. However, the lean presentation still left me felt disconnected to the music, especially compared to the Harbeth's. I can easily imagine that someone would fall in love with these, but it did not happen to me.

S-400:

These speakers are not my taste. I was disappointed, I hoped for more. They sound boxy and grainy in my setup in comparison to the transparent Harbeth. I felt I was listening to two speakers.

Maybe they were not fully broken in? I even tried to accelerate the break-in process by leaving them running playing pink noise over night, for 12 hours at moderately high volume. (directly opposing each other, only 5 mm gap between the front baffles, out-of-phase, thus canceling out the audio, and covered by a thick blanket, so the break-in process did not interfere with my sleep). This did make a improvement, but not so much I had hoped for.

The accelerated break-in did seem to have its affect, but it is difficult for me to believe that the sound would transform drastically over a longer break-in period. (PS: the dealer told me that s-400 was already broken-in, but he could not tell me how long.) I also tried to (radically) change speaker positions and tilting the front by 5 mm: it did make a difference, but it left me wanting.

nDAC:

YES! This is it! I finally found what I was looking for when I connected my Harbeth back. To be honest, I never agreed with the source first principle. I do still think speakers have a much greater impact on the sound, and also think that amplifiers have a greater impact. But listening to the nDAC connected to my Harbeths I learned why so many people are religious about the first source principle. It simply defines the NAIM sound.

The thing is, I started with the Nait 5i and CD5i four yours ago. When I got my Squeezebox I was looking for a DAC with the Naim sound. I decided to stream only, because of the fantastic convenience. Back then a Naim DAC did not exist. I got the Supernait shortly after it was released, mostly because of its internal DAC. But this came never close to the musicality of the Nait 5i/CD5i I fell in love with. I later added a Hi-Cap, which is a mandatory upgrade of the Supernait IMHO. Then I switched my Anthony Gallo's for Harbeth, again a (giant) improvement but still not there yet.

When I finally (I could not for 2 years) sold my Nait 5i/CD 5i, I was reminded of their sound by the lucky guy who auditioned the 5i's at my place connected to the Harbeth's: magical... I deeply regretted selling the 5i's.

But now listening to the nDAC, I realize I get everything I was (almost desperately) looking for. The increased resolution makes the whole presentation so much more realistic and totally convincing. I never expected this to be possible with my Harbeth's. More importantly the drive (PRAT?!) of the music is back I learned to love from my 5i days. It adds texture to the music, and makes it much more tangible/3D.

A lot of things have been said about the nDAC (both here on this forum and in reviews), and many statements are very recognizable: higher and wider sound stage, phenomenal bass definition, resolution and texture definition throughout the frequencies, the ability to look into a recording, foot-tapping and exciting sound, analog: non digital sound, etc...

So far the only (very) minor gripe I share with opinions online is that the sound-stage is less deep, but this must be caused by the effect that lower volume part of the music are more present, which is clearly part of the magic. Interestingly, this effect does not change overall dynamics, it is fantastic.

Being able to directly A/B the nDAC with the Supernait DAC makes me feel even better. It's clear that the nDAC is a bit louder than the SuperNait's DAC, and it is to easy to interpret a louder signal as better. However, I am convinced that all nDAC's qualities are real, especially after prolonged listening.

Super HL5:

Lastly I want give kudos to the Super HL5's: what a great speaker it is. The bass is not super tight, but it feels extended. The warm presentation is sweet: only with extremely bass heavy music (like rap/dance music), I sometimes would like the bass to be a tad less, if it only was to keep my neighbors befriended...

The mid-frequencies are simply breath-taking and the highs have clearly more to offer (resolution and impact) than I experienced so far. They already could perform a disappearing act, now with the nDAC there is only Music. So realistic, the rich and natural presentation reminds me of experience I had when I first listened to electrostats. I feel like one lucky motherfuNker: the net result is that I am completely blown away by own music again with goosebumps and even tears.

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Post by SHL-5 on Mon Mar 21, 2011 2:28 pm

Hi Ryder, thks for the warm welcome. Yes i've been away from forums for quite a while & i only have my SHL-5 to blame for that. They are so musically involving that each & supposedly short sessions extended to hours on end, much to the chagrin of my wife! Laughing

Btw, thks for attaching such a great post from the Naim forum. Makes for a very interesting read.

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Post by Mikapoh on Mon Mar 21, 2011 5:31 pm

To spice up this thread and officially announced I've joined the Harbeth family. I have taken possession of C7ES3 (Tiger Ebony) and now a proud owner of these great speakers.

Would like to especially thank Ryder for introducing me such marvelous speakers although I've listened to P3 long time ago. His advice has my calculated risks measured in the process in taking the plunge without auditioned them first hand. I have no remorsed whatsoever and spellbound by its organic presentation. Very musical speakers. I've also made chnages to placement as not shown in this photo.

Harbeth speakers - discussion thread - Page 3 Dscn1216


Thanks Ryder.




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Post by SHL-5 on Mon Mar 21, 2011 6:06 pm

Congrats Mikapoh. The C7 looks absolutely ravishing in Tiger Ebony. Take your time to enjoy these spks. They will grow on you as you spend more time with em.

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Post by VS126 on Mon Mar 21, 2011 6:26 pm

Even in our local distributor's showroom, SHL-5's bass booms.

The KLIAV Harbeth room received so many praises in this forum as best sound but to me it was horrific. Boomy and metallic. (Sorry, my opinion).

Is the local importer doing Harbeth a disservice by using ringing support, cheap lamp cord cables and best in the world Quad amps???

Maybe when you acclimatised yourself to the sound, you do not realised the downside. Maybe???

Greetings to all Harbethians, I come in Peace. If you love yr Harbeth, I am happy for you. See how much money you cld have saved from buying expensive cables, speaker stand and those 'wallet compactor' shunyata power conditioner.

Oh BTW, me and a few friends back in Penang actually did one experience on the nature of Harbeth's boom. Whether it is due to the design of the speaker or room acoustic. Same room, same volume, same track and around same size speaker (woofer size) at roughly same price range. Played speaker A at quite moderate loud volume, then we switch speaker to B which is Harbeth (exactly same parameters) and results as what we expected. Booms like crazy.

Maybe it is the 'thin wall design' that produce such magical mids but cannot control the bass.

Frankly, I wld love to upgrade to a Harbeth, I actually like the box design (sixties look), and I sincerly am not here to discredit the brand. I think the importer is a very nice gentleman contary to what some might say.
Maybe one day I could listen to a good Harbeth setup and then save enough for a pair.

Cheers
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Post by SHL-5 on Mon Mar 21, 2011 6:45 pm

Perhaps your definition of boom is different from others here. I have visited the KLIAV show over the last few years & have never for once find Sam's room boomy or metallic sounding. In fact, i find Sam's demo to be very impressive if a tad on the loud side. Just for the record, i had another spk just prior to my current SHL-5 (I have owned 3 pairs of SHL-5 since 2002) on the exact spot where my current SHL-5 is & i find that the other pair of spks sounded more boxy & boomy than the SHL-5. That spk had a very solid & well braced cabinet. I suspect that you are too accustomed to the type of bass from Full Range or open baffle spks that's why you find Harbeth boomy.

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Post by Lamkochai on Mon Mar 21, 2011 7:41 pm

dont be mistaken. harbeth is still a good speaker. try to compare Harbeth midrange with other speakers costing less than rm15k and i dare to say none of them come close to it.

unfortunately in my current room, speakers placement is so challenging that i cant overcome the bass boom problem. i enjoy every moment listening to a simple accoustic and vocal track from my system.

the one (SHL5 and c7) in Sam's demo room does not have bass boom but they sound thin to my taste

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Post by Lamkochai on Mon Mar 21, 2011 7:53 pm

and vs126, what speakers u use comparing to harbeth to come to such conclusion?

i still prefer my harbeth despite the bass boom to my proac studio 125 which i use for AV now. its overall clairty, sounstage and midrange is miles better than proac studio.

i suspect the proac response series can only on par with harbeth midrange despite they (d2 or d18) are slightly costlier than a pair of shl5 or m30 but i dont have chance to do side by side comparison yet. of course many of my friends say proac will sound "faster" and more dynamic.


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Post by VS126 on Mon Mar 21, 2011 8:07 pm

To each his own.

To sum it up.....
First senario:
If Harbeth is such a good speaker and sold at such a reasonable price, then everyone who know about sound shd knock at Harbeth's door to buy it.

Second senario:
If Harbeth is not selling enough speakers to warrant above senario, then it must be that majority of people do not now how to listen.


Third senario:
If everyone is buying Harbeth coz it is so good and sound Natural, then why is it that their sales volume is at best 10 to 20% of what ProAc is selling?

Not to talk about personal preference, if Harbeth is so good as what certain forummer puts it, they wld not be commanding such a small slice of the speaker market or is it very one is deaf and dumb except Harbeth owner???

Think about it!
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Post by VS126 on Mon Mar 21, 2011 8:11 pm

Cheaper Speaker

ProAc Studio is mostly for AV. They are voiced differently.
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Post by mugenfoo on Mon Mar 21, 2011 8:40 pm

Vince, in all fairness to Harbeth and its perceived BOOM, yes the speaker is actually voiced for a somewhat plummier mid bass characteristics. This could be seen as Harbeth giving that very pleasant and alluring-voice sounding character.

Hence some might like to call it "natural sounding" . No arguments on that from me here but i'm not agreeing to this statement either.

But if one were to actually go and SCOPE that speaker, it's linearity is far from what one would call accurate. And before anyone goes arguing that its specs are within XX dB and supposedly ruler-flat freq response, one should also see how a typical Harbeth measures on reputable 3rd party lab measurements:

Its characteristics are demystified there.

Here's a link just to illustrate a point:
http://www.stereophile.com/content/harbeth-hl-p3-loudspeaker-2007-measurements

Harbeth speakers - discussion thread - Page 3 666H32fig3


Even AS has been noted to say that HARBETHs are engineered to give that "knee-up" hump of 100~150Hz before its bass response falls off typically of bookshelf speakers.

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http://www.audioenz.co.nz/forums/archive/index.php/t-7557.html


So if you happen to have room modes booming at this 100Hz region, oh yes ... the bass boom can be really nasty sounding!


And Harbeths aren't one would call a terribly detailed or revealing speaker. Don't expect to see (or hear actually, if possible to some people) super sweet highs extending to the 20KHz and beyond region.


Conclusion... The sonic Characteristics of Harbeths, (like any other speaker) is still engineered to give its own "signature" sound.

Some love it and swear by it till kingdom come. For others, its just another brand of speaker with its own peculiar group of followers. Just like how everyone knows that Alfa Romeos aren't really the best engineered or best performance cars even within its class, but its got its own charm and bunch of followers to boot. Call it "Emotion" or "Sentiment" if you like... Smile
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Post by mugenfoo on Mon Mar 21, 2011 8:42 pm

Lamkochai wrote:dont be mistaken. harbeth is still a good speaker. try to compare Harbeth midrange with other speakers costing less than rm15k and i dare to say none of them come close to it.

You should come out and jalan-jalan more and see (hear) more loudspeakers around town then...
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Post by khlim_77 on Mon Mar 21, 2011 8:53 pm

Mikapoh
nice setup on the nice environment, not sure when will be my turn on having a pair of C7ES3
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Post by SHL-5 on Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:00 pm

Hi VS126, Harbeth is not a big loudspeaker manufacturer compared to Proac, KEF or B&W. I don't know how many pairs of Harbeth Sam sells but in S'pore, the average waiting time for Harbeth now is about 6 to 8 months. For models such as M40.1, the lead time is 1 year. Every shipment gets snapped out within weeks here. I have witnessed my local dealer selling few pairs within an afternoon. Over the years, the demand for Harbeth spks in S'pore & around the world has increased so much so that Harbeth's order book is typically full up to probably a year ahead. However, despite the surge in demand, Alan Shaw is not going to increase production capacity. He had a bad experience before & hence is very cautious about expanding. That probably explains why the mkt share for Harbeth is still nowhere near to giants such as Proac, B&W & others.

Every spk has its own share of fans. Some like Electrostatics, some like Full Range, others like open baffle...etc etc... Its just that spks with BBC lineage like Harbeth & Spendor are generally more capable of invoking very strong passion & opinions from their owners. Despite what you say about Harbeth's bass being super duper boomy & or metallic highs, we are still very or rather extremely passionate about our spks becos we have been touched by its sonic, artistic & emotional fidelity. As simple as that. Oh before i forget, there's even a thread on Audiogon called Harbeth Phenomenon. Go read what people in there are saying about the Harbeth sound. Anybody who loves beautiful music & knows how live unamplified music sounds like will automatically love the Harbeth or BBC sound.

But i guess no matter what, you just don't like the Harbeth or BBC sound. Ok, time to attend my mini concert at home.



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Post by VS126 on Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:24 pm

Maybe you shd re read the above post by our very own Mr Mugen, then you will know more about yr Harbeth.
Still, you have all the rights to call yr speaker the best and most natural sounding transducer available. Nobody is going to deny you that pleasure.

For yr info, the long waiting time for Harbeth is due to it's slow motion 1960's production ethics. It is not that there are thousands of orders every month that is keeping Harbeths factory so busy. Just tell me how many speakers can Harbeth produce a month???Hence the long waiting period. Sometimes, it can be a strong marketing tool. Wah! waiting period six months, must be fantastic speaker. wah! everyone waiting for the most natural speaker.

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Post by ryder on Mon Mar 21, 2011 10:02 pm

You're welcome Mikapoh. I am glad that the C7ES3s are working out for. Sorry that you have to bear with some derogatory comments at the time of receiving your new speakers. At least you know that the speakers do not exhibit any boom in your room as highlighted many times by VS126.

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Post by ryder on Mon Mar 21, 2011 10:12 pm

VS126 wrote:Even in our local distributor's showroom, SHL-5's bass booms.

Boomy and metallic. (Sorry, my opinion).

Booms like crazy.


I see you love to repeat the word "boom". Three times in a response. We hear you loud and clear.

Like SHL-5, I am guessing that your interpretation of bass boom may be different from others, or the impromptu speaker test carried out doesn't do justice to the Harbeth.

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Post by tycham on Mon Mar 21, 2011 10:14 pm

Lamkochai wrote:dont be mistaken. harbeth is still a good speaker. try to compare Harbeth midrange with other speakers costing less than rm15k and i dare to say none of them come close to it.

Try Lenehan Audio ML-1 Plus! Very Happy
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Post by Mahler 9 on Mon Mar 21, 2011 10:42 pm

Mikapoh wrote:To spice up this thread and officially announced I've joined the Harbeth family. I have taken possession of C7ES3 (Tiger Ebony) and now a proud owner of these great speakers.

Would like to especially thank Ryder for introducing me such marvelous speakers although I've listened to P3 long time ago. His advice has my calculated risks measured in the process in taking the plunge without auditioned them first hand. I have no remorsed whatsoever and spellbound by its organic presentation. Very musical speakers. I've also made chnages to placement as not shown in this photo.

Harbeth speakers - discussion thread - Page 3 Dscn1216


Thanks Ryder.




Very nice setup and welcome as Harbethian. Hope you can escape from "audio-chasing-game" enter into "pure-music-paradise"...

Be frank, your photo, the rubber surround look weird with such light reflection.

In this hobby, do not take too serious on other listeners opinions on what sound is right sound. Only you are the right person to justify what is the right sound for yourself.

Cheers~

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Post by SHL-5 on Mon Mar 21, 2011 10:54 pm

VS126 wrote:Maybe you shd re read the above post by our very own Mr Mugen, then you will know more about yr Harbeth.
Still, you have all the rights to call yr speaker the best and most natural sounding transducer available. Nobody is going to deny you that pleasure.

For yr info, the long waiting time for Harbeth is due to it's slow motion 1960's production ethics. It is not that there are thousands of orders every month that is keeping Harbeths factory so busy. Just tell me how many speakers can Harbeth produce a month???Hence the long waiting period. Sometimes, it can be a strong marketing tool. Wah! waiting period six months, must be fantastic speaker. wah! everyone waiting for the most natural speaker.


Hi VS126, out of curiosity, care to share with us what spks are you using & or what are the spks that you have very high regard for?

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Post by mugenfoo on Tue Mar 22, 2011 1:05 am

ryder wrote:
VS126 wrote:Even in our local distributor's showroom, SHL-5's bass booms.

Boomy and metallic. (Sorry, my opinion).

Booms like crazy.


I see you love to repeat the word "boom". Three times in a response. We hear you loud and clear.

Like SHL-5, I am guessing that your interpretation of bass boom may be different from others, or the impromptu speaker test carried out doesn't do justice to the Harbeth.

Just like that miss world Singapore 2009: Ris Low ... BOOMS !

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5F74FZfdSJY&feature=related


... and the Phua Chu Kang versions are even better!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_C5uUVB4i8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQ1R4w20924
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RiSB90l4Krk

lol! lol! lol! lol! lol!



VS126 wrote:Maybe you shd re read the above post by our very own Mr Mugen, then you will know more about yr Harbeth.
Still,
you have all the rights to call yr speaker the best and most natural
sounding transducer available. Nobody is going to deny you that
pleasure.


Forgot to mention , most Malaysians know this really famous radio DJ mr. Patrick Teoh. His voice over the radio really has that very alluring and warmth sounding tone. But if one has really met him in real life , then one would know that his voice in real life is not really as how he sounds like on the radio. The magic ? This miracle device commonly known as a "Graphic Equaliser".

geek

What wonders a graphic-equaliser console can do.... just boost up the 100~200Hz region and almost everyone can sound as warm and lush as Mr. Patrick Teoh as well! (but of course, his english and pronunciations are 1st class as well lah)

So the loudspeaker equivalent, would be the Harbeths ! And hey, if you like that kind of sound (most people seem to like Patrick Teoh's voice anyways)... then go for it ! Wink
mugenfoo
mugenfoo
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Number of posts : 2668
Age : 43
Location : All over
Registration date : 2009-04-04

Character sheet
Source(s): Technics Compact-Cassette Deck
Amplification: DIY Kit 15Watt
Speakers: Pasar Road Special.

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