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Harbeth owners: treble?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Glfrancis2, Jun 15, 2020.

  1. Glfrancis2

    Glfrancis2 Overworked and underpaid state employee Thread Starter

    Location:
    Birmingham al
    Anyone have a pair of 7es3? What gear are you using with them?
     
  2. RnRmf

    RnRmf Forum Resident

    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    If you visit the Audioshark forum, there's a Harbeth section with info and reviews for the 7es3 among other models.
    A number of people seem to have success with tubes on Harbeth according to users, there.
     
    ogdens_sliced and Glfrancis2 like this.
  3. Vinyl Archaeologist

    Vinyl Archaeologist Forum Resident

    I used both a high power SS and a 22W SET amp with good results on the C7-es3. I feel with a quality source and components they are not at all fussy. I also used low mass homemade stands.
     
  4. wpjs

    wpjs Forum Resident

    I have Harbeth 30’s.
    I was coming from smaller bookshelf B&W’s. (Which I loved)
    My dealer played Hendrix through a pair of Harbeth 30 and “wow”.
    I live in a nyc apartment so I need to keep them tamed down most of the time, but they still shine at lower levels.
    No regrets.
     
  5. Glmoneydawg

    Glmoneydawg Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ontario Canada
    I went from Vandersteen Quatro Signatures (yep great speakers) to Harbeth shl5+ ...i couldn't be happier.Quatros need a certain volume to "come alive "...the Harbys play dynamic and deep at lower and higher volumes equally...and voices are projected a little more forward into the room...likely my "end game" speaker.
     
    Fruff76 and bhazen like this.
  6. DavidR

    DavidR Forum Resident

    Location:
    Europe
    The Harbeth treble unit is nothing special, it's an off the shelf Seas unit.

    The magic in Harbeth's comes from the bass/midrange driver, and it is magic!
     
    ogdens_sliced likes this.
  7. Doctor Fine

    Doctor Fine Audio Expurdt

    Location:
    Free Speech Land
    For a small bedroom no sub is needed with Monitor 30.
    For a small living room I use two SVS sealed box 12 inch subs.
    For a larger 20x40 room I use the two SVS subs and add two Velodyne 15" subs and a super tweeter (Townshend).
     
  8. BackScratcher

    BackScratcher Forum Resident

    Location:
    Boston
    Harbeth claims that the SEAS tweeters it uses are manufactured to Alan Shaw's specifications. It's unclear how they're different from regular stock units. Maybe they use slightly different dome material or voice coil windings? Perhaps they're just cherry-picked to meet tighter tolerance specs? Or maybe all of the stock units meet Alan's specs, and the claim is technically true marketing obfuscation? (SEAS does tweak some of its designs for individual speaker manufacturers.)
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2020
    Vinyl Archaeologist likes this.
  9. Tim Irvine

    Tim Irvine Forum Resident

    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    As others have noted, anything other than actually hearing speakers in real life will yield imperfect results (and even real life auditions are much less useful than actually hearing speakers in YOUR room), but there are a lot of things you can do to triangulate which speakers you would probably like. Listening to different things over YouTube will not convey how the actually sound, but it can, to a degree, reveal the more obvious qualities and provide a lacking but still useful way to compare how they sound via that very limited medium relative to each other. You can read reviews, but in my view the comments on this forum are much more useful. You can read how a commenter assesses other things you like or dislike and get a sense of their perspective and how it does or does not align with yours. Then you can weigh the costs and hassle of shipping, confirm return policies in detail, and make a decision if for you buying online or by phone is an acceptable risk. Pre-COVID19 I was faced with the choices offered in Austin, and nothing I heard grabbed me. I rejected a lot of the same speakers the OP did and bought online, knowing full well of the possible issues with having to return (very large) speakers. Fortunately I liked them enough that I was pleased with my decision, but that should not be taken as minimization of the yucky realities of dealing with returning things. Circling back to the original question, it would be my take that Harbeth treble is well regarded and not overly bright. That is a prevailing sentiment but not a guaranty how you will like them in your room with the rest of your system. If I were in the OP's shoes I would be figuring out which Harbeth best fit my total criteria. Given the room size, the preferred music, etc. I would lean, based only on what I have read, towards the SHl5. Ferreting out how they compare with similar sized three ways from other manufacturers would be far more complicated.
     
  10. ogdens_sliced

    ogdens_sliced Walnut Plug

    Location:
    Albion
    I own the Compact 7. Superb speaker.
    I find that a nearfield type setup really let's the 7 shine.
    Drive mine with tubes.
    Full gear is in my profile.
    Have always been happy with the compact 7 sound but had a few recent niggles with bass control.
    Have recently rolled my EL34 tubes with KT88 and first impressions are extremely pleasing. Only have around 6 hours on the KT88 though so will keep my powder dry until around 50 hours.

    I like my tube amp and my compact 7, but if one of them had to go it would be the tube amp. That's how much I like the Harbeths. Cracking pair of speakers.

    I understand many run a sub to great success with Harbeths to help pressurise the room and fill the low end in. I've not gone down that route yet but never say never.
     
    DavidR likes this.
  11. DavidR

    DavidR Forum Resident

    Location:
    Europe
    Harbeth's love watts the more the better, ask your dealer if you can try an amp 150w+, it will greatly improve your sound and give you more bass.

    Have a look at any of Alan's hifi show demo's and note he uses high power SS Hegel amps, for good reason they work the best!
     
    ogdens_sliced likes this.
  12. ogdens_sliced

    ogdens_sliced Walnut Plug

    Location:
    Albion
    I hear you but am happy with my tubes for now. There's a few threads over on HUG about A list and Z list amps for Harbeth. But I also try avoid HUG as many over there are egomaniacs.

    In my setup my Primaluna Evo 400 at 40 wpc triode / 72 wpc ultralinear has a far better grip on the Compact 7 than a 100 wpc McIntosh MA5200 that i use in a second system. Plus with tubes I can play with the flavour: taps, gain, driver & power tubes. I'll play with the KT88 for a bit now and see where that leads.

    I'm not convinced Hegel amps are all they are cracked up to be. I suspect this statement is somewhat controversial, but Im in Scandinavia - they are the most common amp for sale on the used market here. Currently 65 hegel amps for sale on our in-country version of eBay.

    I know people who have had both the latest 390 and 590. Both have been moved on after the initial & short romance died. I've heard the 390 and 590 driving a range of speakers incl Focal, Maggies, Spendor, PMC and Dali. Non of it blew me away.

    But like everything in this hobby, each to their own. Nobody is right, it's just tastes that differ.

    :edthumbs:
     
    gov, Roycer, Helom and 1 other person like this.
  13. DavidR

    DavidR Forum Resident

    Location:
    Europe
    I love tubes! They just did not work optimally with my old Harbeth's (30.2 XD's and P3ESR 40th's) in my system,

    Agree with you with regards to Hegel amps, never liked them.
     
    ogdens_sliced likes this.
  14. ogdens_sliced

    ogdens_sliced Walnut Plug

    Location:
    Albion
    What did you end up with after the Harbeths?
    Are you still running tubes?
     
  15. tIANcI

    tIANcI Wondering when the hifi madness will end

    Location:
    Malaysia
    I’ve run my P3ESR with Class A, Class AB, Class D, SS, tube and hybrid amps from 48w to 200w, it all works, as most other speakers would too.

    Do more watts give better performance? Not in my experience. As with any amp, it’s quality that matters, not the watts.

    The P3ESR sounded better with my Silbatone JL-107 (120w) than it does with my Audia Flight FLS10 (200w). Yet, I enjoyed the P3ESR a lot with a Line Magnetic LM805ia (48w).

    The C7ES3 is nice but I find the bottom a wee bit wooly. Still, it’s a good sounding speaker. I prefer the M30, it’s like a big P3ESR.

    As for my P3ESR, I replaced the tweeter with a SEAS 19TFF1 silk dome. I know, it’s blasphemy.

    Gives me a little bit more extension and does not mess up with the mids. No sibilant too. Was an interesting experiment that turned out ok.
     
  16. DavidR

    DavidR Forum Resident

    Location:
    Europe
    I found good class D worked best with my old Harbeth's, as you say the P3's bass can be woolly, with quality watts that disappears.
     
  17. tIANcI

    tIANcI Wondering when the hifi madness will end

    Location:
    Malaysia
    Old Harbeths and Class D eh? Interesting. Btw it’s the C7ES3’s bass that I find a bit wooly.
     
  18. DavidR

    DavidR Forum Resident

    Location:
    Europe
    I mean my old Harbeths 30.2 XD and P3ESR 40th's, both had woolly bass until I found good Class D, in fact Class D has been a bit of a revelation for me with all speakers!
     
  19. tIANcI

    tIANcI Wondering when the hifi madness will end

    Location:
    Malaysia
    Yeah ... Class D amps tend to have a better low end. A taut bass.

    New Class D components have more warmth now. No longer sterile. I had the XTZ A2-300 power amp. It was great for the price when paired with a good preamp. Reviewed a few Class D integrated amps such as the Parasound NewClassic 200, PS Audio Stellar Strata etc. They are nice.

    Unfortunateky, I love the sound of a good tube set up.
     
    ogdens_sliced likes this.
  20. Bananajack

    Bananajack Forum Resident

    Location:
    Singapore
    That may well be, it got surely a lower efficiency to match the midbass driver.
    The rest is marketing blahs ...
     
  21. Bananajack

    Bananajack Forum Resident

    Location:
    Singapore
    i owned Harbeth M30.1 (not too happy with them)
    I ended up with Tannoy Monitor Gold from 1970 (12inch=better midrange)
    Max. 25 Watts Input, 92dB efficiency, a dream for tube amps
     
    ogdens_sliced likes this.
  22. Bananajack

    Bananajack Forum Resident

    Location:
    Singapore
    Class D? Sounds to me like satanic Rituals ;) I would never touch one
     
  23. tIANcI

    tIANcI Wondering when the hifi madness will end

    Location:
    Malaysia
    *gulp* :eek:
     
  24. Bananajack

    Bananajack Forum Resident

    Location:
    Singapore
    Sorry, religiously inclined to vintage amps, preferred tube :p
     
  25. tIANcI

    tIANcI Wondering when the hifi madness will end

    Location:
    Malaysia
    I get it. I miss my Cary SLP-05, will probably get another next year.
     

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