Harbeth Speakers- Doing Something Right....

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by avanti1960, Jul 25, 2019.

  1. DaveyF

    DaveyF Forum Resident

    Location:
    La Jolla, Calif
    Interesting, that is not what I heard when I heard the Graham’s. They are certainly very much of the same cloth though. The warmth aspect probably is dependent on the upstream gear...to a certain extent.
     
  2. Classicrock

    Classicrock Forum Resident

    Location:
    South West, UK.
    Reading that just confirms Shaw is no designer and hires in the engineers to do the work. I'm sure his 'design' work is down to listening and choices of components. Also the efficiency figures confirm these speakers need a big solid state amp to drive them properly. Puzzled how people find them satisfactory with flea powered valve amps.
     
  3. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    Well, I can't comment on "flea-powered valve amps" (although that did give me a chuckle) but I can attest that on my Line Magnetic 508IA (SET, class A at 48 WPC) that it's a very satisfactory experience. Rarely do I need to go beyond 10 o' clock on the volume dial to experience the loudest comfortable setting for whatever I am listening to.
     
  4. Helom

    Helom I'll take the monkey coffins

    Location:
    U.S.
    Idk, I think it's attributable to the cone materials. The semi-transparent plastic cones tend to be warmer IME. Of course metal dome tweeters tend to be brighter so that one is no surprise. If talking warmth from cabinet resonance than I'd agree Harbeth is warmer.
     
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  5. timind

    timind phorum rezident

    Location:
    Westfield, IN USA
    Well this thread got me in the mood so I went and listened to a pair of M30.1s a local seller has. Unfortunately, he had them set up on a pair of 15 inch stands in a room with no furniture and nothing on the walls. Under these conditions there was no way they could sound their best. He's in the process of moving and didn't have proper stands for them.

    On the low stands the bass was boomy as heck and it was impossible to get good imaging. I was tempted to ask him to bring them over to my house for a listen, but I'm not sure the 30.1 is the model for me.

    On the plus side, I may have made a new audio friend though as he lives only 10 minutes from me.
     
  6. Agitater

    Agitater Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    I listed all of the valve amps I tried with the Monitor 30.1 and SHL5+, none of them flea-watt at all. I don’t think a single person thread has mentioned using them with flea-watt amps, so it’s not clear where you’re getting the idea. It’s not at all common with Harbeth speakers.

    That said, I know someone who regularly runs a pair of C7ES3 with a 12 watt Decware Zen Triode integrated amp. It sounds wonderful though listening levels are moderate at most. In his quiet listening room, the experience listening to jazz trios and quartets and small classical orchestral and chamber music works is quite special.

    Listening levels don’t always have to be loud to sound good or great.
     
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  7. Classicrock

    Classicrock Forum Resident

    Location:
    South West, UK.
    I have heard of them run with a Leben amp. OK in a small space (but I don't think SHL5+ or 40.1 are suited to small spaces), if listening to intimate jazz or acoustic music. I'm sure they will quickly run out of steam with Black Sabbath or Metallica ;).
     
  8. LARGERTHAN

    LARGERTHAN Forum Resident

    Location:
    Eire
    I haven't heard the 7's - though anecdotally it seems they 'bloom' a little more in the lower registers, and I was mindful of your smaller space. Again, they may work in practice and/or be to your taste. They're often credieted with being the most versatile of the entire line-up.

    The 30 series is a descendant of the 5/9 which would of course been used in control rooms etc. So a little more room friendly though still placement dependant to be at their best.

    Perhaps some 7's owners will chime in, or those with direct experience of the range.

    BTW, I was very surprised by the output of the P3's in a smaller space such as yours - they certainly don't sound small, no matter the source material.
     
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  9. Robert C

    Robert C Sound Archivist

    Location:
    London, UK
    I'm finding the SHL5+ does well at low levels. It retains a decently full sound with the volume quite far down.
    What would you define as a small space? If the marketing is to be believed, the whole lineup is designed with the "British living room" (which happens to be a similar size to a control room) in mind. Indeed, my work studio is roughly the same size as my home listening room and the M40s at work are perfect. Though I do sit near field.

    I reckon dynamic orchestral music would be a tougher challenge than heavy metal.
     
  10. Puma Cat

    Puma Cat Forum Resident

    Location:
    East Bay, CA
    This is total nonsense. You can drive Harbeths very effectively with tube amplifiers. Check out this video using C7ES' with an 8-watt Viva SET integrated:

    Harbeth C7 Anniversary with 8 watt Viva Classico 300b Integrated, Luxman D-08u and Aurender N10

    I'm driving my 30.2s with a 70 Wpc Conrad-Johnson LP-70S tube amp, and I have all the dynamics, slam, power and "forza" on full-scale orchestral recording one could hope to ask for.
     
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  11. Classicrock

    Classicrock Forum Resident

    Location:
    South West, UK.
    70 watts should be fine. Can't see 8 watts being enough for 86db at 6 ohms (40.1). Not for optimum sound in a medium sized room. (I did refer to flea powered valve amps).
     
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  12. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    thanks. seems like you prefer the ultimate control and dynamics that a good solid state amplifier brings to the table compared to the larger multi dimensional sound stage that you can experience with a good tube system. my cronus magnum II did very well with my harbeth V7ES3s in terms of dynamics and energy and the sound stage was immense. i will find it difficult to part with tubes.
     
  13. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    they should work very well in your room but there will be strict speaker and listening position requirements. i have heard the SHL5+ do very well in a hotel room but the speakers were at least 2 feet from the wall and the listening position had to be about 2 feet from the wall behind you. in other words a near-field like setup. if your listening spot needs to be against the wall i can guarantee the bass will be too powerful. speakers and ears away from walls and all will be well.
     
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  14. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    and there is the unofficial Harbeth mission statement. They walk that fine line like no other and do it so well...
     
    Robert C likes this.
  15. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    i think they pick their driver materials (e.g. the radial material) using spoken word recordings. it is not public knowledge as to how they voice the rest of the frequency bandwidth but they definitely have two distinct styles-
    1) a more flatter monitor style response (30.1, 30.2) and
    2) a rising low end curve (SHL5+, P3ESR, C7ES3.
     
  16. Agitater

    Agitater Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    If I go for another tube amplifier, I’ll seriously consider the Pathos Heritage or the Pathos Inpol 2. I’ve heard them both repeatedly in Toronto and they’re addictive no matter what source you feed them. I’ve listened to them being driven by an Audible Illusions preamp and an E.A.R. preamp.

    Then again, the Unison S6 integrated I recently sold was also very, very good, albeit not reaching the lofty heights of the Pathos amps. Avoiding the lofty pricing of the Pathos amps, I’d consider looking again higher up the line at Unison Research or Jadis. I’ve heard them all with Harbeth speakers. Wonderful combinations.

    I’m anchored to solid state for now. My Luxman L-590 and Naim Supernait 2 (with HiCap power supply) in my main systems are deeply satisfying.
     
    avanti1960 likes this.
  17. Ctiger2

    Ctiger2 Forum Resident

    Location:
    MT, USA
    Best results at my house with the 40.1's was with my 350W SS amp. They had better soundstage and depth along with much tighter/deeper bass and an overall more dynamic/engaging listen as apposed to the smaller wattage tube amps I tried on them. Ymmv.
     
  18. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    I've always been a "big speaker, big sound" kind of a guy, running large SS amps, than large Rogue tube monoblocks (which are excellent).

    But over the years I have worked my way down to lower and lower powered amps.

    Ending up with my little 3.9-Watt Decware SEP power amp.

    Coming from someone who has always listened to music that was at least fairly loud and dynamic, I find myself so taken back at listen at these much lower volume levels and sitting completely mesmerized because the music sound so good,

    I have all of these great rock remastered albums but now I don't even want to listenten at even a little bit louder volume when I'm so completely satisfied listening at the lower level that I was currently listening at.

    I really never could have even imagined that music could sound so good at such a low level, but now, I'm a believer.
     
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  19. MattHooper

    MattHooper Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Canada
    My Conrad Johnson Premier 12 tube monoblocks - 140W side, drove the heck outta the SuperHL5plus when I had them. In fact, they even sounded robust driven by my old Eico HF-81 14W tube integrated amp.

    I think it's worth remembering that unless you are listening pretty loud, we often are barely drawing a few watts from our amps. Especially if one isn't in a large room or far from the speakers.

    (And though it may sound crazy, I found the little Eico even drove my MBL 121 omnis - a punishing 81 db sensitivity with a fairly low ohm load - louder than I would want to listen, and without obvious distortion. Sounded great!).
     
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  20. Norco74

    Norco74 You can tell me by the way I walk...

    Exactly! To a certain extent, each room acoustic, musical program and hifi components have a sweet spot in terms of listening level.
     
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  21. LARGERTHAN

    LARGERTHAN Forum Resident

    Location:
    Eire
    Any folks tried Harbeth with Hypex? As mentioned previously, I had good success with a Hegel home dem, chiefly with bass response - it made the SHL5 Plus almost sound like a sealed cabinet. I guess for some folk it'd be too much of a good thing, but suits my listening preferences. I'm curious if Hypex may exhibit similar qualities...
     
  22. Classicrock

    Classicrock Forum Resident

    Location:
    South West, UK.
    Hypex are class D. They are going to sound different to a class A/B with a toroidal transformer. Digital appears to be good with bass hence sound fine in powered subs and bass guitar amps. I doubt you will find them as satisfactory with upper frequencies depending on taste.
     
  23. Doctorwu

    Doctorwu Forum Resident

    The Stirling Ls 3/6 is a superb speaker, it's smaller incantation the SB-88 is equally great.
     
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  24. Shiver

    Shiver Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    What an awesome rendition!
     
  25. LARGERTHAN

    LARGERTHAN Forum Resident

    Location:
    Eire
    To be fair, this material is not exactly demanding of an amplifier. That amp will assuredly clip with more demanding music played at average listening levels. You may however enjoy such clipping. All good.

    No disrespect to the considerable musicianship on display, but this classic audiophile cover fare at shows etc really gets my goat...
     
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