My thoughts on Harbeth C7ES3 vs SH5+.

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Strat-Mangler, Aug 26, 2018.

  1. gov

    gov Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC
    40's are in a whole 'nother category ;)

    I'm not on FB but might be able to check it out. The HUG has some mostly useful (if not expected fanboyism)
     
  2. Doctor Fine

    Doctor Fine Forum Resident

    Location:
    Lewes, DE
    Dave Wilson and I use the same set up techniques for large stacks.
    We time align the voice coils so they all sing in phase with each other placement wise.
    We "converge" the boxes so the sound arrives at your chair as a single point source.
    You can go on his site for Wilson speakers and read a quite detailed set up booklet that is very helpful for ALL kinds of other brands of boxes too.
    I have been playing around with these ideas since the 60s with stacked large Advents.
    The Watt/puppy idea from Wilson may have been "news" to the industry but DIY guys like me had been there for years.
    I have tried other ways to place subs but if you have the space stacking them really does have some sonic benefits as far as coherent "time alignment" goes.
    I hope some of you will experiment as only then will you design what makes the most sense to YOUR ears.
    And if you can't afford the best---STEAL their ideas and copy their designs using cheaper means.
    Remember---HALF of it comes down to SET UP...not just MONEY.
    My two cents.
     
  3. Doctor Fine

    Doctor Fine Forum Resident

    Location:
    Lewes, DE
    40s are 30s WITH subs added.
    Very simple, but I think you can do better adding your OWN subs and putting them in alignment with the top box and aiming it better.
    40s would be my choice for certain larger rooms where the wife has requested "NO SUBS."
    MHO, only, of course.
     
  4. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    The anniversary model did not sound as transparent and open to my ears. It sounded nearly identical to the anniversary models of the P3ESR and 30.2, a more warm, laid back voicing. The SHL5+ stands apart.
     
  5. dianos

    dianos Forum Resident

    Location:
    The North
    I've had the SHL5 Plus for 1.5 years now but I tend to find them a bit harsh and thin in the mids sometimes and I work from home a lot listening like 8h per day so I'd like to get a Harbeth speaker that is a bit warmer in the mids and highs so I'm looking into 30.1 or the C7ES3 (or the 40th anniversary of them both) to replace them. Anyone have compared 30s with the 7s and can give a summary on the major differences between them. I've heard the 40.1 compared to my 5s and they sound very different. The 40.1 mids are much more recessed and laidback so I assume 30s are the same. How about the 7s? Do the 7s have the metal dome tweeter? I could live without that one since it to my ears can be a bit metallic sounding when pushed.
     
  6. Gordon Johnson

    Gordon Johnson Forum Resident

    Location:
    Liverpool, South
    What amp do you have driving them?
     
  7. dianos

    dianos Forum Resident

    Location:
    The North
    Naim 272/250DR
     
  8. LARGERTHAN

    LARGERTHAN Forum Resident

    Location:
    Eire
    I think a 'new' Harbeth line will be out shortly - I noted that some UK dealers have slightly discounted pricing and very limited veneers which may corroborate this. I think the latest line will essentially be the anniversaries minus the fancy connectors and veneer options, ie just the crossover update.

    To your point, the 30.1 is perhaps your best option. It's slightly more recessed in the mids, whereas the new. 2 is a little flatter. Bass seems similar. The. 2 seems flatter on extension too. Soft dome tweeter, FWIW.

    The C7's are known as the darkest of the bunch. Good all rounders. Obviously cheaper.

    I too have the 5 Plus and have long been contemplating a move for the same reasons as you.
     
  9. Gordon Johnson

    Gordon Johnson Forum Resident

    Location:
    Liverpool, South
    Maybe try matching in s loan amp from your dealers before you swap out the speakers, especially if the speakers match your room.

    Also and in conjunction with a trial amp try matching in the interconnect cables.

    But the 3. And 4. Seried Are a slightly different animal to the 7s and supers.
     
  10. Gordon Johnson

    Gordon Johnson Forum Resident

    Location:
    Liverpool, South
    Again, before a change of speaker, try suggestions in previous post.
     
  11. dianos

    dianos Forum Resident

    Location:
    The North
    In general which approach do you take when fine tuning your system. Changing dac, amp or speakers. It’s all about matching but some suggest amp source first and some speakers first. I do have a glorious sound most of the time but you know. Trying to get there.

    It seems like SHL5 Plus is the brightest sounding in the Harbeth family so I think I might go changing them for some other Harbeth model that should suite my room and amp better.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2020
  12. chrism1971

    chrism1971 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glos, UK
  13. dianos

    dianos Forum Resident

    Location:
    The North
  14. dianos

    dianos Forum Resident

    Location:
    The North
    When you say flatter you mean more forward or?
     
  15. LARGERTHAN

    LARGERTHAN Forum Resident

    Location:
    Eire
    I guess he means 40th anniversary. Interesting. Prices are wild, however...And disappointing.

    There's a thread elsewhere with a poster querying if one could DIY the P3ESR - an impossibility. However, certaintly one could bring the SHL5 Plus to Anniversary spec easily - that model specifically just had fancier crossover components and was not a rework. Anyhow, I digress...

    As to the 30.2 vs 1, indeed it is more forward across midband.
     
  16. G B Kuipers

    G B Kuipers Forum Resident

    Location:
    Netherlands
    Why not try the older SHL5 (non Plus)? Much 'nicer' high/mids and the move will save you quite a bit of cash.
     
  17. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    I have had the SHL5+ for some time now and do not find them bright at all. The C7ES3 were definitely darker and richer sounding. The 30.2 are darker still. Contrast that to the Spendor D7 I had that were much brighter than any Harbeth yet still sounded excellent.
    I would suggest you take a look at the position of the speakers first and then speakers cables / interconnect cables second. A lack of bass caused by any of the above can be heard as brightness because of imbalance.
    The speakers need to be proper height from the floor~ 18 to 19 ". Too high and the bass reinforcement will suffer. They also need to be at least 24-36" from any wall. Lastly toe in is very critical. Too wide and they sound brighter / more forward. You want them positioned so that they are just slightly off axis with your ears. Aim the left one directly at your left ear and then back off just a touch- do the same for the right. Very critical- affects the tonal balance more than any speaker I have owned.
    Make sure there is no silver in any cable in your chain. I use Kimber 8PR copper speaker cables and they sound excellently balanced. Makes a big difference. Try Audience Ohno copper interconnects as well- very transparent and balanced with no harshness or brightness.
    Try all that and then get rid of the speakers if you must but they are truly exceptional if you work with them. Even with solid state amplifiers. Good luck !
     
  18. gov

    gov Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC
    So @avanti1960 your feeling is the C7 is brighter overall than the 30.2? That’s surprising to me but I’ve not spent any quality time with the 30.2 just from what I’ve read others say.
     
  19. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    yes, the 30.2 is rolled off at the high end. midrange is slightly more forward than the C7s. The C7s might be my favorite sounding Harbeth speaker.
     
  20. LARGERTHAN

    LARGERTHAN Forum Resident

    Location:
    Eire
    Wow, the new 30.2 XD is over £4k. Yikes.
     
  21. Glmoneydawg

    Glmoneydawg Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ontario Canada
    Yep...even my dealer demos them straight out....i much prefer them toed in so that i can see about 1/2 an inch of inner side panel.Speakers disappear as a sound source and voices ect just hang there in space.Transparent and detailed yes...bright never.
     
    avanti1960 likes this.
  22. chrism1971

    chrism1971 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glos, UK
    Correct.

    Wild prices? The standard 7 in the UK is 2695; the XD 7 is 3499 (British pounds). That's less than 30% increase for what could be a hugely better speaker - and cheaper than the 40th anniversary (series), which is no longer in the shops according to a quick scan.
     
  23. dianos

    dianos Forum Resident

    Location:
    The North
    I'm pretty locked into how to position them in my room so I need to use equipment suitable for it and that's why I'm thinking on downsizing a bit. The room is only 3x4m and the speakers can only go on the short wall. The 5s are on made for stands in correct height and they are toed in as recommended already. I think it might be a combination of things here which asks for some adjustment. The 5s are the most bright Harbeth in the lineup. I compared them to 40.1 and those are much darker and not at all sensitive to material played. However they also lack the WOW experience you can get from the 5s when a recording is perfectly matching them but I tend to think this happen to rarely and I think my next step will be finding something more allround since I listen many hours per day. The Naim 272/250DR is also on the pushy side of neutral (as most Naim to my experince) and my room most likely also peaks in the mid range somewhere even though I have a pair of absorbers on the wall. So I think the sum of SHL5 Plus, Naim and my room push the mids and highs a bit too much to the harsh side on a bit too many records. When it sings it is goose bumps all over but when it breaks it is almost like you want to stop listening. I could of course also go for a more laidback amp but I've had the Line Magnetic 508 and that one has such a sweet mid and highs but the bass was so muddy and undefined so that also become a showstopper. So I have a bunch of options here. Look for a more laidback DAC to connect to my Naim 272. Because vinyl into it make the system more laidback. Or another amp like Accuphase or Luxman or Mcintosh or another speaker like 30.1 or C7s.. So many options :confused:
     
    avanti1960 likes this.
  24. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    9' X 12' is not a friendly room size for the SHL5+ for sure. You'll get bass cancellations and reflections from all sides especially the wall behind your spot. You can minimize the reflections with diffusors on all four walls but I doubt you will get the results you are hoping for. Amplification is also chasing your tail IMHO.
    Try the P3ESRs and a decent subwoofer.
     
  25. LARGERTHAN

    LARGERTHAN Forum Resident

    Location:
    Eire
    Same Cabinet. Same Driver. Same Tweeter. According to A.S. himself, and assuming it's the same as the Anniversary, it's an ever so slight difference in FR. Your room will have more influence on their presentation than choosing between models. Move your head slightly. Toe them in or out. Likely one could have them so close as to be indistinguishable. But that's not my truck here...

    If an approx 30% increase is a commensurate with a value proposition for you, then fine...I guess for the everyman it's an entirely different predicament.

    Also, the 30.2 XD is more expensive than its anniversary equivalent. Go figure.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2020

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