Harbeth video.

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Classicrock
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Harbeth video.

Unread post by Classicrock » Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:01 pm

I think the interviewer is rather too besotted with the brand to be objective. Alan Shaw appears to be making some rather dubious claims here.

http://youtu.be/Ja9BJn0lMxI

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_D_S_J_R_
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Re: Harbeth video.

Unread post by _D_S_J_R_ » Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:20 pm

I'm finally Harbeth'd out - see the lunacy here - http://www.harbeth.co.uk/usergroup/foru ... ther/page4

The quality of an amp there is now based not just on basic 'voltage' Watts per channel (the basic type 'we' relied upon in the early 70's before we knew better about current demands in speakers, especially complex ones 'we' here don't like), but on the heatsink type - the Claymore probably using the case itself as a heatsink where the cheap Yamaha has a less substantial case and needs add-on heatsinks. I can't post there to make this point (I'm a guest but not allowed to post - probably a good thing now), but I'm so riled up about the po-faced attitude I keep blowing my own fuses. If Colin reads this, perhaps he'd care to comment?

I really wouldn't waste any more time mentioning this brand. Their version of 'high fidelity music reproduction' is poles apart from what we know is possible and post about here, but they would never accept it.
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Re: Harbeth video.

Unread post by Classicrock » Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:30 pm

Alan Shaw appears to work in some sort of vacuum, unaware of technological advances elsewhere. Even injection moulded polypropylene is old hat! Other manufacturers have used more advanced driver material for years and certainly use computer modeling. What The Doc is always complaining about. I wonder if AS actually listens to his own speakers with different amps.

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Re: Harbeth video.

Unread post by savvypaul » Tue Dec 05, 2017 1:27 pm

AS appears keen to demonstrate that his speakers will sound underwhelming with any amp...
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Classicrock
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Re: Harbeth video.

Unread post by Classicrock » Tue Dec 05, 2017 1:51 pm

The video shocked me how AS could give so much inaccurate information. It just proves all Richard has said about Harbeth is true. Just continues to tweek ancient designs which by some chance do sound rather better than other similar BBC based speakers. No real R & D has been undertaken in the last 30 years. It appears love of Harbeth on certain forums and the far east market has maintained the brand. Maybe a lack of wide baffle with traditional 'British' look has helped. Nice cabinet work is not sufficient to hide the basic design flaws.

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Re: Harbeth video.

Unread post by Classicrock » Tue Dec 05, 2017 1:56 pm

_D_S_J_R_ wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:20 pm
I'm finally Harbeth'd out - see the lunacy here - http://www.harbeth.co.uk/usergroup/foru ... ther/page4

The quality of an amp there is now based not just on basic 'voltage' Watts per channel (the basic type 'we' relied upon in the early 70's before we knew better about current demands in speakers, especially complex ones 'we' here don't like), but on the heatsink type - the Claymore probably using the case itself as a heatsink where the cheap Yamaha has a less substantial case and needs add-on heatsinks. I can't post there to make this point (I'm a guest but not allowed to post - probably a good thing now), but I'm so riled up about the po-faced attitude I keep blowing my own fuses. If Colin reads this, perhaps he'd care to comment?

I really wouldn't waste any more time mentioning this brand. Their version of 'high fidelity music reproduction' is poles apart from what we know is possible and post about here, but they would never accept it.
Yikes! just think that £250 Yamaha amp must cost all of £25 to make in China!

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Re: Harbeth video.

Unread post by _D_S_J_R_ » Tue Dec 05, 2017 3:54 pm

There's a thread about this as well, with little thought on how even Yamaha evolve their designs over the decades rather than re-designing a new amp from scratch as discussed. The mindset on this manufacturer forum is precise and totally set in stone and it's all but dead anyway, all the interesting stuff about this brand is now on Facebook ;)

I did just wish to say for proper balance, that current Harbeths are nothing like original ones, let alone Spendors like mine which started it all, and much detailed development work HAS been done, whatever you feel about the concept and origins. The radial cone material is most patently NOT polypropylene and behaves much stiffer when moulded, completely differently to the squidgier polypropylene. Paper cones 'done right' are an art in themselves and I think even the Doc wouldn't disagree on this particular point if little else and the likes of Harbeth couldn't exert the kind of precise control they'd wish (they make their own drivers and own the expensive tooling I gather although the chassis and coils etc. are bought in I think. The boxes aren't thin birch ply any more and the crossovers, believe it or not, are less intrusive than ever as the sound of newer models has livened up and the realisation thanks to Stereophile amp reviews has shown just how bad a passive crossover can be to many amps.

Savvy, you had P3ESR's with a Sugden - a ghastly combination in my experience. I accept you found them lacking with NVA as well and that's fair enough. I've mostly used modern Croft (25/7 and the Croft Integrated) and despite the high output impedance of a Croft Series 7 amp, the combination did work well I remember. Perhaps you could rightly say you've 'moved onwards and upwards' with the gear you have now and do please remember that had your NVA stereo been bought from a dealer, the prices would be at least 60% higher (not many electronics brands offer 50% dealer margins in my experience)..
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Re: Harbeth video.

Unread post by savvypaul » Tue Dec 05, 2017 4:32 pm

I heard a couple of other 'ls3/5a' types - Stirling and Spendor - before I bought the Harbeths. The P3ESR was the best of the bunch to my ears. At the time I was fixed on the idea of a sealed box - I strongly dislike chuffing reflex ports - and didn't see any real alternatives. A year or two later I came across NVA.

If I had to keep the Harbeths, knowing what I do now, I would probably feed them with a reasonably meaty push-pull valve amp. Enough power to open them up a bit, enough bloom to give them some more body and not fight against their cosseted nature. It would only be treating the symptoms, though, and I'd probably end up listening only to crooners.

Toontrev, Hemmo1969 & herbie07 have all heard the Harbeths in my system...feel free to chime in, chaps.
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Re: Harbeth video.

Unread post by _D_S_J_R_ » Tue Dec 05, 2017 5:39 pm

Maybe they don't need to, at least not on my account ;) I know how good the Cubes can be in the right environment, and I remember my intense disappointment when the Harbeth SHL5's took up residence here for a few days - the sound wasn't ANYTHING like the BC2's and actually, neither are 'BBC Speakers' as such, as it was only the BC1 which the BBC bought for themselves (a few hundred pairs I understand) as general noise-boxes and Spendor paid the Beeb a royalty on every pair sold retail I understand.

No more to say. The vibe here is definitely anti the 'BBC ideal' and as most of these vintage speakers designs seem to be bought by far eastern and US customers with large rooms (so the speakers can be used out away from walls and floors) and probably timber framed as well (to absorb more bass), the few pairs that sell over here don't really count for much to be honest.

Valve amp and Harbeths? A lot of rich clients do this, but the Doc is quite right about the output transformers these things have stuck on their rear ends. Higher output impedance often, bass distortion when they saturate and the response of a Harbeth type load will be significantly altered (worst offenders are the likes of Prima Luna), yet despite this, Stereophile reviewers seem to love them. Nah, just stick to a lovely sounding NVA amp and stick to modern, better sorted speakers that let the music out more easily.
...I have renounced the worldly bustle and live in peace at a quiet place,
I live alone in this my heaven, in my love (and) in my songs.

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Re: Harbeth video.

Unread post by karatestu » Tue Dec 05, 2017 5:56 pm

Build your own doc inspired 3 way semi Omni's instead ;) Sonic bliss :grin:
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