Harbeth 30.1 Questions

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by avanti1960, Jan 26, 2019.

  1. Doctor Fine

    Doctor Fine Audio Expurdt

    Location:
    Free Speech Land
    I bought Harbeth Monitor 30s to get the low listening fatigue inherent in a cloth dome tweeter.
    Used as designed in a small control room 10X14 or so---they are quite neutral and indeed perfect.
    Used in a somewhat larger room they could use a sub and a super tweeter as these frequencies die off at a longer throw.
    I use mine with two SVS sealed subs.
    And two 15" Velodyne subs.
    And a pair of Townshend super ribbon tweeters.
    They are bi-amped using two Parasound A21s at 250 watts per tweeter/per woofer.
    I can comfortably cruise at 102 dB when playing loud hard rock like Hendrix at concert levels.
    But most listening is done at 75 dB to maybe 82 dB.
    They really shine at low volume.
    The soundstaging is immense and crystal clear.
    Truly a "buy it once---keep for life" speaker.
    And with some judicious use of "add-ons" you can make them into mini Wilson Chronomasters (or whatever Dave called his big setup).
    Mine are 5 way with individual level control for each driver.
    Individual aiming for each driver.
    Yes it takes a great deal of patience to dial out all the mud that comes with subwoofers.
    And even more time to get the drivers aimed into a coherent point of convergence.
    Not to mention the usual endless moving of speaker boxes looking for "room lock."
    But when you get it all locked in---whoa!
    If I sold these in our Manhattan showroom they would have placed somewhere in the $30,000---$50,000 speaker class.
    Most "civilians" would not be able to handle the setup duties but that's another issue.
    In my opinion great sound almost never comes easy.
    Other than headphones there are so many ways to set things right you can get upgrades all day long just by moving things around in your setup to find better sound.
    I spent five years on my first build just getting it right.
    Now it takes only a year or two.
    My two cents.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    a very radical setup but i bet it sounds incredible!
    FYI the aluminum tweeter in the C7ES3 has absolutely no fatigue and sounds superb.
     
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  3. Jtycho

    Jtycho Forum Resident

    Location:
    PA
    My Quads, with protection circuitry, don’t break a sweat at 100db from about 8 ft away. As it is that’s way louder than I listen to music at home so I never pushed them further.
     
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  4. zoomin

    zoomin Forum Resident

    Doctor - that's a wild setup.

    I checked your profile but couldn't see anything that was being used to cross over all these speakers - could you elaborate?
     
    bhazen likes this.
  5. murphythecat

    murphythecat Forum Resident

    Location:
    Canada
    what is a line resonance?
     
  6. murphythecat

    murphythecat Forum Resident

    Location:
    Canada
    whats the point in using two different type of subs?
     
  7. layman

    layman Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York, NY
    Spendor A7 loudspeaker Measurements
    A line resonance is very similar to a port resonance but in this case occurs at a higher frequency. It can be seen at 171 HZ in the Impedance and the Frequency Response Graph (in red). The line resonance (unlike the port resonance) is out of phase with the primary output of the driver at that frequency creating the deep null (suckout) seen in the Frequency Response Graph at 171 Hz (in black).
     
  8. direstraitsfan98

    direstraitsfan98 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    QC
    rock concert level is about 120db, not 102db.
    nice setup though. i think harbeth speakers will start to fall apart above 100db continuous. they just aren't designed or even capable of handling much more then 100db peaks.
     
  9. Doctor Fine

    Doctor Fine Audio Expurdt

    Location:
    Free Speech Land
    Decibels & Damage[​IMG]

    Noise Source Decibel Level (dB) How long can you listen without protection?
    Jet take off 130 0 minutes
    Ambulance siren 109 Less than 2 minutes
    Personal music player at maximum volume 106 3.75 minutes
    Pop/Rock concert 103 7.5 minutes
    Riding a motorcycle 97 30 minutes
    Using an electric drill 94 1 hour


    Any rock concert louder than 103 dB I bring earplugs.
    FWIW.
     
    bever70 likes this.
  10. Doctor Fine

    Doctor Fine Audio Expurdt

    Location:
    Free Speech Land
    I've been hitting my Harbeths like that for ten years.
    No failures yet.
    I imagine the extra power the subs put out is helping raise the punch (dB) without blowing the Harbeths.
    I would never play them at 102 all by themselves...
    They just wouldn't sound FULL.
    They were designed for a smallish room when driven alone.
    They work great as mid field/slightly far field with some subs.
    And they sound great at lower levels in a small room by themselves.
    I do find it interesting just how big they can go with some support from subs.
     
  11. Schwinnparamount

    Schwinnparamount Forum Resident

    I'll be going to a shop in my town (Gig Harbor, WA) to listen to a pair of these this week. I've been told by a couple of people that they are worth considering in place of the Harbeth thin wall designs
     
    bhazen likes this.
  12. bhazen

    bhazen Magical Mystery Tourist

    Location:
    Newcastle, WA
    Gig Harbor Audio. :) That's where I got mine; say hello to Erik for me!
     
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  13. Schwinnparamount

    Schwinnparamount Forum Resident

    Yeah, I just emailed Erik yesterday. I can't wait to enjoy a beer with my listenings.
     
    bhazen likes this.
  14. bhazen

    bhazen Magical Mystery Tourist

    Location:
    Newcastle, WA
    Apologies to all for apparent hijack. I don't intend my mention of my current speakers (Chartwells) to mean that I think they're superior to Harbeths which, in fact, I also think are wonderful. It's all personal taste, different applications, etc.
     
    Bananajack likes this.
  15. Balthazar

    Balthazar Forum Resident

    They look pretty sweet. Can't go wrong with Derek Hughes' designs.

    I'm also realizing, reading the last page of this thread, that I'm a real wimp when it comes to loudness levels. I'm fairly certain my M30.1's have never hit anything close to 100dB.
     
    bhazen likes this.
  16. bhazen

    bhazen Magical Mystery Tourist

    Location:
    Newcastle, WA
    I prefer listening at reasonable levels as well; my neighbors prefer that I do, as well. That's why I like speakers that can let you see deeply into a recording at lower volume.
     
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  17. caracallac

    caracallac Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ireland
    In my experience the 30.2 really is the sweet spot of the Harbeth range. Heresy though it may be, I find the 40.2 to be just a little bit too bass heavy for my taste and the C7ES3 seem to be voiced to perform well with the widest range of gear and rooms possible, whereas the 30.2 is the speaker that you build everything else around to get the best out of it. In fact I'd go so far as to say that when everything else is right, the 30.2 is one of the few box speakers that doesn't slink away in shame when compared to the Quad ESL.
     
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  18. RCAlbin

    RCAlbin New Member

    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    Just this week I picked up a new set of 30.1's for a bargain price. Never tried Harbeths before. So... this is an experiment - based on other 30.1's I've heard that had incredible sound when driven by a Hegel H300.

    However, so far... I've been "underwhelmed" with their sound. They don't seem to have the crystaline, crisp, clear highs that I had expected, and the bass / mid-bass seem a bit bloated. Very suprising. I was expecting a sound more like the Proac Response D2 (superb dynamics and clarity), but with the Harbeth rich mids.

    Do they require a lot of burn in to achieve that clarity?

    Or, possibly does it require very careful impedence matching with the amp?

    I'm using a Class D Audio SDS 470C amp with 300 watts at 8 ohms / 45K input impedence - great amp with several other speakers (superb resolution and clarity and very solid / tight bass). Though, it does require a few hours of warm up to sound its best.

    Hopefully, Harbeths have much more resolution and claity - more like the Proacs, or ATC's - otherwise, I'll be movin' on to other's...
     
  19. dianos

    dianos Forum Resident

    Location:
    The North
    Never heard 30s as having clear crisp highs. That’s SHL5 Plus to me. 30s are considered as a warm speaker so it seems like your expectations might be a bit off. Also have in mind that if you come from a rather different speaker it will take some days or weeks to adjust to the new signature.
     
    Chilli, Crazysteve and avanti1960 like this.
  20. Helom

    Helom I'll take the monkey coffins

    Location:
    U.S.
    They don't.
     
  21. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    Sometimes they take some "work" to get them to sound their best including cabling (silver plated conductors for interconnects, high quality copper for the speaker cables). They also like a nearfield setup with plenty of room from back and side walls plan on at least 24" from side walls and 2-3 feet from back wall.
    They also sound best with grilles removed. Make sure your stands are solid and tweeters at ear height. Experiment with toe-in as well, slightly off axis where you can see 1 to 2 inches of the inside panel.
    They will never be surgical sounding like ATCs but once you get accustomed to what they do- especially- tone, timbre, natural sounding, forgiving and imaging- you may regret moving on like I did.
     
    gabbleratchet7 likes this.
  22. Balthazar

    Balthazar Forum Resident

    This is what you're like.

    [​IMG]
     
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  23. Helom

    Helom I'll take the monkey coffins

    Location:
    U.S.
    Truth hurts sometimes.

    If it makes you feel any better, the speakers I own are also less detailed than the ATCs and the couple ProAcs I've heard. But it all comes down to a matter of preferences. I prefer the musicality over the matter-of-fact, studio monitor presentation of ProAc and ATC.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2020
    jphabc54 likes this.
  24. RCAlbin

    RCAlbin New Member

    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    Do you mean “tow out” (if 1-2 in of inside panel is showing)?

    Also - I added Townshend Tweeters and they did add some clarity and soundstage and bass seems less bloated.
     
  25. RCAlbin

    RCAlbin New Member

    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    Also - does the resolution and clarity improve with burn in?
     

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