Harbeth SHL5 or M40

I am considering both speakers. I have heard the SHL5 and its is very nice. I am wondering if it is worth the extra cost (almost double the price) to move up to the M40.

The m40 has a 12" woofer and the SHL5 is using an 8" woofer.

Room is 14 X 18 8 foot tall - wood base floor.

Is somone has both these speakers I would love to hear from your.

I have done a lot of rerearch on which Harbeth to get and would advise against the M40 for your room, I have a larger room 19 x 21 10ft high and still went for the shl5.the owner of Harbeth warns that the m40s are not designed for domestic hi fi,more for large studios and a lot of people usingthem have had to buy extra bass equalization devices to make them work.
I received the SHL5 in Febuary. My room is a bit bright. I have damped what I can with room treatements. The SHL5 was Very enjoyable/ Super resolution but a little light on the bottom end for my taste. I probably would have been happy with it the rest of my life... But I recently had a several hour listen to the M40. I went back again for a second listen and placed my order for the M40.

I listend to the M40 and Audio Connect in Verona NJ and it knocked me off my chair. I loved it. In my opinion its not the super resolution monitor the SHL5 is. But after several hours of listeing to the SHL5 my ears know I have been listeing to the SHL5. Not so with the M40. The M40 wich many write about as having excessive bass, seemed just right for me. It filled in what is missing from the SHL5 - a 12 inch woofer!

It can take months to receive the M40s. It took me 3 months to get my SHL5 - but I think that backlog has cleared.

I had the fear of god in me from all the reports of booming bass I read on the Harbeth news goups in regards to the M40. I heard none of it when I listened.

I had to make adjustments to the room when I received the SHL5 and I will probably have to adjust again when the M40 arrives. I will report back then

John made me an offer I could not refuse!
It is my understanding that Harbeth is about to release a home version of the M40. A friend of mine heard the prototype at CES and thought it was his favorite speaker. He said that it has been designed to work in a typical home listening environment, not in a recording studio like the original M40, FWIW.
There is a home version of the M40 but it the only difference is the wood veneer vs the grey paint on the studio model. The internal organs are the same.
Its been 7 weeks now and I am still waiting for delivery. But its worth the wait for a sound like the M40.
Received the Harbeth M40 after a nine and a half week wait. WOW are they worth it.
I have had them for about 2 months now and they are still impressing me with the great sound. Every speaker has its weakness on the M40s the flaws are not apparent.
It was defiantly worth upgrading from the SHL5 to the M40. take that money your spending on pricy cable and put where it will really make a difference – in your speakers.

The workmanship on the M40s is excellent. Cabinets are more rigid then the SHL5 when you press on the sides (or give hem a hug). What I like most about the M40 is the 3 way does what it is supposed to do. The tweeter is sweet but not bright, much better behaved (in my opinion) than the SHL5 which has a tweeter and super tweeter, that produce more of am emphasis on the highs, at least that is what I was hearing. My ears prefer the M40 tweeter. The mid range on the M40 and SHL5 look to be the same. But on the SHL5 the midrange does double duty as a woofer too. On the M40 the midrange is just as superb as on the SL5 but it is free to be the midrange it was born to be without the bass duty. This allows the M40 bass cross over to be lowered to the 12” woofer where it belongs. The bass is deep and clean (if your using good stands properly anchored). The bass sounded muddy with lesser stands. Experimenting with height effected the sound a great deal. In my room 18” stands sound perfect. Good bass, good mid’s and highs. Lower stands of 14” sounded muddy with more bass. 23” stands had less bass (too little for my taste).

I found myself craving more bass with the SHL5. I am satisfied with the M40 bass. There is no bass boom when I have the M40 positioned correctly in the room. Of course if you put them in a corner you are going to get even more bass. Overall it is an easy speaker to work with. The large size really fills the room with sound. It’s a pleasure. When you walk into the sound field you know it. You feel like you in the music. Overall the M40s are the most satisfying audio purchase I have made. The cost is justified in the performance (in my opinion).

I picked up a pair of Sound Anchor 4 post stands for the M40.The Sound Anchors squeeze out every last drop of the sound quality the M40 is capable of. You would be missing a lot of sound quality if you had the M40s and a lesser stand. I have always been skeptical about the ability of stands to improve the sound n a significant way. But I was wrong. The stands are great. It would be an error to have these speakers without the Sound Anchors (based on my experience). Each stand weighs 80 pounds! They are very solid! The speakers weigh 80 pounds each. The whole affair is a pain to move around but once the Sound Anchor spike hit the floor the sound really blossoms. The Sound Anchors replaced a pair of Lovan Jazz 18” stands filled with led shot. The sound does not even come close to what the sound anchors are helping the M40 produce/ They are a great team. I have looked at compotator stands that are MDF and plastic tubes you can fill. I have to say they look pretty flimsy to me and they cost about the same. The rails the speakers rest on the Sound Anchors are made of solid steel. The bass also is made of solid steel. The vertical struts are tubes hat are filled with sound damping “stuff”. The stands are completely dead when you tap on them.
If that's the choice, then M40 for suer! Nice as all Harbeths are, M40 is in a class by itself. It comes in an active version as well.
The M-40's work great in my room, about 13 X 17. They are probably the best monitor-type speaker I have heard. Some people have problems with the warmth of the M-40, but I think it is because they are accustomed to the modern "lean 'n mean sound" that increases apparent (not actual) detail. If you go to any decent concert hall, you will not hear this lean 'n mean characteristic.

Listen to the Cream live at Albert Hall CD through the M-40's, you will know what it is all about.