I've not heard the SHL5's, but I own the 40.1's and love them. Your Cary amp & pre will work fine with the 40.1's. How large is your room?
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I've the SHL5s and after I heard the 40.1s I wasn't all that tempted to move up; I was relieved, actually, because there's no way I could swing it money-wise. The 40s are to-die-for amazing, in every way, but SHl5s have that same mid magic, maybe it's even more involving (just the mids, mind you -- the 40s can't be touched all else in). I also realized my room is too small for the 40s, and that's certainly part of it. They need lots of air around them.
My room is 12'X26' with 8' ceiling, perfect the Shl5s.
Hope this helps in some small way ..
I have the SHL5 and will be listening to the 40.1 this weekend at my friend's place driven by Leben CS600. If the space is huge I would say the 40.1 is the way to go as the bigger speaker will throw a bigger soundstage and sounds bigger than the SHL5. Although the Harbeth is said to work well in small spaces, they do need some room to breath to sound good, especially with the 40.1 that may have bass problems in smaller to mid-sized rooms. A 17'x19' room would be quite good for the 40.1.
Alternatively, you can try a subwoofer to reinforce the bass of the SHL5. I have the SHL5 in a big space and the subwoofer made an appreciable difference to the overall presentation as the speakers are set up in free space away from wall boundaries for optimum soundstaging.
Many like the Harbeth sound, some less so:It is interesting the reviewer describes the M30 as having a boxy sound with the enclosure significantly contributing to the overall presentation although Harbeth speakers are designed to have minimal coloration from the box enclosure with their "lossy" cabinet approach. The Stereophile review of the 40.1 by Art Dudley was a more comprehensive and favorable one though.
That was one quick decision by the poster of the thread in going for the 40.1. Guess he really liked the SHL5. Looking forward to the comparison as much as my rendezvous with the 40.1 in a different setup this Sunday.
Markus, please let us know what you think about the differences. I had the SHL5 and someday may want to go to the 40's. I liked the treble of the SHL5's, wondering how the 40's compare in the highs, and also wondering how the 40's do bass. I ultimately moved away from the SHL5's because they could not handle heavy music at louder volumes.
I am really interested in Marcus´ comparison. I come from Germany and I am looking for a new speaker and I decided to hear the Harbeth too.
Which of the Harbeth is the best one (without the 40.1), SHL5, M30 or 7PS3?
I already tried Piega C8ltd., Dynaudio Sapphire, Audio Physics and these speakers are too technical for my ears.
Do You think, that Harbeth speakers match well with a Jeff Rowland Concentra II?
Regards from Germany
Whilst waiting for Marcus' assessment on the SHL5 vs 40.1, I have listened to all 40.1, SHL5, C7ES3, M30 and P3ESR. The SHL5, C7ES3 and M30 were auditioned in one system while the 40.1 and P3ESR were listened to in another setup using different electronics.
If you find the mentioned speakers too analytical, detailed and are high resolution to your ears, I believe Harbeth would be an excellent choice. They have a fresh and natural sound, very low listening fatigue, slightly warm and yet transparent and revealing owing much to the Radial driver. As for which Harbeth speaker is the "best", my only input is to choose the one based on the listening space available. If the space is big I would say the 40.1 is the appropriate choice. The 40.1 gives a bigger sound and scale compared to the SHL5 with more depth and presence in the bass region, which doesn't come as a surprise given its bigger box enclosure and an additional 12" bass driver. Both have similarities in sonic signature. The C7ES3 is slightly more dynamic and upbeat than the SHL5 while the M30 is very smooth and little laidback(may be due to matching components) in comparison. The little P3ESR stunned me for its overall musicality and beguiling presentation given its small cabinet. One of my friends who own the 40.1 was so amazed by the P3ESR that he bought it for his 4th system.
No comment whether Harbeth would match with Jeff Rowland Concentra II but generally Harbeth would match well with most good amps and are easy to drive. The only caveat is Harbeth's bass does not possess the punch and drive in comparison to other speakers with exemplary bass performance like for instance the PMC EB1i or IB2. But then the PMC's require massive power amps with brute power to come alive unlike the easy load on the Harbeth which will work well with most flea-powered amps in the market.
Heard extensively the Jeff Rowland Capri pre/power amp awhile back at dealer's place driving the Harbeths.
Power is definitely not an issue.
I do find the sound on the warm side of things which some people really like. I would have preferred a more neutral sounding amp with the Harbeths as the harbeths are warm to begin with. Nonetheless, different strokes for different folks. None bad at all!!
Wonder what happened to Markus' 40.1.
Extravaganza, it has got a lot to do with the amp. After comparing my Rega Elicit side-by-side with the Leben CS600 in driving the SHL5, the Rega was confirmed as a warm amp and slightly shut-in in the mids and highs. The Leben is transparent, revealing and much airier than the Rega from the midrange upwards but being a tube unit dynamics and bass slam are lacking. After listening to the Leben the Rega isn't as enjoyable anymore. Another excellent matching amp with Harbeth is the LFD Zero MkIII which is equally as transparent with tube-like mids and highs but with outstanding dynamics and bass slam to boot. Timbre and tonality of real instruments on the LFD are very good. I previously auditioned both units but on separate systems, so it is difficult to tell which amp is more transparent. Both the Leben and LFD have an added leanness in the mids which prove to work well with the warm Harbeth. I'll be doing a shoot-out between the Leben and LFD soon, and if the LFD can match(or better) the Leben in the mids and highs with equal transparency and openness, I'll need to revisit the LFD which has proven to be one of the best matching amps for the Harbeth.
Yes I agree with you Ryder abaut amplifier.I find dynamics and bass of harbeth pretty good,involving,but to get that I need to turn up volume a little bit up normal listening levels,abaut 38db or between 10-11 o'clock.Especialy with rock music.There is no wonder why,because Harbeth's shl5 sensitivity is 86db.I think it is always the case with low sensitivity monitors.Get play them louder a little bit and they start to sing.
this I took from “The Absolute Sound”review(SHL5s have a certain
relaxation in the region between
2kHz and 4kHz, with a return to
level above that, whereas the M
series are essentially ruler-flat
across this region. This dip in the
region of maximum hearing
sensitivity tempers aggressive
recordings, and arguably makes the
speaker more agreeable over a
wider range of material, though I
personally prefer the M40's behavior
in this regard. I n any case, the dip
gives the SHL5's sound a certain
character in the treble.)This is what I am hearing and describing as shut in-or not so open treble.May be with LFD is diffrent.I don't know
Okay, Markus here,
Finally got the M40.1's up and running. Renovations in the sound room kept me from puttin the power to these speaks but tonight they are up and running.
These are a completely different animal than the SHL5's. So far, the only distinct similarity seems to be the great midrange that these Harbeths have.
I have about 3 hours on these and I'm still playing around with speaker placement and acoustic considerations so I will do a follow up as things come together.
What I'm noticing right off is that the highs are more pronounced and the bass is incredable. Also apparent is that these guys are going to need much more accoustic adjustments in my room than the 5's did. Soundstage and timbre are much more apparent than the 5's and the WAF isn't all that good with a larger speaker taking up more room but.. More to follow as I tune things in
You would definitely get more bass with the 40.1 if the position of the speakers remains almost similar as the SHL5 in the room. Try getting the speakers out from the front wall more. You can refer to Pdreher's setup in his system page. Another friend who owns the 40.1 had the speakers in free space with more than 6' distance measured from the wall to the rear of the speakers. As with most speakers, imaging and airiness would improve when the speakers are placed further away from room boundaries.
Good to hear the 40.1's had lived up to your expectations.
40.1's have about 30 hours on them and the sound is incredable. What I have found is that if I place the 40.1's in the same position that I had the SHL5's in, (3 or 4 feet from the back wall) the sound stage and imaging disappear. They must be 5 or 6 feet away from back wall to sound best. They are a larger speaker and 5 or 6 feet out from the back wall kinda puts them out in the room much more which is not setting to well with my significant other. However, when she starts her protest, I fire them up and the incredable high's and bass takes her away for the moment. I'm currently working on some corner traps that may ease the situation. Will report back. As I stated earlier this really is a completely different speaker than the SHL5. Bass response is much deeper and highs are very pronounced even at a low volume.