Presenting some Harbeth SHL5 in room measurements

I have just gotten a used Harbeth HL5 this week, current model. I'm pretty thrilled after years of goofing around on Agon trying this and that. This is the best speaker I've had in the house.

I've been using a Velodyne DD12 sub. Many will recognize it as one of their models that will present a graph on TV in real time. The graph goes to zero and up to 200Hz so it it just for bass integration. One good thing about this measurement system is that you can turn down the sub and take a look at the response of your main speakers.

I am using a combo player modified by VSE going to a Cary Theater 11 processor/preamp feeding Channel Islands D100 mono blocks. Set up in my 12 X 20 room with opening off a couple sides is not far from what Harbeth recommends. About 22" from the rear wall 6 1/2 feet or so apart, 2-3 feet from the side wall. My listening chair is 9-10 feet back. They are elevated on temp stands 17" high.

What I have observed is that the response of just the front speakers is reasonably even down to a bit above 40 Hz then it rises gently 2-3 Hz peaking at 40 and falling rapidly from there. The single 12" sub brought up under to continue the response down to 25 Hz is not putting out a heck of a lot of info. I can't say enough about Velodyne's system. You can scoot the speakers in and out and watch the response change. Same when you are integrating the sub and stereo front speakers.

I'm not absolutely sure but it appears that one of the new entry level Rels might just work in this situation. I ordered the largest in the T series retailing for $999. I would like to be able to run the HL5s full range with sub for two channel and actually crossed over for movies. The Rel is set up to do this. I will post my findings on the Rel after the test drive.

Larry R
It all depends on what SPL levels you desire. Remember that at 20 Hz a signal at 75 db SPL is just at the threshold of need copious energy to even hear clean ultra LF sound.

I doubt that the small DD12 will get you much above 100 db SPL below 40 Hz....with room gain you may be up to 105db SPL. To me this is a good match for your Harbeth's.

The Rel's max out at much lower SPL levels - so I would be interested in your findings but I suspect a small model REL would only work in a small appartment in a small room with smaller speakers...I seriously doubt if it could keep up with the Harbeth HL5 below 40 Hz unless the Harbeth's are already doing a lot in this range already and you just need a "top up".
I tend to set up the response as a rising response starting at 100 or so. I set it gradually rising about 5 Hz total to wherever I end up, with the DD12 as stated at about 25 Hz. The loudest I care to play it in my small space still leave lots of unused gain. I got the Rel at Magnolia down the street, or actually will get it tomorrow. I will try it for up to 30 days and can just take it back. This is a fairly intimate setting and not hard to fill. Just depends on what you want to do. I brought a Rel Strata III home overnight just to compare when I had a bunch of subs here for some project or the other. Just about 25 Hz with the 10" woofer and 100Hz amp. We'll see.
How are the Harbeths with class D digital amps? Over at the Harbeth forum, Alan tried the Harbeths with class D amps but was unimpressed with the sound. I am not saying that all class D amps would not synergise with Harbeths, just that some might have issues. I own the D*200s and am thinking of buying the SHL-5s. Many thanks,

Best Regards
I had a chance to listen to the Harbeth Monitor 40s with the Jeff Rowland 201 digital amps a year or so ago for about 2 hours at Audio Connection in Verona NJ. The source was a Cary cdp. I can't say what they would have sounded like with tubes, or solid state. For that matter, I don't believe that anyone considers the 201s the state of the art in digital amps. Nonetheless, it was the most realistic sound I have ever heard. Like most average audiophiles, I have been to shows, and showrooms and heard plenty of megabuck systems. The most impressive part of it for me was the complete coherence between the 3 drivers. Second was the natural timbre. Lastly, I have never heard a center fill like these speakers exhibit. Harbeth speaks of a "curtain of sound", and it truly exists. I never knew what I was missing- until I heard it. To my ears, the M40s made other speakers sound disjointed.