Boils down to listening room size, preference , type of music you play with.
Best if you can audition both as both will have their respective strengths & weaknesses.
Different people here will have different preferences & different opinions, in the end, what matters the most is what you prefer.
Shortside of things: I heard both in different systems & both sounds very good!! take your pick, BMW or Mercedes ? or Toyota or Honda ?
Wonder if D38 can match Bass of HL40.1 as an 8 inch is hard to do the work of an 12 inches? Which one is easiler to the amp?
Bass of these two speakers are different.
The D38 has a tighter bass but the M40.1 has a fuller, loose type of bass.
The M40.1 has a fuller midrange compared to the D38 for that matter.
The D38 has a more airy, more detailed sound.
The m40.1 needs to be matched w/ the room as this can easily be boomy, D38 not as critical.
Its best if you can hear both side by side as they have a different presentation. Which one you prefer is something you can determine w/ proper audition.
Everyone's ear are different, so get a dealer to loan you a pair and audition them in your listening room. I am partial to the ProAc's since I have a 'British' ear.
I actually have HL5s now and liked it! I would love to have a bit more dynamics. The Bass is a bit loose as well. I have AudioSpace EL34 and Audio Research VT100. Interesting the cheaper AudioSapce matched better with the HL5! More open sounding and better Midrange. I think the ProAc would match the performance of the VT100 better. Wonder if the HL40.1 being more neutral and have better details will do the same? We don't have Harbeth dealers so I just need to ask around and get a lot of opinions!
Luna, stay with the Harbeth SHL5s. They are very good speakers & as you upgrade your electronics, the speakers will let the differences shine thru.
My vote goes towards ProAc D38... an all around fantastic speaker ... as was the ProAc 3.8
Ha, lol, Buconero, partial to British sound? Harbeth "is" the british sound (BBC and all) compared to Proacs.
And Nolitan, if he wants a bigger sound, let him try the 40's.
All this yammering about....we know what you own, quit pushing it on the poor guy and let him decide on his own.
I have sold both and both have ability to perform
with their own strengths in musicality
After all is said and done I think the Harbeth is at its best with a good solid state power amp like a Bryston Jeff Rowland Pass etc and the Proac which was voiced with Audio Research as a reference at its best with tubes or well designed solid state.
May I suggest the D28 over the two.
The HL40.1 & D38 are big speakers and I think the transaction from SHL5 may cheat you (from the size perspective).
If you become used to the minimonitors, the HL40.1 may have a negative impact at you (providing of course the same room).
I had the D38 & D28 and I assure you they differ only at the ability to load the room with low freq. although I admit that I personaly prefer the newer of the two : D28 (clearer & dissapears more effective).
It is the safer for you to arrange an audition between Harbeth & Proac. Their personalities are way different & becomes obvious the one you like from the first second.
Thanks for the inputs, guys. I have listened to the ProAc and like it but I was thinking the 40.1 is the flagship model while D38 is only middle in range! Would the 40.1 performs better than the ProAc? Good point about amp matching as I will be using VT100iii. I am not sure if that amp can totally control its bass? I have listened to D28 but I think the D38 is better in all areas. If I can listen to the Harbeth then I will be sure but it is too hard to find in Sydney!
Luna.....I am looking at the same exact speakers. I love it when the ProAc dealers bring out the negative aspects of the Harbeth's and the Harbeths dealers do the same with ProAc speakers. It is all the same rehortic. I really do not have the oportunity to listen to either one and this is a big ticket purchase. I know I am not adding anything to this thread, but I just find it funny. What I have discovered - and it should come as no surprise - is that these are both good companies and are both great speakers. What is constant is the '' look '' of the Harbeth's as being just an ugly baby !
I have got the opportunity to bring my VT100iii to test out the D38R and within minutes, I have come to the conclusion that it does not provide enough juice for that speaker. Having enough volume and sounding well controlled is two different things, the combination has good top end air but the bass and sound staging could have been much better with other matchups. The Harbeths HL5s mating with cheap Audio Space EL-34nova has much more magic in the mid-range. I dont think modern ARC and Harbeths are good match. I am back to square one and will be selling the VT100iii!
Amp/speaker synergy is critical. I preferred the manley/SHL5 combo over the same amps with the 40.1s. The sound was very good, but never felt like the 40.1s got out of the way of the music like I thought they should. Now with increased power, using different power tubes, the 40.1s are doing there magic in my room. they are a big upgrade over the SHL5s in all areas.
I vote for the D38. I had them in my main system for the last 5 years and it is the one equipment that I have no desire to replace. I am currently using them with the AR LS26/VS60.
However, I am curious to know how does the newer D38R or Carbon 6 compares to D38.
Anyone got thoughts on the D38R given its a ribbon crossing over in a 2 way speaker..and how it compares to the D38
How do the D38's sound at low volumes
My encounter with the D38r was brief so I cannot give recommendation. I can only tell of my opinion. I have also listened to d38 in that room with simular gears and I think they sounded a little different. The R has much more details but may be it needs more room to breathe; I found the highs took my attention, not bright but a little louder. I listened with VT100 and CJ 250. No problem with low volume and the mids are beautiful; much better than Cremona M and Sophia 2. Somehow, the bass is a bit undefined. The shop is about 4 x 5 meters sq.