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Author Topic: Anyone ever check out Harbeth 40.1's?  (Read 5775 times)

bigaudioblowhard

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Anyone ever check out Harbeth 40.1's?
« on: November 24, 2010, 02:09:39 am »

Was wondering if anyone thinks Harbeth's flagship 40.1 might be suitable for mastering. Their site boasts neutral response. Greg Fidelman, (engineer for Rick Rubin)
is using the smaller Harbeth Compact 7. Also BBC use Harbeth.

I listened to some this last weekend, and liked em.

They have a rather interesting take on cabinet design. Thin walls. Explained in these links by their designer.

 http://www.harbeth.co.uk/usergroup/showthread.php?351-BBC-st yle-thin-wall-cabinets.-Why-so-special

 http://www.harbeth.co.uk/uk/index.php?section=products&p age=monitor40.1&model=Monitor+40.1

bab

Barry Hufker

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Re: Anyone ever check out Harbeth 40.1's?
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2010, 02:45:24 pm »

I haven't heard them but The Absolute Sound consistently ranks them very highly with glowing comments.  And for those who might wonder, yes I think that's positive praise.

Barry
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urm eric

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Re: Anyone ever check out Harbeth 40.1's?
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2010, 02:56:25 pm »

bigaudioblowhard wrote on Wed, 24 November 2010 01:09

Was wondering if anyone thinks Harbeth's flagship 40.1 might be suitable for mastering. Their site boasts neutral response. Greg Fidelman, (engineer for Rick Rubin)
is using the smaller Harbeth Compact 7. Also BBC use Harbeth.

I listened to some this last weekend, and liked em.

They have a rather interesting take on cabinet design. Thin walls. Explained in these links by their designer.

      http://www.harbeth.co.uk/usergroup/showthread.php?351-BBC-st yle-thin-wall-cabinets.-Why-so-special

      http://www.harbeth.co.uk/uk/index.php?section=products&p age=monitor40.1&model=Monitor+40.1

bab


Was a time when I used them a fair bit as monitors for classical location recording: a couple of venues in London had them in place. I found them to be great for that job, but passed over them for mastering as they just didn't have the mid detail of e.g. the ATC. Of course, these would have been the older 40 (about 6 or 7 years ago).

I'm guessing it's Robert Harley that likes them at TAS? I think it was his recommendation before. Maybe the audiophile listener prefers a more relaxed presentation?

I'll bet Lowland Nigel has heard a pair or two - and probably knows them better than me ...

Cheers,

Eric
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Barry Hufker

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Re: Anyone ever check out Harbeth 40.1's?
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2010, 03:56:37 pm »

I don't remember who at TAS likes them, although I wish I could.

Personally I always think of BBC speakers as "classic engineering" and possessing a "refined sound" but I also think of them as being somewhat "dated".  In other words, I'm sure they're good but can better be had?  Frankly, not having heard the Harbeth's I can't answer that for myself.

Barry
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dcollins

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Re: Anyone ever check out Harbeth 40.1's?
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2010, 06:11:41 pm »

Barry Hufker wrote on Wed, 24 November 2010 12:56

I don't remember who at TAS likes them, although I wish I could.

Personally I always think of BBC speakers as "classic engineering" and possessing a "refined sound" but I also think of them as being somewhat "dated".  In other words, I'm sure they're good but can better be had?  Frankly, not having heard the Harbeth's I can't answer that for myself.




Probably Robert Green, aka REG.

I've heard several models of Harbeth that I really liked.  Notably a three-way that was at the last CES.  Don't know the model number.  They don't look like much, but sounded nice.

http://www.regonaudio.com/Harbeth%20Compact%207.html


DC

TotalSonic

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Re: Anyone ever check out Harbeth 40.1's?
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2010, 06:37:11 pm »

This has nothing to do with the Harbeth speakers - as I've never heard them so have no opinion on them - but in terms of The Absolute Sound's reviews - got to say in the case of one instance of one monitor review for a speaker I did in fact purchase (the Silveline Audio Sonata II) - where TAS gave glowing reviews and even their "Golden Ear" award for that year - instead proved in the real world to be absolutely useless for any type of audio engineering work whatsoever.  Since this experience I've learned to take any reviews with a very big grain of salt - particularly if they target a primarily audiophile audience.  I ended up selling the Silverline's at a small loss - so this was in fact a paid lesson that accepting others' reviews at face value, along with short demos not done in your own room are no way to figure out what monitors to buy!

Best regards,
Steve Berson

maarvold

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Re: Anyone ever check out Harbeth 40.1's?
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2010, 11:59:51 pm »

The whole deal with reviews in The Absolute Sound is that you have to know your reviewers.  Just like some people like U47's and some like ELAM250's and some like TLM170's, so is the case with the individual reviewers: different strokes for different folks.  It can take a long time to see a reviewer's preferences become evident, but there are a handful of people who--if they said they liked something--I would trust it completely.  
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Barry Hufker

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Re: Anyone ever check out Harbeth 40.1's?
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2010, 12:38:38 am »

From the Harbeth site:
"M40.1 was awarded a Golden Ear award in Absolute Sound magazine by Paul Seydor."

Barry
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TotalSonic

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Re: Anyone ever check out Harbeth 40.1's?
« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2010, 01:22:57 am »

maarvold wrote on Wed, 24 November 2010 23:59

The whole deal with reviews in The Absolute Sound is that you have to know your reviewers.  Just like some people like U47's and some like ELAM250's and some like TLM170's, so is the case with the individual reviewers: different strokes for different folks.  It can take a long time to see a reviewer's preferences become evident, but there are a handful of people who--if they said they liked something--I would trust it completely.  


Dunno - there are cases where it goes beyond being subjectivity when you're talking about measurable accuracy.  i.e. if a monitor has a bunch of egregious bumps and valleys in its response and someone reviews it as being "neutral" you gotta wonder what's up.

Best regards,
Steve Berson  

lowland

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Re: Anyone ever check out Harbeth 40.1's?
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2010, 03:51:24 am »

I don't know the 40.1s but have used the 40s for recording rather than mastering.

In the early 2000s a big chunk of my work time was spent recording vocals and mixing the songs for Jim Henson's 'The Hoobs' TV show. It was a sizeable undertaking, 250 x 25 minute shows shot at Elstree, and in the second year the TV sound crew got a pair of 40s about halfway through. I divided the workload between base at Harlow and the soundstage, recording in either place depending on puppeteer availability, and had no surprises using the Harbeths: anything I did on them translated well, and they were particularly good in the vocal area.

On a soundstage day I would record vocals when shooting had finished, and usually came in an hour or so ahead of time to set up - the TV sound crew would have been working all day with the Harbeths cranked quite a bit to hear speech or play-in anomalies as they occurred (the most hated phrase in a TV studio is probably 'one more for Sound!') and it was apparent that, for this task anyway, the speakers were a good fit.
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Nigel Palmer
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bigaudioblowhard

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Re: Anyone ever check out Harbeth 40.1's?
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2010, 01:06:20 pm »

DC, you are correct, Robert Green writes for TAS and owns a pair of either the 40 or the 40.1

thats interesting NIgel. I guess the difference between the 40's and the .1's is that they are now using a woofer of their own manufacture. The mid driver is also their own and the cone is "horn shaped, which I find intriguing, not sure why though. Its also made of a proprietary material, hush hush and all that!

The LA dealer told me they recently tweaked the crossover so the 1k to 1.5k range is slightly different, up or down, we don't know yet.

Does anyone have any opinion either way of their box design philosophy, "lossy"?

bab

lowland

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Re: Anyone ever check out Harbeth 40.1's?
« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2010, 03:00:23 pm »

You've got me interested now, Mark: I did some reading around the subject to refresh my memory, and thought the 40.1s might be worthy of a look for my eventual monitor upgrade. Expensive though, perhaps
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Nigel Palmer
Lowland Masters
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maarvold

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Re: Anyone ever check out Harbeth 40.1's?
« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2010, 08:25:32 pm »

(sorry--meant to PM)
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Michael Aarvold
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