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Harbeth 40.1/40.2 vs Spendor SP100/R2

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9 hours ago, lindsayt said:

The £6500 new price for the Spendor SP100 R2's is a bad point, making them way overpriced. At £3000 used off ebay they are still overpriced for the sound quality on offer.

The Harbeth 40.2's at £11,000 new or £8000 on ebay are a joke. You'd have to be barking mad to buy them at those prices. They're only medium sized conventional coned and domed ported speakers.

The 802d3s have similar performance potential but cost 17k new and are not nearly as accurate as the Harbeths.

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Super Dealer

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On 20/06/2016 at 23:04, f1eng said:

I have had a pair of Harbeth active 40s here. IME the lowest bass is boomy and uncontrolled. I couldn't find anywhere in the room where the bass was clean. Everything else is super but I couldn't get the bass to be satisfactory.

The BBC speakers for which they are a drop in replacement have the same problem. They have been in use at Scalford for a few years and they sound sublime as long as there is no deep bass.

This is the deal breaker for me.

I haven't heard the Spendors, but they are sufficiently similar in concept for the bass to be similar I would expect.

Boomy bass to weak amplifer?

On the face of it that must be true. Most audiophiles confuse a difference in perceived sound (which there is no doubt at all they experience) with a positive improvement in sound, which as we have amply demonstrated with audio examples, is so easy to contrive when a small amp is driven beyond its small linear region and takes on a different sonic character, which in general terms is correctly described in the laboratory as 'distortion'.

'Distortion' does not have to be and is not a pejorative term outside the test lab. Indeed, in audio circles, perhaps most audiophile listening undertaken to dynamic music at moderate to high levels (i.e. realistic) on small amps driven hard, is in fact, being undertaken with mild distortion overlaid upon the true music signal. Musical signal compression is absolutely and utterly guaranteed and inescapable when a too-small amp is driven hard. Many 'audiophiles' can't get enough of that compressed, fattened, warmed, sickly sweet sound and the surest way to that sound is to fall for the seduction of an under powered amplifier, especially a tube one. It's a guaranteed track to sonic nirvana, many truly believe.

Present them with the wider dynamics possible from a real amplifier, and they usually reject the sound as cold, analytical and uninvolving. Sad, but true. Reply #54  https://www.harbeth.co.uk/usergroup/forum/the-science-of-audio/amplifier-matching-mismatching-and-clipping-a-curse/2486-how-much-amplifier-power-do-i-really-need

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Super Dealer

Boomy bass is usually due to  the speakers interaction with the room and not inherent in the design.

Keith

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9 minutes ago, PuritéAudio said:

Boomy bass is usually due to  the speakers interaction with the room and not inherent in the design.

Keith

Whilst I am inclined to agree, "boomy" is a vague description that can mean different things to different people.

Underpowered amplification or a high output-impedance are also causes of boomy bass.

Other things can affect low frequency performance; my recent tweaks to the computer-to-DAC interface cleaned up the bottom end nicely.

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18 hours ago, tuga said:

The 802d3s have similar performance potential but cost 17k new and are not nearly as accurate as the Harbeths.

That makes them an even bigger joke.

For far less money the OP could - for example - get someone to make him a clone of Steve57's World Class DIY'd red and black semi open baffle semi ported speakers. And then he could sit down and enjoy his music collection rather more than he would via the Spendors, Harbeths, B&W's.

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20 hours ago, Fourlegs said:

I am sure that both Spendor and Harbeth are quaking in their boots now that you have pointed that out the flaws in their pricing with such erudition. I will look at the newspapers to see if their companies collapse over the weekend. 

I bought S100 new and still have them now. I now also have the SP100R2 and the SP200. All three will still be going strong long after other other speakers have gone to land fill. 

I personally don't care about Harbeth or Spendor's financial status. However the opening post did ask for the bad points of the 40.2's and the SP100 R2's. And the pricing - both new and 2nd hand - is very much a bad point for both of them. If you or anyone else thinks that their pricing is a good point or a neutral point, then your whole perspective on the value of hi-fi equipment (in general) is totally different to mine, to the point where we would have insufficient common ground on which to have any meaningful discussion on it.

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21 hours ago, tuga said:

Whilst I am inclined to agree, "boomy" is a vague description that can mean different things to different people.

Underpowered amplification or a high output-impedance are also causes of boomy bass.

Other things can affect low frequency performance; my recent tweaks to the computer-to-DAC interface cleaned up the bottom end nicely.

Really! You have the before and after REW plots of course which show the improvement, because I know you just wouldn’t voice an opinion without proof.

Keith

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6 hours ago, lindsayt said:

That makes them an even bigger joke.

For far less money the OP could - for example - get someone to make him a clone of Steve57's World Class DIY'd red and black semi open baffle semi ported speakers. And then he could sit down and enjoy his music collection rather more than he would via the Spendors, Harbeths, B&W's.

Enjoyment is personal. And people like sorts...

I'd rather discuss speakers that transduce as much of the signal as possible with as little distortion as possible.

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33 minutes ago, PuritéAudio said:

Really! You have the before and after REW plots of course which show the improvement, because I know you just wouldn’t voice an opinion without proof.

Keith

Your reliance on measurements alone has made you lazy (or was it the other way around?). You want it to be easy, and I get that. But the lazy buy Behringer; competent, measured distortion below the audibility threshold... Give me a break.

&

You didn't really read my post, did you?

"Boominess" can be room-related but we can also use it to describe "bloated" bass, which is what I did. A room-response would tell you zilch, capturing the output of the DAC might.

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On 21/06/2016 at 01:33, ssfas said:

Heard the M40.2 at the launch at KJ West One.

350wpc amplifiers, can't remember the brand, expensive looking cables, all music played from an Alan Shaw compiled CD on the new DCS all-in-one unit. The system at Harbeth dealer demo's is always at the dealer's discretion.

The M40.1 to M40.2 change is only to the crossover based on the SHL5+ crossover development. More domestic focused.

Interesting to read the change from M40.1 to M40.2 is just in the crossover, I wonder why Harbeth don't (won't?) offer this as an upgrade / retrofit?

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2 hours ago, PuritéAudio said:

my recent tweaks to the computer-to-DAC interface cleaned up the bottom end nicely

That sounds like ‘salesman’ talk Tuga, I expect more from you.

Keith

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On 05/01/2019 at 13:29, PuritéAudio said:

Boomy bass is usually due to  the speakers interaction with the room and not inherent in the design.

Keith

Not necessarily Keith.

I tried the Harbeths all over my room and the bass problem was always there, just as it is with the big 2 way Rogers.

The bass of other speakers in the room has not been a problem (for me). The Harbeths are unlistenable for me. I am still storing them for their owner...

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Super Wammer
On 05/01/2019 at 11:54, gasolin said:

Boomy bass to weak amplifer?

On the face of it that must be true. Most audiophiles confuse a difference in perceived sound (which there is no doubt at all they experience) with a positive improvement in sound, which as we have amply demonstrated with audio examples, is so easy to contrive when a small amp is driven beyond its small linear region and takes on a different sonic character, which in general terms is correctly described in the laboratory as 'distortion'.

'Distortion' does not have to be and is not a pejorative term outside the test lab. Indeed, in audio circles, perhaps most audiophile listening undertaken to dynamic music at moderate to high levels (i.e. realistic) on small amps driven hard, is in fact, being undertaken with mild distortion overlaid upon the true music signal. Musical signal compression is absolutely and utterly guaranteed and inescapable when a too-small amp is driven hard. Many 'audiophiles' can't get enough of that compressed, fattened, warmed, sickly sweet sound and the surest way to that sound is to fall for the seduction of an under powered amplifier, especially a tube one. It's a guaranteed track to sonic nirvana, many truly believe.

Present them with the wider dynamics possible from a real amplifier, and they usually reject the sound as cold, analytical and uninvolving. Sad, but true. Reply #54  https://www.harbeth.co.uk/usergroup/forum/the-science-of-audio/amplifier-matching-mismatching-and-clipping-a-curse/2486-how-much-amplifier-power-do-i-really-need

The ones with unacceptable bass (for me) are the actual Harbeth actives supplied with Harbeth active crossover and amplifiers in a sealed box. I don't think they made many and were only available as a Pro model with matt grey paint and side handles on very tall stands intended to mount them above a mixing desk pointing downwards a bit.

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Super Dealer

I have two customers with 40.somethings , the expensive version and they aren’t intrinsically boomy,  can you propose why they would be ?

Must be the particular  interaction with your room.

Keith

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