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Harbeth M40.2 vs Graham Audio LS5/8

Discussion in 'audio' started by darkmatter, Aug 24, 2018.

  1. darkmatter

    darkmatter pfm Member

    Just wondering if anyone here has had the chance to compare the two designs from a sound quality point of view?

    I would be particularly interested in the comparison between the two for tonal balance, accuracy, dynamics/timing and bass performance.

    Thanks,

    DM :)
     
  2. tuga

    tuga European

    From a conceptual perspective it is better not to have a 2-way speaker with a 12" woofer, even when the tweeter is unusually large as is the case, as this will affect off-axis response.
    Also such a woofer will probably require a more complex crossover to massage a few bumps out of the frequency response and splitting the midrange from the bass over two drivers will reduce intermodulation distortion.

    I've not listened to either but both speakers would have a place on my shortlist.
     
    Old Shatterhand likes this.
  3. hifi_dave

    hifi_dave Hi-Fi Retailer

    That is correct. The mid band of the M40.2, with it's dedicated mid driver, is natural and easy going as it is freed of attempting to produce bass.
     
    Old Shatterhand likes this.
  4. Old Shatterhand

    Old Shatterhand Odeon Audio user

    @ tuga: Couldn't agree more, a 12inch Midrangebassdriver isn't a good construction.

    As I always say, you can't cheat the physic.:D
     
  5. fatmarley

    fatmarley Registered User

    Aren't they the same speakers (12" polyprop + Audax tweeter ) that often got "sound of show" at the Hifiwigwam Scalford show? - Ok, I don't think there was an actual "sound of show award" but the majority seemed to be in agreement, as did I.
     
  6. Cyclopse

    Cyclopse Well-Known Member

    Harbeth use a Radial 2 driver. They are built in house with a proprietary polymer mix.
     
  7. Old Shatterhand

    Old Shatterhand Odeon Audio user

  8. tuga

    tuga European

    I remember reading the patent documents, I think it mentioned something like glass? beads in a polypropylene-like base.
     
  9. tuga

    tuga European

    Derek Hughes has been involved with the large BBC boxes like the BC3 and designed the Spendor S100/SP100 and the active SA500 if I'm not mistaken. I think that he also participated in the design of the M40. He's extremely competent.
     
  10. fatmarley

    fatmarley Registered User

    You can only ever know as much as you know. He most likely knows more than most.
     
  11. Ayya Khema

    Ayya Khema pfm Member

    since the tweeter is large, it can work as a system to sue a 12 inch to a tweeter

    both will have advantage and I wouldnt buy without proper audition.
     
  12. mattgbell

    mattgbell Stop worrying!

    Yes, that's right. But from a price perspective it's apples and oranges: £7K vs £10.5K.
     
  13. Strictly Stereo

    Strictly Stereo Trade: Strictly Stereo

    ...but I am sitting in front of a pair and they sound delightful.
     
  14. tuga

    tuga European

    I am happy for you.

    That still doesn't change the limitations of such a topology over that of a 3-way.

    There are ways to minimise the off-axis anomalies.
    If the tweeter is located concentric to the woofer it is possible to reduce the dispersion of the tweeter at the bottom of its operating range, though the movement of the cone would produce Doppler distortion. Tannoy uses a horn tweeter, Genelec and I think Kef use a waveguide. A waveguide can also be used with a non-concentric tweeter for the same effect.
     
    Old Shatterhand likes this.
  15. tuga

    tuga European

    I am happy for you.

    That still doesn't change the limitations of such a topology over that of a 3-way.

    There are ways to minimise the off-axis anomalies.
    If the tweeter is located concentric to the woofer it is possible to reduce the dispersion of the tweeter at the bottom of its operating range, though the movement of the cone would produce Doppler and IMD distortion. Tannoy uses a horn tweeter, Genelec and I think Kef use a waveguide. A waveguide can also be used with a non-concentric tweeter for the same effect.
     
  16. tuga

    tuga European

    You get what you pay for, in this case an extra driver.

    To be honest I wish that Graham Audio had chosen to produce a modern improved version of the BBC models instead of an as faithful as possible one.
     
  17. mattgbell

    mattgbell Stop worrying!

    Indeed, that was sort of my point.
     
  18. cooky1257

    cooky1257 pfm Member

  19. tuga

    tuga European

  20. cooky1257

    cooky1257 pfm Member

    Yes I'm well aware of the Neumann info-I wonder if those measurements are of a Neumann 2-way?Anyway you really should block your port and get a sub;-).
    You brought up Tannoy DC's.
    The Tannoy link merely informs you it is perfectly possible to design a 2 way with low IMD-I see TAD managed to do an even better job (@30x the price of the Tannoys).

    This is an interesting summation of current thinking re doppler distortion-its a non-issue in most cases other that your pet hate, single drivers....;-)

    https://www.stereophile.com/reference/1104red/index.html

    No man alive has the energy to stalk you Tuga ;-)
    If you are intent on criticising designs and their designers it's best to be a bit more circumspect and a bit less dogmatic.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2018

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