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Harbeth M40.2 vs Graham Audio LS5/8

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

  1. Ayya Khema

    Ayya Khema pfm Member

    well, it uses a poly 12 inch midbass, crossed at about the same FREQ as the bbc ls58 to a oversized tweeter
    id say its a clone more or less

    agreed, the treble seemed just slightly too pronunced.. compared to shl5plus, I also thought the ls59 was slightly less involving but more raw and dynamic. both are excellent and I could live with both though.
     
    Peter_Tos likes this.
  2. tuga

    tuga Legal Alien

    They are better than the originals.

    Edit: I've just realised that you were referring to the LS5/8 and not the 9s... :oops:
     
  3. tuga

    tuga Legal Alien

    This is Alan Shaw on the original LS5/9:

    However, based on our hands-on experience with this model:

    1. The frequency response is not at all flat. There is a big recess running through the entire midband of at least 3db. This pulls the image backwards and robs it of presence. Not a problem on orchestral music as I have noted where the overall effect can and does sound nice and lush.

    2. The HF response of the large tweeter keels over at about 14kHz. Not a problem in broadcast. As noted in the original BBC Design Report, the tweeter has some colouration issues but was the only high-powered unit available at the time (1970's).

    3. All the familiar fogging problems of polypropylene as used in an 8" mass/mid driver. The RADIAL driver in the M30 is in a clompletely different league as far as transparency goes.

    4. I have yet to meet a BBC user who speaks highly of the 5/9. The general feeling is that it was a compromise that just didn't quite work out.

    5. Pair matching (based on our stock) is not impressive. We are not sure if this is due to ageing.

    The overall presentation of the 5/9 in my opinion is described here in example 7.2B: http://www.harbeth.co.uk/designersno...r7-2/index.php


    https://www.harbeth.co.uk/usergroup...s5-8-ls5-9-ls5-12a-monitors?p=38369#post38369
     
    Peter_Tos likes this.
  4. tuga

    tuga Legal Alien

    Alan Shaw again:

    OK, so from my own archives two specimens of LS5/9 measured 11 years apart using completely different location, test equipment etc. etc..

    The common feature I'd like to draw your attention to is the marked (in yellow) 'suckout' which starts at about 500Hz and recovers by around 2kHz. At its deepest, this suckout removes about 3.5dB of energy (a lot of energy, definitely audible to the untrained ear) between 1 and 1.5kHz, a region where the ear is very sensitive. 1kHz is deemed to be the international ISO 'reference frequency' around which the ear's sensitivity from low to high frequency across the audio band is assessed. So, we can say that even before we listen to this speaker that, just by examination of the frequency response plot, this speaker is going to sound 'quieter' in that frequency band. And that 'quietness' translates into a perception in our brain that the soundstage presented by that speaker is somewhat recessive, that's to say, the performers will appear to be some way behind the loudspeakers. Or to be more specific, for vocalists, the lower and upper registers of their voices below and above the suck-out band (where the response is basically flat) will be in the plane of the loudspeakers but their mouths, which generate the 'pull' or presence in their voices will, because that band is suppressed in loudness, appear to be some way behind the loudspeakers. Which is an odd experience.

    Now, it is one issue to depress the 1-2khz band - the so-called "Gundry presence dip" - but it quite another to extend outside that band, to an octave lower, to start sucking out at 500Hz. The 500-1kHz band is hugely important in music (and speech) for defining the 'attention grabbing power' of music/speech. Harwood candidly comment to me that the Gundry dip was introduced quite deliberately to mask coloration in the bass/midrange cone itself by reducing the energy level. That had the spin-off consequently that the annoying coloration element was lowered as a fixed proportion of the now lowered output. That makes perfect sense to me, but pulling down the 500-1kHz band denudes the music. It's still recognisably speech/music but it's much less 'involving', a little too easy on the ears to be truthful.

    There is no evidence in my measurements at all of the elevated output (peak) you suggest in your post #10, and having measured many 5/9s over the years, I have never seen it. All have the general characteristics I show below. If you were to, wrongly in my view, be generating a master reference curve today to describe production Rogers/Spendor 5/9s of yester year, you'd follow my curve. Anyone choosing a different reference point would be making a mistake as their reference would by a typical. I almost certainly have measured more LS5/9s than anyone outside the Rogers production team.


    https://www.harbeth.co.uk/usergroup...ors-a-very-odd-story-indeed?p=30228#post30228

    [​IMG]
     
    Peter_Tos likes this.
  5. tuga

    tuga Legal Alien

    Graham Audio LS5/9 Stereo Prestige:

    [​IMG]


    Graham Audio LS5/9 Hi-Fi World:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  6. tuga

    tuga Legal Alien

    Graham Audio LS6 HiFiTest:

    [​IMG]
     
  7. RossB

    RossB Member

    No, that is the LS6. And it is not an attenuator - it can only be increased 1 or 2db, not decreased.

    The LS5/9 has no such adjustment. Also, the issue with the LS5/9's tweeter is not necessarily the volume of treble, but the fact that it sounds too "big". High frequency sounds occupy a volume of space which is disproportionately large and prominent compared with the rest of the sound. It is as if the image has been reflected in a distorted mirror where the head is much larger than the rest of the body. It could just be that it is too big a tweeter used with a relatively small mid-range/bass driver; it might sound more balanced with the LS5/8.

    Quotes from Alan Shaw are of minimal interest. I gave up reading the rubbish he posts on his own forum years ago.
     
    Peter_Tos likes this.
  8. Yank

    Yank Bulbous Also Tapered

    [​IMG]

    Then what, pray tell, is that business next to the tweeter?
     
  9. RossB

    RossB Member

    It's hardwired and not user-adjustable. I understand it is used for matching drivers at the factory.
     
  10. Yank

    Yank Bulbous Also Tapered

    Then why did they put it on the outside, with a label? And don't they all come from the factory with the wire soldered to the "0" terminal?
     
  11. RossB

    RossB Member

    Beats me.
     
  12. RossB

    RossB Member

    From the LS5/9 manual.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. canonman

    canonman pfm Member

    LS5/8's are active grade 1 studio monitors, complete with dedicated amps and built in EQ boards. Quad or Chord based.
    Rogers built passive versions of course, for the domestic market, but they don't have the same 'pull' to prospective buyers.
     
  14. Martyn Miles

    Martyn Miles pfm Member

    I wouldn’t say he posts rubbish on his Forum, but he is ( of course ) biased towards his own products.
     
    Snufkin likes this.
  15. tuga

    tuga Legal Alien

    I agree that he's quite the salesman, but in this case he's rightly describing the performance of the original LS5/9s which is very far from stellar.
     
    Snufkin likes this.
  16. Old Shatterhand

    Old Shatterhand pfm Member

    And the topic is:
    Harbeth M40.2 vs Graham Audio LS5/8
    ;)
     
    darkmatter likes this.
  17. tuga

    tuga Legal Alien

    It's a replica, and many people buy with their eyes (too). Makes 'em look vintage fancy high-tech.
     
  18. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    One of my friends has, amongst a huge number of speakers, a pair of proper active BBC 5/8s with their modified Quad power amps and the treble is wonderful. That really is a good tweeter IMHO. I’m less taken with the bass, but they are very good speakers. I’ve also very much liked the smaller passive Graham LS5/9s when I’ve heard them, and I suspect that were I in the market for a modern BBC-influenced box larger than LS3/5As these would be my choice.
     
  19. Martyn Miles

    Martyn Miles pfm Member

    It fascinates me that Graham have really go hold of the ‘BBC sound’ for their range of speakers and found
    a ready market.
    Alan Shaw goes on ( and on...) about his Radial drive units being infinitely superior to polypropylene, but
    Graham Audio ( and Derek Hughes ) have made a success of using poly.
     
  20. gryphongryph

    gryphongryph pfm Member

    I felt that the Harbeth 30.1 that I heard in a store in Sweden had a midrange that at first seemed very exciting and expressive, but after a while seamed too much, like the midrange for a better word shouted at me, like listen how good I am.... just seamed too much of a good thing, was not so impressed my the tweeter either, the Graham I fell for after listening to 1 song !!
     

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