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Harbeth Monitor 40.1's

Discussion in 'audio' started by Amberandorange, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. Kt77

    Kt77 pfm Member

    Hi Craig,

    It's nice to see that at least you were award of them - as there has been much ink over the KT-120's over the last 11 months or so, it seem they've indeed grained a strong following. And regardless to what some Harbeth owners might say?, the way I've seen/heard it they respond to power/heat under their behinds.

    There's no, if - ands and buts about it.

    I'm very much into the use of Russian 6P14P-EV - as I think they've been a great deal more reliable to use compared to so-called NOS EL84's like Valvo - Philips and Brimar's that I've installed several weeks ago - only to watch all three brands red plate within 25 seconds - I'm beginning to believe that the Russian's simply built their tubes to be rugged and to withstand more current draw - where others simply fold over and die.

    Whom would've ever imagined that Russian based tubes would in fact make so many of us tube/valve lovers into believers at this stage in the game - sound wise I'm finding them without equal as well.

    So I'm at a point where I'm no longer pursuing EL84's made between 1953-64, as most of them that I've heard aren't reliable and are extremely noisy as well.

    Who knew?.

    Have a great joy ride with the system as you've it - as well as the upcoming weekend - Craig.

    Regards as always.
  2. if I were going to select al Leben amplifier could anybody suggest a good set of valves.


  3. jumbo

    jumbo pfm Member

    Hi Amberandorange,

    as o_Oscar mentioned the Russian 6n3cE are a good place to start and can be bought as a matched quad quite cheaply.

    I much prefer the power, authority and depth of the KT-120s.

    A good place to visit if you plan to go down this route is the previously mentioned site-



    All the best to you too o_Oscar
  4. Elephantears

    Elephantears Trunkated Aesthete

    Do you know of anyone who uses a Leben 600 with Monitor 40's? I mean we know that it works with SHL5's, but does that mean it works across the Harbeth range? I've been told it doesn't work as well with 7's, for example.
  5. Elephantears

    Elephantears Trunkated Aesthete

    I've got another amp to add to the ones I mentioned which might yet be the best of all with Harbeths - the Albarry mono blocks (I have the new version - the M608s). Now I reported on these a while back but I was having difficulties finding the right pre-amp. Then I got myself a little Albarry passive pre and the results were good but still not quite there; I heard the promise but it lacked dynamics. Well I've just finally applied the golden rule of short cables with passives, and now I'm really starting to hear what the Albarrys can do. The clarity can be startling. I've been listening to small scale music tonight. The combination of speed, delicacy and tonal purity I was getting on the Beethoven Cello Sonatas earlier was exceptional. Now I'm listening to Francois Le Roux's recordings of French art song and the way with vocals is numinous. Before this I was listening to The Mountain Goats' 'The Sunset Tree' and it was great with both the dynamic guitar work and the very intimate close mic'd vocals. I need to revise my earlier comment that valves are necessary for the real magic to start happening with Harbeths.

    How this combination will fare with larger scale classical or rock music remains to be seen. I wonder if an active pre-amp might come into its own there. But I do feel that these Albarry monos have a combination of richness, clarity, and sheer grip that could really get a hold of the M40's. We need HiFiDave to show up and comment because I'm presuming this is a combination he has tried.
  6. ryder

    ryder pfm Member

    Tread with caution. Amongst all models in the Harbeth line, the 40.1 is my least favourite. Big speakers = big problems in controlling bass and resonance, more so with the Harbeth since the speakers tend to exhibit more of this "boomy" character with their lossy cabinet construction.
  7. Kt77

    Kt77 pfm Member

    Thanks - Craig,

    All the best for you and your loved ones as well.

    Now, if we could get others to resolve these senseless wars - the world could be a better place for our children to enjoy - but it merely comes to to greed as someone is always trying to take something that isn't theirs to begin with.

    But, I'm not going to get into there here - and try to stay focused on audio related topics - yet, I pray to see some sort of world peace during my lifetime.

  8. Thanks ryder

    Do you have personal experience of them. What would be your suggestions if space was a problem
  9. Kt77

    Kt77 pfm Member


    If I may..........., if you've your heart set on owning a pair of Harbeth's?, and I see nothing wrong with that nor them - but you must be true to yourself and know which ones with fit into your space as it is right now?, as I have a friend whom I sold a pair of ProAc Response One ' SC's ' too around December 2010, which fit his then home perfectly - yet his family moved in January 2011 into a much larger space and he sold them and replaced them with a pair of Compact 7ES-3's driven with a pair of 300B Mono's and was very happy with them until he heard them driven with said Luxman 20w/pc Class A amp that I mentioned earlier on.

    But of late, since he and his wife now have a new daughter besides their son to consider - as they reside in a two bedroom apartment building - he's looking into a smaller home with three bedrooms and is now looking at a pair of P3ESR's - as he heard these in New York at In Living Stereo driven with the Leben CS-600 with the bass boost added to the circuitry with said 3% increase and was floored by what he heard - even though Alan Shaw has said he doesn't like his speakers ran in this manner.

    What I'm trying to get at is - do you intend to stay in your now current home for the next 4-20 years?, in which case it goes back to what I mentioned above - which size speakers would drive your room/space comfrontabliy?.

    * ( Oh - he sold the Compact 7ES-3's by the way ).

    As that is the most important factor - and I've heard a Leben CS-600 driving a pair of C7's in a room all of 30' wide x 47' long ( Don Better Audio in Cleveland - Ohio ) which is one of the biggest listening spaces I've ever encountered and both said C-7's along with a pair of DeVore Fidelity Gibbon 3XL's played this room/space beautifully I might add.

    Just how big does a speaker have to be to impress?, or are you looking at how it sounds in your given space as the determining factor?. I'd say go after the amp that fits your budget/taste and simply find the speakers to work in unison with it, and not the other way around - as it's far easier to drag an amp from shop to shop to demo speakers compared to having to load up a pair of speakers and stands * ( I'm to anal - so the possibilities of denting - dinging both is out of the question ) but if you think about it for a moment you'll understand my logic.

    And, in the end - it comes down to which compromises you're able to live with - not your parents - not your mates/friends - nor the little lady in your life, but yours. Select wisely once - and get into collecting music, that's my mindset and best advice I can share.

    If it sounds good to you?, then forget what others think - it's your money after all and you've to do what's best for you - once again

    " Happy Hunting ".

    Yes, I'm long-winged when it comes to matters of the heart and music and audio related topics gets the blood flowing - but I love seeing people get it right and move on to what this shared passion is meant to be all about to begin with -

    Enjoying ones Music.

    Best regards,
    o_O scar
  10. P.C.

    P.C. Member

    Hello Amberandorange.
    My M40.1s sound wonderful in my untreated 15' x 13' x 8' living room (which does have a 5' wide opening at one end which opens at rightangles into a similar sized room) this is approx the same room size Alan Shaw designed them in (and to work well in).
    I expect it's often a combination of musical tastes and listening levels that have causes any audible problems experienced by others .
    Anyway I don't seem to have any.
    ( I previously owned for 7 years a pair of M30s which are also fantastic)
  11. wacko

    wacko pfm Member

    I have P3s in a room that is (at least in theory) far too large so I am investigating subs. In truth my guess is that Harbeth have shot themselves in the foot because I doubt any of their larger/more expensive speakers are better than the P3ESRs and I also doubt I will find a sub that will improve the sound I have now... I have just auditioned Verity Parsifals and prefer my little Harbeths.
  12. Elephantears

    Elephantears Trunkated Aesthete

    Hi P.C. - this is fascinating to read that those monsters can work in a room that size. Can you give us some more details of your set-up? Are they firing across from the 15' wall or down? How much space beside them and in-between? Do you ever rock out, or is it mainly small scale acoustic music you listen to?

    Sorry for all the questions, but I'm moving to a listening room of similar size so you're giving me some hopes that I might get some huge wardrobes to alienate the neighbours.
  13. ryder

    ryder pfm Member


    I have listened to the 40.1s at least four times at a friend's place. If you like the house sound of the smaller Harbeth speakers, the 40.1 may appeal to you with its larger scale and bass weight, more heft in its presentation. It's just that they may sound a tad slow or lethargic as the bass resonance is stronger(owing much to the larger cabinet and additional 12" bass driver). The size and layout of the room may exarcebate this negative aspect of the speakers to some degree. All Harbeth speakers show this similar trait in the bass bloom. The larger models exhibit more of this character. Comparison is to speakers that play cleaner such as Naim Ovator S400s or Audiophysics Avantera just to name a few.

    Of course, as usual it is all about managing expectations. Everyone's expectations are not similar, and for this reason a "problematic" sounding system to one may sound perfectly fine to another. After all, everyone's rooms and systems are different. Who knows, the 40.1s may perform well above expectations in your own room in your system and to your ears.

    In summary, take all advice here with a grain of salt. As the saying goes, all bets are off until you get the speakers into your system and make your own judgment by yourself.
  14. Kt77

    Kt77 pfm Member

    Hi wacko,

    Being that I'm a Mini-Monitor lover, I can only say that I can understand your preferences toward your P3ESR's - but compared to the Verity Audio Parsifal's I think not - did you end them on the end of a tube/valve amp which is where they shine?.

    And - don't even get me started on the subject of subs - don't like - never will like - have never heard one that properly integrates well with faster small uns - if you need bass reinforcement?, place them within 18 - 21 " from the back wall as measured to the front of the baffle, you might be surprised.

    And that statement about them being the best sounding Harbeth - I'm surprised no one has gotten angry yet, and has challenged you to a duel.

    We shall see where this one goes.

    Be well - wacko.
    o_O scar

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