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HARBETHS AND STANDS, do they make a difference

Discussion in 'audio' started by sergiox, Oct 24, 2014.

  1. sergiox

    sergiox pfm Member

    Ive read a lot about it, solid stands, light stands , full of kitty litter, sand, rice...special material, bricks...

    mr Shaw says that his speakers sound well on every surface even on a chair, and stand dont make any difference,
    and i would like to say, that if the creator of them say this probably is the truth

    what are your opinions about it?

  2. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    No, they don't sound the same regardless of what Alan Shaw says! Back when I had Compact 7ES speakers I tried high-mass Target stands and open-frame Something Solid XF stands, and they sounded different (Targets smooth and very weighty in the bass, XF more mid-centric, open and lively, both good in their own way). If possible try before buying as tailoring the sound to the room / taste is the priority, there is no 'right' answer.
  3. herb

    herb music live

    When I got my C7ES(3)s I tried Mr Shaw's philosophy out. I put them on light chairs, then heavier tables. No they sounded loose so out came my Heybrook HBS1 metal open frame stands. Only when I put in the spikes and top cone nuts and tightened them up did the sound focus, producing a fine stable stereo image. Sorry Mr Shaw, I notice the dealer is now using light metal spiked stands - I did nag them....
  4. Elephantears

    Elephantears Trunkated Aesthete

    They do sound different but getting the height correct is perhaps the most important thing.

    When I had C7ES3 I used the Something Solid. Now I have some HL5 (without the S) in my second system, and I'm using the legendary IKEA stools, Oddvarr or something, which I believe Alan Shaw used to design the C7s. These are vastly superior to the current IKEA stools and they will become collector's items, like some kind of mid-century modern masterpiece. I am sitting on a goldmine.

    I recently tried the SHL5+ at home. These are great speakers but finally I decided they were too big for the small room in my living room. I tried them on my legendary IKEA stools and some Custom Design stands. These are very heavy and solid and I was impressed. The effect that they had on the bass compared to my legendary IKEA stools was quite significant. Actually I was amazed by the bass of the SHL5+. It was very natural, really deep, and didn't boom at all, even in my smaller room. It also seemed to go into sub-bass convincingly, which I've not heard from a Harbeth before. The control was definitely better with the Custom Design stands. If I were going back in time I'd have tried these with the C7s before buying the Something Solids, but who can say which would have been best.

    So to conclude, I think stands are most important in controlling bass resonance, and the importance of this will be room dependent. The height is crucially important for presence (tweeter to ear height), but also can be important for bass too. I found it crucial on the C7s, where the port is placed low, and can have porridgy tendencies in some rooms. You want that away from the floor.
  5. hifi_dave

    hifi_dave Hi-Fi Retailer

    The best I have heard (or not heard) are the Something Solid XF. Been using S/Solid for 30 years.

    Even if you don't believe in stands sounding different, the XF are one of the few which can be ordered at a height to suit you by getting the tweeter at ear height.
  6. Tarzan

    Tarzan pfm Member

    Yes, l have experimented with stands for my Compact 7ES2, which were brought second hand with Something solid stands whose appearance l do not care for, so l flogged them to buy some four post Skylan stands which sounded and looked better- until l filled them right up with sand- heavy and booming bass, the sand came out of the stands pronto and was replaced with Kitty Litter- voila! Fast bass with great control so that has stayed like that for years and do not feel the need to change.:cool:
  7. Robert

    Robert Tapehead

    Harbeth are mistaken in their view that only the stand height matters.

    Stands do at least two additional things:

    - Couple/decouple energy from the loudspeaker to the floor.

    - Influence the baffle step (i.e. the frequency response) depending on whether the stand is open frame or solid.

    YNWOAN 100% Analogue

    As above, Mr Shaw (on this point) is entirely wrong. The subjective effect of different stand designs (of the same height) is extremely easy to demonstrate. In addition, the impact of different stands and support methods on cabinet resonance can easily be measured - there is an old Stereophile article that does precisely that (will see if I can find a link to it).
  9. Markus S

    Markus S 41 - 29

  10. Gaius

    Gaius Trade: Stiletto by Tangerine

    Mr Shaw is completely wrong.

    A stand can be the making or breaking of a speaker, some work well on a very high mass stand others a light and rigid open frame design. I have found the stand to be quite critical to get the best from a given speaker.
  11. badger748

    badger748 pfm Member

    So Alan Shaw says all stands are the same? He also says all amplifiers sound the same.

    So why do my P3ESR's sound completely different when driven by vastly different amps and sound very different if on (for example) record cube's the same height as speaker stands?

    I love the Harbeth's I have, but Alan Shaw does talk rubbish some of the time!
  12. Biker Boy

    Biker Boy pfm Member

    Having bought my Harbys from HiFi Dave I followed his advice re something solid stands he was bang on they work extremely well in my room. As I have a suspended wooden floor I also use the something solid missing link feet and they to work well.

    A friend has some of the small Harbys and he uses a massive oak beam 6" x 9" x 24" and that too works well in his room
  13. Purité Audio

    Purité Audio Trade: Purite Audio

  14. Chefren

    Chefren pfm Member

    Does he? From http://www.harbeth.co.uk/usergroup/showthread.php?373-Basic-facts-about-Harbeths-at-home

  15. Joe Hutch

    Joe Hutch Mate of the bloke

    And from the same link, here's what he actually says about stands (my emphasis added):

    Harbeth speakers do not need exotic stands. You can use wooden stands or metal or plastic stands. We use them all through development and critical listening. Distrust rumours that 'Harbeth's only work with 'xyz stands'. It is entirely your free choice, what takes your fancy, fits in with your furnishings and budget. If all you have available to get you going is something as basic as the IKEA plant pot stands (even used during the design of the Compact 7ES3 - see picture) or house bricks or telephone directories. The key point is to raise the tweeter to about ear level. The Skylan stands are an excellent value-for-money choice that we have used at exhibitions ourselves. Filling stands is your choice.
  16. YNWOAN

    YNWOAN 100% Analogue

  17. sls4321

    sls4321 pfm Member

    Yes they do.

    Whilst waiting for my Something Solid stands I used some Ikea Marius stools (£3 each). Rather wobbly and had a negative affect on the bass. The Something Solid stands are deceptively rigid and tightened everything up. The key ingredient is the blue-tak supplied with them.

    Whilst I would strongly recommend them, several HUG members are very happy with Ikea Oddvar stools (£7 each). They are exactly the right height for SHL5+, very rigid, and all that is needed is a bit of blue-tak.
  18. Martyn Miles

    Martyn Miles pfm Member

    I use my Harbeth P3ESRs on a pair of stands made for LS3/5as, as I owned a pair previously. They bring the speakers to the correct hight in my situation. That's all I require. I once had some Studiospares stands that were fine, except not tall enough.

    I have castor stands for my other speakers, ( HL Monitors ) that are similar to the Spendor BC1 models, so they can easily be moved out into the room. Castor stands are frowned upon by most people.
    You may feel Alan Shaw is talking nonsense. That is up to you, but he does talk sense about a lot of subjects concerning audio reproduction.
  19. sls4321

    sls4321 pfm Member

    ... but it's priceless rubbish, and often not rubbish at all.

    My favourite is his definition of an audiophile as someone who thinks music is a test signal for their audio equipment. Spot on !!
  20. Robert

    Robert Tapehead

    To be fair to Harbeth and Alan Shaw, that isn't his view - or anyone else's for that matter!

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