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My experience with the Harbeth Super HL5plus speaker

tsurf

New member
Let me first mention that I’m now in my 60’s and have been a bit of a stereo/music buff since my 1[SUP]st[/SUP] all in one system back in High School. You know the system that played anything, vinyl, 8-track and a radio to boot. I was living large. Later on I bought some particle board and drivers from Radio Shack and built some speakers to replace the small poor ones that came with the system. They were just a bit smaller than the Super HL5plus.

Off to college taking my trusty system with me I soon discovered many dedicated stereo stores in the area. That began what was to become a lifetime process of upgrading my system to get ‘the sound’. So now, some 47 years later and after more systems and speakers that I can honestly remember I am back where I started with some plain looking 2sq ft. box speakers.

It’s been a long journey and I would hate to know all the dollars spent along the way. That said, I would not change a thing if that’s what it took to have the sound I now enjoy. Yes, I now have ‘the sound’ I’ve spent the better part of a lifetime looking for. These modest looking speakers with no esoteric design gizmos have sweep me up and carried me away. Actually, after the 1[SUP]st[/SUP] couple of weeks I quit listening to them. They disappeared as I found myself just enjoying the magic of music again.

So as others have expressed, thank you Mr. Shaw for creating what I have spent the better part of a lifetime searching for. I can now put aside my search and just enjoy the ‘the sound’ of music.
 
Tsurf :))), that's how it should be I guess.Your story is familiar with my experience. Haven't passed the 50 but numbers are relative.
What matters is the music and -being carried away- as you describe (without neurotic feelings about amplifiers and relative equipment, these things are marginal).
 

ssfas

Well-known member
I can remember all my speakers over almost as long - EPOS ES11, JR149, Dynaudio Contour 1.1, PMC Fact.8, SHL5+, SHL5+ 4th Anniversary. It strikes me that I've only ever owned one pair of floor standing speakers and only for a couple of years, the PMC, fine speakers and liked by the Harbeth lovers at the-ear.net. The JR149 are a classic BBC variant.

All that said, having had some very good speakers, the SHL5+ give an unequalled level of satisfaction and completely remove any idea that there is a need to find something better.

I satiate my audio neuroses elsewhere these days.
 
Es11 was a good speaker those days and I enjoyed them for several years. Bought a second hand pair a few years ago and I placed them in the study. I couldn’t believe it, the sound was so thin and bass shy. Is/was this hifi ? It was the time I started to spend a lot of money in all sort of ‘high end ‘ equipment. In the Epos manual was written that the supplied speaker bridge was no match for these speakers for serious listening. Pfff
No problem with audio neuroses unless people are very serious about it
 
S

Smoooth

Guest
Let me first mention that I’m now in my 60’s and have been a bit of a stereo/music buff since my 1[SUP]st[/SUP] all in one system back in High School. You know the system that played anything, vinyl, 8-track and a radio to boot. I was living large. Later on I bought some particle board and drivers from Radio Shack and built some speakers to replace the small poor ones that came with the system. They were just a bit smaller than the Super HL5plus.
Off to college taking my trusty system with me I soon discovered many dedicated stereo stores in the area. That began what was to become a lifetime process of upgrading my system to get ‘the sound’. So now, some 47 years later and after more systems and speakers that I can honestly remember I am back where I started with some plain looking 2sq ft. box speakers.

It’s been a long journey and I would hate to know all the dollars spent along the way. That said, I would not change a thing if that’s what it took to have the sound I now enjoy. Yes, I now have ‘the sound’ I’ve spent the better part of a lifetime looking for. These modest looking speakers with no esoteric design gizmos have sweep me up and carried me away. Actually, after the 1[SUP]st[/SUP] couple of weeks I quit listening to them. They disappeared as I found myself just enjoying the magic of music again.

So as others have expressed, thank you Mr. Shaw for creating what I have spent the better part of a lifetime searching for. I can now put aside my search and just enjoy the ‘the sound’ of music.
I got moved by your text really. Thanks for sharing :love: I have nearly an identical experience with the same SHL5 Plus and I have never experienced such emotions listening to music before. My room should by the hard core audiophile be classified as too small for them, no treatment to the walls etc but still they do magic with my ears.

I love that I continuously ask myself what is it that makes them so special compared to everything else I've listened to for my past 25 years and then few seconds later I don't care and just listen to music and keep jumping through all my favourite music and sit down and listen for the album again and feel relaxed in my mind and body. Never any listening fatigue. Never any thoughts about if the highs might be to much or the lows to low. I just listen to the song now. Not the speaker.

Thank you Harbeth. I just wish I got them 25 years ago. :)
 

shawngt2

New member
Hey tsurf, Let me first say, welcome to the club, but it gets better! I have had SHL5+ for over 2 years and still wanted more! I got 40.2 in my small listening room (12' wide by 10' deep, open room to dining, stairwells, etc) and could not be happier with the result. I would have to humbly disagree with the designer (Mr. Alan Shaw) that room size is dependant of optimal speaker selection as a general rule. The bass notes, whether from bass strings, double bass or kick drums, is exceptional now compared to before. I feel like I am hearing a complete, BIG sound! I guess I like a deeper more present bass, which to me is closer to the live experience, over amplified live performances. I had my good old neighbour who was a double bass player for Toronto Symphony Orch. and found that the lower octaves did not present themselves in the same way with SHL5+. Yes, my bass is likely overpowering, but I like it that way and also found speaker positioning was much less important!

I fortunately did not experiment too much into Hi-Fi. First with Kef computer speakers then R3's and then SHL5+ to 40.2 and now I am done! I honestly feel that I am done with speakers because explaining that I spend $18k CAD to my wife (after discount, including tax) was not an easy sell. I literally have to work 3 years (not spending on other nonsense) to pay these off, but I can tell you that auditioning other, much more expensive, speakers has resulted in disappointment!

I really want to thank Mr. Shaw for one thing... It must be a damn hard job reading and witnessing all the stupidity in this industry. I have seen a small fraction of it but know you have probably seen deplorable levels. From $10k speaker cables, to DSD6000 (soon to come, lol) and reviewers explaining DACs, pre-amps and amps like fine wine. My God! I've put my trust in Harbeth and Bryston and trust my ears there is no difference, just give them high quality power for the buck and don't buy your cables at Home Depot. Maybe my ears are out to lunch (lol) but if I don't hear the difference, this race for specs mean nothing to me.

Thank You Alan Shaw for your amazing accomplishments, candidness, and finally for your damn kick-ass speakers. They have changed my life on how I enjoy the music. I'm done!!!! (at least I hope so depending on what you release in the future, my A/B to that and last but not least my bank account brother!).
 
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Jhik Jhik

New member
Let me first mention that I’m now in my 60’s and have been a bit of a stereo/music buff since my 1[SUP]st[/SUP] all in one system back in High School. You know the system that played anything, vinyl, 8-track and a radio to boot. I was living large. Later on I bought some particle board and drivers from Radio Shack and built some speakers to replace the small poor ones that came with the system. They were just a bit smaller than the Super HL5plus.

Off to college taking my trusty system with me I soon discovered many dedicated stereo stores in the area. That began what was to become a lifetime process of upgrading my system to get ‘the sound’. So now, some 47 years later and after more systems and speakers that I can honestly remember I am back where I started with some plain looking 2sq ft. box speakers.

It’s been a long journey and I would hate to know all the dollars spent along the way. That said, I would not change a thing if that’s what it took to have the sound I now enjoy. Yes, I now have ‘the sound’ I’ve spent the better part of a lifetime looking for. These modest looking speakers with no esoteric design gizmos have sweep me up and carried me away. Actually, after the 1[SUP]st[/SUP] couple of weeks I quit listening to them. They disappeared as I found myself just enjoying the magic of music again.

So as others have expressed, thank you Mr. Shaw for creating what I have spent the better part of a lifetime searching for. I can now put aside my search and just enjoy the ‘the sound’ of music.
Hey Tsurf, thanks for your posting. I am also a music lover, but mostly i use my headphone. But you know, my mind is cracked with different video games, so need good speaker. After reading your post, i am wishing to have one HL5Plus to enjoy the sound along with my games. hopefully my heart will not regret.
 
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