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  1. #1
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    Sub for Harbeth Super HL 5+ Anniversary model speakers?

    I'll soon be taking delivery of Harbeth Super HL 5+ Anniversary speakers and was wondering if I'll need a sub? From what I've read I'm inclined to think not. The room is an "average" 27' x 11' downstairs room with wood paneled walls, painted peg board ceiling, and carpet covered concrete floors.

    I do have two SVS subs (P12SDs) I use with my upstairs and downstairs HT systems. I could use the sub from the downstairs HT for my two channel system, which will also be downstairs.

    I've been told the SVS subs were more for HT vs two channel high end stereo. So, I guess I have two questions...1. Do you think I'll need a sub for the Harbeths? And 2. If so, should I use one of my HT SVS subs or purchase a separate, dedicated sub for the two channel system? Obviously, if I don't need a sub for the Harbeths all the rest is moot.

  2. #2

    Re: Sub for Harbeth Super HL 5+ Anniversary model speakers?

    I would check on the REL site which sub they suggest to pair with your Harbeths. Just enter your model name, and they propose a sub to pair.


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  3. #3

    Re: Sub for Harbeth Super HL 5+ Anniversary model speakers?

    Congrats Tom, you're gonna love them.
    - Steve

    McIntosh MA252 Integrated Amp • PS Audio DirectStream DAC
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  4. #4
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    Re: Sub for Harbeth Super HL 5+ Anniversary model speakers?

    Thanks, Steve. I appreciate the encouraging words. The only problem I have is I'm purchasing my system sort of piece meal. I'm ordering the speakers, cables and stands now. I'll purchase the amp (Luxman 509x), streaming hardware/software, CD ripping and storage components, immediately after the first of the year. I wanted to get the Harbeth Super HL 5+ Anniversary edition speakers before they complete their run and while they were still available. We are making the purchases separately for tax purposes.

  5. #5

    Re: Sub for Harbeth Super HL 5+ Anniversary model speakers?

    Quote Originally Posted by bluegrassphile View Post
    Thanks, Steve. I appreciate the encouraging words. The only problem I have is I'm purchasing my system sort of piece meal. I'm ordering the speakers, cables and stands now. I'll purchase the amp (Luxman 509x), streaming hardware/software, CD ripping and storage components, immediately after the first of the year. I wanted to get the Harbeth Super HL 5+ Anniversary edition speakers before they complete their run and while they were still available. We are making the purchases separately for tax purposes.
    Super HL5+ never really seems to be short on supply. There’re always a number of them for sale on Audiogon for most of the time if I’m not mistaken.

  6. #6

    Re: Sub for Harbeth Super HL 5+ Anniversary model speakers?

    Quote Originally Posted by bluegrassphile View Post
    Thanks, Steve. I appreciate the encouraging words. The only problem I have is I'm purchasing my system sort of piece meal. I'm ordering the speakers, cables and stands now. I'll purchase the amp (Luxman 509x), streaming hardware/software, CD ripping and storage components, immediately after the first of the year. I wanted to get the Harbeth Super HL 5+ Anniversary edition speakers before they complete their run and while they were still available. We are making the purchases separately for tax purposes.
    Well Tom, I'm really pleased that you were able to get a pair of the speakers you had your heart set on. It's all downhill from here. I was checking out that Luxman amp online and it looks like it'll be a perfect match for those Harbeths. You are gonna have a killer system when you're finished. Please be sure to at least consider a Lumin Network Player because they couple so well with those speakers and that integrated amp.
    - Steve

    McIntosh MA252 Integrated Amp • PS Audio DirectStream DAC
    Roon Nucleus Server • PS Audio Stellar Power Plant 3 • Harbeth C7ES3 Loudspeakers on Sound Anchor stands • Magnepan .7 Loudspeakers • JL Audio D108 Sub Analysis Plus Black Oval 12 Speaker Cables • Analysis Plus Solo Crystal Oval Balanced Interconnects • PS Audio Dectet Power Center • PS Audio AC3 A/C cords

  7. #7
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    Re: Sub for Harbeth Super HL 5+ Anniversary model speakers?

    Quote Originally Posted by bluegrassphile View Post
    I'll soon be taking delivery of Harbeth Super HL 5+ Anniversary speakers and was wondering if I'll need a sub? From what I've read I'm inclined to think not. The room is an "average" 27' x 11' downstairs room with wood paneled walls, painted peg board ceiling, and carpet covered concrete floors.

    I do have two SVS subs (P12SDs) I use with my upstairs and downstairs HT systems. I could use the sub from the downstairs HT for my two channel system, which will also be downstairs.

    I've been told the SVS subs were more for HT vs two channel high end stereo. So, I guess I have two questions...1. Do you think I'll need a sub for the Harbeths? And 2. If so, should I use one of my HT SVS subs or purchase a separate, dedicated sub for the two channel system? Obviously, if I don't need a sub for the Harbeths all the rest is moot.
    Ive owned HL5 pluses so don't take this the wrong way but 11' wide is a very small room in spite of it being 27' long. I assume the speakers will be positioned on the short wall 1/3 or at least 1/4 into the room away from back wall (or front wall, depending on perspective) in which case a sub won't be necessary.

    I also have experience with SVS subs, the sealed non-ported models are the best choice for music. The ported models by way of the LFE inputs have the edge with theatre applications.
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  8. #8
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    Re: Sub for Harbeth Super HL 5+ Anniversary model speakers?

    Quote Originally Posted by kzhtoo View Post
    Super HL5+ never really seems to be short on supply. There’re always a number of them for sale on Audiogon for most of the time if I’m not mistaken.
    Although there are still some new ones around the 40th Anniversary models seem to be disappearing and are getting a little harder to find. I didn't want to wait another 6 to 12 months.

  9. #9
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    Re: Sub for Harbeth Super HL 5+ Anniversary model speakers?

    i regularly listen to the anniversary version and recently sold my harbeth shl5plus . beautiful midrange . as long as they are away from the walls , the luxman is going to be very special . i would let them settle in with the amps first and after a good time try a sub .
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  10. #10
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    Re: Sub for Harbeth Super HL 5+ Anniversary model speakers?

    Quote Originally Posted by hifinutt View Post
    i regularly listen to the anniversary version and recently sold my harbeth shl5plus . beautiful midrange . as long as they are away from the walls , the luxman is going to be very special . i would let them settle in with the amps first and after a good time try a sub .

    Thank you! I appreciate your advice.

  11. #11

    Re: Sub for Harbeth Super HL 5+ Anniversary model speakers?

    I have been running the SHL5+ Anniversary version since May 2018. My room is 18’ x 12’ and they suit it very well. In my opinion they seem an ideal fit for that sort of size room. Phil is spot on in that they need to be away from walls, I found about 40 inches from the rear wall works well in my room and a couple of feet in from the side walls. Once in the correct spot they reward with a very even performance with no frequency area being unduly highlighted. They do have that legendary midrange and just the right amount of top end sparkle. Where they surprised me most was in the bass end. They have weight and clarity that is somewhat unexpected given the size and in my situation excite the room modes less than pretty well any other speaker I have had in my room, that is any speaker with comparable range in the low end. I think the front porting helps in this regard. So, and again agreeing with Phil, I would try them as is and I feel that unless your taste runs to lots of organ recitals or you like to play at rave levels you might find a sub unnecessary.
    Lumin A1 / Crayon Audio CIA-1T / Soundkaos Wave 40 or Harbeth SHL5+ 40th Anniversary

  12. #12
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    Re: Sub for Harbeth Super HL 5+ Anniversary model speakers?

    Hey Nick, thank you so much for the info. Yeah, I don't know if I'll need a sub or not. I listen to bluegrass music 90% of the time and small combo jazz the rest of the time. So, it's not like I'll need to get into the lowest octaves. I have two SVS subs that go with both of my HT systems (one for each system). However, they're both ported. I've recently been reading that subs used for music should be un-ported and that ported subs are better for HT. Personally, I'm not sure I buy that...yet. Maybe it's true, I don't really know for sure. Up until recently, I've read that SVS subs are some of the best money can buy for music and most of the SVS subs are ported. I really need to read up on it more.

    Anyway, I guess I could always plug one of my SVS subs into my new system after I've listened to it for awhile, just to see if the sound is enhanced. One good thing about not needing a sub is it would give me a couple thousand dollars to spend on something else.

  13. #13
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    Re: Sub for Harbeth Super HL 5+ Anniversary model speakers?

    Hello there, and congrats on your Harbeths! I really feel you will love them. I think you should probably try them first in your room before you purchase a sub. In my case, I did go on to purchase a REL T-5 just to add that final little bit on the bottom end. I do love what the REL added to my system.
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  14. #14

    Re: Sub for Harbeth Super HL 5+ Anniversary model speakers?

    Hello,
    I have 7Es3 which I love. at one point I was considering the Harbeth Super HL 5+, but after close auditioning I found the high notes from the Twitter to be too harsh. I listen to progressive rock music and classic rock - not "audiophile" material...
    is Harbeth Super HL 5+ Anniversary model speakers better or any different in that field?
    thank you!

  15. #15
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    Re: Sub for Harbeth Super HL 5+ Anniversary model speakers?

    Welcome to the forum, thank you for joining.
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  16. #16

    Re: Sub for Harbeth Super HL 5+ Anniversary model speakers?

    Quote Originally Posted by boazrush View Post
    Hello,
    I have 7Es3 which I love. at one point I was considering the Harbeth Super HL 5+, but after close auditioning I found the high notes from the Twitter to be too harsh. I listen to progressive rock music and classic rock - not "audiophile" material...
    is Harbeth Super HL 5+ Anniversary model speakers better or any different in that field?
    thank you!
    I have no experience of the standard SHL5+ but to my ears the tweeter on the SHL5+ Anniversary is not harsh at all. It certainly sounds smoother to my ears than my memory of the tweeter on the SHL5, the version before the SHL5+. I think the treble range on the SHL5+ Anniversary is beautifully voiced, neither too much nor too little sparkle and with excellent resolution. Of course bright and aggressive recordings will still sound bright and aggressive but in my experience not to the extent that such recordings become unlistenable
    Lumin A1 / Crayon Audio CIA-1T / Soundkaos Wave 40 or Harbeth SHL5+ 40th Anniversary

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