I’ve owned every Harbeth minus the 40’s. I am now using the Super HL5 Plus with the TT stands. It sounds like you made an excellent choice with getting those TT stands for the Harbeths. I sure did. Enjoy your new speakers!
enjoy your 40's... they are among the very best traditional speakers out there and among my all time favorites
play with placement relative to room boundaries now that proper stands are in hand, and get the bass response tuned just right
the vocals portrayed by these speakers can be hauntingly real sounding
Yep … … Yep….me too. I have the 30.2XD’s with TT speaker stands and an ATC C1 Mk2 subwoofer.
HARBETH’s Alan Shaw praises the TT’s as an “open design” speaker stand to maximize the thin-walled HARBETHs ability to properly resonate as designed like a Steinway or Stradivarius soundboard.
Resonance dissipation and decoupling is achieved by the extended tenons and the tone-bed “dimple” in the tenons that decouples the speaker from the ground.
The audio improvement in my experience is clear and unambiguous.
I owned a pair of TT stands with a pair of M30.1, and agree that they are excellent. However, this claim (above):
is patently false. The stands certainly do not "decouple" the speakers from the ground.
@curiousjim My room is really wide so side walls are a non-issue. However moving them further away from the rear wall increased bass-resonance - they sound much better 2ft from the rear wall which is where I had the 30’s.
This surprised me - I really thought they would like being further out in the room.
@jjss49 I’m not surprised the RW and TT’s were similar - the geometry and build quality are similar, with the TTs having a slight edge esthetically IMO.
Last night’s listening session was almost surreal while sitting in the sweet-spot.
Do you like the Maggie’s better than the 40’s?
@whipsaw The RW/TT stands absolutely decouple the speakers from the floor - the "homemade" ones for sure coupled the speakers to the floor, almost as much as if they were placed directly on the floor. The difference wasn’t subtle. You might say they don’t "completely" decouple them - maybe spikes would, and maybe the ball-feet of the RW’s do a better job than the TT’s.
What you seem to be reporting is that the TTs are much better at isolating the speakers than your home made ones, and that I don't doubt.
But no, they don't decouple them, let alone "completely". And neither do spikes! In fact, spikes couple stands to the floor, despite any marketing claims to the contrary.
That doesn't mean that the TT stands, or well-designed spikes, cannot improve the sound of systems – of course they can. But they don't "decouple"!
The closest that you can get to decoupling would be damped springs, such as Townshend products, or Isoacoustic Gaia, etc.
You may think that I am being pedantic, but the TTs don't come close to decoupling. I originally used high-quality spikes and pucks on my current speakers, and they sounded very good, When I switched to the Gaias, which are designed to decouple (though not 100%), the sound improved significantly.
To drill a bit deeper, I have listened to the 30.1s on the TTs both directly on the floor, and placed on Townshend platforms. The difference in sound is clear, but because some of the bass energy that is typically felt through the floor is lost, some might prefer those speakers, which are a bit bass-light, not decoupled.
With the 40.2/40.3, I would expect that there would be plenty of bass, even with greater, or *true* decoupling.
For those interested, here is a link to a video of some relevant observations and measurements, comparing spikes and isolation bases. It was produced by the Swiss company Credo Audio.
Their conclusions are consistent with the experience of most users of damped spring products, namely faster decays, and a reduction in smearing, resulting in clearer sound.
in my case, yes i do
other than midrange response (which i feel the 40, with its radial driver material and lossy cabinet, do wonderfully), i hear a significantly more pure treble, plus a more even and speedy bass response from the maggies, while they both have wonderfully large, easeful presentations overall... a shared strength is they both lend a realistic scale to the music portrayed
@whipsaw Thanks for the input.
I decided to put it to the test. I started by asking Brooks at Resonant Woods if he sold the round plastic feet he uses on his stands and he said yes but pointed out that installing them would likely split the tenon’s, and suggested I try some ball bearings, which work perfectly - held in place by the dimple in the tenon.
Next I contacted Iso Acoustics and they suggested Iso-Pucks between the speaker and stand. I installed 8 of these yesterday - they are just tall enough to lift the speakers off the tenon’s. They are discrete and look good.
Sound-wise, they made a BIG improvement. Much tighter bass and better imaging/detail. Cosmic Hippo by Bella Fleck was epic and instruments had better separation.
Thank you for steering me towards this.
Q: Am I now mostly decoupled? 🤔
You are very welcome, and well done! 👍
I really wasn’t trying to push you into anything, but your open mind and perseverance have apparently paid off. And your relatively simple solution seems very clever!
It’s interesting how systems can sound so good when you don’t know that you are missing anything, but then a small tweak may make a noticeable difference. It took me a long time to take vibration control seriously, as for decades I hadn’t ventured beyond inexpensive Herbie’s Tenderfeet on a few components, and with only some modestly positive results.
But as I upgraded my system substantially over the past couple of years, and moved into a newly renovated home, I was tempted to try to refine the sound further, and did a fair amount of research on various well-regarded devices.
The first that I bought was a set of Stillpoints Ultra SS V2, to try under my amp. I did this partly because it sits not on a dedicated stand, but rather in the middle of a (low) sideboard between my speakers. Note that I have never used any such devices under an amp previously, but lo and behold, there was a very audible difference with the Stillpoints. I do not assume that the Stillpoints are necessarily superior to other similarly well-designed devices, as I haven’t compared them, but decoupling (to some degree) my amp from the furniture had a very positive impact, not least of which being a tightening up of the bass. I frankly have no idea why vibration control would be effective under an amp, but it certainly was in this instance.
After that experience, I bought a set of Stillpoints ultra minis, and tried them under my DAC. If there was a positive change, it must have been quite subtle, and the explanation is likely that the DAC sits on a Quadraspire rack, which does, at least, provide some vibration control on its own. Or perhaps vibration control under a DAC is less important.
Finally, I chose to replace the spikes with IsoAcoustics Gaias on my stand mounted speakers, and, like the experience with the amp, the results exceeded my expectations.
None of the brands/models of VC devices that I recently acquired are cheap, even used, but within the context of the value of my system, and given the improvements in sound, I would say that they represent excellent value.
So, congratulations on having taken a big step in the decoupling direction! 😀 It is very satisfying when one is able to squeeze the best out of high-class components.
@whipsaw Thanks for the reply. You didn't push me at all. The solution cost around $350 - huge price/performance ratio compared to what I spent on the speakers. I'm stoked.
I’ve been using Symposium Acoustics platforms and Rollerblocks under my tube integrated, tube DAC, and their sprung platform under my TT for quite a while and had good very results.
Lot’s of good gear out there, and some not so much of course.
Have an awesome weekend.
@paullb I don't know, and have no way of testing this. Esthetically, I think both are really nice, with TT having a slight edge, but the other factor is these are made specifically for the model so right-sized.
Resonant Woods are not being manufactured atm, so you are stuck with the more expensive TTs unless you get lucky like I did and find something used/open box.
@whipsaw I kept going and added Gaia feet to the RELs. They work. It's interesting with the subs because I can feel the cabinets vibrating/moving which I could not before.
Presumably, this means the drivers are not 'fighting' the cabinet if that makes sense.
Interesting! I see what you are saying, and while it may seem a bit counter-intuitive, given the "play" in speakers that are placed on that type of (damped spring) devices, the sound is cleaner, as vibrations that would otherwise pass through coupling devices (e.g. spikes), both to and from the floor, are largely eliminated. So, the speakers are able to perform closer to their full potential.