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Happy 20th to RADIAL™
Celebrating two decades of Harbeth's unique cone material ...

Since creating RADIAL™ twenty years ago now, Harbeth has not looked back. Its world-leading cone material is simply unmatched by anything else for purity of sound and accurate reproduction of speech and music at home and in the studio. RADIAL™ driver

The RADIAL™ cone project followed Alan Shaw’s appeal to The Science and Industry Directorate of the British Government and allowed him to continue the research started by Harbeth’s founder Dudley Harwood. The entire work was continuously and thoroughly (even sometimes uncomfortably) peer reviewed. The five man-year programme was carefully documented, running to over 2000 A4 sheets, and has now been carefully scanned and collated.

“What that work did meant that we never looked back”, says Alan Shaw. “It allowed Harbeth to create a world-leading loudspeaker cone material which remains at the heart of every model we make. It is what transformed those old BBC designs to create Harbeth speakers fit for the 21st century.”

Happy Birthday RADIAL™.
Many are called, few are chosen....
Two Harbeth models are listed among the very select few to create outstanding products worthy of  the coveted ‘Recommended’ status by international Stereophile magazine as it publishes its top 500 components for 2015. Stereophile 500

Both Harbeth’s P3ESR mini-monitor and the M30.1 monitor have heralded by Stereophile magazine.

 Only a select handful of components are picked each year as the ‘very best’ equipment available to audiophiles.

Commenting on the P3ESR, the magazine reminds its readers that, in the Editor’s opinion, it is “the best iteration yet from any manufacturer of the BBC LS3/5A mini-monitor concept”.

Of the LS5/9 replacement, Harbeth’s M30.1, Stereophile recalls how the compact monitor produces “ravishing midrange texture, tonality and resolution”.
Harbeth's at heart of new TV quiz
1000 Heartbeats is the new ITV daytime quiz show presented by Vernon Kay, that uniquely features a live string quartet in the studio.

Pictured is Sound Supervisor Tudor Davies with Sarah and Llinos from the quartet.

Tudor states that using Harbeth studio monitor loudspeakers was an important decision for this unusual Project:Heartbeats" When you are mixing a live string quartet you need to be very sure you are hearing the middle frequencies correctly, as this is where most problems are heard when closely miking string instruments. I knew that with the Harbeth reference monitors I was hearing something accurate, so could adjust the EQ accordingly."

1000 Heartbeats
can be seen on ITV at 4pm weekdays and is attracting a healthy audience. Players wear an electronic heart-rate counter device while answering questions in an attempt to win money. All the time, their heart-rate is monitored, counting down from an initial 1000. When the remaining number reaches zero, the game is over. During the game the contestant's heart rate is relayed to the live string quartet playing the soundtrack on set at the tempo of the contestant's heart rate (beats per minute) to maximise tension.
Bavaria festival was huge success
The weekend's Best of British festival at Hifi-Bauernhof in Bavaria was attended by scores of Harbeth customers, old and new.

Many had travelled substantial distances to meet the brand's owner and designer, Alan Shaw, and to attend his presentation 'Thirty Years in Thirty Minutes' which outlined the basics of BBC loudspeaker design and how Harbeth has taken the concept and made it fit for the twenty-first century.Alan's talk

"I was very proud to be invited to meet some of Harbeth's oldest and most loyal customers", said Alan Shaw (pictured right during his talk). "It was a pleasure to share my experiences with them and share stories about fine musical performances and fine recordings."

Each of the studio rooms at the Altusried dealer's rural premises (translated as Hi-Fi Farm) was used to show a different Harbeth model, with everything on demonstration from the P3ESR mini-monitor, the mighty Monitor 40.1 and the new Supr HL5plus.

The tranquil setting in the Allgaeu region was perfect to enjoy the wide variety of music on offer during the two-day event and meet many loyal Harbeth fans (below).
Alan meets fans
When Dietmar Sutter founded the hi-fi studio in 1979 he had just a single demonstration room and around 20 cows on the farm. Today the pendulum has swung the other way as there are seven studios and just two cows left, as family pets along with Felix the cat.  The setting is rather special since Dietmar was born at the farm, as was his father and his eldest son, Siegmund (21), who has now joined the Hifi-Bauernhof operation.

"It was a wonderfully magical weekend", said Trevor Butler from Harbeth's marketing department. "To be able to go from room to room and hear each of the Harbeth models was rather special. There was good music, good company, good beer and good food. What more would one need?"

Details from http://www.hifi-bauernhof.de/
Harbeth backs life-saving bikes
Thanks to Harbeth, a life-saving operation has been boosted.  Serv Sussex provides a night-time service to the NHS for urgent blood supplies and other medical requirements at hospitals close to the Harbeth factory. Blood bike

A donation by Harbeth has helped the local Lions charity to donate a new motorbike (pictured, right) to the charity and to equip their small fleet with essential GPS equipment so that their control centre can trace the nearest rider when needed for a medical emergency.

"This is, literally, a life-saving service which the hospitals could not manage without because there is no standard NHS blood transport or analysis service at night or weekends", said Harbeth's MD Alan Shaw.  "Having seen the magnificent work the SERV (aka the Blood Runners) do, it is a pleasure to support them in this way."

bike logoThe bikes now carry the Harbeth logo in recognition of the vital support the loudspeaker company gave.

Details of the service, which is completely staff by volunteers (including doctors and a professor of haematology) are on the SERV website:
Direct to the land of Oz
Australia is the latest country to be added to Harbeth’s ever-growing list of specialist international distributors as Audio Magic is appointed to look after the growing band of Harbeth customers ‘down under’. Australia

Audio Magic has been formed by Aleksandar Maksimovic as a specialist distributor of the very best high-end audio equipment.

“Our goal”, he explains, “is to offer audiophiles the best price-quality ratio from brands with several decades of tradition and reputation.”

Harbeth’s Sales Manager, Andy Sinden, says “I know Alek will provide a top-quality service to the growing number of Harbeth customers we have in Australia.”

He can be reached at 23/22 French Avenue, Northcote VIC 3070 in Melbourne. Tel +61 3 9489 51 22 and email info@audiomagic.com.au
Special Dutch Harbeth days
Two special Harbeth days are planned in Hilversum (24-25 April) at high-end dealers Beter Beeld and Geluid. Hilversum days

Harbeth’s designer Alan Shaw will be on hand as the latest models are demonstrated. “All are very welcome”, says organiser Garmt van der Zel.

Hear the Harbeth range and find out out how a BBC-type design has been made fit for use in the 21-st century.

Details from beterbeeldengeluid.nl
Westward Ho! for the Bristol show
Thousands of discerning music lovers made the trek to Bristol for what’s become Britain’s premier hi-fi and audio show. Organisers of the three-day event, Audio-T, claimed it a huge success and certainly for the UK’s  best-loved loudspeaker brand it was a most worthwhile excursion. “Our room was constantly packed with audiophiles who just couldn’t get enough of the clear, natural sound of Harbeth”, said the brand’s Trevor Butler. Bristol show

Teaming-up with key partners in the audio industry, Harbeth had a most successful three days at the 28th Sound and Vision (The Bristol Show) weekend, meeting scores of customers and introducing the latest model in the brand’s line-up, the Super HL5plus.

With the multi-award-winning P3ESR mini monitor playing continuously in one room, a second, next door, was dedicated to Harbeth’s latest design which was very well received by the Bristol audience.

“There was tremendous enthusiasm revealed by the audiophiles attending the event”, says Trevor Butler from Harbeth’s marketing team, “to find out more about a brand they obviously revered.”
Making music in Hamburg
The tenth annual Norddeutsch HiFi-Tage (also known as 'Hörtest) saw north German audiophiles flock to the Holiday Inn hotel in Hamburg for the three-day audio event. Entrance

Amid the usual gathering of valve amplifers and turntables (plattenspieler fans were in abundance), Harbeth's monitor loudspeakers were a much sought after brand. Room 1603, commanding a magnificent view from the hotel's 16th floor, was packed for the duration.

Harbeth's designer Alan Shaw and Trevor Butler from the marketing department were on hand and worked with Bernd Hömke (from Harbeth Germany) and local, enthusiastic Harbeth dealers Clemens Meyer from Sound & Vision in Hamburg, and Loftsound's Markus Kampschulte from Arnsberg (pictured below, left). Markus

"Together we made the room rock", said Trevor. "All the Germans left the Harbeth room with a big grin on their faces as they enjoyed the clear, natural sound which only a Harbeth RADIAL™ can produce.  Some came back several times, not believing what they heard."

The hugely popular show is organised by Hifi Show Bramfeld, a local dealership which knows how to attract a crowd interested in good sound.  Admission was free, always an incentive, and the venue easily accessible by public transport as well as having good parking close-by.

"This was clearly a very well organised show, professionally marketed to attract audiophiles and with a warm welcome for both exhibitors and visitors", adds Trevor. "It was great to meet so many loyal Harbeth customers as well as others who are hoping to upgrade to Harbeth; they were keen to hear more about our BBC pedigree and how we have taken those landmark BBC designs and added twenty-first century technology. There's no doubt that the audience felt we are do make the world's best-loved loudspeakers." 
Awards to round-off the year
Harbeth ends a bumper 2014 by collecting a clutch of audio awards.

A leading German magazine has awarded Harbeth's mini-monitor, the P3ESR,  "Best of LP" in its recent awards. LP is a popular magazine which focuses on excellence in vinyl and LP reproduction and a highly respected high-end magazine in Germany.  It was back in 2009 that the title gave the little P3ESR a stunning review.Award

Also added to the trophy shelf is the award from Hong Kong's 'Super AV Awards' Outstanding Overall Performance 2014 where the stunning M30.1 monitor loudspeaker has won the title of best 'bookshelf' loudspeaker. (The term is used to differentiate it from floor-standers)

These awards round-off a remarkable year for British-owned and run Harbeth which has marked a record year -- more happy customers in more countries than ever, whille taking technology to the fore with a brand new monitor design, the Super HL5plus.  The latest model has proven to be the company's fastest-selling model EVER.
Veterans appreciate support
Having read in the media about the chronic plight of ex servicemen and women in crisis this Christmas (Independent newspaper feature article 28 November, for example), Harbeth's MD Alan Shaw was determined to do something to help.

He read of a charity's marvellous work and thought Veterans' Aid a very dedicated and committed bunch of people who were working really hard to help those in desperate need by providing immediate and practical help, such as the way they knock on the door of Veterans' Aid and find solace. Cheqye
(The charity's CEO Dr Hugh Milroy is pictued with Harbeth's cheque)

Harbeth UK will making a guaranteed minimum donation to the charity plus an extra amount for every new, fresh pair of Harbeths sold by an authorised dealer - any model, any veneer - anywhere in the world to a member of the public until 31 December 2014 of £50.

Purchasers simply have to email the office confidentially with their valid serial number and purchase details. "It won't cost you or your dealer anything - we're funding this from HQ as our mark of respect for those who have fallen onto hard times", adds Alan.  "If you purchase but do not email us we will assume that you do not wish to be counted-in, which is entirely your prerogative and we perfectly understand and respect your position. There is no obligation whatever, just Register your speakers for Warranty as normal."
British to the core
A multi-national takeover has claimed another famous British speaker company. As news emerges that the major European loudspeaker brand is swallowed up by a Chinese conglomerate, it’s good to know that Harbeth is British through and through and remains true to those pioneering roots which create its world-class loudspeakers.
With most of the original British speaker names now in overseas ownership, Harbeth stands out as the one which is resolutely and steadfastly remaining true to its roots. Alan Shaw

“When you’re merely part of a huge conglomerate, just a small cog in a massive wheel, it’s hard, if not impossible, to maintain the maverick thinking that created the technological triumphs which became the BBC monitor”, says Harbeth’s MD Alan Shaw (pictured).

Such thinking and design needs the oxygen of creativity which does not conform to the rigid cost-driven necessity of a soul-less corporation.

“Loudspeaker design (and composing music)above all need uninterrupted concentration – both involve many refinements and neither are a linear path: they go in lurches; none of that lies comfortably with seasonal production runs and needless rehashing. Harbeth is completely master of its own destiny: we know what our customers want, we are good at making it for them and we’re here for the very long-term,” he adds.
Inadequacies of 'industry standard' speaker cones
It is little wonder that loudspeakers with mere polypropylene cones can’t match the open and dynamic sound of a Harbeth RADIAL™ drive unit. As a new video on the Harbeth User Group clearly shows, shampoo-bottle plastics just don’t have enough rigidity. Cone video

Stiffness is a key attribute for a loudspeaker cone if it is to produce a good sound, yet as the new video demonstrates, most cones are pretty feeble.
While even the smallest (110mm) RADIAL™ cone will easily withstand the weight of a house brick (see above), a similar size polypropylene cone simply buckles and is squashed to destruction.

“The Harbeth cone even withstood the weight of a hefty 4.9kg steel billet”, explains Harbeth’s MD and designer Alan Shaw.

“It’s no accident that the super-clear Harbeth sound is the product of our wonderfully rigid cones. You can think of Harbeth RADIAL™ technology as a reinforced plastic which solves numerous engineering challenges.  Unless cones behave in a pistonic way across the entire audio range, as RADIAL™ ones do , it’s impossible to achieve a really natural sound. “

A ten minute audition at your local dealer will reveal all the strengths of the Harbeth drive-unit technology!
TV audio guru adores new Harbeths

One of the first UK users of the new Harbeth Super HL5plus monitor loudspeaker was the highly respected and award-winning Sound Director, Robert Edwards (seen here, on the right, at the factory watching his new loudspeakers being handmade). Robert Edwards (right)

After an evening with his new monitors, Robert reported, "Harbeth’s Super HL5plus are simply stunning. There is a real sense of musicality in the delivery”, he says. “Here is a sonic Tardis that fills the room space completely, from its modest-sized and lovingly-created enclosures.

“Harbeth should be really proud of its achievement in taking what was already a fabulous-sounding speaker (the SHL5) and further fine-tuning the ingredients: the Super HL5plus is a triumph of Alan’s special skills and dedication in bringing music alive in the room.

“This is the definitive hi-fi speaker for the twenty-first century. It really is a classic design brought bang up-to-date. If you were a Michelin chef, you would be given five stars and a rosette!”

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