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Newsletter - See the latest issues of our regular newsletter here - packed full of news and views from the international Harbeth family.
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Harbeth overcomes BBC LS3/5A flaws
Leading USA magazine The Absolute Sound has published a critical report on recent efforts to re-create 21st-century versions of the BBC’s LS3/5A speaker, saying that Harbeth’s approach to re-design the shoebox-sized monitor from the ground up was the preferred way forward.

In the May 2016 issue, respected journalist and film editor Paul Seydor (inset) concludes that modern Paul Seydorreincarnations of the old LS3/5A are “manifestly limited, flawed, and certainly dated”. Little wonder, then, that he recommends the Harbeth P3, and in particular the current P3ESR as its successor.

Seydor commends Harbeth’s designer, Alan Shaw, for doing what he says the BBC should have done back in the 1980s, returning to first principles: “use what was valuable in the original design then do the job right and make a speaker that is vastly more uniform, reliable and accurate, as well as able to maintain its performance without material degradation over the long run.”
EVERY Harbeth model earns a coveted TAS Editors' Choice Award
In a clean-sweep, every single Harbeth loudspeaker model has achieved a coveted Editors' Choice Award for 2016 from The Absolute Sound magazine.
2016 TAS
"This is a magnificent achievement", says Harbeth's PR and Marketing Manager Trevor Butler, "and testimony to Alan Shaw's designs which have set a new sonic standard of sound pureness."

The magazine Awards Issue explains that the annual Recommended Products list is "gear that our editors and writers have selected as most worth of your consideration. These are the components we ourselves would buy - or recommend to friends and family."

Commenting on each Harbeth model, the magazine said:

The P3ESR is 'cannily designed' to 'transcend the limitations of its genre.
The C7ES-3 is described as 'the ne plus ultra of BBC 2-way designs'.
The M30.1 is 'the best 2-way speaker system...'
The SHL5plus 'one of the most beautiful-sounding speaker systems'.
The M40.2 is also highly praised with 'neutral sound, exceptional midrange, refined and extended treble...."
Distribution in Norway
LINDFIELD, Sussex (UK) - 1st March 2016 -- Exclusive distribution of Harbeth hand-crafted loudspeakers in Norway rests with the brand's only official distributor in that territory: Torry Haegeland of Hagto Audio based in Lyngdal, stated the UK manufacturer today.

"We urge everyone in Norway thinking of purchasing our fine, British-designed and British-made monitor loudspeakers to ensure they are supplied by an official outlet", says Harbeth's international marketing manager Trevor Butler. "These are only reputable shops appointed and supplied by Hagto Audio."

Harbeth were referring to recent suggestions on Norweigen online forums that other channels of Harbeth loudspeakers were also officially authorised. "This is explicitly not the case", added Mr Butler.  "It's a case of 'caveat emptor' or 'let the buyer beware'. Customers should ensure they are purchasing the latest Harbeth models, rather than now obsolete models, and that only when supplied by Hagto and its agents will the manufacturer's warranty apply."

"Harbeth has not produced any special variants of its designs for the Norweigen (or any other) market - neither has it authorised any third-party to make modifications to Harbeth designs. To do so would invalidate any warranty", he adds.
For more information, please contact
Torry Haegeland, Hagto Audio 0047 9526 1932 or
Trevor Butler, Harbeth Audio UK Ltd +44 (0)1444 484371
'Best-ever' model is well rewarded
Harbeth's 'best-ever' loudspeaker is receiving rewards from golden ears around the globe.

The new Monitor 40.2, a true three-way, features Harbeth's unique RADIAL™ midrange drive unit to create a full-range sound that's proving something of an instant hit with audiophiles and professional users alike. Best of 2015

The highly respected online audio magazine The Ear has named the M40.2 in its 'Best of 2015'.

Reviewer Rene van Es notes how the latest Harbeth model keeps the sound 'as pure as possible'. He has discovered a loudspeaker which has: "pureness of sound and the natural way the music blends with any other sound in the listening room". He concludes, "once you experience the M40.1 you may be addicted for ever".

Meanwhile, the hugely popular online site C|Net has published a rave review of the Harbeth Monitor 40.2.  Former record producer Steve Guttenberg knows a good sound when he hears one. Writing about the M40.2, he notes how he will remember it "ten years from now -- it's that good."

Playing one of his favourite test discs (Rosanne Cash's '10 Song Demo' CD) on the big Harbeths, Steve discovered that the loudspeakers brought "new life to the sound of her voice and guitar". He concluded that the Harbeth M40.2 created the "most lifelike" sound compared with hundreds of speakers he's played the disc on over the years.
Bumper Awards Year
Rounding off a record-breaking year for global awards, this month sees two more high-caliber accolades for the Harbeth Super HL5plus from international magazines in the USA and Poland.

Global magazine The Absolute Sound   has awarded the Super HL5plus ‘Product of the Year’. PoY

“This is the highest recognition this leading publication can bestow on a manufacturer’s product”, explains Trevor Butler from Harbeth’s marketing team. “It is further recognition of Alan Shaw’s design prowess as his latest designs gain worldwide acclaim.”

Polish-based High  Fidelity.pl has awarded its ‘Best Sound of 2015’ to the Super HL5plus. Editor Wojciech Pacula comments: “thank you very much for great sound and music – it was sheer joy and real pleasure to listen to it!”

This clutch of latest awards rounds off an incredible year for Harbeth.
The British loudspeaker brand, established in 1977, goes from strength to strength as demand increases for its hand-crafted loudspeakers which are designed to put music first and foremost – whether in hi-fi systems or studio installations.

STOP PRESS: The SHL5plus has won the Outstanding Overall Performance Awards 2015 from the SUPER AV Magazine in China.
Harbeth at Piano Mecca
Steinway’s historic global headquarters in New York takes delivery of Harbeth’s famous mini-monitors and finds instant synergy as quality meets quality....
It has rung with the footsteps of some of the greatest names in piano history, and now Steinway’s headquarters in downtown New York (pictured) boasts a pair of Harbeth’s fine, hand-crafted British  loudspeakers.

The P3ESR mini-monitors now sit proudly on the desk of Eric Feidner. As Steinway’s Senior Vice President Music, Technology and Media – and Executive Producer at Steinway Recordings – he’s enjoying the natural sound of his new monitors. Steinway

“It is fitting, yet humbling, that Harbeth has found its way into what’s celebrated as the centre of the piano universe”, says Harbeth’s designer Alan Shaw.

The legacy of New York City’s Steinway Hall is long and storied. For a century and a half, its floors  have welcomed countless artistes, students, composers, teachers, parents, children, critics, researchers, technicians, and tourists.
Less a physical place than a legendary essence, Steinway Hall is a mecca for anyone who loves wonderful music.

Beside his desk (pictured above), Eric Feidner has a wall-mounted print of the legendary Steinway artiste Arthur Rubinstein, cigar in hand.
“A Steinway is a Steinway and there is nothing like it in the world”, proclaimed the great Rubinstein famously. Well, now  Steinway have discovered that there is nothing in the world like a Harbeth monitor loudspeaker.
Harbeth trio get top reward
America's Stereophile magazine has awarded no fewer than three Harbeth models with its coveted Hot Products recommendation. Stereophile 500

In a review of the top 500 audio, hi-fi and home theatre items, the magazine's editors choose the very best on offer.

With the Monitor 40.2 ultimate reference too new to be a contender, Harbeth's P3ESR mini-monitor, the compact Monitor 30.1 and classic BBC-inspired Super HL5plus designs are all listed.

"This is a major achievement and testimony to Harbeth's quest to take BBC designs to new levels of engineering excellence, making them fit for the twenty-first century", says the brand's marketing manager Trevor Butler.

Reminding readers of the Monitor 30.1's ability to "produce 'ravishing' midrange texture, tonality, and resolution...", it is commended with the endorsement, "If you're into classical and jazz, there is no other loudspeaker I can recommend so highly [at the price-point]".

The highly popular P3ESR mini monitor was originally said by Editor John Atkinson to be "the best iteration yet from any manufacturer of the BBC LS3/5A mini-monitor concept". Further evaluation by the magazine team has confirmed the speaker's pedigree.

With the editor finding that Harbeth's Super HL5plus to be technically "beyond reproach", the loudspeaker is also recommended for its "easy clarity" and the "good degree of touch and force with which it reproduced notes in the bass range".

Full details online at the Stereophile website
Another Golden Ear for Harbeth
It’s a golden tribute for Harbeth’s Super HL5plus loudspeaker as The Absolute Sound magazine awards the  hand-crafted British model a coveted Golden Ear Award in its latest issue (Sept 2015). Golden Ear logo

This is the fourth time in designer Alan Shaw’s career that Harbeth has been rewarded with the audio industry’s prestigious award for audio excellence.

The magazine’s Paul Seydor is busy reviewing the loudspeaker for the next issue. “The Super HL5plus has won a succession of international awards since it was released last year,” says Harbeth’s Trevor Butler [see story below]. “To collect a fourth Golden Ear for the Harbeth Monitoring Series is truly awesome.”

The news comes as awards flood in for the Super HL5plus loudspeaker which is only a few months into its production. The model is being honoured by audio writers around the world as award after award is bestowed on the model, from America to Russia and Japan to Germany, as it delghts and entertains.
Powering Britain's 'Best Soap'
Britain’s Best TV Soap has used Harbeth speakers (in its studios north of London) for many years. 30.1 powered

Now the winner of the 2015 title at the British Soap Awards is upgrading its studio loudspeaker monitoring as  part of an engineering refit.

“We’ve re-introduced a powered version of the multi-award-winning Monitor 30.1 for them (pictured right with Harbeth MD Alan Shaw)”, explains production manager Andy Sinden.

“It has proved immensely popular with the programme makers who love the clean, natural sound of Harbeth”.

The news comes on the heels of Harbeth-balanced The X-Factor winning a prestigious BAFTA Craft Award for its engineering excellence.

So, the era of studios cost-cutting on vital loudspeaker monitors may be over, thankfully. The health and well-being of professional sound engineers has to be first and foremost whilst they are at work.
Hours sitting in front of fatiguing monitorloudspeakers can [and does] take its toll. It’s clear that Harbeth monitors create the natural sound that engineers crave, yet often the accountants running the studios fail to appreciate the importance of high-quality loudspeakers.

Read the full story in July's Newsletter HERE.
Harbeth balance wins prestigious BAFTA Award
Ace sound director Robert Edwards received a coveted BAFTA Television Craft Award for his Robert Edwards BAFTAwork on The X-Factor which is entirely mixed and balanced on a Harbeth 5.1 surround system.

He is pictured with the award in front of his Harbeth monitors in The X-Factor sound gallery.

In a TV interview after receiving the award Edwards said, “our sound production uses the best of British technology: Harbeth are very much part of that success”.  Congratulations to the talented technical team which were honoured with the prestigious Entertainment Craft Award at the ceremony held to celebrate the most talented people working in British television.
Hall 3 Stand F12


MUNICH: 14 May 2015....
Successor to the BBC’s old LS5/8 monitor loudspeaker, Harbeth’s new incarnation launched at the Munich High End has improvements on all fronts over the 1970s’ two-way. Boasting engineering excellence for the digital era, it is a significant upgrade to the award-winning Monitor 40.1 model.

M40.2Such has been the runaway success of Harbeth’s Super HL5plus worldwide, that designer Alan Shaw took a close look at his M40.1, the BBC LS5/8 replacement. First made for the broadcaster in 1998, the Monitor 40 was a major leap forward in monitor loudspeaker design.

“The three-way Monitor 40 solved the inadequacies of that old BBC model, which attempted to force a 12-inch polypropylene bass unit to behave as a midrange as well.” says Harbeth’s Alan Shaw, “An idea doomed from the start; no wonder BBC engineers struggled with the LS5/8’s  weird sonic balance.”

Winning awards around the world, the Harbeth design has now been upgraded to a new generation with a totally revised crossover and increased sensitivity.

"The M40.2 is more sensitive, more efficient, works with small amplifiers, has greater power handing, creates a more open and transparent sound - its three drive units are perfectly integrated and the whole experience even more engaging and, as always, sweet and clean", adds Alan Shaw.

Therefore, the new model is as happy in both broadcast studios and home listening rooms, straight out of the carton. All this thanks to a ground-up redesign of the crossover network, using the latest software simulation tools and measuring systems. Production is due to begin shortly at Harbeth's Sussex factory. The expected UK retail price will be around £12,000 for cherry veneer.

The new model is on display at the Harbeth stand in Munich (Hall 3, F12) where a new, bespoke range of Bavarian-designed and built stands will also be unveiled.
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™.
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!
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