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Benelux debut for Harbeth's new model
Gydotron Analog Audio show in Westmalle (Belgium) showcases Harbeth SHL5 Plus with stunning results!

On Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th of September, Flemish high-end dealer 'Gydotron' organised an audio event showcasing most of the brands in its portfolio, including Harbeth. This report by Garmt van der Zel.

In a very picturesque old 'Pastorij' (rectory) in the town of 'Westmalle' – world famous for its beer by the same name – only vinyl was played in a multitude of configurations. Some 130 visitors enjoyed the great music played and were delighted with the natural sound from the 'Harbeth' room. Driven by an amplifier and phono stage by ASR Emitter, with a VPI Classic turntable as the source, listeners commented on the keen price/performance ratio of the system and the unforced, open, musically enjoyable sound from the new Super HL5 Plus speakers.

The concensus seemed to be that this room was the best sounding one of the show in its own price class and well above and also hard to beat in musical satisfaction.

High demand in Hong Kong
The recent Hong Kong high-end show illustrated the high demand for Harbeth products.high demand in Hong Kong

In the brand's room, the nighlty M40.1 reference monitor impressed end-users with a constant crowd clamouring to hear the monitor loudspeakers.

“We played a varity of music, classical, jazz, pop music and rock’n roll”, said Kalson Chan of Harbeth KH. “The magical M40.1s just reproduce the real sound to the audience – nothing added, nothin taken away. We also proved how easy Harbeth speakers are to drive and produced a lovely sound in the process.”

Sited on Sound Anchors four-post 14inch high stands, custom-made for the Harbeth reference monitor, the speakers were driven by Sugden Masterclass MPA-4 mono power amplifiers sourced with Sugden Masterclass PDT-4F CD Player and Sapphire DAP 800 digital/analogue pre-amplifier.

It was a combination which received widespread praise, not only from customers but audio journalists and bloggers as well.
Heavenly sounds in USA capital
A ‘made-in paradise’ combination is how one journalist described the Harbeth room at Washington’s Capital Audio Fest last month.
capital audio fest
In the words of Stereophile’s Herb Reichert, Room 715 at the Sheraton was the place to be. In his online review of the event, Herb remarked how the Harbeth/Red Wine Audio room was a "made-in-paradise combination. To imagine what I heard think opposites: Extremely smooth yet extremely textured; extremely subtle yet extremely dynamic.”
Leaving the rest behind
A review of compact British monitor loudspeakers saw Harbeth come out on top with high praise for the Compact 7ES-3. Mark Marcantorino

When Tone Audio’s Mark Marcantonio switched to his beloved Harbeths, the music began to flow and  the difference was, as he said, palpable.

“The Harbeths bring more bass grunt and detail. Listening to music with any sort of low end through the Compact 7s is a whole different experience.

His conclusion was “AlanShaw, the BBC monitor crownbelongs to you”.

New name in Norway
Harbeth UK is delighted to announce that, with immediate effect, Torry Haegeland of Hagto Audio has been appointed the brand's official distributor in Norway. New name in Norway

"We know there is a strong following for Harbeth products in Norway and Torry will be meeting customer needs across the country. We are delighted to have him on board", said Harbeth's MD Alan Shaw pictured here (left) with the new Norwegian distributor.

"Torry has long been a personal user of Harbeth loudspeakers and knows the product line extensively. He can now share this passion with our customers old and new."

Biggest, warmest Munich welcome

A hugely successful High End audio show in Munich has seen Harbeth launch a new loudspeaker model. Harbeth at Munich 2014

The renowned British brand takes BBC monitor design to new levels with its Super HL5-plus -- a three-way speaker benefiting from a super tweeter, high-quality SEAS dome tweeter and the company's proprietary RADIAL2™ bass/midrange.

"The event was very well attended and reflected the European audio industry in its best light", explains Trevor Butler from Harbeth's marketing department. "Our photographer had to deftly find a moment when the Harbeth stand (above) was visible and not thronged with global visitors who came to hear about the world's best-loved speaker brand."

Harbeth had a backdrop showing the BBC's Last Night of the Proms which proved a talking point throughout the massive audio event.New SHL5plus

Harbeth's new speaker (left) was shown in pre-production form not only on its own stand but in an impressive 5.1 surround-sound system at the REL booth in an adjoining hall. Here a pair of SHL5plus speakers were used with three Compact 7-ES3s and RELs sub-woofers in an impressive home theatre demonstration.

"The effect was dramatic", adds Trevor, "and appreciated by the international audience who flocked to Germany."

Harbeth welcomed customers old and new from several continents as the High End event proved a magnet for discerning audiophiles.

"As well as distributors, dealers and media representatives, it was a pleasure to meet so many end-users and hear how much they enjoyed the Harbeth sound in their listening environments."


Contributing to audio history
It is fitting that Harbeth has provided material for a definitive guide to the key loudspeaker development over recent decades.

Published by The Absolute Sound magazine, and eminently edited by Robert Harley,  the coffee-table publication provides an exclusive tour of the birth of the most famous loudspeaker brands and models around the world. TAS audio book
It includes a section devoted to the BBC monitor and the enormous effect it had on future design, not least the birth of Harbeth itself.

Having trawled the Harbeth archives, Alan Shaw was able to contribute photographs and white papers to assist the editor and section writer Paul Seydor.

Having acquired Dudley Harwood’s library on taking over Harbeth in 1986, there was extensive material on the BBC man’s creation of the world’s first polypropylene-coned loudspeaker as well as his notable work on legendary BBC designs and preparatory work on the famous LS5/8 Grade One studio monitor.

Shaw also had his own research material dating back to a childhood fascination with BBC loudspeakers.

The collection proved invaluable to the American publishers. Among the material featured in the new book is a photograph of Harwood and Shaw outside Harbeth’s then base in south London, and an image of the scale model loudspeaker which led, by accident. to the creation of the cult LS3/5A.

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