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John Parkyn
16-02-2006, 07:18 PM
Perhaps you didn't know it, but at the bottom of each Hi-Fi speaker page on the main Harbeth site (www.harbeth.co.uk) there is a list of reviews of the relevant speaker. These reviews are magazine or e-zine reviews. Many of these reviews are re-presented on another Harbeth page:

http://www.harbeth.co.uk/sales/countries/USA.php

========

User reviews are also found on the Harbeth site at:

http://www.harbeth.co.uk/library/ourcustomersspeak/index.php

========

Beyond the Harbeth site, highly complimentary user reviews can be found at:

http://www.audioreview.com/mfr/harbeth/floorstanding-speakers/MPL_1306_1594crx.aspx

To date on audioreview.com, the P3's have garnered an average of 4.87 from 15 reviewers; the Compact 7's ... 4.87 from 30 reviewers; the Model 30 ... 4.75 from 4 reviewers. These scores are out of a possible 5.

No other Harbeth model has been reviewed on audioreview.com

For some reason audioreview.com classifies Harbeths as "floorstanders".

=======

If you know of Harbeth reviews posted beyond the locations cited in this reply, please report them in this thread.

Damian L.
20-02-2006, 12:56 PM
A rather complimentary review of the Super HL5 from "image hifi". Unfortunately it's in German but it does contain some nice pictures.

http://www.inputaudio.de/inhalt/media/pdf/produkte/harbeth/shl5_test_image_hifi.pdf

Thanos
22-02-2006, 12:57 PM
Hello friends, Alan,
I don't speak or read German, but it seems they put it at a very high level of quality, in every field. Anybody to translate and briefly describe?
An audiophile friend in Switzerland told me that Swiss "experts" believe that Harbeths aren't worth a penny for what they claim they can do...
Well, USA, UK, China, Japan, East Asia, Europe, Greece (that's us) and a hell of other countries, we are all stupid amateurs, with so poor listening qualities! So are internationally acclaimed reviewers -and above all- so are the BBC people, aren't they? That was my reply...
Nevertheless, let the Swiss engineers build a Swissarbeth costing less than 3.000 euros (ex. SHL5), and probably it won't sell even one pair...
Come on guys, lets be serious and mature listeners... England always supported its products. Ok, might be there some "colour" in this, but, when the whole world is crying "this is in every respect an excellent product", then the Swiss audio industry or audio experts should baptize their tongues into their brains before stating something. Except if they come from Mars or Venus...
I hope the (probably) one only person who said this was a narrow minded merchant who tried to sell his own staff, nothing more.
This message is to remind to everybody the difference between criticism (with purpose) and mature judgement (with common sense).
Thanks,
Regards from Greece,
Thanos

A.S.
22-02-2006, 05:32 PM
To my less than perfect knowledge, I don't think there is one pair of Harbeths in the whole of Switzerland.

Mank
22-02-2006, 09:57 PM
Hi again, Alan and friends.
I'm posting from my second mail adress.
I was almost sure about Alan's answer... Of course they don't have Harbeths there... All my wristwatches are Swiss. So far, so good. Positively thinking, I really wish they should start distributing and buying Harbeths. It's gonna help them. When you build Revox, and Rolex, and Omega, and fine chocolate (after Cadburry-my personal choice), you ought to have wider knowledge of serious Audio, especially of suberb quality at such modest prices, don't you?
Anyway, Thank You Alan for the clarification. Sometimes you are too good, too polite, too democratic and cultured to be properly appreciated by some kinds of people... But, I am perfectly certain that everyone in the Harbeth society -and not only- faithfully believes and supports you. Don't change. Never.
Best regards from Athens, which (to your envy I hope) stands below bright sun and at 20 degrees Celsius... Wish you were here (not Pink Floyd).
Thanks again,
Thanos.

Frihed89
27-02-2006, 02:38 PM
Ths stand has 40 pounds of weights in it. The review says that the HLP3 needs Mass to perform well.

What about it Alan? This is the second time in 10 days i have been confronted with the argument that one needs "lots of mass in the stands" for HLP3s.

A.S.
28-02-2006, 12:05 AM
Ths stand has 40 pounds of weights in it. The review says that the HLP3 needs Mass to perform well.

What about it Alan? This is the second time in 10 days i have been confronted with the argument that one needs "lots of mass in the stands" for HLP3s.
Who says the stands need to be heavy? Not me. Once again, one has to tease out the position as we, the designers/manufacturers see it, and as the media see it. There is personal opinion, and there is the manufacturers opinion: both are equally valid (I suppose) but if only the manufactuer's opinion was in red type and the reviewer's personal opinion was in blue type then you really could extract maximum value from a review.

Remember: very few reviewers contact us at any time during or after the review. As a general rule, and a matter of long standing policy, we are not on familiar terms with reviewers so the first we hear is when the magazine hits the shops. Take the SHL5 review in HiFi Choice: there are several trivial factual errors which we could have put right and saved much confusion - for example the sensitivity was erroneously quoted as 90dB.

There are exceptions: Dr. Robert Greene of TAS is a shining example of how a reviwer with both rare fundamental technical knowledge (which far exceeds mine) and the personal integrity and curiosity will check the details of a review for accuracy before hitting 'print'.

Frihed89
28-02-2006, 12:24 AM
I wont name brands, but every mini-monitor i have tried on the Lak stands sounds just fine to me - some better than others.

John Parkyn
28-02-2006, 03:42 AM
Here's a link to a very positive review of the Compact 7s:

http://www.positive-feedback.com/Issue1/tangdsd.htm

David Schalkwyk
28-02-2006, 09:43 AM
Ths stand has 40 pounds of weights in it. The review says that the HLP3 needs Mass to perform well.

What about it Alan? This is the second time in 10 days i have been confronted with the argument that one needs "lots of mass in the stands" for HLP3s.


I'm listening to my HP3s on granite stands. Can't get much greater mass than that! This is not through design: they're what I had available. The 'speakers sound very, very good indeed. Now I'm wondering: if Alan suggests that they don't need heavy stands, is he suggesting that they DO need less hefty supports to perform at their best? Unfortunately there is no Ikea in South Africa. No Harbeth, either, for that matter, alas.

Best

David

A.S.
28-02-2006, 04:36 PM
I'm listening to my HP3s on granite stands. Can't get much greater mass than that! This is not through design: they're what I had available. The 'speakers sound very, very good indeed. Now I'm wondering: if Alan suggests that they don't need heavy stands, is he suggesting that they DO need less hefty supports to perform at their best?
Ummmm. Now let me check. I think what Alan is saying is that in the great scheme of things (life, the universe ... that sort of thing) that whether the stands are made of San Torme silver, Tropical Belt coal or woven from reeds hand picked and platted by beautiful Polynesian girls, probably - just probably - doesn't matter one jot! "It's the music that matter, man".

But Alan has been wrong before. Many times.

A

Frihed89
28-02-2006, 05:42 PM
Beautiful country to work in. Don't know about hifi there. Table grapes are the best in the world.

David Schalkwyk
01-03-2006, 10:24 AM
Beautiful country to work in. Don't know about hifi there. Table grapes are the best in the world.


There's plenty of "hi-fi" here. But no Harbeth or Ikea. Maybe you could bring me some Lak stands? ;-)

Enjoy the visit. I'm in the Cape Town telephone directory if you'd like to make contact.

Best wishes

David

Mank
25-03-2006, 09:26 AM
To my less than perfect knowledge, I don't think there is one pair of Harbeths in the whole of Switzerland.

A very good day to Alan and mates!

And, according to my information with late last night's call, a very close friend of mine, permanent resident of Zurich, has just ordered his (replacing old equipment) SHL 5s from Germany! He listened to them at my home during a short visit to Athens (he's of Greek origin living in Switzerland for more than 30 years), and didn't think twice... He is -since his early youth-a dedicated fan of Jazz & Classical.

So, in answer to any possible blind arrogance, WE STEPED INTO SWITZERLAND! Alan, I think I see you smiling, as usually with a cool-Brit peaceful expression, isn't that so?

Warm regards from Athens,
Thanos

A.S.
25-03-2006, 01:55 PM
Alan, I think I see you smiling ...
Wrong! I laughed out loud when I read that! That's great news.
How I wish I could escape from this tricky development stuff to a secret hideaway somewhere in Greece.

MDALL
28-07-2008, 05:36 PM
Here is a review from an english magazine in Montreal. They tested the SHL5 and like it a lot.
You can read the entire article on pages 47-48-49. http://www.uhfmag.com/Issue84/UHF84.pdf

Gan CK
29-07-2008, 02:21 PM
Here is a review from an english magazine in Montreal. They tested the SHL5 and like it a lot.
You can read the entire article on pages 47-48-49. http://www.uhfmag.com/Issue84/UHF84.pdf

Excellent review of the SHL-5 there. Yes indeed, they are a strong contender for the heavyweight crown.

A.S.
02-09-2008, 02:17 PM
Thank you! Nice pictures indeed.

Jmohd
03-08-2010, 05:19 PM
Guys,

Yet, another REVIEW of the little Harbeth now John Atkinson. He compared the little Harbeth with (unfair comparison imo ) Revel Ultima Salon2, Ariel Acoustics 20T V2 and Focal Maestro Utopia.

He said that, "what suprises me about the little Harbeths was how little I missed what the big speakers had been giving me"... and many more in the Summing up..

Got to listen to the little Harbeth... for my PC.. :)

hifi_dave
03-08-2010, 05:41 PM
What a comparison ?

Speakers at 20 x the size and 15 x the cost.

Reviewers - don't you just love them ???

EricW
03-08-2010, 06:02 PM
What a comparison ?

Speakers at 20 x the size and 15 x the cost.

Reviewers - don't you just love them ???

Why is this a bad thing? Doesn't it say a lot about the quality of the P3ESR that it can be compared directly to much larger, much more expensive loudspeakers, and still hold its own? I read that as a positive, not a negative.

hifi_dave
03-08-2010, 09:02 PM
It is a positive, it's just that I am hard to please. I just think that it is unprofessional to do such a thing.

francisco
03-08-2010, 09:25 PM
Perhaps you didn't know it, but at the bottom of each Hi-Fi speaker page on the main Harbeth site (www.harbeth.co.uk) there is a list of reviews of the relevant speaker. These reviews are magazine or e-zine reviews. Many of these reviews are re-presented on another Harbeth page:

http://www.harbeth.co.uk/sales/countries/USA.php

========

User reviews are also found on the Harbeth site at:

http://www.harbeth.co.uk/library/ourcustomersspeak/index.php

========

Beyond the Harbeth site, highly complimentary user reviews can be found at:

http://www.audioreview.com/mfr/harbeth/floorstanding-speakers/MPL_1306_1594crx.aspx

To date on audioreview.com, the P3's have garnered an average of 4.87 from 15 reviewers; the Compact 7's ... 4.87 from 30 reviewers; the Model 30 ... 4.75 from 4 reviewers. These scores are out of a possible 5.

No other Harbeth model has been reviewed on audioreview.com

For some reason audioreview.com classifies Harbeths as "floorstanders".

=======

If you know of Harbeth reviews posted beyond the locations cited in this reply, please report them in this thread.


Here is, Audioreview and Harbeth SHL5:

http://www.audioreview.com/cat/speakers/floorstanding-speakers/harbeth/super-hl5/PRD_344655_1594crx.aspx

5 from 5 reviewers

Regards.

A.S.
04-08-2010, 10:17 AM
What a comparison? Speakers at 20 x the size and 15 x the cost ...Yes, that's a very odd piece of writing. Let's see how that would work if we were talking about cars, not loudspeakers ....

Something like 'the great new baby BMW was so good in every way that I can't imagine why anyone would ever want to buy a Bentley or Ferrari ....'. A sweeping generalisation of a statement just doesn't seem credible does it even though we appreciate the compliment. What would have made it more credible would be to have explained how the baby BMW could dare to stand up to the Bentley ....

What I suspect is that the characteristics of the bigger speakers (attractive features or not - I have no idea, don't know them) cannot have worked in their favour. If, for example, a larger speaker is prominent in the middle or high frequencies compared with a little one that is neutral, it would tend to pull against our mental expectations that the big speaker should sound full, grand and smooth: in other words it could make the small speaker sound bigger than the big speaker actually does.

I've said before and I say it again - journalism is an art. The art of keeping everyone on-side, and out of court. We worked damned hard for years on the P3ESR prototype and we brought it into production when it was not possible to improve any aspect of the design. We know it's great - you know it's great. Trust your own ears. That's the essential message.

jferreir
04-08-2010, 04:38 PM
From a pragmatic perspective, I really don't understand how these types of reviews are helpful to the consumer. Why would anyone be comparing mini-monitors with other loudspeakers that have wildly different design objectives? If I want a truthful or moderately accurate review of a given product, then that product should be evaluated in reference to others of its kind/class. Why would anyone shopping for a family sedan trust a review that compares a Toyota Camry to a Hummer? It makes no sense.

I think this observation just reinforces the view that these types of publications are primarily for entertainment. I wonder, then, why so many people take them to be authoritative...

A.S.
04-08-2010, 05:11 PM
...I think this observation just reinforces the view that these types of publications are primarily for entertainment. I wonder, then, why so many people take them to be authoritative...Me neither. I simply cannot understand why the public would put such confidence in a complete stranger - a third party - let alone believe the manufacturers claims without listening for themselves.

I had lunch with a BBC friend last Sunday. We were talking about this very issue. He said - and I think he's onto something - that the printed and bound word has some extra-special credibility over those merely viewed on screen. So following his argument, a review in the printed monthly 'HiFi Jungle' (and why not!) would carry more credibility than say, whatever I as the mere designer may write here on the virtual page.

In the UK we have many 'charity stores' - I think they're called hardship stores in the US? - where the public donate unwanted household items including books. Personally, having wide interests, I can always find old books to interest me. In fact, the problem I have is resisting the temptation (not that I should - the money is for charity I argue) because the printed and bound word has such a huge appeal to me.

Of course, we much appreciate the kind words written about Harbeth by critical listeners over the years, and long may that continue. But without looking over the designer's shoulder and/or literally spending a day in his company seeing how he ticks and what he thinks is important in his product and daily life, any third-party at-arms-length review can only scratch the surface of the subject. And may be misleading. If only, if only there was enough time and budget in the magazines editorial department travel fund to permit (or even insist on) reviewers visiting the Harbeth factory and R&D place ..... that would do those readers a much greater service. It would also allow us to ask the journalist to roll up his sleeves and try his hand at speaker design and even screwing speakers together on the production line and of rigorous attention to detail for a day or so. Surely then, better informed about the nitty gritty, he's be a more valuable guide for his readers.

That's what I'd call a real review.

EricW
04-08-2010, 07:05 PM
I agree with those above. Comparing the P3ESR to vastly larger, vastly more expensive speakers may be an interesting exercise for the reviewer, but is of no practical benefit to the consumer, since anyone in the market for a $2000 minimonitor will not likely be shopping for a $30,000 floorstander, and vice versa.

However, there are other reviewers in Stereophile that don't follow this practice. Rob Reina, for example, reviews many small(ish) monitor speakers, and his practice seems to be to compare the product under review to two other products of the same category and at reasonably similar price points.

Personally, I do think reviews can be valuable, not that one should credulously believe everything (or anything) they say. But in the past I've become aware of interesting products through reviews, which I otherwise might never have heard of. Including Harbeth. So they're useful for that, at least.

HUG-1
24-04-2011, 08:59 PM
...Personally, I do think reviews can be valuable, not that one should credulously believe everything (or anything) they say. But in the past I've become aware of interesting products through reviews, which I otherwise might never have heard of. Including Harbeth. So they're useful for that, at least.It is extremely rare for a journalist wishing to review a Harbeth to contact the factory. This means any "review" will be at arms length from the design and manufacturing process. Few journalists have the time or interest to devote to personal research as to the back-story behind the product. In our opinion, this means such hands-off, remote critique cannot understand the design objectives (or constraints). In the internet post-print age anyone working from their bedroom can be a 'reviewer' of another's products. No qualifications or skills of any sort are required to set oneself up as a 'reviewer'. This must be obvious. Even the renowned reviewer Ken Kessler admits that he has no idea what a 'dB' is, and cannot meaningfully interpret technical specifications. An engineered product like a Harbeth speaker really needs to be evaluated with a technicians curious eye and ear. Is wonderful prose a substitute?

We are considering revising our policy regarding 'reviews'.

Our question is how much importance do you, the consumer place on reviews?

To follow: the best published technical critiques of loudspeakers ever published, in Japan of course.

Euler
24-04-2011, 09:30 PM
We are considering revising our policy regarding 'reviews'.

Our question is how much importance do you, the consumer place on reviews?

What first drew my attention to the Harbeth line, and the 7es-3 in particular, was not any single review, but the universal praise in every single review I came across. Tastes in speakers vary greatly, so when every single review is wildly enthusiastic, that has real meaning, even if the reviewing process is problematic for various reasons.

Bruce

GregD
25-04-2011, 12:41 AM
Having recently purchased my first pair of Harbeths (P3ESR), I have been reflecting on the happy coincidences that ultimately led to the purchase. The time taken between me discovering the brand and finally buying Harbeth speakers is roughly 5 years.

It did not take this long because I had to save - quite the opposite, in that time I have spent a not so small fortune on hi-fi electronics.

My main source of information about available hi-fi products came from the magazines published in the UK plus occasionally the US magazines. I used to read about 5 hi-fi magazines per month.

I first read about Harbeth through either a Hi-Fi News feature by Steve Harris or a Hi-Fi Choice feature by Malcolm Steward. Both were in 2006 or 2007 I think, I particularly remember reading AS talk about the RADIAL material's unique properties. I had never heard of Harbeth's existance before then, but knew of the BBC engineering legacy through KK always mentioning the LS3/5A in his reviews. KK is why I bought my LS3/5As!

I first took notice of the actual speakers Harbeth make when I read a Hi-FI News review by Chris Breunig of the C7 ES3. That review piqued my interest and later when I read positive comments in Stereophile magazine about the C7 and SHL5, I started to become keen on finding out more.

More positive comments surfaced in Stereophile and TAS for the HLP3ES-2 and M.40.1 and I started to wonder why they are a bit of a secret in the UK. By now I was thinking they could be right for me too. To be honest the relatively low price made me doubt they could be good enough. I was used to reading about £10,000 speakers as "reference quality". How wrong I was!

I then found the HUG and occasionally dipped my foot in, reading the posted comments. After a while I read about the new P3ESR and was so impressed by what I read on the HUG that I thought that I must hear it - it could be the answer. I set about reading everything I could about Harbeth and Alan's design goals. I dug out the old C7 review and even found one I had over-looked in Hi-Fi World by Chana Vithana.

Then of course, I bumped into Alan at the Bristol Hi-Fi Show this year (the photos of our meeting are on my wall - bet you're all jeleous!) and decided to join the HUG. I have now learnt far more here than the magazines ever taught me about speakers, hi-fi and the issue of common-sense and all sorts of other things.

But the point is that crucially, my initial introduction to Harbeth was through the UK and US hi-fi magazines. Of course it helped that the reviews I found in them were very positive about Harbeth speakers. Now that I have become a Harbeth owner and member of the HUG, I have no need for magazine reviews of Harbeth speakers. I strongly feel that. I will only buy Harbeth speakers from now on and any changes I make to my system to a different Harbeth model will not require the reading of reviews or the seeking of reviewers opinions. I believe Harbeth speakers are designed by one man with an unflinching vision of what the BBC legacy means and demands in a loudspeaker and I know he delivers. I have found the Harbeth-way and know that it is right for me.

Publicity in hi-fi magazines (in the form of reviews) can help to spread the word, but it is crucial that reviewers and feature writers understand what you are trying to do with your speaker designs. Otherwise there is a danger of potential customers (and I believe there are many) missing the boat so to speak and taking longer to find their way here. And the HUG really is the hub of Harbeth ownership experience.

Macjager
25-04-2011, 03:17 AM
My path from "meh" speakers to Harbeths includes reviews in magazines, 'Tone Audio' for one and users comments for another. I auditioned a number of speakers before I bought my Harbeths, and interestingly, it only took 5 minutes of listening in a small room, badly set up for audio to say yes, and we spent more time chatting than critical listening. I would argue that a mag/rag review may tweak your interest, but other users experience followed by your own listening review is what will drive the decision. Some of the language used by reviewers is spectacularly out of touch with proper english usage, the dictionary (be it audio or the Concise Oxford) descriptors are not in sync with the any known description. As noted by Alan in a few posts, 50 some years ago the language of audio was established, and yet had to be explained so the reader knew what the writer was getting at. If the author likes the piece of audio equipment because it reproduces music well, and you are looking for that piece of audio (type not brand) then you may be enticed to check it out. If a member of a local forum, (HUG or Cannuck Audio Mart, or...) thinks highly of a brand of audio of the type you are looking for, then it is probably a better bet that you are getting an honest opinion...unless he is a complete train spotter...
As noted, let your own ears be the final arbiter of the decision. And yes, I have some 7s and am considering another pair or some super 5s

George

A.S.
25-04-2011, 11:03 AM
... But the point is that crucially, my initial introduction to Harbeth was through the UK and US hi-fi magazines. Of course it helped that the reviews I found in them were very positive about Harbeth speakers. Now that I have become a Harbeth owner and member of the HUG, I have no need for magazine reviews of Harbeth speakers. I strongly feel that. I will only buy Harbeth speakers from now on and any changes I make to my system to a different Harbeth model will not require the reading of reviews or the seeking of reviewers opinions. I believe Harbeth speakers are designed by one man with an unflinching vision of what the BBC legacy means and demands in a loudspeaker and I know he delivers. I have found the Harbeth-way and know that it is right for me.

Publicity in hi-fi magazines (in the form of reviews) can help to spread the word, but it is crucial that reviewers and feature writers understand what you are trying to do with your speaker designs. Otherwise there is a danger of potential customers (and I believe there are many) missing the boat so to speak and taking longer to find their way here. And the HUG really is the hub of Harbeth ownership experience.Now that's very interesting feedback.

Let me clarify that we are mightily appreciative of the kind words that have been written about our loudspeakers over the years. Those critiques have undoubtedly underpinned our growth and there is no direct substitute for a third-party review. We (real-world commercial people) here understand how the media work and think as poachers-turned-gamekeepers. None of us here would have the courage to live by the pen (it is far less risky to be a producer than a journalist). One of our concerns is that with a relatively long product cycle of 5+ years what new and appropriate words can be conjured-up for a product 5+ years into its life, and still selling very well. That's a real challenge for a writer. One option is to concentrate on what the product doesn't do, through limitation of size, weight, loudness, frequency response, coloration, distortion, pricing or whatever. Another is to make comparisons with other 'nominally' similar products based on a short familiarisation process. Either way, this is not a great way to educate the reader.

We often mull-over the effectiveness of the HUG as a 'brand-building awareness tool'. My instinct tells me that the HUG is, as you suggest, of tremendous value although (obviously) it is not impartial. But we don't pretend it to be. There are so many subjects that I'd like to explore here with worked examples, but time pressures prohibit it. But now that production is running so sweetly and we have more space thanks to the purchase of the adjacent factory unit last month, we will expand the HUG. And we will continue to take on the mantle of (in rather large quotes) "education and information" to fill what we see are the gaps in the conventional media.

So where does that leave us with independent reviews? I guess it depends upon the reviewer's agenda. Does he see himself as a technical interpreter between the manufacturer and the reader (which implies he has to check-out the design/production first hand) or does he see himself as a word smith, disconnected from the hardware he's writing about: a modern day audio poet, a Pied Piper weaving a romantic spell around his followers? Is there a place for both? Is one more valuable that the other to the reader?

Judging from feedback from the print media, I'm told that reader surveys reveal that the most valued, most read and respected journalists are those who are capable of writing exquisite prose - true word smiths - that convey their readers on a romantic audio journey. The ability to write fresh material on a monthly basis is an art form indeed but as a hard, soulless sort, I'm more interested in a frequency response curve than 1000 words!

So many questions.

fred40
25-04-2011, 12:48 PM
For me it"s just that I want continuing reassuring and confirmation that the speakers I bought are top of the bill. Reviews which are truthfull in their review and opinion are giving me just that feeling. And letís face it donít we all have our doubts that in a certain price range we did buy the best? NoÖThatís why we as audiophiles want constant reassurance we do own the best speakers. Hence the interest in reviews.

A.S.
25-04-2011, 05:10 PM
For me it"s just that I want continuing reassuring and confirmation that the speakers I bought are top of the bill. Reviews which are truthful in their review and opinion are giving me just that feeling...Um. Even more interesting. But when you or I read a review of, for example, a holiday hotel or a film we have not the slightest way of knowing if the review is, in your words, 'truthful'. You or I do not know if the reviewer is best golfing buddies with the PR agent behind the product or brand. Or if they are both members of the same lodge, or their wives are old school friends, or they go on holiday together. Or do you have some way of detecting these things? I don't.

Second, you say that you seek constant reassurance. I understand this psychological need. But it is an illusion. If you read adverts or reviews from the early days of hifi, they trumpeted the marvellous performance of contemporary audio equipment. Seen from today's perspective were those claims downright lies or were they, in the context of the technology of the time, tongue in cheek and reasonable. But surely, decade by decade even highly acclaimed products start to slip behind thanks to competitive pressure. So the reassurances you seek would have to be strictly time-limited and eventually become valueless then ridiculed.

The car industry is a classic example of this product creep. At what point in the last thirty years would you have to admit to yourself as an owner of even the top-of-the-range Ford Seirra that despite the glowing reviews and glossy brochures, it just wasn't a great car after all? (I had a V6 2.3L Ghia version, new, and it was OK: I doubt there are a few hundred of the 1.3m UK made ones still on the road.)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Sierra

Marketing people refer to this need for reassurance as being linked to 'buyer's remorse'. That is, the anxiety that you've spent too much (or too little) and bought the wrong product to fulfil your needs. Do some proper desk research for yourself. Call-in to the Authorised Dealer and explore the product for yourself. Only you know what you expect it to do for you. If you don't get the answers you need ask the questions via the manufacturer's website/forum. No website/forum? Walk away.

GregD
25-04-2011, 05:36 PM
Second, you say that you seek constant reassurance. I understand this psychological need. But it is an illusion

I agree Alan. For many audiophiles, freeing oneself from the constant need for re-assurance about their purchases should be a goal. Working on developing your own taste and preferences and not feeling a need to justify them to others is what helps someone to feel content with what they already have.

In my original post about reviews, I tried to explain how I have come to a point where I understand (in my own way) what Harbeth offer, hear the benefits with my own ears, and trust that future developments will exceed current products because I know that is what you work hard to do. Harbeth speakers sound great and a new Harbeth (one day) will sound even better, else you would not build it! No other speaker manufacturer can do what you do, so what do I need reviews for now?

hifi_dave
25-04-2011, 07:52 PM
IMO, the UK magazines are just about the pits and I personally wouldn't give them anything to review. I have seen from all angles, how the mags work and I wouldn't trust any of them with a decent product, especially a Harbeth speaker which are already back ordered in most countries on the Planet.

What would a review achieve ? If it's a poor review from an idiot hack, it will do harm to the product image. If it's a good review, it will aggravate the already long waiting lists.

It's a no-brainer - leave the promotion to the distributors who know what they're doing and ignore the British press.

Alan, if you want to discuss this, you know where I am.