Announcement

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HUG - here for all audio enthusiasts

The Harbeth User Group is the primary channel for public communication with Harbeth's HQ. If you have a 'scientific mind' and are curious about how the ear works, how it can lead us to make the right - and wrong - audio equipment decisions, and about the technical ins and outs of audio equipment, how it's designed and what choices the designer makes, then the factual Science of Audio sub-forum area of HUG is your place. The objective methods of comparing audio equipment under controlled conditions has been thoroughly examined here on HUG and elsewhere and should be accessible to non-experts and able to be tried-out at home without deep technical knowledge. From a design perspective, today's award winning Harbeths could not have been designed any other way.

Alternatively, if you just like chatting about audio and subjectivity rules for you, then the Subjective Soundings area is you. If you are quite set in your subjectivity, then HUG is likely to be a bit too fact based for you, as many of the contributors have maximised their pleasure in home music reproduction by allowing their head to rule their heart. If upon examination we think that Posts are better suited to one sub-forum than than the other, they will be redirected during Moderation, which is applied throughout the site.

Questions and Posts about, for example, 'does amplifier A sounds better than amplifier B' or 'which speaker stands or cables are best' are suitable for the Subjective Soundings area only, although HUG is really not the best place to have these sort of purely subjective airings.

The Moderators' decision is final in all matters and Harbeth does not necessarily agree with the contents of any member contributions, especially in the Subjective Soundings area, and has no control over external content.

That's it! Enjoy!

{Updated Oct. 2017}
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40th Anniversary Announcement - Limited Edition products

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  • #16
    I'd just like to remind you this User Group is maintained and paid for by Harbeth UK. As it says at the footer of this page, HUG is a Manufacturer's Forum. We've been lenient in allowing "knocking copy" thus far, but there is a limit. We are a commercial business not a religion, and we can and will consider every opportunity to fulfil customer requests. I've laid out my position, and that is all I need or intend to say.

    If you have any sort of emotional attachment to Harbeth, its products, values and longevity, then you need to allow us - me - to do what I think is best. Nobody is being frogmarched to the checkout to buy Anniversary products. Far from it: the standard products continue in production and represent fabulous value for money. The design details of the Anniversary products are not debatable or negotiable here on HUG, and messages we've had suggesting alternative parts are bewildering. We cannot understand why there should be any interest in reinventing what we have created even as the first production batch is being prepared.

    It's a consumer democracy, just as it is with cars, and according to your personal value system and budget, you are free to purchase any product or any brand in the L, GL or Deluxe ranges.

    I have only one regret. I've been a complete idiot in fighting against pent-up consumer demand for decades out of some misguided sense that I was a guardian of public value-for-money cost/benefit relating to audio equipment. The political upheavals of 2016 at a stroke proved that I was wildly out of touch with reality and that people will make up their own mind according to their personal evaluatory schema. And that includes a very health dose of subjectivity.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

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    • #17
      One of the selling points with Harbeth are the very reasonable prices against the 'competition'. The 40th Anniversary models are more expensive than the standard models but are very desirable for the enthusiast with a little extra to spare.

      I know of other speaker companies who provide 'upgrades' such as superior capacitors and charge upwards of £1K for the pleasure. You want sooper, dooper internal wire, add another £1.5K Sir. So, although not cheap, the 40th Anniversary models are not over the top in price.

      As confirmation, I understand the 40th models are selling well. I've got my order in.

      Comment


      • #18
        Alan, I'm not sure I understand what feels like some defensiveness on your part around some of us who are curious about the differences in your lovely Anniversary edition of speakers? I'm a passionate lover of my SHL5+ and your design approach. I also can appreciate the market for special edition audio products. And when I ask if the new look tweeter is a substantively different tweeter than what I have in my speakers this feels like a fair question in, as you say, a manufacturers forum. For you who seems such an advocate for an objective approach to evaluating speakers and audio equipment, wondering about the difference between these upgraded features and the impact on the sound seems like a legitimate line of inquiry. This isn't meant as a criticism or knocking copy,

        I applaud you satisfying the hifi market in ways that help Harbeth prosper. Regardless, I hope my local Harbeth dealer gets one of these so I can compare in person.

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        • #19
          We're a little wearisome of the posts, failed moderation, with lists of changes that we "should" or "must" or "could have" made. We bend over backwards to be transparent in a market renowned for BS. As I stated, the objective is to drive curiosity into high street dealers premises where those interested can touch, smell and hear our best shot.

          It seems pretty obvious that I would never intentionally degrade anything we make, so that sets a baseline for performance. Apply all the hyperbole you wish, because as you'll see from 5529 of my posts, that's not my style. My opinion is irrelevant. What matters is what you experience and particularly buy, after a dealer visit. Photos and mere words do not do justice to these Anniversary products - you need to get out and experience them first hand.

          40 years is a celebration of a remarkable achievement for a fiercely independent brand in a shrinking market. I'd like to concentrate on that.
          Incidentally, when I asked the Production Manager just now how the order book stands, his taciturn comment was "rammed".
          Alan A. Shaw
          Designer, owner
          Harbeth Audio UK

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by hifi_dave View Post
            Prices in the UK have been confirmed as: M40.2 = £14,200, SHL5+ = £4,475 inc VAT.
            Do these prices include stands, or speakers and stands are sold separately?

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            • #21
              The stands shown are from Hi-Fi Racks and are not supplied by Harbeth. They are extra, though if you buy a pair of 40th Anniversary M40.2 from me, I will give you a pair of stands..

              Comment


              • #22
                Indeed, the stands under the walnut anniversary SHL5plus were designed and made for us by HiFi Racks, a British company - celebrating their tenth anniversary in 2017 - who are financially solid, in for the long run, exceptionally easy to work with (a real pleasure, actually) and highly competent wood engineers.

                As always, Harbeth presents open consumer choices. We are intentionally not a closed 'ecoculture' (the thought revolts me), and you can combine our speakers with whatever mounting arrangement you like. If you wish to make a feature of the stands, that's great. If you prefer a pile of Yellow Page directories, that's also fine, although you will experience slightly different sonics because the woofer will now be operating on a revised baffle area, which includes the square footage of the solid surface area of the books (physics).
                Alan A. Shaw
                Designer, owner
                Harbeth Audio UK

                Comment


                • #23
                  Reminds me. My first pair of Harbeth speakers was the C7ES3, around ten years ago. At that time I couldn't find any suitable, quality stands, so whilst I waited for a custom pair to be made, I used the C7ES3 cartons on their sides. Now, whilst this worked OK, was a bit of an eyesore.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by A.S. View Post
                    It's a consumer democracy, just as it is with cars, and according to your personal value system and budget, you are free to purchase any product or any brand in the L, GL or Deluxe ranges.

                    I have only one regret. I've been a complete idiot in fighting against pent-up consumer demand for decades out of some misguided sense that I was a guardian of public value-for-money cost/benefit relating to audio equipment. The political upheavals of 2016 at a stroke proved that I was wildly out of touch with reality and that people will make up their own mind according to their personal evaluatory schema. And that includes a very health dose of subjectivity.
                    1. I would not bother to bother about all those suggestions how anniversary products should be equipped or not. Each serious company (automotive, watchmakers – not audio brands only) issues special occasional models which excel significantly their basic antecedent in regard to pricing. Some will go to collectors, some to reacher music lovers, I’d say it is typical way of things, marketing.

                    2. From yours and Emma’s posts inthis thread you are considering the further growth of the company. As a maker in audio industry, Harbeth made its foundations on BBC tradition plus Dudley Harwood’s input and achievements and on what’s more buoyant in hi-fi circles - iconic personality and professionalism of Alan Shaw just like Mr X of PMC or Mr Y of Wilson Audio not forgetting about Mr Z of Quad etc.etc. It is maybe merciless what I write but we, always young fifty something must bring up and have successors who are identified and who identify themselves with our smaller or bigger businesses – it applies to many fields of activity, e.g. law firms, art crafts, bespoke products, fashion, consultants, industrial design or architecture. Not bad that we have niches preserved where the personal imprint is still valuable in this grey, unified and nameless industrial world.

                    3. About HUG. It is always difficult to assess the right proportions between maximizing profit and delivering customers added values. Even the best loudspeakers like Harbeths themselves are only tools to better, deeper and more truthful acquaintance with music hence culture. I do not know if unending disputes on wires, stands, veneers, gasping on one’s audio stuff arrangement and their superiority one over another as well as all this diy mumbo-jumbo web-net disease where 99% folks have no professional background to talk they passionately chatter about can substitute prominent pro’s discussions on acoustics, its perception, technical competence, music, arts, mankind's achievements and everyday, quickly changing, life. But this is only my humble dwelling - it is up to in what direction you go.

                    4. Although I am not going to replace my old used mint new SHL5s (without plus) with anniversary ones, since I am very content with them, let me wish you next 40 years of success and prosperity (how will look an audio equipment in 40 years since now? Can anybody predict – fancy implants? ).

                    ATB


                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by A.S. View Post
                      40 years is a celebration of a remarkable achievement for a fiercely independent brand in a shrinking market. I'd like to concentrate on that.
                      Incidentally, when I asked the Production Manager just now how the order book stands, his taciturn comment was "rammed".
                      Alan, I think you should get the above statement printed out LARGE on a big banner and stick it up in the magic room where each Harbeth is conceived. This alone tells you that the efforts of all at Harbeth to provide your customers around the world with an heirloom product is something of which you should all be so proud. As the company moves into its next 40 years, and the inevitable changes in some areas to keep with the modern day and age, my only wish is that what makes a Harbeth speaker a Harbeth speaker is never compromised for whatever whims are current at that time.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        There is only one wood veneer type, walnut, that one can purchase the Anniversary model in, and only one. Why is it that a customer cannot special order an Anniversary model in, say, rosewood, at a different and at a higher cost if preferred? The non-anniversary models can be ordered with different finishes at different price points and so I don't understand why a user who has previously purchased Harbeth speakers in rosewood can't do the same with this offering with its anniversary tweaks!

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Curious about the custom bi-wire links on the anniversary model. I just bought a new pair of SHL5+ in Canada, unfortunately the exchange rate and fees make the anniversary model too expensive here. Is there any practical reason to have covered cables for jumpers over the stock metal jumpers?

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Gascho View Post
                            Curious about the custom bi-wire links on the anniversary model. I just bought a new pair of SHL5+ in Canada, unfortunately the exchange rate and fees make the anniversary model too expensive here. Is there any practical reason to have covered cables for jumpers over the stock metal jumpers?
                            There is surely no practical reason to replace stock metal jumpers with anything else, including custom cables, because actually stock jumpers are very well thought and practical! One might say that they are just adequate for the job they are designed for. Too bad mere "adequate" is not good enough for so many consumers today.

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