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INTRODUCTION - PLEASE READ FIRST TO UNDERSTAND THIS FORUM!

"This Harbeth User Group (HUG) is the Manufacturer's own managed forum dedicated to natural sound from microphone to ear, achievable by recognising and controlling the numerous confounding variables that exist along the audio chain. The Harbeth designer's objective is to make loudspeakers that contribute little of themselves to the music passing through them.

Identifying system components for their sonic neutrality should logically proceed from the interpretation and analysis of their technical, objective performance. Deviations from a flat frequency response at any point along the signal chain from microphone to ear is likely to give an audible sonic personality to the system at your ear; this includes the significant contribution of the listening room itself. To accurately reproduce the recorded sound as Harbeth speakers are designed to do, you would be best advised to select system components (sources, electronics, cables and so on) that do not color the sound before it reaches the speakers.

For example, the design of and interaction between the hifi amplifier and its speaker load can and will alter the sound balance of what you hear. This may or may not be what you wish to achieve, but any deviation from a flat response is a step away from a truly neutral system. HUG has extensively discussed amplifiers and the methods for seeking the most objectively neutral among a plethora of product choices.

HUG specialises in making complex technical matters simple to understand, getting at the repeatable facts in a post-truth environment where objectivity is increasingly ridiculed. With our heritage of natural sound and pragmatic design, HUG is not the best place to discuss non-Harbeth audio components selected, knowingly or not, to introduce a significantly personalised system sound. For that you should do your own research and above all, make the effort to visit an Authorised Dealer and listen to your music at your loudness on your loudspeakers through the various offerings there. There is really no on-line substitute for time invested in a dealer's showroom because 'tuning' your system to taste is such a highly personal matter. Our overall objective here is to empower readers to make the factually best procurement decisions in the interests of lifelike music at home.

Please consider carefully how much you should rely upon and be influenced by the subjective opinions of strangers. Their hearing acuity and taste will be different to yours, as will be their motives and budget, their listening distance, loudness and room treatment, not necessarily leading to appropriate equipment selection and listening satisfaction for you. Always keep in mind that without basic test equipment, subjective opinions will reign unchallenged. With test equipment, universal facts and truths are exposed.

If some of the science behind faithfully reproducing the sound intended by the composer, score, conductor and musicians over Harbeth speakers is your thing, this forum has been helping with that since 2006. If you just want to share your opinions and photos with others then the unrelated Harbeth Speakers Facebook page http://bit.ly/2FEgoAy may be for you. Either way, welcome to the world of Harbeth!"


Feb. 2018
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EXTRACTS FROM REVIEWS (on-line and printed)

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  • EXTRACTS FROM REVIEWS (on-line and printed)

    This thread gives links to known reviews of Harbeth speakers. Please be aware that not all models and veneers will be available in all markets and that for reasons of transport costs, duties, taxes etc. prices may alter.

    Please always check the latest specifications on the Harbeth website.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  • #2
    Super HL5 reviews

    6 Moons online review (Feb. 2007) which discusses the Harbeth history etc. :

    http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/leben2/system_2.html

    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

    Comment


    • #3
      HL Compact 7ES3 reviews

      Compact 7ES3 review in The Absolute Sound (USA magazine) Edition #171 April 2007 by Paul Seydor:

      http://www.theabsolutesound.com/ (buy downloadable PDF)


      "Perfecting the BBC school of design".

      Quotes from this review: "Flat frequency response, natural tonal balance, low coloration and distortion....."

      The designer " ... is particularly gifted at knowing how speakers actually behave in real rooms. The design and engineering of the Compact 7 is so solid and sophisticated... that it sounds absolutely wonderful, retaining its essential neutrality and natural tonal balance..."

      "...streets ahead of most of the competition..."

      "... a really great speaker...."

      "...this speaker sets, in my experience, a new benchmark....."


      Alan A. Shaw
      Designer, owner
      Harbeth Audio UK

      Comment


      • #4
        HL-P3ES2 / Monitor 20 reviews

        Information to follow
        Alan A. Shaw
        Designer, owner
        Harbeth Audio UK

        Comment


        • #5
          Monitor 30 reviews

          Information to follow
          Alan A. Shaw
          Designer, owner
          Harbeth Audio UK

          Comment


          • #6
            HiFi World review

            Compact 7ES3 review in HiFi World (UK magazine) May 2007 by Channa Vithana:

            http://www.hi-fiworld.co.uk/

            Quotes from this review:

            "BBC-style monitors in the classic and best sense"

            "... delicately balanced sound, with wonderful timbral acuity"

            "... the ability to convey the emotional impact of a recording ..."

            " ... very good phrasing, definition and clarity"

            "Excellent body to each instrument ?"

            "? ideal for delicate, subtle acoustic music?"

            "?exceptional in respect of their bass control, tunefulness and general timbral accuracy?"

            "... few ? if any ? at the price can touch these loudspeakers."

            ==================================================

            Alan Shaw did not meet the reviewer; the 'interview' with him was conducted by email. The speakers were delivered direct to the reviewer's listening room by courier and were, as ususal, completely standard build and test straight off the production bench.

            ==================================================
            Alan A. Shaw
            Designer, owner
            Harbeth Audio UK

            Comment


            • #7
              Stereophile April 2007 (P3ES2 review)

              Stereophile magazine (USA) April 2007 Harbeth HL-P3ES2 by John Atkinson (Editor)

              www.stereophile.com

              ??there was an ease to the speaker?s sound, a musically involving presentation that had me reaching for another disc before the first one had ended.?

              ??as monitors they did a superb job.?

              ??the Harbeths easily allowed me to hear the top-octave differences between mikes on the cymbals and the lower-frequency differences between the sounds of bass guitar and kick drum??

              ??the latest version of Harbeth?s little HL-P3 proved extremely satisfying.?

              ??the Harbeth?s cumulative spectral-decay plot was superbly clean.?

              Echoing what John Marks said in the same magazine in October 2005, ?high ?gotta havvit? quotient?.
              Alan A. Shaw
              Designer, owner
              Harbeth Audio UK

              Comment


              • #8
                What Hi-Fi? Magazine, HL Compact 7ES3 review, June 2007

                Compact 7ES3 review in What-Hi-Fi magazine (UK) June 2007:

                5 ***** review rating

                'Retro Harbeths are hard to beat?


                ??this is a gem of a design, sounding natural and unforced where most rivals would be delivering a more forward and thinner presentation.?

                ?Fire up some Metallica and there?s no shortage of bite or drama??

                ?The crowning glory here is the midrange: fluid, big-bodied and full of finesse, it makes voices articulate and superbly well projected without ever becoming hard or forward.?

                ??the Harbeth?s have a sound that?s hard to better for the money.?

                ??a winning sound.?

                ?A wonderfully natural-sounding midrange: great dynamics (particularly of the low-level variety); excellent detail resolution.?

                ??a truly excellent pair of loudspeakers.?
                Harbeth PR,
                Harbeth UK

                Comment


                • #9
                  HiFi News, HL Compact 7ES3 review, Sept. 2007

                  Harbeth compact 7ES-3 review by music critic Christopher Breunig in Hi-Fi News ? September 2007

                  Selected quotations:

                  ?These are enormously tuneful, addictive speakers which can create deep sound-stages with pinpoint accurate tone colours.?

                  ?The Harbeths passed with flying colours??

                  ??the timing, speed and imaging made for instant, foot-tapping engagement.?

                  ??unusual amount of Kate Bush?s diction? crystal clear, as well as all the reverberation layers in the mix.?

                  ??the Barbican platform was reproduced in depth-imaging far surpassing the abilities of my old Quad ESLs??

                  ??the 7ES-3 is good on solo piano??

                  ?Don?t be fooled by the studio styling, these Harbeth?s are designed to fit well in a home environment.?

                  ?Compatible with all kinds of music.?

                  ?This is an addictive small speaker, it looks reflecting a BBC monitor pedigree. The mid-band is uncoloured and sound-staging excellent.?
                  Harbeth PR,
                  Harbeth UK

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Stereo Times, HL Compact 7ES3 review, November 2007

                    ?Stereo Times? ? November 2007-11-08 (http://www.stereotimes.com/speak103107.shtml)
                    Compact 7ES-3 review by Paul Szabady

                    Selective quotes:?

                    ??upholds the grand Harbeth tradition.?

                    ??wonderful and natural-sounding midrange ? instruments sound rich and full-bodied, with their full array of harmonics intact.?

                    ?..achieves its organic midrange performance even with solid-state.?

                    ??simply magical in the way it allowed the ear to identify instruments, capturing their timbre and subtle sonic signatures with an extraordinarily natural ease.?

                    ??clearly differentiated between violin and the viola??

                    ?But the Harbeth went still further: one could easily identify the different makes of violins??

                    ??a pure sensual pleasure to hear??

                    ??produces that beauty like few other speakers??

                    ?Bass response was tight and very well controlled?.?

                    ?The Compact 7ES-3 is more than a beautiful face of vivid instrumental sonority ? it adds grace, wit, fire, nuance, intelligence, and artistic sensibility of the highest order.?

                    ??superb rendition of timbre, acoustic music of all kinds was predictably easy and rewarding to listen to.?

                    ?the Harbeths are an invaluable aesthetic tool.?

                    ?...exceptionally well-integrated blend of accurate timber, sophisticated rhythmic performance?..?
                    Harbeth PR,
                    Harbeth UK

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Stereo Times M30 review ...

                      it seems he doesn't like M30 so much, as you can see in C7es-3 review and also here:

                      http://www.stereotimes.com/speak012607.shtml


                      David

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Stereo Times, M30 review, January 2007

                        Here is the link to the above review: http://www.stereotimes.com/speak012607.shtml
                        Alan A. Shaw
                        Designer, owner
                        Harbeth Audio UK

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Stereo Times, M30 review

                          so, Alan
                          what do you think about his M30 review ?

                          David

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Stereo Times, M30 review

                            To be honest, I get so confused trying to remember reviews. I just do my very best at the design stage and leave the business of reviewing to others better qualified than me.

                            My only regret is that it is extremely rare for a reviewer to make contact with the manufacturer during the review process - I'm speaking generally across the industry. It's a pity because unless the reviewer thoroughly understands what was in the designers mind and on his target specification, I do feel that it limits what can be said about the product - any product from cars to hifi.

                            But there again, a degree of impartial objectivity is a good thing too.
                            Alan A. Shaw
                            Designer, owner
                            Harbeth Audio UK

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Compact 7ES-3 gets ace review is USA's 'Tone Audio'

                              A review of the Compact 7ES-3 in the USA's e-journal of analog and digital sound, Tone Audio, has concluded that the speaker 'does a phenomenal job at just disappearing in the room and letting your concentrate on the music'.

                              The praise continues, 'what the Compact 7ES-3 offers that I value above all else is balance'.

                              The effusive review also says 'for the novice audiophiles in the audience, these are incredibly easy speakers to set up.'

                              And, perhaps the highest praise of all, 'I dare you to find a speaker in this price range that is more musically accurate and balanced.'

                              PDF of review attached (re-PDFd Aug 08)
                              Attached Files
                              Harbeth PR,
                              Harbeth UK

                              Comment

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