"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 may be for you. Either way, welcome to the world of Harbeth!"

Feb. 2018
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Active Harbeth speakers - service policy

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  • Active Harbeth speakers - service policy

    This is to clarify Harbeth's position regarding sales and after care of any Active speakers made by Harbeth UK.

    Our long standing policy is this ....

    1. We do not supply any Active speakers outside the UK and we decline to quote for supply outside the UK.

    2. We are not able to provide any service, technical information, service data or parts for Harbeth active speakers that are purchased, transported or operated outside the UK since they were never sold outside the UK. Please be aware of this before making any purchase that may result in the speakers being exported from the UK.

    3. We can, subject to our normal charge structure, repair Active speaker that are returned to our UK factory but they must be collected in person after repair. Active speakers are complex, and repairs can be very time consuming and many specialist parts are difficult to obtain.

    This policy includes all current and previous Harbeth's and is unlikely to change in the future.
    Passive Harbeth speakers are fully supported worldwide.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  • #2
    Update to service position for Harbeth active speakers

    This is the position as at 1 Jan 2012. It updates our previous position, due to the passage of time.

    1. The last active speaker made by Harbeth UK was over five years ago
    2. The warranty period was 12 months
    3. The Monitor 40 (not 40.1) Active ended production over ten years ago
    4. No spare parts, sub-assemblies, wiring looms or circuit diagrams are now available for any active speaker made by Harbeth
    5. The supplier of the in-built active electronics in the first generation Monitor 40 (not 40.1) actives ceased trading thirteen years ago

    If you have acquired active Harbeth speakers and been told that they are current and/or serviceable, you have been misinformed and you should take that up with your supplier. In particular, since 2006, when we first became aware of first generation Monitor 40 Actives (not 40.1) being sold by UK studios that had closed-down, we have gone out of our way to advise curious would-be buyers who contacted us that there was, and is, no service support from Harbeth UK. Even so, against our wishes and advice, some active speakers have been sold to European cutomers even after I personally warned buyers on the phone that there could be no service support. An 10+ years old active Monitor 40 is not a cheap substitute for a current passive Monitor 40.1. Please take heed of this advice.

    This is our final official Harbeth UK position on Harbeth active speakers made under the Harbeth brand. For speakers supplied under the HHB Circle brand, HHB may well be servicing the Circle speakers and they should be the first point of contact for Circle 1, Circle 3 and Circle 5 speaker service as they are still ordering drive units from us.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK