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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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Increasing costs and our prices ....

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  • Increasing costs and our prices ....

    We're sorry to have to report this but Harbeth is facing significant material costs during 2007-8 rises after many years of relatively stable costs which allowed our (UK) selling prices to have been fixed for two years. As fuel and transport costs have escalated we declined to pass these on as we anticipated that they would fall again as fuel prices dropped back. Costs have not reverted. We have become more aggressive with our suppliers but as a small company there is a limit to how pushy we can be with suppliers before incoming material quality deteriorates. I'm sorry to advise then that we must reluctantly pass on about 3.5% cost increase and have a new price list effective 1 December 08.

    This level of cost increase does not fully cover the actual cost increase but we feel is the limit of what we can hope to ask for in the present circumstances. As Alan has said, we are here for the long run and even this small adjustment definitely helps us. Thank you for your understanding. Harbeth remains the best value long term speaker investment you can make with a very long service life.
    Harbeth PR,
    Harbeth UK

  • #2
    Re: Increasing costs and our prices ....

    I'd like to add something to this. We've considered this cost issue for months now. Not only do we have the rising cost of materials but of currency devaluation. In the summer, we were buying essential materials at a ?1 = $2 (one UK pound equals two US dollar). Today, ? = $1.48. That means we are having to pay about 35% more for critical materials now compared with during last summer.

    As I was not willing under any circumstances to cut quality to cut price, as I watched the UK pound weaken through the Autumn I decided to order, pre-pay and stock-up on at least one year's worth of critical material parts. That included the specialist steel parts in our drive unit magnets. The cost increase in steel alone is shocking. Most of the ordered stockpile has just arrived, some parts are still at sea. This stockpile gives us a cost-buffer. Perhaps we are unique in having the willingness and ability to lay out our own money in long-range financial commitments to insulate our prospective customers from severe cost increases.

    The weak pound does have the advantage that it stimulates export sales though. I really hope that our overseas customers will benefit from the weakness of the British Pound whilst the good times (for consumers) last.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

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