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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Spares, warranty parts and RMA authorisation

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  • Spares, warranty parts and RMA authorisation

    Harbeth UK is an ISO9001 registered manufacturer. We are obliged to follow certain well-defined procedures throughout our business from sales orders incoming right through to after-care. We have been making speaker systems since 1977 - that's over thirty years - and with careful use, every one of those speakers should be in working condition. We make Harbeth speakers to a high quality and extremely few spare parts are needed by our customers which proves our basic quality. Many companies (audio, computer, car etc.) operate their spare-parts operation as a profit centre, often generating far more profit from spares than the original product. The customer requiring spares may be paying for poor design, unstable QC and corner-cutting suppliers.

    At Harbeth we've never believed that spare-parts should be a profit-centre; we don't even itemise spares in our accounting system because we consider spares to be a cost centre for us not a profit centre. However, even though spares are only rarely needed the selection, matching, pairing, packing, invoicing and despatching does take time, and takes time away from production and that cost has to be covered. Now the key point is this: our ISO inspection mandates that we identify the real reason for parts needing replacement. The questions the ISO inspectors ask all ISO9001 registered companies include the following:

    1. Is the fault certainly 100% due to customer damage such as overload, amplifier failure etc. (i.e. beyond Harbeth's influence and control)?

    2. Is the fault most likely to be a design problem?

    3. Is the fault age-related so that even though the design is solid and the customer is careful is there a latent issue which at some point in the future could cause the item to fail?

    4. Is the fault indeterminate so that neither the customer nor the manufacturer can be identified as the source of the fault?

    As I've said before the number of spare parts that we issue in a year from here is insignificant as a proportion of the total number of speakers that we make and this proves Harbeth's are reliable. But we really need to understand precisely which of the above for categories accurately classifies a defective part. If the problem is (1), customer related, we cannot control that, but if it's (2) or (3) then we have a duty to investigate immediately. But we can't investigate (2) or (3) or even (4) unless we receive those parts back for inspection! Now we have been stressing the need to have these few parts returned to us for some years but customers are seemingly unwilling to send them. But we really do need these here. So, with immediate effect we have a new system, the same one that most other companies use: pre-registration of the need for a spare part called an "RMA" (Returns to Manufacturer Authorisation). This kicks-off the entire spares process and is mandatory.

    It works like this:

    STEP 1: If you need a part please contact your retailer or if necessary your importer/distributor. Explain the issue and give them the serial numbers of your speaker, confirm that they are Registered on the Harbeth website (this extends your warranty).

    STEP 2: This information will then passed to us here, we will allocate an RMA number and discuss how to supply a replacement.

    Note: if the user admits that the fault is definitely class (1), then we do not need the unit returned and we will supply a replacement at the lowest possible price. This would, for example, include those drivers destroyed by amplifier overload.

    STEP 3: A spare part of matching characteristics will be found and provided.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK