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Since its inception ten years ago, the Harbeth User Group's ambition has been to create a lasting knowledge archive. Knowledge is based on facts and observations. Knowledge is timeless. Knowledge is human independent and replicatable. However, we live in new world where thanks to social media, 'facts' have become flexible and personal. HUG operates in that real world.

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Ordering your Harbeths (leadtime)

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  • Ordering your Harbeths (leadtime)

    This thread concerns production lead time and advice for ordering and receiving your new Harbeths in a timely manner.
    Harbeth PR,
    Harbeth UK

  • #2
    Production pipeline - as @ 20 Aug 2009

    We have increased our production capacity by over 20% during the last year. Not easy! And that was before the P3ESR hit the market. This is just a friendly reminder to those of you hopeful of acquiring new Harbeth speakers this year. Our order book is, at today, full until the beginning of December 09 over three months ahead. Now, that's not unusual. It is about average for these past thirty two years of production. But lead time is growing. And it is the very start of the selling season.

    So if you are hopeful of ordering and receiving your Harbeths this year (incl. the new P3ESR which has taken off like a rocket) please be sure that you order through your dealer asap. Thank you!

    P.S. Please talk with your dealer about what veneer choices are currently available. They you can be sure of fastest possible delivery.
    Harbeth PR,
    Harbeth UK

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Production pipeline - as @ 20 Aug 2009

      To add to Trevor's comments, we're well aware that in this remote-control-instant-on world that the consumer expects immediate delivery. But honestly, these products are hand made and take time. Regardless of how much pressure we're put under, we are doing and will continue to do our best to fulfil demand, in an orderly first-in, first-out queue. But Christmas isn't that far away!
      Alan A. Shaw
      Designer, owner
      Harbeth Audio UK

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Ordering your Harbeths (leadtime)

        Hey Alan, just make sure that factory do not rush out products and quality starts to drop! I am sure your customers (including me!) would rather wait for a longer lead-time than getting lower quality products!

        BTW, good to hear that Harbeth is still doing well during world economy recession!

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Ordering your Harbeths (leadtime)

          Don't be concerned about that. We have not spent thirty two years nurturing the Harbeth baby to throw all that hard work away!

          You know, this year, after I completed the P3ESR project, it freed-up time for me to have real close look at production efficiency. Just where are we losing time? What needless activities are distracting production staff away from making sellable speakers? So for one month we kept a day by day diary. I was a little shocked by what it revealed. The management of just two suppliers amounted to the equivalent of (a minimum of) one half day's lost production a week.

          Because of our ISO9001 paperwork procedures, every time we encounter an incoming item which does not meet with our quality needs there are several forms that have to be filled-in and in certain situations, a photograph has to be taken to record the event. These photos are then annotated and uploaded to a secret on-line library, with passwords issued to the suppliers. We expect them to study, comment and learn. All of this takes time but it builds an evidence trail that eventually says 'enough is enough'. Our finance controller, Anne, made some detailed calculations about what a minimum of half a day's lost production was costing us, and it was a serious amount of money when we have a full order book. So we presented this calculation to a supplier and said that, according to our small print, we were entitled to be compensated. They ignored us.

          So, we made some changes to our procurement and tightened the rules of engagement with suppliers and by doing nothing more than that we've gained at least half a day's extra output per week. Thanks to you, our loyal customers, we are in a powerful position to dictate terms with our suppliers; we must have quality parts delivered to us first time, every time and on time. We have an excellent (possibly industry-best) financial control system and we pay suppliers promptly - we demand and expect to pay for perfection.
          Alan A. Shaw
          Designer, owner
          Harbeth Audio UK

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Ordering your Harbeths (leadtime)

            I can confirm that the latest production from Harbeth sounds stunning and is beautifully made and finished. Definitely no manufacturing problems here.

            Anyway, what's wrong with a short wait ? All good things are worth waiting for and a short delay allows more time to save.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Ordering your Harbeths (leadtime)

              It really bothers me after knowing/reading that user/s have problem/s with their new speakers. I truly hope that QUALITY will not be compromised for QUANTITY.

              I'm now waiting for my M40.1 (second Harbeth speaker) with a lead time of about 6 months and hope that the wait is worthwhile.

              After Alan gave the assurance, I'm confident that Quality is maintained as per ISO requirements as well customer?s expectations.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Ordering your Harbeths (leadtime)

                I'm also waiting for a pair of 40.1.

                I've been a Hi-Fi dealer for 36 years and am very careful what I spend my money on. Believe me, I wouldn't be buying in a pair of speakers at this price if I had any doubts.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Ordering your Harbeths (leadtime)

                  I am not aware of any problems. We are not superhuman, but my staff have been with me a long time, and we all know what is expected of us. When we put the 'factory sealed' stickers on the carton, we are saying that we at Harbeth UK take full responsibility for the contents of the carton. As always, we want to hear about any issues, but aside from occasional tightness of the grilles (now I believe solved) I'd like to know of anything unusual or unexpected.

                  However, form time to time Customs inspectors either in the UK (unlikely) or in the country of destination may/will open the cartons randomly for inspection. There is nothing we can do to prevent this. I would ask you to please check that the seal on the top of the carton is not disturbed and as pointed out to us recently, that you turn the carton upside down. Look carefully to see if the Harbeth sealing tape and/or staples have been interfered with. We heard of a pair sold on Audiogon (always worth being suspicious) which were described as 'factory sealed' and that is indeed how they looked from the top. But turned over, the carton sealing had been carefully unpicked, the speakers used for a year, and then repacked.

                  A good dealer would expect you to check-over the carton when you take delivery. Assuming that the cartons are truly factory sealed here at Harbeth UK, then we take full responsibility for the entire contents and their quality and performance. All I'd ask is that you appreciate that wood is a natural material, and veneer grain and colour does vary from pair to pair, but the left speaker always matches the right.
                  Alan A. Shaw
                  Designer, owner
                  Harbeth Audio UK

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Ordering your Harbeths (leadtime)

                    Just to clarify, my previous post was just a reminder and a general statement that we, as customers, really cares about the quality and do not mind waiting. I have NOT experienced any quality problems with Harbeth as this is my first pair of new Harbeth (I have owned a second hand Harbeth LS3/5a in the past, which was great).

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Ordering your Harbeths (leadtime)

                      Thank you for the clarification.
                      Alan A. Shaw
                      Designer, owner
                      Harbeth Audio UK

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Ordering your Harbeths (leadtime)

                        I can quickly add that Harbeth cabinets rejected for retail sale are as good as most other people's top grade - like HiFi Dave, I've seen a wooden cabinet or two in my time and some "duffers" regarded as retail quality from other people are incredibly expensive......

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Leadtime, and holding back on expansion

                          Distributors are now planning their orders well ahead of delivery date, exactly as required by ISO9001. Thank you. We can plan our production in fine detail months ahead. We can control costs and stock levels. The end of the order queue for bulk export orders is now mid August 2010. We have kept enough capacity pencilled in for ad hoc UK orders to allow us to serve our home market. We have no wholesaler in the UK so we must act as our own wholesaler.

                          With immediate effect, we have ceased to take on any more export distributors. As you know, we have a moratorium on reviews (except some long-planned ones) as we dare not stimulate demand any further. We apologise if you are one of the distributors seeking to take-on the Harbeth brand but we are now completely full. We must look after our existing markets before we can expand any more.

                          It is most likely that your distributor is one of the ones who has planned well ahead, and should receive regular shipments. If so, the factory lead time is of no relevance to you as there should be enough stock in the distribution network to satisfy you.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Absolutely true!

                            We had a call from a dealer concerned about the previous post, being the first from [email protected] The post is genuine; it is indeed from Harbeth UK and is a composite of three of our inputs at Harbeth UK. We'd like to keep sales matters separate from other more general topics if we can.. As we approve 100% of new membership applications manually I can assure you that the posting is absolutely genuine!

                            Since yesterday, the situation has moved on. Thanks to pre-planning by our smart distributors, we are now booking orders for October 2010. You cannot imagine how much easier it is to plan production efficiently when we know exactly what we need to make, day by day, months in advance. And it minimises costs too which is good for all of us. The markets that give us sleepless nights are the ones who don't plan ahead .....
                            Alan A. Shaw
                            Designer, owner
                            Harbeth Audio UK

                            Comment

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