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Replacing the super tweeter on a Super HL5

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  • Replacing the super tweeter on a Super HL5

    Hi all,

    I am considering replacing a dented super tweeter on my SHL5.

    Should both super tweeters be replaced to ensure matching or is that not necessary?

    If I get a new driver(s) from my Harbeth distributor is it a simple procedure for me to do the replacement?

    Would I need to solder or do the driver leads connect with a screw or clip?

    Is access easiest with removing the front or rear panel?

    Finally, which size Pozidrive screwdriver bits are needed? I was going to order a PZ1 and PZ2 tip size.

    I would really appreciate getting your advice



  • #2
    Replacing one or both SHL5 super tweeters.

    To answer your question ....

    1. There have bee three generations of super tweeter on the SHL5. The cut-out hole is the same for all. The connectors were made to be common (in generation two this was by using a flying-lead adaptor). Unless your SHL5s were made after autumn 2008 the surest way is to replace both with the current (and ongoing since 2008) super tweeter. Whatever super tweeter you actually have, anticipating a long production life and then after-care for the SHL5 we made sure that the connectors were common. You can't connect them the wrong way round because one connector is fatter than the other.

    2. You should be able to fit this yourself with only basic DIY skills.

    3. No soldering. For this very reason of user DIY servicing we do not and never have used solder connections. But you really should use a pair of pliers to hold the receptacle (the end that the s/t's connector blades push into) in one hand and the super tweeter's terminals in the other and slowly wiggle the terminal out of the receptacle. Do not use force and tug them apart of you may rip the wires out from the connectors. Slow, gentle action is the best way.

    4. Again, with consideration of ease of servicing the super tweer is fitted from and exclusively accessed by removal of its front plates four screws. You do not need to open the cabinet at all. And yes, we have designed the wire loom that feeds the s/tweeter to be just long enough for you to get access to its terminals. But take care you don't drop the wires inside or you will need to open the cabinet. I'd suggest that you have a helper to hold the wires as you disconnect them or to have some sticky tape cut to size and within reach so that you can temporarily attach the disconnected wires, one by one, to the surface of the baffle as you work.

    5. The screw is definitely a PZ type (not a Phillips type) - normally we use the PZ2 for all general screws including the super tweeter screws. Take care not to slip and destroy the diaphragm. Try not to 'mash' the screw heads with a poor-fitting screwdriver or too much force. If you do, then pick out any shards of metal (steel) with tweezers before they are magnetically attracted to a drive unit. If you have broken through the screw's black coating you can always touch it up with a permanent black felt pen so it doesn't catch the light.

    Hope this helps.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK


    • #3
      Replace super tweeter

      Thank you very much.

      I will make the repairs myself



      • #4
        Screw torque?

        I know someone who had also replaced the Supertweeter but I believe he unscrewed the whole wooden front-plate of the speaker to do that.

        I remember that I read somewhere (believe it was the 6moons review of the shl5) that the torque of the srews needs to be of a special value because the cabinet ist somewhat "tuned" by that.

        Is that true or is this (once again) something like a audio-vodoo-fairytale?

        {Moderator's comment: there is *no need* to unscrew the baffle. In fact, if you do that you cannot remove the s/tweeter. It is removable from the front only. Torque etc .... theoretically I suppose there must be some truth in it. In practice, its another issue of zero importance to get fixated on.}


        • #5
          Buying second hand SHL5

          OK the long story to my question is:
          That above mentioned "someone" offered me an SHL5 where he changed the tweeter by opening the whole box. I intend to buy them, but itīs still some amount of money so I became a little confused.
          ("Maybe this is a real problem! Oh my goodness! Doubts! Should I do this???")

          I believe it must be a nightmare for a speaker-engineer when truckloads of laymen ask even more totally silly questions like this.
          The thing is: that man has even 2 SHL5īs and says I can have the other ones (which he never opened) instead for a little more money.

          As I intend to buy my last speakers for decades with these Harbeths (...or maybe some additional P3īs for the office...) it is a crucial question (for me).

          {Moderator's comment: I repeat, you CANNOT replace any tweeter on the SHL5 from the inside of the cabinet i.e. by removing the baffle. It should be obvious from looking at a picture of the SHL5 that all drive units *screw on from the front*. There is no need whatsoever to open the baffle. Were the tweeter connects replaced with the correct phase? We here exist by selling new speakers. That pays our wages and allows us to provide this HUG user group and long term after care. We cannot be expected to discuss buying second hand.}


          • #6

            The group is called a USER group an I asked a TECHNICAL question, so no need to make any accusations.

            Believe me, I have to advise and discuss with customers on a daily basis as well and I know how that is.

            I dontīt think I went to far with my request for information about the torque-thing.

            I did NOT want you to tell me what to buy or not.


            • #7
              DIY repairs?

              You proposed and answered your own question:

              Is that true or is this (once again) something like a audio-vodoo-fairytale?
              Although the photos of the SHL5 baffle are surely self-explanatory (showing all three drive units mounted and screwed in from the front) as a courtesy we pointed out that is is mysterious that your (prospective) vendor removed the baffle. There is absolutely no justification for that. In our mind that poses some serious questions about why he did that.

              We reiterate that there is always a risk when buying second hand especially when a repair has been undertaken in a very unorthodox way. Doubly so when by opening the baffle the user is presented with six wires (two to each drive unit). Removing the tweeter *from the outside* is the *only* way to replace it and presents just two wires to the user.

              We want satisfied customers/users and are more than happy to explain exactly how to tackle any repair job. We were not asked here. So we are naturally apprehensive about the true story of what befell this speaker and its consequences for your listening pleasure.

              The choice of whether to buy new or used is entirely yours. But this Forum does not exist as a substitute for a service department or warranty. Sadly we cannot fault-find by remote control from HQ here in the UK directly to users around the world.