"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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Harbeth SuperHL5plus

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  • Harbeth SuperHL5plus

    Originally posted by A.S. View Post
    One of the essential skills in business, and in life too, is to know when you are on the edge of your comfort zone, and in particular, when you are beaten. That could mean by a stronger, better resourced rival; it could mean in knowledge and skills; it could mean in arriving too late (or even too early) for the market; it could relate you physical and mental stamina or stage of ones career or life.

    Whatever the specifics, a safe-awareness that there are insurmountable and overwhelming hurdles in the way to easy success is an essential skill to ultimately winning the ongoing economic war. If you can take a cold, dispassionate look at your life and your business, and honestly assess the impediments, you are in a far better place to make a great success of the niche with the resources you do have available and working effectively at your command.

    So it is with Harbeth. We have always been, and will continue to be exceptionally realistic about our very modest place in the audio world, and the danger of straying from the clear path we have walked. The product line is solid, and yes, there are always 'brush-ups' that new technology in combination with new skills invites, but we are extremely good at what we have done these past 37 years and would like to keep it that way.

    Unless I, myself, can devote the time, energy and mental abilities I certainly do not have to radical new products and ventures, those skills will have to be brought-in. That, inevitably, dilutes the intellectual value in the brand, and as long-term brand enhancement is the primary driving factor at Harbeth under my management, it is not a strategy we are likely to embrace. If, however, we chanced across a bright, young engineer familiar with modern techniques in, for example, DSP, and who we could mould as we want, then we'd consider new ventures. But I can count on one hand the number of speculative CVs I've received over the past twenty years or so; it just is not going to happen.
    I agree wholeheartedly with this, Alan.

    In the words of Ned Miller, "Do what you do, do well." And Lord knows Harbeth is exceptional at what they do. To venture into unfamiliar territory with the risk of being anything less than exceptional, is too great a risk to take, IMHO.

  • #2
    Munich 2014 - the Brits are on their way!

    Well dear readers, by the time you read this I will be on my way to the lovely city of Munich, accompanied by my marketing/PR colleague, Trevor.

    As already mentioned, our plans for Munich 2014 were revised a couple of months ago, but what we will be launching has turned out to be serendipitously rather special. That is not to say that it writes-down anything we have brought to market before; we have not reinvented the wheel, and even if we had, we doubt that anyone would believe us. So, our primary objective is to carry forward with us all those satisfied users and Harbeth fans that we have built up over the past 37 years, and to encourage more to step towards our way of doing things. That would be a win-win situation for you and for us.

    Most important of all - if you do plan to visit the Munich High End audio show, do come and see us. The high point of any show is meeting and sharing time with end users: you. Yes, we are often busy and if you are short of time and can't return when we might be quieter, at least say 'hello'!

    We here at Harbeth UK are delighted with our new iteration, and hope that you will be to. As to assessing the demand from the outset and laying in the production resources to keep the already long lead times under control, that's our challenge. Our experience with the M30 > M30.1 transition showed that it is easy to underestimate demand.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK


    • #3
      Super HL5 plus

      OK! So it's a new SHL-5 in "plus form"
      Please do tell us all about the changes!


      • #4
        New Harbeth?

        Anybody can shed some light on the new product? It's killing me!


        • #5
          What's new?

          Anything on Harbeth's new product? Would love some information.


          • #6
            Super HL5 plus

            New Super HL5 plus revealed in Munich! Follow Harbeth on Twitter. "New harbeth SHL5plus has a RADIAL2 drive unit, totally redesigned crossover - amazing sound"


            • #7

              The wait is over then…

              SHL5 - Plus unveiled…



              • #8
                Plus possible?

                Well...this is interesting. So, the question now is, can we the existing super 5 owners get to upgrade to the 'plus' status?


                • #9
                  Respect for Harbeth/from Harbeth

                  Yes, it is the Super HL5 Plus and to be honest, my gut feeling was correct. I am very excited about this model and I think Mr. Shaw did a wonderful job with respect to this release. I believe that there are [subtle] aspects of this release that have been extremely thought through--particularly when it comes not only to respecting the tradition of Harbeth, but also its loyal customer base.

                  I own the P3ESRs, but these will be my next pair of Harbeth speakers.


                  • #10
                    My dream speaker

                    Originally posted by Zemlya View Post
                    I own the P3ESRs, but these will be my next pair of Harbeth speakers.
                    Exact same situation here. I'm going to audition and order SHL5 plus as soon as possible. It's my dream loudspeaker


                    • #11
                      Super HL5plus at Munich


                      • #12
                        At Munich

                        ... if you are in munich, you will be able to audition the SHL5 plus: not at the harbeth stand but in the REL listeming room. i did it. mhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
                        Harbeth M40.1-Naim NAC52-Supercap-NAP 135-CDS2-XPS


                        • #13
                          In Canada?

                          I guess I'll have to wait to hear these at my local dealer. Any ideas when Canadian distributers will have these in stock?


                          • #14
                            Sources of the succes? - a question.

                            "The wraps come off a totally re-engineered version of Harbeth’s best selling traditional BBC-style monitor as Super HL5 appears in revamped ‘Plus’ form."

                            Alan, what are, in your opinion, the main reasons for such a success of this specific model?
                            You also manufacture the other, newer , smaller and bigger models , very well acclaimed by audio press and customers throughout the world ....


                            • #15
                              Biwiring in SHL5plus

                              Alan, does the new SHL5+ retain the "bi-wiring" capability? No loss if it doesn't.