HUG - here for all audio enthusiasts


"This Harbeth User Group (HUG) is the Manufacturer's own managed forum dedicated to natural sound, realisable by controlling the confounding variables between tthe microphone and the listeners' ears.

For example, the design of and interaction between the hifi amplifier and its speaker load can and potentially will alter the sound balance of what you hear. To reproduce the sounds captured by the recording microphones, as Harbeth speakers are designed to do, you would naturally select system components (sources, electronics, cables and so on) that do not color the sound before it reaches the speakers.

Identifying components for their system neutrality should, logically, start with the interpretation and analysis of their technical, objective performance, as any and every deviation from a measurably flat frequency response at any point along the serial chain from microphone to ear is very likely to cause the total system to have an audible sonic personality. That includes the contribution of the listening room itself.

HUG specialises in making complex technical matters simple to understand, aiding the identification of audio components likely to maintain a faithful relationship between the recorded sound and the sound you hear. With our heritage of natural sound, HUG cannot be really be expected to guide in the selection, approval, endorsement or even discussion of equipment that is intend to introduce a significantly personalised sound to the audio signal chain. 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 electronics offered there. There is no on-line substitute for that time investment in a dealer's showroom.

If you desire to intentionally tune your system sound to your personal taste, please consider carefully how much you should rely upon 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, listening loudness and listening room treatment, not necessarily leading to appropriate equipment selection and listening satisfaction for you.

Alternatively, if faithfully reproducing the sound intended by the composer, score, conductor and musicians over your speakers is your audio dream, then understanding something of the issues likely to fulfill that objective is what this forum has been helping with since 2006. Welcome!"

Jan. 2018
See more
See less

How many SHL5 ?

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • How many SHL5 ?

    Hi everyone,

    I'd like to know how many SHL5 were produced by Harbeth since their introduction?


  • #2
    I'm sorry, that sort of commercial information is not available here. Thousands I'd guess.
    Harbeth PR,
    Harbeth UK


    • #3
      1) Do the actual serial numbers reflect the entire production of the SHL5 over the past years?

      2) I'm surprise, like it is said above, that such "commercial information" is not available here. Alan provide so much informations about it's products. Why does this one can't be provided?



      • #4
        Surely you'll appreciate that information like that is commercially sensitive. Why would you actually want that information? Would it enhance your listening enjoyment?

        I'm beginning to detect a new curiosity for private commercial information, which we simply cannot be expected to reveal, and we won't be. Please, before asking for such information, look at your own businesses and ask 'would I feel comfortable issuing in a public forum the commercial secrets of my business'. You should know without me reminding you that this is an open forum, membership is only required to make a posting, and it is widely read in the loudspeaker industry. We are not in the business of commercial suicide.
        Alan A. Shaw
        Designer, owner
        Harbeth Audio UK


        • #5
          Hi Alan,

          You share so many informations on the HUG and for the benefit of all. Actually, I'm unable to make the difference between a "commercially sensitive" subject and a normal one. You're talking openly about speakers design, pieces uses, new amplifier to come, etc. ... But you can't tell us how many SHL5 were made in their history. I'm just surprised. Plus, I don't understand what is your representation of the "commercial suicide" you are talking. Harbeth products seem on their way for years. Good for you. Good for us.

          Second, there is on the HUG so many subjects that will never enhance our listening enjoyment. They enhance something who transcend the listening experience. We are free to discuss them, until someone don't want to.

          Finally, to answer you question, I'll receive my SHL5 soon and I'd like to know when they were made and a little of their story. Should I email Harbeth the serial numbers to get such informations?



          • #6
            This really is unbelievable! Are you saying that to reveal the total production for this exact model is not commercially sensitive info? Come on guys. It is one of the most sensitive pieces of commercial data for any company, in any walk of life. You know that.

            And to answer Alan's would the answer benefit you and how much would it benefit our competitors or would be competitors.

            The production date for every pair is on the User Certificate -- in the carton. This will tell you what you want to know. IMPORTANT!! Please remember to Register your speakers within one month of purchase.
            Harbeth PR,
            Harbeth UK


            • #7
              Statring with a numercial quantitative answer to the question, 'how many sold' plus the public domain info. as to when production started ...

              Take the total number sold. Let's say 10000 prs.

              Discover when production commenced. Say 2000 - that's ten years

              Divide total number made by no. of years in production. That's 10000/10 = 1000prs/ year

              Discover retail price. Calculate total sales revenue at retail price based on above qtty.

              Estimate cost price.

              Estimate profit margin.

              Estimate % of Harbeth's total turnover generated by that one model

              Estimate size of global/regional market for that exact product type

              Investigate competitors in that market sector

              Estimate their market share by qtty. and value compared to Harbeth

              Map competitors global distribution network against Harbeth's

              Estimate shipping costs based on weight from UK factory to remote customers per pair

              Decide if there is enough market share to enter the market as a competitor to Harbeth

              Decide if by manufacturing closer to end user's country costs could be saved (wages, materials, transport, duty)

              Make business plan based on breaking into that market and taking X% by sales revenue
              and by Y% sales volume

              Make long term plan to dominate that market and crush competitors, incl. Harbeth

              Open factory in low cost country e.g. Indonesia


              And all of this becomes possible by revealing the quantity sold over the timescale. Hence, as stated, 'this is one of the most sensitive pieces of information a company can reveal'. The above process would be conducted by a professional marketing department as a matter of daily routine. It would be undertaken by Harbeth's competitors within days. It is taught on Marketing courses. It was precisely the analysis that Alan conducted in 1987 when he bought the Harbeth company from its retiring founder to evaluate the true worth of the market, and the business.

              Does everybody now fully understand why we just cannot reveal this type of information?

              Our position is here.


              • #8
                Originally posted by harbethpr View Post
                This really is unbelievable! Are you saying that to reveal the total production for this exact model is not commercially sensitive info? Come on guys. It is one of the most sensitive pieces of commercial data for any company, in any walk of life. You know that.
                I do know that, and I do realize that it's sensitive information which I would not expect you to reveal. My point was that I did not think everyone necessarily would, and would ask questions of this nature without malice or ill intent.

                When we've lived something long enough it truly becomes second nature, and it's always hard to remember that knowledge that for you is completely stunningly obvious is not known to others, who may have had entirely different experiences in life.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Sebastien
                  Does anyone can give an example of a company that "...dominate that market and crush competitors..." using that procedure?
                  This is not the place to disuss marketing in detail

                  Every - yes, every - international business seeks to crush its competitors. The list is endless .... BMW, Apple, Microsoft, Dell, Sony, Panasonic, Kraft Foods, breweries, oil companies - on and on and on. Daily. Hourly. Second by second. The execs wake up and they know that if they don't hunt, they will be the hunted. This is how business works. It is the standard method of competition. Every brands wants to have the entire market to itself. That is obvious. Because then in a sole-supplier situation they can maximise profit.

                  You will not be able to name a brand that does not want to maximise it's market share. If the management wasn't that worried about their dominant position that brand would vanish. Soon! When Alan said he didn't want to commit commercial suicide what he was saying was 'we do not give the facts and figures to our competitors to allow them to estimate our hard-won market share'. Only a fool would hand a loaded gun to his enemy.

                  Suggested Google search 'brand dominance' or similar. This is how all successful business people think. At heart they are all hunters.
                  Harbeth PR,
                  Harbeth UK


                  • #10
                    Yes, guys, asking commercially sensitve info to me is like asking someone "how much do you earn?" after you have just met them, especially if they are privately or self employed. Sometimes you don't need to ask, here at least, if they are employed by the government, and everyone knows how much who gets. :-)

                    Harbeth is a relatively small privately owned enterprise in a very niche position and unlike public companies are at no obligation whatsoever to state anything. Their commercial business no one else's business but theirs. We the consumers have the right to choose and select and its our business in this forum to decide what model suits our needs best and how to get the best out of them.

                    Yes, Sebastien niche businesses are great places to be and many other companies desire but will never become the real Harbeth. Harbeth to me is like Bentley as long as it is independent.


                    • #11
                      I would ask Alan different things... If you want to understand things about Harbeth, deeper than usually, you can choose to ask things such as:

                      - From the beginning do you have a serious increase in production? Which model do you see climbing faster? Any reason for this?

                      - What do you forecast for the future, let's say next 5 years? Consumer society will still pay for your more expensive models, or the less expensive ones? Will it be a matter of intl. crisis?

                      - Do you feel like designing a completely new speaker to replace an older one, or you'll still follow the well proven path?

                      - If (surely against our wishes) the crisis got worse, what possible measures would Harbeth adopt (in case of descending orders) to endure the problem and to overcome it at last?

                      - If you had to face continuously growing number of orders and international sales, how would you plan your own business, in order to maintain the same quality of manufacture and aftersales care you achieved so far? Would you fear the factor that would probably press you to lose that "hand made" and "family like" control?

                      These, or this kind of - IMHO - questions, are those that best fit our relation and thoughts about the company and its owner, as they are essential yet discrete at the same time, allowing us to further understand and communicate with a man's and a company's vision and character...
                      Just a humble opinion it is...


                      • #12
                        You may be right, Thanos, but I'm asking no more questions. It seems to provoke, and that's not my goal.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Thanos View Post
                          I would ask Alan different things... If you want to understand things about Harbeth, deeper than usually, you can choose to ask things such as ... these, or this kind of - IMHO - questions, are those that best fit our relation and thoughts about the company and its owner... allowing us to further understand and communicate with a man's and a company's vision and character...Thanos
                          All perfectly valid questions that Alan probably would have answered. But they'll have to wait.
                          Harbeth PR,
                          Harbeth UK