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INTRODUCTION - PLEASE READ FIRST TO UNDERSTAND THIS FORUM!

"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 http://bit.ly/2FEgoAy may be for you. Either way, welcome to the world of Harbeth!"


Feb. 2018
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SHL5 anniversary -2012

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  • SHL5 anniversary -2012

    Hi!
    Iím new here and with Harbeth.
    3 weeks ago I had the opportunity to buy this pair of SHL5 in Pianowhite, for peanuts. They are literally in brand new condition, a bargain! The previous owner had them upgraded to plus and they sounds absolutely great. I must say that I never heard such a musically speaker before.

    I do wonder what is the difference between my 5 years old speaker compare to latest version?

    best.

    Ove


  • #2
    Congratulations on getting the SHL5s - they were my first Harbeths (now have M40s) and I did love them. I was unaware that an upgrade was available for them. Even better! Enjoy them and visit HUG often.

    Comment


    • #3
      Not doubting your credentials OP, however this seems unlikely. I'm almost certain this upgrade was never offered - perhaps AS or Mod can chime in here. I also never laid eyes on white SHL5's, and a cursory search doesn't show any, at least for me. Perhaps a custom aftermarket job?

      I do personally wish such an upgrade was available. I realise logistics, current production and quality management standards pose hurdles here (amongst others, no doubt), but I note other manufactures pull this feat off, and commendably so - likely not the most lucrative thing in the world, but certainly instills brand loyalty and faith in one's purchase should advancements be made.

      Comment


      • #4
        Itís probably not easy to maintain ISO quality assurance accreditation and have such modifications done at an affordable cost. I guess itís cheaper for the prospective upgrader to trade in their old Harbeth and buy a new model, or even sell theirs on the secondhand market and use the proceeds to purchase the new model.

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        • #5
          Thanks for your input. I do wish someone chime in. All I can say is that I donít think that I got scammed. The person I bought them from told me he upgraded to plus, whatever that means but he said it is the last version tweeters. And the piano white is absolutely original. If thatís a custom work I bow deeply......... I try upload a picture when I get the time......

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          • #6
            See the Harbeth newsletter November 2012. For a limited time Harbeth loudspeakers were available in glossy Gun Grey, Arctic White and Jet Black. Alan has since clarified that such wouldn't be produced again because of high costs. On the update to plus I am also sceptical.

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            • #7
              Without a serial number one can only speculate..... but the difficulty of maintaining the sort of cosmetic finish we were comfortable with was almost ruinously difficult. Were I to suggest reintroducing high-gloss here, I think I'd be lynched. It was that difficult.

              There is no upgrade path.
              Alan A. Shaw
              Designer, owner
              Harbeth Audio UK

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              • #8
                So, this is the 1977-2012 HLS anniversary edition in high gloss white.
                serialnumber. HL5 .....L and R
                Hope this is helpful.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I've personally examined the production log book covering the serial numbers quoted. These speakers were made in 2012 for export to Germany. Interestingly, they were a high gloss pair in amongst several pages (about 80 prs.) of veneered SHL5s. This suggests to me that they were a special order for an end customer.

                  I'll send a note to Harbeth Germany to see if they recall the pair.

                  Merry Christmas!
                  Alan A. Shaw
                  Designer, owner
                  Harbeth Audio UK

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thank you so much. Please keep me posted.
                    My main question about whatís the difference between my SHL5 and the ones made 2017?


                    Merry Christmas!

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                    • #11
                      Alan! Did you ever hear from Germany? Iím just curious........

                      //Ove

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                      • #12
                        No, nothing more.
                        Alan A. Shaw
                        Designer, owner
                        Harbeth Audio UK

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                        • #13
                          Ok, thanks anyway.!

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                          • #14
                            The difficulty of gloss finishes is real. I had a pair of Totem Embers a few years ago in gloss black as well as a REL subwoofer in black gloss. Similar to gloss b-pillars on cars, simply wiping off dust can create hazing on them. I found the soft finish so annoying that I ended up using automotive paste wax after polishing them, and then only using a special felt cloth to careful dust them. White should be a bit easier to manage, so long as you aren't shining lights directly on them. Perhaps A.S. can confirm, but if they have a lacquered gloss finish, you should be able to protect them with wax as well, testing on a small spot first of course.

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                            • #15
                              Great, good advice.

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