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

SHL5 anniversary -2012

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • SHL5 anniversary -2012

    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?



  • #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.


    • #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.


      • #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.


        • #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......


          • #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.


            • #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


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


                • #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


                  • #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!