"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 older and discontinued models:

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  • Harbeth older and discontinued models:

    This thread covers specifically relates to older models such as original HL Compact etc. etc.
    Last edited by A.S.; 24-03-2007, 03:07 PM.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  • #2
    Advice amplifier for Compact 7SE2


    Have you heard something about acoustic reality amplifiers? Do you think they will match the compacts?

    Now that I've found the speakers I want, I'm willing to spend about 1000? to get a decent amplifier.

    Recently I'm hearing a lot about digital and pro amplifiers. Would you stick to more "traditional" hi-fi equipment or rather go digital or pro with that budget?

    Thanks for your advice.



    • #3
      Will the Compact 7's work well in this room? (long)

      Please excuse the length and complexity of this post, but there is no dealer within hundreds of miles of me. Thus, I am unable to audition Harbeths. Here goes ...

      Will Compact 7's behave in my smallish loft room? Will they overwhelm?

      The room in question is my main listening room and is 12 feet wide and 18 feet long.

      Regarding height, the ceiling is arched: 7 feet high at maximum, dropping to 5 feet at minimum.

      At one end (the end behind me) the room morphs into 3 sections: hallway, bookcase and down staircase.

      The construction is plaster on brick; floor is wooden boards. The room is on the "hard" side, though there is a small carpet, large recliner, and bookcases.

      The speakers are based relative to the width of the room (across the short side), but well to the fore (5 feet) of the rear wall. Each speaker is almost 3 feet in from the long sidewalls.

      The speakers and I form roughly an equilateral triangle (6 feet sides) pretty much in the middle of the room.

      Currently, a vintage Marantz 2270 receiver powers a pair of Spendor 3/5's on 26-inch stands.

      I am pleased with the resulting civilised sound, but would prefer a fuller, broader sound … a little more bass, some smack.

      Like many listeners, I do not want to be overwhelmed. I do not appreciate a harsh high end or floppy (boomy) low end.

      My musical tastes are wide. I listen to a lot of FM radio; a lot of speech. I do not crank the volume.

      I have my doubts that a larger speaker will work in the room because a few months ago I tried Spendor 3/1P's in this room and although there was much to like, there was too much going on ... bouncing sound waves ... Sorry I don't know the correct term. The 3/1P's worked well in a larger room in my house.

      The 3/5's, on the other hand, are reserved and behave themselves in the room in question ... They seem to complement the room well.

      It may be important to point out that the Compact 7's are even larger than the 3/1P's ... 45 L for each 3/1P compared to 25 L for each Compact 7!!

      (Is the size of a speaker always an accurate predictor of how well it will behave in a particular room?)

      The Harbeth is front-ported; the 3/1P is rear-ported ... Implications?

      So, to the questions:

      1. Will the Compact 7's like this room?

      2. Am I right in thinking that because the Spendor 3/5's work well in a room, the Harbeth HL-P3ES-2's should work well in the same room?

      (In fairness to the Spendor 3/5's, I don't intend to sell them, but will move them to a bookcase in another room where I shall listen occasionally.)

      All responses welcome, especially yours Alan.

      Thank you for your patience.


      (I have double posted this letter: Harbeth Hi-Fi Speakers > HL Compact 7ES AND Choosing and Comparing > Will the Compact 7’s Behave Well in this room?

      I resisted the temptation to post in a third thread (The Listening Room).

      Alan: By all means delete the less desirable location if you wish.


      • #4

        Naim and Harbeth are a marriage made in heaven. Look into the Nait 5i.


        • #5
          Harbeth old models:

          Information on discontinued models ....
          Last edited by A.S.; 16-02-2007, 09:34 PM.


          • #6
            >>>> Legacy models: Mk1/Mk2/Mk3/Mk4 etc.

            they are enrolled to me and I write from Italy. I have bought of Harbeth H.L. Monitor Mk3 BBC Monitor used in Germany. Someone knows if they are of the loudspeakers custom for the BBC or, was put regularly in sale? Which are their technical characteristics? Exists the possibility to unload one brochure? Sorry for my bad english.


            P.S. how I can insert of the photos in order to make to see them you?


            • #7
              Harbeth Mk3 - or not?

              Originally posted by Arrow68
              ... I have bought of Harbeth H.L. Monitor Mk3 BBC Monitor used in Germany. Someone knows if they are of the loudspeakers custom ...
              You should be able to Manage Attachment to link to a picture file. It must be JPG and max size 175 x 175 pixels.

              You have to be a bit careful about the so-called Harbeth monitors from Germany. About 20 years ago we supplied polypropylene drive units (actually made for Harbeth by Rogers) to a company making kit speakers in Germany. We discovered that they were marketing these under the Harbeth brand name without our authority. They were tower systems, and bear no relationship to the 'classic BBC thin wall boxes' from Harbeth UK. One of the drive units we supplied was named (and marked) the LF8 Mk3, but Harbeth UK had also made a complete speaker system known as the HL Monitor Mk3 - see the potential for confusion?

              The matter was settled via lawyers and Harbeth ceased to supply the outlet in Germany who apparently sourced a similar 8" driver somewhere in Europe. We understand that the brand was reinvented as "Harwood" in Germany, but again, we have no connection with that brand either. I have no more information than that.
              Alan A. Shaw
              Designer, owner
              Harbeth Audio UK


              • #8
                Re: Harbeth Mk3 - or not?

                Thanks for the answer. My speakers is two units. The l.f. is 8" polypropylene unit driver and h.f. is Audax 25,4 mm diameter driver. Their dimension are 635mm x 300mm x 300mm and certaenly it's not e tower but a simple monitor speaker. I tried
                several times to insert photographs but i can't setup my user cp to be able to do it.
                My hope is to have bought a good speaker original Herbeth and not a clone.Best Regards.



                • #9
                  Re: Harbeth Mk3 - or not?

                  Originally posted by Arrow68
                  ...My hope is to have bought a good speaker original Harbeth and not a clone.
                  OK I hunted for some info for you: all I have to hand is the original Mk1 (also called the HL Monitor because we didn't visualise a Mk2, Mk3 ...) which you can now find in the spares matrix here:

                  Please remember --- there are *NO* spares available for these 25+ year old speakers.
                  Alan A. Shaw
                  Designer, owner
                  Harbeth Audio UK


                  • #10
                    Re: Help me.... Thanks

                    Thank very much.
                    Listeng at about 2,5mt,which is the right height of the loudspeaker's stand?
                    Best Regards.



                    • #11
                      Re: Help me.... Thanks

                      Originally posted by Arrow68
                      ...which is the right height of the loudspeaker's stand?
                      I would say the most suitable stands are those that put the tweeter approx. level with your ear. It depends a) how tall you are and b) how high your chair is!
                      Alan A. Shaw
                      Designer, owner
                      Harbeth Audio UK


                      • #12
                        Re: Help me.... Thanks

                        Originally posted by A.S.
                        I would say the most suitable stands are those that put the tweeter approx. level with your ear. It depends a) how tall you are and b) how high your chair is!

                        Thank you.



                        • #13
                          Harbeth Older Models (all)

                          This thread concerns older, discontinued models.
                          Alan A. Shaw
                          Designer, owner
                          Harbeth Audio UK


                          • #14
                            Re: Harbeth old models:

                            Hi, as I wrote in another post, I will probably buy a pair of Monitor 30s; I've read somewhere about a "25th adniversary" edition of those speakers.
                            What about such edition ? Is it still on sale ? What are the differences between them and the "common" M30s ?
                            Thank you vey much


                            • #15
                              help on harbeth compact 7 please!!

                              I currently own harbeth,HL Compact No.7 speaker bought in 1994. My
                              > question is that,
                              > 1)what amplifier, cd player, wires would be fit for my speaker?
                              > 2) the price of your reconmmended equipments? and
                              > 3)finally, is Sugden good with the speaker i have?
                              >> thank you