"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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Replacement SHL5 Bass Drive

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  • Replacement SHL5 Bass Drive


    I have a pair of Harbeth SHL5, which was purchased in 2004. Recently one bass unit cracked(please see attached photos), and I would like to ask a few questions as below,

    1. Does the Harbeth factory have SHL5 bass unit in stock?

    2. If not, can I use the bass unit of SHL5 Plus (new model) instead?

    3. If yes on question 1 or 2, are there any certified agents in Canada, who are able to complete the replacement? (I am living in Vancouver, Canada)

    4. Do I have to send speakers back to UK for replacement?

    Thanks for your time, and your help is highly appreciated in advance.

  • #2
    Hi Steven

    A few years ago I needed to replace the bass/midrange units in my Monitor 30s. Initially I thought there was a problem with a single driver only - it was a creeping sporadic problem that initially I thought was the amplifier (I actually convinced myself it could not be the Monitor 30s!). Andy Sinden (I think Production Manager from memory at Harbeth) was incredibly helpful. As I am in Perth, Western Australia (very isolated) and had had some negative experiences with local repairers, Andy suggested I unscrew and disconnect the driver and send to Harbeth. They tested it and confirmed it was damaged. I then noticed a similar problem in the other driver. I purchased two new drivers and fitted them within an hour of them arriving - an easy task. Fabulous service and one of the reasons I love Harbeth. The speakers sounded better than ever with the new drivers fitted. I think there was no Australian distributor at the time so I was really stuck. Even so, Harbeth now has a dealer in Melbourne, which is still three hours from Perth on a jet! I am sure you will be able to sort your problem one way or the other. Best...


    • #3
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