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"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
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Veneer: normal aging or damage? (C7ES3 Eucalyptus)

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  • #16
    Reply (in full, unmoderated)

    Dear Mr. Shaw,

    please allow me to point out two things on my behalf. The first as you were talking of politeness: maybe as a non-native speaker there are sometimes difficulties in the choice of words or in meeting the most suitable tone and I have to apologize for possible edges. Nonetheless it never was my aim to be impolite or insulting and I am convinced I was not in a severe manner. That is why on the other hand it irritated me quite a bit that relevant parts of my recent posts have been removed or altered by a moderator and an answer has been given by the very same person only to the seemingly "suitable" rest of the post. Hence this cannot be considered a proper conversation any more. And it is not a moderation but an alteration or worse. This is a treatment I find hard to depict as polite either.
    However I have now learned about the aims and structure of the HUG and I certainly will have to accept it.

    The second thing is about my original issue (for which I started the thread). In my case it is, that there is no dealer around here for about 250 kilometers. Moreover my visit to the closest dealer two years ago was a disappointment as after a short while I found myself sitting alone in a listening room with a pack of CDs but without further counseling and with the dealer servicing an apparently more exclusive customer. This although I hade made a scheduled appointment for testing weeks before. At an occasion I finally made another appointment in a city I had lived earlier, which is about 800 km away from where I live now. The dealer made really big efforts, giving me hints, even pointing out possible critical issues with the equipment and my purposes and so on. To cut it short: everything you would expect from a dealer if you consult him as an absolute beginner. No wonder I finally made the deal there. What encouraged me even more to do so was the extended warranty given by the manufacturers (you and NAIM) after registration on their home pages. With me this "direct" shortcut evoked the illusion that after care was -if ever needed- not so much a matter of regional issues as it turned out to be right now. You will understand that it was/is not an option to consult the dealer I mentioned first.

    So this is why I opened the thread here: sending the items through Germany via UPS just to get an opinion whether it is an after sales care issue or not simply is too expensive economically and ecologically. And it would take quite some time. So I decided to first try and ask some fellow users for their experiences to be able to decide what to do thereafter.

    Finally I understand that I will either have to take the longer way or just leave it as it is.

    In any case thanks for your patience and (yes!) thanks for the wonderful speakers so far!


    • #17
      It is never advisable to purchase from a Harbeth dealer 800km away when there are Harbeth dealers nearer.

      If you are not satisfied with the experience you receive from a Harbeth dealer we suggest that you call the importer to discuss with him. He needs that market feedback to improve his business. If you are still not satisfied then you are welcome to call Harbeth UK. Harbeth UK will then contact the distributor. He will contact the dealer to hear his story. We will receive a report.

      Speaker are heavy, precious and made in part from natural materials. This means that an expert opinion (usually the supplying dealer) has to decide in conjunction with the customer what the source of the issue may be. The same when you buy a car, computer or washing machine. After-care issues are rarely black and white. If there is a temperature/humidity/sunlight/cigarette smoke/ozone etc. issue this must be remedied otherwise any replacement parts will again degrade.

      Another reason to buy locally is that the original cartons are designed for one journey. They are designed to protect the speakers from Harbeth UK to your dealer through the public logistics system. They are not designed for multiple journeys in the public transport system. They can of course be used to protect the speakers when you are transporting them carefully in your own vehicle.


      • #18
        Trust your authorised dealer

        Originally posted by HUG-1 View Post
        ... After-care issues are rarely black and white...
        "I demand that you help me. My speaker looks like this. I bid for it on the internet. The seller cannot be contacted. He described it as in perfect condition. The carton was unmarked and I threw it away... ".

        A disaster for all concerned. Will the truth ever be known? To replicate the damage (however caused) of not only splitting open the cabinet corner but cracking the baffle which is securely screwed to the cabinet, severing the magnet from the 12" woofer and breaking-off the midrange sealed box we estimate that this speaker was dropped from the equivalent a first floor window.

        Buy from a local dealer you trust who has your long term best interests at heart and where there can be proper care for your speakers during and after the sale.

        Attached Files
        Alan A. Shaw
        Designer, owner
        Harbeth Audio UK


        • #19
          not naive

          Excuse me, but I do not find these drastic exaggerations very helpful. They are far from coming close to the situation that prompted me to originally post here and I feel rather discredited. Neither am I stupid nor naive. I am the first and hopefully will remain the only owner of my speakers and I treat them VERY carefully indeed, they did not encounter any violence or damage. I do in fact even store the cartons in the basement, just in case..

          I bought from a more remote dealer because the "nearest" (still 250kms away) was not exactly too helpful and proved to be unreliable as he did not stick to a long term appointment as described above. Reliability is something I expect from a salesman who is about to earn 2600 Euros or so. Nothing more is expected from me by my clients/patients. The alternatives would have been: 1. encouraging him to go on like this by buying there nonetheless or 2. buying a different brand of speakers, not Harbeth. This was definitely not my goal either.

          I will now leave this unfruitful discussion and can only hope that I find back to some enjoyment with my Harbeths..


          • #20
            Harbeth Germany says ... (1)

            Hallo Stephan,

            als Harbeth Distributor für Deutschland bin ich aufgerufen mich um diesen Fall zu kümmern. Dazu brauche ich noch ein paar Angaben zu den Lautsprechern.
            Welche Serien-Nummer haben sie und wo wurden die Lautsprecher wann gekauft?
            Furnierablösungen sind bei Eucalyptus bis jetzt meines Wissens noch nie aufgetreten - deshalb nehmen wir die Ursachenforschung natürlich sehr ernst. Klangeinbußen sind hier allerdings kaum zu erwarten.

            Mit musikalischen Grüssen,

            Bernd Hömke
            input audio


            • #21
              Harbeth Germany says ... (2)

              Hallo Stephan,

              bitte verstehen Sie mich nicht falsch - die Abfrage nach Herkunft und Seriennummer ist ein obligatorischer Vorgang bevor ich über Garantie-Regelungen nachdenke. Seien Sie sicher, dass ich alles tun werde, damit Sie wieder zufrieden und entspannt Musik mit Ihren Harbeth Lautsprechern genießen können.

              Mit freundlichem Gruß,

              Bernd Hömke


              • #22
                In hand

                Originally posted by inputaudio View Post
                Hallo Stephan,

                bitte verstehen Sie mich nicht falsch - die Abfrage nach Herkunft und Seriennummer ist ein obligatorischer Vorgang bevor ich über Garantie-Regelungen nachdenke. Seien Sie sicher, dass ich alles tun werde, damit Sie wieder zufrieden und entspannt Musik mit Ihren Harbeth Lautsprechern genießen können.

                Mit freundlichem Gruß,

                Bernd Hömke
                Update: contact is being re-established directly between Harbeth Germany and the customer.


                • #23
                  Oiling my veneers?

                  Originally posted by Sebastien View Post
                  Hi Stephan,

                  I have the same thing on my SHL5 in rosewood finish. They are 2 years old.

                  I'm now considering the idea to ask some specialists in Montreal ,who work in an incredible store specialized in wood and cabinet making called Langevin et Forest, about the right way to treat the veneer.

                  This said, it doesn't stress me much and I now that it affect the look of the speaker but not the sound.

                  My 7's are the 30th anniversary addition which I bought used through a dealer in NH, Fidelis,,and they have tiny cracks in the veneer as well.
                  I've had them for 4 months now and was told that I should put some type of oil on them to keep them from drying out.
                  I was also told that food grade mineral oil would be a good choice as that type of oil is used for butcher block and bamboo wooden kitchen spoons, etc,, and wooden bowls.

                  I was just wondering what others use or what Harbeth would recommend.
                  Do love the sound of them though.



                  • #24
                    Be Careful

                    Oil or polish is not recommended in the manual. I'm guessing that the original problem may have been caused by swings in temperature and/or humidity, or direct sunlight. Now that the surface of the veneer is cracked, light oiling may slow down the process. I would be cautious as you may compromise the glue that bonds the veneer. I would check with an expert before proceeding. Perhaps, HUG may have a suggestion.