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Since its inception ten years ago, the Harbeth User Group's ambition has been to create a lasting knowledge archive. Knowledge is based on facts and observations. Knowledge is timeless. Knowledge is human independent and replicatable. However, we live in new world where thanks to social media, 'facts' have become flexible and personal. HUG operates in that real world.

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Veneer: normal aging or damage? (C7ES3 Eucalyptus)

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

    Hey there,

    This is my first-ever post on the Harbeth User Group, though I have been reading for quite a while with great interest, let‘s say almost for two years. It is a truly great forum. As I am not a native speaker I can only apologize for my mistakes.

    I have purchased a pair of C7ES3 one and a half years ago and am very happy with sound quality and sound stage. Nothing to moan about (except for a lack of listening time) and not much need/aim to change anything. I did a lot of comparison with different amps and speakers beforehand with dealers and finally ended up with a Naim Supernait, a Naim CD5XS with a Powerline cable (which was a giveaway with the Supernait) and the C7ES3. A Macbook Pro is included in the setting if needed via Coaxial Digital and the M2Tech HiFace Converter. So far so good.

    Unfortunately the first thing I feel I have to write about is an issue concerning the aging/development of the veneer and its (possible) consequences. The units are driven in a normal Mid-European living room, with constant temperature between approx. 18-27 degrees Celsius and a humidity between 45 and 55% depending on winter/summer. The cabinets are not exposed to direct sunlight though one is closer to a north side window (no sun from the north in Germany) and still I interchange speakers every half a year or so for brightness issues. Colouration is fine though.

    Nonetheless the veneer on one of the cabinets shows signs of drying with multiple hairline cracks (only) on the back panel. This affects almost the entire back of one speaker cabinet, while the other one is hardly affected. It is clearly visible and you can feel the uneven surface when touching the back of the speaker while cleaning it (in fact this is the way I first noticed). I never used any wax or powder or whatsoever but a dry cloth-like thing (these so called „Swiffer“ things, if you have them in the UK) and never applied any liquids to it (how could I?).

    Although the issue is difficult to capture in pictures I would like you to have a glance at the attached image (which shows only a detail).

    Now my questions are:

    - are these normal aging effects after one and a half years?

    - will it anyhow affect functionality or sound quality? This question before the background that I read somewhere on the HUG that the cabinets are also veneered on the inside for sound quality issues, right?

    Well now, I am looking forward to your replies and helpful hints.
    Thanks
    Stephan
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Rosewood veneer on my SHL5

    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.

    Sébastien

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi Tango,

      my C7ES3 are a bit older, but I decided not to claim the cracking veneer.
      Few guys started such posts in the past and they get very long answers...

      Comment


      • #4
        Veneer care

        Did you use any polish or didn't you avoid it from direct sunlight, radiators, draughts, smoke, ozone and other chemicals?

        What do you think made the veneer crack in one and a half year? I was expecting to use my Harbeth speaker lifelong, as told by manufacturer !?!

        Comment


        • #5
          Swifter may be the problem

          I believe, "Swifter" cloths are impregnated with a chemical that may be petroleum based.

          All other factors being equal, Humidity, and especially swings in humidity should be avoided if possible. I have whole house air conditioning and my C7ES3 with cherry finish are nearly four years old and in perfect condition. They are near a radiator which I have turned off, and drapes prevent exposure to direct sunlight.

          As recommended, I have not used polishes of any kind. I would suggest that you stop using the swifter, as the chemicals may have interacted with the finish.

          Comment


          • #6
            Policy for resolution

            Thanks for your replies so far!

            In fact I never used any polishes or similar stuff. The "Swiffer"-thing I use is not impregnated with any chemicals but but is of pure plastic and uses static effects between its small fibres as you would have them walking with sneakers on a linoleum floor and then touching a metallic door handle giving you the famous buzz. Cleaning the speakers with the Swiffer just removes dust and is a matter of less than 5 seconds per speaker, so there is hardly any physical contact. This definitely shouldn't be the reason. Also it would not explain why only the back panel is affected. Still thanks for your thought and hint.

            {Moderator's comment: the correct way to proceed with this matter is to not to discuss it here but directly and personally with your local authorised Harbeth supplier who sold you the speakers. He will surely be most interested in hearing from you. We ask, as a courtesy to our dealers, that after-care matter are always raised (and hopefully solved) directly with the dealer. This is a normal manufacturer/customer courtesy.}

            Comment


            • #7
              Being polite

              Originally posted by tango View Post

              {Moderator's comment: the correct way to proceed with this matter is to not to discuss it here...}
              This is a bit coward attitude; yea for praise, nay for criticism?

              {Moderator's comment: your dealer is Harbeth's legal representative. It is only fair to the dealer and to Harbeth that you politely contact your dealer who will do everything he can to resolve any issue. If you have a problem with your Toyota the best place to resolve it is at the local Toyota dealer, not on Toyota's internet forum. The fast track to a solution is here.}

              Comment


              • #8
                Transparency?

                If there is a local dealer, yes. More Toyota than Harbeth dealers around here. Mine is many hours away.

                Anyway: fair enough trying to ask some fellow users first, isn't it? To me this seemed to be the core of a product forum: exchange of experiences with the product among users, maybe with participation of the manufacturer, maybe not. Something I obviously misunderstood.

                Also I share Vlado's disappointment as for so far I appreciated the HUG very much: I was not aware that it is so strictly "controlled".

                Comment


                • #9
                  Accept criticism

                  Originally posted by Vlado View Post
                  This is a bit coward attitude; yea for praise, nay for criticism?

                  {Moderator's comment: your dealer is Harbeth's legal representative. It is only fair to the dealer and to Harbeth that you politely contact your dealer who will do everything he can to resolve any issue. If you have a problem with your Toyota the best place to resolve it is at the local Toyota dealer, not on Toyota's internet forum. The fast track to a solution is here.}
                  Hi,
                  as I mentioned earlier, I decided that I would NOT claim the veneer. The reasons are obvious; I have to send the speakers on my own expense to the dealer (BTW: this has canceled the Harbeth sales) and I would remain few weeks without music and the cost for shipping - probably to factory - would be immense.

                  What I wanted to say in my posting is that a manufacturer should accept also criticism not just applause. Nothing else!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    HUG is not independent (obviously)

                    This user group is paid for, managed by, owned by, operated by and significantly contributed to by Harbeth UK personnel. It is not independent of Harbeth UK. Neither Sony, Nikon, Apple, British Airways, Samsung, QUAD, Nissan, Mercedes, IBM, NAIM nor any other brand would permit a completely open, unmoderated dialogue on their own corporate forums. We very rarely Moderate here on the Harbeth User Group.

                    There have always been procedures to be followed in the case of after-care. It is polite good manners to approach the dealer first. Your own dealer cannot be motivated to be hugely supportive if he first hears of an issue not in a one-to-one call from the customer, but after it has been publicised here. All we ask is that we respect each other's feelings and give the dealer, Harbeth's representative, a reasonable chance to be involved at the earliest opportunity. That is normal business ethics and the fastest and surest way to a successful, low cost, low stress outcome for all involved.

                    In the unlikely event that you and your supplying dealer are unable to reach a mutually satisfactory outcome, then you are at liberty to contact Harbeth UK directly. If you do so you will be required to prove that you have first made contact with your supplying dealer and worked-through the issue directly between you as far as you both can. That is a normal business process.

                    After-care issues are extremely rare. Our dealers want happy customers and they will do everything they can to be helpful if the true, honest facts of the situation are made known to them personally. They want to work through any issue directly with you (and in collaboration with Harbeth UK behind the scenes) not via a public forum where all the facts and options are not available.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      HUG asks for clarification

                      Please explain this point in your post #10

                      "... I have to send the speakers on my own expense to the dealer (BTW: this has canceled the Harbeth sales) and I would remain few weeks without music and the cost for shipping - probably to factory - would be immense..."
                      Thank you

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Cross-border sales

                        ...If you do so you will be required to prove that you have first made contact with your supplying dealer....

                        -you canceled the previous distributor for Austria.

                        ....This user group is paid for, managed by, owned by, operated by and significantly contributed to by Harbeth UK personnel. It is not independent of Harbeth UK. Neither Sony, Nikon, Apple, British Airways, Samsung, QUAD, Nissan, Mercedes, IBM, NAIM nor any other brand would permit a completely open, unmoderated dialogue on their own corporate forums. We very rarely Moderate here on the Harbeth User Group.

                        - if the accelerator pedal stuck on Priuses and the cars are involved in crashes or amplifiers of a British brand start to burn, then the customers should be "polite"?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Politeness is usually the best way to get results from fellow hard working humans. Don't you find that? I do. Nobody wants to be made to look foolish or unhelpful and most people will go the extra mile if they are approached in a reasonable way.

                          I see you are listed as being in Slovakia, but I guess that you bought from Austria, now covered by our German distributor. As a matter of interest have you spoken with him?

                          I think you should let him know the serial number of the speakers and their purchase history.
                          Alan A. Shaw
                          Designer, owner
                          Harbeth Audio UK

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Previous distributor

                            Dear Mr. Shaw,
                            as mentioned, I bought the speakers from PREVIOUS distributor for Austria.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Resolution?

                              Originally posted by Vlado View Post
                              Dear Mr. Shaw,
                              as mentioned, I bought the speakers from PREVIOUS distributor for Austria.
                              Yes, I can see that he made an out-of-territory sale to you. But that distributor ceased to be connected with Harbeth over a year ago. This cross-border purchase situation plus change of distribution plus potentially rather old stock adds complexity, but it is not our intention to leave you dangling if we can avoid it.

                              If you do want to take this further, I recommend that you talk with Harbeth Germany, but please allow me a couple of days to brief him on this long dialogue first. That's only fair to him don't you agree?

                              I do stress the point though that no customer should be left without after care because Harbeth changes distribution arrangements. However, if a customer knowingly purchases out-of-territory our rules governing after care will apply. Local dealers have to eat, and they have significant overheads. After care costs time and money - although it is also a good opportunity for building customer/dealer relationships - and if the dealer was deprived of the original sale, can he reasonably be expected to provide limitless after care? I don't think anyone can expect that from any product unless the profit margins are exceptional, which in audio they most assuredly are not. That is real-world common sense.

                              I realise your situation is a combination of events, but I would urge all would-be owners to buy from their local Harbeth dealer. If in doubt who that local, authorised dealer is, just make contact with the local importer. He'll be pleased to hear from you and will point you in the right direction. Above all, he wants to grow his business with long-term satisfied customers.
                              Alan A. Shaw
                              Designer, owner
                              Harbeth Audio UK

                              Comment

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