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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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How to safely remove the grilles

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  • #16
    Re: How to safely remove the grilles

    Originally posted by Pluto View Post
    Provided you do it in the privacy of your own home, fair enough - it's just that in thirty years of owning and using high quality speakers both personally and professionally, I have never felt a need to examine the cones of a speaker system that is giving no sonic cause for concern. Neither do I see any great aesthetic beauty in speaker cones - not even Harbeth RADIALs - that necessitates the removal of the grille for any reason other than the simple fashion for "exposing" the technology.
    there are times, honestly, i admire the sound only , not the cone to be honest but after my harbeths arrived home, i really 'wanted' to take a look at the drivers sure to confirm they are in goo shape. I have a pair of old harbeth where the tweeters were depressed by naughty kids at home and therefore I am kind of ....... always check these things and konwing the grille and is soft.....i hope you understand.


    • #17
      Re: How to safely remove the grilles

      Noel Nolan of Skylan has devised a great little tool to open the grilles of the Harbeths. Drop him a note...


      • #18
        Re: How to safely remove the grilles

        Yes, we already covered that here in my posting of 14 Jan 09 ....
        Alan A. Shaw
        Designer, owner
        Harbeth Audio UK


        • #19
          Re: How to safely remove the grilles

          I have my own way to do it.


          • #20
            Re: How to safely remove the grilles

            When I first learned of this grille removal tool, I didn't think too much about it. After all Harbeth spearkers are designed to be listened to with the grilles on. Occasionally though I would get people over who would want to see the drive units and I felt a little uncomfortable telling them the grilles were hard to remove and just showing them a picture.

            After a couple of conversations with Noel (he's a nice guy), he offered to send me one to try out. It arrived last week and I've got to tell you this is one nice toy. Not only does it look good, its fun to use. Now I look for opportunities to show off those terrific looking RADIAL drivers.

            Noel says he can make them up for about $22 Cdn which includes shipping. So buy one for your wife... tell her its the ultimate fridge magnet, then borrow it once and a while when you have your buddies over.

            I'm attaching some updated pictures of it with my old HL P3ES-2's.

            West Coast Audio
            Attached Files
            Last edited by Don Leman; 02-09-2009, 07:53 PM. Reason: spelling correction


            • #21
              Re: How to safely remove the grilles

              Question 1:
              If you have your speaker amplifier turned ON while you apply the magnets are you damaging any components in the speaker?

              Question 2:
              If you have your speaker amplifier turned OFF while you apply the magnets are you damaging any components in the speaker?

              Question 3:
              Will the damage be temporary or permanent?


              • #22
                Re: How to safely remove the grilles

                No need to worry about the Puller's magnets interfering with the speakers. It doesn't matter if the speakers are off or on. But be sure that the Puller doesn't touch any part of the speaker other than the grille's steel frame. Keep away from the tweeter and woofer and cabinet work!
                Harbeth PR,
                Harbeth UK


                • #23
                  A little protruding object

                  Hi Alan/Harbeth PR,

                  I have recently acquired a SHL5. I have every intention of keeping the grille on but as a new owner one would naturally like to take a look inside - to admire the beauty of it and for inspection for damages (ok I understand your speakers must have gone through thorough quality inspection but all the same...).

                  I have another reason for my curiosity - about one-fourth down from the top (probably around where the tweeter is) there is a little object protruding and touching the grille. It does not seem to vibrate (I did not dare touching it directly). This protruding thing can be seen on both L/R speakers at the same place.

                  I would just like to have assurance that it's part of the speaker design. Thank you.

                  with best regards,
                  ck chan

                  {Moderator's comment: it would be helpful if you could measure how many cms down from the top of the grille this object is .....}


                  • #24
                    The object is about 15.5cm from the top edge of the wood.


                    • #25
                      Dome tweeter

                      Originally posted by C K Chan View Post
                      I would just like to have assurance that it's part of the speaker design.
                      Hi CK Chan, think its the dome of the tweeter you're noticing. It does touch the surface of the cloth. Its perfectly natural and normal.


                      • #26
                        Main tweeter

                        Originally posted by kittykat View Post
                        Hi CK Chan, think its the dome of the tweeter you're noticing. It does touch the surface of the cloth. Its perfectly natural and normal.
                        Thank you very much for your explanation, Kittykat. My next question will betray the fact that I am no "audiophile" (I just enjoy listening to music and I do now with the Harbeths and that's good enough for me), is the doom not a moving part and therefore it should not be in contact with the cloth? Perhaps the answer is obvious but I would be grateful for clarification.

                        With regards,
                        C K Chan

                        {Moderator's comment: to be clear it is the protective grille over the main tweeter.}


                        • #27
                          Actually 15cms or so from the top wood is the protective mesh grille over the main tweeter.
                          Alan A. Shaw
                          Designer, owner
                          Harbeth Audio UK


                          • #28
                            Removing grilles

                            Hi everyone,

                            I want to share an experience I had while removing my SHL5 grills for the first time. Even if I used Noel's tool from Skylan stand and go very gently, I unfortunately made a small chip on the veneer of an inside corner of one of my speaker. So be CAREFULL! I was curious and meticulous like everyone but this happen...

                            After this happen, I glue that chip on and it's now almost invisible and so small. That was the last time I remove the grill from that speaker.



                            • #29

                              Originally posted by Sebastien View Post
                              That was the last time I remove the grill from that speaker.
                              Hi CK Chan, yes, as Moderator and Mr. Shaw describe it more correctly, it is the mesh (non moving) over the aluminium tweeter surface (moving) which is in contact with the cloth, so it’s does not “affect” the sound in any way. Its perfectly all right.

                              Sebastien, Ive almost perfected a way of removing the grilles without any tools or potential damage, and hope this works for you.

                              1. Run the tips of your fingers right around the cloth of the rectangular grille frame of the SHL5’s where it protrudes ever so slightly from the bevelled edge. Do this a few times with your eyes closed. There will always be a spot where it is slightly further out than other parts and this will be your starting point.

                              2. At this area where it protrudes so slightly, with the tips of your fingers, try to edge it out but only just very slightly. It will yield just a little but please don’t try to “pull it out” in one go. Its physically impossible as it is a fairly long edge sitting in a tight groove. Look at it as trying to “raise” the frame in equal deliberate measures a bit at a time starting from the original position. The grille should never be removed at an angle, eg. yanking it at one point while another is still sitting in the groove. If someone does this, there will surely be damage to the cabinet as the grille edge sits in quite tightly.

                              It is a very clever piece of engineering which does away with bits and bolts of ugly hardware. We are left with the beautiful Harbeth cabinet.


                              • #30

                                Thank you for all the replies.

                                Now I know the mesh is not going to get in the way I am quite content. I am making inquiries if Noel of Skylan is still sending that little magnetic tool - if so I would still like to open the grille for a close up look. At present I can only do that at the dealer's and that is not my pair.

                                By the way, my dealer does not seem to be very educated about the grille; one of the staffer said there was a belt or something in the middle part of the frame which one could pull on but there would be risk of warping the frame. Of course I did not try.

                                Ck chan