Munich 2012 - a great success and some thoughts ....
First, again a big thanks to our friends at Input Audio (Harbeth Germany) for making the stands look so attractive, to HUG member Pluto who attended throughout to help man the Harbeth stand again, to all our distributors and industry friends who attended from Moscow, Tokyo, Seoul and all over Europe and North America, to many new prospective distributors who wish to handle the Harbeth brand in new territories beyond the 44 we currently supply and to those of you who introduced yourselves. Thanks! I really enjoyed it.
What I was told time after time by those in audio marketing is that Harbeth is a completely unique brand: they all said that despite the general economic gloom and doom effecting the industry Harbeth is one of the extremely few product lines that has growing sales .... 'Harbeth speakers sell themselves after a demonstration' ... 'a must have' sums it up. So thank you all for your support during what I was made aware first hand is a really tough time for the audio market. I was unaware that things are quite so 'tight' generally. Visit your dealer! Push some money into his hands! Make him smile!
There were one or two interesting observations Pluto and I independently made. As a sound professional and a Harbeth user/owner disconnected from the sales process, he was able to dispense honest, pragmatic advice to members of the public devoid of commercial or political bias, and this seemed to be well received by those less familiar with the Harbeth brand and what we strive to achieve. He spent hours in the company of one or two consumers who really were completely befuddled about investing in a quality audio system - he's going to write that up in the next days. As the show drew to a close, we both wondered if those we spoke with in the 'confused about technology, just want to listen to quality music' category are only the tip of a very big iceberg. If they are ...... well, he'll write it up in his own words.
Show by show we note that the number of fancy cable, pucks and spikes and assorted room tuning merchants are diminishing. A real pity as their poker-faced clap-trap and outrageous claims were sometimes accompanied by the most generous liquid hospitality which drew one (well, Pluto especially) back to their booths on a regular hourly circuit just to check again if perhaps he'd missed the vital sonic 'night and day' experience. Please bring back the hosepipe-thick speaker cables with their mouthwatering profit margins that used to fund conviviality for at least for four days a year! At this rate of attrition, we'll be surviving on - at best - their largess of only boiled sweets, TUC biscuits and bottled water in just a year or two.
P.S. As I explained to various questioners and journalist (and will illuminate in more detail shortly) the development of the M30 > M30.1 was much more challenging that I assumed it would be for what was a 15 year old design. My admiration for whoever designed the original M30 in 1997 grew during my re-evaluation in 2012.
AS + Pluto "very much at home" attached ....
P.S. Had no idea that Britain's Got Talent is watched in Germany. It's made on Monitor 40.1s and Monitor 30s.
Alan A. Shaw
Harbeth Audio UK