Only a Harbeth sounds like a harbeth
Just to reiterate this point ..... which is at the core of why speaker brands sound different.
If the characterless natural sound of Harbeth is what you enjoy, then it is the inherent sonic characteristic of the Harbeth RADIAL cone material that you're experiencing. There can be no other brand that will give you this experience because no other brand has Harbeth's unique RADIAL cone. So you can say, quite simply, Harbeth is in a class on one.
The "Golden Fact" of speaker design
If you are not a technical person then one fact alone is enough technical training to enable you to make sense of the tonal qualities of different speakers when you audition them. Ignoring styling, cosmetics, number of drive units, crossover design, shape, size, colour, brochures, reputation, reviews etc. etc and before you even listen to the first note over the speakers, the core fact is this ....
At the most basic, fundamental level, the characteristic sound of a speaker system is defined by (and can never be better than) the material from which the bass/midrange cone is fabricated.
Are we completely clear how coloration and cone material are opposite sides of the same coin? Do we see that Scotch whisky cannot be made from tap water - the defining character of whisky is the quality of the water. And for speaker cones it's the structure and bonds of the molecules in the cone. To make a better whisky you must use better water. To make a better loudspeaker cone you must use better molecules.
Think about this - if you attempt to reproduce a piano over a loudspeaker cone made from a sponge how do you think it would sound? The inherent quality of the sponge would define the sound we'd hear which would be soft and foggy; there would be a total absence of the bright, crisp clean tone we would hear from the live piano. All the micro-tones would be lost inside the sponge (as heat) never to be released as sound waves. All speaker cones fall somewhere along a line from the sponge to the metal bell. Harbeth's RADIAL is perfectly optimised for just the right transient attack and sustain. There is no better solution for clarity and detail in the entire speaker industry, hence nothing else can or does sound like a Harbeth!
Alan A. Shaw
Harbeth Audio UK