Re: Shipping Harbeths
That's a very good question. The Harbeth factory-original cartons are strong, but they are really designed for a one-way journey: that is, from us here in the UK out to our customers. The condition that they arrive in at the customer's door varies so much from region to region. For example in Japan, where thy have a culture of respect for each other, the cartons are not only damage-free, but clean too.
Even if the cartons are a bit shabby, there is plenty of air around the speakers and they should arrive in perfect condition.
So what is the worst that can happen in transit? It is extremely unlikely that the workings of the speakers can be shaken to the point that they would be non-functional since those sorts of G-forces would not be found in the logistics network. More of an issue is that of being dropped from a great height in a conveyor-hub handling centre, but there is always tell-tale evidence of the carton's corners being crushed, which, in the most extreme case could transmit energy through the packing to damage the speaker's corner(s).
Simple rule of thumb: IF THE CARTONS ARE OBVIOUSLY DAMAGED, WET, RIPPED OR PUNCTURED make sure that you write that next to your signature - something like "Cartons ripped, goods unexamined". That way you have a legal recourse in the event of damage. You should always write "goods unexamined" even if the cartons look OK - or that's what I do for incoming deliveries to the factory.
In our experience, completely sodden wet cartons are the most serious problem since they have no strength whatsoever and should always be refused.
Alan A. Shaw
Harbeth Audio UK