"This Harbeth User Group (HUG) is the Manufacturer's own managed forum dedicated to natural sound from microphone to ear, achievable by recognising and controlling the numerous confounding variables that exist along the audio chain. The Harbeth designer's objective is to make loudspeakers that contribute little of themselves to the music passing through them.

Identifying system components for their sonic neutrality should logically proceed from the interpretation and analysis of their technical, objective performance. Deviations from a flat frequency response at any point along the signal chain from microphone to ear is likely to give an audible sonic personality to the system at your ear; this includes the significant contribution of the listening room itself. To accurately reproduce the recorded sound as Harbeth speakers are designed to do, you would be best advised to select system components (sources, electronics, cables and so on) that do not color the sound before it reaches the speakers.

For example, the design of and interaction between the hifi amplifier and its speaker load can and will alter the sound balance of what you hear. This may or may not be what you wish to achieve, but any deviation from a flat response is a step away from a truly neutral system. HUG has extensively discussed amplifiers and the methods for seeking the most objectively neutral among a plethora of product choices.

HUG specialises in making complex technical matters simple to understand, getting at the repeatable facts in a post-truth environment where objectivity is increasingly ridiculed. With our heritage of natural sound and pragmatic design, HUG is not the best place to discuss non-Harbeth audio components selected, knowingly or not, to introduce a significantly personalised system sound. 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 offerings there. There is really no on-line substitute for time invested in a dealer's showroom because 'tuning' your system to taste is such a highly personal matter. Our overall objective here is to empower readers to make the factually best procurement decisions in the interests of lifelike music at home.

Please consider carefully how much you should rely upon and be influenced by 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, loudness and room treatment, not necessarily leading to appropriate equipment selection and listening satisfaction for you. Always keep in mind that without basic test equipment, subjective opinions will reign unchallenged. With test equipment, universal facts and truths are exposed.

If some of the science behind faithfully reproducing the sound intended by the composer, score, conductor and musicians over Harbeth speakers is your thing, this forum has been helping with that since 2006. If you just want to share your opinions and photos with others then the unrelated Harbeth Speakers Facebook page may be for you. Either way, welcome to the world of Harbeth!"

Feb. 2018
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Out-of-market Warranty: there isn't any.

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  • Out-of-market Warranty: there isn't any.

    Just to clarify Harbeth's global position and a warning about sellers describing his Harbeth speakers as "new", "brand new", "factory fresh", "unopened condition", "unregistered warranty card", "virtually as original ex-factory condition" etc. etc.

    We invest time, energy and relationships in our Authorised Distributor/Importer network so that they in turn can build up and nurture their Retailers and those Retailers can support you, our end customers over many years. Our Warranty is specific to the country we, Harbeth UK, originally supplied to, and that country is marked on a non-destruct sticker affixed to the speaker, and the local Harbeth Distributor/Importer will have the user's Warranty Card and other information giving complete traceability from factory to User.

    The local end-user Warranty is then granted FOC to the first end-user, that is, the first and original customer that buys the speaker from the Authorised Importer/Distributor or Retailer and whose name is on the original sales invoice against that serial number. That local Warranty is not transferrable to the second owner regardless of whether the second owner is the uncle, aunt, distant relative or friend or lover of the owner.

    For example, if supplied to Taiwan the sticker will limit the Warranty to Taiwan: if USA, limited to the USA and so on. An out-of-market seller (a so called grey channel seller) could be tempted to try and disguise or tamper with the Warranty sticker as he will be well aware that Harbeth worldwide does not support grey-channel sales of any kind, and will not provide any parts or advice where we can not verify the Warranty. We are often willing to confirm the Warranty position associated with a particular serial number if we are given the full honest facts about the pair although we are not obliged to enter into any dialogue over this matter especially where we feel rules have been bent or broken.

    Regarding "As New" etc. etc.

    Sadly, this is never the case and unscrupulous sellers take advantage of the relatively long production life of Harbeth speakers to passed-off as "brand new" speakers that can be several years old. It begs the question, where have they been in the months/years since they were manufactured and is it really credible that the owner resisted using them? Wasn't he even a little curious? And did he damage them? Even lifting them out of the carton and putting them down on a hard surface or onto spikes or cones could have damaged them. Why take the risk?

    We strongly recommend that you deal only with your local Authorised Harbeth Retailer who, by definition, will be someone of integrity that you can trust.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK