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INTRODUCTION - PLEASE READ FIRST TO UNDERSTAND THIS FORUM!

"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 http://bit.ly/2FEgoAy may be for you. Either way, welcome to the world of Harbeth!"


Feb. 2018
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Getting closer to the market - changes at Harbeth

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  • #61
    Originally posted by hifi_dave View Post
    As to post 56, that is what any decent Hi-Fi retailer does now. I certainly do, it's part of the service as is spending hours at a time demonstrating and talking with prospective customers.
    Perhaps the standard of service for audio equipment retailers in the UK is higher than it is in the US.
    Under what terms do you typically arrange the loan of speakers for an in-home trial?
    Would you deliver a set of speakers if it was purchased by a customer who lived, for example, 250km or more distant from your shop?

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    • #62
      I often loan equipment for a few days trial but I insist that the customer come here and audition first and then take away. Sending a pair of speakers is very expensive and time consuming and not something you want to do just for someone to 'play' with the equipment for fun. For me to send a pair of SHL5+ in the UK would cost me something like 180.00, plus there is all the faff of packing and associated paperwork. If the customer buys, that is OK but if they don't, then that's money down the drain and the cartons will be marked and damaged during the journey and the customer might not take care of the speakers in his possession. I've had equipment badly marked and the answer is always "they were like that".

      If a pair of speakers is purchased, then yes, I will happily send them.

      Comment


      • #63
        Dear Alan, To understand why a customer has made a purchase, one could do as the electronics manufacturer Naim do, and ask them. When one registers the purchase of a Naim product, with the enticement of a warranty extension, one is subjected to (literally) pages of questions about the purchase decision, previous products purchased, upgrade decisions / dealer experience etc. etc. Harbeth customers are, by and large, brand loyal and want to do what they can to help so i doubt anyone would mind, and if Naim's success is anything to go by, that approach would be a good, honest, place to start. We'll answer your questions; you just need to establish the ones you need answers to, and would find most beneficial. 1) What's your current state, 2) what's your target state, and what do you need to do to bridge the gap (strategy) and what does that look like. Think about the customer journey - what is really happening, well we'll tell you that as we're the purchasers with a vested interest in improving our own experience.

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        • #64
          Originally posted by peez777 View Post
          Dear Alan, To understand why a customer has made a purchase, one could do as the electronics manufacturer Naim do, and ask them. When one registers the purchase of a Naim product, with the enticement of a warranty extension, one is subjected to (literally) pages of questions about the purchase decision, previous products purchased, upgrade decisions / dealer experience etc. etc. Harbeth customers are, by and large, brand loyal and want to do what they can to help so i doubt anyone would mind, and if Naim's success is anything to go by, that approach would be a good, honest, place to start. We'll answer your questions; you just need to establish the ones you need answers to, and would find most beneficial. 1) What's your current state, 2) what's your target state, and what do you need to do to bridge the gap (strategy) and what does that look like. Think about the customer journey - what is really happening, well we'll tell you that as we're the purchasers with a vested interest in improving our own experience.
          This will also bring about survivor bias. Only customers who highly agree with harbeth and love interaction will submit a post-sales questionnaire. And as a post-measure, unable to understand the accurate pre-purchase psychology.

          Finally, don't forget the difficulty of designing surveys that A.S. already mentioned. This is a serious scientific experiment.

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          • #65
            Hello HIFI_DAVE, i forgot to write that i told the dealer not only that i already went to listen the speaker to their shop but that i also went to see Alan Shaw demo in my city and that i was going to buy them 99% posible, that the only thing was to try them a couple of days to check that they were ok for my room not having resonances or bass problems.
            It is a big invesment and buy them and later having problems and sell them second hand would make me loose 500 euros, so i just wanted to be 100% sure.
            I now when you buy something in internet you always have one week to send it back no cuestions asked, so i could just buy in their web page and do that (even been in same city than the dealer) but i really thought than calling them and explaining them the situation they would tell me that there was no problem, my mistake.

            Comment


            • #66
              If I was your dealer, I would be lending them to you without any qualms. You appear to be genuine and it is a pretty sure sale, what's not to like ? The alternative is to sell them and if you don't like them (unlikely), they will have to take back a pair of speakers which will be sold as second hand. Not a good proposition.

              Very short sighted of any retailer not to loan them to you.

              Comment


              • #67
                On a more mundane note, why not additional grill colours? Just call it "Tone Controls".

                Something lighter than the black (maybe grey/beige). For me, the black grill "sucks life out" of the cabinets (ate least the lighter ones).

                (And since we're at it, personally, I'd place the logo at the bottom/centre of the grill, for a more modern, symmetrical look - call it "Balance Control", if you will)






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                • #68
                  Originally posted by cesare View Post
                  On a more mundane note, why not additional grill colours? Just call it "Tone Controls".

                  Something lighter than the black (maybe grey/beige). For me, the black grill "sucks life out" of the cabinets (ate least the lighter ones).

                  (And since we're at it, personally, I'd place the logo at the bottom/centre of the grill, for a more modern, symmetrical look - call it "Balance Control", if you will)
                  I would tend to agree with you regarding a slightly more flexible choice of colour for the grille cloth, although this may well further increase manufacturing costs because of the need to hold stocks of various colours. However, I think the badge is perfect as it is with Left Hand / Right Hand visual balance.

                  None of this really bothers me, nor do I believe it will have any effect on Harbeth in the speaker market when a potential buyer hears any of these speakers for the first time.

                  Regards, Mike.

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