Newsletter #99, June 2018

The world's best-loved loudspeakers

Welcome to our June newsletter

We hope you're all enjoying a great summer so far, full of fun and music. Speaking of which, we can't wait to see what gem's we receive for our new Harbeth competition. More about that in this month's newsletter. 

Our monthly feature, In your words, is again featured, with a wonderful contribution from Harbeth owner Tim Mallin, plus Australian Hifi magazine reveal a glorious review of M30.2 40th Anniversary model. Not to end there, we have a sneak preview of whats to come in our next Harbeth Live series. Read on to find out more. 

Sneak preview

Upcoming Harbeth Live series

Part 1/2


April ended with a trip to Canterbury's Colyer-Fergusson Hall at the University of Kent, accompanied with Harbeth live series partners - Duet Media Technologies for our third and final installment to the series. 

For the recording, we partnered alongside the ''staggeringly talented'' UK artist Richard Nivarro, commonly know as R!ches, who described the ''incredible venue'' in which he performed his latest tracks. Alan Shaw who was onsite for the recording said  ''it was the best venue and acoustics yet'' and is ''excited'' to see it all come together. ​Watch this space. 
We were delighted to hear the positive response from the latest Harbeth Live series featuring Sylvette. The band playing their latest song described the detail in which the P3ESR speakers allowed them to ''differentiate and analyse each individuals performance.'' You can watch the Sylvette and David Rees-Williams performances on our Youtube and Vimeo channels.

Coyler-Fergusson Hall at the University of Kent 

Harbeth in the press

Australian Hifi magazine

Australian Hifi magazine, Aushifi recently reviewed our ''beautiful silver eucalyptus'' M30.2 40th Anniversary model. The reviewer praised the ''upgraded'' speaker, describing the ''perfection'' of the mid-range'' as well as the ''glorious'' natural sounding performance.

He went on to say while ''listening to Tomorrow, the opening track on Rachel Collis's album Nightlight, the 30.2 Anniversaries delivery was so ambient that if I closed my eyes, I could really imagine she was singing in the room.'' In conclusion, he states ''to buy a pair of Harbeth Monitor 30.1 or a pair of Harbeth 30.2 Anniversaries becomes a hard decision because they're both superb-sounding speaker'' but ''I'd put the 30.2 Anniversaries ahead by a nose'' Read more here.  


In your words

''end-game speakers''


In this issue's In your words, we hear from Harbeth owner, Tom Mallin

I first learned of Harbeth back in the late 1990s when the line's virtues were being trumpeted almost single-handedly in North America by Dr. Robert E. Greene (REG) writing in The Absolute Sound.  I had long admired REG's equipment reviews, increasingly finding his assessments of loudspeaker virtues and vices well-aligned with my own.  I took notice when REG in conclusion called the C7 "quite extraordinarily good at sounding like music."  I took extreme interest when he said that the M40's "nearly ideal tonal character . . . superb midrange articulation, and the exquisite high frequencies carry all before them, and make this speaker hypnotic, addictive, irresistible."  I was hooked when in conclusion he noted that a visiting listener said of the M40s' sound, "It sounds real, but it is almost more beautiful."


And that beauty, my friends, is what made me purchase the original Monitor 40's once I got to hear them, then the M40.1s, and now the M40.2s.  In the 17 years since I acquired the original M40s, many other speakers have come and gone at my house, but I keep coming back to the big Harbeth's because they, and only they, seem to have the sound of real, live unamplified music and have it in abundance.  Especially in the midband, Harbeth's are superbly natural and real sounding. It is this part of the Harbeth sound which has been most important in repeatedly drawing me back to the M40 series year after year.  If you know the sound of real acoustic instruments and voices in a favorable space, the Harbeth speakers, the M40 series in particular—and especially the M40.2—nails that sound as no other speakers I've heard do.  The impression on much material—not just a few audiophile specials—is overwhelmingly of the sound of actual players in front of you.


From the start, my M40 set ups have been near field and try to minimize the sonic contribution of my listening room and maximize the direct sound from the speakers.  When the direct sound is this coherent and ravishingly real, I believe that second-venue listening room effects should be relegated to the background as much as possible.  My current listening room, a converted bedroom, is quite small at about 11 feet wide, 13 feet long, and 8.5 feet high.  The M40.2 speakers with their grilles in place are set on TonTrager stands and toed in to point directly at my ears.  My ears are nearly on the vertical axis with the tweeters, with my ears and the drivers forming an equilateral triangle with sides about 55 inches long.  I use a combination of diffusers and absorbers at the first reflection areas of the speakers on the room surfaces as viewed from the listening position.  The Rule of Thirds 29% Version set up I use keeps the speakers at different distances from the side and back walls, maintains an equilateral triangle set up, and keeps both the speakers and the listening position as far from the walls as practical, given the small room, so as to avoid the earliest reflections.  With this arrangement, bass modes are less measurable and audible than with other arrangements I've tried and the spatial presentation and sense of envelopment is the best I've heard in this room.


Sonically, my M40.2s in this arrangement are, for me, at least, end-game speakers.  They have the sound of music as I've always dreamed it would sound at home, far and away the best yet of the M40 series. There is total coherence among the drivers from very close up—even much closer than my near-field set up; the speakers disappear from the sonic field and give no clue of their multiple-driver nature.  Bass has enough bottom octave extension to satisfy without any subwoofer support.  The midbass and lower mids are full but not bloated.  The lower ranges—together with low distortion, great dynamic contrasts, and generous depth and vertical height illusions—all contribute to reproduction which sounds naturally weighty and authoritative.  The justly vaunted Harbeth magical midrange now extends lower and up through the presence range and this extended magical range is, if anything, yet further enhanced in quality from its M40-series predecessors.  There is increased presence, but this increased presence does not grate at all and does not in any way reduce the wonderful depth perspective which the M40 series has had from the start.  The top octaves are truly exemplary—extended and airy, yet in perfect balance with the rest of the range and with perfect blending of the midrange and treble drivers.  The speakers will play quite loudly without increased distortion and yet have tremendous real clarity at even whisper levels, a clarity which, together with the full lower ranges, allows for home reproduction with naturally balanced sound at the lower-than-expected measured SPLs we actually experience in a concert hall.  As good as these parts are when analyzed, the Harbeth Monitor 40.2s sound even more impressively natural and real when considered as a whole without any attempt at sonic analysis. The whole package tends to disarm analysis since it just sounds so real, so beautiful.


For Tom's full review of the Harbeth M40.2s, click here.


We need you!

Show us your Harbeth's - to be a social media star


We love seeing pictures of your Harbeth's, regardless of age, model or system. That's why we have created two new stages to show off your speakers. The first new feature will include, from those received, a couple of our favourite photo's over the month to be shown in our monthly newsletter. There isn't an specification on the photograph so lifestyle shots, close up's or a picture taken with your phone will all count. 

If you are not shown in our newsletter then there's always our weekly social media competition. Every Friday we will pick one picture to be shown across all our social media channels. To get involved you can either: #Harbeth once you've uploaded to social media, send us an email, private message or comment on one of our posts. The first edition includes Seafinch's stunning lifestyle shot of his C7ES-3 and Farsdreng's beautiful close up photo of his complete sound system. Thank you for the contributions. Keep them coming.   

​​Seafinch (above)
Farsdreng (above)


Welcome to the team

Harbeth's new recruits

This month we welcome three new members to the Harbeth team. Harry Elson has joined the marketing group to cover the maternity leave of our brand manager; Emma Smith. His role will further include digging into the enormous amount of sales statistical information gathered over the last 25 years relating to Harbeth and will look to explore new marketing opportunities in the near future.  
We also welcome our new Business Development manager, Rosie Gooch, who will be bringing her wide industrial experience to Harbeth. Her aim is to strengthen Harbeth's strategic and tactical objectives and guide the brand towards maximizing its potential by giving Alan Shaw defined objectives.

Last by no means least, we offer a massive congratulations to Emma, who gave birth to her newborn son, Otis. We wish her all the best over the upcoming months and will be welcoming her back sometime next year. 

We welcome your contributions

to our monthly newsletters.

If you have news that you'd like to share with us, please email Marketing Executive,
Harry Elson at
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Upcoming events - 2018

FRI 5-7 October Rocky Mountain Audio Fest, Denver Marriot Tech Center, 4900 S.Syracuse Street, Denver, CO 80237, USA
FRI 19-21 October Australian Hi-Fi AV Show, COMO Melbourne, MGallery by Sofital, 630 Chapel Street, 3141 South Yarra
3 Enterprise Park
Lindfield, Haywards Heath
West Sussex, RH16 2LH

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