Newsletter #100th edition, July 2018

The world's best-loved loudspeakers


Welcome to our summer newsletter


We celebrate another milestone here at Harbeth with this months newsletter being our 100th edition. To mark the occasion we have another of our new Harbeth Live Series releases to share with you. More about that to come in this months newsletter.   

Our monthly feature, In your words, includes a wonderful contribution from Harbeth owner Steve Paines, plus German Hifi magazine reveal a glorious review of our Super HL5 Plus 40th Anniversary model. Not to end there, we have our monthly show us your Harbeth's competition winners and the announcement of two new distributors.

The latest Harbeth Live Series




A new episode to the much anticipated Harbeth Live series is out now! For the recording Harbeth owner - Alan Shaw traveled to Canterbury's Colyer-Fergusson Hall at the University of Kent, where the  ''staggeringly talented'' UK artist Richard Nivarro, commonly known as R!ches described the ''incredible venue'' in which he performed his newest tracks. He went on to praise the Harbeth Monitor 40.2's while listening back to the recording ''To come back and hear the performance at the Coyler-Fergusson Hall is amazing. To have the speakers like this that allow the live feel to come straight back to us is incredible. We were then able to pick out and change fine details about the sound and hear things that I never expected to.  A brilliant performance.''

Alan, who was onsite for the recording, said  ''it was the best venue and acoustics yet'' and described the final performance as ''perfect''.  

Harbeth speakers played a pivotal role in the mastering of the production with project partners Duet media commenting ''If you can't accurately hear what's going on in a recording then you can't make any critical judgement. The speakers and the acoustics of the room you're in are very important in the mixing environment. It's not a case of them being flattering in the sound. High-end speakers should be truthful to what has been recorded. Harbeths are very true to the music and sound, a natural sound is essential when editing, as is quality speakers, which Harbeths most certainly are.'' 

We are delighted to hear the positive response from all the Harbeth Live series releases. You can watch previous episodes featuring Sylvette and David Rees-Williams performances on our Youtube and Vimeo channels.

          (Above) R!ches

(Above) Coyler - Fergusson Hall, University of Kent

(Above) Harbeths in Duet Media editing suite

Harbeth in the press

German magazine

German Hifi magazine, Hifitest, featured an article regarding our Super HL5 plus 40th Anniversary model, stating ''while playing Ryan Adams, the Harbeth transported all the emotions the album had to offer, the music penetrates so perfectly that I only want to listen to music and nothing but music.''

The reviewer concluded ''Harbeth's slogan of the worlds best loved loudspeaker, is a lot more than just marketing: anyone who hears one wants one.'' Read the full review here.



In your words

''where the magic is''


In this issue's In your words, we hear from Harbeth owner, Steve Paines

I first heard about Harbeth from the November 2007 edition of Hi Fi News. They ran a feature on the history of Harbeth. The article covered the company’s history including the loudspeaker cone research project which resulted in the creation of Radial cone material. I always thought a custom designed and manufactured driver cone was a good idea and always held the project in the back of my mind.

Fast forward eleven years and I was attending the Bristol HiFi show this year. This gave me the opportunity to visit the two Harbeth demonstration rooms. What struck me particularly with the little P3 was how the presentation drew me into the music like a hook.

The experience was enough for me to purchase my first P3ESR in Rosewood. However, my wife correctly observed the Rosewood did not match the light wood of Russ Andrews Torlyte stands. I have now replaced then with P3 Anniversary that came in the lighter olive wood.

Why change to Harbeth? My previous speakers had an upgrade option to the latest specification. I contacted the manufacturer and gave them details of the options I wanted. Manufacturer said I must go through a dealer. The distributor for the UK was also copied in on the email but never responded to my order request. I think this demonstrates the importance of customer service and to have effective support available when you need it.

I spent an amount of time researching speaker placement recommendations. I did not mount and leave but experimented with different speaker positioning. I found that a placement close to side walls with a large spread between speakers was not the best. I settled on a position where the distance between the speakers was 83% of the length of the sides of the triangle from ear to speaker baffle. This gave the best imaging and then toe in was used as a tone control to fine tune the treble presentation.

In terms of Hi Fi and audio equipment speakers are so important. They are the ‘window’ of the system and subject to personal taste. System synergy is critical and measures how components interact with each other. Get it right and the result is greater than the contribution of each individual part.

On running in Alan Shaw has said that your Harbeth’s will be nearly there in terms of sound quality when you receive them. It is a case of your ear’s getting accustomed to the sound. I am of the view that the internal wiring to the drive units, crossover components and woofer driver basket all need to be run in. My personal notes state that at 70 hours the sound fell into place. This was particularly in relation to bass performance and the ability to reproduce the lower end of the spectrum.

Sound quality observations are as follows;-

What I love is the low listening fatigue. You can listen to these for hours. The treble is sweet and extended. It integrates very well with the Radial 2 midrange/woofer. Offering similar resolution and never fierce like a Wilson metal dome.

(Above) Steve Paines complete system


The mid range is where the real magic is. But then is a speaker principally about mid range reproduction? Vocals are full, crystal clear and extended. You here detail never heard before with everything presented in a natural unforced way.

The bass has had me genuinely surprised how low a speaker of these dimensions and cabinet volume can go. I thought I would be sacrificing a lot of bass information but this has not been the case. Playing Trentemoller Evil Dub it’s all there including the deepest bass notes. Physical Fraction by the same artist is another good test of detail retrieval because of the sheer amount of information packed into the mix. Great to hear this speakers ability of reproducing micro detail. Another track I really enjoyed on the Harbeths' was Rain on the Jimmy Sommerville Read My Lips on vinyl. There is one bass note deeper than the rest one third of the way through the track. It was there in all its glory on the Harbeths.'

Others that have heard the Harbeths’ said, ‘The scale of the sound and size of the sound stage is impressive considering the speakers size.’ ‘You don’t really need a sub woofer; the bass that’s presented is ample considering the size of the speaker.’

I really like the Anniversary range for its collective appeal, increase in sound quality and the special Olive Wood finish in this case. One of the cheapest speakers in my listening room but as an all-round package my favourite.

You can also read the review here.

                                                                                                                                        (Above) Steve Paines P3ESR speakers

Show us your Harbeth's

We need you!


We love seeing pictures of your Harbeths, regardless of age, model or system. That's why we have created two stages to show off your speakers. The first feature will include, from those received, a couple of our favourite photos over the month to be shown in our monthly newsletter. There isn't a 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. This months edition includes Oliver Echevarria beautiful close up of his P3ESR 40th Anniversary edition speakers and Mikey Mansville stunning photo of his complete sound system. Thank you for the contributions. Keep them coming.   
      (Above) Oliver Echevarria with his P3ESR

                                                  (Above) Mikey Mansville                                     

Welcome to the team

Harbeth's new recruits

This month we are pleased to announce two new members to the Harbeth distributor network. We welcome our new Finland distributor - Hifi Studio Turku who stated ''Distribution of Harbeth in Finland is a dream come true! I have been a huge fan of Harbeth speakers for several years and used several different Harbeths in my home set-up. Now I am ready to Harbeth famous again for their natural sound and musical presentation here in Finland. We have a great team at Hifi Studio and lots of interested customers so the future sounds bright!'' You can find their contact details here

                (Above) Alan alongside our new Finland distributor - Hifi studio                                     

We also welcome our first South African distributor - The Listening Room to the Harbeth team:

Why Harbeth ?
''The product embodies all that is strives for by the Listening Room. Over the years Harbeth had become a quiet unspoken goal of ours. A loudspeaker which is unashamedly a loudspeaker...but so much more. A loudspeaker based on founded music. The classic descendant to the LS3/5a and its enhancements, drawing on the golden era of audio to reproduce music so sublime from a ''plain'' box so beautifully built and so beautiful to the eye. Beauty drawn from the golden era...a loudspeaker that looked like a loudspeaker. Unashamedly so.

The Listening room once again reinforces its philosophy - music. Harbeth is that. It's music first and all the smoke and mirrors gets the back seat. To our fellow music lovers. Listen. If you like it, it's because it's music. If you like the classic design - it's Harbeth. 

Quality of workmanship, quality of product and unadulterated adherence to the accurate reproduction of music.

We are delighted and honoured to have this esteemed brand to our line. We believe the listener will sit up; and listen. This is the music. This is the ethos of Harbeth.''

You can find out their contact details here

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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