Hifi Pig Advertising Promotion

Hifi Pig brings you a series of promotional articles about our Great British Brands exhibiting at High End Munich 2017. We let them tell you all about their philosophy and products.

This year, British loudspeaker company, Harbeth, celebrates a significant milestone – their 40th anniversary. A success story with the BBC legacy at its roots, Harbeth was founded in 1977 by the BBC’s senior engineer Dudley Harwood and has been guided by owner and designer Alan Shaw, for thirty years.

Adverts in the hi-fi press at the brand’s launch announced the debut HL Monitor (Mk1), built around Harwood’s newly-patented polypropylene-coned bass-midrange woofer, the world’s first. It played louder, handled more power, was more sensitive, had a far tighter bass and lower coloration than the earlier BBC monitors with their first generation bextrene plastic cones.

Material science and loudspeaker design rarely cross paths, but when they do, magic can happen. Shortly before Harwood’s retirement he was introduced to an entirely new type of plastic which had acoustic properties far more suited to precision loudspeakers than the general purpose polypropylene polymer. The challenge was – and is – to mould the new material into speaker cones.

The technical limitations of polypropylene as a speaker material are from its rubbery molecular structure, which damps microtonal energy in the reproduced sound. This stripping-out the ‘airiness’ and freshness in reproduced music. It was Shaw’s determination to drive-up the sonic performance of Harbeth speakers applying the new cone material – RADIAL™ – that established Harbeth as a global presence, famed for natural sound.

The entire design process at Harbeth is based on an appreciation of how musical instruments – and voice – actually sound live. With reduced exposure by society to live acoustic sound there is a growing misconception about musical tonality, and this manifests in the sonic performance of too many contemporary speakers.

Harbeth is truly different. Not only a speaker brand, its represents an alternative philosophy of sound, one which promotes the musicians to their rightful place at the heart of the home system. There’s a stronger, clearer, more believable connection with the performers thanks to Harbeth’s exclusive RADIAL™ cone technology. Many users admit that owning Harbeth is a decision that they regret not making many years, and equipment changes, ago. The final speakers for the serious listener.

In celebration of their 40th anniversary this year, Harbeth have so far launched two new ultimate editions of two models – the SHL5plus and the flagship, the M40.2. The beautiful features of these editions include; a stunning walnut veneer, the latest WBT-nextgen binding posts, a new-look super-tweeter with protection bar on the SHL5plus and British-made audio grade poly capacitors. To celebrate the sophistication of these models, each speaker is identified by the exclusive Harbeth 40th Anniversary limited edition front and back badges, and a new magnetic anniversary grille badge.

Harbeth has now revealed that a new model will make its debut at the High End Munich show this May in Hall 3 N08. Further details are yet to be announced but will follow in the run up to the show.

The M40.2 40th anniversary model will also be on demo at the MOC in the impressive Atrium 4.2 E213 room, in collaboration with German Harbeth distributor, Input Audio, Skylan stands, Magnum Dynalab and again with turntable guru Martina Schöner, who will showcase the sound of her impressive turntable to the delight of the listeners. Analogue or digital sources, Harbeth produce a fantastic open, fresh, dynamic sound.

For the Harbeth team, just one reason that the Munich show is so enjoyable is that it brings cultures together. Alan Shaw, Designer and owner, says – “I am constantly surprised by the extreme variety of music that Harbeth owners listen to. It’s fascinating for me, as a designer, to personally experience how music I’ve never heard of before sounds fantastic on Harbeth speakers. Many of our visitors are amateur musicians and they are very sensitive to natural sound. It’s a great tribute to Harbeth speakers to have the public say such nice things after listening so attentively for what is often an hour or more. Welcome again!”

Harbeth users through Europe and the wider world are bonded by a common love of of music. From the safety and comfort of their living rooms, Harbeth’s unique loudspeakers can transport the listener to the furthest corners of the musical globe. A world under their personal control. Lovingly crafted in a unique combination of tradition and technology produces the natural sound Harbeth are famous for worldwide.

40 years on and Harbeth are still the world’s best-loved loudspeakers!

Still to come in our Great British Brands At Munich 2017 series are articles from The Funk Firm, Quadraspire, Living Voice, Graham Slee and The Chord Company.

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