1. Things you need to know about the new ‘Conversations’ PM system:

    a) DO NOT REPLY TO THE NOTIFICATION EMAIL! I get them, not the intended recipient. I get a lot of them and I do not want them! It is just a notification, log into the site and reply from there.

    b) To delete old conversations use the ‘Leave conversation’ option. This is just delete by another name.
    Dismiss Notice

Harbeth XD - What's The Difference

Discussion in 'audio' started by ryder, Feb 29, 2020.

  1. ryder

    ryder pfm Member

    FWIW a friend who owns the C7ES3 in ebony finish once posted on the HUG on glue stains or marks on the drivers also if I'm not mistaken. It was more than 10 years ago. The posts and photos were removed by the moderator. We are not based in the UK, and nothing was done to rectify the matter. No replacement drivers.

    Fortunately both my new pair of SHL5 and SHL5+ did not show any of these issues.
    Peter Leo likes this.
  2. chris peacock

    chris peacock Active Member

    What a completely unhelpful comment, buyers are entitled to clean and well built products ... are you connected to barbets or just a troll?
    Peter Leo likes this.
  3. Peter Leo

    Peter Leo In searching for saint grail

    Unfortunately I am not from the UK. They all do business, no one wants to pay for problems - the buyer pays. I don't like this QC and sales scheme. This is not the policy of a 40-year-old company. I fell for marketing and forum fables, I believed Harbeth was special.
    Maybe it was different before ...
  4. ryder

    ryder pfm Member

    Shipping has to be absorbed by the dealer if it is outside of UK, even though Harbeth provides the parts(drivers or speaker) free of charge. My dealer pays for shipping when Harbeth shipped replacement grilles to him.
  5. chris peacock

    chris peacock Active Member

    Peter, I think that Harbeth has created a good marketing image but there is nothing else, just poor speakers in term of dynamics. I’ve briefly owned them and quickly sold them. What I can’t figure out are the people that wax lyrical about them on various forums, puzzling.
    Peter Leo likes this.
  6. Fatmarley

    Fatmarley Agnostic

    Where did I say they weren't entitled to a clean and well-built product? - I was saying that a tiny bit of extra glue won't change the sound.
    cooky1257, Rockmeister and mega lord like this.
  7. Peter Leo

    Peter Leo In searching for saint grail

    I've thought about this a lot over the past weeks. I am starting to notice their marketing, which seems hidden at first glance. The company wants to appear as a glorious continuation of the BBC tradition, a collection of serious engineers and craftsmen with zero advertising.
    But at the heart of Harbeth is advertising, and a very sophisticated one. This doesn't really apply to my problem, just my thoughts.
  8. chris peacock

    chris peacock Active Member

    A bit of glue? Well built? Clean? Come on .... what’s your agenda here?
  9. Peter Leo

    Peter Leo In searching for saint grail

    Perhaps some of the glue stains were intended for the dust cap in the center of the driver cone. And now there is less glue - think about it.
  10. chris peacock

    chris peacock Active Member

    You are right, and I admit to be taken by the hype. A very good approach which allow them to sell a completely outdated product at a premium price.
  11. Fatmarley

    Fatmarley Agnostic

    You sound like you're drunk or on drugs or something.
    PhilofCas and Rockmeister like this.
  12. barryb

    barryb pfm Member

    In this case, the premium charged should behoove the manufacturer to perform and provide for better.

    In this price realm, it's absolutely acceptable to be critical of finishing quality, and accordingly to expect prompt resolution.
    Darren L likes this.
  13. Ianp

    Ianp Active Member

    On this original post, I can't offer an experienced response on the regular vs. XD but can on the regular vs. Anniversary (P3ER). I owned both for a while, buying used, with the intention of keeping the one I preferred after extended listening.

    The Annies were a stunning piece of engineering, open and transparent like nothing I'd heard. After quite some time though I found I preferred the originals, just that bit warmer for me.

    This was of course my personal preference, others may differ.

    On the issue of pricing, I never really understand quibbles about this. It's his business (literally), and if anyone thinks anything is too expensive, why moan, just don't consider the purchase. On which, my car is very, very far away from high end :). And having bought the Harbs. ex. dem some time ago, I reckon I could get my money back looking at current used prices. You can't say that when selling a Beamer bought from new !

    I'd add that my only experience in dealing with Harbeth customer service was asking about buying a new pair of grills to replace the slightly damages ones for the previous pair of used P3ESRs I had that I replaced with the ex. dem ones. For some technical reason my emails didn't get through so I posted on HUG. AS responded directly and sent me a pair FOC asking I drop a few quid in a Charity tin, which I did. I was mightily impressed by this.
    Tonyy, Panderos, ArtK and 5 others like this.
  14. maccar

    maccar pfm Member

    I would do Peter, bbut the Wigwam site is down at the moment.
  15. ampman

    ampman pfm Member

    Sorry to hear. Are you in the UK? Difficult to judge on the seriousness based on the photos but it does look like an issue. Personally this is unacceptable for a new pair and I suppose a new replacement speaker rather than replacement drivers (which will still need to be fitted onto the speakers) is more appropriate. I wouldn't be comfortable having the drivers fitted outside of the factory by someone else. Even though your dealer may be an expert and have the skills to do the driver swap, it doesn't feel right to have a new speaker go through this.

    I think the glue thing is very shoddy.

    I own SHL5+ and had to get a driver replaced by the distributor here in Japan. My wife was practicing her golf swing and her phone flew out of her hand and hit the driver. Don't ask me to explain this!

    No problems with the replacement.

    I'm glad I bought mine when I did is all I'll say about current prices!
  16. Martyn Miles

    Martyn Miles pfm Member

    This thread is rapidly turning into a ‘bash Harbeth’ one, with ( thankfully ) some sensible posts
    My experience of Harbeth is positive, both with their speakers plus service and help.
    Their are quite a few Alan Shaw detractors around.
    I’ve never met him, so I can’t offer an opinion.
  17. Old Shatterhand

    Old Shatterhand pfm Member

    Last edited: Apr 16, 2021
    Tonyy, Panderos and maccar like this.
  18. PerF

    PerF Scandinavian Member

    Well this sentence put me off to be honest.
    Maybe there could be added something, both positive and negative.

    I understand those who feel a proud ownership, that's just fine and happy for them, probably a majority.
    There are many good Harbeth speakers out there, I've owned a few pair myself.

    Additionally I have heard other editions and my experience are bland, but many aren't interested in anything but glorious talk maybe apart from recent retail price-increase, actually some of their 3-way editions were far to high priced IME for what you get. Some people seem to get more exited because its expensive rather than how it sounds.

    Then there's the brainwashed, there seem to be some people which don't accept others opinion or allow them to free speech really.
    Pretty much HUG is something of a "Heil" affaire where critic (even constructive) is not allowed, meaning a pure marketing tool to brainwash the remaining public audience.
    Personally I just hate places where you can't express your view without being moderated, of course within generel AUP.

    I hope Leo got his issues solved, this could be another lesson of "loss of reputation & sales" because Brands don't take their responsibility seriously.
    In my opinion Harbeth should replace Leo's speakers with no cost for him (but an apology) provided this is a true story.
    Old Shatterhand likes this.
  19. Peter Leo

    Peter Leo In searching for saint grail

    Yes. I posted this on Facebook as well.
    Your real name is Old Shatterhand?
    On this forum, several people have asked for proof of my words, including you. I presented them - explore. I can make a video, it's not difficult for me. I can post my materials anywhere to prove my problem: Instagram, Youtube, etc. I don’t understand something else, why are you trying to show the insignificance of the fact I have cited? Are you affiliated with Harbeth?
    Both Harbeth Support and Alan Shaw have seen my photos. My real name and surname are known to Harbeth in order to decide on a replacement. They know who I am.
    So far, there is only one guy looking for the truth in those glue stains and uneven driver basket. But I wouldn't be surprised if there are more buyers who find some cosmetic defects "not affecting the sound".
    EPear likes this.
  20. barryb

    barryb pfm Member

    To be honest, I think Harbeth sending you new drivers and the dealer fitting them is a satisfactory outcome. It's an inconvenience for sure, and perhaps not exactly wrong to expect better, but really it seems the matter is taken care of.

    If you're dissatisfied with performance, thankfully, as others have mentioned, resale value is good.
    maccar likes this.

Share This Page


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice