31Oct2018

Harbeth Loudspeaker Factory Visit

Composer, Christian Henson of Spitfire Audio ''fell in love'' with Harbeth Hifi speakers after hearing them about 18 months ago. Now an owner of three pairs of Harbeth loudspeakers, Christian was delighted to tour our production area, where he witnessed what goes into crafting our speakers and our special 40th Anniversary products.

Harbeth loudspeaker designer - Alan Shaw commented: ''For thirty years I have been designing loudspeakers that seem to find a market; a growing market, amongst people who care about subtilties of sound. It amazes me when I go to Hifi exhibitions, how hard and harsh so many loudspeakers are these days. The connection with how instruments really sound has seemed to be lost.''

''What is often forgotten is the material of the cone really defines the sound of the entire speaker. The conventional way that loudspeaker cones are made is very inexpensive, which is very attractive to the loudspeaker industry. The problem is, what you end up with is a cone: made from polypropylene, that has no stiffness and in effect creates a slight fogging effect which tales away the crispness. The reason is that the molecules in the polypropylene material are in a waxy state, where they rub against each other, which is why they are so flexible. As they do that, they convert the very low-level tonal detail into heat, and once it's heat, it's lost as sound. If you want to reproduce the tonal details, you need a material which is more rigid, so the molecules can't slide against each other.   Thanks to a large government grant, we got to do the a proper engineering research to investigate the ideal material: which is where the radial technology was founded.''    

 

Amazed that we make many of our components in-house,  Alan Shaw - explained ''We were sort of driven into building our components for our loudspeakers, as we couldn't buy from commercial suppliers drive units of high enough quality and we wanted that kind of liquid clarity in the middle frequencies. This is a lifetime commitment to products that endure. And we have customers using 40 year old Harbeth loudspeakers. These products are built to last which is why I build with longevity in mind. We want these speakers to out live us''

You can watch the video here on Spitfire Audio's YouTube channel.