radiant red

Xtra Definition vs Xtra Dosh

Recommended Posts

Super Wammer

Ok, here is a scenario..

Dear dealer

I purchased my Harbeth C7’s last May and I said I’d like to upgrade in a years time to the HL5+ with a price difference of £900. 
Well, here I am, difference in hand so I’d like to order.

Dealer

Many thanks for your interest, the HL5+ has now been upgraded to the HD (high definition) and they are better so you only need to find that £900 plus another £1400!!


 

Now that’s not real emails above but to an average person, they would see that as a ridiculous hike in price for maybe a £15% better speaker. 

What would you do? I’m in two minds now if I do upgrade my Harbeths because I love what they do and love the sonic signature they all produce but justifying that jump is incredible especially when the HL5+ in 2010 were around 3k. There has been no structural design change and I’m seriously struggling here to understand the cost.

I am a big fan of BBC monitors but I am seriously going to consider looking at the Spendor Classic range. 
Have Harbeth gone mad? Will it be a bad move by trying to justify £1400 for a new veneer, some wires, speaker posts and a few badges.

Also, the range was launched in Feb and the website hasn’t changed but dealers have! 
 

💭 thoughts?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you're not comfortable with paying the increase, which is understandable, look around for second hand SHL5+... Midland Audio did have some going for sale.

Mac

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Super Wammer
1 minute ago, whitehart said:

If you're not comfortable with paying the increase, which is understandable, look around for second hand SHL5+... Midland Audio did have some going for sale.

Mac

Hi Mac

It’s really not a case of being comfortable or not, it’s justification for a massive hike 

People get upset at work if a Mercedes A class goes up £400 but when the new model came out (which was a complete ground up change) it was slightly less than the equivalent old model. Can you see my point?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

IMO. Prior to the XD price increase, the Harbeths were a bit expensive for what they are - but that was justifiable for that Harbeth USP.....but with what they now cost, I would question their VFM.

I like what Kef do....and those prices would probably push me in that direction, if I wasn't already sorted.

Edited by CnoEvil
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Super Wammer
1 minute ago, CnoEvil said:

IMO. Prior to the XD price increase, the Harbeths were a bit expensive for what they are - but that was justifiable for that Harbeth USP.....but with what they now cost, I would now question their VFM.

I like what Kef do....and those prices would probably push me in that direction, if I wasn't already sorted.

I fully support the Harbeth R+D philosophy and design ethos but I’d love someone from Harbeth to explain exactly what cost went into the hike. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Super Wammer
16 minutes ago, radiant red said:

I fully support the Harbeth R+D philosophy and design ethos but I’d love someone from Harbeth to explain exactly what cost went into the hike. 

I think the answer is ‘because they can’. I think that the new prices are crazy. Secondhand SHL5s go for ok money so maybe that’s an option. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On another forum it was suggested that part of the price rise involved increased manufactuting costs of 18%. Some of the models have gone up by 35% and so it is still a significant increase. 

As you say there are R&D costs which need to be absorbed (which you could argue is, in the main, Alan Shaw's time) but at the end of the day the speaker's DNA is still a BBC design and I cannot see how you get away from that even with some more expensive cable and connectors etc. 

At the end of the day the value of a product is ultimately decided by the consumer and if people are prepared to pay the new prices then fair enough. I, like you @radiant red, would be looking at the likes of Spendor plus also Graham Audio if I was a Harbeth user looking to upgrade. I would certainly feel let down by the brand.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Super Wammer
Posted (edited)
On 02/06/2020 at 20:31, radiant red said:

I fully support the Harbeth R+D philosophy and design ethos but I’d love someone from Harbeth to explain exactly what cost went into the hike. 

I suspect it was the huge demand for the Harbeth Anniversary models that made AS realise what ‘added value’ is like in practice.  Just as (say) Tesco can add a few prawns, herbs and some grated cheese to a Finest fish pie to add value over a regular one, and then charge a quid more, so Harbeth can fit posh terminals, thicker wires, tweak the crossover and offer new veneers for another grand.  It’s also why many car makers charge £500 to £800 for metallic paint  

Compared to PMC, who imo have really stretched the price of their twenty and twentyfive speaker ranges, Harbeth aren’t bad value, but they make my three-way ATCs look like a bargain at £3750!  

There were still some discounted Anniversary models around a week or so ago, and I reckon they might retain even more value than the XD series. 

Edited by Nopiano
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
34 minutes ago, radiant red said:

Hi Mac

It’s really not a case of being comfortable or not, it’s justification for a massive hike 

People get upset at work if a Mercedes A class goes up £400 but when the new model came out (which was a complete ground up change) it was slightly less than the equivalent old model. Can you see my point?

It made me uncomfortable just reading it.

As for the justification......'because they can' maybe. Although, in your case, maybe they can't.

EDIT: I actually typed the above before I saw 'because they can' in Dom's reply!! (says it all really).

Edited by Gray

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I’m sympathetic towards them. Hi-fi stopped being mainstream a while ago and like everyone else, they’re probably selling fewer units. They’re built in Britain which costs money (and is something I value). 
 

I don’t see many seriously rich people in hi-fi manufacturing. As an example, I know of one make up shop in Central London that turns more profit than Meridian.  

It’s a big price hike but it’s the new normal and we all have the choice to go elsewhere. 
 

On the good side, source components other than vinyl have plummeted in cost. 

Edited by HectorHughMunro
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
24 minutes ago, Nopiano said:

I suspect it was the huge demand for the Harbeth Anniversary models that made AS realise what ‘added value’ is like in practice.  Just as (say) Tesco can add a few prawns, herbs and some grated cheese to a Finest fish pie to add value over a regular one, and then charge a quid more, so a Harbeth can fit posh terminals, thicker wires, tweak the crossover and offer new veneers for another grand.  It’s also why many car makers charge £500 to £800 for metallic paint  

Compared to PMC, who imo have really stretched the price of their twenty and twentyfive speaker ranges, Harbeth aren’t bad value, but they make my three-way ATCs look like a bargain at £3750!  

There were still some discounted Anniversary models around a week or so ago, and I reckon they might retain even more value than the XD series. 

When the standard models ran along side the Anni models, there was that option for those who couldn't stretch the budget that far.....Maybe they needed a reason for a substantial price rise - and this gave (some) justification for doing so.

Edited by CnoEvil

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I have recently moved from Harbeth 30.1 to Spendor Classic 2/3.

I prefer the Spendor 2/3. The Harbeth in comparison sounded a little hyped in the top end. I also auditioned the Harbeth 30.2 40th Anniversary and thought they were even more hyped in the top end than the 30.1. I suspect the new XD models will be closer to 40th Anniversary models. Extra Definition may well give a false impression of extra detail and resolution simply by altering the crossover tweeter integration.

The Spendor Classic 2/3 is seriously good in all departments, full, textured, and timely bass, beguiling realistic mids, with a balanced sweet and detailed top end. From the reviews I've read online it's been very well received.

Edited by halloweenman
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Super Wammer

I have reserved a pair of new old HL5+ for a few days while I decide as they were offered to me but it angers me that the price can go up that much for what is, fundamentally the same speaker. No one can convince me that the price rise is justified. All the build is in house as it always has been and the bass drivers (the signature) along with the acoustic cabinet have remained unchanged and I haven’t seen a massive rise in the tweeter price so the crossover must be worth a fortune!! 
thicker Van Damme cable ? Hmmm

ive sent an email to Harbeth asking what changes have been made to fully justify the asking price. We will see.

BTW, yes, I’ve heard them against the regular and this is why I want some reasonable answers. 
 

I do think that it will be ‘because they can’

Alan Shaw in his factory visit video is very keen to keep his customers happy apparently  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Super Wammer
17 minutes ago, CnoEvil said:

When the standard models ran along side the Anni models, there was that option for those who couldn't stretch the budget that far.....Maybe they needed a reason for a substantial price rise - and this gave (some) justification for doing so.

The Anniversary models are the XD with different badges but the Anniversaries at least had a better (more costly) veneer but prices for the HL are the same in XD form as the Anniversary edition. Don’t forget there has been a change to the super tweeter.. two little protective bars added! Must also help the acoustics 😳

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Super Wammer

I maybe missed something?  Are the regular ones being phased out or are they staying?  I can see the point in have a standard and a super deluxe version.  

They all look good value compared with replica LS3/5as that cost £2500 - £3000!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.