Established in 1977 by the former head of the BBC’s Loudspeaker R&D Department, the Harbeth name is highly respected for natural, true-to-life sound. Today’s Harbeth has its roots firmly in the BBC tradition, where trained sound professionals expect monitor loudspeakers to ‘tell them like it is’. With digital compression touching all areas of audio, a Harbeth will reveal low-level artefacts that are inaudible on many speakers.
Harbeth Mastering Series
Substantial funding from the Science and Engineering Research Council into new colouration-free bass/midrange driver technology is at the heart of the Mastering Series. The “BBC sound” is there in all three models, from the shoe-box sized Monitor 20.1 Pro right through to the three-way ‘Grade 1’ Monitor 40.2 Pro. All are magnetically shielded alllowing placement near sensitive devices. There is a consistency of sound balance regardless of cabinet size. The Mastering Series was conceived as drop-in replacements for the BBC LS3/5a (Monitor 20.1 Pro), BBC LS5/9 (Monitor 30.1 Pro) and BBC LS5/8 (Monitor 40.2 Pro), and, as events transpired, the demise of Rogers has resulted in many BBC LS users including BBC TV and Radio and numerous TV, Radio and Post Production houses upgrading to Monitor 20.1 Pro, 30.1 Pro and 40.2 Pro.
Designed to replace the broadcaster’s workhorse, the BBC LS3/5a, the Monitor 20.1 Pro is well established in desktop editing, OB’s and vision galleries where a truly high-quality natural sound is demanded but in a really compact and unobtrusive cabinet. This two-way design combines two shielded drive-units, unlike its LS3/5a predecessor. Used widely within the BBC in ‘workstation-offices’.
The Monitor 30.1 Pro fits the role of the BBC’s LS5/9, and offers a substantial improvement in resolution and sonic integration on and off-axis. The ‘30.1 Pro represents an excellent all-rounder, capable of higher spl’s than the ‘20.1 Pro and offering the perfectly neutral mid-band performance of the flagship Monitor 40.2 with which it shares the same top two drive-units, and therefore sound. The larger tweeter has proved to be rugged and capable of excellent transient performance; smooth and revealing. The ‘30.1 is popular with users on very long and tiring shifts who complement the detailed yet easy Harbeth sound that exemplifies the Monitor 30.1 Pro.
The Monitor 40.2 Pro is Harbeth’s ultimate monitoring solution: adaptable and flexible. The audio range is divided between three optimised transducers - a fast 300mm low-mass bass unit; the Harbeth patented midrange; and the large, high-end tweeter. The result is a system with the familiar dimensions of the BBC LS5/8 (which it replaces) yet with a seamless audio performance right across the audio range.
Users of the M40 series include BBC TV dubbing, technical review, BBC Radio and TV broadcast sound, commercial recording in stereo, and combined with ‘20s or ‘30s, in Dolby Digital mastering.
Harbeth loudspeakers are priced and sold in matched pairs, ensure you order correctly – e.g. 1 x 76-121 orders 1 pair Monitor 20. Items ordered incorrectly will be subject to a returns handling charge. Standard cabinet finishes are shown in the price lines. Alternative finishes, e.g. other Nextel colours, or other wood veneers, are available to special order (may be subject to minimum manufacturing quantities), price by quotation.