HARBETH: Opinion re pre-owned HL5

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Here I am bothering you again with the Harbeth matter. I've been offered a pair of second hand Harbeth HL5 and I'd like to know your opinion about:

  1. Sound. Is there any outstanding sonic difference between a HL5 and a Super HL5?
  2. Less highs in the former because the SHL5 carries a super tweeter? What about the soundstage? I cannot test them because I'm 600km far from the speakers.
  3. Price. As the HL5 is a discontinued model so I don't have any price reference from a new one. The Super HL5 brand new costs the same in Spain as in the UK. So I must assume used Harbeth prices in Spain should be correlated to used prices in UK.

The guy who wants to sell those HL5 asks 950 € (720 pounds) including stands. Is in the money or out of the money? Attached you will find two pictures of the speakers. I'd appreciate very much your opinion.

I've thought hard about this. There are just too many variables in this situation for me to be able to offer any worthwhile guidance. I do regret this. It rarely happens, but . . . what I would say is this though. It is inconceivable to me that any fully working Harbeth pair could produce anything other than a delightful sound. I really do believe this. £720, even with stands is not a bargain. It is, I intuitively feel, a little on the high side.

Moreover, I guess there is carriage to pay on top. As a usual rule of thumb, used current Harbeths tend to sell privately for around 65% -75% of the original price. Re discontinued models, prices are typically 30% to 50% of the original price if and only if replacement drivers, should you need them, are available. This is not a foregone conclusion. Only Harbeth can advise on the availability.

Neil McCauley

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