Harbeth Super HL5plus XD - LOUDSPEAKER
Stereophile|September 2023
What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits-the 1974 album by those San Jose yacht-rock sages the Doobie Brothers-could also describe an audiophile's life.
KEN MICALLEF
Harbeth Super HL5plus XD - LOUDSPEAKER

The journey begins with booze and bong money spent instead on an entry-level turntable and cartridge; it did for me anyway. Then starts the churn, through many components and configurations seeking that elusive, blissful audio fix until finally we find our audio oasis, our own sonic peace, our gearhead nirvana. We achieve a system that satisfies our listening indulgences, whether it be based on streaming or spinning, class-D or tubes, with Belden wire or 0.999999% pure-silver single-strand wire that costs more than a Range Rover. It doesn't last.

My audio evolution began in the late 1970s, with a Garrard 42M Automatic Record Changer, a skanky, toneless Lafayette LA-25 solid state integrated amplifier with fake woodgrain wrap on its yucky tin shell, and a Utah Radio Products A-70A speaker system. Not pretty.

Soon enough, a Bang & Olufsen Beogram RX turntable joined the mix; that led to a pair of Cary Audio Design CAD-300SE monoblock amplifiers-progress-an Oracle Alexandria turntable, a chunky Audio Research SP-9 preamplifier, and an Art Audio Diavolo SET 300B amplifier. More recently, I've locked down my jones with B&W, ProAc, Gallo, DeVore Fidelity, Shindo Labs, Thorens, Kuzma, and VPI.

Good stuff, it makes me happy, but satisfaction is fleeting and soon I-weneed another new fix. You find yourself exploring again, dodging hurricanes and meteorites to reach new audio vistas. It would be wise advice not to listen to those urges. We know this, but we do it anyway because we know in time we'll stumble onto something new that rocks our world.

More than one audiophile has found hi-fi contentment in a pair of Harbeth loudspeakers. Founded by former BBC engineer Dudley Harwood, in West Sussex, England, Harbeth Audio Ltd.

This story is from the September 2023 edition of Stereophile.

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This story is from the September 2023 edition of Stereophile.

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