Written By Don Penland
In the early seventies, I acquired a Mazda RX2, the one with the
rotary engine. It was a spirited car but it came equipped with bias
ply tires as did virtually everything back then. When it came time to
replace them, I chose the more expensive radial design that was
gaining favor. The Pirelli radials transformed the handling
characteristics of the Maxda in ways I had not expected. The
sensation of control was heightened as if the car was running on
rails. The slightest nudge on the steering wheel was translated
precisely and the whole thing tracked like it had anticipated what I
intended. Cornering was just thrilling. With the old tires, the
vehicle wallowed around corners with more roll. With the radials,
cornering was flatter and smoother. It felt as if the tires were
When I first heard a Harbeth speaker, sticky was the word that jumped
out to me. Sticky like those Pirelli radials and while listening, I
was reminded of my trusty Mazda and how it drove with the new tires.
The flat corning, responsiveness, control and a sense of composure was
analogous to what the music sounded like through the Harbeth. The
full drama of music is conveyed, regardless of complexity, with grace.
There are scores of positive reviews of Harbeth worldwide but reading
about a speaker is like reading about a tire. The only way you can
know, and more importantly feel, what we are trying to say, is to
experience them yourself.