Harbeth was founded in 1977 by the former head of research of BBC, Dudley Harwood, got its name from his surname – ‘HARwood’ and his wife’s given name ‘elizaBETH’. Harwood was one of most known engineers, the animator of the British scene since the 50-ties. But this story starts before the company was founded, in the early 70-ties, when Dudley was still employed at BBC. One of the most important needs was to design a small near field monitor, that could be used for mobile transmission studios. This is how the model LS3/5a was created, which is the best selling and longest produced model in all loudspeaker history.
Alan Shaw became a Saturday assistant his local BBC radio station in the 1960's. This gave him access to presenters live and through the glass in the control room to their reproduced voice over the monitor speakers. It fuelled his curiosity about the BBC monitor concept, and to Shorter (LS5/1) and Harwood’s inventions (LS5/5, LS3/5a).
Some ten years later, Shaw, working in the Japanese semiconductor industry, had the opportunity to visit Harwood, about whom he had read extensively. Harwood’s commercial predicament now he was well past retirement age was self-evident — the premature launching of the new-technology Mk4 Monitor but having to revert to producing the diaphragm technology of the previous models. Shaw’s, half Harwood’s age and having first-hand experience with Japanese Quality Control, supply-chain management, and product innovation suited the Harbeth commercial challenges perfectly. Over forty years on with Shaw at the helm, Harbeth was to steadily grow and evolve.
TonTräger.audio is a young creative company crafting high-end sound furniture for exquisite listening enjoyment. Based in Füssen, Germany, we are surrounded by a breath-taking lake scenery at the foothills of the Bavarian Alps.
Our workshop is situated in the iconic 'Hanfwerke' warehouse, an historic industrial area located on the bank of the river Lech. Since 1857 ropes and cords made of hemp and flax were produced here, but the cessation of production in 2009 prompted artisans and craftsmen to revive the empty buildings. It is here in this unique ambience that we plan, develop and produce our prototypes.
With a long-desired and newly-acquired pair of loudspeakers from HARBETH AUDIO. Like every proud new HARBETH owner we were faced with the dilemma of where to place these precious pieces?!
As two fully-fledged artisans and music lovers – encouraged by the statement "...placed on the right stands, you can get much more out of it..." – we saw nothing more natural than to get to work and to develop our own stands.
Fortunately, we had the support of professionals. Dietmar Sutter and the team from „HiFi-Bauernhof“/Altusried played an advisory role on a tonal level. Together we worked out the requirements the new loudspeaker stands needed to fulfill. This provided the basis for the development of our first ecological solid wood loudspeaker stands suited to all HARBETH monitor types.
100% Audio - 100% Handcraft - 100% Organic
Inspired by our personal lifestyle, it felt only natural that we also develop an organic production chain for TonTräger.audio sound furniture. We use wood that is sourced only from local FSC-certified forests, treat our product surfaces with solvent-free natural oils and pigments, and use plastic-free environmentally friendly packaging. TonTräger.audio products set the standard for quality and sustainability in the HiFi sector.
Alan Shaw gives us his thumbs up
It's a dream come true.
At the open house of “HiFi Bauernhof” we meet Alan Shaw – designer and managing director at HARBETH – in person. He invites TonTräger.audio to the “Munich High End Show” where he presents HARBETH loudspeakers on TonTräger.audio reference stands.