Speakers from British company Harbeth have been chosen as monitors for the work of the British Library's sound archive, which is currently in the process of transferring thousands of hours of recordings to hard-disk storage. Custom-designed studios have been built in the new sound archive premises, behind the Library itself, and Harbeth's Monitor 20, 30 and 40 models are used throughout the operation.

The largest studios use the three-way Harbeth Monitor 40s, seen left, while the smaller 20 and 30 near-field monitors are used in desk-top set-ups. The archive is currently undergoing the transfer of huge amounts of audio material to 96kHz/24-bit WAV files, which are stored on massive hard-disk servers, mirrored across several locations for security and failsafe operation.

The Monitor speakers were designed by Harbeth's Alan Shaw as drop-in replacements for the classic BBC monitor designs, the LS3/5A, LS5/9 and LS5/8. The speakers are used by the BBC and other professional customers, and are also available to enthusiasts in wood-veneered versions.

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