This is Harbeth's much-anticipated M40.1 speaker, due to be showcased at the 2008 Las Vegas CES show at the beginning of January prior to the start-up of production early in the New Year.
The new speaker is an upgrade of the classic Monitor 40, itself designed as a drop-in replacement for the BBC's famous LS5/8 large monitor speaker, production of which ceased with the demise of Rogers some years back. And as part of the development process the speaker has been assessed by the BBC, by its US distributor, and in a springtime bluebell wood!
The Monitor 40.1 is the company's new reference model and whereas the original was designed for use in the 'dry' acoustic of studio control rooms, the new version has been optimised for 'livelier' domestic environments.
It's taken a year to develop the new speaker, which uses a custom-made 30cm bass unit – in fact, development of the M40.1 was spurred by the end of production of the old version's bass driver.
The speaker has been tested in the anechoic chamber at the BBC's research department at Kingswood Warren, Surrey, and company MD Alan Shaw (below with the speaker), who also designed the M40.1, also did some development work by measuring speakers in the anechoic environment of a bluebell wood.