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View Full Version : The longest hours you have spent on your Harbeth



tein3
07-12-2009, 08:06 AM
(I have moved this here as I think it is more appropriate here, hope to hear from my fellow Harbeth users on this poll)

Hi all... lovers of Harbeth,

I would like to know what is the longest hours has one spent listening on their Harbeth speakers in one session?

For me, my longest record to date is 15hours of Vinyls and CDs, this will include toilet breaks, smoke breaks, lunch and dinner (45mins each). Average listening hours would be 4hours...

Hope I am not the only crazy one around... :p

Cheers!

Gan CK
07-12-2009, 08:29 AM
Tein3, you are definitely not the only crazy one here.

Some years ago when i was still single, i used to click average 6 to 8 hrs on weekdays & about 15 to 20 hrs on weekends (not inclusive of meals & toilet breaks). :))

Amongst the numerous spks i had, only Harbeth can make me sit down & listen for so many hours on end! Definitely not the speakers for one who values beauty sleep more than beautiful music. :)

tein3
07-12-2009, 08:39 AM
Tein3, you are definitely not the only crazy one here.

Some years ago when i was still single, i used to click average 6 to 8 hrs on weekdays & about 15 to 20 hrs on weekends (not inclusive of meals & toilet breaks). :))

Amongst the numerous spks i had, only Harbeth can make me sit down & listen for so many hours on end! Definitely not the speakers for one who values beauty sleep more than beautiful music. :)

Wow! Glad to hear that I am not the only crazy one around and you been the crazier one, LOL. So I am normal... and not abnormal....

Gan CK
07-12-2009, 08:43 AM
Wow! Glad to hear that I am not the only crazy one around and you been the crazier one, LOL. So I am normal... and not abnormal....

Alas, can't do that anymore ever since i settled down....wife will protest! :)
Can only do that again when she's overseas on official business...haha.

tein3
07-12-2009, 09:08 AM
Alas, can't do that anymore ever since i settled down....wife will protest! :)
Can only do that again when she's overseas on official business...haha.

hahahaha, lucky me, so far for the last 2 to 3 months... my wife has yet protest, before Harbeth arrived in my house was not as long of a listening or as "bad".

Anyway... I have change my sofa in the listening room so as she could join me and I could soften the protest... but when she comes in... the seat will be shifted left so as I maintain the sweet spot for listening when she sits next to me, LOL! She only takes on the sweet spot on the seat when we are listening to singers that she likes :)

Gan CK
07-12-2009, 09:35 AM
hahahaha, lucky me, so far for the last 2 to 3 months... my wife has yet protest, before Harbeth arrived in my house was not as long of a listening or as "bad".

Anyway... I have change my sofa in the listening room so as she could join me and I could soften the protest... but when she comes in... the seat will be shifted left so as I maintain the sweet spot for listening when she sits next to me, LOL! She only takes on the sweet spot on the seat when we are listening to singers that she likes :)

Wah at least your wife still listens to some music on your Harbeth...my wife totally don't appreciate music....but i am quite lucky in the sense that she allows me to listen at whatever volume i desire....haha...many of my friends listen at whisper soft volume when their wives are at home...Lol....

tein3
07-12-2009, 05:07 PM
Wah at least your wife still listens to some music on your Harbeth...my wife totally don't appreciate music....but i am quite lucky in the sense that she allows me to listen at whatever volume i desire....haha...many of my friends listen at whisper soft volume when their wives are at home...Lol....

Well.... your listening volume is truly amzing.... ;)

Wow... looks like there are another 2 whom are like us, have ever enjoyed long listening hours stretching beyond 10hrs with Harbeth. We are normal :p

keithwwk
08-12-2009, 01:48 AM
i did ever listen more than 10hrs during weekend..I like to listen music early morning and very often can not stop listen untill my wife knocking my door...:P

Jmohd
08-12-2009, 05:01 AM
i did ever listen more than 10hrs during weekend..I like to listen music early morning and very often can not stop listen untill my wife knocking my door...:P

You are in "HEAVEN"..... :)

Vlado
08-12-2009, 05:39 AM
What's the purpose of this pool?

Gan CK
08-12-2009, 06:51 AM
What's the purpose of this pool?

Probably just to find out how obsessed Harbeth users are to their speakers....lol...

I have read of some Spendor users displaying photos of their Spendor spks on their work desk....any Harbeth users do that? Well, i use pics of Harbeth SHL-5 as my notebook screen saver & in my handphone screen saver as well....lol...

Vlado
08-12-2009, 07:58 AM
Probably just to find out how obsessed Harbeth users are to their speakers....


Personaly I think that all this is about music. Or?

Gan CK
08-12-2009, 08:01 AM
Personaly I think that all this is about music. Or?

Yes its all about listening to the music we love on Harbeths & how addictive the sound is so much so that we can sacrifice so much sleep & other activities over it.

tein3
08-12-2009, 08:37 AM
Personaly I think that all this is about music. Or?

Yes, it is about music :) and the poll was just to have a feel on how many people does listening to Harbeth, which is easy to listen to... and what hours has it stretch without any fatigue :)

A.S.
08-12-2009, 11:42 AM
I think this is actually a very interesting thread. I wonder if Harbeth listeners on-average listen for longer than those using other harder, fatiguing speakers. I would imagine they do, since the defining characteristic of Harbeths seems to be the 'curtain of sound' they effortlessly generate, completely free from the constraints of two physical boxes. Indeed, with eyes closed, where are the two boxes?

I was talking to a freelance professional sound engineer this week. He was saying what a "blessed relief" it was to use Harbeths in one studio compared to the 'hard, fatiguing and after one hour almost unlistenable to' speakers he so often encounters. Interestingly, he commented (and he should know - his job is mixing and adjusting small details in a sound production) that another UK brand who use dome speaker units (which are promoted for their natural sound) are exceptionally fatiguing.

Jmohd
08-12-2009, 02:32 PM
Yesss,

When at work, always looking forward for the time to get home..... On week days always looking forward for weekend.. when working outstation ..always waiting to get home.....miss listening to beautiful music coming from HARBETH. As I type.. I "relisten"... keep on pressing the replay button.. playing one cd only.. I have more waiting to be spinned..

Nothing make me happier than listen to beautiful music..

ryder
08-12-2009, 02:49 PM
Folks here who manage to hit past 10 hours are incredible. I concur the fresh and smooth sound of the Harbeth does promote an extremely low listening fatigue. So low that I doze off on the couch in the midst of a listening session once. I admit I was tired after a hard day of work on that particular day.


He was saying what a "blessed relief" it was to use Harbeths in one studio compared to the 'hard, fatiguing and after one hour almost unlistenable to' speakers he so often encounters. Interestingly, he commented (and he should know - his job is mixing and adjusting small details in a sound production) that another UK brand who use dome speaker units (which are promoted for their natural sound) are exceptionally fatiguing.
That is the problem with certain "exciting" speakers deliberately designed to sound more forward with extended highs, or for the lack of a better term tilted high-frequencies. They may sound breathtaking or thrilling at first with all the details and wonderful "resolution" but after a while the ears get tired. For people who own some of these ultra-revealing speakers I reckon it is highly unlikely they will manage to even listen past 3 hours, not to mention the incredible feat of 10 recorded by some folks here. Amazing. 15 hours? Hats off to the man who started this thread.

A.S.
08-12-2009, 02:53 PM
Yes!

And nothing gives me more satisfaction than 'cheating reality' by creating a sound from mere wood and plastic that can, under the right circumstances, sonically seduce the listener! The less you can see of my hand the in the design and the more of the original sound that flows through, the better. If you can see nothing of me, then that is perfection! My job is not to add anything. I'm not painting pictures, I'm taking high resolution photographs.

kittykat
09-12-2009, 12:25 AM
This might be the best indicator yet for what a good pair of speakers are ie. how long we can listen to them. When i use to work in singapore, i left my hifi on all the time while i was home, listening to the BBC world service which was (might still be?) available on FM. The speakers were a pair of Rogers and i still have them. Like the pair of Harbeths i have now, they are not super exciting but endearing. They will be like an old pair of sneakers or jeans where you just want to keep hanging on to. I think i know which "natural" sounding brand Alan is referring to because i had a pair of them before the SHL5's replaced them. ;-)

keithwwk
09-12-2009, 12:31 AM
Yes, it is all about muisc. Harbeth is a ll about music and interprte music with zero fatigue wonderfully for long hrs listening...last night I heard Wonderful full tube setup at my friend there and I was dream abt it's sound this morning tapping my feet with the music....amazing!

keithwwk
09-12-2009, 12:48 AM
Yes!

And nothing gives me more satisfaction than 'cheating reality' by creating a sound from mere wood and plastic that can, under the right circumstances, sonically seduce the listener! The less you can see of my hand the in the design and the more of the original sound that flows through, the better. If you can see nothing of me, then that is perfection! My job is not to add anything. I'm not painting pictures, I'm taking high resolution photographs.

Last night music listening experience changed my perception on how SHL5 can sound. It is truely amazing!

tein3
09-12-2009, 04:42 AM
Yes, it is all about muisc. Harbeth is a ll about music and interprte music with zero fatigue wonderfully for long hrs listening...last night I heard Wonderful full tube setup at my friend there and I was dream abt it's sound this morning tapping my feet with the music....amazing!

Yes Keith, totally agree and thanks for the arrangement made, it was truly an amzing experience, especially for me who lean more to tube sound.


That is the problem with certain "exciting" speakers deliberately designed to sound more forward with extended highs, or for the lack of a better term tilted high-frequencies. They may sound breathtaking or thrilling at first with all the details and wonderful "resolution" but after a while the ears get tired. For people who own some of these ultra-revealing speakers I reckon it is highly unlikely they will manage to even listen past 3 hours, not to mention the incredible feat of 10 recorded by some folks here. Amazing. 15 hours? Hats off to the man who started this thread.

hahaha, in fact it was not once but several time I hit those hours beyond 10 or at leat 8... I do feel sleepy too at most time as the speakers just seem to do that... put you to sleep... but it is the urge to spin that other CD or LP and yearning to listen to the music in the form that we enjoy on Harbeth with our other equipment that kept me going and going...


This might be the best indicator yet for what a good pair of speakers are ie. how long we can listen to them. When i use to work in singapore, i left my hifi on all the time while i was home, listening to the BBC world service which was (might still be?) available on FM. The speakers were a pair of Rogers and i still have them. Like the pair of Harbeths i have now, they are not super exciting but endearing. They will be like an old pair of sneakers or jeans where you just want to keep hanging on to. I think i know which "natural" sounding brand Alan is referring to because i had a pair of them before the SHL5's replaced them. ;-)

I like word you used to describe, endearing. :)


Yesss,

When at work, always looking forward for the time to get home..... On week days always looking forward for weekend.. when working outstation ..always waiting to get home.....miss listening to beautiful music coming from HARBETH. As I type.. I "relisten"... keep on pressing the replay button.. playing one cd only.. I have more waiting to be spinned..

Nothing make me happier than listen to beautiful music..

LOL, I face that of what you have experience too. In some way of other, my wife appreciate my set up as she see more of me at home... hahahaha. Anyway, I am trying to shift myself out from this addictive nature to listen to them over and over again by getting on with other things in my life.

Cheers to all HARBETH users!

A.S.
09-12-2009, 01:36 PM
...I think i know which "natural" sounding brand Alan is referring to because i had a pair of them before the SHL5's replaced them. ;-)It never ceases to amaze me just how sonically hard many so-called "hi-fi" or "monitor" speakers are. There really is no excuse for that since loudspeakers are significantly or mainly concerned these days (depending upon taste) with reproducing vocals. So a singer as a reference against which the designer can judge his design is cheaply and easily available in every community, every town as talent shows like Britain's Got Talent and The X-Factor (both Harbeth installations) amply prove. There is no shortage of vocalists around willing to sing for their supper! The best test source there is, for free on your doorstep! Male, femal vocals, tenor, soprano - whatever you want to test the full range of your loudspeakers! Speakers are about speech - or vocals.

Although you may, as indeed I do, find it difficult to believe, a few years ago a large broadcast organisation selected a monitor speaker system without any consideration of listener fatigue at all. I read the internal report. I read the external report too. I talked to some of those involved. When I asked if listening fatigue had been considered in the selection process I could see by the momentary look of terror that it hadn't but that (being asked by a speaker designer) it just might have been overlooked and might even be important (Shock! Horror! Career on the line!). It is beyond my comprehension that users (or a selection of users) should be deprived of the opportunity to live with a loudspeaker speaker for, say, ten hours, during which time any latent issues would surely become apparent. The sign of a good loudspeaker, as this thread demonstrates, is not that the listener listens more and hears more problems (the usual situation) but that he listens more and can't find any problems. Because I've taken inordinate care to make sure that there aren't any - that's my duty in the creative process.

I went out and bought one of the 'selected' speakers. As you will know, I rarely comment on other speakers but in this particular case, the listening fatigue set-in after a few seconds and had my head in a vice like grip. It was the very definition of loudspeaker listening fatigue. In my opinion, such a poorly executed design should never have passed from R&D into production. Obviously, it was never compared against a real vocalist. That it did slip out tells you a lot about the real commercial power base within the manufacturing company concerned. We here surely don't hold a monopoly on the judgement of good sound and it seems likely to me that there are many good listeners in other speaker manufacturing companies. So that must mean that they are either


not at all consulted during the design
consulted but their opinion ignored
are consulted but are unable to succinctly express their opinions about a speaker in a way that the designer can adjust the design
are apathetic about the products they make or sell - 'it's just a 9-5 job'

That all said, looking back over the experience I am truly delighted that we were not bullied into giving-away loudspeakers at or below cost. Commercially we've never looked back as it demonstrated to me that we make excellent products and should not rely on commercial endorsements - especially when the selection process is so nobbled. If others like our products we are most appreciative of their kind words, but we have not, must not and cannot abrogate the responsibility to make and market our products to third parties - even very well intentioned and friendly ones.

You, collectively, have listened to Harbeths for hundreds of thousands of hours more than me. If there were latent issues you'd have rumbled me long ago. I have a crystal clear target specification in my mind, and I release the product when I am totally confident that you, with your massive listening-time advantage over me are not going to catch me out! Above all, you are buying loudspeakers built to last decades. Nobody but me ever hears a Harbeth under development. I cannot create these loudspeakers as part of a collaborative team. They are a personal journey and life is so exceedingly short to give them anything less than ones best shot.

EricW
09-12-2009, 04:20 PM
Some potential ad slogans for Habeth (offered free of charge):

"Harbeth: Because Your Speakers Shouldn't Hurt"

"Harbeth: Because Life's Too Short to Listen to Anything Else"

"Harbeth: Because They'll Sound Just As Good In Ten Hours"

"Harbeth: Because Your Ears Will Thank You."

Maybe the readership would like to toss out a few others?

KT88
09-12-2009, 04:22 PM
" They are a personal journey and life is so exceedingly short to give them anything less than ones best shot" - Alan Shaw

Abolutely amazing! I hope we all realize how fortunate we are to be using products designed by a man with this kind of vision and philosophy- we should all make it a goal to bring this same attitude to everything we do in life-seriously. And the man takes time to share this stuff with us. Un-#$%*ing -believable in this day and age...

Thank you, Alan, and Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Bob LaBarca
State College,PA
USA

Vlado
09-12-2009, 06:29 PM
Some potential ad slogans for Habeth (offered free of charge):


"If music really matters" but this is already "taken" by one electronics brand

kittykat
10-12-2009, 01:22 AM
to quote you Alan -"life is so exceedingly short "...

Appreciating the brevity of life can help set priorities as well as put things into perspective and the right place.

My recent quest for a higher level of music enjoyment was driven by the realisation that within 10 years if not sooner, my hearing would have lost its edge. I saw this happen to my father, who could not hear frequency extremes, probably exacerbated by the fact that he caught malaria in Malaya in his teenage years. He was a bit of an audiophile and had this ?family game? with a frequency sweep track of a test record. When the needle dropped on the track he would ask everyone who could hear ?anything? to raise their hands. His hands were always the last to be raised and the first to be dropped.

The restart of this music enjoyment quest of mine is after many years of detach due to poor sound quality (more of the edgy irritating type) and a music industry which, to me, seemed to serving up rather soulless and artist image driven music. The latter (software) seems to be improving while the former (hardware) seems to be still largely caught in the web of passionless large corporate grey (and possibly going to be more so, looking at industry trends of brand aggregation and segment management).

Happy to say, in the last month, in a frenzy, I?ve listened to many artistes, many of whom are from this last decade, ones ive never listened to before, which id probably would never have considered but enjoyed nevertheless knowing that through the Harbeth?s, they?d be ok. From these few artistes, ive slowly learnt more about what type of music I like. The choice of music and inclinations haven?t changed a tiny bit. They were probably set by the time we were in our early teens. To me, its all been part of a learning process, and path towards a better understanding of who we are today, through the music we like and thanks to a soulful company for making that an experience.

A.S.
10-12-2009, 10:11 AM
...Appreciating the brevity of life can help set priorities as well as put things into perspective and the right place. ... The choice of music and inclinations haven?t changed a tiny bit. They were probably set by the time we were in our early teens. To me, its all been part of a learning process, and path towards a better understanding of who we are today, through the music we like...This is exactly how I feel. As you have experienced - and I suspect many of us feel the same - our personality, likes and dislikes, way we express ourselves, value system is really fixed by the time we are in our early teens. Many people spend their lives working around in a big circle until, perhaps a little too late, they realise that what they gave up, threw away or under appreciated at that formative time is now what they aspire to the most.

When I look back to my teens (well over thirty years ago!), it is without doubt the chance I had as a Saturday volunteer at the local BBC station that sealed my fate with regard to my involvement with these BBC-inspired monitors. The BBC design approach seem just so perfect in its concept and execution; cost effective, simple, elegant and backed by the research of serious professional engineers at the BBC whose careers and reputations depended upon producing something that fulfilled the specification - and could, literally, be made on the kitchen table by general-purpose laboratory staff who could cut wood and operate a lathe.

There are many many different approaches to speaker design, and in a buyer's democracy we are completely relaxed about that, and positively welcome the contrast in sound it makes with a Harbeth. But I've never been tempted away from this approach because, at such a formative age, I was - and still am - in awe of the engineering thinking that went into their realisation at the BBC. Never a day goes past without my respect and gratitude for the efforts of the BBC engineers and their inspired leaders like H.L. Kirke.