HUG - here for all audio enthusiasts

At its inception ten years ago, the Harbeth User Group's ambition was to create a lasting knowledge archive. Knowledge is based on facts and observations. Knowledge is timeless, independent of the observer and can be replicated. However, we live in new world in which objective facts have become flexible, personal and debatable. HUG operates in that real world, and that has now been reflected in the structure of HUG.

HUG has two approaches to contributor's Posts. If you, like us, have a scientific mind and are curious about how the ear works, how it can lead us to make the right - and wrong - decisions, and about the technical ins and outs of audio equipment, how it's designed and what choices the designer makes, then the factual Science of Audio sub-forum area of HUG is your place. The objective methods of comparing audio equipment under controlled conditions has been thoroughly examined here on HUG and elsewhere and can be readily understood by non-experts and tried-out at home without deep technical knowledge.

Alternatively, if you just like chatting about audio and subjectivity rules for you, then the Subjective Soundings area is you. If upon examination we think that Posts are better suited to one sub-forum than than the other, they will be redirected during Moderation, which is applied throughout the site.

Questions and Posts about, for example, 'does amplifier A sounds better than amplifier B' or 'which speaker stands or cables are best' are suitable for the Subjective Soundings area. From Oct. 2016, Posts in the Subjective Soundings area will not be spell checked or adjusted for layout clarity. We regret that but we are unable to accept Posts that present what we consider to be free advertising for products that Harbeth does not make.

The Moderators' decision is final in all matters and Harbeth does not necessarily agree with the contents of any member contributions and has no control over external content.

That's it! Enjoy!

{Updated Jan. 2017}
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A peculiarly British obsession with steam?

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  • A peculiarly British obsession with steam?

    We British are an interesting lot. We have an enviable heritage of which we can be and are truly proud; many facets of which we actively pursue obsessively on an individual basis to the detriment of home life and marriage!

    We rebuild old cars, we call them vintage, that should have been scrapped years ago and the component parts recycled into more efficient machinery, and drive them around the countryside in the summer to “rallies”.
    We have museums filled with relics of the past which we visit on Sundays, we fly 60 year old aircraft over wedding celebrations, and we venerate our older engineering triumphs by restoring surviving examples to working order despite the cost to our ailing finances. Windmills, watermills, coal mines and water pumping stations come to mind. But for me the most important British invention is, after the Harbeth loudspeaker, the steam engine.

    It is preserved in more guises in Britain than almost anywhere else in the world. In the UK there are over 300 preserved steam railway locomotives, the majority rebuilt from scrapped wrecks rejected in the early 1960s by British Railways, and on most weekends of the year there are steam-powered charter services running the length and breadth of the country.
    There are also a large number of steam powered road and farm vehicles, rebuilt and in full insured working order, which can be seen at rallies up and down the country nearly all year round.

    Recently a quite special event was organised as part of one of these rallies. For a long time there has been a vintage car rally and now a vintage commercial vehicle rally from London to Brighton, co-incidentally passing within a few miles of the Harbeth factory. This year a group of owners and enthusiasts of steam road haulage, the Horsham Traction Company, decided to emulate what was once a common event on the UKs roads, and transport an electrical power supply transformer on its 1930s trailer, from London to Brighton on 1st May. This group of enthusiasts based at a modern day plant hire and heavy haulage business in Surrey have at their disposal the means to organise an event such as this and regularly entertain enthusiasts at the rallies they visit, with prodigious feats of haulage. One of the engines, Boadicea, has pulled a 145 ton load unaided up a 1 in 12 slope (8.5%) at the great Dorset steam Fair!

    There were three road locomotives taking part, Burrell 6NHP Road Loco ‘ His Majesty’ taking the lead , then Mclaren 10NHP Road Loco ‘Boadicea’, and Fowler 8NHP Road Loco ‘The Great North’ as brake engine at the rear. There was a crew on the trailer to man the brakes too.

    There are several privately taken videos on (search for Horsham Traction) which will give you a sense of the power and fascination of these machines, once the epitome of British engineering.

    There is also a page on Facebook for those with access:

    For UK steam railway videos on YouTube try or for starters! There are hundreds of enthusiast videos there.
    Last edited by Paul G Smith; 14-05-2011, 06:02 PM. Reason: added info

    "If all else fails, read the instructions"