Announcement

Collapse

HUG - here for all audio enthusiasts

The Harbeth User Group is the primary channel for public communication with Harbeth's HQ. If you have a 'scientific mind' and are curious about how the ear works, how it can lead us to make the right - and wrong - audio equipment 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 should be accessible to non-experts and able to be tried-out at home without deep technical knowledge. From a design perspective, today's award winning Harbeths could not have been designed any other way.

Alternatively, if you just like chatting about audio and subjectivity rules for you, then the Subjective Soundings area is you. If you are quite set in your subjectivity, then HUG is likely to be a bit too fact based for you, as many of the contributors have maximised their pleasure in home music reproduction by allowing their head to rule their heart. 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 only, although HUG is really not the best place to have these sort of purely subjective airings.

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

That's it! Enjoy!

{Updated Oct. 2017}
See more
See less

Mature men and their hobbies .... the antidote to audiophilia

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Mature men and their hobbies .... the antidote to audiophilia

    I am only a member of one recreational club and in our monthly meet-up yesterday as I looked around our little group (average age about 60, new members often in their 70s), it occurred to me how refreshingly different we are to an equivalent gang of hard-nut 'audiophiliacs', of the type we've seen here. "Electricity is 50% of the sound.... we're normal, all the rest of the world is not normal...." (gulp).

    Perhaps it's an age thing, and that in later middle age you just don't need to impress anyone any more. Or perhaps it's because of the very wide cross sectional mix of members (all male, sadly, that in common with the audiophile community), many of whom are hobbying on a very tight budget, the others, retirees with ample funds. What is really outstanding is that everyone talks sense, there is not a molecule of BS, and whilst we accept that none of us could be let loose (or actually would want to be!) in the real world, we know that our hobby is wholly and utterly governed by the laws of physics. No ifs, no buts, no maybes. No room tuning crystals, no directional cables, no isolation platforms nor mains filters, no harmonisers, no green pens. No histerics. No bad tempers. No shouting. No pricked egos. No obsessive or compulsive disorders. No rants or raves. Just science. And sometimes, we're lucky enough to have a real pro come and tell us how surprised he is that what years ago was dismissed as a toy, is actually a surprisingly fair impression of the real world.

    The costs of entry to this world are, in effect, zero. The monthly meeting costs $2.50/member, and thanks to millions of lines of software code written by serious programmers who seem to work practically for free, we have an international community, and a hobby. The name of the game is to invest time researching, discussing and evaluating before handing over hard won cash, and of that, as little as possible, since there is no pleasure in paying over the odds. And what an entirely different spirit of cooperation there is between members who are all specialists in their own way (in the club and out in the real world) and only too keen to help with practical advice when asked. It's a great community served by a handful of (mail order) retailers.

    What a refreshing antidote and nice to meet real people who take the trouble to haul their own equipment to a rented hall every month.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  • #2
    A technical hobby....

    So what is this hobby then? Have a look at what is possible now for a personal investment of about GBP25.... (in reality, the action is perfectly smooth, unlike this clip)

    Video to watch in HD, here. Best watched in theatre mode, (rectangular icon, bottom left corner) and in HD 1080. Even in claimed 'HD' the video quality is very poor compared to viewing first hand on a PC where the images are pin sharp.

    Obviously the instruments and equipment all actually work, have to be set and used correctly as can be seen here. Best watched in theatre mode, (rectangular icon, bottom left corner) and in HD 1080. Fancy a go yourself? Here. Or here.

    The way (this) simulator works is by using extensive look-up tables provided by the manufacturer which defines the real-world performance in every conceivable 3D situation.

    Comparison of two simulators here.

    Pictures of my local group. Note the use of a 4k TV as a computer monitor. Very nice indeed. I'd just need three for wrap around!

    Click image for larger version

Name:	FSclub.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	46.5 KB
ID:	63250

    Click image for larger version

Name:	FSClub 2.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	44.7 KB
ID:	63251
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

    Comment


    • #3
      More comfortgable than reality....

      Looks good. LHR is much more tolerable in this simulation than in real life! I speak as a frequent short haul traveller in the UK where we often seem to get the short straw due to the airport being very, very close to capacity.

      Can't help wondering if the simulator provides for the merest touch of snow; bird strikes subsequently revealed as improperly latched engine cowlings; a bit of smoke on Ethiopian 787's all of which have conspired to delay family members or me by up to 24 hours, with little on ground support from BA.

      * End of whinge *

      Mark

      Comment


      • #4
        Sunday morning physics in the real world

        A few more pictures from our local science-based club. What's interesting is the effort people will make every 4th Sunday to bring along (at considerable inconvenience) their system to a hall, for other members to enquire and probe it, to have lectures on the subject, share knowledge and try out other's systems first hand. And the age profile is probably not that dissimilar to those spending-out on their audio system or attending live classical concerts.

        Nobody forgets for a single second that the entire subject is controlled by physics. As it is in audio. A great spirit of learning, and I have never seen the slightest evidence of egotism. It's an absolute treasure to see men cooperating with a common and clear goal of better understanding of then making best use of science on a retirees budget. I overheard two members debating whether they could (or even should) invest in a software upgrade costing $18. How refreshing.

        What would make for an interesting PhD (and I means this absolutely seriously) would be to compare the mental and physical welfare of those retirees who invest time in a mental persuit such as simulation compared with the average for their age group, slumped passively in front of the TV. The evidence for the benefit of using ones brain in the autumn years is blindingly obvious.

        Click image for larger version

Name:	fs1a.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	139.7 KB
ID:	63320Click image for larger version

Name:	fs2.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	491.2 KB
ID:	63321Click image for larger version

Name:	fs3.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	334.8 KB
ID:	63322Click image for larger version

Name:	fs5a.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	152.5 KB
ID:	63323
        Alan A. Shaw
        Designer, owner
        Harbeth Audio UK

        Comment


        • #5
          Up up and a clean away....!

          OK, let me begin.

          If they sprayed the connections with De-oxit they'd get a cleaner take-off.

          Comment


          • #6
            Instrument flying

            OK, let me continue.

            My father has been flying for the last 3 or 4 years, and he's aged 77. Not on computers, in a Cessna single engine thing.

            Not because of any desire to improve his grasp of physics (he plays golf so he knows that what goes up must come down), and having last opened a text book 61 years ago, but because it's fun and he enjoys it. He's done the bit when you fly by instruments, which he found a bit worrying at first, but he never mentioned Newton had anything to do with it.

            The chap in picture 4 seems to be in orbit. Is he flying the Space Shuttle?

            Comment


            • #7
              A pilot's day off

              As I sit here listening to my new SHL5+ speakers and wondering at the gift Harbeth has given I can't help but wonder, why would anyone want to fly an airplane on their day off?

              I guess when you are an ex private, military, and airline pilot with 30+ years of experience and approximately 25,000 hours at the controls it loses a bit of fascination... Well, I do love my job.

              Maybe A.S. and I can trade for a day? Carry On!

              Comment


              • #8
                Life in the Ofice

                Originally posted by husafreak View Post
                As I sit here listening to my new SHL5+ speakers and wondering at the gift Harbeth has given I can't help but wonder, why would anyone want to fly an airplane on their day off?

                I guess when you are an ex private, military, and airline pilot with 30+ years of experience and approximately 25,000 hours at the controls it loses a bit of fascination... Well, I do love my job.

                Maybe A.S. and I can trade for a day? Carry On!
                Ah, happy days when, before 2001, I often asked the captain if I could fly in the cockpit for take off and/or landing. I was only declined once. The most terrifying - there really is no other word for it - was the landing at Kai Tak, the old HK airport seated behind the captain in a 747. In fact, it was so frightening, at the chequer board turn I had to close my eyes - tight - and wished I was anywhere on earth but in that cockpit. I salute you sir! In my silly little sim, I've never successfully made the turn, let alone the landing.

                (Real) "Flying: years and years of boredom interspersed with moments of sheer terror"
                Alan A. Shaw
                Designer, owner
                Harbeth Audio UK

                Comment


                • #9
                  Frighten yourself more...

                  Not silly at all. That arrival at Kai Tak was a visual maneuver and the hobby sims only give a limited amount of visual cues. If you like flying over buildings on short approach try runway 27 in San Diego, CA (KSAN). A fun visual approach is the River Visual to runway 19 in Washington, DC (KDCA). If your sim has those.
                  Here is a picture taken at a recent "Pilot Take Your Child To Work Day".
                  http://www.jokelibrary.net/occupatio.../pilot-kid.jpg

                  Comment

                  Working...
                  X