"This Harbeth User Group (HUG) is the Manufacturer's own managed forum dedicated to natural sound from microphone to ear, achievable by recognising and controlling the numerous confounding variables that exist along the audio chain. The Harbeth designer's objective is to make loudspeakers that contribute little of themselves to the music passing through them.

Identifying system components for their sonic neutrality should logically proceed from the interpretation and analysis of their technical, objective performance, since deviations from a flat frequency response at any point along the signal chain from microphone to ear is likely to create the audible sonic personality that you hear. This includes the contribution of the listening room itself. To accurately reproduce the recorded sound, as Harbeth speakers are designed to do, you would be advised to select system components (sources, electronics, cables and so on) that do not color the sound before it reaches the speakers.

For example, the design of and interaction between the hifi amplifier and its speaker load can and potentially will alter the sound balance of what you hear. This may or may not be what you wish to achieve, but any deviation from a flat response is a step away from a truly neutral system. HUG has extensively discussed amplifiers and the methods for seeking the most objectively neutral amongst a plethora of available product choices.

HUG specialises in making complex technical matters simple to understand, such as the relationship between recorded sound and the sound you hear. With our heritage of natural sound and pragmatism, HUG cannot be expected to be a place to get deeply into discussing the selection, approval or endorsement of non-Harbeth system elements selected, knowingly or not, to create a significantly personalised sound. For that you should do your own research and above all, make the effort to visit an Authorised Dealer and listen to your music at your loudness on your loudspeakers through the various offerings there. There is really no on-line substitute for time invested in a dealer's showroom because 'tuning' your system to taste is such a highly personal matter.

Please consider carefully how much you should rely upon and be influenced by the subjective opinions of strangers. Their hearing acuity and taste will be different to yours, as will be their motives and budget, their listening distance, loudness and room treatment, not necessarily leading to appropriate equipment selection and listening satisfaction for you.

If some of the science behind faithfully reproducing the sound intended by the composer, score, conductor and musicians over Harbeth speakers is your thing, this forum has been helping with that since 2006. If you just want to share your opinions and photos with others then the unrelated Harbeth Speakers Facebook page may be for you. Either way, welcome to the world of Harbeth!"

Feb. 2018
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"Evidence-based journalism" - WikiTribune

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  • "Evidence-based journalism" - WikiTribune

    Fingers crossed for Jimmy Wales. It's desperately needed in this confused world. Wouldn't it be great if they ran an audiophile section....


    "What do we mean by evidenced-based journalism?"

    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  • #2
    Journalists are paid per word not per truth. Scientists today have to " publish or perish". (The original article on "A Structure For Desoxyribose Nucleic Acid" by Watson &Crick, Nature 171, April 1953, didn't exceed the length of our weekly shopping list.) Clickbaiting is ubiquitous in audio online magazines and the print issues. But once you have decided to solve your problems in a way that provides validity, reability and inter-observer reproducibility you'll never want to abandon the advantages of scientific methods. Our luck that A.S. and Harbeth are sticking for this way, but to ask customers to make their purchase choices similar to a loudspeaker production process would be excessivly demanding. And there are only few ways to reconstitute cognitive consonance after buying a very expensive amplifier and being not shure whether it was worth it. One of them is to believe in the improvement.


    • #3
      Originally posted by honestguv
      Chortle. That is Jimmy Wales of Wikipedia. The place where statements are required to be citable rather than true. ...
      "True" is not such an easy thing to establish, whether you're Wikipedia or anyone else. While I don't discount your experience, I do recall there was a study some years ago that determined that Wikipedia, on the whole, was as accurate as the Encylopedia Britannica:

      It's true that the "open source" principle of Wikipedia does allow nonsense to creep in at times, but the hope is that others will correct this, and this is usually (though not always) what happens. I suspect that your experience was reflective of the large amount of apparently credible nonsense that is published about audio matters generally - it's a lot of work (for anyone) to separate the wheat from the chaff.

      However, I don't think that this invalidates what they are trying to do with journalism, which I think makes eminent good sense and puts more power into the hands of the individual member of the public.


      • #4
        Originally posted by honestguv
        Everybody is taught the scientific method at school and it is remarkably effective at sorting out what may be considered true for matters covered by science.
        Yes indeed, but an encyclopedist is not a scientist, nor is realistic to think that he/she should be one. It may be that there are some subjects that are too complex to be dealt with in an generalist, open-source (and free!) online encyclopedia, but to give up the endeavour altogether seems to throw out the baby with the bathwater.

        In any event, my original point was that, whatever the flaws and imperfections of Wikipedia, it seems to me that those do not provide a rational basis for denigrating (as you did) a professed attempt to do journalism in a new and better way, by giving the public access to the full context of a story, and background information that is usually hidden. Those are two different things, and the new effort should be judged on its own merits. Cynicism about Wikipedia - justified or not - does not logically invalidate an attempt to find a better way to conduct journalism, does it?