"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. Deviations from a flat frequency response at any point along the signal chain from microphone to ear is likely to give an audible sonic personality to the system at your ear; this includes the significant contribution of the listening room itself. To accurately reproduce the recorded sound as Harbeth speakers are designed to do, you would be best 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 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 among a plethora of product choices.

HUG specialises in making complex technical matters simple to understand, getting at the repeatable facts in a post-truth environment where objectivity is increasingly ridiculed. With our heritage of natural sound and pragmatic design, HUG is not the best place to discuss non-Harbeth audio components selected, knowingly or not, to introduce a significantly personalised system 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. Our overall objective here is to empower readers to make the factually best procurement decisions in the interests of lifelike music at home.

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. Always keep in mind that without basic test equipment, subjective opinions will reign unchallenged. With test equipment, universal facts and truths are exposed.

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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No time for music

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  • No time for music

    At this time of year it's just films, films, films ... I wonder why? I've lost count over the last few weeks, La La Land, Lion, Manchester by the Sea, Living, Fences, Hacksaw Ridge next week. I missed Finding Dory. La La Land and Manchester by the Sea both had superb soundtracks. That said, there seems to be a dearth of really good original soundtracks, or am I being nostalgic?

    So La La Land got the big prize at the BAFTAs, not sure about that, but if it makes people smile and happy then that's a good film. By far the most memorable film of the year won best foreign language film, a Hungarian film called "Son of Saul". The Guardian called it excoriating. It was at times almost impossibly difficult to watch, but if you can, see it. In times of extremism, Nationalism and Fascism, it reminds us on an (in)human level where it can lead.

  • #2
    I think the early start to the year is like that due to the BAFTAS, Oscars etc.... I guess we've had The Grammys and The Brits are coming up in the UK but I tend to think these are a platform for artists with a massive machine behind them... I've found a lot of the artists I listen to are now using Pledge Music to raise money to make the music THEY want to make, not a record company.

    You're right about soundtracks though...I think the last I really like was Drive and that's a few years ago now.
    Emma Smith
    Brand Manager
    Harbeth Audio UK


    • #3
      Just as I mention it, Gramophone Magazine have just done a whole series of articles and interviews on the matter of film music. Unfortunately for subscribers only.


      • #4
        Simpler, happier, more contented and above all, more comfortable times. Sigh.

        Time to hunt down the polo neck methinks and retreat into the certainties of the 70s? Is there shame it that?
        Alan A. Shaw
        Designer, owner
        Harbeth Audio UK


        • #5
          Gosh, some people do watch a lot of films!
          We go to the cinema from time to time, but listen to
          lots of music.