"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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Congratulations on a personal 'diamond jubilee' for A.S.

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  • Congratulations on a personal 'diamond jubilee' for A.S.

    Happy Birthday to A.S.!

  • #2
    Congratulations Alan.


    • #3
      A very Happy Birthday and many more of them, young lad.


      • #4
        Happy Birthday Alan!


        • #5
          We have a rule in our family that you have to visit a new country on quinquennial birthdays. I have one coming up next year. All the best on your special day Alan.


          • #6
            Yes indeed! Very best wishes Alan.


            • #7
              Happy 60th, and as someone who turned this illustrious age a couple months ago it does seem possible for life seems to get better as we age. And congrats on doing great work that brings joy to others.


              • #8
                Well done Alan and thank you for the most wonderful speakers I've ever owned


                • #9
                  Well, what a wonderful and unexpected surprise from HUG! I am honoured to be the recipient of your good wishes. Thank you very much what what is received as affection and appreciation. Without you, our customers, my life would have been utterly different these past thirty years, and I regularly count my luck stars that a little talent has been usefully directed at a worthwhile life-long endevour.

                  Actually, it's a milestone whereby one takes stock of ones life, the mistakes (plenty) and occasional successes. Not in a moribund way, but time to be utterly realistic with an awareness of the passage of time. As I was reminded today, ten years ago (seems like about four) that I was racing round an airfield in an Aston Martin, egged on towards 200mph with the end of the track racing towards me.

                  If you're interested, I'd like to share some pictures take during family celebrations (and especially of my granddaughter) but I don't know how to, seeing that we have problems with images here.

                  I messaged our web master and he has said that VBulletin are 'aware' of the image problems and have been for months. They do not offer a paid-for support option (or we would have cheerfully taken it long ago) so he has placed an advert on a job notice board for freelance software engineers to debug the VB code. In other words, we pay someone to fix third party commercial software.

                  In the meantime, cheers!
                  Alan A. Shaw
                  Designer, owner
                  Harbeth Audio UK


                  • #10
                    That picture is hilarious and a quintessential setting though I have never been to the south east aside from London, a pint of a local bitter would be perfect on that occasion. PS The weather looking entirely normal for a UK July, cloudy with jumpers on!
                    Getting to know my C7ES3


                    • #11
                      Belated best birthday wishes, Alan! 60 years old? Blimey! Besides creating wonderful speakers, thank you for all that you've done in creating this forum, which is an oasis of rational, civilized discussion (audio and otherwise) in an unsettled time. I'll raise a glass and wish you many many more!


                      • #12
                        We were scretly hoping that your grandaughter's visit, today, could solve the posting problems...

                        It used to be quite common here in Brazil for stores, on their respective "birthdays", to come up with an ad saying: "the birthday is ours, but the present is yours!"

                        I can't help but feel the same about you and the speakers you make. Thanks!

                        And, since we're at it, happy birthday!


                        • #13
                          We wish you a very Happy Birthday. You and your team always made wonderful speakers. I would like to say thank you all of your effort and amazing achievement. I thankful to HUG as well. Which is completely change my life. Thank you Alan! God bless you.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by A.S. View Post
                            As I was reminded today, ten years ago (seems like about four) that I was racing round an airfield in an Aston Martin, egged on towards 200mph with the end of the track racing towards me.
                            Are you suggesting that "A.S." might actually stand for "Alias Stig"?


                            • #15
                              Thank you again. Jessica phoned me when she returned to her home in Newport, Wales (a 3.5 hour drive) and thanked me for 'coming to your wonderful birthday party...' May there be many more.

                              I was treated to two outings by my family .... the first was quite the opposite to the treat for my 50th: being slowly transported through the Sussex countryside whilst enjoying afternoon tea and, of course, a scone on a vintage steam train which runs on a line terminated under the 1964 Beeching Cuts when 2000 stations and 9000 miles of track were abruptly terminated as unprofitable. Lucklily, there are many preservation societies which were formed to preserve and maintain some of these lines including, our nearby Bluebell Railway. We can hear the stream whistle from the factory when the wind is in the right direction.

                              Here are a few pictures. During our vist to the engine, the trainee stoker (red tie) told me that it had taken him ten years to become qualified (training every weekend) to keep the engine in power and to be sure that there was always enough coal in the engine for the load being carried.

                              He explained that to eventually qualify as a driver would take another five years. It must never be forgotten that a pressurised steam engine has hugely destructive power, both in moving mass and in decompressive power. The boilers are very internally nut-and-bolt examined and certified every year by independent experts.The operating pressure of the Wealden Rambler is 250 psi. Needless to say, the railway is fastidious about public safety.

                              Pictures here.
                              Alan A. Shaw
                              Designer, owner
                              Harbeth Audio UK