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INTRODUCTION - PLEASE READ FIRST TO UNDERSTAND THIS FORUM!

"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 an audible sonic personality in what you hear. That 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 on the face of it, any deviation from a flat response - and the frequency balance of tube amplifiers are usually influenced by their speaker load - 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, aiding the identification of audio components likely to maintain a faithful relationship between the recorded sound and the sound you hear. With our heritage of natural sound and pragmatism, HUG cannot be expected to be a place to discuss 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 faithfully reproducing the sound intended by the composer, score, conductor and musicians in your home and over Harbeth speakers is your audio dream, then understanding something of the issues likely to fulfill that intention is what this forum has been helping to do since 2006. Welcome!"


Feb. 2018
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"Audio and technological myths" - the Top Ten most incredible

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  • #16
    Hearing versus seeing

    This months, july 2012' editorial of the absolute sounds found here http://www.enjoythemusic.com/tas/ could be of interest re :photography v audio raised in the last few posts.

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    • #17
      Keelping an open mind

      Originally posted by Euler View Post
      ...With audiophilia, on the other hand, you have folks (including reviewers) going on and on about the transparency of this cable or the musicality of this preamp. It's all so psychological -- ignoring science and engineering, they convince themselves that they would be able to hear differences if the levels were matched, but of course this belief is never put to the test -- and these strong psychological forces keep the belief system of the audiophiliac closed off from rational counter-argument...

      Bruce
      Those who read your arguments carefully, Bruce, might get the impression that you are a little afraid of people "who's belief system is closed off from rational arguments". If they "convince themselves" that they hear differences, why not let them? Why do you on the other hand try to convince them of the opposite? Seems to me quite as irrational, only vice versa. As I said: tolerance.

      People who's belief system only relies on science seem to forget that they only got the science of the year 2012. Perhaps there are psycho-acoustic effects which can be proven later. Who knows? ;-)).

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      • #18
        Audiophiles are skydivers, without parachutes - why?

        After over 30 years in professional audio, I've learned a few things about electronics, about sound and above all, about people.

        Amongst the things I've learned is that if one jumps out of an aircraft without a parachute, the eventual impact is likely to do fatal harm.

        Why on Earth do so many audiophiles insist that skydiving without a parachute is worth attempting because it might prove that science is not always right.

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        • #19
          Not All Science, But How About a Little Science?

          Originally posted by Reinhard View Post
          Those who read your arguments carefully, Bruce, might get the impression that you are a little afraid of people "who's belief system is closed off from rational arguments". If they "convince themselves" that they hear differences, why not let them? Why do you on the other hand try to convince them of the opposite? Seems to me quite as irrational, only vice versa.
          Why not let them? Because they are doing harm. Surely it cannot be irrational to defend something you care about. As Alan has pointed out, audiophilia is in the process of killing serious audio.

          Originally posted by Reinhard View Post
          People who's belief system only relies on science seem to forget that they only got the science of the year 2012. Perhaps there are psycho-acoustic effects which can be proven later. Who knows? ;-)).
          I never advocated for a belief system that relies on only science. In the meantime, I'm not going to jump from a plane without a parachute, hoping that on the way down advances in science will allow me to turn gravity off before I smash into the ground.

          Bruce

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