HUG - here for all audio enthusiasts

At its inception ten years ago, the Harbeth User Group's ambition was to create a lasting knowledge archive. Knowledge is based on facts and observations. Knowledge is timeless, independent of the observer and can be replicated. However, we live in new world in which objective facts have become flexible, personal and debatable. HUG operates in that real world, and that has now been reflected in the structure of HUG.

HUG has two approaches to contributor's Posts. If you, like us, have a scientific mind and are curious about how the ear works, how it can lead us to make the right - and wrong - 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 can be readily understood by non-experts and tried-out at home without deep technical knowledge.

Alternatively, if you just like chatting about audio and subjectivity rules for you, then the Subjective Soundings area is you. 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. From Oct. 2016, Posts in the Subjective Soundings area will not be spell checked or adjusted for layout clarity. We regret that but we are unable to accept Posts that present what we consider to be free advertising for products that Harbeth does not make.

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

That's it! Enjoy!

{Updated Jan. 2017}
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The economic times we find ourselves in ...

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  • The economic times we find ourselves in ...

    Chancellor Osborne and PM Cameron on the Titanic.

    Seriously though, nobody in their right mind would want to swap places with them at this critical time no matter how attractive the remuneration package .....

    Does this British humour translate I wonder?

    With appreciation for The Independent - a truly great newspaper.
    Attached Files
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  • #2
    Oh, it does indeed translate ... The fact that most of the world is in the same boat (so to speak) makes it much easier to understand.


    • #3
      British position regarding further European intergration

      To put on record the decisions made by British PM, David Cameron here.


      • #4
        Euroland - another perspective

        Originally posted by A.S. View Post
        With appreciation for The Independent - a truly great newspaper.
        Not an opinion shared by all British people.

        Try the Telegraph:

        The Titanic analogy has been overworked. Here is an analysis

        {Moderator's comment: do remember that the Telegraph is not centrist as the Independent aims to be. It is another equally valid view.}


        • #5
          If only we could really understand the complexity of the current European situation. Does any one person?


          • #6
            Understanding our economic woes?

            Originally posted by HUG-1 View Post
            If only we could really understand the complexity of the current European situation. Does any one person?
            An excellent question. As a first potential candidate, I would nominate Nouriel Roubini. As a second, Nassim Taleb.

            (If you don't know who they are, you can google them or look up their books on your local Amazon site.)


            • #7
              Answers here?

              A handful of people in the world, I guess; and none of them in politics - too many vested interests and too many folk in denial.

              The most detailed report of most recent developments I have found is here


              and the Financial Times is worth watching. You have to sign up, but you can view about ten articles a month free.


              • #8
                From the Financial Times - an overview of "Europe"

                Martin Wolf of the Financial Times writes:

                “Perhaps future historians will consider *Maastricht a decisive step towards the emergence of a stable, European-wide power. Yet there is another, darker possibility. The effort to bind states together may lead, instead, to a huge increase in frictions among them. If so, the event would meet the classical definition of tragedy: hubris (arrogance); ate (folly); nemesis (destruction).”

                I wrote the above in the Financial Times almost 20 years ago. My fears are coming true. This crisis has done more than demonstrate that the initial design of the eurozone was defective, as most intelligent analysts then knew; it has also revealed – and, in the process, exacerbated – a fundamental lack of trust, let alone sense of shared identity, among the peoples locked together in what has become a marriage of inconvenience.

                *For those outside Europe:

                'Maastricht' -The Treaty of Maastricht created the Euro.



                • #9
                  A corker here from The Independent 15/12/2011.

                  'Truth will out'. Perhaps.
                  Attached Files
                  Alan A. Shaw
                  Designer, owner
                  Harbeth Audio UK


                  • #10
                    The teror of The Telegraph

                    You should read a decent newspaper, Alan <grin>

                    Matt in the Telegraph is always better.


                    • #11
                      Value system?

                      'The economic times we find ourselves in.' I was pondering on all the money being spent on new nuclear submarines at £1,160 million each. 5 or 6 to be built, I believe. Imagine how many hospitals/schools/ renewed infrastructure projects that could pay for. What is wrong with man that he never stops finding more ingenious ways of spending ( even more ) money on ways to kill himself..


                      • #12
                        Greed, pure and simple

                        Greed, that is the problem, buy on credit, thinking it is deserved, then expect someone to bail you out, or just default. Europe has been living beyond her means, and now the whole mess is coming home to roost...mind you, economic disasters have befallen European countries on a regular cyclical basis due to greed! The danger is that politicians will blame everyone and other countries for the problems facing their country, and in the past this led to major conflicts.

                        It's a good thing that there is one currency, otherwise some dumbass would start a conflict to cover their own errors...




                        • #13
                          Mea culpa

                          Originally posted by Macjager View Post
                          Greed, that is the problem ....
                          Maybe. But whose greed, that is the question ...

                          This is nothing new - this was happening in Roman times. Politicians can promise cakes and ale today, with tomorrow's money (no problem - the next generation will pay), bankers help them (and in the process, help themselves), and the people - most of them, anyway - eat it up.

                          Call it greed if you like, but no one is entirely innocent. So what's the fix?


                          • #14
                            Led by the nose

                            As long as such a high proportion of the population lacks self possession, and is led 'by the nose' into behaviour patterns which were not intiated by themselves, they will be forever trying to satisfy a non existent need, with what they 'think' they want.

                            My love of sound roots in a resonance of external stimuli in early life with a latent inner propensity, that of intrigue, interest, and the love of beautiful sound and music. I am not pursuing what is such a hard discipline because I have been prompted so to do by psychologists, advertising people, salesmen, accountants and lawyers, all working in collusion to control my behaviour.

                            How do I know? I have never been in a position to just buy expensive equipment, I have made a great deal, and often in difficult circumstances, I do not obtain brochures, but look at technical analyses of equipment and most of mine is second hand, much rebuilt by me. I also trust my ears. Whilst this is not a proof, it does give some indication of the real motivation in my pursuit.

                            Greed is surely self perpetuating in that the pusuit of cumulation becomes the goal, rather then the pursuit of something more satisfying because of a personal commitment and development resulting from endeavour.

                            The returns from accumulation are usually diminishing; nice to have a Lamborgini, but seven, when one can only drive one at a time?

                            Isn't greed therefore just another manifestation of compulsive neurosis, of which obesity, alcoholism, chain smoking and compulsive betting are examples?
                            Last edited by Pharos; 22-01-2013, 11:26 PM. Reason: error correction


                            • #15

                              Originally posted by Pharos View Post
                              ... Isn't greed therefore just another manifestation of compulsive neurosis, of which obesity, alcoholism, chain smoking and compulsive betting are examples?
                              I think the underlying issue is that despite the seemingly ever greater electronic links between humans thanks to the internet, social media et al, in reality, many people live isolated, lonely lives with only superficial physical contact with other humans. The illusion created by marketeers is that just one more fag, one more fix, one more drink, one more bet is going to make that big, fulfilling difference. Some have the money to throw at those distractions; many live far beyond their means chasing the dream.

                              Consumerism is unlikely to provide genuine lasting fulfilment in a life that, for whatever reason, is devoid of adequate human to human contact. I am acutely aware that as a manufacturing for-profit company we walk a fine line between creating solutions for consumer enjoyment and long-term fulfilment and simultaneously an aspiration gap for those who would perhaps gain far more by, for example, volunteering their time and energy to the local community. That said, the 'churn' of those gravitating to Harbeth and then clutching at another speaker solution is minuscule, and even those who do so often reappear here bemoaning their gullibility. So we must have it about right I guess.

                              You will note that our product life cycle is, I'm told, the longest in the industry. It would be easy for me to introduce an endless stream of Models XYX, -1,-2,-3, -3X, -3X1, -3X1B, -3X1BM and so on (as some do with astonishing guile) but for what long term benefit for the consumer and ultimately ourselves? I really do not even like the concept of 'new models' because it begs awkward questions about the limitations of the old model which were so lauded only months ago and sets-up an aspiration gap for those who bought into the previous model and now may feel they are disadvantaged, even marginally. If technology (and my limited skills) were frozen forever, we simply wouldn't ever release a new model as here at Harbeth, model launches are disconnected to the commercialisation process. A decent interval must pass before I will even re-read my design Logbook.
                              Alan A. Shaw
                              Designer, owner
                              Harbeth Audio UK