HUG - here for all audio enthusiasts

The Harbeth User Group is the primary channel for public communication with Harbeth's HQ. If you have a 'scientific mind' and are curious about how the ear works, how it can lead us to make the right - and wrong - audio equipment 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 should be accessible to non-experts and able to be tried-out at home without deep technical knowledge. From a design perspective, today's award winning Harbeths could not have been designed any other way.

Alternatively, if you just like chatting about audio and subjectivity rules for you, then the Subjective Soundings area is you. If you are quite set in your subjectivity, then HUG is likely to be a bit too fact based for you, as many of the contributors have maximised their pleasure in home music reproduction by allowing their head to rule their heart. 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 only, although HUG is really not the best place to have these sort of purely subjective airings.

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

That's it! Enjoy!

{Updated Oct. 2017}
See more
See less

Revised HUG mission statement for 2017 onward ... (updated 25 May 2017)

This topic is closed.
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Revised HUG mission statement for 2017 onward ... (updated 25 May 2017)

    The Harbeth User Group is a manufacturer's owned and run forum. It is not independent, and ultimately exists as an extension of the brand's communication strategy. In the current form, the group has run for over ten years now.

    Many visitors and contributors have comment over the years that the Harbeth User Group is rather special, possibly unique amongst audio forums with its bias towards science and knowledge and away from BS. It's been our pleasure to illuminate the real issues in getting the best from home audio with sonic examples where possible of the sort of technical issues that must be appreciated to make rational equipment procurement decisions. The visitor statistics are impressive but the workload here that has been required is massive.

    There are, inevitably in a democracy, some posts which take the opposite view to the ones we consider represent the truth about how we hear and how we can be lead or misled by our hearing. From November 2016, we have restyled HUG, and made a better distinction between the objective (primarily factual) and subjective areas of this forum.

    We continue to make available a platform to rational contributions, but we can no longer actively strive to mould HUG in the shape of an objective and above all trusted information source when the overwhelming number of active contributors are not actually interested in that angle.

    Regrettably, it has proved impossible during these past 10 years, with the time and resources available, to conclude open minded discussion of complex objective audio issues to the depth we would like here on HUG. In part, there is not an adequate common language for those who have little or no technical understanding of audio (or audiology) to interact meaningfully with those who have that basic knowledge. Also, analysis of reader statistics shows that subjects like 'which amplifier should I use' are of much greater interest than 'how does the ear work' or 'how should I compare like with like when listening to audio equipment'. In short, subjectivism has finally conquered objectivism on the public version of HUG - as we see in many walks of life - and HUG will, with regret, abandon it's early remit to "educate and inform". Let subjectivism rule as it does through consumer land.

    A consideration is being given to an entirely new forum at arms length from HUG on an invitation only basis, where objectivism is treasured and there is a basic common lexicon of technical awareness among contributors. That is the only way to preserve not only tacit knowledge accrued at Harbeth these past 40 years, but of earlier generations of researchers whose efforts risk being lost without subjectivism inevitably derailing that process.

    The Harbeth speakers that you enjoy are entirely the product of a rational, objective, logical, incremental, documented and 'scientific' approach. There is little subjectivity during the entire process up until the very last steps when it is essential to listen to the design, and adapt accordingly. It has never been easy for the designer, steeped in this objective design process, to be able to accept many subjective-only opinions when were he to rely on subjectivism, not one of the Harbeth speakers you know and enjoy could have come to market with the potential that they have. They would have achieved perhaps only 25% of their performance potantial. Objectivity and design discipline are that important to the end result, the speakers that you enjoy.

    Thank you for all your support, and maybe we will meet up again.

    {Updated 25 May 2017}
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  • #2
    HUG's Mission Statement (above) has been re-written.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK