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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. 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 http://bit.ly/2FEgoAy may be for you. Either way, welcome to the world of Harbeth!"


Feb. 2018
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Doing experiments - reporting results - influencing other people

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  • Doing experiments - reporting results - influencing other people

    We have at Harbeth the advantage of inheriting the BBC legacy in loudspeaker design, thanks to our founder. The BBC were generous in publishing their research papers covering audio, including blue-sky thinking about microphones, loudspeakers and all between. Objectivism of the BBC-type is now out of fashion amongst consumers. Ironically, the familiar corporations that make consumer electronic goods (Sony, Samsung, Intel, Nokia etc.) are all ruthlessly science-based empires, because science and the scientific method is the key to competitive advantage.

    I encourage HUG members to conceive and construct practical experiments to test-out audio theories that they may have. Visitors interested in pragmatism do look to us to provide rational comments in a sea of subjectivism and confusion. But I caution about drawing half-baked or in erroneous conclusions. We owe it to ourselves to make an effort to marshal the facts and present them in a way all of our visitors can understand. There is absolutely no shame in reaching an inconclusive result but to bend the result to fit our preconceptions is not acceptable.

    Great experimenters conceived experiments anticipating the results leaving the mundane matters of actually performing the experiments to their junior assistants. The results confirm the hypothesis or they don't. Either way, the result is a step forward in understanding. But the key is to conceive the test to generate well differentiated, black or white results, not maybe/maybe not shades of grey. That needs very careful planning and construction of tests.

    So, here in the Harbeth User Group, a manufacturer's forum run by Harbeth UK and with a remit to improve the understanding of audio, if you are going to use this forum to explain a test that you've undertaken, you need to state ....
    1. The objective of the test
    2. why you elected to perform the test the way you did
    3. what variables you eliminated, what variable you didn't or couldn't
    4. what you anticipated would occur and what actually occurred
    5. ... how you explain any differences between what you expected and what actually happened

    If you have an idea you'd like to test out for yourself - great, you're now a scientist! You're welcome here! - but you don't know where to start, tell us here and we'll see if we can guide you. If your experiment is properly constructed, it should be possible for any member anywhere on earth to repeat it and arrive at similar results. And if it isn't, then the HUG is not the correct vehicle to write about it because it's not adding to long-term knowledge about audio. And it won't pass Moderation.

    Everything I know about audio I discovered for myself. The primary requirement is curiosity and an awareness of the potential for self-delusion. I was lucky to have the BBC influence to guide me. We consider that audio science is of importance and lasting value to society for the benefit of this and future generations of music lovers. Help us to promote reason and intellect.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  • #2
    2011 Moderation Policy ... our fith year onwards

    Originally posted by A.S. View Post
    ...So, here in the Harbeth User Group, a manufacturer's forum run by Harbeth UK and with a remit to improve the understanding of audio, if you are going to use this forum to explain a test that you've undertaken ... If you have an idea you'd like to test out for yourself - great, you're now a scientist! You're welcome here! - but you don't know where to start, tell us here and we'll see if we can guide you. If your experiment is properly constructed, it should be possible for any member anywhere on earth to repeat it and arrive at similar results. And if it isn't, then the HUG is not the correct vehicle to write about it because it's not adding to long-term knowledge about audio. And it won't pass Moderation. .... Help us to promote reason and intellect.
    In September 2010 we specified HUG's Moderation Policy. As we enter 2011, our fifth year of HUG we will be actively applying our Moderation Policy. In 2006 we said:

    Before posting, please ask yourself:

    * Will my contribution be of direct interest in twenty years to a future researcher studying BBC monitor speaker design? Or is it off-topic?

    * Will my contribution add some factual knowledge or is it just a opinion? (Example: strongly recommending this or that amplifier, stand, cable without careful A-B testing)
    Source: http://www.harbeth.co.uk/usergroup/s...istration-.-.-.

    There are many other general chat forums to to discuss audio. There are so few that are accessible for ordinary folk and rational, logical, science based. We positively want to be in that category.

    Please also avoid posting close-up photos of logo stickers, serial numbers, limited-edition signatures or similar unless you blur or obscure them. Thanks.

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