"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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The basic, basic, basics of audio terminology .....

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  • The basic, basic, basics of audio terminology .....

    It's clear from the ten years and the thousands of man hours invested by a core group of HUG members, that there is a large and unfilled knowledge void between audiophiles and objective reality. Audio is, after all, a science based activity from the sound waves that fall on the microphones, all the way through to the electrical stimulation in your brain when you hear the sound over your loudspeakers. There are no mysteries in this process. There is no magic; it's all astonishingly well researched, well documented and well understood. And because audio, like video is so well understood, vast corporations are able to satisfy consumer demand, profitable, by manufacturing and delivering AV products.

    This thread exists to encourage those who have the keys to the knowledge doors to share their understanding. This requires two-way interaction, something the printed media are completely incapable of. There are no stupid questions. There are stupid answers when objectivity is replaced by impenetrable or imprecise mumbo jumbo.

    So, let's have a go at breaking down the entire chain into meaningful technical matters. I've created a number of sub-threads to deal specifically with the various aspects, and we can, of course, cross link them.

    May I suggest that we start with the question 'what is a sound wave' and that leads to 'how does that interact with the microphone' and then to 'and what does the microphone output in response to that sound wave falling on it'?
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  • #2
    So happy find a big shot willing to tell people the truth. There are to many mysteries & magic in HIFI sphere, Especially in my home-China, where the HIFI-fancier is called "fever guy" by the masses. (A wry smile) As a proud engineer, that is hard to me to keep calm when I read a networks discussion forums about HIFI equipment. such as some quantum tape on the CD, quantum tape!quantum!WOW!