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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}
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An open-house weekend in Germany at HiFi Bauernhof

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  • An open-house weekend in Germany at HiFi Bauernhof

    Dear Alan,

    Please let me once more say THANK YOU on this way for this MAGIC WEEKEND in our Rooms in Altusried. I think both Sides of the "New Friendship" had a beautiful Time.

    Lots of our Customers which listened to your BBC-Workshop gave us a wonderful feedback and everyone loves the unique Harbeth-Sound in our Premium Setup using other brilliant British Audio Products.... But most of all, and Trevor I have to write it, most of all I was admired by the Fact that you did your Presentation NOT ON a HEARTLESS PC but on a British TUBE-CD-Player!!! For us one of the Best CD-PLayers in the World.

    ALAN - THANK YOU FOR THAT. I´m going to buy you a Beer when we Meet again in Munich!!!!!!!

    Looking forward to May.... Thanks for all your Support!!!!

    Kind regards Michael

  • #2
    What CD player?

    Originally posted by hifi 87452 View Post
    Dear Alan,

    .............. you did your Presentation NOT ON a HEARTLESS PC but on a British TUBE-CD-Player!!! For us one of the Best CD-PLayers in the World.

    ALAN - THANK YOU FOR THAT. I´m going to buy you a Beer when we Meet again in Munich!!!!!!!
    Could you please share which CD player that was?

    Comment


    • #3
      Ear?

      "British TUBE CD player" probably the EAR/Yoshino Acute. A very nice machine.

      Comment


      • #4
        Ear-Yoshino

        Originally posted by SChat View Post
        Could you please share which CD player that was?
        Hello....

        It was the EAR-Yoshino Acute III from another British Legend called Tim de Paravicini!!!
        I use it in my own System... I love it .... As much as my Super HL 5 Plus!!!

        Kind regards Michael

        Comment


        • #5
          EAR CD player

          Originally posted by hifi_dave View Post
          "British TUBE CD player" probably the EAR/Yoshino Acute. A very nice machine.
          Yes, looks nice. Also rather expensive.

          (For me, at least)

          Comment


          • #6
            Tube sound?

            And you won't get the 'tube' sound using the Devialet DAC.

            Comment


            • #7
              Ultimate streamer?

              Originally posted by hifi_dave View Post
              And you won't get the 'tube' sound using the Devialet DAC.
              I better stick with my Oppo BDP then. At least for now.

              Finding a streamer that integrates Spotify, TIDAL, Qobuz as well as Airplay at high resolution will be good but given how rapidly the technology platforms are evolving its a no-win game - at least for a novice consumer. Sonos do most of these admirably well but not at high resolution.

              Comment


              • #8
                Define "tube sound"

                Originally posted by hifi_dave View Post
                And you won't get the 'tube' sound using the Devialet DAC.
                Hello Hifi_dave,

                What is "The Tube Sound" for you?? We think that Music has to be as live as possible. I know because of your Profile that you are a hifi-retailer too. We think that real Music, Live-Character, Colours of the Instruments can be better reproduced with Tube Amps, Tube Pre-Amps, Tube Phono-Stages and Tube CD-Player. The Best reproductions of Sources for us is still the Turntable. A devialet is a perfect Marketing Instrument, i haven`t heard one anywhere who impressed me....

                I just wrote about the Acute III because of the Fact that Alan first wanted to do his Workshop-Presentation in our Rooms with his PC and Tascam DAC, and then after hearing the Acute III he switched.... That was for me very impessive....

                kind regards
                Michael

                Comment


                • #9
                  A type "A" player converted into a type "B" player for 5x the price

                  Originally posted by hifi 87452 View Post
                  It was the EAR-Yoshino Acute III from another British Legend called Tim de Paravicini!!!
                  I use it in my own System... I love it ....
                  Doesn't adding a transformer-coupled tube output stage negatively impact the distortion, noise level, frequency response and linearity of the player? Does it pass the HUG "tone" test?

                  A £700 CD player that now costs five times as much simply because the op-amps in the output stage have been replaced with tubes and transformers doesn't seem like a very good value.

                  For a similar price, you could have a Marantz or TEAC/Esoteric unit with a far superior transport section and overall build quality.

                  Or, as mentioned in the DAC thread, for a fraction of the cost you can get a player with performance that "is better than is needed by the CD medium" without any extra modifications required.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Naturally...

                    Originally posted by hifi 87452 View Post
                    You understand German that you understand our Way of Thinking Audio and Music?
                    Ja, natürlich, aber nur ein bisschen. Besonders flüssig bin ich aber nicht, aber lesen, das kann ich, mehr oder weniger.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Havent we've been there before (Tubes, Vinyl, etc.)

                      I find it irritating going from the mentioning of a pair of well made speaker stands to stating: The best in the world, followed by praise of tube pre, amp, cd and playing vinyl.Not to mention the esoterica (glass thingy atop the loudspeakers, cable sleeves, etc.)

                      Also the thread called "Harbeth's Approved Accessories" should carefully be moderated to avoid such thing.

                      Alan: changing from pc + dac to the tube cd player, have there been taking measurements?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Clarification of CD

                        Originally posted by IMF+TDL View Post
                        Doesn't adding a transformer-coupled tube output stage negatively impact the distortion, noise level, frequency response and linearity of the player? Does it pass the HUG "tone" test?

                        A £700 CD player that now costs five times as much simply because the op-amps in the output stage have been replaced with tubes and transformers doesn't seem like a very good value.

                        For a similar price, you could have a Marantz or TEAC/Esoteric unit with a far superior transport section and overall build quality.

                        Or, as mentioned in the DAC thread, for a fraction of the cost you can get a player with performance that "is better than is needed by the CD medium" without any extra modifications required.
                        Hello Guys...

                        I Think we are in the wrong Thread for that but let me answer as short as possible. The Acute III is Arcam-Based, that's correct. But the Arcam Base is only used because the DAC-Section fits perfect to the fully handmade Tube Output-Stage by Tim de Paravicini. Tim himself is a legend.

                        He gives himself 20 years of Time to built his first CD-Player because he wouldn`t built just one more middleclassed CD-PLayer. The Acute III is out of every Discussion in terms od Sound used as a Player or a DAC.
                        We challenged him also against the most expensive DAC (like for example The Acoustic Arts Tube DAC 8000.-- €) and this Sound like it is defect against the Acute. If you have the Chance to hear the Acute III in a VERY GOOD SETUP (!!!!) please Listen and you will see. This Music Machine is absolutely STATE OF THE ART. Therefore read the Review from R.Levi Stereophile USA... U find it online... he tried him as a Player, as a DAC and tested several Combinations....READ IT...

                        kind regards
                        Michael

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          HiFi is my life ....

                          Originally posted by hifi 87452 View Post
                          Hello Hifi_dave,

                          What is "The Tube Sound" for you?? We think that Music has to be as live as possible. I know because of your Profile that you are a hifi-retailer too. We think that real Music, Live-Character, Colours of the Instruments can be better reproduced with Tube Amps, Tube Pre-Amps, Tube Phono-Stages and Tube CD-Player. The Best reproductions of Sources for us is still the Turntable. A devialet is a perfect Marketing Instrument, i haven`t heard one anywhere who impressed me....

                          I just wrote about the Acute III because of the Fact that Alan first wanted to do his Workshop-Presentation in our Rooms with his PC and Tascam DAC, and then after hearing the Acute III he switched.... That was for me very impessive....

                          kind regards
                          Michael
                          Apologies but this was an in joke with SChat who was asking me, sometime ago, about a tube based CD player. Now that he has a Devialet, he has no need for a tube based CD player because he is using the excellent inbuilt DAC.

                          Yes, I am a "hifi retailer too" and have been since 1972. If you look at my website, you will find that we stock a very similar range of equipment. I have sold Rega since 1973, EAR since the early 80s and Harbeth for 8 years. Hi-Fi is my life. Sad but true.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            A study in human satisfaction

                            I've been a bit surprised by the creep in this thread. The thread title is unambiguous: "Stands for your Harbeths". To display those stands, I took some snaps of them in situ, accompanied by various adornments, just as they were. I would have been disrespectful to my hosts to start removing those accessories, and I didn't.

                            Consequent to that, one of two posts suggesting that HUG has 'gone soft', and that just because readers observe these gadgets, that we have fundamentally shifted our position. Tosh: ridiculous, and a wonder that people have the free time to do misplaced detective work and to post here. And then there are the disgraceful suggestions that failed Moderation.

                            What came across loud and clear to me in the two full days I spent at HiFi-Bauernhof, well away from the distractions of modern society observing the staff and the public, is that consumers have complex reasons for investing in audio equipment. Those reasons do not neatly fit into a rationalists view of the world any more than the purchase of a new pair of fine leather shoes do. Many visitors went away fully delighted with not only the equipment that they bought, but the accessories too. Whether to the rationalist, in the cold light of a laboratory he can determine that the gadgets don't work as per their marketing story or not is immaterial. Nobody forced, coerced, persuaded, arm twisted or browbeat the consumer to buy equipment, gadgets, CDs or LPs. We were all in a uniquely relaxed, open and amiable environment, such that it was easy to forget that you were in a world-class audio dealer's business as opposed to a country farmhouse.

                            If there is one criticism it is that the premises are literally an open house, and there are one or two regular visitors who, in my view, fail to understand that running such nice premises costs money. Lots of it, and it's not fair to abuse that hospitality. Sooner of later you have to buy something, or the business will not be able to sustain itself. I hope those who perhaps take hospitality to the outer limit take note.

                            Yes, I have had my eyes opened to another aspect of humanity, and I admit that. I'm a better person for the opportunity. For example, in our laboratory wearing our white coats and rimless glasses we can deconstruct the LP listening experience into crackles, distortion and negatives that a rationalist would say dismissed the format as a serious high fidelity music carrier. How do we balance that then with the subjective experience of hearing the right sort of music (small scale, intimate) at the right sort of replay level, using even a modest turntable/arm/cartridge and it sounding entirely delightful? If we are truly open minded, we have to admit that the investment in quality audio equipment in a world of great stress and uncertainty provides comfort on many psychological levels. And yes, again for not fully obvious reasons, CD can sound extremely cold. Is it just a matter of spectral balance such that if CD/digital was 'equalised' with the same LF/MF/HF loudness balance of vinyl, it would sound indistinguishable, for all practical purposes. Possibly.

                            The rationalist objectivist's frustration is when pseudo-science and psycho-babble is used by the purveyors of such equipment or accessories to justify the sonic experience, when there is no scientific justification. At all. Live and let live, until the next time I have to be lectured about the "radio frequency mist" that can be cancelled only by a coin sized piece of wood placed strategically in the room.
                            Alan A. Shaw
                            Designer, owner
                            Harbeth Audio UK

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Plus Era

                              Consequent to that, one of two posts suggesting that HUG has 'gone soft', and that just because readers observe these gadgets, that we have fundamentally shifted our position. Tosh: ridiculous, and a wonder that people have the free time to do misplaced detective work and to post here. And then there are the disgraceful suggestions that failed Moderation.


                              Hi Alan,

                              I was referring to a "plus era" in a way that could say: Better is the enemy of Good...

                              Anyhow, I still work on stands for Harbeths and as far I know, wood is not the best option. Now, my goal is to make Shl5 to sound like shl5+

                              I hope you read my posts before delete.
                              Cheers.

                              Comment

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