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HUG - here for all audio enthusiasts

Since its inception ten years ago, the Harbeth User Group's ambition has been to create a lasting knowledge archive. Knowledge is based on facts and observations. Knowledge is timeless. Knowledge is human independent and replicatable. However, we live in new world where thanks to social media, 'facts' have become flexible and personal. HUG operates in that real world.

HUG has two approaches to contributor's Posts. If you have, like us, 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 area of HUG is for you. The objective methods of comparing audio equipment under controlled conditions has been thoroughly examined here on HUG and elsewhere and can be easily understood and tried with negligible technical knowledge.

Alternatively, if you just like chatting about audio and subjectivity rules for you, then the Subjective Soundings sub-forum 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.

The Moderators' decision is final in all matters regarding what appears here. That said, very few Posts are rejected. HUG Moderation individually spell and layout checks Posts for clarity but due to the workload, Posts in the Subjective Soundings area, from Oct. 2016 will not be. 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.

That's it! Enjoy!

{Updated Nov. 2016A}
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HUG-HEALTH: Physical exercise - do you need it and do you get it?!

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  • #16
    My healthy hand-made British bike ...

    I was given the hard word by my doctor some years ago and reduced my weight from 118kg to 95kg (my height is 1.90m)

    Dieting, yes, but also excercise. I returned to cycling and still do about 25km a day, aged 62.

    I treated myself to a classic British Bike hand made for me

    See

    https://picasaweb.google.com/labarum/BrianSAudax02

    Made by

    http://www.robinmathercycles.co.uk/

    If you want to see more classic British bikes, look here

    http://www.pashley.co.uk/

    and

    http://www.merciancycles.co.uk/

    The firms above are, like Harbeth, examples of quality British Engineering

    Comment


    • #17
      Exercising whilst you listen ...

      Originally posted by A.S. View Post
      ...I posed the question .... 'are there simple exercises that can be undertaken sitting listening to music?'...
      Mr. Bob Anderson, the father of "stretching", wrote a book called "Stretching" including many different exercices, even ones that you can do when you are sitting in an airplane, when you're in front of a computer, another while listening to television. Each of these situations are pretty similar to a listening session.

      Since years, this book is a reference for me. I suggest it to everyone with an interest in healthy life.

      Sébastien

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      • #18
        Indoor rowing - greatexercise

        To cut a long story short, I have found that indoor rowing at home on a waterrower (see http://www.waterrower.com) to be a great form of exercise. They are beautifully made and crafted machines and I was fortunate to find one in good condition second hand for about £400. It has been a good investment. I have a fragile back and have picked up sports related injuries along the way but didn't want to give up pursuing cardiovascular fitness and strength conditioning. The waterrower seems to be working for me and fits into a busy schedule in a way sometimes difficult with the gym. Also, as an added benefit it is very unobtrusive in the home environment.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by tozen View Post
          Also, as an added benefit it is very unobtrusive in the home environment.
          You're kidding right? That thing would take up half of the square footage in my home. Look s well built though.

          Comment


          • #20
            Smooth rowing action

            No am not kidding. Take a closer look - it sits on it's end when not in use and its footprint is no bigger than a chair's. It is easy to roll into use and then just tilt it back on it's end when not in use. Brilliant design, beautifully made, and very very smooth rowing action.

            Comment


            • #21
              Daily fitness - a video-a-day 'blog'

              Well I think we're in agreement that sitting slumped in front of our audio equipment has potentially disastrous long-term health consequences. We need to be active and ideally that means sweating, as a result of an elevated heart rate and actually burning energy. Or so I've discovered for myself.

              I took up boxing a year ago, have two sessions a week and really enjoy it. Not in a million years did I see myself whacking another person. What I didn't appreciate is that of all gym-type exercises it uses the most energy. There is far, far more skill involved than I imagined. What counts against me is my age - I just cannot move my arms as fast as the youngsters no matter how hard I try and the essence of great boxing is not power but speed. Anyway - if you have a chance try it! Exercise creates more metal space for better quality work. I bitterly regret that I didn't discover the therapeutic effect of exercise until I was in my mid 40s. Big mistake.

              Meanwhile, in the comfort of our homes what can we do that at least keeps us flexible? One of my two boxing partners (and the fastest, most agile) is the enterprising gym manageress and she's undertaking a project to create a short exercise video every day for a year. She's at Day 43 now and amazingly, has plenty of ideas in store.

              She's suggested that she makes a few special Harbeth-exercise-whilst-you-listen clips for us, all sitting around too long.
              Alan A. Shaw
              Designer, owner
              Harbeth Audio UK

              Comment


              • #22
                Physical Exercise

                An inspired choice of subject for a thread, Alan - many thanks for the link to Victoria's blog.

                I recently joined a gym, but the dire sound from the PA in their main room puts me off from using the equipment in there. The swimming pool is a calmer environment.

                Gyms tend to be rather intimidating places, and the friendliest ones I have encountered have been at hotels. A more physically active job would be the best solution.

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                • #23
                  Tinnitus - regular exercise can hep reduce

                  This is a very interesting thread to see in a forum focused on audio. I too turned to the gym some years ago and now cannot without regular workouts.

                  According to my doctor, one of benefits of regular workouts is reduced tinnitus for those who suffer from it. In particular, lowering your blood pressure will help this condition quite a lot. So, get your regular workouts in and your enjoyment of music will also benefit!

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                  • #24
                    Exercise and audiophilia

                    Originally posted by jplaurel View Post
                    This is a very interesting thread to see in a forum focused on audio. I too turned to the gym some years ago and now cannot (exist) without regular workouts....
                    The remarkable and unexpected benefit of proper exercise - even a couple of hours every week as a 100% routine - is of how it breaks-down the mental hamster-wheel we can all to easily fall into. Looking back ten or twenty years I can see how I'd become obsessed by daily business/family/technical minutia which would go round and round in my head, achieving nothing but reinforced anxiety. Exercise breaks that break the mental cycle*, and retrains you over the months and years to see life-issues for what they really are - almost always nothing more than minor inconveniences and not worth worrying about.

                    I have a long-standing theory based on observation of myself and others. I believe that there is a strong, positive correlation between audiophilia (the ceaseless investment of time and money in every smaller audio enhancements) and a lack of physical exercise. I'd wager that even the most die-hard audiophile could be weaned off his obsession after a short course or real, hard, sweaty exercise. And boy, would his entire life open up for the better then! I've observed over many years just how miserable living with audionervosa can be. All that matters is the therapy that music can bring. The equipment is merely the conduit for the music to flow along

                    *There is nothing magical about this process. If you are physically exerting yourself, your brain is focused on that and there just isn't enough remaining mental processing power to worry about peripheral mental issues. As I started on the rowing machine last week I was deeply in thought about a loudspeaker design speaker matter. I made a mental note to see how long it would be before my attention to the rowing subverted the speaker issue. Much later in the evening at home I realised that I'd completely forgotten about the speakers and even monitoring my attention to them. The rowing had completely flushed my brain within the first few minutes. As Buddhists claim, having an empty, quite brain is hugely refreshing - rather similar to hypnosis I can report.
                    Alan A. Shaw
                    Designer, owner
                    Harbeth Audio UK

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                    • #25
                      Exercise - I hope to restart

                      I herniated my L3 disc back in 1998. They chose not to do surgery because of the direction of the herniation (they would have had to do the surgery from the front). This herniation acts up from time to time and right now is one of those times. I'm only about 5 pounds overweight, but do not exercise often.

                      I truly believe that this would never reoccur if I were on a routine of exercise. With the cooler months upon me I'm going to try some of Victoria's exercises and possibly seek out a local gym.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Physical exercise - a teacher comments

                        As a physical education teacher in elementary school, I found this thread very captivating. I invite all of you to promote physical exercise, which you already seem to do.

                        Plus I encourage you to be sensitive about the teaching of that discipline from professional people.

                        Sébastien

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Physical exercise - a teacher comments

                          Sebastian. It's nice to hear from a physical education teacher. I feel you are among the most important of all teachers. You are nothing without your health, and a young age is the best time to convey this.

                          I live in the U.S. and there's a lot of porky kids all over the place. Playing outside has been replaced with the Playstation and it's having a very adverse effect on our future generations. I always thought living in a colder climate (I live in Rochester NY) played a big role in how much exercise people get, but having been in Florida recently I find this not to be true. People are just as big. I also found that in Canada the dilemma isn't as bad as here in the U.S. We go to the Montreal Jazz Festival every year, and I didn't notice as many overweight people. This may very well be due to Montreal being a city with great public transportation so people tend to walk more as opposed to driving.

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                          • #28
                            We are pedagogues

                            Hi Don,

                            Thanks for your recognition. Physical education is a complete discipline. It covers motricity, for sure, but also thinking and socio-emotional. These are the elements I work for everyday with my 200+ students from 6 to 12 years old. Sometime, it's difficult to get people realize that we are not animator of ball game. We are pedagogues!

                            About Montreal, I live there since more than 12 years now and I often go to the States. I can say that you are true. There is less obesity here in Quebec, but it grows. We have to be careful and I want our government to invest in prevention to have a healthy society.

                            Finally, I'm glad that you enjoy the Montreal Jazz Festival. I do so. What a great event. Plus, please take note that each Fall, there is an Off Montreal Jazz Festival with local artists who are exceptional, even on an international level. Take for example Jean Derome, Pierre Tanguay and Normand Guilbault.

                            Sébastien

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Turning it on its head ...

                              To turn the title of this thread around - it should be: Physical exercise - you do need it and (if possible) you must get it! It vastly improves your hearing you know.

                              I amaze myself how little I know about proper diet. Last week at the gym, I was given a severe ticking-off about the evils of Lucozade, a product promoted to people 'into' exercise. I had no idea that 50% or more of a small bottles content is sugar and by weight that amounts to over twenty of those one-shot sugar sticks used for restaurant coffee. That's a hell of a lot of sugar!

                              So, the idea of a proper balance between physical and mental health and maximising your enjoyment of music by attention to our overall well being is gathering momentum. Victoria is going to make a pilot Harbeth-specific 'exercises you can do at home with almost zero equipment, perhaps seated, listening, as we tone our rippling lallies ...'.

                              And now we have diet considerations to add to the get-fit regime. She writes 'I was thinking of a weekly food challenge for the HUG ... for instance, this week's challenge ... no tea or coffee only champagne. No protein other than caviare and Aberdeen Angus steak .... no fruit other than Smoothies .... what do you think?'

                              I think yes, yes, yes! That's what I call looking after yourself! What do you think?

                              P.S. Obviously there are members amongst us who are not as mobile as they would wish through ill health. Our challenge to all member is that Victoria believes that not only can she easily maintain the '365 day project' with one new invented exercise every day, but that she can invent special exercises to get the best out of every physical limitation. Just ask.
                              Alan A. Shaw
                              Designer, owner
                              Harbeth Audio UK

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                A beaker of fat?

                                Originally posted by A.S. View Post
                                To turn the title of this thread around - it should be: Physical exercise - you do need it and (if possible) you must get it! It vastly improves your hearing you know.

                                I amaze myself how little I know about proper diet. Last week at the gym, I was given a severe ticking-off about the evils of Lucozade, a product promoted to people 'into' exercise. I had no idea that 50% or more of a small bottles content is sugar and by weight that amounts to over twenty of those one-shot sugar sticks used for restaurant coffee. That's a hell of a lot of sugar!
                                Yep, exercise is one of the best audio "tweaks" you can get.

                                The doctors at my gym created a series of videos that only play when you're sitting on a recumbent bike pedalling away. After a while you start to internalize the information without trying. One of the videos shows the amount of sugar in an ordinary soda. A can of Soda has something like cup of sugar in it! You'd never think about eating that much sugar out of the bowl, but plenty of people drink several soft drinks every day. They also show various fast foods side by side with beakers filled with an equivalent of gelatinous fat. After that, every time you see a cheeseburger, you see the beaker of fat in your mind.

                                The videos are very effective and apart from being informative, seem to also operate at a subconscious level.

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