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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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Living longer and cancer statistics: what can we do?

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  • Living longer and cancer statistics: what can we do?

    On the BBC's Today program this morning, Prof. Sir Michael Marmot (reference here and here) talks of the correlation between demography, old age and lifestyle choices.

    There is clear advice as to what we as individuals and as members of society can do to push back cancer to the very last stage of our lives. I found what Prof. Marmot said accessible and thought provoking.

    Audio here:

    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  • #2
    Inexplicable cancer

    Originally posted by A.S. View Post
    On the BBC's Today program this morning, Prof. Sir Michael Marmot (reference here and here) talks of the correlation between demography, old age and lifestyle choices.

    There is clear advice as to what we as individuals and as members of society can do to push back cancer to the very last stage of our lives. I found what Prof. Marmot said accessible and thought provoking.

    Audio here:

    It's excellent advice obviously given by an expert. However, the thing to remember is that what may be true across populations - and which therefore forms the basis for good public policy - will not always hold at the individual level. Recently, someone close to me was diagnosed with stage 2/3 colorectal cancer. Radiation, chemo, and surgery required. Prognosis uncertain at this point. She's young (early 40s), very physically fit (has been a serious cyclist and swimmer since her early teens), has never smoked, eats well, drinks very moderately, and has a happy family life and a good income. And yet. Sometimes there's just no explanation - nothing obvious, at any rate.

    Get tested.

    Comment


    • #3
      Chemicals?

      Alan, is propylene oxide exposure an issue in the manufacture of RADIAL drivers?

      {Moderator's comment: sorry but we have never heard of that chemical, so I suppose the answer is no.}

      Comment


      • #4
        Sorry

        Originally posted by EricW View Post
        It's excellent advice obviously given by an expert. However, the thing to remember is that what may be true across populations - and which therefore forms the basis for good public policy - will not always hold at the individual level. Recently, someone close to me was diagnosed with stage 2/3 colorectal cancer. Radiation, chemo, and surgery required. Prognosis uncertain at this point. She's young (early 40s), very physically fit (has been a serious cyclist and swimmer since her early teens), has never smoked, eats well, drinks very moderately, and has a happy family life and a good income. And yet. Sometimes there's just no explanation - nothing obvious, at any rate.

        Get tested.
        On behalf of HUG, may we say how sorry we are to hear that news. There really is no justice in the matter of cancer. I too have two ex-colleagues (from 30+ years ago) one of whom, living a quiet, balanced life, had his prostate removal last month, and the other (our boss), an uncertain relationship with bowl cancer. It brings home the seriousness of the disease, and the impact it has on the sufferers life and all those around him or her.

        I have often wondered how small a dose of an external agent can trigger cancer. We have nuclear engineers here on HUG; perhaps they know. Could it take as little as one breif unwitting exposure to one single radioactive atom to start the process?
        Alan A. Shaw
        Designer, owner
        Harbeth Audio UK

        Comment


        • #5
          Radiation Effects

          Originally posted by A.S. View Post
          I have often wondered how small a dose of an external agent can trigger cancer. We have nuclear engineers here on HUG; perhaps they know. Could it take as little as one breif unwitting exposure to one single radioactive atom to start the process?
          This thread really hits home, as cancer has unfortunately become so commonplace, affecting most of us on a very personal level. Within the past year, a very close friend passed away after struggling with ovarian cancer. A few months back a fellow engineer was diagnosed with late-stage prostate cancer. Finally, my stepmother’s oncologist recently informed her that after five years of remission, her breast cancer recurred and spread throughout several major organs.

          Since I’m one of the nuclear engineers Alan referred to, I’ll try and explain our current understanding of low-level radiation exposure and risk.

          Based on numerous accidents and radiation effects studies, we have a very good understanding of the dose/biological damage relationship at high exposure levels. However, it becomes extremely difficult to draw similar accurate conclusions when dealing with low levels of radiation, mainly due to natural variation in background radiation that affects all of us on a daily basis. We simply cannot state exactly how much radiation is necessary to cause harm.

          In the US nuclear industry, we operate under a principle referred to as ALARA, or “As Low As Reasonably Achievable.” Specifically, because of the unquantifiable risk associated with low-level radiation exposure, ALARA is both an operating philosophy and a regulatory requirement. The basic assumption supporting ALARA is that there is no scientific study that conclusively supports a minimum safe level for radiation exposure. This concept is referred to as the linear non-threshold hypothesis. A large body of evidence supports the hypothesis, however it has not yet been demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt. So, theoretically, any level of radiation exposure may be harmful to biological tissue. We do our best to minimize dose by reducing exposure times, maximizing distance from radiation sources, and increasing the amount of shielding between sources and personnel.

          Practically, we cannot eliminate all exposure. The general public will continue to be exposed to normal background radiation. Industry must continually consider both the practical engineering limitations and economic impact of absolutely minimizing or eliminating the risk. Radiation exposure is a risk we all live with and hopefully mitigate to extent possible…

          On a more positive note, and because this is my first post, I would like to express my appreciation to the HUG community for the wealth of information provided. The HUG has been an invaluable resource in acquiring more knowledge about Harbeth, the design philosophy behind the product, and (snake-oil free) audio in general. Also, many thanks to Alan and all the great folks at Harbeth for producing outstanding speakers based on science and sound engineering principles. I recently purchased a pair of M30.1 speakers and without doubt, I believe these are the finest sounding speakers I’ve ever had the opportunity to enjoy in my home!

          Comment


          • #6
            Obesity and smoking are the two main drivers behind the soaring numbers of cancers, heart attacks, strokes and diabetes worldwide, grouped together officially as non-communicable diseases. They are the biggest killers of the modern world.
            We seem to have mastered (at least, in the West) food production to the point that we can't tease people enough to consume that plenty. Shame that production cannot be more fairly distributed around the world so the have-nots have a chance of a decent diet.
            "Health bill will be ‘enormous burden’ without more preventative measures to check worsening epidemic, say experts"
            Alan A. Shaw
            Designer, owner
            Harbeth Audio UK

            Comment

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