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The longest hours you have spent on your Harbeth

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  • #16
    Re: The longest hours you have spent on your Harbeth

    Yesss,

    When at work, always looking forward for the time to get home..... On week days always looking forward for weekend.. when working outstation ..always waiting to get home.....miss listening to beautiful music coming from HARBETH. As I type.. I "relisten"... keep on pressing the replay button.. playing one cd only.. I have more waiting to be spinned..

    Nothing make me happier than listen to beautiful music..

    Comment


    • #17
      Re: The longest hours you have spent on your Harbeth

      Folks here who manage to hit past 10 hours are incredible. I concur the fresh and smooth sound of the Harbeth does promote an extremely low listening fatigue. So low that I doze off on the couch in the midst of a listening session once. I admit I was tired after a hard day of work on that particular day.

      He was saying what a "blessed relief" it was to use Harbeths in one studio compared to the 'hard, fatiguing and after one hour almost unlistenable to' speakers he so often encounters. Interestingly, he commented (and he should know - his job is mixing and adjusting small details in a sound production) that another UK brand who use dome speaker units (which are promoted for their natural sound) are exceptionally fatiguing.
      That is the problem with certain "exciting" speakers deliberately designed to sound more forward with extended highs, or for the lack of a better term tilted high-frequencies. They may sound breathtaking or thrilling at first with all the details and wonderful "resolution" but after a while the ears get tired. For people who own some of these ultra-revealing speakers I reckon it is highly unlikely they will manage to even listen past 3 hours, not to mention the incredible feat of 10 recorded by some folks here. Amazing. 15 hours? Hats off to the man who started this thread.

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      • #18
        Re: The longest hours you have spent on your Harbeth

        Yes!

        And nothing gives me more satisfaction than 'cheating reality' by creating a sound from mere wood and plastic that can, under the right circumstances, sonically seduce the listener! The less you can see of my hand the in the design and the more of the original sound that flows through, the better. If you can see nothing of me, then that is perfection! My job is not to add anything. I'm not painting pictures, I'm taking high resolution photographs.
        Alan A. Shaw
        Designer, owner
        Harbeth Audio UK

        Comment


        • #19
          Re: The longest hours you have spent on your Harbeth

          This might be the best indicator yet for what a good pair of speakers are ie. how long we can listen to them. When i use to work in singapore, i left my hifi on all the time while i was home, listening to the BBC world service which was (might still be?) available on FM. The speakers were a pair of Rogers and i still have them. Like the pair of Harbeths i have now, they are not super exciting but endearing. They will be like an old pair of sneakers or jeans where you just want to keep hanging on to. I think i know which "natural" sounding brand Alan is referring to because i had a pair of them before the SHL5's replaced them. ;-)

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          • #20
            Re: The longest hours you have spent on your Harbeth

            Yes, it is all about muisc. Harbeth is a ll about music and interprte music with zero fatigue wonderfully for long hrs listening...last night I heard Wonderful full tube setup at my friend there and I was dream abt it's sound this morning tapping my feet with the music....amazing!
            "Bath with Music"

            Comment


            • #21
              Re: The longest hours you have spent on your Harbeth

              Originally posted by A.S. View Post
              Yes!

              And nothing gives me more satisfaction than 'cheating reality' by creating a sound from mere wood and plastic that can, under the right circumstances, sonically seduce the listener! The less you can see of my hand the in the design and the more of the original sound that flows through, the better. If you can see nothing of me, then that is perfection! My job is not to add anything. I'm not painting pictures, I'm taking high resolution photographs.
              Last night music listening experience changed my perception on how SHL5 can sound. It is truely amazing!
              "Bath with Music"

              Comment


              • #22
                Re: The longest hours you have spent on your Harbeth

                Originally posted by keithwwk View Post
                Yes, it is all about muisc. Harbeth is a ll about music and interprte music with zero fatigue wonderfully for long hrs listening...last night I heard Wonderful full tube setup at my friend there and I was dream abt it's sound this morning tapping my feet with the music....amazing!
                Yes Keith, totally agree and thanks for the arrangement made, it was truly an amzing experience, especially for me who lean more to tube sound.

                Originally posted by ryder View Post
                That is the problem with certain "exciting" speakers deliberately designed to sound more forward with extended highs, or for the lack of a better term tilted high-frequencies. They may sound breathtaking or thrilling at first with all the details and wonderful "resolution" but after a while the ears get tired. For people who own some of these ultra-revealing speakers I reckon it is highly unlikely they will manage to even listen past 3 hours, not to mention the incredible feat of 10 recorded by some folks here. Amazing. 15 hours? Hats off to the man who started this thread.
                hahaha, in fact it was not once but several time I hit those hours beyond 10 or at leat 8... I do feel sleepy too at most time as the speakers just seem to do that... put you to sleep... but it is the urge to spin that other CD or LP and yearning to listen to the music in the form that we enjoy on Harbeth with our other equipment that kept me going and going...

                Originally posted by kittykat View Post
                This might be the best indicator yet for what a good pair of speakers are ie. how long we can listen to them. When i use to work in singapore, i left my hifi on all the time while i was home, listening to the BBC world service which was (might still be?) available on FM. The speakers were a pair of Rogers and i still have them. Like the pair of Harbeths i have now, they are not super exciting but endearing. They will be like an old pair of sneakers or jeans where you just want to keep hanging on to. I think i know which "natural" sounding brand Alan is referring to because i had a pair of them before the SHL5's replaced them. ;-)
                I like word you used to describe, endearing.

                Originally posted by Jmohd View Post
                Yesss,

                When at work, always looking forward for the time to get home..... On week days always looking forward for weekend.. when working outstation ..always waiting to get home.....miss listening to beautiful music coming from HARBETH. As I type.. I "relisten"... keep on pressing the replay button.. playing one cd only.. I have more waiting to be spinned..

                Nothing make me happier than listen to beautiful music..
                LOL, I face that of what you have experience too. In some way of other, my wife appreciate my set up as she see more of me at home... hahahaha. Anyway, I am trying to shift myself out from this addictive nature to listen to them over and over again by getting on with other things in my life.

                Cheers to all HARBETH users!

                Comment


                • #23
                  No listening fatigue here ...

                  Originally posted by kittykat View Post
                  ...I think i know which "natural" sounding brand Alan is referring to because i had a pair of them before the SHL5's replaced them. ;-)
                  It never ceases to amaze me just how sonically hard many so-called "hi-fi" or "monitor" speakers are. There really is no excuse for that since loudspeakers are significantly or mainly concerned these days (depending upon taste) with reproducing vocals. So a singer as a reference against which the designer can judge his design is cheaply and easily available in every community, every town as talent shows like Britain's Got Talent and The X-Factor (both Harbeth installations) amply prove. There is no shortage of vocalists around willing to sing for their supper! The best test source there is, for free on your doorstep! Male, femal vocals, tenor, soprano - whatever you want to test the full range of your loudspeakers! Speakers are about speech - or vocals.

                  Although you may, as indeed I do, find it difficult to believe, a few years ago a large broadcast organisation selected a monitor speaker system without any consideration of listener fatigue at all. I read the internal report. I read the external report too. I talked to some of those involved. When I asked if listening fatigue had been considered in the selection process I could see by the momentary look of terror that it hadn't but that (being asked by a speaker designer) it just might have been overlooked and might even be important (Shock! Horror! Career on the line!). It is beyond my comprehension that users (or a selection of users) should be deprived of the opportunity to live with a loudspeaker speaker for, say, ten hours, during which time any latent issues would surely become apparent. The sign of a good loudspeaker, as this thread demonstrates, is not that the listener listens more and hears more problems (the usual situation) but that he listens more and can't find any problems. Because I've taken inordinate care to make sure that there aren't any - that's my duty in the creative process.

                  I went out and bought one of the 'selected' speakers. As you will know, I rarely comment on other speakers but in this particular case, the listening fatigue set-in after a few seconds and had my head in a vice like grip. It was the very definition of loudspeaker listening fatigue. In my opinion, such a poorly executed design should never have passed from R&D into production. Obviously, it was never compared against a real vocalist. That it did slip out tells you a lot about the real commercial power base within the manufacturing company concerned. We here surely don't hold a monopoly on the judgement of good sound and it seems likely to me that there are many good listeners in other speaker manufacturing companies. So that must mean that they are either
                  • not at all consulted during the design
                  • consulted but their opinion ignored
                  • are consulted but are unable to succinctly express their opinions about a speaker in a way that the designer can adjust the design
                  • are apathetic about the products they make or sell - 'it's just a 9-5 job'

                  That all said, looking back over the experience I am truly delighted that we were not bullied into giving-away loudspeakers at or below cost. Commercially we've never looked back as it demonstrated to me that we make excellent products and should not rely on commercial endorsements - especially when the selection process is so nobbled. If others like our products we are most appreciative of their kind words, but we have not, must not and cannot abrogate the responsibility to make and market our products to third parties - even very well intentioned and friendly ones.

                  You, collectively, have listened to Harbeths for hundreds of thousands of hours more than me. If there were latent issues you'd have rumbled me long ago. I have a crystal clear target specification in my mind, and I release the product when I am totally confident that you, with your massive listening-time advantage over me are not going to catch me out! Above all, you are buying loudspeakers built to last decades. Nobody but me ever hears a Harbeth under development. I cannot create these loudspeakers as part of a collaborative team. They are a personal journey and life is so exceedingly short to give them anything less than ones best shot.
                  Alan A. Shaw
                  Designer, owner
                  Harbeth Audio UK

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Re: The longest hours you have spent on your Harbeth

                    Some potential ad slogans for Habeth (offered free of charge):

                    "Harbeth: Because Your Speakers Shouldn't Hurt"

                    "Harbeth: Because Life's Too Short to Listen to Anything Else"

                    "Harbeth: Because They'll Sound Just As Good In Ten Hours"

                    "Harbeth: Because Your Ears Will Thank You."

                    Maybe the readership would like to toss out a few others?

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Re: The longest hours you have spent on your Harbeth

                      " They are a personal journey and life is so exceedingly short to give them anything less than ones best shot" - Alan Shaw

                      Abolutely amazing! I hope we all realize how fortunate we are to be using products designed by a man with this kind of vision and philosophy- we should all make it a goal to bring this same attitude to everything we do in life-seriously. And the man takes time to share this stuff with us. Un-#$%*ing -believable in this day and age...

                      Thank you, Alan, and Merry Christmas to you and yours!

                      Bob LaBarca
                      State College,PA
                      USA

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Re: The longest hours you have spent on your Harbeth

                        Originally posted by EricW View Post
                        Some potential ad slogans for Habeth (offered free of charge):
                        "If music really matters" but this is already "taken" by one electronics brand
                        Last edited by Vlado; 09-12-2009, 07:30 PM. Reason: typo

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Re: No listening fatigue here ...

                          to quote you Alan -"life is so exceedingly short "...

                          Appreciating the brevity of life can help set priorities as well as put things into perspective and the right place.

                          My recent quest for a higher level of music enjoyment was driven by the realisation that within 10 years if not sooner, my hearing would have lost its edge. I saw this happen to my father, who could not hear frequency extremes, probably exacerbated by the fact that he caught malaria in Malaya in his teenage years. He was a bit of an audiophile and had this ?family game? with a frequency sweep track of a test record. When the needle dropped on the track he would ask everyone who could hear ?anything? to raise their hands. His hands were always the last to be raised and the first to be dropped.

                          The restart of this music enjoyment quest of mine is after many years of detach due to poor sound quality (more of the edgy irritating type) and a music industry which, to me, seemed to serving up rather soulless and artist image driven music. The latter (software) seems to be improving while the former (hardware) seems to be still largely caught in the web of passionless large corporate grey (and possibly going to be more so, looking at industry trends of brand aggregation and segment management).

                          Happy to say, in the last month, in a frenzy, I?ve listened to many artistes, many of whom are from this last decade, ones ive never listened to before, which id probably would never have considered but enjoyed nevertheless knowing that through the Harbeth?s, they?d be ok. From these few artistes, ive slowly learnt more about what type of music I like. The choice of music and inclinations haven?t changed a tiny bit. They were probably set by the time we were in our early teens. To me, its all been part of a learning process, and path towards a better understanding of who we are today, through the music we like and thanks to a soulful company for making that an experience.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Re: No listening fatigue here ...

                            Originally posted by kittykat View Post
                            ...Appreciating the brevity of life can help set priorities as well as put things into perspective and the right place. ... The choice of music and inclinations haven?t changed a tiny bit. They were probably set by the time we were in our early teens. To me, its all been part of a learning process, and path towards a better understanding of who we are today, through the music we like...
                            This is exactly how I feel. As you have experienced - and I suspect many of us feel the same - our personality, likes and dislikes, way we express ourselves, value system is really fixed by the time we are in our early teens. Many people spend their lives working around in a big circle until, perhaps a little too late, they realise that what they gave up, threw away or under appreciated at that formative time is now what they aspire to the most.

                            When I look back to my teens (well over thirty years ago!), it is without doubt the chance I had as a Saturday volunteer at the local BBC station that sealed my fate with regard to my involvement with these BBC-inspired monitors. The BBC design approach seem just so perfect in its concept and execution; cost effective, simple, elegant and backed by the research of serious professional engineers at the BBC whose careers and reputations depended upon producing something that fulfilled the specification - and could, literally, be made on the kitchen table by general-purpose laboratory staff who could cut wood and operate a lathe.

                            There are many many different approaches to speaker design, and in a buyer's democracy we are completely relaxed about that, and positively welcome the contrast in sound it makes with a Harbeth. But I've never been tempted away from this approach because, at such a formative age, I was - and still am - in awe of the engineering thinking that went into their realisation at the BBC. Never a day goes past without my respect and gratitude for the efforts of the BBC engineers and their inspired leaders like H.L. Kirke.
                            Alan A. Shaw
                            Designer, owner
                            Harbeth Audio UK

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