HUG - here for all audio enthusiasts


"This Harbeth User Group (HUG) is the Manufacturer's own managed forum dedicated to natural sound, realisable by controlling the confounding variables between tthe microphone and the listeners' ears.

For example, the design of and interaction between the hifi amplifier and its speaker load can and potentially will alter the sound balance of what you hear. To reproduce the sounds captured by the recording microphones, as Harbeth speakers are designed to do, you would naturally select system components (sources, electronics, cables and so on) that do not color the sound before it reaches the speakers.

Identifying components for their system neutrality should, logically, start with the interpretation and analysis of their technical, objective performance, as any and every deviation from a measurably flat frequency response at any point along the serial chain from microphone to ear is very likely to cause the total system to have an audible sonic personality. That includes the contribution of the listening room itself.

HUG specialises in making complex technical matters simple to understand, aiding the identification of audio components likely to maintain a faithful relationship between the recorded sound and the sound you hear. With our heritage of natural sound, HUG cannot be really be expected to guide in the selection, approval, endorsement or even discussion of equipment that is intend to introduce a significantly personalised sound to the audio signal chain. 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 electronics offered there. There is no on-line substitute for that time investment in a dealer's showroom.

If you desire to intentionally tune your system sound to your personal taste, please consider carefully how much you should rely upon 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, listening loudness and listening room treatment, not necessarily leading to appropriate equipment selection and listening satisfaction for you.

Alternatively, if faithfully reproducing the sound intended by the composer, score, conductor and musicians over your speakers is your audio dream, then understanding something of the issues likely to fulfill that objective is what this forum has been helping with since 2006. Welcome!"

Jan. 2018
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Looking for an new BRITISH amp/cd to go along with my Harbeth speakers.

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  • #16
    A21SE (30W) is enough for me

    The Mystro amp is an AB amp with 50w/channel. I use the A21SE with 30w and it is enough for me


    • #17
      QUAD - good relaxed sound

      Originally posted by Kumar Kane View Post
      Having used both, and I am still using the 909 with my Harbeths, I would agree with the match. However while the Quad CDP2 sounded very good, the CD tray isn't as robust as say, a Marantz. And true to the way it felt, mine gave me trouble sliding in and out on my player. The 909 on the other hand sounds great and feels bombproof - my 2004 model does, at any rate.
      Very true; the QUAD 99CDP has had several drawer and mech-related issues over the years. However, it does sound rather good, very relaxed. The 909 is indeed a reliable and very musical amp, as all QUAD amps are (hence my recommendation for a thoroughly serviced QUAD 520 or 522).

      QUAD's CD67 was more reliable than the 99CDP. Although not state-of-the art, it is a good machine.


      • #18
        909 - good value

        I agree with you on the 909 - it is good value, it sounds very good (if not really great), is bomb proof and has plenty of power. It is the first amp I used with my Harbeths and only my current LFD NCSE is an all-round more satisfying listen


        • #19
          British v. American amp design ...

          I run my SHL5's with Quad 24QC pre-amp and a Croft Twinstar 4 poweramp. The Quad and the new Croft 7 poweramp should be well within budget. Works like a dream.

          However, what is also very very nice, is to run them with my Audio Research integrated VSi55 (normally keep that one in the office). Not British but US

          Its funny to compare British vs US. It's like a Triumph Spitfire MkII vs a Chevy Corvette. The Croft and Quad's as simple as possible, without frills, lightweight construction, cool-running. The ARC, however, is big, heavy engineering and generates real heat. But I love both combo's - the ARC gives a little more powerful bass - got it used for abt STG 1500.

          Veel succes - keuzes, keuzes, keuzes


          • #20
            Croft Amp

            Last time I had the chance to hear Harbeth HL5s and 7ES with Sugden and Croft. From my point of view the combination Sugden (A21SE, Fusion 21CD) and the smaller Harbeths is a perfect match. The Croft AMP sounds also good but didnīt convince me as much as Sugden did. Unfortunately the Sugden combo blows out your budget a little bit...


            • #21
              Harbeth and Sugden - no gimmicks just quality

              Without really knowing I would say Harbeth and Sugden share the same philosophy and approach to products, music and customers. Just quality and no gimmicks what so ever.


              • #22
                Focus on the speakers not the electronics?

                Originally posted by tozen View Post
                I agree with you on the 909 - it is good value, it sounds very good (if not really great), is bomb proof and has plenty of power. It is the first amp I used with my Harbeths and only my current LFD NCSE is an all-round more satisfying listen
                Before reading posts in the forum confirm what I had started to suspect about the effect of different amplifiers on the sound as heard by my ears ( an important qualification, the last part! ), I haven't felt any need to do an amp upgrade after installing the Harbeths a couple of months ago. The 909 does what I expect it to do, which is provide a clean signal, have adequate power reserves for my listening levels out of the C7s, and it will last for another decade, I hope. I find more changes in the sound coming from speaker positioning, and room acoustics, while maintaining domestic harmony in making those changes. I have used tube amplifiers as well as other solid state amps in the past, but since 2004, I have stayed with the 909, and the Harbeths seem to do well, driven by it.

                More discerning ears than mine will of course have a different view on this, which I accept.

                As far as CD players are concerned, for much of my listening I am only using the DAC on mine to take digital signals from a Sonos zone player and with music in lossless form, I am getting sound that is the same as CD replay - to my ears.

                All of the above has reinforced a sense that beyond a point it is far more important to focus on getting a good speaker pair, look to how they are positioned in the room, and how they interact with the room environment to get the best possible sound, given the inevitable constraints in those aspects that most people that do not have dedicated listening rooms will face.


                • #23
                  Many good CD/amp synergies

                  [QUOTE=fred40;15460]I respect the praise on LFD an off what I read so far it would certainly be a very high regarding match , but as I said earlier they have no cdp in their productline so of no further interest to me

                  Understand your point, however my experience suggests not to limit oneself to companies that only produce both; there are many good synergistic combinations in the market to consider.


                  • #24
                    Staying with Harbeth / NAIM

                    Hi All,

                    It may sound akward but after a brief encounter with Mcintosh I decided to stay with Naim. Sounds perfect to me and why change a combi which gives me the listening pleasure for many years to come. Nevertheles I apreciated all of youre suggestions and input.