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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Amplifier selection for your Harbeths (general, not specific Harbeth models)

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  • #61
    Super HL5
    Amps: Rowland 201 monoblocks
    Pre: Rowland Concerto
    CD: APL Hi-Fi modified Marantz
    LP: Linn LP-12/Ittok II/Benz L2/ Benz Lukaschek
    Cables: Oriotek X-1 (IC), Audience AU24 (speaker)
    Stands: Ikea 18" plant stands, but I will soon order Skylans

    The Rowlands are a holdover from when I had larger speakers and may be overkill (power-wise) for the Harbeths. I plan to play with some alternatives, including tubes, but the current setup sounds very good.

    And by the way, I am currently running the Harbeths with grilles off after I discoved that low frequency information was producing a "rattle".
    Last edited by danrubin; 06-02-2006, 04:39 PM.


    • #62
      Originally posted by Don Leman
      Just a quick question... Out of interest how do you say SEAS is it like sneeze without the "n" or S E A S with each letter?
      The "ea" in SEAS is pronounced like the "ea" in IKEA. SEAS is Norwegian, IKEA is Swedish. (I'm from Denmark, what do we have??) ;-)


      • #63
        Audiophilia does tend to be a faith-based, science-free hobby. I have had the experience of not hearing differences in blind tests. And yet, in the day-to-day of the hobby, cables seem to make substantial and musically important differences, such that I can't ignore them.

        I agree with the suggestion that you give it a try, Alan (and others). See if you can find someone to loan you a pair of Nordoost Valhalla speaker cables, and then maybe try something from Cardas.


        • #64
          Speaker stands


          and welcome everybody. I've recently purchased a pair of compact 7, and a pair of stands to place the speakers on.

          I noticed that with certain low frecuencies, the left speaker did vibrate sometimes (the right wall of the speaker). I phoned the salesman where I bought them and he asked me how did I place the speakers. He recommended me not to use four spikes or four balls of blue tack (or however it is written). Instead of that, he told me to place them with something between the speaker and the stand which allowed full contact of the bottom of the speaker with the stand.

          What do you think about that? What would you advice? Thanks for your help


          • #65
            A cure for Audiophilia Nervosa:

            Harbeth Compact 7ES-2 on IKEA "Lack" stand 18"/45cm (danrubin you read my review on smartgroup? It's Alan's suggestion!)
            Accuphase E-307 Integrated amp
            Linn LP-12 Sondek with Cirkus and Valhalla PS/Ekos/Klyde, Linn Linto MC preamp.
            MIT MH-750 Shotgun biwire speaker cable, Linn Silver interconnect and MIT Z Chord II power chord.

            Lorenzo Verger
            Milan, Italy


            • #66
              (danrubin you read my review on smartgroup? It's Alan's suggestion!)

              Yes indeed I did. Was a significant improvement over the chairs I had them sitting on before, and I can only hope that Skylans won't be a step backwards. I am thinking that 20" might be even better than 18".


              • #67
                As regards cables, I also was skeptical and didn't give it much concern until borrowing a pair of very expensive speaker wires about 15 years ago. They made the system a little noisy as if there was very slight static in the background. The dealer even heard it. I use TG Audio cables because when I first listened, I heard "backer backgrounds and less noise" than the Kimber and Audioquests I'd been using. Things also sounded more solid, is best I can explain.

                I also tried a pair of Audience AU24s which were indistinguishable from the TGs except for a slight but irritating upper frequency "etch". A buddy was over before I took the AUs back and switched them without me knowing. As I listened that night I thought some tubes were going bad or some other problem. That high frequency irritation was back and now, I thought, it's not the wires; must be some other problem in the system. I went to check things and found the AUs installed - I'd thought my TGs were back in line. I suddenly realized what the problem was: the Audience wires. Threw the TGs back on and the high end was smooth again.

                I also think the argument all the signal processing happening before the signal hits our system has validity. However, I think once the signals are impressed into the software, what we subject them to has immense effect. We are now in a new universe; our hardware (cables included) handle these things and do effect them.
                It's kind of like cooking: how the ingredients are made is important to but completely determining of the final dish.

                As regards double blind testing, an interesting article occured in our local newspaper about a vet who gave a couple the wrong dog. It took them over a day to figure it out. Thank goodness they were forced to pick their dog based on double blind testing. Thank goodness I'm not forced to do the same thing as regards peoiple who call me on the phone - "You have 2 seconds to figure out who this is!"

                There used to be a neighborhood cat who visited us on a regular basis. He disappeared for a while, then showed up at a neighbor's house. I went over to help ID the little guy and it took a few min for the sublties of his personality to register him as Little Red Teddy. Under dobule blind testing he'd still be on the street.


                • #68
                  Sorry for some of the spelling errors!


                  • #69
                    Since the thread asked for amps...

                    mine's a Symphonic Line RG10. 150wpc is just about enough.


                    • #70
                      Super Hl5 driven by Consonance Cyber 800 70 watt tube momo blocks and Tom Evans Vibe pre amp


                      • #71
                        Amplifiers for your Harbeths

                        This thread concerns finding the best amplifier solutions.
                        Alan A. Shaw
                        Designer, owner
                        Harbeth Audio UK


                        • #72
                          HL C 7 ES driven by an Alchemist Kraken.


                          • #73
                            Integrated receiver versus separates

                            On the previous Harbeth user group, a respected audiophile praised receivers and suggested that it was not necessary (essential) to use a separate amp or separate amp / preamp.

                            I hope I'm recalling the writer's sentiment accurately.

                            I wonder if anybody has thoughts on this topic, particularly as it relates to driving Harbeths?
                            Last edited by John Parkyn; 08-02-2006, 10:12 PM.


                            • #74
                              Originally posted by John Parkyn
                              On the previous Harbeth user group, a respected audiophile praised receivers and suggested that it was not necessary (essential) to use a separate amp or separate amp / preamp.

                              I hope I'm recalling the writer's sentiment accurately.

                              I wonder if anybody has thoughts on this topic, particularly as it relates to driving harbeths?
                              I always wonder what the advantage is separate amp/preamp than integrated one.


                              • #75
                                Originally posted by googalang
                                Since the thread asked for amps...

                                mine's a Symphonic Line RG10. 150wpc is just about enough.
                                I am very happy to find a chinese friend and even chinese name in Harbeth group. I am in Beijing