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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Harbeth & Mc Intosh: How do they work together?

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  • Harbeth & Mc Intosh: How do they work together?

    I have a pair of Harbeth C7 ES3. There is someone who experienced the marriage between Harbeth loudspeakers and McIntosh integrated amp (not tube)? If yes, please tell me your opinion.
    Thank you

  • #2
    Dear Gianfranco
    Congratulations on your C7s.
    May I respectfully direct you to Alans' advice:

    '... the selection of an amplifier should, in our view, be based primarily on pragmatic issues of its durability and longevity, styling, features and facilities, brand reputation, technical specification (power, hiss etc.) and after-care service back-up until such times as the claimed night-and-day 'sonic differences' can be validated as real, not illusory under non-sighted, controlled listening tests. If 'sonic differences' can be positively identified under controlled conditions then, obviously, they should be added to the list somewhere'.


    • #3
      Hello Gianfranco,

      I tried my beloved P3ESR with some of my Mcintosh power amplifier (MC 2505, MC 2125, MC 2205). They worked and sounded very well together. I took always the 8 Ohm taps from the power amps. Very good match indeed.




      • #4
        Hello Gianfranco - I use the Compact 7ES-3 with McIntosh C22 preamp and MC275 power amp and cannot imagine wanting to change the setup one bit. The one thing I fiddled with quite a bit initially was the choice of DAC. I tried several, but settled on the QB-9 DAC from Ayre Acoustics. It's hard to describe just how much enjoyment that system gives me. To my ears, it is about as good as it gets.

        That said, one thing that always surprises me about the Harbeths is that they sound good with any amplifier, something I've found is not the case with all loudspeakers. My high efficiency full-range speakers, for example, seem especially persnickety about amplifiers, while the Harbeths are happy with just about anything all the way down to my DIY chip amp.