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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LFD released the LFD LE IV Signature Amplifier: A review

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  • #31
    Reconsider the amp project?

    Originally posted by coredump View Post
    {Moderator's comment: Frankly, inviting comments in an open forum on our marketing concept for the Harbeth amplifier did not give us an unambiguous green light as we expected. The discussion became waylaid by a handful of vociferous contributors into the business rights or wrongs and not as we hoped about sonic performance, features, topology, servicing, after care, durability etc. etc. So this project is unlikely to proceed.}
    Any chance you'd reconsider and think about floating the concept again? I think contributors to the HUG have learned a lot since then - I know I have. And with moderation, you have a means of controlling the discussion somewhat if it threatens to go off the rails.

    And don't forget, there were a lot of positive reactions as well. Perhaps a completely unambiguous green light - while it would certainly be nice - is a bit much to expect?


    • #32
      Originally posted by EricW View Post
      Any chance you'd reconsider and think about floating the concept again? ...
      No I don't think so. The whole idea has a bad taste to it now. Maybe when some more water has flowed ....
      Alan A. Shaw
      Designer, owner
      Harbeth Audio UK


      • #33
        Harbeth amp

        Originally posted by A.S. View Post
        No I don't think so. The whole idea has a bad taste to it now. Maybe when some more water has flowed ....
        well, when the customer wanted a bi-wiring post at the back of the speaker, different veneer for the speaker, limited edition of Harbeth speaker with better cabling, Harbeth responded. Why not a harbeth integrated amplifier to pair with it? I'm waiting patiently


        • #34
          "Bass slam" - in a passive preamp? Really?

          Hello all, I am new to this forum so bear with me.

          Having read the thread I am still amazed on how subjective amplifiers are: we all have different takes on how things sound - I think we should try to accept that. One listeners view is as good as another: it not necessarly right or wrong, just different. As long as a piece of equipment gives all frequencies equal amplification with nothing added, it is as good as any other that does the same.

          Why the short rant: I haven't heard of LFD before and looked around a bit to see what te fuss is about and came across this quote from Richard Bews of LFD "The tonal balance of passive preamplifiers are typically not sonically correct (lacking in bass slam, but are often open and transparent), and this bass slam deficiency would need to be addressed."

          Being an electronic engineer for some years, a ' passiive' amplifier (what a incongruous term that is) is simply an attenuator and providing you have no impedance mismatches all should be hunky dory from DC up to several hundred kHz: if not we have all been under an illusion for the last hundred years or so. So where does 'bass slam' come into the linear attenuation equation.

          I still get the impression that the' emperor's new clothes' syndrome is being touted here.

          Happy listening


          • #35
            New LFD mk 5 integrated or NCSE mk 2 for Harbeth 7-3es speakers

            [QUOTE=denjo;11412]Hi hifi_dave

            Well, if my friend wants his LFD NCSE back I guess I will reluctantly have to return the amplifier to him! He is presently enamoured with a Cary 300 SEI and, being a tube guy at heart, I think he does prefer tubes to SS. In the remote chance that he does not want the NCSE, I would certainly buy it from him if the price was right!

            I have listened to an Accuphase E560 (30 watts, class A) and I think the Accuphase is a step up from the NCSE. It is more refined than the NCSE but both are definitely one of the best integrateds I have had the pleasure of auditioning.

            Best Regards


            I have been using the LFD mk 4 integrated with my Harbeth 7-3es speakers for a while now. It is a very good combination.
            I now want something better. (more of a good thing perhaps..?)
            I need to decide between the new LFD mk 5 and the NCSE mk 2. I can not demo them as I live in Kuwait. I will need to import it w/o hearing- from UK.
            Are there any Harbeth 7 or 5 owners who have direct experience with both amps?
            If yes, is the NCSE -mk 2 the better sounding amp with the Harbeth 7s and the 5s?
            Or, is the smaller and less expensive mk 5 the more synergistic (magical ?) combination?
            All educated opinions will be much appreciated.