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"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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Vinyl vs CD

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  • #16
    Yes, this is an interesting thread. For me, its about what music i can get on which format. I have many Lps, especially of great classical string players of the 1940s and on, which have never been released on cd. I also agree with Allen, there is a theatre to using record players, just as there is to live concerts, or playing an instrument, it takes a little more interaction. There is also nothing wrong with 'coloration' in my opinion. When i record lets say a violin track, i use a ribbon mic, which has a very dark sound, then add a little reverb, maybe alter the tone a little. I spoke to a record player maufacturer recently who spoke about the need of reducing coloration, to play just whats on the record. I would rather have someting that sounds lush and rich, than 'Clinical', even if that is 'unrealistic' or less precise. Finally, and this is to Allen, what did you partner your Shure cartridge with? I guess a Sme arm and Mitchel gyro deck. How close did i get?

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    • #17
      Allen should of course be Alan. Apologies!

      Allen should of course be Alan. Apologies!

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Labarum View Post
        It is the case that some people prefer the sound of LPs, FM Radio and valve amplification.

        I think there is good evidence that, compared to good digital systems, these media remove something from the original data, and add something; yet the 'analogue sound" or "valve sound" is still perceived by some to be 'nicer'.

        [Of course the most accurate meaning of "nice" is "precise". !!!]
        When I compare the same record and the same mix on my Oracle Delphi V, Graham 2.2 , Benz Ruby and Whest with my Meridian 506.20 I hear nearly no difference at all. However the LP sounds more free and I prefer the LP. But what an amount of money to invest in a turntable - not rational, but falling in love is not rational either.

        By the way I tried the same with my Thorens 160, Denon 160 and you hear a real difference.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by STHLS5 View Post
          I am not sure how this would help. CD's output will be more accurate.
          If the turntable and a CD recording of its output cannot be distinguished, that would prove the "CD is essentially perfect" proposition. If they can be distinguised, it would show that not all CD reproduction is perfect.

          If the sound of the turntable recorded to CD is "nicer" than a well-mastered commercial CD of the same material, that supports (but doesn't prove) the proposition that LP reproduction loses information in a way that pleases the ear.

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          • #20
            It was my first contribution and it went wrong
            Last edited by Charles; 27-11-2010, 12:35 PM. Reason: Double

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            • #21
              Do you need stereo?

              Originally posted by honmanm View Post
              If the sound of the turntable recorded to CD is "nicer" than a well-mastered commercial CD of the same material, that supports (but doesn't prove) the proposition that LP reproduction loses information in a way that pleases the ear.
              and also to bluegrass.

              What really please our ears? Some say stereo but now I am doubting whether we really need stereo for musical enjoyment. At one time I was keen in headphones but somehow I felt something was wrong with its stereo effect. Later I came to know about headphones amplifiers with crossfeed which makes using headphones less tiring because it leaks the opposite channel a little to the other channel. That is a subject on its own.

              Lately, I am inclined to believe you do not need stereo which is an illusion to enjoy music. Maybe, CD's advantage of a better channel separation is also the cause of the sound to be perceived as thinner. I am trying to get a proper CD and LP files comparisons for us to identify what are the criteria that we consider "nice". Meanwhile I would appreciate if I can get some feedback with the LPAs (A) and LPBs(B) files. Which one sounds nice?

              Thanks in advance.
              ST

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              • #22
                Ok, LPA had less stereo effect, less panning of instruments if any. It was louder than the other track. I preferred LPB , warmer? Now tell me , what was the actual difference?

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                • #23
                  How do you describe warmer?

                  Originally posted by bluegrass View Post
                  Ok, LPA had less stereo effect, less panning of instruments if any. It was louder than the other track. I preferred LPB , warmer? Now tell me , what was the actual difference?



                  You are like a sound analyzer. Didn't you say you do recordings? My poor ears weren't able to pick the panning aspects of the recording through my basic sound card and my PC speakers. Loudness was obvious. Less stereo effect? ...only at one or two spots.

                  Can you describe why you say LPB sounded warmer? Are you telling the upper mid attenuated in LPB? To me LPB was thinner.

                  Thanks.

                  ST

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                  • #24
                    Hi,
                    I am a violinist with a little recording studio and have a metric halo uln2 converter and a nice pair of headphones to listen through, which certainly helps. Ok i had another listen, and to be honest the stereo panning is the most obvious difference. Maybe i'm so used to listening in stereo and mixing my own music in stereo, that it just feels "right" to my ears. Tonally, i don't hear so much obvious difference today. The stereo panning gives the track a more spacious feeling which in turn i find more relaxing to listen to. Maybe, through the speakers you were listening with, and because the mix is thicker, ie. the music is coming from 'centre' rather than spread across the stereo field, it sounds richer to your ears?

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                    • #25
                      Frequencies responsible for warmer vocal

                      Originally posted by bluegrass View Post
                      Hi,
                      I am a violinist with a little recording studio and have a metric halo uln2 converter and a nice pair of headphones to listen through, which certainly helps. Ok i had another listen, and to be honest the stereo panning is the most obvious difference. Maybe i'm so used to listening in stereo and mixing my own music in stereo, that it just feels "right" to my ears. Tonally, i don't hear so much obvious difference today. The stereo panning gives the track a more spacious feeling which in turn i find more relaxing to listen to. Maybe, through the speakers you were listening with, and because the mix is thicker, ie. the music is coming from 'centre' rather than spread across the stereo field, it sounds richer to your ears?
                      Maybe, you are right my PC speakers are just about 1 foot apart. What I did was cross leaked 50% of each channel in LPAs. As I mentioned before, channel separation or the lack of it may contribute to a "nicer" sound. The other aspect of vinyl is the cutting tool which has a natural resonance of about 3kHz which need to be reduced or increased to compensate. I can't remember which is which. That's the reason I asked why you perceive LPB to be warmer.

                      If someone could re-record a CD by slightly attenuating around 3.5kHz (to create a warmer vocal) and reduce the channel separation that would be interesting to see if people would perceive that recording to be better.

                      ST

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                      • #26
                        LPAs is around 3dB louder than LPBs, that's a quite significant difference in loudness, which to now, no-one has commented on. The mp3 code/decode process also hides many of the subtleties in the original audio which we are trying very hard to hear. If the two files were uploaded as uncompressed .WAV files for us to download and compare then there may be a basis for a more legitimate comparison.
                        LPAs peaks to the digital maximum, which may overload some playback systems, making the vocal sound "hard" akin to tracking distortion.
                        Paul

                        "If all else fails, read the instructions"

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                        • #27
                          Hi Paul, actually i commented on volume differences in my first post above regarding the two tracks. Of course mp3 hides much, but at least , since both are mp3 and i hope, the same compression level, you can still compare the two to some degree.

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                          • #28
                            Digitally, it possible to do everything that a vinyl does. Do you want distortion? You can have it. Dust, higher noise floor, skewed phase are all within the capabilities of digital domain and can be replicated. So why vinyl appears to have the edge to some?

                            ST

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                            • #29
                              Masks some recording flaws perhaps?
                              Ben from UK. Harbeth Super HL5 owner.

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