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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Almost new owner questions (SHL5 cables)

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  • Almost new owner questions (SHL5 cables)

    Hi fella'a I have a pair of SHL5 (in eucalyptus) on order and have been reading through many posts on these speakers. I know what the Harbeth folks think about speaker cables but I was wondering if there are any favorites and consensus on good choices. I'll be using a Plinius 9200 to drive the speakers, I'm thinking of either Kimber Monocle XL, or select 3033, Audience Au24e, Synergistic Accelerator, Wireworld Eclipse 6... any and all opinions are welcome.

    The Harbeths are replacing Proac Response D25 which although are great speakers I'm finding a bit too bright with solid state electronics.

  • #2
    Proac > Harbeth

    Wahay! A fellow Proac to Harbeth owner. Me - just replaced D15s with P3ES2s. What a great change; you won't regret it.

    Wish I could contribute to your cable question. I have too little budget and experience to experiment. The only comparison I have made is between single and biwire. I have Chord Rumour 4 biwire cable and have used it in both configurations with my Harbeths. I prefer single; it seems to give a more coherent sound. I wouldn't like to attempt a double-blind test though—the difference is subtle and quite possibly all in the mind.

    All the best, Ben
    Ben from UK. Harbeth Super HL5 owner.


    • #3
      KISS principle (Keep it simple stupid)

      How about starting with something inexpensive and middle-of-the-road? Seeing as you will need to get used to the sound of new speakers, having a cable that "tailors" the sound in any way would just confuse the issue. A starting point might be the sort of thing your dealer recommends for a NAD amplifier (or equivalent in that price range) - as long as it is neutral. Try it with the D25s before they go, so that you know if it has any signficant contribution to sound quality (or lack thereof).

      Other than that, you could stick with your current cable which will mean that the only variable you're changing is the speakers themselves.


      • #4

        IMO, when it comes to cables, keep it good and simple. Good quality wire, wrapped in a good quality insulation. Not too many strands because this makes for a fat, fuzzy sound and (this is purely personal) I don't like cables with boxes on. You never can find out what these boxes do but I believe they act like tone controls or filters but confuse the sound.

        And don't spend huge amounts on cables.


        • #5
          Harbeths can resolve cable differences

          Hi, Erik

          Any of those will work, and in fact, you may be able to get by on less money; but don't doubt for a second that your Harbeths will be able to resolve the differences between brands! Of the cables listed, I'm a big fan of Kimber, using the humble Hero interconnects and 8 TC speaker cable with my Monitor 30's.

          Good Hunting-it's part of the fun!


          • #6
            Kimber fan

            Also a Kimber fan. I've used PBJ interconnects for years, and got a pair of 4TC speaker cables a couple of years ago. That's about as "high-end" as I'll ever need...


            • #7
              I would say it is quite impossible to tell you what is best for your ears and system
              but the best thing with budget cables is that it gives you a chance to experiment
              without going broke. I am currently using a Van Damme HIFi cable 4mm with my SHL5
              and it is really good for the price costing less for 8m than a "better" cable cost for 1m.
              This is a VERY subtle subject and at times I feel a solid core cable sounds less detalied but more musical. Have been thinking of anticables too as an alternative.


              • #8
                Again cables

                Thanks guys. Honmanm my current cables are Cardas Golden Reference Bi-Wire which cost about as much as the freakin' speakers! I've sold them to actually pay for part of the Harbeth purchase. I'm actually leaning towards the Audience Au24e single wire, with Au24e jumpers... Au24e is a simple high quality copper wire. But I'm currently using Kimber KS1030 interconnects so I'm also going to give the Kimber Monocle XL a shot.

                And yes I think the idea about trying some things on the D25 before they go is a good idea, although what works well on the Proac's won't necessarily be a good match on the Harbeths, but it would give me an idea.


                • #9
                  Classic 79 strand - best results

                  Hi Erik,
                  I would recommend you QED Classic 79 Strand. I have the best results with these cables in my setup. They are very cheap ($3/m) but very good. I tried on a lot of cables, much more expensive, but these QEDs are the best. It seems to be a good matching with Harbeths.


                  • #10
                    $10/mtr is more than enough to spend on cables

                    Originally posted by ErikM View Post
                    .... I've sold them to actually pay for part of the Harbeth purchase....
                    That was a clever thing to do. Don't spend a lot on cables. Before you buy, try a very cheap and trust your ears. In any case, $10 per metre is more than enough.


                    • #11
                      I'll try cables before spending $$$

                      Thanks for the input guys. I'm fortunate to live in the USA where we have a company called : The Cable Company ( ) You can probably guess what they do :-) They are about 20minutes from my house so I'll get a chance to try out numerous cables in my system before shelling out the $$$


                      • #12
                        Atlas cables

                        Try also looking at Atlas Cables.

                        You don´t have to spent a fortune with these and they have a wide range of cables to choose from. They are truely great. What You get is high quality build and materials. Most important You get rewarded with GREAT sound and value in every aspect.

                        I have had cables from Yter, Audience, Artisan, Kimber, Nordost and more. I don´t miss a thing with the Atlas Cables and I´ve stoppede looking for other cables since I got them. They are here for the lon run!

                        My Atlas cables are as follows:

                        - Interconnects: Titan All Cu

                        - Speakercables: Ascent 2.0


                        • #13
                          Spetz anti-cables

                          If you can stand the look of bare wire, try Spetz anti-cables. They are cheap (very) and are a good match with my SHL5/CJ MV125 combination.



                          • #14
                            Kimber etc.

                            I've ended up with Kimber Monocle XL with Kimber Select 9033 jumpers.. I preferred it over Synergistic Tesla Accelerator, and Acoustic Zen Hologram. Fwiw I also use use Kimber Select KS1030 interconnect between Dac and Amp so that may have added to the overall synergy. And unfortunately Holberg, Atlas cables AFAIK, aren't available in the US. At least I couldn't find them to try.


                            • #15

                              Harbeth's recommendation of QED 79 is a good one!