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"This Harbeth User Group (HUG) is the Manufacturer's own managed forum dedicated to natural sound from microphone to ear, achievable by recognising and controlling the numerous confounding variables that exist along the audio chain. The Harbeth designer's objective is to make loudspeakers that contribute little of themselves to the music passing through them.

Identifying system components for their sonic neutrality should logically proceed from the interpretation and analysis of their technical, objective performance. Deviations from a flat frequency response at any point along the signal chain from microphone to ear is likely to give an audible sonic personality to the system at your ear; this includes the significant contribution of the listening room itself. To accurately reproduce the recorded sound as Harbeth speakers are designed to do, you would be best advised to select system components (sources, electronics, cables and so on) that do not color the sound before it reaches the speakers.

For example, the design of and interaction between the hifi amplifier and its speaker load can and will alter the sound balance of what you hear. This may or may not be what you wish to achieve, but any deviation from a flat response is a step away from a truly neutral system. HUG has extensively discussed amplifiers and the methods for seeking the most objectively neutral among a plethora of product choices.

HUG specialises in making complex technical matters simple to understand, getting at the repeatable facts in a post-truth environment where objectivity is increasingly ridiculed. With our heritage of natural sound and pragmatic design, HUG is not the best place to discuss non-Harbeth audio components selected, knowingly or not, to introduce a significantly personalised system sound. 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 offerings there. There is really no on-line substitute for time invested in a dealer's showroom because 'tuning' your system to taste is such a highly personal matter. Our overall objective here is to empower readers to make the factually best procurement decisions in the interests of lifelike music at home.

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Feb. 2018
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Cables for your Harbeths (general, not specific Harbeth models)

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  • Cables for your Harbeths (general, not specific Harbeth models)

    This thread concerns finding cable solutions.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  • #2
    The Great Cable / Interconnect Debate

    I hear that some people claim that expensive cables and interconnects make a huge difference to the resulting sound. Some of these people pay dozens, even hundreds of pounds (pick your currency) per metre to squeeze better sound out of their system.

    Could they be wasting their money? After all, many claim that basic econo cable/interconnects or a step or two up is good enough.

    What's the story? Does more money make a difference?

    What cables and interconects do you use / recommend?
    Last edited by John Parkyn; 08-02-2006, 06:36 AM.

    Comment


    • #3
      I feel that interconnects definitely do make a difference. I can't explain it but the difference between very good and ordinary cables can be night and day. In fact, so does power cables, power supply etc.
      The rest of the system must be up to scratch though... if its revealing enough, then you can really hear alot of difference as the cables then become the limiting factor.
      I was using an old integrated amp and I thought that certain cables sounded bright, some muffled etc, but once I upgraded the amp and pre etc, then I really could tell what the differences were, and what was previous ok now sounded congested etc etc because the quality of all the other components "revealed " the differences. In this respect, Harbeth speakers goes a long way in being revealing, being able to keep up with ya upgrades. And the differences can sometimes be almost greater than single component change.
      Its convenient and economical to deny the differences, but they exist. But how much you need to pay for that difference is another question. Alot of cables, esp famous ones, are way way overpriced with tremendous profit margins.
      Last edited by sevodude; 08-02-2006, 09:46 AM.

      Comment


      • #4
        I finally followed AS’s suggestion to get some ‘humble’ 79 strands speaker cable, it is the cable every Harbeth owner should try! After installing the cable, everything suddenly sounds so right and nature. I have tried many cables (different size of solid-core and strands design) throughout the last two years for my M40, they all make substantial difference, just none of them convinced me I am hearing Harbeth house sound.

        The reason I didn’t use 79 strands because there are too many fancy cables and too little humble cable this day. 79 strands is a magic number, there are many simple cables specifying 2mm or 4mm with several hundred strand counts, but there is no mentioning 79 strands. After doing some research in the net, I found that 79 strands is UK standard for 79/0.2mm to make up a 2.5mm cable. I limited the search to UK made cable and finally found QED still manufacture classic figure-8 type 79 strands. It is ridicules cheap and thin cable, also the best cable for M40 I have ever tried.

        p.s. QED 79 looks like the white cable in the switch-box photo displayed in Harbeth site.

        Comment


        • #5
          Where could I find QED 79? Thanks!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Cables for your Harbeths

            Hi all,
            Has anyone tried Kimber Kable 8TC for their Harbeth C7ES2 or any other Harbeth?

            Cheers.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Cables for your Harbeths

              Hi there,

              I use them with SHL5s and with a McIntosh integrated. All interconnects are also Kimbers. I compared them with Nordost Red Dawn and Monsters of same price range, both bi-wire and mono-wire modes. 8TC in mono-wire looks the best to me, as being less expensive, easier to use and to terminate with standard WBT bananas. No essential differences from bi-wire to mono-wire found as to sound quality.
              Cheers,
              Thanos

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Cables for your Harbeths

                Hi Thanos,
                Thanks for repying are you saying that it is no difference from Nordost Red Dawn and Monsters Cable at the same price range? Is the treble note clear? How is bass note for the Kimber 8TC? Are you still using them?

                Thanks for your help.

                Cheers.


                Originally posted by Thanos
                Hi there,

                I use them with SHL5s and with a McIntosh integrated. All interconnects are also Kimbers. I compared them with Nordost Red Dawn and Monsters of same price range, both bi-wire and mono-wire modes. 8TC in mono-wire looks the best to me, as being less expensive, easier to use and to terminate with standard WBT bananas. No essential differences from bi-wire to mono-wire found as to sound quality.
                Cheers,
                Thanos

                Comment


                • #9
                  Stay with Copper!

                  I have also had good success with Kimber copper ICs and speaker cables between all components. Then I tried Audio Note Lexus ICs and speaker cables and got warmth + more detail and less "air". I bought them. Then I auditioned Audience AU 24 equipment. Out of this world, but I can't afford them. As good as the Lexus' are , the AU's are remarkable: just the right combination of warmth and detail.

                  If you try the AUs or even the Lexus', you may forget any plans you ever had to get silver cables.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Cables for your Harbeths (general, not specific Harbeth models)

                    I'm using 10mm welding cables with very good results. Lots of copper. About $2 a metre at any welding supplier.

                    David

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Cables for your Harbeths (general, not specific Harbeth models)

                      I have never heard welding cable, but it is genuinely hard for me to believe that you would not hear a substantial improvement with AN Lexus or Audience AU 24. However, you may not be willing to pay that much more for this improvement, which I can understand.

                      But one of us is missing something - sound or money!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Stay with Copper!

                        Currently, I am using Audience AU24 interconnects with Hisago 7N Pure copper speaker cable... Just wanting to try some other cable to achieve better bass note.

                        Thanks.

                        Originally posted by Frihed89
                        I have also had good success with Kimber copper ICs and speaker cables between all components. Then I tried Audio Note Lexus ICs and speaker cables and got warmth + more detail and less "air". I bought them. Then I auditioned Audience AU 24 equipment. Out of this world, but I can't afford them. As good as the Lexus' are , the AU's are remarkable: just the right combination of warmth and detail.

                        If you try the AUs or even the Lexus', you may forget any plans you ever had to get silver cables.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          What are you missing?

                          And are you sure it is due to the cables? It may be due to almost anything else in your system, even your speakers. So make sure these notes you don't like are within the freq. response of your speakers.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Cables for your Harbeths (general, not specific Harbeth models)

                            Originally posted by Frihed89
                            I have never heard welding cable, but it is genuinely hard for me to believe that you would not hear a substantial improvement with AN Lexus or Audience AU 24. However, you may not be willing to pay that much more for this improvement, which I can understand.

                            But one of us is missing something - sound or money!
                            Sure. I don't doubt that I may be missing something. On the other hand I may not. The problem is that I have no way of knowing without spending a great deal of money. No-one has been able to explain to me why expensive cables should make a difference, whereas I can understand why a Harbeth loudspeaker should be better than my previous ones. So I prefer to save the little money I have to spend on this hobby (or obsession) on replacing my HP3s with Compact7s-- someday...

                            If you have never heard welding cable you have a perfect opportunity to test your belief in its inferiority by trying some. It'll only cost you about 20 euros for the experiment. You may like it.

                            Enjoy the music.

                            David

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Cables for your Harbeths (general, not specific Harbeth models)

                              Hi David,

                              It is hard to argue with the logic. Where did you get the Harbeths in Cape Town? I've never even looked for a high-end audio store, there.

                              Our last trip early in March was nice, but we only got into Cape Town on the last day to enjoy the sun on Clifton Beach. It was deserted and the restauant we like was closed. I guess the tourist season was over. Things continue to boom in Stellenbosch and since table grape prices are in the toilet I foresee more farms turning into housing developments.

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