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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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Best connection to speakers ?

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  • Best connection to speakers ?

    I am expecting to get my new Harbeth C7 within ten days, meanwhile I would like to order a pair of cables. The connection to the amplifier is via banana plugs but what kind of connection to the loudspeakers do you recommend: banana plug, spades or bare wire? Thanks

  • #2
    Speaker connection? It Depends...

    Originally posted by ummaya View Post
    I am expecting to get my new Harbeth C7 within ten days, meanwhile I would like to order a pair of cables. The connection to the amplifier is via banana plugs but what kind of connection to the loudspeakers do you recommend: banana plug, spades or bare wire? Thanks
    You can find support for any of those three connection methods online! FWIW I think bananas are best if you regularly need to move speakers around and unplug them frequently (if you are a reveiwer/dealer/tweaker!), bare wire gives the least number of junctions between speaker cable and binding post but can be impractical with certain cables. Spades are neither a direct connection nor easily unplugged. Bananas are the easiest, most practical way...and for sound quality? Pass.


    • #3
      Using banana plugs is by far the most convenient way to go. The contact has to be firm (not hard, not loose).
      Do not worry about sound quality, you won't hear any difference. If you are, after all, concerned about that, bare wire is in theory the best way.


      • #4
        Concur. I use bananas all the way for ease of use.
        Ben from UK. Harbeth Super HL5 owner.


        • #5
          So it will be bananas


          • #6
            An other question about speaker cables.

            According the theory, the shorter the speaker cable the better it is (shorter wire = smaller resistance, capacitance and inductance). But what is the shortest length that makes an audible degradation? For example is there an audible sound degradation between a 2.5 meters cable and a 3 meters cable or is such a difference of length too small to make any difference ?


            • #7
              About speacer cables

              If you feel like reading about speaker cables:



              and about cables and some other things:


              There is no reason worrying about that.


              • #8
                You won't hear any difference between 2.5 and 3 mtrs. You might (might) hear 3 v 10 mtrs but don't lose any sleep worrying about it.


                • #9
                  Takis, thank you for the links

                  Originally posted by hifi_dave View Post
                  don't lose any sleep
                  I may lose some once I get the C7


                  • #10
                    I had a curious phone conversation this morning!

                    I phoned the importer of the QED in Jerusalem (the only place where you can buy QED cable in Israel) and said that I want to order two pieces of 2.5 meter each of QED Classic 79 strands cable. The dealer asked me if I am aware that this cable is QED's most basic cable and asked about my speakers. When I said Harbeth C7 he sounded almost in a state of chock! "Are you serious, you are really going to connect your Harbeth with the QED 79 strands ?". He said that for such speakers even the QED Original is still too basic and that I should at least pick the Silver Anniversary.

                    It looks like according to them there is a relationship between the price of your speakers and the price of your speaker cables. By the way do you have any experience with Blue Jeans 10-gauge 5T00UP or the 12-gauge 5000UE cables? They are even cheaper than the QED. Thanks


                    • #11
                      I don't see any relationship between the price of your speakers and the cable to be used but IMO, you should be using something better than 79 strand. You don't need to spend a fortune, something like Chord Rumour or Odyssey will do very nicely and not break the bank.


                      • #12
                        Hi Ummaya, i am using something even cheaper than QED 79 strand but my SHL-5 sounds wonderful nonetheless.


                        • #13
                          Shalom Ummaya

                          I also am in Israel with HP5 and have the cheapest speaker cables I could find coming out of my Super HL5. When I purchaseds the HL5 2 years back Igal the local dealer stuck the bare wire endings into my speaker posts and they remain there until today. You have a great pair of speakers - don't let yourself be ripped of spending money on cables that will not improve your sound but may degrade it (if they have some kind of filter in them to justify the cost). Try living with your speakers for a year or two with plain cables and you will be very happy I promise you!



                          • #14
                            Hello Steve,

                            I sent you a PM



                            • #15
                              When I first heard my M-30's; it was at an in-home dealer's establishment. He had them connected to reference level components and good quality (Audience AU24) cables. They have never sounded so good. I realized that I would not be able to duplicate a $30K front end, $20 amplification, and a professionally engineered listening room with my modest electronics, cables, and listening space. At the time, I was a complete cable skeptic. Everything I read here reinforced this point of view. How could there be any advantage in wiring you speakers with anything better than the internal wiring? A chain is only as strong as it's weakest link, right? About this time, I started looking around in magazines and online. The first time I saw an ad. for a cryogenically treated power cord, I literally laughed! I am an electrician, and rather empirical and objective by nature. I started to read reviews on these products and could not believe what I was seeing; here were, supposedly, intelligent and knowledgeable audiophiles discussing the "sound" of a power cord. How could one ascribe a particular sound to a power cable? The A/C that reaches the components goes through miles and miles of aluminum transmission wire, through (several) transformers, switches, breakers, and possibly a hundred or more feet of Romex. How in the world is changing the final meter or two with a (presumeably) high quality cord going to effect the sound of the component?

                              I contacted the dealer who sold me the Harbeths; he seemed like a pretty intelligent fellow. 'What's all this nonsense about deep freeze power cords?'. I was hoping to hear that he didn't buy into this nonsense, and that he would tell me that such things were for affluent audiophiles with more dollars than sense. Quite the opposite, he said that, while he could not fully explain the phenomenon, power cables do improve sound quality. He dispelled my "a chain is only as strong as it's weakest link" theory with the following example: he showed me that exchanging a high quality IC cable for a "stock" cable improved the sound. Even if it wasn't the last link in the chain (pre out to amplifier), the sound was audibly better. His purpose was not to sell me a set of IC's, and no order was placed at that time, but my thinking had changed. As far as power cords and line conditioners, I still had my doubts. Again, it was actual experience that demonstrated to me that a good quality power cable can make a big difference. I don't know if the difference is completely objective, and therefore measurable, or subjective and, perhaps, audible but not measurable. There my be more to it than DC resistance, velocity of propogation, and LRC measurments.

                              If we agree, as most do, that the speakers are the most crucial link in the music reproduction chain, could we possibly agree that; since the speaker cables carry the finished product (amplified music), that they are the most important cable in the system? I tend to think so, and I've actually got 2/3 the price of my M-30's tied up in speaker cables. Whether or not you think this is justifiable, I can promise you that if you substituted 79 strand speaker wire for my Transparent Music Link Ultras, I would notice it 2 minutes into an album from 2 rooms away. Yes, these are an exaple of the reviled cables with the "magic boxes", and I've often considered the absurdity of having them connected to Harbeths; knowing the general consensus of both the company and it's customers. I've also got some HiFi Tuning fuses, HRS damping plates, and Herbie's Tenderfeet / Isocups. All of these products were sold with a money back guarantee, and I would have sent them back if I didn't hear a difference (blind and "double blind" A/B comparisions).

                              Some of you may be thinking, 'oh, I've got a bridge I'd like to sell this guy'. My point is that I started out as a complete skeptic. I don't go for every snake oil scheme that comes along, but I've seen and heard some things that have toned down my skepticism. If I recall correctly, Mr. Shaw dosen't say that 79 strand speaker wire is the best possible connection for Harbeths, but rather, that it is a good reference; a good place to start your comparisons.