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INTRODUCTION- PLEASE READ FIRST TO UNDERSTAND THIS FORUM!

"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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iPod docks with S/PDIF output

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  • iPod docks with S/PDIF output

    There are a few iPod docks around now that take the digital files directly from the iPod's memory and output on a coax or Toslink digital socket. What are people's experience of these? Are they any good? Are they pointless because anyone who has an iPod would have the same files on their PC/Mac already? I've just got an iPhone as a gift and am curious about trying it as a hi-fi source...

  • #2
    Originally posted by GregD View Post
    There are a few iPod docks around now that take the digital files directly from the iPod's memory and output on a coax or Toslink digital socket. What are people's experience of these? Are they any good? Are they pointless because anyone who has an iPod would have the same files on their PC/Mac already? I've just got an iPhone as a gift and am curious about trying it as a hi-fi source...
    People might have files stored on a PC/Mac but not have a way to get them to their hi fi. I've plugged my iPhone into the USB of my Naim DAC and it works perfectly well but in essence you will be at the mercy of the file used when ripping from the CD. A Pure i-20 dock is on my shopping list to supplement my Olive for convenience purposes.

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    • #3
      Streaming with IPod / IPhone / IPad

      Since last week I have a Cambridge Audio iD100 docking station. It works with any iPod, iPhone and iPad. It only delivers digital output via S/P-Dif, TOSLINK or XLR. The quality is excellent.

      I like to listen to Webradio and my favorite iPad apps are TuneIn Radio and RadioBox.

      I still prefer CD as digital source but there is also a good app available to stream audio from your PC or Mac through an iPod, iPhone or iPad - StreamToMe. The server component ServeToMe on a PC or Mac converts almost any audio or video format in realtime and sends it to the StreamToMe App via WiFi. There is no need to store any files on you iPod.

      And here is my complete configuration.
      PC - Windows 7 - DbPowerAmp CD-Ripper / Music Converter
      -> WiFi Network -> iPad -> Cambridge Audio iD100 -> Lyngdorf TDAI 2200 Digital Amp - M40s.

      I'm still not sure if I will ever rip all of my CD's to the PC. But dbPoweramp is probably the best software to do that. It supports all lossless formats like Apple Lossless or Flac. And ServeToMe
      reads all of them.

      T.W.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by GregD View Post
        There are a few iPod docks around now that take the digital files directly from the iPod's memory and output on a coax or Toslink digital socket. What are people's experience of these? Are they any good? Are they pointless because anyone who has an iPod would have the same files on their PC/Mac already? I've just got an iPhone as a gift and am curious about trying it as a hi-fi source...
        The iPod/iPhone can be a very good source for a Harbeth based system - and with lossless rips played via digital docks, will sound the same as the CDs the music came from. Some amps also take the digital input from the idevice by a cable, eliminating the need for a dock. Even if you have the same files on a computer, the iDevice allows you to feed the files into your audio system in a very convenient way, short of going the wireless route.
        After moving through that phase, all my CDs are now on a hard disc, all lossless files. I use Sonos as the front end to play these wirelessly across different parts of the home. The sound is as good as the speaker in use, and my main system that has C7s and a SACD player in it, sounds just as good playing music wirelessly from the hard disc as it sounds when I play the very occasional CD via the SACD player. All my CDs and the SACD player are now a back up, and not in use. If I were making the buying decision again, I would not buy the SACD player, it isn't necessary any more.

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        • #5
          Moving to a disc-less world

          Well this is quite an old thread of mine, but thanks for contributing K.

          I've recently bought a Logitech Squeezebox Touch to wirelessly stream Apple Lossless files from my computer to my hi-fi system. I'm now only using the iPhone as a portable music player when on the move and I have an iPod Classic 160Gb now too. I find the Squeezebox quite convenient but I do still prefer using my dCS SACD player for playing CDs and SACDs. For internet radio the Squeezebox is great - there's even a station in Antarctica (although SQ is rather poor).

          I'm sure the iPod would make a great source in a Harbeth system. I'd recommend the Squeezebox Touch too. Just add a reasonable integrated amplifier and some P3ESRs and off you go!

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          • #6
            I am not surprised you like your dCS player better than a Squeezebox...

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            • #7
              Computer files are convenient, but I prefer real discs!

              Originally posted by garmtz View Post
              I am not surprised you like your dCS player better than a Squeezebox...
              I use the Squeezebox Touch purely as a 'transport' into the dCS' coaxial digital input, so there shouldn't be too much difference. It sounds fine for CD files, but I just prefer using real discs rather than touchscreens or iPhone remote control Apps.

              For SACDs, of course the dCS is essential.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by GregD View Post
                I use the Squeezebox Touch purely as a 'transport' into the dCS' coaxial digital input, so there shouldn't be too much difference. It sounds fine for CD files, but I just prefer using real discs rather than touchscreens or iPhone remote control Apps.
                Since my SACD player takes digital inputs, I am able to do just the same with my Sonos front end. And it took me some time, but the sheer convenience of CDs on a hard disc, and touchscreen control has made me a convert.
                Something I recently discovered is that it is better to leave the Sonos output as a fixed line level signal, leaving volume control to the downstream components. If the variable output is used, volume reduction is achieved in the Sonos by playing with the bits in the stream. Does the squeezebox have similar choices/issues?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Kumar Kane View Post
                  Since my SACD player takes digital inputs, I am able to do just the same with my Sonos front end. And it took me some time, but the sheer convenience of CDs on a hard disc, and touchscreen control has made me a convert.
                  Something I recently discovered is that it is better to leave the Sonos output as a fixed line level signal, leaving volume control to the downstream components. If the variable output is used, volume reduction is achieved in the Sonos by playing with the bits in the stream. Does the squeezebox have similar choices/issues?
                  As soon as I found the volume setting for the Squeezebox Touch I changed it to max output and fixed output. If it is a digital domain volume control it has now been bypassed before output into the dCS digital input. The dCS also has a digital domain volume control which works very well but again I set it to max which effectively bypasses it. My Nagra analogue preamp is the sole volume control in my system chain now.

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