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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what CDP are you using?

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  • #61
    OK. I too have a a Squeezebox Classic. It feeds a Beresford Caiman DAC and drives either a Quad 77 Integrated amp or a Quad 405-2, depending whether I am in UK or Cyprus. The Squeezebox and DAC travel with me, as does the Windows 7 Laptop which acts as server. Fine results.

    My 77 CDP still works, as does my 77 FM Tuner, but I don't use them. Playing FLACs or Internet Radio through the Squeezebox and Caiman beats them by a significant margin.

    The BBC Radio 3 HD stream at 320kb/s off the Squeezebox using the iPlayer Plugin is superb.


    • #62
      I am intreagued by streaming music. Excuse my ignorance, but what is an NAS? And when streaming music using a Squeezebox, is broadband bandwidth an issue? Thanks in advance for info.

      Ben from UK. Harbeth Super HL5 owner.


      • #63
        NAS = Network Attached Storage. Usually a hard rive in its own box accessible to any computer on the (home) network. Broadband speed and bandwidth could be an issue when streaming internet radio straight of the internet, but most broadband connections will do it. It is less demanding than streaming video from the likes of BBC iPlayer.

        When streaming content from a device on your own network Broadband speed and bandwidth is not an issue: it is not used.

        Squeezebox is just one possible system for streaming.

        In UK look at, though you should always look around for the best prices.


        • #64

          if you're considering streaming and SqueezeBox there are some extras that greatly improve it's overall performance:
          - Paul Hynes Power Supply (already mentioned by denjo)
          - Paul Hynes Shunt Stunt Regulator for regulation of power to 74HCU04 chip
          - cutting out SMD inductors, terminate to 75 Ohm
          - replacing RCA with BNC connector

          Those are modifications which were made on my SB and they significantly improved performance.

          Total cost - around 350 GBP (without SB )


          • #65
            350GBP! For rather less than that you can use an external DAC. A standard Squeezebox will stream bit perfectly to a DAC via its optical output, so there is no point in upgrading digital streaming part of the box. The internal DAC is good but not great.

            I use a Beresford Caiman - just one of many modestly priced DACs


            It will directly drive a power amp, gives you digital source switching and a simple analogue volume control.


            The Squeezebox Classic is now only available second hand now. The Duet and the Touch are now on sale. I have heard it said the touch has a much better DAC - but it's 250GBP.

            Read up on the Squeezebox forum



            • #66

              I do use external DAC - it's a Matrix DAC by Synthesis (not Synthesis Audio).
              (Review at:

              I also have a Beresford DAC (not the Cayman but the first edition) at home but after initial wow effect I only found out it's really excellent value for the money but still can't quite compare with "big guns" on the market. So now I'm using it in my bedroom system with SB duetto, KamaBay amp and Shahinian Super Elf speakers.

              But if someone is only starting or experimenting with streaming audio devices like SB, Beresford DAC is (in my opinion) choice No. 1.
              Attached Files


              • #67
                For those who are just starting their journey in Computer Audio,you will find this link very helpful:


                I learnt much from reading and re-reading the dcs primer.


                • #68
                  Many thanks Labarum, blazh and denjo, much appreciated.
                  Ben from UK. Harbeth Super HL5 owner.


                  • #69
                    I'm using the 'new' Quad Elite CDS since a few days. It's a huge upgrade from my 12 year old Denon DCD-1550. A lot of detail and a more open sound compared with the Denon (20 bit Lambda). I'm really very happy with the sound of the Quad Elite CDS > Passive Creek OBH-12 > Quad 306 (new components) > C7ES3 combination. Very natural and balanced.


                    • #70
                      Marantz CD 17ki - Marantz PM 14mkii ki - Harbeth HL5LE
                      Lyngdorf CD 1 - Lyngdorf TDAI 2200 - Harbeth M40

                      Both excellent chains that don't need any upgrade!


                      • #71
                        No CDP anymore, but streaming audio, first with XBMC, later SB3 and separate {-}DAC, and since almost 3 years a Linn Akurate DS.


                        • #72
                          Meridian 508.24 coming out of SHL5s. Fits like a glove for me. I dread the day it keels over. *gulp*


                          • #73
                            What CDP are you using

                            A couple of years ago I was using a Cyrus CD6 which was really nice. Then, thinking that I would use my iPod(and Wadia 170 iTransport)for music a lot more than I would, I invested in a Weiss DAC2. Absolutely outstanding with the iPod but unfortunately not at all compatible with the Cyrus. So now a conundrum. I really wanted to use the Weiss with a CD player. I chopped the Cyrus in and went for a 47Labs 4716 Transport. With top quality CD's this was a superb combination but I found with anything less it was just 'good'. With such a good CD player I also found I wasn't using my iPod so I took what was to me a big leap, got rid of the 47Labs and the Weiss and went for the Audio Research CD5. Just in case I should wish to use the iPod I also bought a Project DAC Box FL. I'm using the CD5 with an Audio Research VSi60 amplifier and a beautiful pair of SHL5's. Thoroughly enjoying the ride so far.......



                            • #74
                              I just wonder about Sugden CD players, the Amps usually get very good reviews, but when it comes to their CD:s it is impossible to find a review at all (at least I have not found one) Surely they can not be that bad if their amps get such good reviews. I suppose some of you out there uses Sugden CPP:s. What about the CD21SE since I have the A21SE.


                              • #75
                                just added a Marantz SA11S2 to my setup. Gosh, can't forgive myself for not getting a new CDP sooner. I have lost so much detail with the old CD63KI, CD8260, ...

                                Garbage in Garbage out? The SA11S2 have dug out so many details out of the Compact Disc media that made me dumb-founded.

                                with the new addition, My Harbeth speakers deliver performance that is ' better than ever...'