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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 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.

Please consider carefully how much you should rely upon and be influenced by 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, loudness and room treatment, not necessarily leading to appropriate equipment selection and listening satisfaction for you. Always keep in mind that without basic test equipment, subjective opinions will reign unchallenged. With test equipment, universal facts and truths are exposed.

If some of the science behind faithfully reproducing the sound intended by the composer, score, conductor and musicians over Harbeth speakers is your thing, this forum has been helping with that since 2006. If you just want to share your opinions and photos with others then the unrelated Harbeth Speakers Facebook page http://bit.ly/2FEgoAy may be for you. Either way, welcome to the world of Harbeth!"


Feb. 2018
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what CDP are you using?

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  • #76
    Audible Differences Among CDPs?

    Do those on the HUG who believe that expensive cables do not produce an audible difference in the sound also believe the same about expensive CD players? I have a 1985ish Nakamichi Cd player, solid as a rock, but if I knew, speaking of solid, that there was solid evidence that a new CDP would produce an audible improvement in the sound -- in detail, reproduction of the highs, whatever -- then I might consider making a switch. But my skeptical side tells me, that apart from workmanship and reliability, CD players cannot be distinguished, reliably, even by golden ears.

    Bruce

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    • #77
      Hi Bruce. I'm objective and skeptical. I do not believe in expensive cables and can't tell them apart during demos. But CD players are different - some better or worse; others just different in character. My upgrade from Arcam Delta 70.2 to Arcam CD37 was almost as significant as swapping my speakers to Harbeth. I demoed three players around the £1K mark in my local shop and would have been confident telling them apart, double-blind.

      (Same with amps. Some better or worse; some just different. Cables, stands, isolaters, mains cords, power conditioners - nah, you can keep 'em).
      Ben from UK. Harbeth Super HL5 owner.

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      • #78
        I've been lectured to on a couple of occasions by highly respected engineers who assured me that 'all CD players sound the same'. Also ' there can't be a difference as they are only counting digits, so they must be perfect'.

        On both occasions it was only a matter of demo'ing two players side by side for a minute or two for them to take back their words. One of them also then bought a very expensive player from me.

        It doesn't necessarily follow that a more expensive player is better though. There are some horrors and some excellent reasonably priced players. Also, that Nakamichi player might well still stnad up fpr itself. Best bet is to take it for a comparative demo to your dealer. You might be pleasantly surprised.

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        • #79
          I use the NAIM cd5i mark 2 much to my satisfaction.

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          • #80
            Originally posted by Euler View Post
            Do those on the HUG who believe that expensive cables do not produce an audible difference in the sound also believe the same about expensive CD players? I have a 1985ish Nakamichi Cd player, solid as a rock, but if I knew, speaking of solid, that there was solid evidence that a new CDP would produce an audible improvement in the sound -- in detail, reproduction of the highs, whatever -- then I might consider making a switch. But my skeptical side tells me, that apart from workmanship and reliability, CD players cannot be distinguished, reliably, even by golden ears.

            Bruce
            Bruce, it could be your Nakamichi that is a great performer. Prior to the CDP purchase, i am skeptical toward CDP as Hifi Dave said. the famour quote " all CD player sound the same" but the Maranta SA11S2 changed my perception. nobody could convince me until i brought it home and hook it up.

            Actually i was about to change a amplifier and even the speaker, by good fortune, I decided to bet 3 Grand on a CDP. Long story cut short, bring / demo a Marantz SA11S2 home and tell us what you hear (I am not affiliated with Marantz )

            however i stand corrected on the changing of cables that it proves futile in performance

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            • #81
              Marantz SA11S2 Vs Quad Vs Theta Gen III

              Just last Friday, Sam our local distributor brought over his Quad player to show how musical it was compared to my Marantz SA11S2. He brought 2 sets of CDs to do simultaneous switching for a quick AB test.

              We agreed that SA11S2 output gain was a lot higher than Quad's and therefore, it was pointless to perform a quick switch overs. Then Sam suggested that I listen to both players to find out which one was better. I gave up after several minutes but I asked if he could positively identify his Quad just by listening? He said he could and we agreed a total of 10 trials of the same track, i.e Gütesloher Glocken of Musik Von Einem Anderen Stern. Sam is very familiar with this track as he uses them to demo the Harbeths.

              After the 5th trial, he stopped because he couldn't concentrate any longer. So we have only the results for 5 trials as follows,

              Actual Sam
              1. Quad SA11S2
              2. SA11S2 SA11S2
              3. SA11S2 SA11S2
              4. SA11S2 Quad
              5. Quad SA11S2


              You be the judge.

              ST

              p.s Previously, we did the same "tests" for Theta Gen III and SA11S2 and we couldn't tell them apart. Theta's gain is much higher than SA11S2.

              p.p.s We are still friends.

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              • #82
                Former OPPO BDP83, now running an Arcam BDP100.....seems to be a better match for my needs so far at this price point with the LFD Mk IV and C7. Have not yet heard an OPPO BDP95 to compare.

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                • #83
                  I'm now using Ayon Audio CD5s. Opens new "window" in my listening expriences..

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                  • #84
                    I am currently using a PrimaLuna Prologue 8 CDP. Yesterday I shipped a SONY 5400ES player to Music Technology for VSE mods. I have a few SACD's that I have played on my second systems OPPO 83SE Nuforce Edition, and I would like to play them on my primary system(C7's). I'll report on the SONY when it returns in about four weeks.

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                    • #85
                      Luxman D 05 here with an Auraliti music server. Nice to have both SACD, CD and streaming. Only problem is no streaming radio. Will fix that soon.

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                      • #86
                        Budget universal for now...but then what?

                        Having sold my expensive Nagra CDC CD player, I'm using a budget Cambridge Audio BD650 universal player for now. It plays CD with HDCD, SACD, DVD-A/V and BD. So I'm fully covered while a consider the next upgrade. (I may go back to a 2 channel SACD player with digital input for the Meridian streamer mentioned below...)

                        I'm really not sure what to do about my digital source. I'm very tempted by the Meridian Media Core 200 which is a small unit containing a 500Gb HDD, streaming player and both analogue and digital outputs. It uses the Sooloos interface, accessable with an iPhone/iPad app, and is really neat and intuitive to use. I tried it out at the Bristol Show this year, where I met AS. Did you see the Meridian stand Alan?

                        (I might add that often I use the BD650 as a transport into a Cambridge Audio DAC Magic connected together by a £1 optical cable - it sounds great and cured my mains hum problems!)
                        Last edited by GregD; 05-05-2011, 06:40 PM. Reason: additional info

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                        • #87
                          GregD/Macroaudio: How do you find using a Universal Player as a substitute for a cd player? Do you fin you can reach the same quality when using an expensive BD player versus a cheaper CD player?

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                          • #88
                            I own an Audionet Art G2, it replaced an Ear Acute when I moved from Pass to Leben. I didn't want to add jam on my peanut buttered toast.

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                            • #89
                              Funny thing

                              Originally posted by STHLS5 View Post
                              Just last Friday, Sam our local distributor brought over his Quad player to show how musical it was compared to my Marantz SA11S2. He brought 2 sets of CDs to do simultaneous switching for a quick AB test.

                              So we have only the results for 5 trials as follows,

                              Actual Sam
                              1. Quad SA11S2
                              2. SA11S2 SA11S2
                              3. SA11S2 SA11S2
                              4. SA11S2 Quad
                              5. Quad SA11S2
                              That's funny. If I'm right, he never recognized his Quad player?! But he does 2 times for the Marantz...

                              Sébastien

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                              • #90
                                None. I rip everything into a Glyph external firewired to a Mac Mini. :-)

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