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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Cost saving digital system - put the money in the Harbeth

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  • Cost saving digital system - put the money in the Harbeth

    Digital electronics is very cheap these days.

    The big name HiFi manufacturers are coming up with custom solutions to streaming audio, but with a little research you can match their products and beat their prices. That leaves you more cash to spend where it matters - in the speaker. Using a streamer like the Apple Airport Express (80) with iTunes or a Squeezebox Classic (170) with its own software

    you can get a bitperfect stream to the DAC of your choice.

    With the Airport Express, unless you control from your Apple or PC, you will need a remote control - An iPhone will do it, and you may have one. The Squeezebox costs more, but comes with a remote and will replace your FM Tuner giving you access to high quality internet radio streams from all over the world. The Radio 3 stream on my Squeezebox (with my DAC) is better than my Quad 77 FM Tuner. So, bitperfect from a streamer by S/PDIF (Optical or phono lead) into a DAC.

    Here are some suggestions

    Cambridge DACmagic 230

    Beresford 7520 ( 140+VAT) or Beresford Caiman (200+VAT)

    TC-BMC2 (200)

    The Beresfords have four switchable inputs, a fixed line out and a variable line out controlled by an analogue volume control. Good 'phones amp. Will serve as "Pre-amp"

    The TC BMC-2 has 3 (?) switchable inputs, nice volume control and a good 'phones amp. Balanced outputs. Will serve as "Pre-amp"

    The other two have more limited facilities.

    I use a Beresford Caiman for its sound, its flexibility and because it looks the part in the lounge.

    So for about 200 you can get an extremely competent DAC and, provided you need no analogue inputs, a Pre-amp as well. Add the cost of your chosen streaming system - under 400 plus any old computer in the house, which you can still use for other things. That leaves a lot of extra cash for amp and speakers. Spend more if you like, but you will be paying for over engineered products that will sound very little better, if at all.

    Put the money in the Harbeth!

    Well, that's what I think.
    Last edited by HUG-1; 28-02-2010, 07:38 PM. Reason: Removed brand