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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The long and winding road ..... EMI sells Abbey Road studios

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  • The long and winding road ..... EMI sells Abbey Road studios

    Another piece of heritage is sold due to the pressure on EMI to raise cash ....

    To quote today's Financial Times

    Abbey Road, the London recording studios immortalised by the Beatles album of the same name, has been put on the market by EMI as the music group looks to extricate itself from the debt burden of Terra Firma’s 2007 leveraged buy-out. EMI would not comment ... . A sale could raise tens of millions of pounds.

    It was not immediately clear whether EMI would sell the Abbey Road brand name along with the property, but one media lawyer said: “The brand is worth more than the building . . . anybody who wants the studios will want the brand.” EMI bought the house at number 3 Abbey Road for 100,000 in 1929 and transformed it into the world’s first custom-built recording studios. In 1931, Sir Edward Elgar used studio one to record Land of Hope and Glory with the London Symphony Orchestra ... .

    The Beatles put the studios on the map and naming their final album Abbey Road.Pink Floyd recorded Dark Side of the Moon at the studios ... . However, the studios have faced cheaper competition from recording facilities in other countries, and technological advances allowing artists to record using only a laptop computer have made it harder for labels to justify owning expensive recording infrastructure.

    “What you have is a very, very expensive piece of heritage. If an artist goes to a label and asks to record at Abbey Road they will be met with maniacal laughter,” the media lawyer said.
    Full report here. The bigger picture concerning EMI here.

    Globalisation brings strength when the economic climate is good. But when cash becomes tight, top management have to think the unthinkable to save and bring-in cash. One reason (apart from the comments Alan has been making here about sound) that Harbeth has not invested time and energy in selling to the recording studio market is simple - they don't have any money to spend on good speakers as they're too busy worrying about survival! More here. Picture library here.
    Harbeth PR,
    Harbeth UK

  • #2
    EMI has a big impact for all us who follow this forum. It was where Alan Blumlein worked, and came up with the concept of “stereo”, probably in the latter part of 1931. It will be 80 years next year for this concept to have been conceived. Ironically EMI was formed in 1931 as well. I hope it sorts itself and makes it to 80. Like the work at BBC, EMI had many groundbreaking innovations, many of them seeming to do with getting the details recorded and captured, overcoming the physical challenges of the time - namely around cutting machines. Strangely as well, PCM as a concept started going in the 30's. I wonder what these brilliant people would think if today they got to sit in front of a pair of harbeths playing a well recorded cd from a transistor amplifier (maybe one of those with a b&o iceblock).