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At its inception, the Harbeth User Group's remit was to create a lasting knowledge archive. Knowledge is based on facts and observations. Knowledge is timeless, independent of the observer and can be replicated. However, we live in new world in which objective facts have become flexible, personal and debatable. Opinions abound, unsupported by facts. HUG operates in that real world, and that has now been reflected in the structure of HUG.

HUG has two approaches to contributor's Posts. If you, like us, have a scientific mind and are curious about how the ear works, how it can lead us to make the right - and wrong - audio equipment decisions, and about the technical ins and outs of audio equipment, how it's designed and what choices the designer makes, then the factual Science of Audio sub-forum area of HUG is your place. The objective methods of comparing audio equipment under controlled conditions has been thoroughly examined here on HUG and elsewhere and can be readily understood by non-experts and tried-out at home without deep technical knowledge.

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Questions and Posts about, for example, 'does amplifier A sounds better than amplifier B' or 'which speaker stands or cables are best' are suitable for the Subjective Soundings area only. From Oct. 2016, Posts in the Subjective Soundings area will not be spell checked or adjusted for layout clarity. We regret that but we are unable to accept Posts that present what we consider to be free advertising for products that Harbeth does not make.

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Where are our women audiophiles?

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  • Where are our women audiophiles?

    Just want to know if there are any keep ladyfolks out there who partake in this male dominated affliction? :)
    Last edited by A.S.; 05-02-2006, 06:50 PM.

  • #2
    Originally posted by sevodude
    ... are any keep ladyfolks out there who partake in this male dominated affliction? :)
    That is an excellent question and one which has baffled and disappointed me for years. I'm afraid that we are often perceived as "geeks" and generally speaking this is a turn-off for women - and understandably so. Even my wife has not the slightest interest in anything technical - she, in common with womenfolk is interested in touch-feely relationships not hardware.

    There are two women members here to my knowledge thus far, and we should do everything in our power to be inclusive to female members who bring a fresh and very special insight to hifi.

    And - it must be said - control many wallets!
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK


    • #3
      I work with a female audiophile. Hard core. C-J, Alon, Meridian. They're out there, but maybe they just don't like talking about it the way men seem to. Always telling me how bright the speakers are - With C-Js? Why do people buy this stuff?


      • #4
        Really! one! Wow!
        Can you get her to speak here? wanna know what she sounds like:) (maybe sweeter than the SHL5)
        yes, how this forum will be blessed with some balance to the Force...


        • #5
          Oh, God!

          Alan, I don't want to change ***... I'm tall, hairy like a bear, fat and bald, and I love ladies... Ladies, for the past 25 years didn't exactly love my equipment... Harbethians are -as a rule- so lonely when critically listen, or just listen. Needs alot to change some things in life's cultural attitude, doesn't it? I repeat: I love women -one of them gave life to me- but that won't mean that they will ever focus on the very insight of our hobby/manner.


          • #6
            Miss J9

            Quote...."Just want to know if there are any keep ladyfolks out there who partake in this male dominated affliction?.." end quote

            Hi there,

            I am a "lady folk" who is also a designer of hi-fi hardware, a reviewer and evaluator of several products, and a Sound Engineer at the BBC for 23 years! You might even have seen my letter appearing in HiFi Choice on the same matter. Despite all this, and the fact that women have better ears (not just to look at...) than men, none of the UK hifi mags out there are interested. Personally, i have sent examples of magazine articles I have done ('Janine's Audio File' appears in a BBC in-house magazine every month, and I am newsletter editor for a fish club!) but they don't seem to take the hint. As all the editors and reviewers are men, then I suppose I should have realised...

            BTW, hi to everyone and especially Alan. Oh, and I also have some great sounding Krell/ARC/Michell/Harbeth/WB/B&W/Ecosse/Nordost/etc.



            • #7
              MJ9, have you written a Harbeth review?

              Hello Janine,

              Just wondering if you have written any Harbeth reviews. If so, is there one you can share? Perhaps you have a weblink to it.

              If not a Harbeth, perhaps another article.

              THank you,



              • #8
                Hi there,

                Sorry not to respond yesterday. I seem to get problems logging in. Once I'm in I can't then send an email. Let's have another go....

                Yea, I'd love to do a review on Harbeth speakers, but would need to do it on a speaker that has not been reviewed before, or a fairly new model. I'll await Alan's reply...

                Here's the latest one i did for the BBC magazine;

                Janine?s Audio File

                This month I continue my search for zany audio products for the hi-fi buff, look at a radio station for cats and dogs, and show you how a wooden knob on you amplifier will make it all sound better.

                Firstly, a recent report reveals that sales of new LPs now surpass those of SACD and DVD-A combined. Good news for anoraks.

                Adrian Martinez recently had a dog-gone good idea. He has just founded the first radio station for?.. cats and dogs?appropriately called ?. ?DogCatRadio? ( This is an online radio station geared for furry, four-legged listeners. He got the idea from two things that mean a lot to him, namely music and pets. He thought, ?What better way to combine both and share them with the world?? Martinez claims that one of his pets communicated the idea to him. The station also takes requests for music, though I?m not sure if that is from the cats or the dogs themselves, but I guess it will include music by The Monkeys, The Animals, Baha Men ?Who Let the Dogs Out?, Pink Floyd ?Animals?, and Elvis?s ?You Ain't Nothing But a Hound Dog?.." (Sorry..) Apparently Dogs like to disco, he claims; ?It tends to get the paws shaking, that sort of thing."

                Continuing the article in the last ?Audio File? about getting CD quality from compressed audio MP3, PC soundcard specialist Creative have now come up with their own system, called ?Xtreme Fidelity Standard? which is a sample rate converter soundcard that will upgrade your MP3 to sound ?better than its original CD recording?. Specs claim a 135dB signal-to noise ratio (that?s better than SACD/DVD-A) and ?24 bit quality?.


                Thanks to the AudioFile reader who sent me this. A company is now developing a wooden knob that is said to make your hi-fi sound even better. And how is all this possible? They say it?s all about vibrations!! You see, although bakelite knobs are better than plastic (very good if you own your granddads radiogram) a wooden one sounds even better, especially if it is made of Beech. The wood is then coated several times with ?C37? lacquer, whatever that is.
                Apparently the ?micro vibrations created by the volume pots and knobs find their way into the delicate signal path and cause degradation (Bad Vibrations = Bad Sound). With the signature knobs micro vibrations from the knob itself compensate for the volume pots and provide (Good Vibrations) our ear/brain combination like to hear?way better sound!!? The sound becomes much more open and free flowing with a nice improvement in resolution. Dynamics are better and overall naturalness is improved. So now you know. So if you have $485 to spare for each knob, it could be a cheap investment. Apparently.

                The company Furutech claims that fuses in the 13A plugs of your hi-fi affect the sound quality, and has come up with a fuse above all other fuses. Costing ?35 each it will of course mean you would need to change every fuse in your audio chain to get the best results, which would be an awful lot of Furu?s, I mean, Euros. Furutech are famous for a $400 machine that demagnetises your CD?s before you put them in your CD player. Well, I guess that?s a little less bother than putting them in your freezer overnight, which Peter Belt would like us to do.

                Talking of which?. our friend Peter Belt, famous for sticking a sheet of paper underneath a speaker to make things sound better, has now produced improved Memory Foil and Creams which it is claimed improve the sounds of your hi-fi when adhered to (literally). At ?100 for a 10cm length of sticky back foil plus some magic ?Blue Memory? and ?Green Memory? creams, the instructions are that you spread a bit of the blue cream on the surface of your hi-fi, then rub it off, stick some of the foil on top, then put green cream on top of that, and then wipe that off. ?As soon as the cream has been applied to an object, the surface is transformed, so wiping away any surplus cream is perfectly OK?, just in case you were worried.

                Many hi-fi buffs will remember the iconic Transcriptors Hydraulic Reference turntable of the 1960?s which was made famous in Stanley Kubrick's film A Clockwork Orange. The equipment was made by Michell engineering for Transcriptors and then who continued the product under their own name. They are now one of the most respected turntable manufacturer in the UK. Now a new ?Transcriptors? company has just been announced producing a new Reference turntable, initially the ?T6?, based on the original! Seems the hi-fi world goes round in circles, just like people?s tastes in clothing (and turntables!)!


                Finally, Nordost, An American company famous for expensive hi-fi cabling have now produced a spray that you wipe on with a cloth all over your cables and which reduces ?digital harshness, the soundstage becomes more spacious, has a lower apparent noise floor, greater definition of each note, and an overall more coherent sound?. It?s all to do with reducing static electricity, and it costs ?24.95 a can! I suspect anti-static furniture polish from Asda will be just as good!


                • #9
                  The reviews of Miss j9

                  Dear Miss,

                  I really enjoyed your reviews and look forward to more.

                  I'm not sure what Alan's opinion is re: double-posting, but your accessories caveat would be very much at home in the Equipment > Accessories thread.




                  • #10
                    Women have better hearing

                    than men. They are more practical when it comes to music. Also belts don't cost as much as cables. Thank god.


                    • #11
                      Re: Where are our women audiophiles?

                      I have noticed the same thing about a large percentage of classical musicians. Many of them, all fine professionals who care a great deal about their own tone when playing, have very modest playback systems.
                      My belief is that, being familiar with the sound of the real thing, they are so routinely not convinced by the tonality of what passes as "high fidelity" that they have long since come not to expect it in a home set up, and just content themselves with a recognizable facsimile - just a reminder of the real thing, sufficient to let them suspend disbelief enough for them to be able to mentally transport themselves to the performance.
                      Way back when I was designing loudspeakers, I noticed that many women, unknowing and un-caring about the technology, would actually listen better than men and would make more valid judgements. I only ever remember one man whose opinion I would pay attention to when it came to judgements on the sound of my speakers. He had no interest in the technical details and happened to be seriously dyslexic.
                      As for myself, I can recall only a couple of times when I was fooled, just for an instant, into thinking I was hearing the real thing, not speakers. Both times I was in the next room. One time it was a saxophone through some insanely expensive Carver amplifiers feeding Carver Amazing loudspeakers, the other time it was female voice a KLH all-in-one portable record player with the speakers in the lids (1966!)