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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World's highest quality on-line classical music feed (BBC Radio 3)

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Mike Smith View Post
    No real need now it is clear which is best.

    If you are suggesting that a 320kb/s AAC stream must necessarily be better than a 192 kb/s WMA stream I suggest that view is too simple.

    If you are comparing the two BBC streams, that is probably truth, but if you were to compare the BBC Radio 3 HD 320kb/s AAC stream with (say) the WDR3 stream at 256kb/s MP3 it could go either way, and might easily depend on how the signal had been processed in the studio before transmission.

    Once above a certain bit rate, dynamic compression (limiting the range of soft to loud) kills the music more than digital compression (bitrate and CODEC).


    • #17
      The BBC Radio 3 HD stream Alan referenced at the top of this thread seems to be off at the moment.

      Some said it would be a short lived bonus.

      The iPlayer R3 HD stream is still working - for UK IP addresses.


      I referenced the D-Dur OGG-FLAC and OGG streams earlier

      The technical stuff about D-Dur is here


      • #18
        Originally posted by Labarum View Post
        The BBC Radio 3 HD stream Alan referenced at the top of this thread seems to be off at the moment.

        It's back as I type this message!


        • #19
          I confirm that. Great news. And it is still available internationally. I have just turned my VPN off to check.


          • #20
            Listening to the Wigmore Gala Concert on the BBC HD stream


            Quite excellent.


            • #21
              Originally posted by Labarum View Post
              Listening to the Wigmore Gala Concert on the BBC HD stream


              Quite excellent.
              Am in United States and like before, we are still unable to call up the HD stream. The BBC HD server responds with "Not available in your area".

              QUESTION: Is the BBC Radio 3 HD stream of higher audio quality than the AAC 320 kbps 44100HZ stereo stream that Alan posted?


              • #22
                I have just tested "that" stream - Alan's stream - which I was listening to last night.

                It worked in Foobar from my laptop in Cyprus with my VPN off.

                If you click the buttons in the BBC iPlayer webpage for "HD" you probably wont get it as it's locked up in Flash and limited to UK.

                You have to cut and paste the url for the stream into a music software player that will handle AAC like Foobar, Songbird, iTunes; or into a hardware internet radio like Squeezebox - that's why I have sent the urls in "code", to make it easy to cut and paste.


                • #23
                  Originally posted by Labarum View Post
                  I have just tested "that" stream - Alan's stream - which I was listening to last night.

                  Have edited and clarified my post to indicate the same. Alan's stream plugs into Foobar and plays without any problem.
                  However, it is the BBC HD stream that we in the United States are unable to play, as Labarum has noted.


                  • #24
                    To clarify further "Alan's Stream" IS the BBC Radio 3 HD stream accessed directly - you have to copy it manually into the media player.

                    Exactly the same stream is accessed by clicking the R3 HD button on the webpage, but if you do it that way, the 320kb/s AAC stream is locked up in the Flash routines of the BBC iPlayer, and it is iPlayer that sets the territorial restrictions.

                    If you are in UK you will receive the HD data by either means.

                    If you are outside the UK you must copy the URL into your media player of choice that will handle the AAC format.

                    If you are outside the UK but use a VPN to give yourself a UK IP address you will receive the HD data by either means.


                    If you use a Squeezebox install the iPlayer Plugin by Triode (not the App) and you will access the HD stream at 320kb/s from a UK IP address.

                    Once the plugin is installed go to "BBC iPlayer" in the Squeezebox web interface. Look at the bottom of the page for "Special Events" and click.

                    Choose "Listen Live - AAC Test Streams" - There you will see the whole family of BBC AAC streams.

                    Choose Radio 3 and (probably) save it as a favourite.

                    Only Radio 3 streams at 320kb/s - the rest seem to be 128kb/s.

                    You can also copy "Alan's url" into the manual tune feature of the Squeezebox and save as a favourite.


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Supersnake View Post
                      Is the BBC Radio 3 HD stream of higher audio quality than the AAC 320 kbps 44100HZ stereo stream that Alan posted?
                      Originally posted by Labarum View Post
                      To clarify further "Alan's Stream" IS the BBC Radio 3 HD stream accessed directly ....
                      Aha! I was hoping that they would be the same stream, thank you.
                      Am now a more happy Yank knowing that I too am able to listen to the BBC Radio 3 HD stream, via Alan's url of course (smile).


                      • #26
                        Live tonight! Radio 3 from BBC's new Manchester studios

                        Not to be missed! The BBC Philharmonic Play Music from Your Favouite Films etc. including Star Wars.

                        More info here.

                        Be sure to listen in 320kb AAC "HD SOUND" direct from the BBC website


                        Suggestion. If you are recording for your own listening later, considering wide dynamic range on AAC feed using TotalRecorder set record boost to no more than +8dB to avoid clipping. (May not apply on every computer).


                        • #27
                          Users outside the UK will not be able to access the BBC HD stream by clicking the button on the webpage quoted above.

                          They need to cut and paste the URL below into a music player that will process AAC.



                          • #28
                            Capturing an AAC audio stream and saving for replay later

                            Do you have a suggestion (other than TotalRecorder which we are familiar with) for how to capture that stream, to save it for future private replay? We are not exactly sure how TR works, whether it captures and interprets the raw binary stream before/after the user's browser, the stream as it enters the sound card, in the sound card or at the sound card's output. Or maybe at none of those stages.
                            Last edited by HUG-1; 10-06-2011, 11:59 AM. Reason: We respect the Copyright in the original sound recording


                            • #29
                              I have never attempted to record such a stream.

                              1. I have used the iPlayer Listen Again feature as it is made available using the Squeezebox iPlayer plugin by Triode. That is not a recording to keep forever. I have never looked at what bitrate is available for a R3 "Listen Again". I suspect is is not the very best. I will ask in another place.

                              2. What will "Audacity" do?


                              Just had a play with Audacity. I am sure it will do it provided you can access

                              "Stereo Mix", "Wave", or "What U hear" in your soundcard control pane.

                              I was looking for this feature for another purpose the other day and it is disabled in my laptop, and I cannot find the drivers to enable the feature.


                              • #30
                                Recording Radio Streams with VLC Player

                                After discussing a number of options with an expert in another place, here is a relatively simple digital recording method that uses free software.

                                VLC Media Player

                                If you do not have a copy download from here


                                The process is entirely automatic.

                                1. Start VLC.

                                It will probably start after installation.

                                2. From "Media" menu select "Convert/Save"

                                3. Click on "Network" Tab and copy the BBC R3 URL


                                into the "Network URL" field. Then click on "Convert/Save" button at bottom.

                                You have now chosen the source of the recording, you must now specify the place to store it.

                                4. You now have a "Convert" dialog box with BBC3 URL in "source" field. Enter a file name with directory (e.g. "C:\BBC\SatConcert.flac") into the "Destination file" field.

                                More expert computer users will need no more instruction than above; but to expand. You now need to give the VLC Player a place to store the recorded music, and to give this recording a name.

                                In the "Convert" Pane that is now open, to the right of the "Destination" box, click "Browse". On the left scroll down till you see "Computer". Supposing you have only one Hard Disc click "Local Disc C". Click the RIGHT mouse button in the right side of the open window. You will now be offered options. Click "New" and then "Folder". Give the folder a name by typing in the highlighted box, and LEFT click on the box. Keep it simple. Maybe "BBC"? You now have a new folder on your hard drive (C:\BBC\) for storing your recorded radio programmes. This will serve for all future recordings.

                                Now your must give your first recording a name. Just below where you have made your new folder you will see a box called "File Name". Type in a unique name for the file you are about to record. eg
                                Concert1.flac, BachPno.flac SatPM.flac Notice they MUST all end dot flac (.flac)

                                In future you may chose not to use the "Browse" button, but just type in the FULL name for a new recording
                                C:\BBC\WaterMus.flac , C:\BBC\SunJazz.flac C:\BBC\RecordReview11_06_11.flac

                                5. In "Settings" and "Profile" select "Audio - Flac" and also check the "Deinterlace" box. Then click "Start"

                                You have chosen a recording source, the BBC R3 HD stream off the Network; you have chosen a place to put the recording, and you have chosen a format in which to store it. The source started as a stream in high quality AAC format, which is a "lossy" format for efficient transmission over the internet. Now you want to store it without further lossy compression. You could store it as an uncompressed WAW file and the advanced features of the VLC player allow that, but FLAC is fine. It will store the recording without further loss and do it in half the space.

                                6. VLC screen will appear and no music will be played just the elapsed time incrementing if stream is converted.

                                7. Click stop button to stop conversion (recording).

                                To play your recording go to the "Media" tab on the VLC player and chose "Open File". If you do not see the file you have just recorded on the right use the left of the pane to go to "Computer/Local Drive C:/BBC" or whatever path (address) you chose earlier.

                                Click the file and it will play.

                                I have just tried all this, connected my laptop to my DAC by USB and the recording sounded very fine.

                                I am assured this recoding method does not modify the bitream in any way - what goes into the recording comes out.

                                If further help is needed post on this thread.

                                Please remember the Radio 3 HD stream accessed using the URL in this post is "experimental" and may come and go.

                                Acknowledgement: With many thanks to BPA on the Squeezebox Forum. His instructions to me are in bold.