HUG - here for all audio enthusiasts

At its inception ten years ago, the Harbeth User Group's ambition 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. 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 - 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.

Alternatively, if you just like chatting about audio and subjectivity rules for you, then the Subjective Soundings area is you. If upon examination we think that Posts are better suited to one sub-forum than than the other, they will be redirected during Moderation, which is applied throughout the site.

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. 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.

The Moderators' decision is final in all matters and Harbeth does not necessarily agree with the contents of any member contributions and has no control over external content.

That's it! Enjoy!

{Updated Jan. 2017}
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The bass-problems with analogue recording

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  • The bass-problems with analogue recording

    Many of us have a soft spot for analogue tape recorders, for their human ingenuity and design. There is a darker side though: the impossibility of recording flat in the bass region.

    This shows the problem associated with the physics of the head design, tape speed, electronics design and wavelength of sound and it is not a pretty site:

    Please note that the red trace is at 30 inches per second and the blue trace at 15 ips i.e. the frequency response is flatter at the slower speed.

    You will note that many of the problems are in the 30-200Hz region (an astonishingly wide range) which of course, covers the band where the speaker vent is contributing the most output. So, when deciding upon 'bass response' not only must we consider the characteristics of the woofer and the vent, we must also add-in that of the room at low frequencies and the recording machine itself.

    I assume that with digital recordings that the frequency response is dead flat across the band, but is it any wonder that older analogue recordings sound so warm and lush when they have a bass boost and it would seem often a treble shelf or cut?

    One of the machines I will - hopefully - one day get around to restoring is the Telefunken M15A; I have three and several Studers too, all ex-BBC. The most recent two M15A's I collected from BBC Broadcasting House in August 2006 and they came from studio B14, home of Radio 4 where they have been in daily service for about 20 years. The BBC has now gone completely digital. And yes, it sounds hard, and it does crash. But the running costs are low and it is extremely convenient. The world has (sadly) moved on.
    Attached Files
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK