"This Harbeth User Group (HUG) is the Manufacturer's own managed forum dedicated to natural sound from microphone to ear, achievable by recognising and controlling the numerous confounding variables that exist along the audio chain. The Harbeth designer's objective is to make loudspeakers that contribute little of themselves to the music passing through them.

Identifying system components for their sonic neutrality should logically proceed from the interpretation and analysis of their technical, objective performance, since deviations from a flat frequency response at any point along the signal chain from microphone to ear is likely to create an audible sonic personality in what you hear. That includes the contribution of the listening room itself. To accurately reproduce the recorded sound, as Harbeth speakers are designed to do, you would be advised to select system components (sources, electronics, cables and so on) that do not color the sound before it reaches the speakers.

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. This may or may not be what you wish to achieve, but on the face of it, any deviation from a flat response - and the frequency balance of tube amplifiers are usually influenced by their speaker load - is a step away from a truly neutral system. HUG has extensively discussed amplifiers and the methods for seeking the most objectively neutral amongst a plethora of available product choices.

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 and pragmatism, HUG cannot be expected to be a place to discuss the selection, approval or endorsement of non-Harbeth system elements selected, knowingly or not, to create a significantly personalised sound. 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 offerings there. There is really no on-line substitute for time invested in a dealer's showroom because 'tuning' your system to taste is such a highly personal matter.

Please consider carefully how much you should rely upon and be influenced by 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, loudness and room treatment, not necessarily leading to appropriate equipment selection and listening satisfaction for you.

If faithfully reproducing the sound intended by the composer, score, conductor and musicians in your home and over Harbeth speakers is your audio dream, then understanding something of the issues likely to fulfill that intention is what this forum has been helping to do since 2006. Welcome!"

Feb. 2018
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experimental BBC Radio 3 lossless streaming

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  • experimental BBC Radio 3 lossless streaming

    I just noticed that the BBC has reintroduced its experimental lossless audio streaming on Radio 3. I think the sound is glorious.

  • #2
    I am also struck by the dynamic range even if that has nothing to do with the lossless format. The BBC have opted to record at a quite low level, and allow the (almost) full dynamic peaks to come through in all their glory, making for a very realistic sound the like of which one does not often hear. Not something to be listened to on the kitchen radio. I am listening on my main system, and need to open the amplifier (2x140watt Quad 606-2) completely to do justice to the softer passages (I have tamed the input sensitivity of the Quad 33, however). The loud passages are stunning.
    The lossless format does impose a load on the internet connection. I have the fastest one available in this pretty major city, and even so there are occasional signal drops (and no children watching Netflix).


    • #3
      What result do you get if you check your download speed at


      • #4
        I did realize that I was using my laptop's wifi. I just checked: using the wifi speed is highly variable. A minute ago it was 10 Mbsec and now it is 30 Mbsec. The router is a recent high end Netgear unit, but the house is a modern concrete and steel affair. I first listened to this stream on my desktop system with a wired connection: no problems.


        • #5
          What is the URL of this Radio 3 lossless stream?


          • #6