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"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.

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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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Examples of zero* dynamic-range recordings

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  • Examples of zero* dynamic-range recordings

    Brilliant example, heard on BBC Radio 6 Music this evening. A sonic joy.

    Click on link here.

    I can't find the motivation to check, but I'd guess the DR is about 2dB between loudest and quietest elements of the recording. By means of factual contrast, even worn 78 shellac records had a DR of 30dB or more. Here.

    *or practically zero.Equivalent to a sledgehammer of sound coming at you at 100mph.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  • #2
    A quick look at this track's RMS histogram seems to show that is has a Gaussian-like normal distribution, although the amplitude tail for the lower volumes are a bit stretched out. The indicated long term dynamic range is about 2.8 dB, which is very low. Your estimate of a DR of 2 dB is very close. Note that the difference between the maximum and minimum RMS amplitudes was about 6.3 dB.

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    • #3
      I canít get to attach a link, but google Reichís Clapping Music.
      There is a YouTube video of the performance and a LSO promo video of their recent release with Wood and Sextet. A great album, available in HD download.

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