"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. Deviations from a flat frequency response at any point along the signal chain from microphone to ear is likely to give an audible sonic personality to the system at your ear; this includes the significant contribution of the listening room itself. To accurately reproduce the recorded sound as Harbeth speakers are designed to do, you would be best 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 will alter the sound balance of what you hear. This may or may not be what you wish to achieve, but any deviation from a flat response is a step away from a truly neutral system. HUG has extensively discussed amplifiers and the methods for seeking the most objectively neutral among a plethora of product choices.

HUG specialises in making complex technical matters simple to understand, getting at the repeatable facts in a post-truth environment where objectivity is increasingly ridiculed. With our heritage of natural sound and pragmatic design, HUG is not the best place to discuss non-Harbeth audio components selected, knowingly or not, to introduce a significantly personalised system 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. Our overall objective here is to empower readers to make the factually best procurement decisions in the interests of lifelike music at home.

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. Always keep in mind that without basic test equipment, subjective opinions will reign unchallenged. With test equipment, universal facts and truths are exposed.

If some of the science behind faithfully reproducing the sound intended by the composer, score, conductor and musicians over Harbeth speakers is your thing, this forum has been helping with that since 2006. If you just want to share your opinions and photos with others then the unrelated Harbeth Speakers Facebook page may be for you. Either way, welcome to the world of Harbeth!"

Feb. 2018
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Falling in love with the SHL5

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  • Falling in love with the SHL5

    Halo from Greece everyone,
    I d like to share my story with the Harbeths as I am totally in love with these speakers.
    I am a total newbie in the league of products that are defined as hi fi or high end. My system is an Audio Note pre amp, audio analogue Donizetti power amp, my previous speakers were Monitor audio bx 5 , a Marantz cd player and a Project turntable. Looking around to upgrade my speakers I thought the right thing to do was to buy a pair that I wouldn't need to upgrade for some time and I really liked the concept behind the Harbeths, the tradition, the "made in England" factor (very important) and also the classic look (my wife of course was asked if she liked them..) so I bought a second hand pair without ever having listen to them before. I know its something one should avoid doing but this speaker seem to tick all the boxes.
    My taste in music is mainly stuff from the 80s : Sisters of mercy,Jesus and mary chain, Morrissey, Smiths,Siouxsie and the banshees, Nick Cave and his Bad Seeds,New model army etc.(you get the picture).
    Once plugged in, everything I thought my records sounded like was blown to pieces, those speakers opened a whole new world of music, everything sounded CLEARER,BETTER-BIGGER-MORE BEAUTIFUL.,MORE DETAILED. Everything I was hoping for is there and the pleasure I get is beyond words.
    They can handle with the same ease the fragile atmosphere of the Banshees or Dead can dance and the fully distorted guitars of the Mary chain. And what about electronic music?
    No problemo amigo! The hard beats and complex sound structures of Front 242 are a piece of cake for those beauties and you cant stop moving your feet to the beat besides getting an "information overload" feeling with these great belgians who really throw an enormous amount of sounds in the mix. Awesome I tell you!
    For anyone like me who lives in a remote place,has not the option of audiotioning and has a tight budget, these speakers should be your nr1 choice.
    In difficult financially times these speakers make you hear every single hard-earned euro you paid for them, I love them so much that after every listening session I kiss them goodnight (I m not joking).
    My beauties!!

  • #2
    Well, Iím totally agree with you! Welcome and happy listening. Just make sure you keep the grilles on, they are designed that way. You will have many years of joyful moments.


    • #3
      Thank you Okayove, not removing anything, since they came out of the factory like that, they ll stay like that, those people realy know what they are doing! Take care!