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The Harbeth User Group is the primary channel for public communication with Harbeth's HQ. If you have a 'scientific mind' and are curious about how the ear works, how it can lead us to make the right - and wrong - audio equipment 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 should be accessible to non-experts and able to be tried-out at home without deep technical knowledge. From a design perspective, today's award winning Harbeths could not have been designed any other way.

Alternatively, if you just like chatting about audio and subjectivity rules for you, then the Subjective Soundings area is you. If you are quite set in your subjectivity, then HUG is likely to be a bit too fact based for you, as many of the contributors have maximised their pleasure in home music reproduction by allowing their head to rule their heart. 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 only, although HUG is really not the best place to have these sort of purely subjective airings.

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

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{Updated Oct. 2017}
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New Harbeth Super HL5plus review (in German)

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  • New Harbeth Super HL5plus review (in German)

    at www.fairaudio.de

  • #2
    Translation: 'The final Harbeth?'

    Here's a quick translation of the conclusion for you:

    "Reworking a bestseller has to be one of the most challenging tasks a designer can set for himself. We can therefore only congratulate Harbeth's mastermind, Alan Shaw, on the result of his efforts. The strengths of the previous model, namely its outstanding clarity even at low listening levels, and the absence of any listening fatigue, are retained. At the same time, the Super HL5 plus has added new strengths: exemplary rhythymic articulation in the bass, an open character in the transition between the lower midrange and the treble, and a spacious presentation that brings one closer to the recording than previously.

    It's not so easy to describe this speaker's overall character, because it's all to easy to make its attributes sound like negatives. If I describe the Super HL5 plus as "unobtrusive", I mean that as a great compliment. Within the limitations of its driver and enclosure size, it makes no mistakes, plays unflappably but is never boring, and doesn't have any tonal idiosyncrasies that require getting used to. No frequency range stands out, and the treble range is just very slightly withdrawn (in comparison to what I personally would consider "neutral"), but no doubt this suits Harbeth's target market very well. For many listeners, Harbeth could be their "last" loudspeaker. It goes low enough in the bass for most people's needs, it certainly goes loud enough, without needing loudness to be impressive, and it's altogether suitable for everyday listening.

    Then again, well, maybe not quite one's last loudspeaker. Maybe there'll be a new Harbeth sometime around 2028. [N.B. this is a reference back to the beginning of the article, which talks about how many years the previous Super HL5 was in production before being revised.]

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    • #3
      Perfect from top to bottom

      Here's a new mention on the 6Moons site, not a review but a show report (Montreal): see http://www.6moons.com/industryfeatur...015/tim/3.html

      "As it did in Toronto, the Super HL5+ simply dazzled with its effortless musicality, its sweetness and the tonal density of all instruments. With Harbeth itís all about balance - the speaker is perfect from top to bottom. Harbeths love voices and they can almost make one find something alluring in Sufjan Stevensí unseemly odes to odious people in his cult classic, Come on Feel the Illinoise. The Harbeths sounded right, effortless and open but tonally dense at the same time. Whether it was synth-heavy rock or techno or acoustic folk, they were almost panel-like in the soundstage they threw. These Supers are seamless, smooth, relaxed one minute (could it be the lack of etch and glare?) and reasonably fast the next. The supreme irony of the Super HL5+ is that this archetypal box speaker sounds so un-box like."

      Better crank up those production lines ...

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      • #4
        Tonal density?

        Originally posted by EricW View Post
        Here's a new mention on the 6Moons site, not a review but a show report (Montreal): see http://www.6moons.com/industryfeatur...015/tim/3.html

        "As it did in Toronto, the Super HL5+ simply dazzled with its effortless musicality, its sweetness and the tonal density of all instruments. With Harbeth it’s all about balance - the speaker is perfect from top to bottom. Harbeths love voices and they can almost make one find something alluring in Sufjan Stevens’ unseemly odes to odious people in his cult classic, Come on Feel the Illinoise. The Harbeths sounded right, effortless and open but tonally dense at the same time. Whether it was synth-heavy rock or techno or acoustic folk, they were almost panel-like in the soundstage they threw. These Supers are seamless, smooth, relaxed one minute (could it be the lack of etch and glare?) and reasonably fast the next. The supreme irony of the Super HL5+ is that this archetypal box speaker sounds so un-box like."
        I'm curious about the "tonal density" to which the reviewer refers repeatedly.
        Is this the same subject that the Harvard researchers Stevens and Guirao addressed in their paper entitled the Measurement of Tonal Density?
        Is it a parameter that A.S. endeavors to measure (and adjust) as a part of the design process?
        Or is it simply some ambiguous term that was fabricated by that reviewer?

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        • #5
          Some sonic mystery ... and great music.

          Originally posted by IMF+TDL View Post
          I'm curious about the "tonal density" to which the reviewer refers repeatedly. ... Or is it simply some ambiguous term that was fabricated by that reviewer?
          According to Oxford Reference : "A quality of sound associated with the perceived tightness or compactness of a tone, greater density usually occurring with higher frequency tones."

          cited from A Dictionary os Psychology by Andrew M.Colman

          I don't think golden ears from 6moons study or are interested in psychology, psychoacoustics or basic acoustics. Nevertheless it is always trendy to interweave in pseudoreview some "scientific" words no one understands.

          Guy simply liked Harbeths' sound when listening to Sufjan Stevens & Band and that's the point.

          ATB

          P.S. "Illinoise" is not any revelatory achievement as for the art of recording. Nevertheless musically and conceptually great great album. - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4uFEOBJBiWg

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          • #6
            "Techtalk" for the masses?

            Originally posted by IMF+TDL View Post
            Is this the same subject that the Harvard researchers Stevens and Guirao addressed in their paper entitled the Measurement of Tonal Density?
            You're joking, right? Have you ever seen anything in a audio review that suggests that the reviewer was using actual scientific terminology, or even intending to practice science?

            Review translation basically equals: "I liked how they sounded." I don't think anyone would actually buy a pair of relatively expensive loudspeakers on the strength of a few words - but they might be motivated to go out and listen for themselves.

            And pkwba, thanks for the Sufjan Stevens video. I knew of him but hadn't ever listened to his music. I heard a track recently from his new album Carrie & Lowell on the radio, and was impressed. Illinoise is clearly worth checking out as well.

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