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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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Bristol Show, Feb. 2016

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  • Bristol Show, Feb. 2016

    Another year passes - can you believe it - and we'll soon be back in Bristol. I'm informed that Harbeth speakers will be playing in three, maybe four rooms: 'the most played speakers at the show'?

    We have two rooms under our control this year, where we can define in advance, pre-test and install playout equipment that suits us. Nothing too fancy, all solid state, but plenty of power, as we found ourselves a little short of watts last year: a consequence of smooth speaker balance, dynamic recordings, playing relatively loud to often full rooms.

    Personally, I have no interest in streaming audio when the charity shops are awash with beautiful used CDs for $1. In fact, one near here has four for one pound! It's paradise! We do recognise though that we are somewhat out of step with users who seem to have widely embraced portable computers* and audio streaming, so I'm told that we need to make a nod in that direction. Again, personally, I have no interest in, understanding of nor desire to own Apple products, and am completely comfortable with Windows which I have used since Win95, understand deeply and have always been able to make work no matter what temporary obstacle it's thrown-up. So what is available, inexpensively, on the Windows platform that could act as a media server in both of our rooms?

    I stumbled across the Acer Revo NL85 in Sainsbury's supermarket. Although listed here on Amazon at over GBP200, yesterday Sainsburys were offering a boxed kit comprising NL85 with 22" widescreen 1920 monitor and remote control for, unbelievably, half price, GBP165 inc. VAT for the bundle. So we bought two kits and I am upgrading from Win8.1 to Win10 as I type this (now completed). It can be 'remote controlled from your phone' (or presumably cheap Win or Android tablet) which, combined with a half-decent cheap DAC solves our playout issues. Hopefully. Assuming that the screen is not required once set-up, it's small enough to put into a suitcase when travelling to shows abroad.

    Has anyone experience of the Revo as a media server and controlling it 'via a mobile phone'?

    * 70% of visitors to the Harbeth website/HUG are now connecting using a tablet device, something which is driving future page layout designs.

    UPDATE:

    Thanks for the subsequent suggestions about what streamer hardware we could use, but I have already bought two of these Revo units. It's a done deal and not up for review.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  • #2
    Slowly evolving harbeth line-up

    Originally posted by A.S. View Post
    Another year passes - can you believe it - and we'll soon be back in Bristol. I'm informed that Harbeth speakers will be playing in three, maybe four rooms: 'the most played speakers at the show'?

    We have two rooms under our control this year, where we can define in advance, pre-test and install playout equipment that suits us. Nothing too fancy, all solid state, but plenty of power, as we found ourselves a little short of watts last year: a consequence of smooth speaker balance, dynamic recordings, playing relatively loud to often full rooms....
    I wonder if that will cover each of the 5 speakers that Harbeth currently makes? Or omit at least one?

    The Harbeth lineup is intriguing as unlike many speaker manufacturers who regularly create a line of Russian doll like units (and often several confusing lines) Harbeth seems to craft each model as its own unique entity, and reassuringly that model is used for many years.
    Getting to know my C7ES3

    Comment


    • #3
      Acer apps

      Have you investigated the Acer BYOC apps?

      In particular abMedia and/or abMusic:

      http://www.acer.co.uk/ac/en/GB/content/byoc-consumer
      http://www.acer.com/ac/en/GB/content...tarted-windows
      http://www.acer.com/ac/en/GB/content...sumer-tutorial
      https://www.cloud.acer.com/ops/downloads

      Comment


      • #4
        "Kodi" control

        Originally posted by A.S. View Post
        Has anyone experience of the Revo as a media server and controlling it 'via a mobile phone'?

        Thanks for the subsequent suggestions about what streamer hardware we could use, but I have already bought two of these Revo units. It's a done deal and not up for review.[/SIZE][/SIZE]
        Hiya Alan,

        On my HTPC that is based on Windows platform I like to use Kodi which is open source and I control it via Android remote application - Kore. I find it very simple and useful and it is also open source. I have organized everything under Kodi and all that is seen throug Kore which is installed on my Android tablet.

        All you need to setup under Kore is a local IP address of the HTPC or PC and you can browse all the folders that are shared under Kodi.

        Here are a brief instructions how to insal Kore and connect it with Kodi. Please click.

        best, Davor.

        Comment


        • #5
          Acer REVO as music player

          Originally posted by A.S. View Post
          ...Personally, I have no interest in streaming audio when the charity shops are awash with beautiful used CDs for $1. In fact, one near here has four for one pound! It's paradise!
          You can make the most of both worlds by ripping your CDs and storing them on a HDD. Then you can have the best of both worlds. You can either play the CD, or dip into a full library of ripped CDs with a suitable media player, and a 'phone/tablet as a controller for queuing (or saving a playlist) of music.

          We do recognise though that we are somewhat out of step with users who seem to have widely embraced portable computers* and audio streaming, so I'm told that we need to make a nod in that direction. Again, personally, I have no interest in, understanding of nor desire to own Apple products, and am completely comfortable with Windows which I have used since Win95, understand deeply and have always been able to make work no matter what temporary obstacle it's thrown-up. So what is available, inexpensively, on the Windows platform that could act as a media server in both of our rooms?

          I stumbled across the Acer Revo NL85 in Sainsbury's supermarket. Although listed here on Amazon at over GBP200, yesterday Sainsburys were offering a boxed kit comprising NL85 with 22" widescreen 1920 monitor and remote control for, unbelievably, half price, GBP165 inc. VAT for the bundle. So we bought two kits and I am upgrading from Win8.1 to Win10 as I type this (now completed). It can be 'remote controlled from your phone' (or presumably cheap Win or Android tablet) which, combined with a half-decent cheap DAC solves our playout issues. Hopefully. Assuming that the screen is not required once set-up, it's small enough to put into a suitcase when travelling to shows abroad.
          It will work without a screen. I use mine without a screen 99.9% of the time, but I would be concerned about missing any useful or critical messages displayed at boot up, by the OS (or by the media player software) if you just use a 'phone/tablet as a media player remote controller like I do. There are virtual desktop apps which you could use on a tablet or 'phone, and I feel sure 'willem' can explain more. I have never used one. I feel a dedicated tablet remote controller gives a much better user experience. If I were doing a demonstration at a hifi show, I would want all the backups I could muster, so a screen (need not be too big) and a conventional wifi mouse/keyboard combination in addition to the preferred tablet remote controller would be on my list of things to pack .

          Has anyone experience of the Revo as a media server and controlling it 'via a mobile phone'?
          Firstly do you particularly want to use a media server? Why not just have the music files sitting dumbly on the HDD until called to be played by a piece of music playing software like jRiver, Foobar2000, KODI, and many more. As for using your 'phone as remote control, I am a bit unsure about what Acer is getting at here. Maybe it is referring to using the 'phone as a virtual desktop.

          I have been using an earlier version of an ACER Revo for playback of my locally stored digital music for nearly three years without major issues. I can only speak about what I use which is Foobar2000 and XBMC (I still use version 13.2 XBMC while 15.2 is currently available - now known as KODI). I understand you have used jRiver, many people use that and seem to like it. I have found both Foobar2000 and XBMC do everything that I need to my satisfaction. I am very much of the 'if it ain't broke don't fix it mould.

          It also takes some time to get used to the software finding out the good, and not so good points about each one. I see the remote control as the main hurdle. You have shown a scepticism towards both Google and Apple - so android and iOS remote controllers seem ruled out. Windows app remote controllers are thinner on the ground if they even exist at all. Last year you were concerned about using a wifi network (I explained that you could use your own private wifi network if you take your own router/wifi/hub. Even a virtual desktop app would require wifi I believe.

          * 70% of visitors to the Harbeth website/HUG are now connecting using a tablet device, something which is driving future page layout designs.

          UPDATE:

          Thanks for the subsequent suggestions about what streamer hardware we could use, but I have already bought two of these Revo units. It's a done deal and not up for review.
          P.S. I could not resist the Sainsburys offer. I just went out to bag this incredible bundled bargain. So thank you for posting the info'.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by delfinus View Post
            Hiya Alan,

            On my HTPC that is based on Windows platform I like to use Kodi which is open source and I control it via Android remote application - Kore. I find it very simple and useful and it is also open source. I have organized everything under Kodi and all that is seen through Kore which is installed on my Android tablet.

            All you need to setup under Kore is a local IP address of the HTPC or PC and you can browse all the folders that are shared under Kodi.

            Here are a brief instructions how to install Kore and connect it with Kodi. Please click.

            best, Davor.
            That's brilliant: thanks. I've not been able to set-up my to-hand Android 4.0.3 tablet to control the Revo (I have now via a really terrible app, Revo Remote; the abMusic app on the Android 'needs permission to access your storage' - I have no idea why or how to grant it). I'm not quite sure why, but have ordered a cheap 10" Android tablet (GBP58 +VAT running Android 5.1) just in case it's a version issue.

            Anyway, that Kore/Kodi looks very interesting - thanks. I watched the video above, but one thing to be aware of: there is no (provided) wifi at the Bristol show and even if there was, imagine the demand by users. The control of the Revo would have to be by BlueTooth. How would one set-up Kore/Kodi using only p-2-p Bluetooth?

            I presume that on the Android device running Kore, when connected to the PC running Kodi that Kore displays available music files, otherwise a screen connected to the PC will be necessary.
            Alan A. Shaw
            Designer, owner
            Harbeth Audio UK

            Comment


            • #7
              Commander Kodi at your service

              Originally posted by A.S. View Post
              ... Anyway, that Kore/Kodi looks very interesting - thanks. I watched the video above, but one thing to be aware of: there is no (provided) wifi at the Bristol show and even if there was, imagine the demand by users. The control of the Revo would have to be by BlueTooth. How would one set-up Kore/Kodi using only p-2-p Bluetooth?
              After an hour of fiddling, I have Kore/Kodi running on the Android 4.0.3 and the Revo Win 10 PC.

              The installation and set-up couldn't be easier. I couldn't make a connection between the Androd laptop (nothing fancy, we'll see if the cheap-as-chips one works as well when it arrives tomorrow) until I noted that Win 10 (which I'm not familiar with yet) seems to create some sort of virtual network in addition to the real ethernet connection, and Kodi reports that fake IP address which is then manually entered in Kore on the Android. Once the virtual network is disabled on the PC, Kodi reports the correct physical IP address of the network card which when copied manually into Kore finds the Revo (and Kodi) immediately.

              So I'm controlling the Revo, seeing the playlists on the Android, all for free. Nice! Had this been an Apple system I would have
              been completely lost and would have had to abrogate responsibility for repair to a nice chap in an Appe Store. I don't like feeling powerless.

              Many thanks for the tip.
              Alan A. Shaw
              Designer, owner
              Harbeth Audio UK

              Comment


              • #8
                Loads of Kodi

                Originally posted by A.S. View Post
                That's brilliant: thanks. I've not been able to set-up my to-hand Android 4.0.3 tablet to control the Revo (I have now via a really terrible app, Revo Remote; the abMusic app on the Android 'needs permission to access your storage' - I have no idea why or how to grant it)- I'm not quite sure why. I have ordered a cheap 10" Android tablet (GBP58 +VAT running Android 5.1) just in case it's a version issue.

                Anyway, that Kore/Kodi looks very interesting - thanks. I watched the video above, but one thing to be aware of: there is no (provided) wifi at the Bristol show and even if there was, imagine the demand by users. The control of the Revo would have to be by BlueTooth. How would one set-up Kore/Kodi using only p-2-p Bluetooth?

                I presume that on the Android device running Kore, when connected to the PC running Kodi that Kore displays available music files, otherwise a screen connected to the PC will be necessary.
                Yes. You will be able to navigate and search through your music library from the remote app without the need for a screen. You will even be able to shutdown the Revo box from the android tablet when you have finished your music session.

                You will need to make sure that Kodi loads at start up.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Private wifi

                  Hi Alan,
                  glad that you find it useful.
                  About the Wi-Fi and control of the Revo. I recommend that you bring with your your own Wi-Fi router and establish your LAN network which you will use only to control your Revo with the Androd Tablet. Router doesn't need to be connected to the Internet ,you just use it for this and it is your private LAN that only you can use.

                  I also suggest to bring a LCD screen just to be safe if something happens. You might also put it somewhere so that visitors can see which music is playing at the moment. But you can run it also without if you find this more fancy.
                  Hope it helps,
                  best,
                  Davor.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Many versions of Revo One

                    Originally posted by A.S. View Post
                    I stumbled across the Acer Revo NL85 in Sainsbury's supermarket. Although listed here on Amazon at over GBP200, yesterday Sainsburys were offering a boxed kit comprising NL85 with 22" widescreen 1920 monitor and remote control for, unbelievably, half price, GBP165 inc. VAT for the bundle.
                    The link you provided was not correct for the kit I received in my Sainsburys bundle. I got this one with 2GB RAM, and 60 GB SSD. :-

                    http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00VM67VY..._t3_B00TT0R334

                    The SSD is quite small but has the advantage that it will run completely silently. And of course a spinning HDD can be added if required. It is still excellent value. If a smaller amount of additional storage is required I would probably add a 64 GB or 128 GB USB 3.0 stick to maintain silent running.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      More memory for smooth operation.

                      Originally posted by Jeff_C View Post
                      The link you provided was not correct for the kit I received in my Sainsburys bundle. I got this one with 2GB RAM, and 60 GB SSD. :-

                      http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00VM67VY..._t3_B00TT0R334

                      The SSD is quite small but has the advantage that it will run completely silently. And of course a spinning HDD can be added if required. It is still excellent value. If a smaller amount of additional storage is required I would probably add a 64 GB or 128 GB USB 3.0 stick to maintain silent running.
                      Exactly, 128GB is minimum to "accomodate" and smooth running Win8 or Win10 in hardware, 256GB SSD is optimal (economically). 60GB can serve as one of storage disks. In case of 16bit WAV or HD audio files any modern HDD from 500GB up seems to be essential. 4GB ram is minimum (for 64bit OS -8GB).

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Realistic hardware expectations

                        Just a moment folks. It was not my intention to imply that what Sainsbury's were selling at half price was exactly the same as on offer elsewhere. There are many sub-variants of the 'Revo One'. It's a pity that Sainsbury's don't have an on-line website for electrical products or I would have linked to it but the sales carton clearly says in large type, '2GB memory, 60GB SSD hard drive'. That is confirmed in more detail on the Revo One RL85B carton inside. That micro-pc and a monitor and a remote handset for GBP165 incl. VAT. Pretty blooming marvellous I'd say, doubly so for a first foray into audio streaming.

                        Now the reality, rather than the theory. I spent a couple of hours keeping an eye on the Win 8.1 to Win10 upgrade, installing the Revo apps (like music player) and so on. I can remote control the Revo over the Kore/Kodi interface (explained above) and now, today, TeamViewer (so that I can replicate the Revo desktop screen) all from my old Android tablet. The Revo has been playing-out music for 12+ hours faultlessly, controlled by the Android, and performs adequately quickly in every respect, all within its 2G RAM/64 bit Win OS. I do not believe that one byte more of RAM would, in this simple application, make a scrap of difference to the user experience, but would increase cost. Nor do I think that for 1.4GHz processor pumping-up the ram is a sensible engineering decision. Nor do I intend to spend one penny more on this project, and have no plan to swap the SSD drive nor add more memory. We're not in the business of polishing it: it is what it is: a capital asset which plays audio as simply, cheaply and effectively as possible.

                        At present, before I get stuck-in to deleting space-wasters and removing the remnants of Win8.1 (I don't intend to revert back to it from Win10), I have 11GB of SSD space available. More than enough for preselected music playlists for Bristol.

                        UPDATE

                        After removing the option to revert back from Win10 to Win8.1 (as the Revo was supplied) I now have a whopping 29GB of fast SSD hard disk space available.
                        Alan A. Shaw
                        Designer, owner
                        Harbeth Audio UK

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Android/PC control

                          I am now a Chromecast user and that is a solution that would obviously not work for Bristol., given that Chromecast needs wifi, a wired internet connection.

                          I am a bit puzzled by the Revo, however: how does the phone/tablet communicate with the Revo?

                          {Moderator's comment: Currently over a wired LAN, but next step is to effect control over wireless hotspot and/or Bluetooth more suitable for the Bristol set-up.}

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            RE: Hardware expectations.

                            Originally posted by A.S. View Post
                            Now the reality, rather than the theory. I spent a couple of hours keeping an eye on the Win 8.1 to Win10 upgrade, installing the Revo apps (like music player) and so on. I can remote control the Revo over the Kore/Kodi interface (explained above) and now, today, TeamViewer (so that I can replicate the Revo desktop screen) all from my old Android tablet. The Revo has been playing-out music for 12+ hours faultlessly, controlled by the Android, and performs adequately quickly in every respect, all within its 2G RAM/64 bit Win OS. I do not believe that one byte more of RAM would, in this simple application, make a scrap of difference to the user experience, but would increase cost. Nor do I think that for 1.4GHz processor pumping-up the ram is a sensible engineering decision. Nor do I intend to spend one penny more on this project, and have no plan to swap the SSD drive nor add more memory. We're not in the business of polishing it: it is what it is: a capital asset which plays audio as simply, cheaply and effectively as possible.

                            At present, before I get stuck-in to deleting space-wasters and removing the remnants of Win8.1 (I don't intend to revert back to it from Win10), I have 11GB of SSD space available. More than enough for preselected music playlists for Bristol.
                            It is OK if works. Usually it is good hard disk had some free space for "breathing" (defragmentation, analysis of the data,their protection, contstant updating, upgrading and so on).

                            I mentioned recommended hardware upgrades in case if someone would like to use this micro PC, monitor and keyboard also for more universal (writing, calculating, "pocket" photo processing, internet browsing, music streaming), domestic use, as it was probably intended for some time ago.

                            Also it is worth to look for well equipped, pretty well discounted "older" models of laptops; they work with Win10 astonishingly well. Fast 128GB USB 3.0 pendrive, mentioned above, isn't tremendous cleaning one's pocket out today.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              60GB is enough

                              Originally posted by pkwba View Post
                              Exactly, 128GB is minimum to "accomodate" and smooth running Win8 or Win10 in hardware, 256GB SSD is optimal (economically). 60GB can serve as one of storage disks. In case of 16bit WAV or HD audio files any modern HDD from 500GB up seems to be essential. 4GB ram is minimum (for 64bit OS -8GB).
                              I do not know where you get these requirements. IMO 60GB is ample to run either win8.1 or win10 along with some other chosen software as AS has posted in his message #12. Playing music is not CPU intensive like playing the latest video games or whatever.

                              I agree that music libraries may need more space. The silent running of SSD is a plus point, but for me it would not be cost effective to put in a larger SSD. Much better to pull the music from a NAS with a standard spinning HDD which is connected to the network (or directly via USB to the Revo) away from the listening area.

                              Comment

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