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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.

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{Updated Oct. 2017}
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Life-changing advertisements for hifi equipment

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  • Life-changing advertisements for hifi equipment

    I was leafing through some hifi magazines from the early 1970s yesterday. It took me back to my early teens when my interest in quality audio was piqued. The same adverts viewed 40+ years on and they still have the same effect on me. You must have your own personal favourite adverts.

    I start with the timeless beauty of the SME 3009 advert, here from 1970/2. I remember being told that the photos were take by a member of SME staff, as a hobby. The lighting and setting is perfect and these photos, to my eyes, are unparalleled in elegance and simplicity. The focus is entirely on the product without distraction. It oozes quality. So much so that over these past 40 years, I would not consider any other tonearm, not even if I was give it for free. To me, thanks to these adverts, tonearm is SME and SME is tonearm. And the construction quality, thr packing, the user guide, the attention to detail was fantastic.

    What adverts got your pulse racing?

    >

    (One more picture to follow of 3009 Mk2 - the last word. I have a few.)
    Attached Files
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  • #2
    Buying with your eyes there Alan? The 1970's 'Improved' SME's were found to be highly resonant in the audio band, although I believe add-ons such as foam-filling the tube can work wonders to cut the ringing down, as does the black-tac that SME supplied later on to go in the headshell - almost made a V15 III sound sweet which only the VN35HE stylus really did (I should have got one when they were available and I don't believe the MR version ever found its way to the UK sadly).

    My SME 3009 'Improved' awaits a suitable turntable on which to mount it, although plans are in hand to either re-acquire 'my' TD125mk1 or possibly the Technics SL150mk1 I used for a while - I know where they are :D

    I can't think of many adverts from the 60's that really caught my eye, as I was reading all the articles in Hi Fi Sound instead and raving at the wonderful cover photo's taken. Friend hifi Dave here still has some and all the old childhood/adolescent memories come flooding back when I can read them. I suppose it's fitting to mention the old Quad adverts, with a then-judged middle aged man (probably no more than late thirties I suspect) with pipe and slippers? listening to a Quad system...

    Comment


    • #3
      My favourite

      This is my favorite one.


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      Comment


      • #4
        Crushing criticism (very sad)

        Originally posted by DSRANCE View Post
        Buying with your eyes there Alan? The 1970's 'Improved' SME's were found to be highly resonant in the audio band, although I believe add-ons such as foam-filling the tube can work wonders to cut the ringing down, as does the black-tac that SME supplied later on to go in the headshell - almost made a V15 III sound sweet which only the VN35HE stylus really did (I should have got one when they were available and I don't believe the MR version ever found its way to the UK sadly)...
        Can't really understand why you want to ruin my day. Would much rather have not read that criticism of the SME arm, not one word of which I believe anyway. Where do you get these rigid opinions from and why are you compelled to tell me? Two posts into what I hoped would be an uplifting thread in these troubled times.

        Tell you what David... would you like to put your arm up against mine under controlled conditions? I have more than one V15/III and a V15/IV. Game on?!!
        Alan A. Shaw
        Designer, owner
        Harbeth Audio UK

        Comment


        • #5
          A Thing of beauty

          The SME 3009 was/is a thing of beauty. I borrowed heavily and got myself into debt in 1967, when I bought an SME 3009 Imp with Shure V15 mounted on a Howland West plinth with Goldring Lenco G99. I kept that turntable for a few years before passing it onto my Brother. I now have it back again in my 'museum'.

          I have several SME 3009 and a 3012 arm mounted on vintage turntables.

          SME 3009 and 3012 arms are now collectable and still very desirable. Far better than the Series III which came later and a complete disaster.

          Comment


          • #6
            Acoustic loop?

            Originally posted by A.S. View Post
            Can't really understand why you want to ruin my day. Would much rather have not read that criticism of the SME arm, not one word of which I believe anyway. Where do you get these rigid opinions from and why are you compelled to tell me? Two posts into what I hoped would be an uplifting thread in these troubled times.

            Tell you what David... would you like to put your arm up against mine under controlled conditions? I have more than one V15/III and a V15/IV. Game on?!!
            Of course it may yet turn out to be the acoustic feedback from speakers to deck/arm/cartidge that distinguishes vinyl from digital - sort of duplicating the room-specific resonances you get from acoustic feedback in many forms of live music.

            Comment


            • #7
              Everything?

              Originally posted by hifi_dave View Post
              The SME 3009 was/is a thing of beauty. I borrowed heavily and got myself into debt in 1967, when I bought an SME 3009 Imp with Shure V15 mounted on a Howland West plinth with Goldring Lenco G99. I kept that turntable for a few years before passing it onto my Brother. I now have it back again in my 'museum'.

              I have several SME 3009 and a 3012 arm mounted on vintage turntables.

              SME 3009 and 3012 arms are now collectable and still very desirable. Far better than the Series III which came later and a complete disaster.
              I completely agree. I thought the SIII looked fussy, and the earlier 3009 is definitely a thing of lasting beauty.

              Not an advert I recall attached, from Wireless World Nov. 1972.
              Attached Files
              Alan A. Shaw
              Designer, owner
              Harbeth Audio UK

              Comment


              • #8
                Capital outlay

                I visited the SME factory on behalf of Hi-Fi for Pleasure magazine, soon after the Series III was introduced. They admitted that the arm was developed to make use of the extremely expensive diecast machinery they had invested in.

                The machinery was used to make parts for other companies but they decided to make use of it for their arms whilst it wasn't being used for the money making side of the business.

                Comment


                • #9
                  SME caveats

                  Originally posted by A.S. View Post
                  ... would you like to put your arm up against mine under controlled conditions? I have more than one V15/III and a V15/IV. Game on?!!
                  Before you head to the starting gate, you may wish to confirm that the pair of rubber sleeves that (de)couple the stub end of the tonearm (upon which the counterweight is mounted) have not deteriorated.
                  More details here: http://www.theanalogdept.com/images/...hoto_Story.pdf

                  Originally posted by hifi_dave View Post
                  SME 3009 and 3012 arms are now collectable and still very desirable. Far better than the Series III which came later and a complete disaster.
                  Back in the day, the then editor of Stereophile seemed quite taken with the performance of the Series III.
                  http://www.stereophile.com/content/s...es-iii-tonearm

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    SME art

                    I have abandoned vinyl as an inferior (and inconvenient) format. However, I have not yet sold my Linn LP12, because my wife and son don't want me to, and because I love the SME 3009 II improved arm. It is indeed a piece of art.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The Antidote

                      How about this?

                      back in the 70's I was fascinated by magnetophone... why not a timeless, retro look, but new tech?

                      this can be the cure for audionervosa

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The fire started on the first floor .... Marantz.

                        Truly anti-audiophile set from the beginning of 80s.

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                        I have been listening to power amplifier from this set since yesterday to my highest delight - visual and sonic.

                        It stood dumb for some years on the shelf in hall closet. I asked my retired friend - electronics engineer and guru to peek into it whether it could be mended. He took it together with dedicated pre-amp to his workshop room. Never mind this broken TA7317P chip in speakers' safety circuit - these few audio darshan meetings at his workbench cured me out from any traces of audiophilism. Pure professional who talked with such knowledge, reverence and understanding what his colleagues at Marantz laboratories aimed to design over thirty years ago that seemed to me almost like magic.

                        He went through pre- and power amps with extensive set of measurements replacing a bunch of matched capacitors etc. etc. and stated one should be very satisfied with this amplifier connected to well engineered loudspeakers. He also explained the role of very good signal path, transistors and unique cooling system.

                        Can someone tell me why thirtysometing old refurbished slim line power amp (champaigne) connected to ten years younger premium line pre-amp (also champaigne) and modern premium sacd and cd player (nominally gold) or streaming station (silver gold), all from one manufacturer, configured into one set and listened via ~87dB/2.83V/m sensitive monitors plays without any technical problems and so effortlessly and convincingly?

                        I reported my first impressions to my guru by phone. Did not forget to mention I used first series of Ixos directional interconnects with wbt plugs. I had them close at hand in the drawer. "Do not be so excited" he replied with dispassionate voice "it is only well engineered, moderately powerful amplifier which does what it is expected to do and nothing more. Well done interconnects with good plugs are not bad idea. Thanks to good grip you won't loose the signal. The loudspeakers you listen to must be very good".

                        What am I to say? They are goddamn good. And I needn't to attach their advertisement on this forum.

                        One more puzzle - how it is possible that the set consisting of sacd player, half-vintage preamp and this vintage power amp takes only 50W on average at peak from mains while 68 cubic metre room is very well filled with music? Only 8 Watts more than my super energy saving laptop workstation connected to super energy saving external led monitor?

                        ATB


                        The explanation to the heading - http://www.hifianswers.com/wp-stuff/...tz_fire_ad.jpg

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Beauty and talent

                          Have I missed out on something here? Am I meant to get turned on by bits of metal and chipboard?

                          The only thing I remember striking me out of a music magazine when I was growing up (actually around 17 or 18) was Anne Sophie Mutter. Up till then I thought the only qualification to be a female instrumentalist was was to be old or ugly. She changed the rule book. I saw her play, I think with Barenboim, and I was in lust. And she could play as well. Unfortunately a school friend, a talented horn player already with the LSO in his teens, was allegedly dating her, which just made matters worse. I always thought on those DGG album covers Karajan had other thoughts on his mind.

                          Nowadays the requirement of lady instrumentalists is now such that Gramophone magazine and Vogue are largely indistinguishable. It works both ways. We went to see Martin Frost last year, my wife was enamoured, and not just by his clarinet.

                          p.s. It turns out that Anne Sophie Mutter became a prima donna and wouldn't get out of bed for less than €10,000. So Gramophone and Vogue have more in common than first thought.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Glamour

                            Whilst on the subject, the accordion used to conjure up the image of an old man outside a Greek taverna with a three-legged dog and a begging cap. Not any more. Google "Ksenija Sidorova". How times change. I see she sold out the Albert Hall (capacity 9,000) partnered with Miloš Karadaglić, whose attraction is clearly not limited to his ability to strum a guitar. His first album "Mediterráneo", which to his credit is really very good, was possibly the best selling classical release of this decade.

                            It does seem that, in relation to performers, the pendulum has swung very much in favour of marketing over musicianship, whereas audio adds have for decades largely remained images of metal boxes. You have to go back a long time to get a bit of glamour.
                            Attached Files

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ssfas View Post
                              Have I missed out on something here? Am I meant to get turned on by bits of metal and chipboard?

                              The only thing I remember striking me out of a music magazine when I was growing up (actually around 17 or 18) was Anne Sophie Mutter.
                              Well said, ssfas.

                              Comment

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