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HUG - here for all audio enthusiasts

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.

That's it! Enjoy!

{Updated Oct. 2017}
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M40.1 "Speaker product of the year 2009" by TONEAudio

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  • M40.1 "Speaker product of the year 2009" by TONEAudio

    Well, to round off this fantastically successful year for Harbeth - proving yet again the sonic advantages of our RADIAL2? technology over all other speaker solutions - Harbeth are immensely proud to be awarded ""Speaker product of the year" by stylish American TONEAudio magazine. Thank you TONEAudio.

    You can read all about the award, and why the Monitor 40.1 won it here. It's a big file so please be patient!

    Great news!
    Harbeth PR,
    Harbeth UK

  • #2
    Great news for Harbeth. However, horror of horrors, the same magazine names a US$7,500 1m pair interconnects as Product of the Year too. Yikes!

    Comment


    • #3
      Yes indeed.

      We are now entering a phase of our growth where we need to be careful about continuing expansion of our media coverage. As I mentioned in various talks during my far east tour, we sense a new darker side to the industry, and want to distance ourselves from it. If that means you'll see less Harbeth reviews etc., then I think that may be the necessary rebalancing of our internal v. external marketing efforts. In the final analysis, no brand should rely on external marketing effort (by the media) - it's just not a secure foundation although great when it happens occasionally.

      As a consumer myself I don't rely on reviews of cars, computers, TVs* etc. and I wouldn't expect any consumer of hifi equipment to really put too much reliance on a review. Why should he? The reviewer may have never me the manufacturer, never visited his premises, never spent hours in the company of the designer and never made any checks on the financial integrity of the company. Yet, despite these (in my opinion) serious handicaps he is empowered to critique the product as your eyes and ears. Doesn't sound like the reviewer has what I'd call a comprehensive in-depth understanding of the company promoting the products or the product's design objectives and marketplace - does it to you?

      Our door is always open to welcome those who want to understand what really goes into a Harbeth speaker, and what our target market is.

      * We replaced our CRT TV set recently. I could not find a single review that used independent technical measurements to tell me about the display capabilities of various alternative modern TVs. I wouldn't trust the manufacturers specifications as far as I could throw them - they're written by marketing people to impress. All the parameters of a TV can be described in numbers - I couldn't care less to read about 'vibrant colours' and the rest. I want hard factual objective information, not waffle.
      Alan A. Shaw
      Designer, owner
      Harbeth Audio UK

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by A.S. View Post
        * We replaced our CRT TV set recently. I could not find a single review that used independent technical measurements to tell me about the display capabilities of various alternative modern TVs. I wouldn't trust the manufacturers specifications as far as I could throw them - they're written by marketing people to impress. All the parameters of a TV can be described in numbers - I couldn't care less to read about 'vibrant colours' and the rest. I want hard factual objective information, not waffle.
        I refer to the UK based Home Cinema Choice to compare published and measured specs. It helps naive consumer like myself.

        ST

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        • #5
          Originally posted by A.S. View Post
          We are now entering a phase of our growth where we need to be careful about continuing expansion of our media coverage. As I mentioned in various talks during my far east tour, we sense a new darker side to the industry, and want to distance ourselves from it. If that means you'll see less Harbeth reviews etc., then I think that may be the necessary rebalancing of our internal v. external marketing efforts. .....
          I'm curious as to whether this represents a change from your observation of a couple of years ago regarding reviews, namely, "Let's admit it ... subjective reviewing is here to stay, and as our speakers sound great we have nothing to fear from that. We're just appreciative of the publicity."

          As an observer, it seems to me that you've become increasingly concerned with the more "far-out" segments of the industry - super-expensive interconnects, speaker stands, etc. Do you really believe that they're doing that much harm? And that it's worth reacting so strongly to them? I ask because at the same time, you've received the benefit (it seems to me) of extremely positive word of mouth from reviews etc., and whether you depend on that or not, it certainly can't hurt.

          For example, there is one reviewer I can think of who was a very public fan until recently, when his publication about an expensive accessory resulted in him shortly thereafter no longer being a Harbeth owner. I have ideas about what may have happened there, but never mind. The question is, does it make sense to lose the support of people like that, who, even if mistaken in your view, are well-intentioned on the whole? (I.e. no profit motive on his part.)

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by EricW View Post
            As an observer, it seems to me that you've become increasingly concerned with the more "far-out" segments of the industry - super-expensive interconnects, speaker stands, etc. Do you really believe that they're doing that much harm?
            Hi EricW, as a consumer, like i would consume the services of say a doctor, the "far-out" segments of the industry would be considered perverse imho, for lack of a better word. if i went to a doctor and had stomach pain but he/ she prescribed 800 dollar running shoes, i could go to the AMA.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by kittykat View Post
              .... if i went to a doctor and had stomach pain but he/ she prescribed 800 dollar running shoes, i could go to the AMA.
              I agree, but it's not a perfect analogy. You don't really have the option simply to ignore your stomach pain, and although you may "consume" your doctor's services, it's not exactly discretionary spending in quite the same way as a pair of running shoes, or a pair of speakers for that matter. Furthermore, your doctor, as a professional, has a professional and ethical obligation to provide the treatment that you actually need: it's not purely a marketplace transaction. Finally, Harbeth is a competitor (and doing very well at it, by all accounts), not a regulator. Market success is the best argument.

              I guess I'm just uncomfortable with too much focus on what is seen by some as the "dark side". Perspectives may legitimately differ, but unless the "dark side" is actively doing harm, I say the best thing to do is ignore it. Otherwise the tone becomes very negative, and I don't like that. I understand that some (Alan included, I think) feel that harm is being done. I'm not so sure, and I don't think it helps to focus on a fringe - it makes it seem more important than it actually is. There is no law against being sensible, living within your means, getting the best you can and enjoying your music with it, and being happy. The fact that some people can't do that, or take things to extremes, doesn't mean the sky is falling.

              All just my humble opinion, of course.

              Comment


              • #8
                Honest copy ....

                Originally posted by EricW View Post
                ...it seems to me that you've become increasingly concerned with the more "far-out" segments of the industry - super-expensive interconnects, speaker stands, etc. Do you really believe that they're doing that much harm?...
                I do not feel comfortable promoting (via review) our 'affordable high-end' products next to products which do not follow that philosophy i.e. are 'not-affordable high-end audio'. It sends the wrong message to the consumer and runs counter to the very considerable efforts we make here to keep our (and the would-be consumer's) feet on the ground. the best 'review' is always your own opinion, arrived at after your own listening experience.

                I believe that I mentioned in another posts or two what I perceive as the darker side of the industry. You can use your own imagination as to what that might allude to.
                Alan A. Shaw
                Designer, owner
                Harbeth Audio UK

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by EricW View Post
                  Furthermore, your doctor, as a professional, has a professional and ethical obligation to provide the treatment that you actually need:
                  restress -"Professional and ethical obligation"

                  Hi EricW, i think you hit the nail on the head for me. You summed it up nicely. i wont go as far as to call it the "darker side" but sometimes the boundary between offering good sensible advice and not gets hazy. ive seen friends basically buy junk (to be blunt, less sensible would probably be more polite) at not reasonable prices for sound equipment.

                  Hee hee hee. Ive seen too many ppl look at doctors fees as discretioanary spending. Doctor’s fees (here at least esp. on claim back processes) and services do differ and thus can be a marketplace transaction (for our family at least). but then again, who is to know if the medical advice is sensible.

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