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INTRODUCTION - PLEASE READ FIRST TO UNDERSTAND THIS FORUM!

"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 http://bit.ly/2FEgoAy may be for you. Either way, welcome to the world of Harbeth!"


Feb. 2018
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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

        Comment


        • #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.

            Comment


            • #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.

                  Comment

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