"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 may be for you. Either way, welcome to the world of Harbeth!"

Feb. 2018
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Harbeth Reviews in the Gramophone Magazine Archive

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  • Harbeth Reviews in the Gramophone Magazine Archive

    I have been searching for recent Harbeth Reviews in the Gramophone Magazine Archive.

    I find nothing. Have I missed something?

  • #2
    I'm curious ..... why would you think you're missing something? We don't 'do' reviews.
    Harbeth PR,
    Harbeth UK


    • #3
      All I meant was, have I failed to execute the search correctly and therefore missed data that is there. Clearly I have not and it is not! Dare I ask why "We don't 'do' reviews"?

      I went to "Gramophone" looking for a review from the musicians' rather than the HiFi addicts point of view.


      • #4
        I think I can reply to this.

        The last contact we had with that magazine was about twelve ago*. We have no idea who runs it, who writes for it, what their editorial policy is, how equipment reviews dovetail with the music reviews (we are not on their or indeed any other hi-fi magazine's circulation list) and haven't actually opened a copy for many years. We're completely out of touch with them. Ditto HFN, HFW, WHF, etc. etc.. This, here and word of mouth from existing users is surely the best source of information.

        * I remember it well. Run by the same family for two generations, they invited me to their 'industry luncheons' where I rubbed shoulders with the likes of Raymond Cooke OBE. But now? All sadly washed away.
        Alan A. Shaw
        Designer, owner
        Harbeth Audio UK


        • #5
          I remember reading 2 reviews that Gramophone covered on Harbeth. But that was like 20 years ago. It was the HL-MK4 followed closely by the improved HL-5. If i am not wrong, John Borwick covered those 2 reviews. Both reviews were very positive. I believe Gramophone also did a review on the HL-K6 & C7 in the mid 90s if i am not mistaken.


          • #6
            I am C7 lover, I recently found few old harbeth reviews in Gramophone thru google. You can see the C7 review thru below link:


            You can find some old models at right side "related links".
            "Bath with Music"


            • #7
              Found this 1989 gramophone review of the HL-5 by John Borwick


              I also have a hard copy of this review.