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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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Alan Shaw's far east Tour, May 2010

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  • Alan Shaw's far east Tour, May 2010

    To meet Alan in person was rather an unexpected experience for me. I was expecting to meet someone who is a typical Englishman (like Margaret Thatcher (OK, that's a woman) or Churchill) but Alan turned out to be a down to earth simple guy (that doesn't mean he is like Mr Bean, though ).

    His talk was entertaining and straight to the point. In my opinion, Alan strongly believes in the real world engineering and his sales motto probably is honesty is the best policy. He touched on many subjects and tirelessly entertained questions from the fans. Maybe, we should have called the event Alan in KL debunking the High End myth.

    After, the talk I went around asking if anyone videoed his speech but unfortunately none did . Maybe, in the future Alan should make it a point to record all of his talks and upload them into youtube.

    Thank you Alan for coming to meet us. Thank you Sam of Tropical Audio for organizing this wonderful event. And thank you mother nature for the Iceland volcano eruption which made it possible for Alan to make time to meet us here in Kuala Lumpur.

    Chelvam

  • #2
    Originally posted by STHLS5 View Post
    ...Thank you Alan for coming to meet us. Thank you Sam of Tropical Audio for organizing this wonderful event. And thank you mother nature for the Iceland volcano eruption which made it possible for Alan to make time to meet us here in Kuala Lumpur.
    Thank you for your kind feedback. It was a fantastic evening - one etched on my memory forever - and I was really pleased to meet such a warm, friendly group. Thank you all for attending.

    What can I take away from the experience? As I said, the most serious problem the industry faces is the disinterest of young people in quality audio. I strongly believe that, to quote the old marketing maxim, a confused customer never buys. Anything I can do to remove confusion and tell it like it is must be good for Harbeth and the remaining industry.

    Before the reception I was concerned that Sam (and his family who did a fantastic job organising the event) would be lumbered with a large bill for empty seats and uneaten food. How wrong I was. It was very humbling to see just how many attended; the ball room was packed. I had no idea that you'd find what I had to say remotely interesting. Thank you all for coming.

    Oh - and thank you too for seeing the funny side of this and that; yes, this is a business, an industry but music must reflect life. And life definitely has its funny side!

    With grateful appreciation for a wonderful evening. Thank you all. And thank you Sam and family for such perfect organisation.

    Alan Shaw /Kuala Lumpur
    Attached Files
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by STHLS5 View Post
      ... And thank you mother nature for the Iceland volcano eruption which made it possible for Alan to make time to meet us here in Kuala Lumpur.
      As we say in French: "La nature fait bien les choses."

      "Nature does the things right."

      Sebastien

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Sebastien View Post
        As we say in French: "La nature fait bien les choses."

        "Nature does the things right."

        Sebastien
        Definetely not for Harbeth production which got interrupted twice recently due to the heavy snow fall and the volcano erruption.

        Originally posted by Alan
        ...the most serious problem the industry faces is the disinterest of young people in quality audio.
        About young people, my son 11 loves the Harbeth and my daughter 7 loves my previous speakers with the subwoofer. My son prefer music at moderate level but my daughter wants them loud and quiet happy with mp3 over the headphones. I am at loss as to why my daughter's preference is different from the rest of us in the family. There must be something else which affect the musical preference in young people.

        ST

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        • #5
          It was a privelege to meet Alan and an overall nice gathering in meeting other Harbeth users. A big thank you to Sam for organising the event. Actually the turnout wasn't as large as expected mainly due to the heavy downpour as most folks who turned out for the event were local.

          The talk was certainly entertaining especially on the revelation of why Harbeth was so adamant in promoting good value engineering and debunking the high-end myth, which I thought was enlightening. Most of the questions raised during the question and answer session can be found here in the forum, and I guess those who popped the questions do not frequent the HUG that often. I am not too sure if it would be a good idea to share the video on Youtube though as some of the humor brought up might ruffle some feathers of more critical audiences. *wink* *wink*

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by STHLS5 View Post
            Definetely not for Harbeth production which got interrupted twice recently due to the heavy snow fall and the volcano erruption.
            I'm the one who knows, my SHL5 will be at least 4 weeks late due to these circumstances. That's part of life. O Lord! It reminds me of an other French quote, the second in less than an hour. I think it is from Jean de La Fontaine:

            "Tout vient point qui sait attendre."

            In English: "Everything come in order to the one who knows to wait."

            I also appreciate your share about your children interest in music and sound system. Quite original. Here, we are waiting for our first child on the 15th of July. He already reacts when he hears music or his father voice.

            Sebastien

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            • #7
              Ha! A day before my birthday! Let's hope that is a lucky omen for all! Congratulations in advance!
              Alan A. Shaw
              Designer, owner
              Harbeth Audio UK

              Comment


              • #8
                Thank you Alan,

                Sebastien

                Comment


                • #9
                  It was a great pleasure to meet Alan, and thanks for the signature on my owner cert! =)

                  Also a big thank you to Sam for organizing such meaningful and rare event!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Alan in Singapore

                    The next step on my far east tour is Singapore, where I am now. I understand that at Harbeth importer, Jimmy Goh's CD Acoustic store this afternoon from 3-6pm I can meet some of our friends here - I'm looking forward to doing so.

                    Sadly, I must report that Jimmy's mother passed away yesterday, hours before I arrived. Despite this, he not only collected me at the airport but provided me with a local phone, a rail card, walked me from the hotel to his store to familiarise me and then into the underground system to show me the route map and ensured that my rail card was recharged and sufficient funds. I won't embarrass him any further.

                    On behalf of the entire Harbeth community and especially our friends here in Singapore, we send him and his family our condolences. The funeral will be tomorrow, Saturday 8th May. I thought you should be aware.

                    Alan /Singapore
                    Alan A. Shaw
                    Designer, owner
                    Harbeth Audio UK

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      It was great for Harbeth users in Singapore to be able to meet & rub shoulders with Alan today in what was a cosy setting at CD Acoustic. Alan is very approachable, humourous & witty in person & we all had a good laugh & wonderful time throughout the 3 hours or so. Many brought their certificates for Alan to put his signature on. Though some of the topics brought up today were covered here before, but its still good to hear them coming directly from Alan. All in all, the short session today was very entertaining & enlightening. If time permits, i may go down for the 2nd & final session tomorrow before Alan leaves Singapore. Many thks to Jimmy for organising this session despite the fact that his mother has just passed away. Managed to snap a picture with Alan with the mighty M40.1 in between.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hi guys,

                        Its the 2nd day for Alan visit in SG. We greatly enjoyed a wonderful, educational, informative and sharing session with Alan. A truly wonderful and accomodating person. Hoping that Alan could come and visit the "Little Red Dot" again.

                        As I'm typing now, Alan is on his flight back home. Alan, we wish you a pleasant and safe journey. See you again Alan.


                        All smiles here in SG

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                        • #13
                          Hi guys,

                          Just discovered this clip of Alan in Malaysia

                          Is YouTube video blocked in China?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            It certainly a pleasure to meet Alan in person and many thanks to Sam Of Tropical Audio for making this wonderful event.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              My first impression of Alan Shaw is that he's got a physically large head relative to his body. Later I realized it was his slim and well toned body that made it appeare so. I was so accustomed to seeing sick and obese westerners that a healthy body appears exceptional nowadays. It was pleasing to see Alan applies the same type of discipline that created a legend in the audio industry to other aspects of his life.

                              Anyway it was a memorable and most enjoyable evening for me. I did not stayed till 1.am - as there are other commitments that I had to attend to, as reflected by my age. But I got plenty out of the evening, enough to kept me thinking a week later. Many thanks to Sam for the efforts in organizing the event.

                              Perhaps the most poignant moment for me was when Alan was relating to us about a meeting he had with the Japanese. In the mist of it he suddenly realized that he was making some claims that he could not substantiate. He got into a state of panic - what it the Japanese were to ask: "Alan san - can you please proof ...".

                              From that point on Alan said he made sure that he never made any claims that can be demonstrated and repeated anywhere on earth. Those of us who frequent HUG would know that Alan never bullshit. He even refrain from using the common audiophile terms that cannot be objectively defined - like PRaT, musical sounding, analytical sounding etc, but yet he was able to churn out enormous amount of fascinating information over a wide range of subjects. I think Alan was fortunate that he inherited a wealth of information from decades of BBC research involving some of the best minds in audio engineering.

                              Below are some quotable quotes:

                              "No, I don't have Hi-fi at home. I only have radios all over the places. I don't listen to Hi-fi. It is work for me..." We all know that he was joking. But it brought home the difference approach to sound between a speaker designer and a casual music lover. Sound reproduction is serious work for him.

                              "I know nothing about speaker stand, ask Sam, he is the expert." But Alan did mention the axis of dispersion of the tweeter was set slightly higher, to the level of the top edge of the speaker (if I recalled correctly). This is because optimally the ear should be at the level of the tweeter axis. The axis was raised so that the speaker stand need not be too high to give it more stability.

                              "I know nothing about cables. Ask Sam - he is the expert".

                              "I know nothing about amplifier. Ask Sam - he is the expert. I am still using the amplifiers that I brought 30 years ago, of course I service them regularly". Is it Quad? Well - Alan wouldn't say yes or no.

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