"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, since deviations from a flat frequency response at any point along the signal chain from microphone to ear is likely to create an audible sonic personality in what you hear. That includes the contribution of the listening room itself. To accurately reproduce the recorded sound, as Harbeth speakers are designed to do, you would be 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 potentially will alter the sound balance of what you hear. This may or may not be what you wish to achieve, but on the face of it, any deviation from a flat response - and the frequency balance of tube amplifiers are usually influenced by their speaker load - is a step away from a truly neutral system. HUG has extensively discussed amplifiers and the methods for seeking the most objectively neutral amongst a plethora of available product choices.

HUG specialises in making complex technical matters simple to understand, aiding the identification of audio components likely to maintain a faithful relationship between the recorded sound and the sound you hear. With our heritage of natural sound and pragmatism, HUG cannot be expected to be a place to discuss the selection, approval or endorsement of non-Harbeth system elements selected, knowingly or not, to create a significantly personalised 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.

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.

If faithfully reproducing the sound intended by the composer, score, conductor and musicians in your home and over Harbeth speakers is your audio dream, then understanding something of the issues likely to fulfill that intention is what this forum has been helping to do since 2006. Welcome!"

Feb. 2018
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M40.2 40th anniversary model demoed at 'Classic Albums' show in the Benelux

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  • M40.2 40th anniversary model demoed at 'Classic Albums' show in the Benelux

    Good morning HUG

    Our distributor in The Netherlands has shared some images from a dealer of theirs, Beter Beeld & Geluid, who ran a 'Classic Albums' show on Saturday (7th October). The M40.2 40th anniversary model in walnut was on demo and feedback from them was as follows -

    "Attendance was high with music fans listening to classic albums from Fleetwood Mac, OMD, Supertramp, The Beatles, King Crimson, Paul Simon etc. etc. The very musical and open sound of the system was praised by all present and people stayed as long as they could to revel in the natural, addictive sound of Harbeth combined with Luxman, making an excellent match together." A complete run down of the system is below:
    - Harbeth M40.2 40th Anniversary loudspeaker
    - Luxman C-900u / M-900u pre/power amp
    - Luxman EQ-500 phono stage
    - Luxman PD-171A turntable
    - Nagaoka MP-500 cartridge
    - Luxman DA-06 DAC
    - Melco N1 'audiofiele' NAS/USB as digital source
    - Cardas cabling
    Did anyone have the chance to attend?

    Emma Smith
    Brand Manager
    Harbeth Audio UK

  • #2
    Had this been a demonstration I could have attended, it would have been supremely disappointing to encounter a system without a CD player.
    It's not as though Luxman doesn't make one, as there are presently at least three such units in their model line up.
    Likewise, cost limitation was clearly not a factor, since the total value of the equipment shown is about $80K (USD).
    Perhaps this particular dealer does not read HUG?


    • #3
      Thank you for your feedback. Events such as these are simply an introduction to the speakers and the sound. In no way is this a system that one would have to purchase if they owned Harbeths nor is/was that implied. The dealer is a business man and therefore presenting a combination he feels is suitable for the event and his audience.

      There is of course always the opportunity to discuss with our dealers alternative combinations to satisfy different budgets, rooms, musical tastes etc. and arrange a demo in-store afterwards. Harbeths are designed to work well with all systems.

      As you'll know from Alan's contributions here on HUG, what he uses in the lab to design is modestly priced equipment, to be sure that whatever our users wish to combine with Harbeth that they will be absolutely delighted with their investment. Perhaps for oldies like Alan, "album" implies an LP record!

      Emma Smith
      Brand Manager
      Harbeth Audio UK


      • #4
        Beter Beeld en Geluid are a good company and at other moments have demonstrated digital gear. The demo with Alan of the massive amplifier power needed on some types of music was also at their place. But yes, it is a bit sad that dealers also have to show expensive gear like vinyl decks that are ultimately inferior to far cheaper digital sources. Such is our culture and hence the market.