HUG - here for all audio enthusiasts


"This Harbeth User Group (HUG) is the Manufacturer's own managed forum dedicated to natural sound, realisable by controlling the confounding variables between tthe microphone and the listeners' ears.

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. To reproduce the sounds captured by the recording microphones, as Harbeth speakers are designed to do, you would naturally select system components (sources, electronics, cables and so on) that do not color the sound before it reaches the speakers.

Identifying components for their system neutrality should, logically, start with the interpretation and analysis of their technical, objective performance, as any and every deviation from a measurably flat frequency response at any point along the serial chain from microphone to ear is very likely to cause the total system to have an audible sonic personality. That includes the contribution of the listening room itself.

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, HUG cannot be really be expected to guide in the selection, approval, endorsement or even discussion of equipment that is intend to introduce a significantly personalised sound to the audio signal chain. 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 electronics offered there. There is no on-line substitute for that time investment in a dealer's showroom.

If you desire to intentionally tune your system sound to your personal taste, please consider carefully how much you should rely upon 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, listening loudness and listening room treatment, not necessarily leading to appropriate equipment selection and listening satisfaction for you.

Alternatively, if faithfully reproducing the sound intended by the composer, score, conductor and musicians over your speakers is your audio dream, then understanding something of the issues likely to fulfill that objective is what this forum has been helping with since 2006. Welcome!"

Jan. 2018
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UK hifi shows and exhibitions

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  • #46
    Harbeth-themed mini-show in Reading, UK

    On the subject of UK shows, I have learnt today that The Audio Warehouse (a subsiduary of UK Harbeth dealer Guildford Audio) are planning a Harbeth-themed mini-show to take place at a hotel in Reading, Berkshire within the next couple of months. Most if not all Harbeth domestic models will be there with equipment such as Sugden amplifiers and attendees can bring their own amplifiers too to try out with the Harbeth speakers.

    If like me you are waiting to hear Harbeths for the first time or just fancy hearing them with some different amplifiers it should be a great occasion.

    The Audio Warehouse obviously need to have an idea of possible numbers and advise to get in contact with them if you would like to attend. They can be reached via Guildford Audio's phone number listed in the 'Where to buy' section of the main Harbeth website.

    I Will keep the HUG informed of developments (if that's OK mods?)


    • #47
      Harbeth-based mini-show in Reading, update

      I have just learnt that Audio Warehouse will be demoing ALL Harbeth's domestic range at the event.

      Including HRH, the Moniter 40.1! Yippee!

      Dates and venue yet to be confirmed...

      {Moderator's comment: please carefully check this stock availability. It is rare for any one dealer to have the entire line-up.}


      • #48
        Radlett Audio (UK dealer) - full Harbeth range on demo at all times

        Radlett Audio do have the complete range on demonstration at all times. Demonstrations are by appointment.

        {Moderator's comment: Yes and with truly exceptional feedback from those who have take up the demo and enjoyed their time with Radlett.}


        • #49
          Audio Warehouse demo

          I asked Audio Warehouse whether they'd have the M40.1 and they said yes, the whole domestic range. Maybe they will borrow some from customers?

          It's just exciting because it's quite close by for me...

          hifi_ dave:

          Great to hear you have the whole range on demo! I will definately be down to see you in the next couple of months. I intend to buy my Harbeths from you as amongst other things you've given me such good advice in the last few months about the value of high-end equipment. Do you have several rooms setup with different models?

          {Moderator's comemnt: I think we can safely assume the M40.1 are only on demo at Radlett and this situation is unlikely to change. In future we will scrutinise all such public show requests with vigilence. Rumours get a hold very quickly and we do not want to waste people's time travelling.}


          • #50
            Radlett Audio - hear the whole range, anytime

            This is not correct. The event is not organised and the stock is not in place. There will not be M40.1 available. If you want to hear the full range then Radlett Audio is the place to go - anytime by appointment.
            Alan A. Shaw
            Designer, owner
            Harbeth Audio UK


            • #51
              Heathrow Audio World Show 2011

              Last weekend I attended the annual hi-fi show at Heathrow. It is a lot smaller scale than the Bristol Show with fewer giant multi-nationals present. In fact I don't think any exhibited!

              After the show I remembered this thread where we discussed the "sound of 2011" experience at the Bristol show. Walking round the rooms I did not get any sense of an overall sound balance at the event - if anything the systems were quite varied in presentation. There were several types of more unusual speakers too.

              I heard (for the first time!) Quad ESL63, which were quite a strange experience. I was so excited when I walked into the room and saw them there. After reading so much about them over the years I was in danger of being disappointed due to over-expectation. The initial music selections were very inapropriate - '80s electronica with distorted guitars - not what you'd expect to be played to make the best of Quad electrostatics! I even said to the man running the room that they sounded awful - thin, bright, scratchy and no bass extension or definition. Things finally improved substantially when he played some Elvis and Buddy Holly and some modern female vocals. I also put on a '60s jazz LP I had with me that gave a good result.

              My overall thoughts on the experience were that the Quads sounded very inconsistent - even within tracks. With my jazz LP (which is a decent enough recording) the brass had too much rasp and the bass was indistinct and a bit dis-connected, yet somewhere in the midrange it felt smooth and pleasant. I've never experienced such simultanious pleasure and pain from a loudspeaker! I won't discount them just on that one experience - there is a room to consider afterall - but I left thinking that I'd really like to hear them optimally set-up rather than in a small squarish room.

              There were Lowther single-driver speakers too, driven by 3wpc SET ampifiers and a Revox cassette deck! This was a very enjoyable system and I was shocked that a 30 year old cassette deck could sound so good. I know the Lowthers are unusual measurements-wise and would have loved to have AS with me to comment on the sound! It was certainly easy on the ear...

              A lot of rooms had vinyl setups or laptops, and I had a nice chat with Alan Sircom (Hi-Fi+ editor) about what to do about a file-based source component (read computer audio).

              It would be really good to see Harbeth at a small show like this. There didn't seem to be too much of a loudness war between nearby rooms, so moderate volumes could happen. It's always worth going to these events, if only to browse the vinyl dealer's stands!


              • #52
                The National Audio Show - Whittlebury Hall, September 25th and 26th 2011

                The third annual UK National Audio Show will be taking place at Whittlebury Hall in Northamptonshire over the weekend of the 25th and 26th September this year. There is also a trade-only day on the Friday before.

                I attended the first two shows at Whittlebury in 2009 and 2010 and I think it's the best show of the year in the UK (although I haven't been to Manchester). I will be going on both days this year, it's such a big event that you need two days to see and hear everything.

                I think one exhibitor had a system set up using Harbeth speakers in 2009 (C7?), but it's such a big show that I didn't see them until I read the post-show magazine reports!

                Will any HUGgers be going to this event apart from me?

                It would be nice to see Alan there like when we met at Bristol in February - you could check-out the venue for a possible future Harbeth showing...


                • #53
                  Whittlebury Show 2012 - Great sound from the Harbeth C7ES-3

                  I went along to the National Audio Show at Whittlebury in the UK at the weekend. Some of the best sound at the show was from the system below. A Palmer turntable with SME 12" arm and Lyra cartridge paired with Sugden amplification and Harbeth C7ES-3 speakers on SomethingSolid stands. Oh and 'no-name' basic cables. Cost a fraction of many systems which were no where near as good.

                  I sat through a whole LP side of the Elgar Cello Concerto and it sounded great. Genuinely very enjoyable and most unlike the vast majority of systems at shows nowadays. Those C7s were very impressive in an unobtrusive way.