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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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"The only speaker licenced by BBC Worldwide"?

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  • "The only speaker licenced by BBC Worldwide"?

    News of the launch of a Dr Who loudspeaker by the BBC's highly-profitable commercial arm, begs the question as to what defines a BBC speaker these days. Once the three initials B B C ensured credibility and assured performance. The plastic, and doubtless China-made, "Tardis" speaker is no less than 150 from the online BBC shop - see attached image.

    BBC Worldwide (which boasted a trading profit of 156m and headline sales of 1,116m last year), advise that their new toy (?) is "The only speaker licensed by BBC Worldwide...". We hear of other loudspeaker-related licences granted by "the BBC" in the recent past, so it seems that one part of BBC Inc. is working quite independently of other divisions.

    Of concern to anyone familiar with the BBCs loudspeaker legacy, is what the BBC is doing to its brand and its previously high standing in the technical arena? In the days when Harbeth's founder, Dudley Harwood, was in charge of loudspeaker development at the Corporation's Research Department (1960s, 70s), the broadcaster's name would not be attributed to any product which didn't meet stringent performance criteria. Can any plastic speaker meet those legendary standards of yesteryear? Maybe it can.
    Attached Files
    Harbeth PR,
    Harbeth UK

  • #2
    "Progress"?

    The BBC, in all its guises, seems to have a policy of undermining itself in the name of "progress' however that manifests, whether that be programming, impartiality or in meeting its {self-imposed} aim of profitability despite being a public service broadcaster

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    • #3
      Sadness for BBC legacy

      I say with a great sadness that I think the BBC has slowly and surely declined in standards in every area since I had intimate knowledge of it.

      Forty years ago they had a research dept. which was admired worldwide, a heritage that even now is illustrated by the far east paying massive sums for the speaker designs of its heyday.

      It also had a reputation for leading edge comedy, satire, and art related progs, but this is long gone, and now we have never ending mediocrity presented by self important and self promoting egotists, many of whom cannot speak, or even think clearly, and earn vast sum of money.

      I intend when I have the time, which will I hope be soon, to write a complete analysis of the BBC and it s failings, and send it to them.
      By law they have to address such; we are forced to pay a licence fee.

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      • #4
        BBC intellectual property

        Originally posted by harbethpr View Post
        ...Of concern to anyone familiar with the BBCs loudspeaker legacy, is what the BBC is doing to its brand and its previously high standing in the technical arena? In the days when Harbeth's founder, Dudley Harwood, was in charge of loudspeaker development at the Corporation's Research Department (1960s, 70s), the broadcaster's name would not be attributed to any product which didn't meet stringent performance criteria. Can any plastic speaker meet those legendary standards of yesteryear? Maybe it can.
        Times have changed, apparently.

        Obviously, the initials "BBC" belong to that corporation and are a form of intellectual property they can exploit as they like (whether they're wise to do what they're doing is another matter, of course).

        I wonder if Harbeth could think of some term (or maybe more than one) that captures the BBC technical development pedigree but doesn't clearly belong to the BBC, and trademark it. "BBC" is off limits, of course, but might there be something else? Or if there isn't a snappy term that capture the public's attention, can it tell the story (which is a great story) of its BBC heritage more prominently?

        Or maybe it doesn't matter. I venture to say that many more Harbeths will be sold over time than a plastic Bluetooth "Dr Who" speaker.

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        • #5
          Nutrition v. food

          Well, a fried egg from my chicken-coop and a tomato from my garden taste like heaven, and certainly do much better to my health, than a "Superburger" from Mr. "Supremeburger's House" with fried potatoes and a drink, altogether for one buck...

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          • #6
            A slow decline

            Originally posted by Pharos View Post
            I say with a great sadness that I think the BBC has slowly and surely declined in standards in every area since I had intimate knowledge of it.

            Forty years ago they had a research dept. which was admired worldwide, a heritage that even now is illustrated by the far east paying massive sums for the speaker designs of its heyday.

            It also had a reputation for leading edge comedy, satire, and art related progs, but this is long gone, and now we have never ending mediocrity presented by self important and self promoting egotists, many of whom cannot speak, or even think clearly, and earn vast sum of money.

            I intend when I have the time, which will I hope be soon, to write a complete analysis of the BBC and it s failings, and send it to them.
            By law they have to address such; we are forced to pay a licence fee.
            I used to look upon the BBC as the arbiter of integrity. Its news service was believed, almost without question, overseas. Many relied on it to find out the truth of what was happening in the World, especially in the days of the Cold War. Now people turn to Sky. I question a organisation that puts profit first. Not just the Hacking Scandal, either. The BBC appears to have dropped its core philosophy in favour of listening / viewing figures. Who cares about that ? It's a Public Service organisation, not a organisation that needs popular ( and I use this word advisedly ) programmes to compete with the Independents, who are influenced by their advertising revenue. Martyn Miles.

            Radio Four appears to only service not tainted by different values

            I am concerned by the BBC's slow decline . Martyn Miles.

            Comment


            • #7
              Attention to sound?

              Listening to R4 this morning I could not help but think back to the days of the early 70s at Bush House when monitoring sequntially numerous programme outputs going all over the world, the audio quality was extremely good, and served well to show just how beautiful the human voice can be.

              At that time pronunciation and mic. technique were given a great priority, and the clarity was always paramount with each word clearly pronounced and all the formants, phonemes and sibilants in place, and in correct proportion.

              Sadly those factors are seemingly just not valued, let alone pursued or ensured any more, and I think that R4 may even often use the lavalier clip-on mics quite often.

              This situation starts, at least subliminally, to cause me to think that my system is poor, until that is suddenly someone is on mic. and clarity prevails for a few seconds, or on TV perhaps someone bothers to get it right.

              A good example I though of SQ comparison within one programme was with the so far, two part "The BIble" on Ch5.

              The action scenarios were mostly in the open, but exibited the usual 'thick' excessive bass caused often by proximity of mic..
              But the narrator who came in occasionally had a pristine pure clear voice devoid of bass proximity, even though done in a cubicle of some sort, and with all of the spectrum present.

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