"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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Your audio industry - challenges and opportunities ...

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  • #16
    A small courtesy to the factory?

    Originally posted by A.S. View Post
    ...Over Christmas I received numerous private emails from a customer who wanted a pair of speakers in a particular veneer not in stock in his local market...
    I understand that this second-hand transaction has or is going through today. We do sympathise though that none of our dealers could possibly be expected to include accessories with a ticket price equalling the speakers themselves.

    I personally regret that the customer (see my previous post, one up) has not advised us here at the factory that we should cancel the build of the new speakers that he so desperately needed. It needs several hours to completely assemble, test and pack the speakers from pre-tested parts, time wasted when we are already way behind due to the weather. The real pity is that going forward we at Harbeth UK cannot be expected to engage directly with customers in markets where there is already a functioning distribution network to discuss special deliveries etc. etc. and certainly not during staff holidays. Enquiries, orders and progress chasing should be enacted through the proper channels i.e. with our Authorised Dealers.

    There are no Warranties on used goods and they cannot be registered for extended Warranty. We have marked the Production Records for this pair accordingly. How loyal, hard working audio dealers tolerate this all-too-common situation beats me. How can we retain our industry in these tough times for the benefit of all unless we all pull together and cooperate and don't 'chase deals'?
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK


    • #17
      There has never been a more important time to support your high street 'bricks and mortar' dealer store.

      We all seek best value for money, and judging by the increase in on-line consumption activity in society generally, it's a trend that's not going away. However, high end audio and on-line sales are not natural partners, as the personal demonstration and dealer relationship and guidance is such a vital part of the process.

      The latest retail activity figures from the USA are truly shocking. They show that electrical stores are closing at an astonishing rate, here.

      It's human nature to take advantage of any situation until its potential is exhausted, and we all do it. But my appeal to you is, please support your high street dealer whilst you have one. The quality audio industry will be the poorer when they've all gone.
      Alan A. Shaw
      Designer, owner
      Harbeth Audio UK