"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
See more
See less

"Why we like Harbeth speakers" - Users feedback

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #16
    Why did you purchase those particular Harbeths?

    Why did you purchase those particular Harbeths?

    Your thinking may help others make a wiser purchasing decision.

    Please indicate if:

    1) you had the chance to audition / compare speakers before purchase

    2) were allowed to test drive at home before purchase

    3) you are satisfied with your decision.


    • #17
      Mine were purely a speculative purchase; I run an audio forum and one of the dealers who posts there listed a pair of second hand mint boxed C7ES for way under what I considered their second hand value. I?d always wanted to try a pair of BBC monitors and this looked like too good an opportunity to miss so I took a punt safe in the knowledge that I could turn a profit if I didn?t like them. This was over three years ago - it doesn?t look like they are going anywhere! To be honest they are the first speaker I have ever owned that I like more and more over time, most speakers have the exact reverse effect on me.



      • #18
        Why did you purchase those particular Harteths?

        I purchased my Harbeths because I was not completely happy with my (then current) speakers. I was orginally contemplating the Spendor SP1's, however after having read some reviews by Dr. Green and others, I began to become interested in the Harbeths. At that time there was not even a distributor in the US, the importer was situated in Halifax, NS and as a result I had to take a fly in the dark (unheard) and order a pair of the Harbeth 7ES 2's. I have never regretted it!

        These speakers are the first speakers I have ever owned, in which I have been completely happy. They have the inner detail, to die for. They have the integration of drivers, the smoothness and ease of listening, which I have never experienced with any other speaker, they have the right extent of reverberation, regardless of where or what type of music you are listening to and they do it all with NO listeneer fatigue.

        To sum it up, they sound like MUSIC!

        All the best to you all.




        • #19
          i owned original p3's with extenders, thought i was unhappy.sold them and bought proac ref 8 sgnatures[the darlings of the hi fi press] learned what unhappy really was.sold them last week and bought latest p3' very happy.


          • #20
            I love the way they are able to sound great at low volume levels and the way they can portray the venue of live recordings.



            • #21
              I like Harbeth because

              because they don't make unscientific claims for magical performance

              because they are beautifully made precision speakers

              because the speakers are good enough for the BBC

              because "the boss" is dedicated in a way that is rare

              because they sound great loud and soft, high and low, precise


              • #22
                I like Harbeth because..........PS

                I forgot one

                because when properly set-up the speakers disappear and the sound floats in space between them.
                That is magical and I have been searching for a room and speakers to do that for thirty years.
                At last I have it. The search is over.


                LS5/12A and M30


                • #23
                  I like Harbeth because

                  oh and one last thing.............

                  because they make listening a pleasure.

                  I sit with FM radio playing music and I am entranced by the magic of the stereo mix playback just as it was heard when it was made. There's the voice, there's the piano, there's the guitar, there's the drums, there's the tambourine, it's all there, spell binding. Thank you Alan Shaw, thank you.

                  Ted Rook

                  past bedtime...zzzzzzzzzzzzz


                  • #24
                    The story of .... De Havilland Mosquito !!!
                    The D.H. Mosquito was, according to internationally accepted opinions and evidence, the most versatile aircraft of WW2. Fighter, night fighter, bomber, target towing, hi alt. photo-reconnaissance, low alt. photo-reconnaissance, ground attack & straffing, trainer, single or multiseater, light cargo, radar carrier and path finder, anti-submarine and mine-destroyer, target indicator, etc.!
                    Now, it was made from wood! Like Harbeths.
                    Ah, I think I see many similarities! Mosquito was multi-role all weather, Harbeth is any equipment matching (multi role) and of course any type of music at any listening environment/level.
                    Both with excellent history, results and user's affection...
                    Now, ALAN, please excuse me, perhaps I'm being weird or a bit funny, but as a WW2's fighter pilot's son (RAF-Spifires), this what I found to send!
                    Warmest Regards to all Friends! With a huge smile!
                    Thanos, Athens, Greece


                    • #25
                      Re: "Why we like Harbeth speakers" - Users feedback

                      As a new Harbeth owner, I'd like to share some observations about the compact 7ES2 in my system.

                      First. Wow. No need to repeat what has already been said about the sonic attributes of these speakers.

                      Second. These speakers can play ANY music. I have read lots of twaddle about Harbeth not being suited to rock and heaven forbid electronic music. Well, from what I have heard that simply is not true. They do not have a prefered 'style'. They just get on and play whatever they are given. Classical, jazz, dub, electronica, rock all sound fantastic through the 7's.

                      Third. The cabinets are real works of art. I really appreciate the love and care that has gone into making these speakers. It really shows.

                      Congratulations to everyone at Harbeth.


                      • #26
                        Re: "Why we like Harbeth speakers" - Users feedback

                        Even in my moderate system and poor listening room i can be transported by the music. No fatigue, no harshness, fantastic voice, balance, clarity, realism and the emotion! The EMOTION - that's the best part. Fantastic. I picked up my compact 7 speakers used as i now live in Japan and wanted to go back to British Hi-fi. Coupled with a quad 306 and a mid price cd player i now find my pace quickening as i leave Tokyo station and look forward to another evening ensconced in front of the Harbeths. i've got over 500 cds and all of them sound better than on other speakers i've owned. A great all rounder.


                        • #27
                          Re: "Why we like Harbeth speakers" - Users feedback

                          "Why we like Harbeth speakers"

                          Speaking about the C7ES .. first of all because at that money you can't find nothing so good on the worldwide hi-fi market and second beacause I litterally love the "finesse" of this Alan jewel
                          We , in Italy , have Sound Faber of my collega Franco Serblin (a good dentist like I'm) another very nice and good sounding loudspeaker but they don't have the Anima that Alan put into his products .. same for Thiels I had for long time .. good speakers but "plasticose" :-) (trad. kinda artificial cold sound)
                          No anima = no poetry .. just a good commercial product
                          A part this human concept I find C7ES a fantastic all rounder .. surely not a special rocker but I don like so much rock music but lovely with jazz blues and classical music included Opera I like very much .. and this thanks to the sugar honey midrange
                          When I listen C7ES I think to Alan and I thank him to give me his Anima .. read as his professional knowledge and his musical culture and sensibility .. every time

                          Viva Harbeth!



                          • #28
                            Re: "Why we like Harbeth speakers" - Users feedback

                            Tonight has been my first real taste of Harbeths. I purchased some C7es2s second hand and while waiting (very impatiently) for my Skylans to arrive, I put them on some 20" tall tables that I have. I am just so thrilled with what I heard, all of the adjectives that others have used to describe these speakers are accurate, and I simply can't believe how smooth the midrange is. Vocals flow and guitar solos and rhythm have great texture. fyi, I use a Naim Nait5 with flatcap2 and an Arcam DV-78.


                            • #29
                              Bought the Super HL5 and almost got religious

                              Well it was like this one of the first days I had the S HL5, I had been listening to a news program on the radio for an hour or so, when the next program was a live broadcast from a morning service.
                              I can honestly say it is not generally my cup of tea, not even as this, on a sunday morning.
                              I suddenly had a church in my living room. Never ever before have I heard the accoustics of a church like I did this time on the new Super HL5. Very impressive. I sat for quite a while listeing to the different voices of the choir.
                              At least one can say thank god for a truly amazing loudspeaker. Or is it thank you Alan not making any other comparison.


                              • #30
                                Re: "Why we like Harbeth speakers" - Users feedback

                                Hi folks, i hail from sunny singapore & currently own a pair of SHL-5. I have been an avid fan of Harbeth since the first time i heard the HL-MK4 about 20 years ago. Since then, i have either heard or owned countless other speakers & suffice to say, Harbeths are still the best irregardless of price or size. They don't just reproduce sound, but convey the full purpose, art & emotion of the music as well. These speakers are also unparalled in the area of timbre & tonal accuracy even when compared to other speakers many many times its price. The result is a sound so natural, real & beguiling & not bearing any artificial artefacts at all. Ultimate musicality plus whatever hifi terms that you may want to add in like wide & lifelike soundstage, transparency & precise stereo imaging....only Harbeth can deliver all these. A big kudos to Mr Alan Shaw & his team for making what i consider to be the finest range of speakers on this planet.