"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 the audible sonic personality that you hear. This 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 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 amongst a plethora of available product choices.

HUG specialises in making complex technical matters simple to understand, such as the relationship between recorded sound and the sound you hear. With our heritage of natural sound and pragmatism, HUG cannot be expected to be a place to get deeply into discussing 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 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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My gratitude to Harbeth: Compact 7ES3

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  • My gratitude to Harbeth: Compact 7ES3

    I've owned many brands of speakers. I was recently on a forum looking for a tube amplifier to cure a case of listener fatigue from huge horn speakers. I found a good used tube amplifier and explained to the seller that I wanted a tube setup to smooth away the piercing sound from my horns. At his disadvantage, the seller told me the truth; that my problem was with my speakers. He recommended Harbeth 7ES-3s. Since he was selling a tube amplifier, he was actually being hurt by his honesty. Well, I trusted him and purchased a pair of Harbeth 7ES-3s. I have never heard such beautiful sound from any other speaker in my entire life.

    Even my eighteen year old son, with his huge Klipsch Fortes that shake the house from bass, was in awe when he heard my speakers. The first thing out of his mouth was, "can I have them?" The Harbeths immediately make the listener feel like the musicians are in the room. They don't have to pound one over the head with exaggerated highs or lows. It appears to me that they were made for people with highly refined taste. They have a sweetness and realism that I have not experienced with any other speaker. And I've been through plenty.

    Thank you Harbeth. You have a customer for life.