"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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Is what I write below "thrifty" - will save you money?

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  • Is what I write below "thrifty" - will save you money?

    Perhaps like yourself, I am lucky enough to have both a living room area and a bedroom area, living room downstairs and bedroom upstairs, that are each large enough for an audio system. Sometimes I like to listen alone in my bedroom in a large chair I have in there.....and sometimes, though less often, I like to listen in my living room with people around so that the system can be heard and the music shared all over the house! I suppose I could simply carry a small radio around the house but if I want "impressive sound" (I do like to impress people!) I need TWO upstairs in my bedroom and one downstairs in the living room. But, the sad fact is that buying TWO COMPLETE SYSTEMS can be a bit costly. And, as Benjamin Franklin wrote: "A penny saved is a penny earned."

    In the past, before buying my Harbeth P3 Speakers, I had TWO PAIRS of LARGE FLOORSTANDING SPEAKERS---one pair upstairs and one pair downstairn. My last pair included two QUAD 22L2's and two Gallo 3.1 Reference Speakers. Before I found out about the Harbeth P3, I was always wanting large floorstanding speakers.

    But now, with the Harbeth P3 Speaker, I may SELL both my QUAD 22L2's and my Gallow 3.1's and do the following: 1) keep my upstairs and downstairs amps and CD Players, 2) Sell my QUAD 22L2's and Gallo 3.1's, 3) Buy TWO Eminent Technology Subwoofers ----one for each Harbeth P3 at about $285 each, and 4) Buy TWO pairs of nice looking black speaker STANDS. Thus I will still have "two systems" for the bedroom upstairs and one for my living room downstairs...BUT, WITH THE SMALL P3'S THAT ARE SMALL AND PORTABLE I CAN MOVE THE SPEAKERS BOTH UPSTAIRS TO LISTEN ALONE....AND WHEN I WANT TO IMPRESS PEOPLE DOWNSTAIRS I CAN CARRY THEM, ONE AT A TIME, DOWNSTAIRS AND PLACE THEM ON THE EMPTY 2ND PAIR OF SPEAKER STANDS. SO ALL I NEED TO DO TO USE ONE PAIR OF SPEAKERS FOR BOTH SYSTEMS IS TO CARRY THE SMALL AND LIGHT P3 SPEAKERS EITHER UPSTAIRS OR DOWNSTAIRS, PLACE THEM ON EITHER OF THE TWO PAIRS OF STANDS, AND PLUG THE BANANA PLUGS OF THE SPEAKER CABLE INTO THE REAR OF EACH OF THE SINGLE PAIR OF HARBETH P3 SPEAKERS. VOILA!

    I HAVE THE CAPABILITY TO PLAY MUSIC BOTH UPSTAIRS AND DOWNSTAIRS BUT I NEED TO PURCHASE ONLY ONE PAIR OF HARBETH P3'S because they have the big advantage of being SMALL AND LIGHT AND PORTABLE! The small size and weight becomes a marked advantage!

    Thus I will get maximum usage from the Harbeth P3's! I won't have, as in the past, one pair of speakers upstairs that is used frequently and one pair of speakers languishing downstairs that is used less often. I will only have to buy 2 subwoofers and two pairs of stands (relatively low cost) and avoid buying another pair of expensive speakers!

    The Harbeth Speaker Company will benefit because, even though I might not buy another pair of speakers from them for a while, quite a few people will be exposed to their speakers in my house. When the people in the house hear the beauty of The Harbeth P3 with a subwoofer, this very well might encourage them to buy their own pair for their house. When they ask me, "What is the name of those lovely little but big sounding speakers?" I can tell them, "Those are Harbeth Speakers made in a country village in The South of England!" I THINK they will be impressed! :o)

    John Boland, USA