"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 an audible sonic personality in what you hear. That 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 on the face of it, any deviation from a flat response - and the frequency balance of tube amplifiers are usually influenced by their speaker load - 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, aiding the identification of audio components likely to maintain a faithful relationship between the recorded sound and the sound you hear. With our heritage of natural sound and pragmatism, HUG cannot be expected to be a place to discuss 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 faithfully reproducing the sound intended by the composer, score, conductor and musicians in your home and over Harbeth speakers is your audio dream, then understanding something of the issues likely to fulfill that intention is what this forum has been helping to do since 2006. Welcome!"

Feb. 2018
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Crank up the P3 bass with a sub!

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  • Crank up the P3 bass with a sub!

    You might be relieved to hear that this hopefully is the last peice I'm going to write for awhile about my new Harbeth P3 because I'm writing too much and wearing out my welcome! :o)

    But, I've had my Harbeth P3 now for about a week. Before I bought them I KNEW that they went down to about 75Hz plus or minus 3db. So, I looked around for a "cheap" subwoofer that had musical bass...not just "thump, thump, thump".....and I found one that retails for $399 and can be found as "refurbished" on ebay here in North America for $285. (If Mr. Shaw will permit, the name of the brand is {oops again!}.) I REALLY LIKE IT with the P3's. I have found the P3 is CAPABLE OF VERY EXCELLENT AND SATISFYING FULL RANGE SOUND INCLUDING BASS BUT ONLY IF IT IS USED WITH A SUBWOOFER.

    Maybe I'm easily bothered but it somehow bothers me to contemplate some bloke or lass in The UK or Sweden or the USA who spent big bucks (or big pounds or big krona or big pesos or big marks...or whatever) sitting there with this lovely Harbeth P3 Speaker and listening WITHOUT a subwoofer and thus NOT USING THE THING TO IT'S FULL POTENTIAL...experiencing LESS enjoyment than the P3 can provide! Somehow the idea of that bothers me...I don't know why?

    As we know, there are CD's that have A LOT OF BASS! Rock and roll and pop music, for example. With this type of pop music you can really HEAR the bass thumping LOUDLY away......but only with a subwoofer. Even with my lovely 52CD Set of "Johann Strauss Concert Waltzes" (found on Amazon) that has HUNDREDS of beautiful melodies you havent heard yet until you get the box set for about $2 a CD, there is an enjoyalbe "bass melody" that you MISS WITHOUT A SUBWOOFER.

    I know the above from my own experience. "Oh, a subwoofer disrupts the balance" or, "A subwoofer detracts from the imaging" or "I don't care about the bass" and a hundred other reasons why some people say and believe that "I never would use a subwoofer"....and such dogmatic comments...should not deter you. DON'T LET PREJUDICE AGAINST A SUBWOOFER DETER YOU FROM BUYING AND USING ONE WITH YOUR P3'S.... Yes, you have to change the volume on the subwoofer depending on the type of music. But, that's not a difficult thing to do---just takes a few seconds.

    So, my suggestion is "please don't sit there with this lovely Harbeth P3 Speaker missing THE BASS" as in "who stole the bass?". Get the bass back into the music. MY SUGGESTION IS TO BE SURE TO INVEST IN AN INEXPENSIVE SUBWOOFER TO USE WITH THE HARBETH P3...THAT'S MY SUGGESTION for full enjoyment of this lovely speaker!

    John Boland, USA PS: If you want to see "music recommendations"....perhaps find "community" on the top black bar of the webpage...and click on "albums". Enjoy! :o)

    {Moderator's comment: for more on subwoofers and deep bass look here: