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INTRODUCTION - PLEASE READ FIRST TO UNDERSTAND THIS FORUM!

"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 http://bit.ly/2FEgoAy may be for you. Either way, welcome to the world of Harbeth!"


Feb. 2018
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User Group Praise as we relax and enjoy

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  • User Group Praise as we relax and enjoy

    Thanks to the Harbeth user group and all the people who contribute to it . As a music enthusiast this site is a huge asset to me . It is great to have people with such a wealth of knowledge about all things audio who are willing to help others learn.

    I have really learned so much about audio since joining this group and will continue to do so. After a long wait we have returned our friends borrowed speakers and have our new Harbeth speakers up and playing . We are enjoying as much of our down time as possible listening and relaxing to the music .

  • #2
    Music, not machines

    Originally posted by TOAD HALL View Post
    Thanks to the Harbeth user group and all the people who contribute to it . As a music enthusiast this site is a huge asset to me . It is great to have people with such a wealth of knowledge about all things audio who are willing to help others learn.

    I have really learned so much about audio since joining this group and will continue to do so. After a long wait we have returned our friends borrowed speakers and have our new Harbeth speakers up and playing . We are enjoying as much of our down time as possible listening and relaxing to the music .
    Wish you to find more & more time to enjoy music through your new Harbeths. And, to remind the very core of this frienship group, we managed to bring up to the correct level the most important (at least to me) meaning: To keep measure, by spending less money and getting more true to life sound. We concentrate to music itself, not to machines... And this will surely contribute to our health and will prolong our lives. Be Well.

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    • #3
      The unique Harbeth value proposition

      I concur, Thanos.

      It has been years since I was totally relaxed about my system, and could really get into collecting music again without the constant caveat of finding my music compromised by the sound quality. I can say that with the Harbeths and associated equipment, for a lesser outlay than I thought, I now find myself spending time buying music to listen to rather than obsessing over lost resolution. Not technically minded, nor caring how it is done, these beauties just make recorded music sound good, natural, and satisfying.

      I wonder if the CD industry, and CD quality audio might have had a stronger and longer life had this particular brand, and it's qualities been more widely recognised as a benchmark approach to enjoying audio playback.

      In business terms, the longevity and durability of a company's product is spoken of as a "moat"; the width and depth of which is a metaphor for the excellence of the consumers' regard for their product. Competitors face the moat and cannot encroach on the market share without a sufficiently better or more cost efficient innovation. Think Boeing 747 and its years of service. Only now has new product become competitive against this most excellent design.

      The moat, in this case, is that with CD-quality audio playback through Harbeths, and with competent amplification, there is no real reason to go with alternative content delivery (HD), alternative technology (computers and outboard DACS), or any other pseudo-improvements when the sound is just so good. Everyone might remain keen and avid consumers of recorded music in large numbers.

      Instead, the audiophile industry has managed to cause angst, and deliver transducers which produce dissatisfaction, and now, we have a fragmented industry where the consumer is confused about multiple options of varying quality and benefit, and unreliable relationships between price and utility. The longer the consumer pays money for product which is not delivering on value, the less they can enjoy the content output, and eventually, it is easy to succumb to cheap promises, bad audio mastering and the advent of truly low-fi, artificial sound. At that point, we may as well buy $10 headphones, and listen to MP3's.

      I therefore hope other would-be fans of music read this post, think seriously about trying Harbeths and experiencing this most unique product which represents value in its truest sense.

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      • #4
        CD's definitely alive and well

        "I wonder if the CD industry, and CD quality audio might have had a stronger and longer life had this particular brand, and it's [sic] qualities been more widely recognized as a benchmark approach to enjoying audio playback."

        For me, the CD industry and CD quality audio are alive and well; I still purchase CDs regularly and listen to them daily (on my M40s).
        Edward

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