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The Harbeth User Group is the primary channel for public communication with Harbeth's HQ. If you have a 'scientific mind' and are curious about how the ear works, how it can lead us to make the right - and wrong - audio equipment decisions, and about the technical ins and outs of audio equipment, how it's designed and what choices the designer makes, then the factual Science of Audio sub-forum area of HUG is your place. The objective methods of comparing audio equipment under controlled conditions has been thoroughly examined here on HUG and elsewhere and should be accessible to non-experts and able to be tried-out at home without deep technical knowledge. From a design perspective, today's award winning Harbeths could not have been designed any other way.

Alternatively, if you just like chatting about audio and subjectivity rules for you, then the Subjective Soundings area is you. If you are quite set in your subjectivity, then HUG is likely to be a bit too fact based for you, as many of the contributors have maximised their pleasure in home music reproduction by allowing their head to rule their heart. If upon examination we think that Posts are better suited to one sub-forum than than the other, they will be redirected during Moderation, which is applied throughout the site.

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{Updated Oct. 2017}
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Group-think: What would a Harbeth amplifier look and feel like?

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  • #46
    Consistency with the performance and technology ethic of Harbeth

    Originally posted by ssfas View Post
    I used Croft from the little I know about it as a common Harbeth match and with reference to its use in Art Dudley's recent review of of the SHL5+. He obviously used it for a reason.
    The Croft produces a significant amount of second harmonic distortion and AD has previouisly stated that he has a preference for such an additive coloration:
    http://www.stereophile.com/content/listening-146

    Originally posted by ssfas View Post
    So let's say AS and GC get together as a marketing exercise to badge an amp/speaker combination as a perfectly matched pair - or pairs for each speaker model.
    AS might just as well simply recommend Croft, which might help his customers, but not make him any more money, and go against the grain of recommending other products or suppliers.
    Rather unlikely, considering the typical measured performance of the Croft: http://www.stereophile.com/content/c...r-measurements
    Not exactly the proverbial straight wire with gain.

    Look at the error in phono equalization - +2dB @ 20Hz and -6dB @ 20kHz, both relative to 1kHz.
    Also, there is significant interaction with the loudspeaker, resulting in +1dB swings in frequency response.
    Plus, the amp uses tubes, a technology to which A.S. has indicated an aversion.

    As a cooperative venture, a version of the Creek or Trigon units previously auditioned - but with a higher output power rating - would seem more probable.

    Comment


    • #47
      Volume control range

      In using a feature filled pro pre and power amp I find the most useful aspect to be gain control, because I rarely play loud and never very loud I have gains set so that I can use the volume control up to where 3pm gives about 85dB and thus giving me a really good range of control for any lower volume I want to set.

      I also have a subsonic filter always in place just to protect the system from vinyl feedback and to make things easier on the speakers generally. I use tone controls occasionally, but they are useful (phono stage with gain would be optional as it is quite easy to buy phono stages with some filtering implemented).

      EDIT: For myself I'd say power and gain control would be absolutely vital, tone controls very close, reliable of course, all other considerations could be easily met with other boxes (Phono/streaming/DAC).
      Getting to know my C7ES3

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      • #48
        And in conclusion ....

        That's more than enough food for thought. Thanks to everyone who has contributed: as expected, a most thoughtful and honest appraisal of the entire issue in under 50 posts. An astonishing effort.

        I will be meeting with our partners in this project tomorrow. I think that there is a clear divide between what is theoretically technically possible and what from a business/marketing perspective is do-able and right. One thing I can assure you of is that we would never overstretch ourselves financially, technically, mentally or physically.

        I greatly appreciate your input which covers far more (technically) than I could have gathered in weeks of market research. Your ability to contribute so professionally and even-handedly to such open debates is one of the defining characteristics of the Harbeth User Group.

        Again, many thanks.
        Alan A. Shaw
        Designer, owner
        Harbeth Audio UK

        Comment


        • #49
          Partners?

          Unfortunately Creek is already partnered with Epos, which I understand it owns - anyone of a certain age in the UK with an interest in audio probably owned a pair of Epos at some time (ES14's as in my case).

          Trigon make a basic line integrated that would just fit in the £6,000 price mark, hardly feature-filled, otherwise mono blocks. The fact that Trigon are German may be an issue, they are rather expensive already and will become more expensive when the € collapses the week after next.

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          • #50
            Final spec list

            I'm sure the Harbeth amplifier will be perfect, but this is my wish list if is not too late.

            -enough power to drive all Harbeth models effortless
            -gain control
            -quality build and parts
            -no buzzing toroidal transformer
            -low idle possible less then 20W and standby power less then 0,5W
            -precise volume control (0,5dB or 1dB)via remote as well
            -subwoofer connection for smaller models and bigger rooms
            Please keep it simply and reasonable price.Thank you.

            Comment


            • #51
              Partner credentials?

              Regarding the double-guessing about who we might partner with (if anyone), we would not select an established company, but clever engineers with a fresh approach and worthy of support. Preferably real-world industrial engineers with broad real-world, non-tweaky, non-audiophile skills.

              Military electronic designers, just as an example. They know about reliability and after-care.
              Alan A. Shaw
              Designer, owner
              Harbeth Audio UK

              Comment


              • #52
                Partners?

                Originally posted by A.S. View Post
                Regarding the double-guessing about who we might partner with (if anyone), we would not select an established company, but clever engineers with a fresh approach and worthy of support. Preferably real-world industrial engineers with broad real-world, non-tweaky, non-audiophile skills.

                Military electronic designers, just as an example. They know about reliability and after-care.
                Shame. I mentioned Croft as an obvious choice that would be unlikely to work.

                On a more positive note, I was thinking of Nic Poulson (Trilogy), started at the BBC, protege of Colin Wonfor (my son uses a 30 year old Claymore), established, engineering driven, vastly experienced in and out of audio, have only ever done amplification, low key, no nonsense, British.

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                • #53
                  Top down decision

                  Originally posted by ssfas View Post
                  Shame. I mentioned Croft as an obvious choice that would be unlikely to work.

                  On a more positive note, I was thinking of Nic Poulson (Trilogy), started at the BBC, protege of Colin Wonfor (my son uses a 30 year old Claymore), established, engineering driven, vastly experienced in and out of audio, have only ever done amplification, low key, no nonsense, British.
                  Why a shame? Mr Alan is the chief to decide the route to the making of Harbeth amp.

                  Frankly if he go Croft route, I bet tube is gonna used in the design which certain group will reject

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    Pointless guess work

                    Originally posted by A.S. View Post
                    Regarding the double-guessing about who we might partner with (if anyone), we would not select an established company, but clever engineers with a fresh approach and worthy of support. Preferably real-world industrial engineers with broad real-world, non-tweaky, non-audiophile skills.

                    Military electronic designers, just as an example. They know about reliability and after-care.
                    I think my statement was pretty comprehensive. As you can imagine, what we'd be excited by is solid real-world engineering where the justifications and benefits for using every component throughout the circuit could be explained to me using real-world terminology that I could grasp, and then pass onward.

                    That would tend to bias us towards industrial engineers wouldn't it.
                    Alan A. Shaw
                    Designer, owner
                    Harbeth Audio UK

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      British input?

                      Originally posted by ssfas View Post
                      Unfortunately Creek is already partnered with Epos, which I understand it owns - anyone of a certain age in the UK with an interest in audio probably owned a pair of Epos at some time (ES14's as in my case).

                      Trigon make a basic line integrated that would just fit in the £6,000 price mark, hardly feature-filled, otherwise mono blocks. The fact that Trigon are German may be an issue, they are rather expensive already and will become more expensive when the € collapses the week after next.
                      Creek and Epos are now Chinese products. Not sure how much input the UK side of the business puts into development, if anything.

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        Currency doom soon?

                        Originally posted by ssfas View Post
                        ... they are rather expensive already and will become more expensive when the € collapses the week after next.
                        I've missed something in the news, obviously.

                        Anyway, if the € actually collapses, wouldn't products from €-denominated economies actually get cheaper? (Provided the £ stays level, of course.)

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                        • #57
                          • 100W Minimum
                          • Low profile - but not a shoe box...
                          • Very low standby power consumption
                          •No DAC
                          •No Phone Pre
                          •Microprocessor controlled remote volume - no moving parts, so no rotary knob. Digital readout for volume level
                          •Adjustable input gain
                          •Quad style tone control
                          •Ugly

                          Comment


                          • #58
                            "It's all doomed..."

                            Originally posted by EricW View Post
                            I've missed something in the news, obviously.

                            Anyway, if the € actually collapses, wouldn't products from €-denominated economies actually get cheaper? (Provided the £ stays level, of course.)
                            If was slightly facetious, although not beyond the bounds of possibility. I always understood that the weaker economies are effectively subsidising Germany as the DM was always a strong currency, relative to the € now, so if the whole thing falls apart whatever currency the Germans end up using it will be relatively stronger than the €. So now is a good time to buy a new Porsche, Clearaudio turntable and Bosch dishwasher (not necessarily in that order).

                            On top of which, I had a meeting with someone last week very high up in UK political circles who, like many, think the € is doomed and it is only a matter of time. Spain is looking like Greece Mk2.

                            Comment


                            • #59
                              One cheer for the Euro - exceptional manufacturing quality

                              From Euroland it really does not look like that at all. There is no doubt that for all its problems the Euro has significantly contributed to economic growth in the area. In addition, as Eric suggests, the result of the weak Euro of the last few years has been quite beneficial to the economies of Germany and the Netherlands. We have become rather more competitive, and our exports are now pulling the economy out of recession. Even Spain is doing a bit better.

                              Sadly, exporting to the UK is easy these days, with an overpriced pound and a largely destroyed UK manufacturing industry. Compare that to Germany, where they not only build BMW's, but all kinds of other things as well. Having lived there for a few months recently, it really was amazing how much is still made in Germany, and how good the quality is.

                              Surviving as a manufacturing industry in a high wage country is only possible if your quality is exceptional.

                              Comment


                              • #60
                                Game of two halves?

                                Is Euroland a game of two halves (north and south)?

                                Here's an American view point (OK, an anglophile American) from before the recent problems:
                                http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/201...rogeddon/?_r=0

                                and something more recent:
                                http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/201...gs&region=Body

                                I spent a few weeks in Iceland last year. They went spectacularly bust in late 2008, were bailed out by the IMF, but are now doing rather well, with a nice balance of payments surplus. OK, not as big as Greece and a lot colder, but could some of these economies be better off in 3 to 4 years outside of the €?

                                p.s. What on earth has this got to do with the new Harbeth amplifier?

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