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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.

Questions and Posts about, for example, 'does amplifier A sounds better than amplifier B' or 'which speaker stands or cables are best' are suitable for the Subjective Soundings area only, although HUG is really not the best place to have these sort of purely subjective airings.

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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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  • #91
    Originally posted by mactrix View Post
    A wooden cabinet would be nice like the Sonus Faber Quid.
    Sonus Faber things seem designed to look like foreigners expect Italian crafted things will look like! :)


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    • #92
      About a possible Harbeth amplifier, which doesn't seem to me such a bright idea in the first place, my two cents go to avoid everything digital and most of all software related unless you plan to release upgrades when needed (with new or just fixed codecs, services, protocols etc...) and give the users the ability to upload them into the device. Which means you have to maintain also an, albeit small, software development department with skilled personnel.

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      • #93
        For clarity: the idea of the 'Harbeth amplifier' is dead. I have far more fruitful R&D projects underway now.

        As I think I mentioned, our desired route-to-market was to formally take-over an existing audio electronics enterprise that has the design skills but neither the marketing nor financial resources to survive as an independent business. We have both.

        However, one defining feature of the entrepreneur mentality is a failure to appreciate that good design is merely the first rung on the ladder to commercial success, and that commercial success demands the ongoing supply of proper resources. Consequently, there are many inventors who savour the satisfaction of being independent free spirits, yet who in real terms are living in penury. They are trapped by their pride and self-satisfaction - at a very low threshold in my opinion.

        It's fruitless discussing with such types a formal integration of their creativity with ours because if they can overcome their fear of being subsumed by another's commercial plans, the financial value they put on their creativity is ludicrously misplaced. The asset value of a business is a matter of financial fact, and the starting point is the P&L and Balance Sheet. If, as is not at all uncommon in the audio business even among established local brands the net worth is negligible, then no matter how fine the designs, their enterprise has a small real-world valuation to a hard nosed financial person. Me, for example.

        The real value in an business is the knowledge therein, acquired over decades and turned to proven financial gain through successful production over that period.

        So, disappointingly, we have not identified a suitable partner, and for the time being anyway will not be proceeding along those lines. The door remains open to realistic, real-world approaches though.
        Alan A. Shaw
        Designer, owner
        Harbeth Audio UK

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        • #94
          Amen to that.

          However, I do know that there is a market for effective and reasonably priced Harbeth stands. In fact, just about every pair of Harbeth speakers I sell have the potential to be a Harbeth stand sale. That is worth investigating.

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          • #95
            i made stands for my compact 7s - i figure i could make a bespoke competent stand quite cheaply - the difficult part is creating a design with the style and finish to suit all tastes

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            • #96
              Originally posted by hifi_dave View Post
              Amen to that.

              However, I do know that there is a market for effective and reasonably priced Harbeth stands. In fact, just about every pair of Harbeth speakers I sell have the potential to be a Harbeth stand sale. That is worth investigating.
              And pump up serious amount of money into fully scientific R&D to unified theory of the best ever made stand......

              ATB

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              • #97
                I should confess I feel like a fraud as I am not a Harbeth user much less an owner, I heard a P3ESR about 7 months ago and it knocked me out. It's big bikkies for me and unless a Lotto win comes my way it is very unlikely I will ever own such a lovely piece of kit. That said, I have read about Harbeth and the range of products and my ambition is to someday get to listen to the other models even if I never get to own a pair.

                I thought I would pipe up with a couple of thoughts concerning a Harbeth Amplifier. I wouldn't mind seeing a scruffy looking piece of equipment, lightly scuffed perhaps a scratched metal fascia, non matching knobs and dials, a crumpled corner a burred edge or two. A sort of steampunk sci-fi style marrying leading edge electronics with a kind of cast iron steam train Victorian utilitarian brutality. It would play into the often stated fact that an amplifier need only have as a minimum sufficient powerl enough to drive any Harbeth speaker.

                Sold in tandem with a pair of those wonderful quiet, serene wooden boxes it would undercut with irreverence the famous British reserve and the almost Scandinavian cool of the speaker designs with a wink and a nod to both the young and the young at heart, think of William Hartnell playing Rick Dekard.

                Carl


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                • #98
                  Originally posted by allthumbs View Post
                  I thought I would pipe up with a couple of thoughts concerning a Harbeth Amplifier. I wouldn't mind seeing a scruffy looking piece of equipment, lightly scuffed perhaps a scratched metal fascia, non matching knobs and dials, a crumpled corner a burred edge or two. A sort of steampunk sci-fi style marrying leading edge electronics with a kind of cast iron steam train Victorian utilitarian brutality. It would play into the often stated fact that an amplifier need only have as a minimum sufficient powerl enough to drive any Harbeth speaker.

                  Sold in tandem with a pair of those wonderful quiet, serene wooden boxes it would undercut with irreverence the famous British reserve and the almost Scandinavian cool of the speaker designs with a wink and a nod to both the young and the young at heart, think of William Hartnell playing Rick Dekard.

                  Carl
                  As long as it is all still made to Harbeth's impeccable standards, I actually think this would be so quirky and tongue in cheek that it might, in a more relaxed moment mulling over things with a favourite pint in his hand at the local, get Alan wishing he had the sheer cheek to pull it off.

                  Would I buy one? At my age, it's time I bucked the trend and got a bit of mischief back, so yes I probably would. Of course, with a bump back down to earth, how many units would actually sell? Hey ho, that was a quick revolt as the company Finance Director brings us all to our senses!!! :(

                  Carl, I do hope that you someday get to own a pair of Harbeth speakers - they are my final destination brand.

                  Regards, Mike.

                  Comment


                  • #99
                    "Carl, I do hope that you someday get to own a pair of Harbeth speakers - they are my final destination brand."

                    Thank Mike. I was at a friend of friend's house when I heard the little Harbeth. I wasn't aware of the brand and the owner was talking to a few people in a relaxed way, it wasn't a listening session, just standing around having drinks and he was playing some music from ECM and I actually had my back to the set up. I have a few sets of little speakers some old, some newer so the amount of sound coming out of the speaker didn't astound me, but there was suddenly a simultaneous drum rim shot, a bow strike across the lower register of a violin and a triangle strike that made me turn around because it was so real.

                    I have never heard a really expensive set up that convinced me of a real life performance, there have been moments like the one above. But even with my own modest set up those moments happen too, very seldom though and it is usually when my attention is not totally focused on listening, I might even be in another room and it grabs my attention, a small sonic moment. But my Hi-Fi aims as such are not pointed in that direction I'm not on a quest for a Turing test of simulated music performance by electronics. But that small moment at the party, I gave an unacknowledged nod to the designer who turned out to be Alan Shaw for having the ability to render that sound so well where everything came together. So I listened for about half an hour as the host was happy to chat about the capabilities of the speaker without going on and on and the speakers were simply great, "souveraen" as they say in German.


                    Back to the amp, the dials preferably with needles should measure nothing and act sporadically and inconsistently. Inside, the amp could be powered by a couple of Tripath amps which would make the joke complete.

                    Have a good weekend

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by allthumbs View Post
                      ...Back to the amp, the dials preferably with needles should measure nothing and act sporadically and inconsistently. Inside, the amp could be powered by a couple of Tripath amps which would make the joke complete.

                      Have a good weekend
                      That's absolutely wild!

                      Funnily enough, our Brand manger Emma passed me an email just a few days ago from a company specialising in 3D rendering of product concepts to save the risk and cost of committing to production. Some of the example graphics that they submitted were practically impossible to tell from photographs.

                      Methinks we might put them to the test with the fictional Harbeth amplifier. I wonder if they can model randomly flickering needles!?

                      On the subject of our German friends and neighbours, we had a farewell visit last week from the retiring sales manager of WBT connectors. It had been his ambition for the last decade to 'crack' (my word, not his) the Harbeth account and he wanted to meet for himself who had bought Eur 90,000 of connectors from him in the last year. We had a great time together. It makes the point loud and clear that the relationship on many levels between Germans and Brits is deep and enduring. I hope to God that the Brexit nonsense does not strain that wonderful, respectful collaboration between governments and peoples.

                      As I was told 'nobody in Germany understands what is going on the the UK these days....'.

                      Nor do I. You'll be aware of the Brexit thread running on HUG. One of the most read.

                      P.S. Now that I'm officially old and pensionable, I couldn't resist purchasing today a second-hand second German car as a weekend top-down run around. Germans really do know how to make great cars. Thank you!
                      Alan A. Shaw
                      Designer, owner
                      Harbeth Audio UK

                      Comment


                      • G'day Alan, I don't doubt the sincerity of anybody's opinion in this forum from what I have read so far and I am astonished at the level of articulation and enthusiasm and a certain devotion to your product and dare I say to you yourself, as well as across a wide range of subjects and issues. The topics you raise go well beyond the audio world.

                        Audiophilia is a wonderful prism to look through to understand a lot of what is going on in the modern world in other areas of human endeavour, opinion vs fact, marketing vs truth, corporatism vs entrepreneurism, the rapid advances of technology etc etc.

                        I would remind you of the recent emission scandals that have embroiled a number of auto-manufacturers including well known German makes, promising a lower frequency response, ummm I mean a lower emission level in the specs from the scientific test results than what was attainable in the real world.

                        Back to the amp. How about the 3D rendering graphics of a Harbeth amp in “Concept Art” terms or for marketing purposes you include with every pair of speakers sold, a fold together cardboard actual size amplifier casing based on the graphic images. Inside you could include the Harbeth Mission Statement, a personal note from yourself, an invitation to join HUG or a consumer feedback questionnaire or all the above.

                        I wasmusing in terms of the give-aways included in the original Sergeant Pepper’s album, Chevron stripes and a false moustache?
                        Was it a convertible Karmann ghia you bought?

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                        • To me ,thay dont have to make a amplifier.Thats why we have Rega,i use harbeth with rega,love this sound.

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