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"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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Saturday night Network TV - with Harbeth in the studio

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  • Saturday night Network TV - with Harbeth in the studio

    Right now, on ITV is the major music show of the week. You know the name - it has an audience in the millions.

    Yesterday, I spent time in the studio during rehearsals, and with BAFTA award winning sound engineer (Sound supervisor in TV speak), Robert Edawrds and his colleages Jane and Dave. Picture of the studio from which the programme has originated from for several years is below. A Monitor 40.1/Monitor 30.1 system as you can see. Dave, wo takes care of the incoming audio from the record companies is out of shot. This is the actual desk which is feeding your TV right now.

    You may thing that TV programmes are a disposable 'throw away' culture, but I can assure you that the professionalism and refusal to accept second best puts these audio specialists at the very top of the tree. In fact, I was surprised how demanding they are of the source (backing) recordings over which the artists sing live. They insist on them being uncompressed, unclipped and with only necessary EQ. And no fake vinyl crackes and the like. From what I have seen, the technical standard of the provide music waveforms is the best in the business - far better than the mastered product to final CD with all the EQ and compression that usually involves. Audio recorded during rehearsah, that is yesterday, is available to download from Spotify now, and I was present during the save-to-Spotify process. The reason the rehearsal audi is used rather than the live show is because better diction is possible when the singers are not leaping about, and during one rhearsal they are able to stand completely still to make the Spotify source recording.

    More on this experience, with video, over the next weeks. Needless to say, there is no consideration of any of the nuances that so worry audiophiles. No anxt about cables, stands, mains filters, amplifiers, isolators or the like. Just the honest to goodless objective basics.

    For now, enjoy.

    Click image for larger version

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    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  • #2
    Can you possibly tell us how big the control room is? It seems to be modest in size, yet it has the Monitor M40.1 loudspeakers in it. To my eye, it seems to follow that the M40.1 loudspeakers can be used in a modest sized room with no untoward effects. I've heard so much about smaller rooms needing small speakers, that I was left wondering what exactly is the situation in control room that is pictured.

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    • #3
      Thanks for posting, Alan. As a video editor, I often wish US studios used Harbeths as a reference!

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      • #4
        This is a test from the forum developer. please ignore.

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