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HUG - here for all audio enthusiasts

Since its inception ten years ago, the Harbeth User Group's ambition has been to create a lasting knowledge archive. Knowledge is based on facts and observations. Knowledge is timeless. Knowledge is human independent and replicatable. However, we live in new world where thanks to social media, 'facts' have become flexible and personal. HUG operates in that real world.

HUG has two approaches to contributor's Posts. If you have, like us, a scientific mind and are curious about how the ear works, how it can lead us to make the right - and wrong - decisions, and about the technical ins and outs of audio equipment, how it's designed and what choices the designer makes, then the factual area of HUG is for you. The objective methods of comparing audio equipment under controlled conditions has been thoroughly examined here on HUG and elsewhere and can be easily understood and tried with negligible technical knowledge.

Alternatively, if you just like chatting about audio and subjectivity rules for you, then the Subjective Soundings sub-forum is you. 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.

The Moderators' decision is final in all matters regarding what appears here. That said, very few Posts are rejected. HUG Moderation individually spell and layout checks Posts for clarity but due to the workload, Posts in the Subjective Soundings area, from Oct. 2016 will not be. We regret that but we are unable to accept Posts that present what we consider to be free advertising for products that Harbeth does not make.

That's it! Enjoy!

{Updated Nov. 2016A}
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Help me understand my Harbeths sound so great!

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  • Help me understand my Harbeths sound so great!

    I currently have two systems in my home. The larger one consists of a pair of Martin Logan Summit Xs driven by a McIntosh C50 dac/preamp and MC452 amp. My smaller system has a McIntosh MC275 and MC22 preamp with Benchmark DAC1 driving a pair of Harbeth Compact 7ES-3s and a pair of REL T5s. At the moment, they are both in the same room until I get my editing room ready for the smaller system.

    Now, on the face of it, judging by the specs, the larger system should sound better in every way. Better coverage of the frequency range, more modern dac/preamp/amp. And indeed, when you listen to the larger system, the highs are more sparkling, the lows are lower, the midrange seemingly more extroverted. Yet, when I have a choice, I tend to prefer the Harbeth system. I have a visceral, almost physiological reaction to music played on the Harbeths, while music played on the other system seems more distant and less involving. I also feel as though I can hear more information in the music, even though the big electrostatics would seem to have more detail across the range.

    I've had people listen to both systems and within the first few moments, everyone says that the Logans are more "detailed". Even to me, there seems to be more information, especially in the high frequencies. But somehow it is the Harbeths that allow me to really hear into a track.

    I'm afraid I don't have the experience or vocabulary to describe what I'm experiencing. Have any of you had a similar experience comparing Harbeths to speakers costing far more? I can't explain it, but somehow they are more endearing than other speakers I've heard. The new REL T5s, by the way, seem to be a very nice match for the C7s.
    Last edited by jplaurel; 03-03-2011, 02:16 AM. Reason: grammar correction

  • #2
    You're experiencing musicality

    Hi jplaurel, what you are experiencing is called musicality. Harbeths don't just reproduce sound but more importantly, the intent, art & soul of the music.

    Listening to music should be a relaxing & heart warming experience. A lot of modern spks put too much focus on delivering a high 'wow' or jump factor to the sound making music appear mechanical or clinical & lacking in emotional involvement.

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    • #3
      Dac

      In addition to the Harbeths the smaller system may have a better DAC.

      Comment


      • #4
        Comparing speakers to sharpened digital images?

        I don't have your experience, but perhaps the comparison of a sharpened digital image with the same image, unsharpened but at higher resolution is a suitable analogy.
        Ben from UK. Harbeth Super HL5 owner.

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        • #5
          DACs?

          I don't think it's the DACs. The smaller system has the Benchmark DAC1, but the larger system has the new McIntosh C50 DAC, which can asynchronously decode input from the USB port up to 32bit/192kHz. Anything you send to the C50's DAC gets resampled to it's native 32/192. Though the Benchmark or the Peachtree DACs are each great in their own right, the are not in the same league as the C50.

          Originally posted by Drdennis View Post
          In addition to the Harbeths the smaller system may have a better DAC.

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          • #6
            What is 'musicality'?

            That must be the answer, but what it "musicality"? How do you measure it?

            The Harbeth is indeed a very interesting speaker. Clearly, Alan is designing for something beyond just measured response. I am starting to understand why people say that Harbeths allow you to see deeper into the mix.

            I found BAS-H's analogy of a sharpened digital image vs an unsharpened one of higher resolution a good way to describe these two systems.

            Originally posted by Gan CK View Post
            Hi jplaurel, what you are experiencing is called musicality. Harbeths don't just reproduce sound but more importantly, the intent, art & soul of the music.

            Listening to music should be a relaxing & heart warming experience. A lot of modern spks put too much focus on delivering a high 'wow' or jump factor to the sound making music appear mechanical or clinical & lacking in emotional involvement.

            Comment

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