HUG - here for all audio enthusiasts


"This Harbeth User Group (HUG) is the Manufacturer's own managed forum dedicated to natural sound, realisable by controlling the confounding variables between tthe microphone and the listeners' ears.

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. To reproduce the sounds captured by the recording microphones, as Harbeth speakers are designed to do, you would naturally select system components (sources, electronics, cables and so on) that do not color the sound before it reaches the speakers.

Identifying components for their system neutrality should, logically, start with the interpretation and analysis of their technical, objective performance, as any and every deviation from a measurably flat frequency response at any point along the serial chain from microphone to ear is very likely to cause the total system to have an audible sonic personality. That includes the contribution of the listening room itself.

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, HUG cannot be really be expected to guide in the selection, approval, endorsement or even discussion of equipment that is intend to introduce a significantly personalised sound to the audio signal chain. 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 electronics offered there. There is no on-line substitute for that time investment in a dealer's showroom.

If you desire to intentionally tune your system sound to your personal taste, please consider carefully how much you should rely upon 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, listening loudness and listening room treatment, not necessarily leading to appropriate equipment selection and listening satisfaction for you.

Alternatively, if faithfully reproducing the sound intended by the composer, score, conductor and musicians over your speakers is your audio dream, then understanding something of the issues likely to fulfill that objective is what this forum has been helping with since 2006. Welcome!"

Jan. 2018
See more
See less

What defines a great speaker?

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #16
    Re: What defines a great speaker?

    I can't see any reason why you couldn't vote - assuming that you were logged in! I made a test vote - could you and other logged-in members try and vote?

    I know that we've had problems in the past with the poll facility here which I thought had been fixed.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK


    • #17
      Re: What defines a great speaker?

      1 Clarity, image and soundstage - timbre and tonal truthfulness to reality, so many fail here
      2 Design heritage - what does the designer believe in ?
      3 Excellent QC - without which you have very little
      4 Styling - should enhance domestic appearances not detract

      Like Alan said, it's speakers and microphones which have the most room for improvement (as well as the difficult task of converting sound to signal and vice versa etc.


      • #18
        Re: What defines a great speaker?

        Yes, I'm logged in. I only see the results of the polling (one vote for 'clarity, image and soundstage') and a message at the bottom of the poll results tellling me that I'm disenfranchised!

        It may be because I use Safari as my browser; most websites are optimised for Explorer, I suppose.

        In the spirit intended, I'd vote:

        Unique technology
        Design heritage
        Stand mounting
        Excellent QC

        ...although, I also appreciate the empathy from the manufacturer; and being able to communicate with him across the miles!

        BTW in a couple weeks' time, I shall have my Compact 7 demo in Portland! Finally get to hear these wonderful speakers I've been hearing about.



        • #19
          Re: What defines a great speaker?

          1. Clarity, image and sound stage
          2. Excellent QC (Quality Control) - ISO9001 etc.
          3. Unique technology (cabinet, drive units, crossover etc.)
          4. Design heritage


          • #20
            Re: What defines a great speaker?

            It"s a problem with the pool:

            View Poll Results: 4 most important factors in a great speaker. PICK 4 ONLY!
            Styling 0 0%
            Unique technology (cabinet, drive units, crossover etc.) 0 0%
            Design heritage 0 0%
            Clarity, image and sound stage 1 100.00%
            Stand mounting 0 0%
            Floor standing 0 0%
            Hand made in the UK 0 0%
            Excellent QC (Quality Control) - ISO9001 etc. 0 0%
            Understanding of the designer's philosophy 0 0%
            Empathy with the manufacturer 0 0%
            Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 1. You may not vote on this poll


            • #21
              Re: What defines a great speaker?

              Interesting breakdown. Only one choice has to do with the sound, and not, perhaps, the most important aspect of the sound.

              So for me,

              First is tonal balance. It is key that no range jumps out unnaturally and alters timbre or the feel of the recording, or makes the bass seem like it lags. Second is a sense of tunefulness which I think comes from a neutral and pure midrange. Third is something I can't quite put my finger on, but a sort of physicality that makes it seem like there is a solid object producing sound. Some might call this imaging and soundstaging, but I'm not sure that's exactly it. Fourth is clarity and detail, but it must be coupled with a naturalness. Fifth is empathy with and understanding of the design--whether "high tech" or not it should make sense. Sixth is qc and service.


              • #22
                Re: What defines a great speaker?

                In all my audio gear I want three things, great sound, reliability, and a company with a history of standing behind there product. Its also nice to know there design philosophy, but not a must for me.

                1. Clarity, image, soundstage
                2. Excellent quality control
                3. Design Heritage

                4. Understanding designers philosophy


                • #23
                  Re: What defines a great speaker?

                  I took the poll but for those of us who are after the best sound it is kind of irrelevant. It would have been more interesting to see a list of audio attributes which (I guess) the designer trades of according to price and size such as;

                  mid range accuracy
                  support for lower ocatave(s)
                  response in typical rooms
                  sound stage

                  and so on