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
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I downsized from M40.1 > C7ES3 ... still very happy

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  • I downsized from M40.1 > C7ES3 ... still very happy

    I had to downsize my system six months ago due to money issues so sold my beloved Harbeths 40.1 and Graaf amp and bought some used 7es2, Musical fidelity FB1 pre amp and Quad 909 power amp for a quarter of the price that I sold the previous........this is a cracking system that cost me 1500.....So if anyone has small funds but is after a premium sound it is out a nutshell Harbeth speakers are incredible no matter what product


  • #2
    So true! Harbeth are incredible

    Originally posted by scottc1968 View Post
    ..this is a cracking system that cost me 1500.....So if anyone has small funds but is after a premium sound it is out a nutshell Harbeth speakers are incredible no matter what product
    I couldn't agree more. Besides the new C7s (yeah!), everything else in my system is used and sounds great.


    • #3
      C7ES3 worth the price v. C7ES2?

      Did you get the C7ES2 or the C7ES3?

      After reading all of the posts, it seems to me that the sound upgrade from the ES2 to ES3 is huge due to the latest crossover designing software and the new RADIAL2 woofer. I am in the market to get a pair of C7 and still thinking should I get the ES2 or the ES3 since the price is double!

      Does it worth the price?


      • #4
        Just by C7ES3

        Don't think about it - buy the C7ES3. The sound justifies the price and they will be with you for many years after the price has faded from your memory.


        • #5
          Buy for the long term

          I agree with Dave. If you can part with the money, get yourself the C7ES3 with the mind set that they will be with you for a very long time. That's what I did and I'm glad I made this choice. Spring is around the corner and you can open up your windows and play some music for your neighbors.


          • #6
            C7ES3 or SHL5...

            Thanks for you inputs! I have been thinking about it very hard for the last few days and kind of make up my mind to move forward with Harbeth.

            As I look closer to my AV room, I am able to go all the way to get the SHL-5 and replace the B&W 801M Anniversary Edition that I am currently using. I have heard both side of the story as some of the HUG members claimed that the SHL-5 sounds fuller on the bottom and more revealing on the top due to the super tweeters, but this compromise the mid range as compared to the C7ES3.

            Any experience on this observation?


            • #7
              Either will give a quality jump

              You are coming from the other brand you mentioned so either pair of Harbeth can really give you a huge jump in term of quality and musicality in sound.

              I agree the SHL5 is fuller on bottom but not the more revealing top and different mid compared to C7ES3. The true differences between the two, to my ear only, is the C7ES3 (also all the old models are similar but not better to) midrange presentation is more dense or some say "tighter" compared to the SHL5 which midrange is loose or I think better term is "relax". Some comment the 7 sound is presence and some comment the 5 sound is "magical". I say both is magical, presence and the 7 sound tighter and the 5 sound more relax (by comparison). Both high is excellent but depend on what kind of music and presentation you are looking for.

              The super tweeter do really let some instrument sound more obvious in the high, say drum cymbal or steel string acoustic guitar, than C7ES3 but that does not mean the C7ES3 can not reveal that sound but it may appear less "obvious" if you play them side by side. In practical usage, when just listen only 1 pair of speaker, either one is excellent. Even the C7ES3 do not go as low as the SHL5 but it is enough to play music with weight and authority. steveinaz‎ wrote a nice impression regarding the bass of the C7ES3 you may take a look.

              I have both 7 (older model thought) in room at Malaysia and 5 in hall at Singapore with same LFD brand amp and same Marantz brand cd player for both. When I enjoying either pair of them I do not miss another pair. Both is excellence and truly amazing music interpretor.

              However, you should try to listen both pairs and decide.
              "Bath with Music"


              • #8
                Solid & natural

                The C7ES and SHL5 are both excellent speakers by any standards. Because of the larger box, the SHL5 delivers more bass and the super-tweeter conveys the sparkle and air present on good recordings but I wouldn't say the mid-band is any 'compromise'.

                The mid band is solid, natural and with great prescence, making most other brands sound thin and anaemic.