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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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Harbeth HL Compact 7ES-3 specific

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  • The C7ES-3s are a revalation

    I've owned many speakers in my long 'career' in hifi. The C7ES-3's I've had since Feb 1st have been a revelation. 'Balanced and Natural' are the key for me. They have taken a little time to become accustomed to their unassuming nature but well worth the wait.

    I too find that I can listen at higher levels as no area of the sound is 'obvious' i.e. beautifully balanced. Having said that listening at low levels is still very beautiful.

    I hope you enjoy your new purchase as much as I.
    Mazeltov!!

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    • A much more important upgrade than I expected...

      Originally posted by AlanBstone View Post
      I hope you enjoy your new purchase as much as I.
      Mazeltov!!
      Thanks AlanBstone, I hope you enjoy yours as much as I already enjoy mine !

      I received them last Thursday evening and I have been away from home during the weekend but I loved what I heard during the too few hours I have listen to the music with them. That's not a surprise since I have auditioned them twice and decided that they will be my next speakers. I am still beginning to really discover them but one thing is already crystal clear; they are a much more important upgrade than I thought they would be.

      I will write several lines once I'll experience them more. My biggest difficulty right now is to listen to how they sound and stop trying to remember how such and such piece of music sounded with the Saras.

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      • Relax and enjoy - cease to compare ....

        Hi Ummaya, just sit back, relax & enjoy the beautiful music that your new C7 makes & in no time, you'll forget about the Saras.

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        • Listening and learning

          Originally posted by ummaya View Post

          I will write several lines once I'll experience them more. My biggest difficulty right now is to listen to how they sound and stop trying to remember how such and such piece of music sounded with the Saras.
          That is only natural. It isn't YOU doing the comparison it is your EARS and AUDIO MEMORY. Don't forget they require a bit of time to burn in.....and your brain to burn in to the new sound. Think of them as a musical instrument.

          As my signature is on another forum

          Harbeth is for life - yours and the music

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          • The difficulty of explaining audible differences

            I really can understand the tricks that ones audio memory can play on you. But the core issue is that audio reproduction at home is nothing more than an illusion. Whilst you listen you (hopefully) allow yourself to be drawn into an enjoyable trance, overriding the logical part of your brain which says 'these performers just can't be here in front of me, in my room!'.

            INHO to begin to make any sort of credible comparison between two speakers that create an entirely different listening experience - especially if you have been seduced by one for 27 years! - you'd need a whole vocabulary of words to describe to yourself, and then others, just what you are hearing. How the colours in the new dream differ from those of the old one. And that's the sort of self-taught vocabulary that a speaker designer develops over a working lifetime. You are really going to struggle to shorten that learning curve to days and weeks. I just wouldn't strain yourself: both are wrong; both are right. Neither is reality - both create an illusion. You know what we hold dear and the target of neutrality that we aim for because we've spelled it out for 30+ years. Other brands doubtless would have entirely different and equally valid objectives for their target users. But if the broadcast/monitoring market is not their business you would expect a significantly different 'take' to ours. Plus of course, bought-in drive units perform up to their potential and no more.

            The really challenging task, even for someone who works on loudspeakers as a designer, is teasing out level differences from coloration or quality differences when listening. They may in fact have the same sort of sonic signature. But the designer can play around with the levels, up or down, but he's really stumped by latent coloration issues. Even an experienced listener may mistake one for the other. I recall that during the design of one speaker I just could not decide what was troubling me. Eventually, after throwing every sort of music and speech I could think of at the design, I began to home-in on a problem in a certain sonic band. And once my audio palate was sensitised to this issue I could hear it every time, after just a few seconds of exposure. So it was a real issue in a specific audio band for sure. But was it something to do with the loudness in that band? Too loud or, believe it or not, too quiet? Or was it a quality issue due to some mechanical resonance perhaps deep within the drive unit(s)? This tail-chasing went on for several days until I conceived a way of isolating one issue from another: I hooked up a very fine-band digital graphic equaliser and applied massive boost in and around the problematic band until the sonic issue was painful to listen to. Then, when I'd narrowed down the problem to a very precise and well defined frequency band I sucked out the energy. My reasoning was that if the issue significantly audibly diminished then it must be a level inbalance - if the effect was still troubling then a coloration problem. In fact, it was a level issue and reworking the crossover in that region (actually to fill an energy hole - the audibility problem was not too much but too little energy) solved the problem.

            I'm fairly sure that I video'd this whole graphic boost session and it's in the archive - I'll look for it.

            So, in short, if I sometimes struggle to separate-out the wheat from the chaff and I'm paid to do it, what chance have you!?

            P.S. We've talked many times about making instantaneous A-B speaker comparisons using a relay change-over arrangement. It is the best solution to exploring differences between speakers because we humans are fairly good at side-by-side comparisons but almost useless at absolute comparisons over a period of time. Has anyone's wife bought a dress, shoes or handbag only to find when home the colour doesn't exactly match some pre-existing item of clothing? And yet, in the store they were certain that the shade was exactly correct!

            P.P.S. Just to remind newer readers that we've looked at speaker comparisons before here and explanation of the different 'projection' of sound you'll typically hear in a hifi store. And video here and here, how I use an instantaneous foot-operated switch over when comparing and the listening process [Sorry! I can't remember which video showed that - anyone remind me?] . The video has sound: can you here the difference in tonality between the A and B speakers?
            Alan A. Shaw
            Designer, owner
            Harbeth Audio UK

            Comment


            • I'm enjoying the learning process!

              Originally posted by Gan CK View Post
              Hi Ummaya, just sit back, relax & enjoy the beautiful music that your new C7 makes & in no time, you'll forget about the Saras.
              The music coming out the C7 is indeed beautiful. The Saras...well, as AlanBstone said that's not ME thinking about them but my audio memory, but it seems that this happens less and less.

              Originally posted by AlanBstone View Post
              . ..and your brain to burn in to the new sound.
              That's a wonderful process.


              Originally posted by A.S. View Post
              Whilst you listen you (hopefully) allow yourself to be drawn into an enjoyable trance, overriding the logical part of your brain which says 'these performers just can't be here in front of me, in my room!'.
              I close my eyes, let myself to be drawn into an enjoyable trance and after several minutes the C7 disappear and it seems like the performers are in my living room playing only for me.

              Originally posted by A.S. View Post
              You are really going to struggle to shorten that learning curve to days and weeks.
              The truth is that I do not struggle to shorten the learning curve; I do not look forward, do not try to achieve anything but simply tremendously enjoy the learning process.

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              • my Harbie just arrive


                Hi-Fi by jerrylimlee, on Flickr

                Harbeth C7-ES3 Speakers, Luxman L-505U integrated amps,Rega Saturn cd player, Rega P3-24 turn Table w/PSU, Benz Micro Cartridge ACE, Phono pre-amp Graham Slee ERA Gold 5, Auditorium 23 speaker cable,Vodoo power cable (Mirage for amps,Mojo for cd), and Purist Audio inter connect.

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                • It's not often we see hi-fi systems in a Greek temple and very nice it looks too.

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                  • Is that a can of beer on the Rega?

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                    • I believe that is the Furikiwi stray impulse soakaway and re-generator non abrasive top notch gizmo. It's made from re-cycled nuclear submarines and costs a mere 2599 for the family size. No CD player should be without one !!!

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                      • A bottle of a good wine does a better job!

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                        • Aids in getting more intoxicated with the music.

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                          • Originally posted by Drdennis View Post
                            Is that a can of beer on the Rega?
                            No Sir, it's a can of meat sauce, just put it their to add weight to the front end of the cd player. With 3 symposium rollerblock series 2 under the cd plus the vodoo power cable, the rear end of the cd has more weight. That's why the meatsauce can. thanks for looking.

                            {Moderator's comment: ............. }

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                            • sweet set-up sweetsound. the luxman looks like it could benefit with a bit of ventilation, or is the cd player used to weigh it down as well. :-)

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                              • Originally posted by sweetsound View Post
                                No Sir, it's a can of meat sauce, just put it their to add weight to the front end of the cd player. With 3 symposium rollerblock series 2 under the cd plus the vodoo power cable, the rear end of the cd has more weight. That's why the meatsauce can. thanks for looking.

                                {Moderator's comment: ............. }
                                that ought to put more meat into the music :D sorry can't help it

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