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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 C7ES3 with Leben integrated amp - too smooth

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  • #16
    The lovely 'Marchall sound'!

    Originally posted by Heretic View Post

    {Moderator's comment: also, the ear is not good at detecting second-order harmonics (fortunately). Those crazy 2W flea-powered amps are certainly running with at least 10-50% continuous harmonic distortion. Some folks love that extra warm sound. They love adding distortion.}
    Ask all those fans of Marshall valve guitar amps. That lovely, lush ' Marshall sound ' is all distortion with the amps running into severe clipping.

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    • #17
      Finding that amp sound

      Flea-powered amps may seem crazy in today's world of cheap watts and inefficient speakers, but the right pairing is a beautiful thing. I've been building all kinds of amps lately: chip amps, mosfet amps, class-d amps, hybrid class-d/valve amps, mosfet amps with valve buffers, etc. And I still struggle to make anything that sounds even remotely as good as a basic single ended triode or pentode valve amp. I keep trying, though, because I'm after that great single ended valve sound, but without the heat, energy waste and speaker matching problems associated with low output power. Of all my experiments, the most promising approach so far has been a class-d amp behind a valve input buffer or gain stage.

      Originally posted by Heretic View Post
      {Moderator's comment: also, the ear is not good at detecting second-order harmonics (fortunately). Those crazy 2W flea-powered amps are certainly running with at least 10-50% continuous harmonic distortion. Some folks love that extra warm sound. They love adding distortion.}

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      • #18
        The 'Marshall sound'

        Originally posted by hifi_dave View Post
        Ask all those fans of Marshall valve guitar amps. That lovely, lush ' Marshall sound ' is all distortion with the amps running into severe clipping.
        Great example of this in the following clip of "How many more times" from Led Zeppelin's 1970 concert at the Royal Albert Hall.

        In contrast to later rock guitarists, Jimmy Page (at least early on) used almost no effects boxes on stage. He varied the tone of his Marshall amp by his playing style, and also by adjusting the volume potentiometers of the two pickups on his electric guitar.

        In this clip - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zs_O_Jm1gQ0 - between 1:01 and 1:56 - you can see that he's playing some call and response blues figures on the guitar, using only the bridge pickup with the volume turned low, so the amp's input is not overloaded and the sound is very clean.

        Then, at 1:57, as the music accelerates, he switches to the neck pickup, which has the volume pot turned all the way up, overdriving the amp's input, and suddenly ... there's that "Marshall sound".

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        • #19
          The role of the hi-fi system is ....

          Originally posted by hifi_dave View Post
          Ask all those fans of Marshall valve guitar amps. That lovely, lush ' Marshall sound ' is all distortion with the amps running into severe clipping.
          Well, if you're a musician and you're adding intentional distortion as part of your musical performance... go right ahead! Jimi did it (with alot of Jim Marshall's gear, I might add), Slash does it, & Tom Morello does it too.

          But the role of an honest hi-fi system is to reproduce the original sound & music with as much fidelity as possible, which is what the original music & sound that the artist played and the recording engineer captured into some form of physical media. Anything else would be a deviation from the original standard. So we aren't really comparing the same situation here.

          On perhaps an unrelated topic, has anyone ever tried asking for tomato ketchup (to go with their main course) in a Michelin 3-star French restaurant ?
          :P
          Last edited by Heretic; 16-05-2012, 02:45 AM. Reason: typos

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          • #20
            Some Americans do - I've seen it.

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            • #21
              "Americans"

              That is because "Americans", may care more about what they like, than what others think about their lack of taste or sophistication.

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              • #22
                Hiding your identity and ketchup

                Originally posted by Drdennis View Post
                That is because "Americans", may care more about what they like, than what others think about their lack of taste or sophistication.
                From tube amps to ketchup. Truly, the HUG has something for everyone.

                Seriously, though, I would not like to see a "U.S. vs. Them" dialogue develop. Hi Fi Dave did not say all Americans ask for ketchup in fine restaurants, and I would also venture to say that some Americans do want to be considered sophisticated. (It's fine to like what you like, but some understanding of local culture is good too, as well as being good manners.)

                As evidence of the latter proposition, I offer the fact that are numerous blogs and posts on the Internet - most apparently American in origin - on how to avoid looking too much like an American tourist in Europe. Here's one, which offers some practical advice on the ketchup issue among other things (scroll down to the heading "Food"):

                http://www.wikihow.com/Avoid-Looking...erican-Tourist

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                • #23
                  Americans in Paris

                  One of my favorite scenes in a film is from European Vacation. For their visit to Paris, Chevy Chase bought berets for his family so they would not look like American tourists.

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                  • #24
                    Ketchup - the vital element?

                    Sorry, didn't mean to cause offence with the 'ketchup' remark and I have altered it to 'some'.

                    Don't get me wrong, I love America and American food, especially the steaks but it does amuse me to see some diners in high quality restaurants, dousing their food in ketchup.

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                    • #25
                      The Brits are just as bad

                      Originally posted by EricW View Post
                      Seriously, though, I would not like to see a "U.S. vs. Them" dialogue develop. Hi Fi Dave did not say all Americans ask for ketchup in fine restaurants, and I would also venture to say that some Americans do want to be considered sophisticated.
                      There are plenty of Brits drowning perfectly good meals in brown sauce too - it's a silly finger to point.

                      {Moderator's comment: .... not to mention peas drowned in gravy and deep fried Mars bars ....}

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                      • #26
                        Stick to audio?

                        There are a million opportunities to post ridiculous opinions and boorish generalizations on other websites. On this community board, can we please stick to audio?

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