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INTRODUCTION - PLEASE READ FIRST TO UNDERSTAND THIS FORUM!

"This Harbeth User Group (HUG) is the Manufacturer's own managed forum dedicated to natural sound from microphone to ear, achievable by recognising and controlling the numerous confounding variables that exist along the audio chain. The Harbeth designer's objective is to make loudspeakers that contribute little of themselves to the music passing through them.

Identifying system components for their sonic neutrality should logically proceed from the interpretation and analysis of their technical, objective performance. Deviations from a flat frequency response at any point along the signal chain from microphone to ear is likely to give an audible sonic personality to the system at your ear; this includes the significant contribution of the listening room itself. To accurately reproduce the recorded sound as Harbeth speakers are designed to do, you would be best advised to select system components (sources, electronics, cables and so on) that do not color the sound before it reaches the speakers.

For example, the design of and interaction between the hifi amplifier and its speaker load can and will alter the sound balance of what you hear. This may or may not be what you wish to achieve, but any deviation from a flat response is a step away from a truly neutral system. HUG has extensively discussed amplifiers and the methods for seeking the most objectively neutral among a plethora of product choices.

HUG specialises in making complex technical matters simple to understand, getting at the repeatable facts in a post-truth environment where objectivity is increasingly ridiculed. With our heritage of natural sound and pragmatic design, HUG is not the best place to discuss non-Harbeth audio components selected, knowingly or not, to introduce a significantly personalised system sound. 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 offerings there. There is really no on-line substitute for time invested in a dealer's showroom because 'tuning' your system to taste is such a highly personal matter. Our overall objective here is to empower readers to make the factually best procurement decisions in the interests of lifelike music at home.

Please consider carefully how much you should rely upon and be influenced by 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, loudness and room treatment, not necessarily leading to appropriate equipment selection and listening satisfaction for you. Always keep in mind that without basic test equipment, subjective opinions will reign unchallenged. With test equipment, universal facts and truths are exposed.

If some of the science behind faithfully reproducing the sound intended by the composer, score, conductor and musicians over Harbeth speakers is your thing, this forum has been helping with that since 2006. If you just want to share your opinions and photos with others then the unrelated Harbeth Speakers Facebook page http://bit.ly/2FEgoAy may be for you. Either way, welcome to the world of Harbeth!"


Feb. 2018
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Rosewood C7ES3s ENROUTE !

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  • Rosewood C7ES3s ENROUTE !

    Just pulled trigger on 1st ever Harbeths. Some here hoping for a sale in US due to Brexit? Very excited for arrival Friday. My employer is also Headquartered in London - hoping for no do-more-with-less pinch. Enjoy all.

  • #2
    1st impressions

    [QUOTE=Revo13;40525]Just pulled trigger on 1st ever Harbeths.

    New compacts sounding great streaming TIDAL. found these magnetic pullers at local hardware store. Needed both to remove grille. These make previously fatiguing recordings enjoyable somehow . Bass is plenty.
    Attached Files

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    • #3
      My C7s

      I'm still loving my C7's. What is the rest of your setup?

      Comment


      • #4
        Ata sensible level

        Lumin D1 for streaming TIDAL, Oppo 103 , PrimaLuna Prologue Premium integrated, PS Audio P3 Powerplant. Love how high volume is unnecessary with Harbeths .
        Attached Files

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        • #5
          Doesn't the use of an inaccurate amplifier defeat the choice of an accurate speaker?

          Originally posted by Revo13 View Post
          Lumin D1 for streaming TIDAL, Oppo 103 , PrimaLuna Prologue Premium integrated, PS Audio P3 Powerplant.
          Perhaps you would be kind enough to answer a question to which no one else seems willing to reply?

          Why choose a speaker designed with a flat/neutral frequency response and then use it with an amplifier whose frequency response, when connected to a speaker, looks like the black line in the following graph?



          http://www.stereophile.com/content/p...r-measurements

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          • #6
            Do it!

            Maybe because he likes it ?

            It's a free world and he can buy whatever he likes.

            This is the sort of thing Alan was talking about on another thread. The OP has just bought a pair of Harbeth speakers and is proud and excited about his new system and gets jumped on with negativity. It's very off putting and he probably thinks it's not worth posting here again.

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            • #7
              How was the amp chosen?

              Originally posted by hifi_dave View Post
              Maybe because he likes it ?

              It's a free world and he can buy whatever he likes.
              Of course he can buy what he likes. The point is did he realise that his newly chosen hifi is not as hifi as it should be, assuming he was seeking high fidelity. I would be really interested to hear why that amp was chosen.

              What if anything other than listening to it influenced the decision?

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              • #8
                Conscious choice

                Originally posted by hifi_dave View Post
                It's very off putting and he probably thinks it's not worth posting here again.
                Sincerely I don't think IMF+TDL is addressing the OP in a particularly unpolite or just unfriendly manner, just letting him know what he maybe didn't know... or knew and didn't care, or just like it this way. The one is free to ask, the other is free to answer.

                If someone wants to grate cheese over a dish of pasta ch'i sardi, I feel free (actual a moral duty in this very case! ) to let him notice that this is not the way is normally intended to be seasoned and advice him to use toasted breadcumb instead. Then he can both try my advice or just answer that he knows and still like it this way, I'm perfectly fine with it: at least he made a conscious choice.

                https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pasta_con_le_sarde

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                • #9
                  Live and let live?

                  yeah..tubes are rubbish , read my list ! here we go again pfff. still trying to understand what the reason is to critizise someone's choice for an amplifier unasked.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Redesigning the designer's intended speaker performance

                    Originally posted by hifi_dave View Post
                    Maybe because he likes it ?

                    It's a free world and he can buy whatever he likes.

                    This is the sort of thing Alan was talking about on another thread. The OP has just bought a pair of Harbeth speakers and is proud and excited about his new system and gets jumped on with negativity. It's very off putting and he probably thinks it's not worth posting here again.
                    Again, it's well and truly understood that this is a free world and one can buy whatever one so chooses. Likewise, no one is being "jumped on" and the post isn't intended to carry any negative connotation. It's meant to elicit a factual response to a legitimate question.

                    How would you (re)phrase the inquiry?

                    A.S. has described the great pains he takes to ensure that the frequency response of his designs is as flat/neutral as possible. Despite those efforts, a certain subset of the Harbeth customer base has evidently chosen a type of amplifier which, when connected to a speaker, exhibits significant deviations from a flat/neutral frequency response.

                    Why is this and on what basis was that choice made?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Warm tubes a'glow

                      I quite agree with hifi-dave. While many of us here probably prefer the neutrality of solid state, classic tube design (as John Atkinson describes this amplifier) has long had advocates and probably will continue to do so.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Pragmatism

                        Actually I was in a bind . The solid state CJ power amp I had died. Had enough trouble with CJ reliability . My local dealer had the demo PL with B&Ws playing. I jumped on it and never looked back. Interesting review, wonder how the other tube options would measure ?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Tube sound

                          Originally posted by Ned Mast View Post
                          I quite agree with hifi-dave. While many of us here probably prefer the neutrality of solid state, classic tube design (as John Atkinson describes this amplifier) has long had advocates and probably will continue to do so.
                          Some low powered solid state amplifiers seem to have a rather thin sound to them and my big bugbear with the two big class A/B amps I've owned is the need to warm up, before which they sound dull as ditchwater.

                          I'm listening to my SHL5+ with 260w Quad monoblocks at relatively low volume, it is 5am, the music on vinyl is Gillian Welch and Emmylou Harris etc on the recent album of Johnny Cash covers ("Look again to the wind"). There really are no problems using solid state amplifiers with plenty of power to get a beautiful sweet vocal sound with plenty of depth to it, at little above conversational volume.

                          Due to the noise that is almost unavoidable from 20x step up phono transformers, I had my phono amplifier calibrated to a fairly low output, just about sufficient, but with virtually no background noise on good clean recordings. Volume control is via 1 - 64 stepped attenuators. Digital at this listening level would be around 25, for phono it is set at 44.

                          I have recently been the valve route, with amplifiers that measure much better than the Prima Luna. I have heard the Prima Luna. It is well made, in China, the Dutch owners have their own engineers overseeing production to ensure quality is maintained. They are switchable from triode to pentode mode and can be run on valves ranging from el34 to KT120, without modification. So you can choose on the overall sound, taking account of speakers and room size.

                          If you want sweet midrange focus, then el34 is the one for you, KT120 for a bigger sound. Personally, I consider that a compromise as I have wide listening tastes. That said, there is a lot of sense to the design and the manufacturing/cost structure, even though with KT120's they are 30% more expensive than Quad QMPs (at UK retail prices).

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Forums

                            Originally posted by martin1305 View Post
                            yeah..tubes are rubbish , read my list ! here we go again pfff. still trying to understand what the reason is to critizise someone's choice for an amplifier unasked.
                            Not completely unasked: a forum is not a place to put likes on photos and comfort egos. It's an enriching process to be confronted with other's experience and knowledge, even if only to keep one's own position, don't you think?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Harbeth is so revealing

                              I guess it is testimony to the virtues of Harbeth speakers that these remain audible even under adverse conditions such as with tubes or vinyl.

                              It is also an undisputable fact, however, that they could sound much more accurate with the right gear. How do we break that news nicely?

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