HUG - here for all audio enthusiasts

The Harbeth User Group is the primary channel for public communication with Harbeth's HQ. If you have a 'scientific mind' and are curious about how the ear works, how it can lead us to make the right - and wrong - audio equipment decisions, and about the technical ins and outs of audio equipment, how it's designed and what choices the designer makes, then the factual Science of Audio sub-forum area of HUG is your place. The objective methods of comparing audio equipment under controlled conditions has been thoroughly examined here on HUG and elsewhere and should be accessible to non-experts and able to be tried-out at home without deep technical knowledge. From a design perspective, today's award winning Harbeths could not have been designed any other way.

Alternatively, if you just like chatting about audio and subjectivity rules for you, then the Subjective Soundings area is you. If you are quite set in your subjectivity, then HUG is likely to be a bit too fact based for you, as many of the contributors have maximised their pleasure in home music reproduction by allowing their head to rule their heart. 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 only, although HUG is really not the best place to have these sort of purely subjective airings.

The Moderators' decision is final in all matters and Harbeth does not necessarily agree with the contents of any member contributions, especially in the Subjective Soundings area, and has no control over external content.

That's it! Enjoy!

{Updated Oct. 2017}
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How would a 1999 Compact 7 stand up against a new ES3?

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  • How would a 1999 Compact 7 stand up against a new ES3?

    I'm actually a Monitor Audio GX100 owner but have always hankered after a pair of Harbeth speakers.

    Anyways, most of them are beyond my budget but I have seen a pair of early Compact 7 speakers for sale. It says "Design 1999" on the rear but I guess they could have been made later than that?

    Unfortunately I won't have the opportunity to listen to these. Can anyone comment on how they might compare to the sound of my uber-hi-tech Monitor Audios and also, given i can't find many reviews of them but I can of the latest ES3 models, how they might compare to the newer versions?

    Is there anything i should be cautious about in buying an "old" speaker? Can they wear out in any way?!


  • #2
    Yes they can and do wear out, so it is not just an issue of the newer models being a better design. The part most prone to deterioration seems to be the cone surround. If this is indeed a 1999 speaker or thereabouts I would personally avoid it.


    • #3
      I think a 17 year speaker should be fine. There ought to be plenty of life left in it. The difficulty for second hand buyers is knowing how the speaker has been used (or abused) over its lifetime. There is merit in buying second hand if funds are tight. It is for the buyer to decide whether the vintage gives enough of a discount on the price to take a punt.


      • #4
        Thanks for the comments. On balance I think it's probably best to sit tight and try to save a few more pennies!