"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 may be for you. Either way, welcome to the world of Harbeth!"

Feb. 2018
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My happy accident - the search is over

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  • My happy accident - the search is over


    I just put a order down for pair Harbeth 30.1 I thought i would share how that came about. I come from a audio engineer background (Retired now). Listening to music at home in past for me has been active studio monitors through a AD/DA converter. With was nice because i could hook up anything and just control the volume from my computer.

    Working with sound was very easy for me, i understood how things worked and i love to read about how things were done in the past before digital. Its a wonderful job, that sadly is going away. The high point was visiting Abbey road a few years back.

    During my time doing this a heard a lot of speakers. And most of all meet a lot of people. Speakers in a studio has one job, tell you whats going on. I grew to love that aspect of a good speaker so thats what my search has been about when i entered the very confusing world of hifi. I spent a lot of time listening to different speakers for my apartment. Price range was about 600 something pounds to over seven digit ones.

    Of course speakers for around the million mark was out of the question. But i wanted to hear what 10 years of income would sound like. I saw small and i saw very very big. One woofer or 12 woofers. Somethings i learned from working in audio, The tweeter should be at ear level. I remember listening to pair (just for fun) that was about 2 meters high. Sitting down infront i had 1 and half meter of speaker over my head. And the tweeter right on top. That was very confusing to me. I never understood that.

    Fast tracking a few months talking to people and going to possible every store in my entire region, I gave up. I have learned that different people like different things, some things you can measure and put on paper. Then you have proof of something and you can refer to that. I remember one man telling me at one of the stores, starring me in the eyes. "These are the best speakers ever built". I smiled and said "Wow, thats impressive". Now i had a choice whip out my credit card and take his word for it or just realize that it was his opinion. (The speakers he was referring to cost around 1 million, and i didn't have that kind of money).

    From working in the studio i loved to have, often very funny conversations about how bad brand X of guitar amplifiers sound. Whatever the time, we would never agree on anything. And thats the fun of it but it is also the truth. When asking to audition a much lower priced pair of speakers, he said that they had no time and i should come back in a week. I never did.

    A few weeks later i was shopping for a new record player, i thought i needed one because my dad left me around 1000 lps. The speakers he had hooked up were Harbeth. I asked "what is this?" He gave me a brochure and i did my reading. BBC is very famous in the recording field, thanks to them we have one of my favorite microphones, the Coles ribbon mic. Next time i went back i took some records that sounded very bad. The idea was if these sound good i'm buying. And they did.

    So what did i find? I found a speaker i liked. Would my coworker, my girlfriend, my mom agree with me? I don't know. Are Harbeth the best speakers in the world? I have no idea. I'm just happy its over : )

  • #2
    Harbeth ends equipment churn for me too

    Congrats on the find Jocke153,

    I too discovered Harbeth quite by accident thanks to walking into my dealer's store who had picked up the line years after I made my first purchases there.

    I also own a pair of M30.1s and since purchasing them I have not had any temptation to upgrade or change them.


    • #3
      I also discovered my new 30.1s by accident. My old speakers died, and I was looking for others at my favourite dealer's. I listened to a particular jazz record as he hooked up two or three different models that sounded ok. I decided to sleep on it, but heading out of the show room, I was considering what wood colour I wanted. "Something like those over there," I said. Then, "Why don't we listen to those." So I did. I asked after a few ,minutes what record we were listening to. The dealer said, "the same one you were listening to before." It sounded - better - and I didn't recognize it. I also felt the speakers were certainly less fatiguing that the ones I had listened to earlier. Anyway, as the story obviously ends, those are the speakers that I bought and look forward to using.



      • #4
        Bit lax of the dealer to allow you out of the shop without auditioning Harbeth.