HUG - here for all audio enthusiasts


"This Harbeth User Group (HUG) is the Manufacturer's own managed forum dedicated to natural sound, realisable by controlling the confounding variables between tthe microphone and the listeners' ears.

For example, the design of and interaction between the hifi amplifier and its speaker load can and potentially will alter the sound balance of what you hear. To reproduce the sounds captured by the recording microphones, as Harbeth speakers are designed to do, you would naturally select system components (sources, electronics, cables and so on) that do not color the sound before it reaches the speakers.

Identifying components for their system neutrality should, logically, start with the interpretation and analysis of their technical, objective performance, as any and every deviation from a measurably flat frequency response at any point along the serial chain from microphone to ear is very likely to cause the total system to have an audible sonic personality. That includes the contribution of the listening room itself.

HUG specialises in making complex technical matters simple to understand, aiding the identification of audio components likely to maintain a faithful relationship between the recorded sound and the sound you hear. With our heritage of natural sound, HUG cannot be really be expected to guide in the selection, approval, endorsement or even discussion of equipment that is intend to introduce a significantly personalised sound to the audio signal chain. 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 electronics offered there. There is no on-line substitute for that time investment in a dealer's showroom.

If you desire to intentionally tune your system sound to your personal taste, please consider carefully how much you should rely upon 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, listening loudness and listening room treatment, not necessarily leading to appropriate equipment selection and listening satisfaction for you.

Alternatively, if faithfully reproducing the sound intended by the composer, score, conductor and musicians over your speakers is your audio dream, then understanding something of the issues likely to fulfill that objective is what this forum has been helping with since 2006. Welcome!"

Jan. 2018
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30.2 Anniversary - get a pair quick!!!!!

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  • 30.2 Anniversary - get a pair quick!!!!!

    Just thought Id share my thoughts on the new 30.2 anniversary edition speakers.

    I first heard Harbeth speakers about 4 years ago. They were the old SHL5 and I was instantly smitten.

    At that time time there were no dealers or distributors in my country so it was nigh impossible to audition any in the range.

    After weeks of emailing Andy at Harbeth I pulled the pin on the newly released 30.1, a decision I have never regretted.

    Tempted to move up the range, I then upgraded to the newly released SHL5+. Whilst I enjoyed them they never seem to do what the 30.1 could do, and I was always haunted by my memories of the 30.1, especially they way they did vocals and timbre of instruments.

    .............and then the 30.2 anniversary came out and we finally had a distributor and dealers in my country.

    All I can say is these are without doubt the best speakers I have ever heard or owned. If you love the 30.1 then I strongly urge you to buy a pair of these immediately!!!!!

    The increase in resolution, attack and dynamics are astonishing.

    AS, I have been a long term customer and fan and I have to say that these are a masterpiece in speakers.

    I dont know if you plan to make these a permanent product in the range, if not, get a pair quick !

  • #2
    How long is the running in time in your experience with the 30.2?


    • #3
      Originally posted by Rico1978 View Post
      How long is the running in time in your experience with the 30.2?
      Perhaps it is best to take any guessing out of this with what Harbeth themselves have to say about the whole 'running-in' and 'burning-in' phenomenon taken from their FAQ's on their website: Do I need to 'burn-in' my Harbeths?

      No: the only component part of a Harbeth loudspeaker that can change as a result of 'burning-in', is the resin-doped cloth suspension that centres the neck of the cone in the magnetic field - sometimes called the 'spider'. Under the microscope, once the resin-cloth has been worked backwards and forwards, it crazes into millions of small interconnected islands. This process is irreversible and takes only a few hours with bass heavy music played a little louder than normal. After that point, the drive unit can be considered fully stabilised with the resonant frequency settled to its final value. The ferrofluid used in Harbeth tweeters becomes appropriately viscous after a few minutes operation. Neither the coils, resistors, capacitors, cables nor any other part of a Harbeth speaker has any short-term ageing mechanism.

      My Harbeth speakers suffered no such running-in or burn-in period at all. It is, I would agree, a huge talking point, along with amplifier burn-in, on almost all other hi-fi forums though and I wonder whether the majority of this is merely the ear becoming accustomed to the sound of the speaker. With amplifiers, I don't know if there is any more than a couple of hours plugged in to the mains required to settle it down to doing the job of providing power to the speaker, or whether it works differently to speakers but, again, my electronics performed properly from day one.

      Hope this is of some help to you.


      • #4
        They sounded more coherent after 20hrs playing time. They aound fantastic straight out of the box. Now with about 100 hrs they sound more dense natural and just more dynamic then my old 30.1.


        • #5
          Is it art - or science?

          I was working late this evening (on upgrading our test facilities again) and had to take snap of this batch of M30.2 under production. This is how they were left at close of business last Friday, and tomorrow morning, Monday, they will be completed, tested, signed-off and packed, added to those already cartonised behind them, ready for shipment.

          If you look closely from left to right, you'll see the efforts that we go to pair match. There are four pairs of cabinets on the workbench. Each pair of cabinets is matched (not easy to see), as are the rear panels and the baffles (easy to see). For example, we have to keep together baffle 1 (nearest) and baffle 2 (second in) as baffle 3 (and 4) have a totally different grain structure. This has been our way of working for some 30 years so it is second nature to us.

          As you know, unusually in these days, Harbeth speakers have removable fronts and backs, for acoustic reasons. However, one aspect of producing products which lie somewhere between art and science using interchangeable parts is the opportunity it gives production staff to match-up and fit baffles, cabinets and backs to get what we think is the most pleasing balance of cosmetic features for every pair. This photo really doesn't do that justice.

          It means that every pair of speakers we produce really is unique: there is not another pair the same anywhere in the world. Speaker brands that build clip-together all-in-one enclosures just do not have the flexibility of assembly that we do, and their customers end up with a mass produced, standardised product.

          Click image for larger version  Name:	latenight m302anni-sc.jpg Views:	2 Size:	328.0 KB ID:	75375

          Owning a pair of Harbeths comes with immense pride of ownership. Now, do you think Production would notice if I helped myself to, say, the second pair along and took them home tonight?
          Alan A. Shaw
          Designer, owner
          Harbeth Audio UK


          • #6
            Alan, the partner of my sister is a Master Carpenter and at the very top of his profession, currently working on an English Heritage building to restore it to its former glory. He really admires the quality and finish of my Eucalyptus P3ESR's and the care taken in pair matching. It is so nice to know that they are one of a kind!