HUG - here for all audio enthusiasts

At its inception ten years ago, the Harbeth User Group's ambition was to create a lasting knowledge archive. Knowledge is based on facts and observations. Knowledge is timeless, independent of the observer and can be replicated. However, we live in new world in which objective facts have become flexible, personal and debatable. HUG operates in that real world, and that has now been reflected in the structure of HUG.

HUG has two approaches to contributor's Posts. If you, like us, have 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 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 can be readily understood by non-experts and tried-out at home without deep technical knowledge.

Alternatively, if you just like chatting about audio and subjectivity rules for you, then the Subjective Soundings area 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. From Oct. 2016, Posts in the Subjective Soundings area will not be spell checked or adjusted for layout clarity. 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.

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

That's it! Enjoy!

{Updated Jan. 2017}
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Testing P3ESR SE

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  • #16
    Misunderstanding - now I hestitate to buy

    Originally posted by EricW View Post
    However, this is how misperceptions are continued and perpetuated.
    In the meantime I read the disussion in the parallel thread, so I am up to date concerning Mr. Shaws position to the SE topic.

    On the other hand I must say: as I am new to this forum and therefore quite impartial I also would have expected a sonic difference, as SE versions with technical changes always put in your mind an improvement over the standard version. Even retailers I contacted told me there was a sonic difference to more precision and freshness (!). One has to bear in mind that only very few people are readers in this forum.

    So I fear the only way to get rid of this misunderstandig is to only produce SE versions for the future. Or to provide all standard versions with the "special wiring". To be honest, aside from knowing now that there are no sonic differences I would hesitate to buy the standard version. Not only because reselling an SE version might be easier but as an enthusiast not all decisions in life depend on logics. **gg**

    Anyway, there are more important things in life to discuss ;-))

    {Moderator's comment: Harbeth just cannot win can it. Seems that honesty doesn't pay. We will not discuss this internal cable wiring subject ever again here as there is nothing to add. SE wiring slows down production but is mandated by some markets and we have to fit it.}


    • #17
      Does honesty pay?

      Originally posted by Reinhard View Post
      {Moderator's comment: Harbeth just cannot win can it. Seems that honesty doesn't pay. ...
      Not true. The honesty on offer at the HUG is highly appreciated. And commercial realities are commercial realities. There may be some apparent inconsistency between the two, but the world's a complicated place, and you're business people, not academicians or missionaries. I think that's understood, and not considered as a negative. It's just how it is.


      • #18
        A couple of thoughts crossed my mind this afternoon - a welcome break from working intensively on the simulator.

        1) I'm wondering how many qualified marketing people there are in the industry, like our youngest son. Clearly there are none on the other side of the desk. There is no doubt that even at his tender age, his three years at university has given him deep insight into human behaviour, and how it relates to consumption. The university turns out 'general purpose marketing people', and the universality and predictability of human behaviour means that he's set up for life working in any product area (he currently choses IT) from toothpaste to missile launchers. What we here (that means me, really) don't seem to be able to expose for the benefit of the consumer, is how their predictability en masse is the marketeer's open doorway. The OFC cable issue is a classic: the consumer wants to believe in that last drop of fairy dust. I have disappointed a would-be buyer. That's stupid of me. Won't happen again.

        2) We have failed to 'control the communication initiative'. That means that, (well intentioned) third parties speak or appear to speak with as much, or more, authority than us, the manufacturer. I really cannot understand why their voice is preferred and deemed more trustworthy and less biased (!) than ours.

        3) What audiophiles just cannot recognise is that they are extremely easy to profile from the marketees side of the table. Pick three and study them and you understand the entire market for audio gear. Although the product is (highly) technical the consumer's evaluation process is highly non-technical and hangs on phantom benefits like OFC cable*. The audiophiles thought and evaluation process is perfectly understood by suppliers. The type of colours, feel, packaging of the product - the choice of emotive words which appeal directly to the heart - it's all - repeat, all - honed to perfection.

        It's evident that even if I was chained to the PC 24 hours a day, bashing out pragmatism, based on David's cautioning about slow-moving human behaviour, I'm fearful that I'll be here saying the same thing from a bath chair in thirty years .... or is it more effective that it appears? We've just finished our most successful trading years in 35. Is the tide of reason slowly shifting in our direction? Or is that uncorrelated? I wish I knew!!

        * Did you know that all copper cable is 'OFC' whether sold as such? If oxgen present in the production process.............. VERY BIG BANG! People die.
        Alan A. Shaw
        Designer, owner
        Harbeth Audio UK


        • #19
          Reputation for quality

          Originally posted by A.S. View Post
          .... is it more effective that it appears? We've just finished our most successful trading years in 35. Is the tide of reason slowly shifting in our direction? Or is that uncorrelated? I wish I knew!!
          I had my knuckles rapped on this issue once before, when I realized my P3ESRs were not the SE version - audiophile that I was, I was concerned that I had somehow received an inferior product. I've since gotten over that feeling.

          I believe rationality wins out in the end.

          I believe a brand can rely on "marketing" in the traditional sense, or it can cultivate a reputation for quality and integrity (a deserved one). The latter may be the less conventional approach, but I think it can work at least in some cases. Harbeth is an example.


          • #20
            Speech test

            Originally posted by A.S. View Post
            The section on Speech Testing is here.

            May we suggest you read it first to get some background on the subject and then download the file please?

            Would you also have a careful close-up look at both tweeter domes to be sure that they have not been damaged or creased.
            Right - I have finally read the thread and downloaded the file from post #17 (there was another link on Pg2 but that did not work).
            The voices sound clear, very much in the room with me, non echoey, no harshness.

            Alan, I am not yet prepared to remove the grille to look at the tweeters just yet (there some trick to this which I had read on this forum) but quite sure what I am hearing is not damaged tweeters.

            I'll post my thoughts on the DAC received earlier this week in the DAC thread.
            Simpli-Fi: Kuzma>Nighthawk>LebenCS300XS>P3ESR