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HUG - here for all audio enthusiasts

Since its inception ten years ago, the Harbeth User Group's ambition has been to create a lasting knowledge archive. Knowledge is based on facts and observations. Knowledge is timeless. Knowledge is human independent and replicatable. However, we live in new world where thanks to social media, 'facts' have become flexible and personal. HUG operates in that real world.

HUG has two approaches to contributor's Posts. If you have, like us, 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 area of HUG is for you. The objective methods of comparing audio equipment under controlled conditions has been thoroughly examined here on HUG and elsewhere and can be easily understood and tried with negligible technical knowledge.

Alternatively, if you just like chatting about audio and subjectivity rules for you, then the Subjective Soundings sub-forum 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.

The Moderators' decision is final in all matters regarding what appears here. That said, very few Posts are rejected. HUG Moderation individually spell and layout checks Posts for clarity but due to the workload, Posts in the Subjective Soundings area, from Oct. 2016 will not be. 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.

That's it! Enjoy!

{Updated Nov. 2016A}
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New Harbeth P3ESR

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  • Originally posted by EricW View Post
    ...people may happily pay the upcharge for rosewood or tiger ebony, but no one thinks their speakers will sound better as a result.
    I'm sorry but you are wrong. Most/many users passionately believe that one veneer sounds better than another. Don't believe me? Do a Google search. Again does it matter what you or I think about 0.5mm of veneer? No. Not a jot. If it makes them happy and fulfills the production line criteria, then we'll consider it.

    I'm surprised you bring this issue up now. We've been making 'specials' for over twenty years. We intend to do so providing, as I've said, it ticks the boxes. If it makes users happy to offer different veneers then we'll do it. I see no problem with that what so ever. As you'll know very well from reading my posts, my position on cables, amps, stands, bi-wire links and so on is not hidden, it's out in the open in black and white. But have I inhibited people investing huge sums in those products? No. What I say is of absolutely no commercial impact whatsoever to the industry. If you want to believe in those products and what they can do for you - go ahead. My only request is that you do it privately, and moderate your enthusiasm so that others don't feel compelled to spend-out their hard earned cash chasing someone elses dream!

    That's really all I want to say about this.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

    Comment


    • Indeed at the beginning I didn't know those P3ESR selling in Hong Kong are the "Special Edition". I went and bought my new P3ESR simply because I know the wonderful sound of Harbeths and love the rosewood finish. I would still buy P3ESR even if they were not the "Special Edition".
      Of course I don't mind at all of having one more bonus --- "Special Edition".

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      • Lucky "chowyeung" ...You can bet that in 30 years from now, your "Special Editions" will be worth significantly more than the non-special-editions.

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        • Im sure the “special edition” sticker wasn’t the motivation for chowyeung to buy those beautiful pair of loudspeakers. They really are gorgeous and im sure they sound that way as well. I now want one. Chowyeung, you are very naughty for posting these photos! :-)

          My feeling is that a lot of people don’t really bother whether it’s a special edition. You listen to the speaker and not look at the sticker. I use to see limited edition stickers on cars in Asia all the time. Its just something fun and shouldn’t be taken that seriously. At the end of the day, if I were buying anything second hand, ill ensure that it hasn’t been abused (hard to tell from loudspeakers), cosmetics are sound (no dents or chipped edges), all the original parts etc. I think Alan, if you were really serious about this whole thing, you would have numbered the limited run separately eg. Pair 23/300 in special finish etc. It’s a business for Alan but a hobby and fun thing for us. We all take ourselves too seriously sometimes.

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          • Originally posted by kittykat View Post
            ...if you were really serious about this whole thing, you would have numbered the limited run separately eg. Pair 23/300 in special finish etc. It’s a business for Alan but a hobby and fun thing for us. We all take ourselves too seriously sometimes.
            What a great idea! I wish we'd thought of that! And why shouldn't we offer that if the customer is willing to pay for it and gets some special pleasure from it! I'll pass that along.
            Harbeth PR,
            Harbeth UK

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            • One thing to add. We hare at Harbeth UK never (as far as I know) offer, create or invent any special editions. We only respond to approached made by customers e.g. distributors. So it's unfair to make out that we are hypocritical. We are simply agreeing to fulfill a distributor's requests because we can do it on our terms, as explained.
              Harbeth PR,
              Harbeth UK

              Comment


              • Originally posted by harbethpr View Post
                One thing to add. We hare at Harbeth UK never (as far as I know) offer, create or invent any special editions. We only respond to approached made by customers e.g. distributors. So it's unfair to make out that we are hypocritical. We are simply agreeing to fulfill a distributor's requests because we can do it on our terms, as explained.
                As I have learnt from some Hong Kong Harbeth fans, they have not seen thus far any non-special edition P3ESR selling in Hong Kong. Yes, I think these Special Edition P3ESRs are probably requested and imported by the HK distributor. Perhaps simply as a kind of marketing technique. As I have said, I don't really care whether my P3ESR are the Special Edition or not. I just love Harbeth and the rosewood finish.

                Sorry if my photos have complicated the issue. My only intention is just to share with you all my overwhelming joy of having these great speakers.

                Happy listening. Cheers.

                Comment


                • Yes, and I really don't see why we should be 'on trial' at Harbeth UK for merely doing what we're asked to do. This HUG is not the place for us to be justifying everything we think and do. We are not here to discuss the ins and outs of our private corporate strategy which in this instance gives our consumers a choice. It's quite wrong to paint us as commercial villains.

                  I'll be pruning this thread later.
                  Alan A. Shaw
                  Designer, owner
                  Harbeth Audio UK

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by A.S. View Post
                    This HUG is not the place for us to be justifying everything we think and do...
                    Absolutely.

                    I think with all respect, we shouldn't be questioning commercial decisions of Harbeth. We can suggest but i dont think a response even be necessary from you Alan. I dont think anyone who has an interest in buying a BMW (or have bought) would go and ask Mr. Bangle why he decided that the 3 should have this or that design feature...or why the models sold in USA have heated seats as standard etc. The forum will get pretty crazy by then and not serve the purpose of perhaps learning which may be the best model to suit the purposes of different users or how to get the best out of their equipment. Most of the questions have already been covered and are just a plain waste of Alan's time, which could be spent designing new speakers for example. If we can just make an effort to google search this site, we can find the solution or answer in most cases. my 2 cents worth.

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                    • Back to my sharing of P3ESR...

                      I have been listening to vocals, jazz, pops, classical music (symphonies, solo piano, chorus, etc) these days. I still can't believe what I hear is coming from a pair of small speakers. The sound is stunning. I must say I never found such listening experience with my previous P3ES-2. Of course P3ES-2 are excellent speakers. But I think they are more demanding in terms of the power rating of the amplifier. P3ESR on the contrary are more "amp-friendly" (don't forget I'm using only a cheap JVC mini hifi) and having "more revealing" bass. These make the overall sound richer, yet without sacrificing the details. Alan, how do you achieve this? =)

                      I can remember when I went to the Hifi shop with my younger brother to audition P3ESR, we both were stunned. My brother is a very critical listener. When the P3ESR sang, all I found on his face was a smile with satisfaction. We then made both an easy and a difficult choice - Easy, because it is so obvious to us that the sound of P3ESR is what we are looking for; Difficult, because P3ESR are the most expensive small bookshelf speakers in the shop!

                      I paid eventually of course.

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                      • We asians are fond of special edition, limited edition & what not. Just look at the types of special editions one can find of the venerable LS-3/5A in Asia. It even seems that these special & limited editions were specially made for the Asian market to capitalise on demand. So therefore not surprised to see a special edition P3ESR in HongKong. Some years back i recall seeing a Rendevous version of Harbeths appearing in Taiwan. As mentioned earlier, special edition or not, Harbeth is still an inherently excellent product & one will be hard pressed to find another more musically convincing loudspeaker regardless of price or size.

                        Btw, after seeing those beautiful pics of P3ESR posted by Chowyeung, i am really tempted to go out & buy or order a pair. :}

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                        • I think Eric's questioning is valid. What I would like to know is - if a potential customer call in and asked Alan or someone in the Harbeth about the performance of special edition, whether it sounds better or not, what would Harbeth's response be? If the answer is consistence with the views on HUG, then I really don't have a problem with Harbeth making a special edition. The user gets the correct information and willing to pay for it, then why not?

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                          • Would anyone call Kelloggs and ask if their Special World Cup edition Corn Flakes make them run faster?

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                            • Hi Champion

                              - Do you have go faster stripes on your car?
                              -cables have been convered and done to death here. The short answer is they don’t make much of a darn difference. You’ll have a bigger perceivable difference if you sit on a 4 inch pillow listening to the same speakers.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Will
                                They could even be worse!
                                if so, not a lot different than the perceivable difference in quality of recordings. The quality of recording plays a much bigger impact than cables, conditioners, plugs, sockets, anti vibration put together.

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