"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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The stunning accuracy of Harbeth loudspeakers.

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  • The stunning accuracy of Harbeth loudspeakers.

    I was at a concert featuring the singer Edwina Hayes.
    I ought to add I run a small PA business, MGM Audio, and run PA systems for small venues such as village halls.
    Anyway, back to Edwina Hayes.
    I was in St. John's church in Oxford at a Fairport Convention gig and
    Edwina was the guest musician.
    I was sitting at the back near the mixing desk.

    Simon Nicol of Fairport introduced Edwina, the lights dimmed and she started playing.
    I must add I had never heard her before. She is an exceptionally talented singer and guitarist.
    I was surprised how good she was. I was captivated.
    Bought the CD and a week or so later gave it a listen at home.

    Oh, I had forgotten, this is about Harbeth speakers, not my life in the world of PA.

    I slotted the CD in my player and pressed go.
    I was instantly taken back to the concert and Edwina playing those opening chords.
    Those little P3ESRs not only gave me the music, but also the feeling of being there at St. John's church.
    Harbeth speakers are stunningly accurate.

  • #2
    Curiously, I was at St John the Evangelist Oxford yesterday for several events, including a performance of Vivaldi The Seasons. Lovely slightly warm acoustic, no hard edges, probably something to do with the wooden barrelled ceiling. Very Harbeth-esque.


    • #3
      I have never run my PA for anything slightly 'Classical'.
      You wouldn't.
      The nearest I got was a Vocal Choir.

      I used an expensive Neumann KMS105 vocal mic. for the female lead.
      Some PZM mics. for distance pickup and AKG1000s mics. for the remaining Choir members.
      Oh, this could be difficult, as too much PA will spoil the mix.

      The JBL Control 5s are fine for electric guitar, most folk voices and the like.
      They are probably too colored for non-amplified voices.
      With care, all was OK.
      The venue wasn't very big, so the mix just helped the Choir with some volume.

      What has this got to do with Harbeth speakers?
      Someone recorded it on high quality kit and burnt me a CD.

      It sounded very good, indeed excellent, through my P3-ESRs.


      • #4
        Is this the CD you bought?

        Beautiful voice!