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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.

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{Updated Nov. 2016A}
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CD Player for Super HL5 - suggestions?

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  • #61
    I've stopped chasing CD players ...

    I have spent years and money chasing down improvements in the CD player set up. From isolation platforms to tube buffers to running a digital line out from the CD player to an expensive and heavy separate DAC that was larger than the CD player.

    I now have all my CDs transferred using lossless rips via iTunes to a commodity HDD, and from there I use a Sonos wireless solution to transfer the bit perfect music signals to my amplifier.

    I still have a SACD player in my set up, but my C7s produce great music which sounds the same to me regardless of whether I play a CD in the player, or via Sonos. The sheer operating convenience of Sonos has resulted in all my CDs going into boxes, and the SACD player sitting idle.

    I now believe that beyond a point pretty close to that obtained from even budget CD players of today, there is nothing to be gained by spending more on this part of the audio system.

    Comment


    • #62
      Food for thought - tiny diffeences?

      Your observations are an indication that differences may be very small or even inaudible.

      It is no proof but should make one think about the results.

      Comment


      • #63
        Rega CD and Harbeth - a bargain

        Often the way.

        I believe it was on this thread - way back - that I said that I like the Rega Saturn and their new Apollo. I've heard and compared them both to some very expensive machines and preferred the Rega's.

        There are some bargains out there and amongst them I count the Harbeth speakers.

        Comment


        • #64
          Rega Saturn

          LOVE my Rega Saturn - wish I could afford a second one as a spare!

          Comment


          • #65
            Originally posted by darkmatter View Post
            How did you get on?

            My answer to posts like this elswehere would be to find a Harbeth dealer who can set up a system that matches yours sans the CD player and listen to machines within the specified budget; or find a dealer prepared to lend out a player on demonstration.

            As I always advise the one that you like the best go for, yes you can read reviews etc but as I said if you like one model best for you it is the one You like best.

            There are some very good players at that price point.

            Simon
            Hi Simon,
            Still haven't made the change and probably won't until a little later in the year.
            Thanks for all the comments... certainly stirred up a bit of a hornets nest!
            All I can say is that I trust my ears and sure won't be buying something purely because it looks good... let's face it, if that were the case, I wouldn't have bought Harbeth, nice enough looking though they are, but there are better at that price point.
            Cheers
            Mac


            {Moderator's comment: No, different, cheaper to make probably but definitely not 'better'. Classic elegance is timeless.}

            Comment


            • #66
              Classic designs

              And a question of personal taste:

              I have become sort of a design-freak (with furniture by Eames, USM-Haller, Arne Jacobsen and so on) and have to say that a classic, well made speaker as a Harbeth looks better to me than anything else.

              In fact: as I have a dedicated listening room (which untill now was only "useful") the Harbeths somehow forced me to trying to make the rest of the room as beautiful and cosy (looking) as they are.

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              • #67
                Budget Marantz good enough for me ....

                Nothing much I can contribute on the cdp side if I really need a cdp again any budget marantz is more than enough but when talk about the look of the speakers I love my Harbeth timeless classic look. Very "human" to me. It happened to match nicely in my hall. I not intended to do that but it just happened. Also the one and only M40.1 very nice looking too.
                "Bath with Music"

                Comment


                • #68
                  Examples please...

                  Originally posted by Maccar View Post
                  All I can say is that I trust my ears and sure won't be buying something purely because it looks good... let's face it, if that were the case, I wouldn't have bought Harbeth, nice enough looking though they are, but there are better at that price point.
                  OK Maccar, I'm going to call you out on this one. Please provide some examples of "better looking speakers at that price point." Understanding of course that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

                  I think my eucalyptus C7s are some of the best looking speakers around regardless of price! And because of their classic looks they have a high WAF.

                  Comment


                  • #69
                    Originally posted by Kumar Kane View Post
                    I have spent years and money chasing down improvements in the CD player set up. From isolation platforms to tube buffers to running a digital line out from the CD player to an expensive and heavy separate DAC that was larger than the CD player.

                    I now have all my CDs transferred using lossless rips via iTunes to a commodity HDD, and from there I use a Sonos wireless solution to transfer the bit perfect music signals to my amplifier.

                    I still have a SACD player in my set up, but my C7s produce great music which sounds the same to me regardless of whether I play a CD in the player, or via Sonos. The sheer operating convenience of Sonos has resulted in all my CDs going into boxes, and the SACD player sitting idle.

                    I now believe that beyond a point pretty close to that obtained from even budget CD players of today, there is nothing to be gained by spending more on this part of the audio system.
                    +1. Kumar is right.

                    I sold my expensive player to buy a ticket to New Zealand. Came back broke and in need of a player. For really acceptable sound on an extreme budget, you can't go wrong with one of Sony's better CD Walkman's dating from the late nineties - one with a line-out jack. You get a lot of quality for your buck because there's no power supply involved (the obvious snag being you have to keep your rechargeables topped up).
                    Ben from UK. Harbeth Super HL5 owner.

                    Comment


                    • #70
                      Recommend SACD?

                      Originally posted by Kumar Kane View Post
                      I have spent years and money chasing down improvements in the CD player set up. From isolation platforms to tube buffers to running a digital line out from the CD player to an expensive and heavy separate DAC that was larger than the CD player.

                      I now have all my CDs transferred using lossless rips via iTunes to a commodity HDD, and from there I use a Sonos wireless solution to transfer the bit perfect music signals to my amplifier.

                      I still have a SACD player in my set up, but my C7s produce great music which sounds the same to me regardless of whether I play a CD in the player, or via Sonos. The sheer operating convenience of Sonos has resulted in all my CDs going into boxes, and the SACD player sitting idle.

                      I now believe that beyond a point pretty close to that obtained from even budget CD players of today, there is nothing to be gained by spending more on this part of the audio system.
                      Which SACD player do you use Kumar?

                      Comment


                      • #71
                        Marantz KI Pealr ... as a DAC

                        Originally posted by errhoo View Post
                        Which SACD player do you use Kumar?
                        You mean, I don't use?!:-)

                        Its a Marantz KI Pearl Lite. Brilliant player, with the usual good Marantz build quality, but redundant now to a large extent. Since it takes digital inputs to its DAC, and my Sonos unit has digital outs that allow for the use of an external DAC, I have kept it in use for just its DAC, and so that I don't feel the hurt of it lying around idle. Even when I bypass it, and feed the Sonos analog output directly to the amplifier, the sound is pretty much the same via the C7s.

                        Comment


                        • #72
                          Difference between Digital Sources is Apparent

                          Originally posted by BAS-H View Post
                          I sold my expensive player to buy a ticket to New Zealand. Came back broke and in need of a player. For really acceptable sound on an extreme budget, you can't go wrong with one of Sony's better CD Walkman's dating from the late nineties - one with a line-out jack. You get a lot of quality for your buck because there's no power supply involved (the obvious snag being you have to keep your rechargeables topped up).
                          Please ignore my last post (#69)! I made a mistake. I connected up my DVD player (which also handles CDs). Both this player and my walkman cost ~ 30. The walkman's sound is thin, without body. The DVD player's sound is superior and obviously so. It seems digital output sources are different after all. Hope I didn't mislead anyone.
                          Ben from UK. Harbeth Super HL5 owner.

                          Comment


                          • #73
                            CD search is,over?

                            Well, I believe my search is nearly at an end.
                            Having tried heavyweights such as Wadia, Krell and Audio Research I'm currently demoing an Electrocompaniet EMC1UP and without doubt it's the best I've heard... goes superbly with the Sugden and Harbeth combo.
                            I will be trying the Masterclass CDP next week, but I will be amazed if it's any better than the EMC1UP.
                            Cheers
                            Mac

                            Comment


                            • #74
                              Perfect Wave

                              In this price range I suggest that you also try to audition the PS Audio Perfect Wave Transport before making a final decision. Note that it can also play hi-res digital music as WAV files on a DVD.
                              I mentioned this in an earlier thread:
                              http://www.harbeth.co.uk/usergroup/s...=7960#post7960
                              David

                              Comment


                              • #75
                                Streaming

                                As with Kumar Kane's post above, I feel that the future is with digital streaming. While CDPs will still be sold, the trend is towards digital media which, when properly executed, can sound as good as a CDP. You don't have the mechanical parts to worry about! You just need a good DAC (USB) or streamer.

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