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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Best sub to pair with Super HL5s?

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  • #16
    Velodyne sub

    I am using a Velodyne DD10 (old model) and it integrates absolutely seamlessly with my M30's. Forget REL, it really doesn't hold a stick to the Velodyne subwoofers, unless crossed over at the lowest frequency and in a sympathetic enough room. They are far from flat and cannot be eq-ed.

    Getting into Dave's points mentioned above:

    1) You are right, but you would be amazed just how much a good subwoofer can add to your experience even with simple pop and jazz recordings. I happen to play a lot of electronic music and would literally be missing out on 1.5 octave of bass (my speakers extend down to 50 Hz in my room).

    2) Absolutely true!

    3) Good point. Most people tend to spend too little on a subwoofer. I think it should be as expensive as both front speakers combined for it to be able to 'keep up' with the quality of them.

    I would look out for a Velodyne DD10+ or DD12+. Very small and belonging to the best on the market. As an alternative, Velodyne SPL-Ultra 800, 1000 or 1200 could also be enough, but placement becomes more important, because it has less controls and hence less flexibility than the DD+ series.

    Velodyne website:


    • #17
      The truth about film sound - it can be high sonic art

      Sorry. I must post here say that TimVG is correct and thurston, less so, but that too is a generalisation.

      As a professional who records sound for film and video productions including working in post production, as well as having a background in recording and engineering music, the only rule that can be applied is that the recording/reproduction will be; A) as good as the client and engineer wants/needs/can afford it to be, B) as good as the skills of the recording engineer/producer will allow, or C) as good as the intended/anticipated playback system would deem necessary.

      As to the comments about the 'common' use of compression in film, I'm sorry, but that is incorrect. The Dynamic Range of the vast majority of film soundtracks far exceeds that of the 'Loudness War' damaged efforts of many labels and bands.

      I may be biased but in my experience, most modern film recordings are of far greater quality, and produced with far greater care than most musical recording - note I say 'most'. To clarify, I am denigrating the typical multi-tracked, overdubbed, auto-tuned, compressed-to-oblivion modern pop/rock garbage that is foisted upon us.

      On the other hand, good well mic'ed acoustic recordings are still, as they have always been, amongst the best examples of a well crafted recording, but the percentage of these in the big scheme of things is tragically small, when compared to the vast pop/rock production machine that we know as 'the music biziness'.

      I could bang on about this for ever, but I don't post here much, so will just let it pass for now, and sign off by reminding people that the spoken voice (especially multiple voices) is regarded as the hardest sound to record accurately, because of it's incredible complexity and because the ear/brain is pre-programmed to recognise fellow voices to such a degree that all other sounds are relegated in importance, but that is another subject.

      {Moderator's comment: very welcome post. Do you have any sound clips of spoken voice to illustrate this point?}


      • #18
        Movie atmosphere?

        Mea Culpa!

        Concerning the dynamic range it is pretty obvious (I have to admit) that modern movies span a far greater range than usual recordings. (I see that when I watch a movie at home and my wife always wants "louder" during speech, and "a little quieter pleaaaase!" when things start rumbling in the movie)

        I did not mean that but I meant that truckloads of sounds in a movie are artificial. Like if for example there is an explosion which does not sound big enough, then it is enhanced until it sounds impressive. Therefore the mixing itself is a very respectable thing to do, maybe an artform (!?).

        It is about creating a mood, an atmosphere.

        But is the sound natural?


        • #19
          Vandersteen 2WQs

          Hey All - thanks for all the input, which I have been tracking along the way. I finally did decide that I want the full bottom end with the envelopment and realism I expect it to enhance, and have ordered two of the Vandersteen 2WQs. When they arrive and I obtain just that perfect placement, I'll let you know what kind of difference I experience, if any. I am rarely, if ever, disappointed with the lower frequencies on the SHL5s, but I know mathematically I am missing an octave or more of audible sound, and a good pair of subs makes sense to me.

          The 2WQs won't be the best for movies, but that's what the movie theatre is still for. They should be the best match for music, and that's what I am hoping to hear/feel.


          • #20
            Sub experience

            I finally received and installed the 2WQs. There is still the breaking-in period to get through, and lots tweaking remaining, but so far the effect is subtle. I wasn't even sure at first they were functioning because of how subtle the effect is. But, after a couple of days on some familiar tracks/movies, the differences are becoming more apparent. Mostly it is felt rather than heard, but the sense general envelopment is greater on music, and a bit more thump at some of the intended points in movies. They also cleaned up a bothersome room effect that had given me some boom with just the SHL5s.

            Once broken in and fully integrated, I'll do some proper A/B-ing. So far, I'd say the addition of these subs rates somewhere between a system 'tweak' and a full-on upgrade. Worth it? I'm still debating value-for-money, but the difference is audible and not far off my expectation.