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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SHL5 delivers music

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  • SHL5 delivers music

    Dear mr. Alan Shaw and the Harbeth team,

    I am a proud new owner of a Harbeth SHL5 pair in the gorgeous ebony finish, purchased from Mr. Peter Mezek's Pear Audio in Slovenia. After having the speakers in my home for just a few weeks, I felt the need to share a few thoughts with you.

    Let me start by saying that I got a highly professional advice from Mr. Mezek: he invested a lot of time to find the right solution for me. His knowledge (of music) and expertise (in home stereo) are incomparable and his approach is unique and I can wholeheartedly recommend his advice.

    In the past years I have accumulated thousands of CDs and LPs that make my life a better place. As a jazz concert organizer (and frequent visitor of classical music concerts) I have had my ear trained to the sound of “real instruments”.

    I have had my Harbeths in my home for just a few weeks, powered by the amazing Croft amplifiers. I have to admit that the speakers (and amps) are absolutely astonishing; well…perhaps that is not the right word: the evening I brought them home, I’ve set up the system and without any big “shock” or “amazement” about the sound, I was up until 04:30 in the morning listening to music. I guess people refer to that as: "they sound right".

    I don’t have the vocabulary to express “how” they sound, but I do know that the sound is a result of great knowledge, expertise and no compromises - that I can hear based on my experience with live concerts. Such results cannot be achieved by coincidence, experiment or mediocrity: only years of hard work, stubbornness and great knowledge can produce such a piece of art. You have to know and love music in order to achieve that, and probably you’ve got to be a good engineer too.

    It is a great privilege to be able to listen to music, which is convincing and gets you to the point of a concert illusion. You wouldn’t believe the number of concerts in my living room during the past few weeks!

    The Harbeths will make my life a better place, I know: please except my sincerest congratulations for this masterpiece and please do continue your work. I hope you can make as many people as happy as me without making any compromises along the way.

    The only thing I have to blame Harbeth for is the lack of sleep. Once I start listening to records over these speakers, it’s kind of impossible to stop. I haven’t found any advice in the user group about that, perhaps you’re familiar with the problem?

    Thanks again Alan and Harbeth, keep on rocking!

    David Braun

  • #2
    Hi David, welcome to HUG. Yes i am very familiar with your problem....when i first had the SHL-5 in my setup, it made me lose alot of sleep as well! Well, the best is yet to come. Listen to them longer & they will grow on you even more.


    • #3
      I've only heard the P3's - someday I have to hear some of the larger Harbeths - they must be incredible!

      congrats on the 5's!


      • #4
        Hi David,
        Welcome. I am relatively new Harbeth SHL5 user myself and I think I fully understand what you mean by that right sound. It's a rather sublime feeling that music just flows around. But luckily I don't have your problem of sleep deprivation. Instead the sound whispers into my ears and I often fall asleep while listening to the 5s (admittedly I often tire myself out with work and exercise before settling down for the last hour or so of music before I go to bed.)
        Happy listening.
        Ck chan


        • #5
          Originally posted by davidbraun View Post
          ...The only thing I have to blame Harbeth for is the lack of sleep. Once I start listening to records over these speakers, it’s kind of impossible to stop. I haven’t found any advice in the user group about that, perhaps you’re familiar with the problem? ...
          Like my uncle Yvon says: "You will have enough time to sleep when you'll be dead." So while you're alive, enjoy your new babies. And welcome to the HUG.



          • #6
            Welcome to the club.
            Do not worry if you stay sleepless. This is only in the begining.
            It is strong while you await for them, becomes softer and in a different way the first days when you listen through them and finally, a few days later, you understand that you have found peace of mind !
            We all do with the Harbeths.
            Enjoy !!!


            • #7
              Hi David,

              I am also a new SHL5 owner. I brought them home last week and set them up immediately. My gf and I blew off a concert to which we had prepaid tickets to stay home and listen to them. They are fabulous speakers, and seem especially to love the voice of Eva Cassidy. :-)


              • #8
                Originally posted by Cabrio62 View Post
                ...They are fabulous speakers, and seem especially to love the voice of Eva Cassidy. :-)
                Oh yes... Eva Cassidy. I discovered her at the last SSI last year in Montreal. Then I bought one of her LP: Songbird. Truly nice via the SHL5.