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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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.