"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, since deviations from a flat frequency response at any point along the signal chain from microphone to ear is likely to create the audible sonic personality that you hear. This includes the contribution of the listening room itself. To accurately reproduce the recorded sound, as Harbeth speakers are designed to do, you would be 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 potentially 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 amongst a plethora of available product choices.

HUG specialises in making complex technical matters simple to understand, such as the relationship between recorded sound and the sound you hear. With our heritage of natural sound and pragmatism, HUG cannot be expected to be a place to get deeply into discussing the selection, approval or endorsement of non-Harbeth system elements selected, knowingly or not, to create a significantly personalised 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.

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.

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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Circle 5's - still loved, still supported by Harbeth

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  • Circle 5's - still loved, still supported by Harbeth

    It's amazing how quickly time passes. In the late 1990s we became the OEM supplier to HHB of the Circle series monitor speakers, which I designed and we originally sold under the Harbeth Xpression! brand.

    Example brochure, [URL][/URL]

    The passive version, similar in size to the M30 was quickly followed by the active ones, my first attempt at active speaker electronics, which have proved to be extremely reliable. Peeking inside a Circle 5A today, I recognised my signature on the electronics module from Jan 2001.

    From what we understand, HHB themselves are not offering a service for these speaker, but we have never stopped manufacturing the woofers and we are most definitely able to replace woofers, check-over the response. The tweeters and amps seem to be bullet-proof which is a blessing as we do not have any of these as swap-in replacements.

    These speakers, as with all Harbeths, were built to last, and considering that the last batch was made for HHB some fifteen or more years ago (I must check), they have immense brand loyalty and pride of ownership. I was told that at one stage six hits from the Top 40 were mixed/mastered on these speakers, a tremendous tribute to their uptake and value engineering.

    It's really nice to meet their owners and to her the stories of how they have been used and how trusted they are for their sound balance in critical applications.

    Yes, we definitely can look after them for you!
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK