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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.

That's it! Enjoy!

{Updated Nov. 2016A}
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Veneers - you decide

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  • #16
    surface of the veneers

    Are veneers thick enough to change the sound depending on which tree they are made of?

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    • #17
      language of colours

      Originally posted by A.S. View Post
      We offer a range of veneers to compliment the colours and style of your living and listening environment. There are some who claim that veneers 'sounds different'. We can't say...
      (To be completed)
      Dear Alan,
      I really don't know the language of colors. But I certainly know I eat more and enjoy more at the Pizza-restaurant relatively to getting the pizza home... the same pizzas tastes better there-where the walls, tables and chairs are brown mostly and there is a red stripe at eye level when sitting. (Sure, there are some more factors: it's crispier there, everybody eats around, mostly good friends are at the table etc.)
      All Harbeth veneers are warm colours... coincidence? Undoubtedly, there are some houses that cool colours match better! Why is there no blue or green speakers?
      So, for my M40.1, should I choose EUCALYPTUS: to get brighter sound; CHERRY: warmer than eucalyptus; ROSEWOOD: for more dynamics; TIGER: for darker, more neutral sound and razor-sharp images???

      On the other hand, what about the backgound? Which color the walls should be? :-))

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      • #18
        Originally posted by A.S. View Post
        We offer a range of veneers to compliment the colours and style of your living and listening environment. There are some who claim that veneers 'sounds different'. We can't say, but here are some recent contribution about this .....

        (To be completed)
        looking forward to hearing the cont'd...

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        • #19
          Ash veneer?

          Hi Alan,

          Linn LP12 owners have claimed for years that solid Ash is the best sounding all-round plinth wood so perhaps including Ash & black Ash veneers would be a good idea? Although veneer would have much less impact on the characteristics of a MDF cabinet, Harbeth's larger thin-walled cabinets have enough flex to perhaps be infuenced in some ways by it.

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          • #20
            Enhanced audio acuity?

            Linn fanatics claim to hear the effect of wearing a watch when listening, so no surprise they can hear differences with plinth woods.

            It's a funny old World !!!

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            • #21
              Can Harbeth do special veneers?

              A question;

              I bought a pair of P3ESRs in black ash finish for stereo use. Let's say that at one point I'd like to expand to a full Harbeth home theater setup, would I be able, with a certain amount of patience, to order a different model in black ash, even if it's not a standard finish for that model (e.g. the monitor 30)?

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              • #22
                Example of rosewood, Dec. 2011

                Example of rosewood - in this case on M40.1

                Link to thread here.

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                • #23
                  Splitting a pair

                  Originally posted by TimVG View Post
                  A question;

                  I bought a pair of P3ESRs in black ash finish for stereo use. Let's say that at one point I'd like to expand to a full Harbeth home theater setup, would I be able, with a certain amount of patience, to order a different model in black ash, even if it's not a standard finish for that model (e.g. the monitor 30)?
                  Could anyone find this out? I'm going to my hifi dealer on friday, and if this is an option I'd like to discuss it with him.. Thanks!

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                  • #24
                    Special cabinets - the logistics

                    Frankly, we are not in a position to negotiate with the cabinet maker over ones and twos in a 'non-standard' veneer. Of course, anything can be done, but at a price. I don't think you'd be willing to pay 50%+ more would you for what on the face of it is 'just' a change of veneer. But once the cabinets are underway, hand picking some nice veneer for just a pair of cabinets isn't a viable proposition at a fair price to you.

                    Actually it's a little more complex than this. When we order, say, 100 cabinets of any given veneer, bearing in mind the myriad of problems that can become evident during their production, the cabinet maker will (depending on model and veneer and past experience) veneer-up and turn into cabinets a larger quantity: perhaps 106 or 108 pcs.. That should, in his judgement, cover realistic 'losses' during production. If he's lucky and everything goes well, then maybe we receive 102 or 104 pcs. and I have a policy that we never refuse to accept and pay for perfect cabinets which are, legally, over-deliveries against the original purchase order. Many competitors have hard and fast accounting rules - and 100 ordered must balance against 100 received and not a piece more. This refusal to accept over-runs causes bad feeling with the cabinet maker who has no other outlet for the cabinet. He won't sit on them so they'll be turned into kindling: a straight loss to him.

                    So, to be sure that one perfect pair of black cabinets is available for you on the end of a run of another veneer, he may have to make not two but at least four. And then, if they are perfect, we have to buy those cabinets and sit on them perhaps forever.

                    I hope this gives you some insight into what is a seemingly trivial issue and why controlling the range of veneers is essential to remaining cost competitive.
                    Alan A. Shaw
                    Designer, owner
                    Harbeth Audio UK

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                    • #25
                      ANother suggestion about single cabinets

                      Thanks for explaining that, that makes perfect sense. This would also mean that buying a single speaker to serve as a centre channel would be impossible, right? Unless of course you could use a cabinet whose 'twin' has suffered transit or other damage.

                      Would that be a viable option, depending on stock of damaged cabinets of course?

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                      • #26
                        Differences in (durability of) different veneers

                        Ok this is not about how different veneers would sound differently. :-)

                        Has anyone done any research on the durability of different veneers? I believe in real sense, we may not see much of a difference but different wood do have their different properties (hardness, density) and will change colour with age or exposed to different humidity or light.

                        For example, I have heard of cases where veneers crack over time. I wonder if some veneers are more prone to the others to cracking.

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                        • #27
                          Veneer choices?

                          I saw black color Harbeth speaker. what is the veneer made of? Black Ash? can we ask for polish finishing?

                          is wood veneer more costly to manufacture than normal black color finishing?

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                          • #28
                            English oak

                            My preference would be classic English Oak colour, it's neutral and beautifully grained and of course would be perfect coming from the Harbeth factory in a beautiful quintessential English village.

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                            • #29
                              Tiger Ebony!

                              Beautiful Tiger Ebony is the favourite here - probably because my demo SHL5 and M30.1 are in this exotic wood.

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                              • #30
                                Cherry veneer natural oxidisation

                                I have a question I'd be grateful if anyone is able to answer. Since one of my SHL5 plus speakers in cherry veneer is placed in the corner of my room where little direct sunlight is reaching, I'd like to know whether the cherry veneer only oxidises when exposed to direct sunlight or also to indirect sunlight or artificial lighting.

                                Does the entire cherry veneer surface oxidises naturally only in well sunlit rooms or also in lower lit rooms, only slower.

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