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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Wish list for new model Harbeth

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  • #16
    Active electronics from the inside ....

    Originally posted by fred40 View Post
    ..."Also Alan has expressed reservations about offering mains-powered products - insurance, health and safety regulations etc" ...
    That is indeed an accurate summary. Making active, mains powered equipment and supporting/servicing it for the long-term is a very complex, costly time consuming business that acts as a drag on the entire company. And subcontracting to China doesn't help - it merely pushes the problem around.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK


    • #17

      Mr Shaw,

      A wrong assumption at my side, probably because off my English. |Thought you ment that you where afraid people became electrick shocks !


      • #18
        Black ash?

        I would like to see a black ash finish, but that's just me.

        {Moderator's comment: which model?}


        • #19
          The economics of international commerce

          Originally posted by EricW View Post
          Actually, in North America, they do cost within that range (especially when one considers that sales taxes are not included in the North American retail pricing). I know this is probably an inevitable result of shipping heavy boxes a long way and having an extra layer of distribution, but as a consumer, one could nonetheless wish it weren't so. UK and European purchasers are definitely getting a bargain.
          I suspect UK/European purchasers of certain American audio components aren't so thrilled at the prices they pay either, but it makes knowing the price difference paid no less unpleasant. I have an acquaintance living in the UK and what he paid for his new 7ES-3's vs what I paid for my new 7ES-3's in the states was a bit of an unpleasant surprise - but such are the economics of international commerce.


          • #20
            Cost upon cost upon cost

            Harbeth UK does not - cannot and must not - impose retail price control on any of our 40+ distributors. There are just too many incidental costs in bringing a product to market, some obviously expensive (air freight), some not obvious (import duties, port charges, insurance, indemnities etc.).

            The system seems to self regulate.
            Alan A. Shaw
            Designer, owner
            Harbeth Audio UK


            • #21
              Usa > uk

              It also works the other way. US gear sells here at more than Pound per Dollar, making even reasonably priced equipment very expensive over here.


              • #22
                That's a fact...

                If you want it you pay for it regardless.

                Try paying UK, European prices for vinyl, CD's DVD's Blueray etc. This stuff cost twice the US price.

                So much so that I buy my vinyl Box sets in the US and even with shipping (often Ģ25) it works out a lot cheaper.

                Sure, you can't do this with speakers and the like but that same issue applies if I want a US built piece of kit.


                • #23
                  Super, super

                  A Super HL5.1

                  Obviously with a Radial2

                  But hopefully a super tweeter that goes beyond the current models 24khz

                  As I understand it, the old HL5 single tweeter model went up to 18khz, so I'm assuming the "Super HL5" addressed this with adding a super tweeter prob taking over at 16-18khz up to the 24khz quoted.

                  But with high def music and now high def audio on blurays I think it would be a good ideal for a speaker that can handle these frequencys (45khz odd in theory, from 96khz movies/music)

                  {Moderator's comment: Thanks for your feedback. Can you actually hear 20kHz?}


                  • #24
                    Just noise artefacts above 20kHz...

                    Originally posted by Moderator View Post
                    Can you actually hear 20kHz?}
                    I quite like some SACDs. However, I would rather not use a speaker that makes too good a job of reproducing all the noise shaping artefacts that exist above 20kHz - put there in the knowledge that few human beings have any chance of detecting them.

                    Did you know that the Scarlet Book (SACD specification and license rules) requires players to have a 50kHz low pass filter in their (analogue) output to ensure that the vast quantity of said artefacts do not make it further down the listening chain?


                    • #25
                      Supertweeters - listen with your eyes...

                      I found a Hifi News article about listening to Supertweeters through our eyes. I couldn't read it very well as I had my earphones on.



                      • #26
                        My hearing

                        Originally posted by JamesBrown View Post
                        RE: Super HL5-R

                        {Moderator's comment: Thanks for your feedback. Can you actually hear 20kHz?}
                        sure, from 10/15hz to way up past 20khz, using sony mdr-ex700s+mdr-7520s

                        But yea, theres always one "humans cant hear XYZ"

                        {Moderator's comment: without turning up the volume? Are you under about 20 years old?}


                        • #27
                          My super hearing

                          {Moderator's comment: without turning up the volume? Are you under about 20 years old?}[/QUOTE]

                          About 20 out of 30 on my x1060 and about 50% on my 8740w

                          And no.

                          Anymore doubtful questions?

                          And yes I use otex :p

                          If the stance here that humans can't hear 20khz or over
                          And when your 30odd you can't hear 15/16khz or over
                          And your average customer is 30+

                          Does this not make the current super hl5 (and even entire range of harbeths)
                          Over spec'd ??

                          {Moderatator's comment: If you can hear 20kHz without lifting the volume (a lot) then you should definitely offer your services to the audio industry and be paid very well for it! We have never experienced such acuity except in the very young. Please refer to ISO226 hearing acuity curves. If consumers demand a supertweeter, that is what we have given them for > 10 years whether we (now) or they (now) can hear to 20kHz.}


                          • #28

                            Originally posted by JamesBrown View Post
                            Any more doubtful questions?
                            Yes - what musical content do you perceive above 10kHz?


                            • #29
                              HF - good enough

                              Iīd guess that Harbeths (and most speakers) ARE over-specīd in that sense.
                              Which means: in that area we have no probems left.
                              Therefore the need to push these specīs any further is near zero.


                              • #30
                                Deleted content - why

                                I find it telling that my post had my {-} ls {-} remark not posted

                                {Moderator's content: these products exist and have existed since about 1987 in the Harbeth line-up. We don't reinvent the already reinvented.}