"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. Deviations from a flat frequency response at any point along the signal chain from microphone to ear is likely to give an audible sonic personality to the system at your ear; this includes the significant contribution of the listening room itself. To accurately reproduce the recorded sound as Harbeth speakers are designed to do, you would be best 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 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 among a plethora of product choices.

HUG specialises in making complex technical matters simple to understand, getting at the repeatable facts in a post-truth environment where objectivity is increasingly ridiculed. With our heritage of natural sound and pragmatic design, HUG is not the best place to discuss non-Harbeth audio components selected, knowingly or not, to introduce a significantly personalised system 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. Our overall objective here is to empower readers to make the factually best procurement decisions in the interests of lifelike music at home.

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. Always keep in mind that without basic test equipment, subjective opinions will reign unchallenged. With test equipment, universal facts and truths are exposed.

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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More ridiculous audiophile propaganda

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  • More ridiculous audiophile propaganda

    Poor fella is unwell, this type of lazy lifestyle should not be 'admired' or make anyone green with 'envy', this surely is parody, a spoof. Every single audiophile stereotype is there. I knew the demography of the 'audiophile' would be white and post 40 years.

    ďAll things have a sound, so any time you take an amp with 500 parts in the signal path, youíre listening for purity and what sounds the least affected,Ē he says.

    I say he cannot tell the difference and he would not be able to prove it.

    Although I'm in no way surprised, it's very irresponsible of Wired to portray really enjoying music as some expensive, unobtainable, holy-grail quest.

    Perhaps Mr Grellman should take up playing a musical instrument then he'll realize that it ain't and he'd be 'right there'.

    Awful, but worthy of attention.

  • #2
    Will get fooled again?

    This is the guy that started throwing arms and tables when he realized he probably couldn't tell the difference between a $7,500 aka: GBP6,000 speaker cable and a 90 pence copper lamp wire....i think he's doing better now, hmmm maybe not.


    • #3
      Let's confuse our senses...

      "If you want to be a player in todayís hi-fi scene, Grellman says that $100,000 will put you in low-end territory. If you can spend between $200,000 and $300,000, you can buy a very, very good system. And for the best of the best? A million should do the trick..."

      Very interesting links.. Grellman and Fremer look like a couple subjects from a psychological experiment. One observing psych doctor turns to the other - ''look how much time and money these otherwise intelligent men spent on their systems!"


      • #4
        It's nauseating stuff.

        How did the industry get itself into the position where not only the lunatics run the show, but a certain sector of the public (all male, incidentally, no woman would be so gullible) beg them for more? Reminiscent of a gladiatorial contest of yore. These posts are a warning to all.

        Any you wonder why kids have no interest in quality sound?
        Alan A. Shaw
        Designer, owner
        Harbeth Audio UK


        • #5
          Cost/benefit in high-end audio

          I don't really care if people want to spend the price of a house on their audio system - it's their business.

          The problem is that the impression gets conveyed (this article certainly does it) that good quality reproduction of music in the home is out of reach of the average working person, with a relatively normal amount of disposable income. So the message is, if you're not rich, don't even bother.

          I suppose it makes a good angle for an article, but I just don't think it's true. Even assuming this guy's system is very good (and it ought to be, for that money), I'm sure that one could obtain 95% (or more) of the quality for 5% (or less) of the cost.


          • #6
            Pity him

            If you look at the comment section in the wired article that guy Fremer is commenting on how he passed some amplifier test at an audio show,supposedly everyone failed the test and he got 5out of 5 correct...poor guy then starts calling everyone an a hole,check it out..poor poor guy.

            Oh and of course after getting 5 out of 5 correct he will never again partake of an A-B test...yeah sure,it happened,if he actually believed his own lies then he would be all over that million dollar challenge.


            • #7
              Absurd statistic

              Grellman said : "Ninety-nine percent of the best audio gear is still made here in the U.S". I really beg to differ on that! Grellman's idea of a mega high end sound is largely based on amplified music. This guy doesn't even listen to classical music. Try listening to some classical stuff on his mega & super expensive Rockport spks & see how wallpaper peels by itself.


              • #8
                Marketing madness

                I'm proud to say that all the components in my listening room and living room cost about as much as his phono cartridge. I don't want to be a player in today's hi-fi scene. Or tomorrow's.

                I read this passage to my fiancee:

                "If you want to be a player in todayís hi-fi scene, Grellman says that $100,000 will put you in low-end territory. If you can spend between $200,000 and $300,000, you can buy a very, very good system. And for the best of the best? A million should do the trick..."

                She laughed.


                • #9
                  Sneering at the music lover

                  A bit of an aside, but I resent the use of the word "player" which has come from I assume American culture.

                  With my English roots I immediately think of player as meaning non serious, but no, it is used here as meaning 'anything below this level cannot be taken seriously; you're not 'in the game' until you have achieved at least this level'.

                  Why is it that some people have immediately in response to the mention of some pursuit, aspiration or attempt at achievement, to show themselves to be 'The real man with the biggest guns'.

                  Show your BMW Mini - Cooper which you have saved for, and are pleased with, and immediately as a kneejerk reaction some types have to dissmissively show you their Maserati or Lambourgini.

                  With enough money one can have the best of everyting in all areas of human endeavour, but does that make the owner a superb human being? However it does distract from the personal achievements of the maverick owner of super equipment.
                  Last edited by Pharos; 03-08-2013, 09:14 AM. Reason: grammar


                  • #10

                    What is the abbreviation for "OCD" ?


                    • #11
                      The right to consume

                      Horses for courses and what floats your boat.

                      I wish my 40.1 could peel some wall paper off when I play rock. Been experimenting with room treatment before I incorporate them as a more permanent feature in my forthcoming renovations. Room plays a significant part in audio playback and if thatís being OCD, then thats what I am!

                      I want my music to sound the way it should (perceived or otherwise and regardless of what Wired, Freemer or anyone has to say) and after I get the room "right" may change equipment or run a separate system. I can afford a one million dollar system (if I so choose) and say what you want, if it achieves what I want, its my money and I will spend it anyway I want. Life is just too short to bother about what others think. Sorry but thatís just my view. BTW, I do my fair share if not more in contributing to the less fortunate so I don't see why I shouldn't spend some on myself. Selfish? perhaps but let he who hasn't sinned cast the first stone!


                      • #12
                        Being kind to the 'audiophile'

                        This last post has prompted my concerns about much criticism of, for want of a better word, 'audiophiles'. There surely is BS, but there are also things which are borne of genuine experience.

                        In the endeavour to achieve a better sound there will inevitably be valid changes made to a system, which do produce good and beneficial results, and also those which do not, and may even be retrograde. With the latter it may not always be easy to say "I made a mistake".

                        It must be clear to all that in many processes, there is 'just the right amount' of any given task to produce the best results, perhaps the cooking of an egg. It is very easy to do it too little or too much, and in audio it is easy also to get lost in a path in which too much of something is done - perhaps endlessly changing cables for more expensive ones when initially a change did seemingly produce valid results, but not thereafter.

                        I think we should not vilify so much those who 'get lost' in our pursuit, it is easy to do both practically, and in personal theories, science has always had numerous failed attempts at proof; do we then 'point the finger' and snigger at these attempts?

                        I hope not, and also that we praise the striving of that individual, especially in the western world in which so many seem to do take on few personal challenges reasoning wise.

                        I think for me it is important to listen to the views of others because I know that I am prone to error and delusion, and cross referring opinions is a valid error correction and stabilising tool for me.

                        Regarding 'subjectivist's' expressed views, could we just consider that they too are just human beings, who are trying to make sense of an experience, and that they are often groping to find words with which to describe and express their responses?

                        I firmly believe in the established criteria for the measurement of performance of audio equipment, but I do not believe that they define everything, and I still think that some changes to components in a system can produce quite unexplainable auditory results. (so far that is).


                        • #13
                          Magic fuses

                          Even though I am sympathetic to the aspiring sound improver, (audiophile), I have just come across this...


                          and it worries me a great deal.
                          Last edited by Pharos; 05-08-2013, 10:57 AM. Reason: Full address added, though it does not highlight


                          • #14
                            A balanced view from an ex-retailer (hang up your neuroses)

                            I think 'we've' been discussing this aspect on a different forum - and thanks so much for pointing out the reasons why power supplies shouldn't be at all affected by a fuse change, with my addition that the fuse should be clean and properly specified in the first place..... Microphony of solid state circuits is another selling handle on a well known UK amp maker too, despite nothing being audible if earlier examples of their products being thumped hard and listening to the speakers...

                            When I was active in the audio retail side of the industry, I remember getting all 'fused up,' hearing the sound 'change' with changing direction of a fuse and messing around with drive-belt and mat alignment on the infamous Scottish made turntable. In reality, these 'differences' were either tiny (in regards to the turntable) and probably non-existant in the case of the fuse shenanigans.

                            The thing is, our hobby is now shared with, can I say, middle aged people mainly now, with hearing that isn't as acute as when we were in our teens and twenties, when the HiFi bug first bit. I just can't, and don't really want to either, listen for tiny 'differences' that don't really exist, as the music is the important thing and I derive so much more pleasure in hearing what and how a bass player is plying his craft for example, rather than listening for 'deeeeetail' as I probably used to do

                            P.S. I long ago discovered that once the playback system is matched up properly and as evenly balanced as possible, all these 'tiny differences' disappear and become meaningless...


                            • #15
                              Grasping at gadgets

                              Originally posted by Pharos View Post
                              Even though I am sympathetic to the aspiring sound improver, (audiophile), I have just come across this...


                              and it worries me a great deal.
                              Is there any current going through a fuse?....reminds me when I fell for the hospital grade audiophile 'red' receptacles at $40 a pair many years ago and then I see the same ones at homedepot for $4.99 a pair.