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"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.

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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 http://bit.ly/2FEgoAy may be for you. Either way, welcome to the world of Harbeth!"


Feb. 2018
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Distortion, specifications and sine wave vs. listening tests

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  • Distortion, specifications and sine wave vs. listening tests

    This was posted elsewhere. Informative food for thought.
    Sorry it's so long, he obviously had to fill a seminar slot.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2V6YN-mshmY

  • #2
    Persuasive

    Thanks very much for this link. It was fascinating. He is clearly not an accomplished teacher, but he is ironically funny and he knows his stuff.

    I think it persuasively shows that more measurement is key to better understanding, and that single figure specs are pretty meaningless, unlike graphs that cover the full range of conditions.

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    • #3
      The relative (in)audibility of clipping?

      Originally posted by ssfas View Post
      This was posted elsewhere. Informative food for thought.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2V6YN-mshmY
      Of particular note is the demonstration of clipping induced distortions - starting about 25 minutes into the video. The majority of the audience didn't appear to detect the onset of clipping until the distortion level exceeded 30%.

      Perhaps this would account for the claims by those who use demonstrably under-powered amplifiers that they hear no evidence of clipping.

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      • #4
        The fluffing-up of clipped bass sounds

        There was a link referred to here a few weeks ago (I've lost the link but downloaded the paper) to some research done by Dudley Harwood when at the BBC, the conclusions being that if the clipping/compression is gentle enough (no ringing or other nasties), we can tolerate 9dB of compression before it becomes audible.

        The smaller of the amps I make go 'wrong' in the bass long before I notice any misbehaviour in treble regions. Loud powerful synth-bass notes, kick drums etc. lose definition and sound a tiny bit like a fluffed-up stylus when the going gets tough. This is how I think a lot of valve amps clip

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        • #5
          Bass force

          Originally posted by DSRANCE View Post
          The smaller of the amps I make go 'wrong' in the bass long before I notice any misbehaviour in treble regions. Loud powerful synth-bass notes, kick drums etc. lose definition and sound a tiny bit like a fluffed-up stylus when the going gets tough. This is how I think a lot of valve amps clip
          Are you talking about bass clipping or simply the lack of valve amp power to properly control the speaker driver at low frequencies? That is why I gave up on valves, I took it to be a lack of brute force rather than a clipping issue.

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          • #6
            Advance again

            Just found this amp:
            http://advance-acoustic.com/en/hifi-...fier/96-x-i120

            Is Distortion < 0.1% too much ? or it is fine ? it does not say THD, is that important ?

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