HUG - here for all audio enthusiasts

At its inception ten years ago, the Harbeth User Group's ambition was to create a lasting knowledge archive. Knowledge is based on facts and observations. Knowledge is timeless, independent of the observer and can be replicated. However, we live in new world in which objective facts have become flexible, personal and debatable. HUG operates in that real world, and that has now been reflected in the structure of HUG.

HUG has two approaches to contributor's Posts. If you, like us, have 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 Science of Audio sub-forum area of HUG is your place. The objective methods of comparing audio equipment under controlled conditions has been thoroughly examined here on HUG and elsewhere and can be readily understood by non-experts and tried-out at home without deep technical knowledge.

Alternatively, if you just like chatting about audio and subjectivity rules for you, then the Subjective Soundings area 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. From Oct. 2016, Posts in the Subjective Soundings area will not be spell checked or adjusted for layout clarity. 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.

The Moderators' decision is final in all matters and Harbeth does not necessarily agree with the contents of any member contributions and has no control over external content.

That's it! Enjoy!

{Updated Jan. 2017}
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Repository of adjectives to describe "sound"

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  • Repository of adjectives to describe "sound"

    I was thinking about this project for few weeks. I’d like that we, HUG’ers, create what will be an informal repertory of words we usually use to describe sounds that we heard. Just like a wine taster have his own terms to describe wines. For us, we often describe sounds.

    I jump in the water and start this thread by associating words I use to describe the sounds I heard in the 3 main frequencies categories. Usually, I think of a word in French and then translate it.

    It goes like this :

    1) Treble : sharp, edgy, soft, roll-off, attacking, extended, etc.

    2) Medium : warm, sweet, real, veiled, detailed, transparent, forward, etc.

    3) Bass : articulated, boomy, precise, extended, controlled, deep, diffused, powerful, etc.

    This is a work in progress. We should have the objective to share many words and our own repertory will expend. So, I’d like you to you add your own terms. It could also be interesting to describe and discuss them.

    Hope to read you,


  • #2

    Good thread. The supplier of a valve amp I bought a while ago has a similar page on his site. It's a pretty good vocabulary.

    The trouble with defining terms is objectivity, I find. Some are easier to define than others. 'Roll-off', a decline in dB with frequency, is pretty unambiguous, as is 'extended', an extension of response into frequency extremes, but 'attacking'? Is that synonymous with 'good transients'?

    I describe my Proacs as having a 'hard sheen' but wouldn't like to try and describe that in words.

    How to describe a sense of scale, as in the convincing crescendos of Mahler's Eighth for example? It's not the same as SPL, or volume.

    Ben from UK. Harbeth Super HL5 owner.


    • #3
      Audio glossary

      You mean defining audiophile's terms to describe the sound? Stereophile and The Absolute Sound magazines have published them long time ago. Stereophile's audio glossary can be accessed here.

      It even describes person like me who believes that all components that measures the same, sound the same as auronihilist.



      • #4
        Originally posted by STHLS5 View Post
        You mean defining audiophile's terms to describe the sound? Stereophile and The Absolute Sound magazines have published them long time ago. Stereophile's audio glossary can be accessed here...
        Bookmarked! Thank you.


        • #5
          Measure same = sound same?

          All components that measures the same, sound the same? Always? Or only when the measuring device has resolution, sensitivity and consistency greater than the ear? And what about the problem of measurement scope? An ear can detect all aspects of sound at once—that I think is what music is—but no other measurement device can do so. Hm, I don't think I'm an auronihilist.

          Grateful for the Stereophile glossary.
          Ben from UK. Harbeth Super HL5 owner.


          • #6
            Thank you BAS-H and STHLS5 for you links. It was exactly what I was expecting.

            I already read the first link and I began the Stereophile glossary.



            • #7

              Thanks for the links, guys.

              Just like to add that overall, I like my hifi system to be "limpid''.


              • #8
                Limpid = transparent?

                Originally posted by singslingr View Post
                ...I like my hifi system to be "limpid''.
                Is there a difference from "transparent"?