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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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"?