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INTRODUCTION - PLEASE READ FIRST TO UNDERSTAND THIS FORUM!

"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, since deviations from a flat frequency response at any point along the signal chain from microphone to ear is likely to create an audible sonic personality in what you hear. That includes the contribution of the listening room itself. To accurately reproduce the recorded sound, as Harbeth speakers are designed to do, you would be 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 potentially will alter the sound balance of what you hear. This may or may not be what you wish to achieve, but on the face of it, any deviation from a flat response - and the frequency balance of tube amplifiers are usually influenced by their speaker load - is a step away from a truly neutral system. HUG has extensively discussed amplifiers and the methods for seeking the most objectively neutral amongst a plethora of available product choices.

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 and pragmatism, HUG cannot be expected to be a place to discuss the selection, approval or endorsement of non-Harbeth system elements selected, knowingly or not, to create a significantly personalised 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.

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.

If faithfully reproducing the sound intended by the composer, score, conductor and musicians in your home and over Harbeth speakers is your audio dream, then understanding something of the issues likely to fulfill that intention is what this forum has been helping to do since 2006. Welcome!"


Feb. 2018
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How Well Can You Hear Audio Quality?

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  • How Well Can You Hear Audio Quality?

    Here’s an interesting compression test to try:
    http://www.npr.org/sections/therecor...-audio-quality

    After you take the test - here are the results:
    http://www.npr.org/sections/therecor...ssing-randomly

  • #2
    Good example of the effects of different bit rates

    I took this test about a week ago and scored 6 out of 6 correct. DAC was the D/A section of an AD1984A chip integrated on the PC motherboard. Speakers were Logitech X-140.

    The 128k version of the Mozart clip seemed to make the piano sound as though it was out of tune. The Jay-Z clip was almost painful to endure at any resolution.

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    • #3
      Overall, poor

      Originally posted by IMF+TDL View Post
      I took this test about a week ago and scored 6 out of 6 correct. DAC was the D/A section of an AD1984A chip integrated on the PC motherboard. Speakers were Logitech X-140.

      The 128k version of the Mozart clip seemed to make the piano sound as though it was out of tune. The Jay-Z clip was almost painful to endure at any resolution.
      I confess I missed on a couple, but the ones I missed on (the Jay-Z track being one of them) sounded awful to me at any resolution.

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      • #4
        Flawed comparisons?

        I've read a good review of the npr test on hd audio by a recording engineer which refutes this test as well as the results due to the use of flawed audio files after his spectrum analysis. I'd be interested to anyone else has reD and can agree with his thoughts?

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        • #5
          Compressed music and recompression

          Originally posted by EricW View Post
          I confess I missed on a couple, but the ones I missed on (the Jay-Z track being one of them) sounded awful to me at any resolution.
          I missed the Jay Z one, too. It reifies my belief that the extra bandwidth of lossless is pretty much wasted if one listens primarily to heavily compressed and highly processed music.

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