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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Audio Myth Workshop from the 127th AES (Audio Engineer Society) Convention, NY 2009

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  • Audio Myth Workshop from the 127th AES (Audio Engineer Society) Convention, NY 2009


  • #2
    Very interesting, although when he presents his tests towards the end of the talk (e.g. can you tell the difference between a 16-bit file truncated from 24-bit versus dithered from 24-bit, and so on), I guessed correctly in each instance. Although the difference was not huge, it seemed to me that I could hear the difference, and that one file did sound slightly better than the other.

    Now, I could have been imagining this (quite possible) and simply have made lucky choices, but the odds would seem to suggest otherwise. It's possible, though.

    I do agree that the role of expectation bias, placebo effect and so forth is so strong that an intelligent double-blind protocol is the only way to reliably determine if differences are truly audible or not. Doesn't mean that subjective evaluations are not fun, interesting and possibly informative, however.