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"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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Technical questions to Harbeth's designer

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  • #16
    Grilles

    Originally posted by A.S.
    are you sure at those low frequencies that it wasn't the port sucking the cloth as opposed to driver contacting the cloth?
    I'm fairly sure, but I will re-run the exercise in the next few days and post again. My impression is that the driver was contacting the crossbar of the grill in addition to, or rather than, the cloth. I'll observe closely and report back.

    Comment


    • #17
      Speaker grilles

      I have experienced a similar noise on my M40s (only when using a test CD and only at a certain frequency around 60hz) and upon closer examination I determined the noise was actually eminating from the grille cloth slapping the front of the crossbar. A few little pieces of blueTack between the grille cloth and the crossbar eliminated the noise completely. with musical programme, it was never a problem. Hope this helps.
      Gary D

      M40's, ARC VT!00 MKIII, LS25 MKII, Meridian 508-20

      Comment


      • #18
        Wood presevative?

        Apart from the wonderful manner in which my SHL5's reproduce recorded music, I am also quite impressed with the fine cabnetry (in my case, cherry-wood). Do you recommend that any type of wood preservative (some kind of oil?) be used (sparingly, of course) to maintain the fine finish of the cabinets?

        With thanks,

        Ned Mast

        Comment


        • #19
          BBC 'speedframe' stands

          Hi Alan,
          You mentioned the standard BBC stand is made from tubular Speedframe, would like to know more details about the usual BBC way on setting up monitor.
          Do they use any spike for level adjusting or floor the stand?
          Anything to interface the monitor to stand? Without any thing in between, it is often hard to get perfectly flat top stand to rest the monitor on.
          Is the room carpeted?

          You also mentioned Monitor series is designed for well-lagged environment, can you suggest ways to make domestic room more lagged?
          Thanks!

          Kevin

          Comment


          • #20
            Sands and room damping

            Good question, but I think you would be surprised at the reality. In a professional sound organsation there is zero time and zero interest in tweaking and tuning. The speakers are tools to do a job; they are installed, and almost certainly never adjusted from the moment they are installed to the moment they end their life many long years later. They are not even given a dusting! So, forget all about spikes, cups, fancy cables etc. etc.! All that matters to the BBC engineers is that the sound from the speakers is sufficiently neutral and characterless that they don't have to get up from the mixing desk and make their way down into the studio (perhaps 100m away) to check that they can believe what the speakers are telling them.

            Yes, the BBC control rooms (or cubicles as they are known) are very well lagged: thick 300mm absorbing panels on the walls; good quality carpets with good quality underlay (most important), double or triple glazed, and with absorbing ceiling tiles.

            Of all these, I would say the easiest and best to aim for at home are ...

            1. A really good quality (wool) carpet with the best quality fibre backed with rubber crumb underlay you can afford. Do not save money on the underlay: it is a false economy.

            2. The thickest, softest lines curtains you can afford, floor to ceiling on the side walls. You can arrange these such that you can slide them open when you want to listen, and open them when you don't.

            3. Book cases. As many as possible - and ideally (although very inconvenient) with the spines against the case and the open pages facing into the room.

            4. If you have your own den where cosmetics are not important, then consider lining the walls with top quality fibre-on-rubber crumb underlay with the crumb against the wall. The SHL5 was designed in a small 4 x 5m room using just that on the walls and it works extremely well - although does make the room look dark.
            Alan A. Shaw
            Designer, owner
            Harbeth Audio UK

            Comment


            • #21
              Cabinet and crossover for Harbeth LF8MkIII

              Hi Alan,

              I still have two old 8" woofers by Harbeth which I bought in the late 1980s. They are marked LF8MkIII and bear a golden star (probably for matching?).

              Now I suspect these are the drivers which were sold in Germany without consent of Harbeth (you said something about those in the old forum - yes, they were advertised as genuine Harbeth drivers) - but they still look very similar to those used in the H.L. Monitor Mk III (I hope these are real Harbeths at least).

              Do you still have the cabinet (and port) dimensions and the schematics for the crossover? I know that there's much more to speaker design than putting the parts into some home-made box, but as I still have the drivers here I hope it will make a very decent low-budget speaker at least - even if it won't equal the quality of your current products.

              Thank you very much,
              with kind regards,
              Thorsten

              Comment


              • #22
                RoHS and offshore?

                Hi Alan,
                Curious to know how ready Harbeth speaker is on RoHS compliance regards. I learnt from a magazine that a UK speaker manufacturer has to move some of production processes offshore in order to use typical lead solder on their crossover board which the manufacturer thinks sounds better than lead-free solder.

                What kind of solder does Harbeth use? Does it matter?

                Kevin

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                • #23
                  Sound of solder?

                  I think you're kidding me about the sound of solder! How on earth can there be any difference? Marketing - merely marketing talk (IMHO).

                  We regrettably ceased using leaded solder a few months ago. It's a pity - the visual quality of solder joints was better but mechanically and electrically, we are assured that there are no differences.
                  Alan A. Shaw
                  Designer, owner
                  Harbeth Audio UK

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Tiger ebony veneer

                    Hi Alan, A while back I ordered a pair SHL5s in tiger ebony. I needed a darker finsh so I ordered them sight unseen. I'm excited about the speakers and I was wondering if you have any photos of Harbeths in the Tiger Ebony? A photo would help ease my wait. Thanks.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Tiger ebony picture

                      Hi Vangelis,

                      Allow me to post a picture of my SHL5 Ebony. Just in case Alan is too busy.

                      http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a16...huncovered.jpg

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Tiger Ebony picture

                        Macolive, Wow, what a great photo. Its the first image I've seen of the Tiger Ebony that I ordered. It will be worth the wait. Thanks Again.

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                        • #27
                          Tiger Ebony picture

                          I forgot to say congratulations! You will definitely not be disappointed. It's a glorious sound coming out from a gorgeous speaker.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Removing Grilles

                            Hi Alan,

                            The grills on my new Super HL5 are a very tight fit and I was wondering if you have a recommended method for removing the grills that doesn't put the cabinets' veneer at risk from a nick or scuff, as I want to photograph them with the grills off (the Tiger Ebony is beautiful by the way).

                            Kind regards,

                            Jeff

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Re: Removing Grilles

                              Jeff - that's a very good question, and one we were discussing in the office recently as we studied a customer's picture which clearly showed that a screwdriver (or similar) had been used to lever-off the grille.

                              We are planning to make a little video, but in the meantime I'd say pinch some cloth between thumb and first finger and give the grille a really good tug. Yes, sometimes they are tight, but that's a better than loose and buzzing and as you may know, I recommend that the grilles are left fitted for listening - counter-intuitive maybe but the response is actually smoother with them on so effective is the grille design.

                              By the way, here in the UK we say "grille" not "grill".
                              Alan A. Shaw
                              Designer, owner
                              Harbeth Audio UK

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Re: Removing Grilles

                                Thanks for the tip Alan - appreciated. I tried pulling it off with my fingers as you recommended but couldn't get a firm grip on the edge, so I covered a pair of round-nose pliers with masking tape to protect the cloth and veneer from the metal of the pliers. The pliers allowed me to grip the edge of the frame & cloth tightly and easily & neatly extract the 'grille' without any damage to the cloth or veneer.

                                Best,

                                Jeff

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