This Manufacturer’s own forum is about maximising the sonic potential built into your Harbeths by illuminating the thinking and attention to detail during their design that makes music played on them sound lifelike. HUG is resistant to being used by influencers to promote third party audio hardware and to spread baseless audio folklore and audiophile anxiety. Here we can do better than that. We believe in music first.
Pursuing enhanced sound fidelity necessitates separating facts, opinion and emotion at the design stage right through to home listening. For example, audiologists, acousticians, sound engineers and composers work with small quantifiable differences in loudness to steer the human subjective experience in predictable and repeatable ways, yet differences in loudness are rarely controlled during the comparison of audio equipment leading to skewed perceptions. Open-minded citizen science, learning by listening, measurement and background research invariably explains why we like or don’t like certain sounds, and your audio system can be objectively improved by applying common sense and reasonable scepticism throughout.
The endless debates elsewhere over audio electronics, cables and the rest creates needless user confusion. In fact, any hi-fi amplifier or basic cable designed in the last 50 years or so will drive Harbeth speakers. This Manufacturer's Forum does not endorse low power, load sensitive, inefficient run-hot amplifiers or other elements which alter the sonic balance of the loudspeakers that we carefully optimise.
A shortlist of truly high-fidelity amplifier candidates starts with a look at the amplifier’s output frequency response graphs when it is driving a loudspeaker load. If it’s not a very nearly flat line across the audio spectrum, then that amp will consequently have a sonic personality (a.k.a. coloration) which you may like and others not, prohibiting its universal endorsement here. Please refer to the 'A', 'X', and 'Z' lists of amps in use by members.
Tolerance and respect for a century of audio science is the backbone of HUG. Contributions opposed to this forum’s ethos above or litigious, combative etc. will be rejected. Mercifully, that's rare here. The Moderator's opinion is always final.
“The real purpose of the scientific method is to make sure nature hasn’t misled you into thinking you know something you actually don’t know.”
"An experiment is never a failure solely because it fails to achieve predicted results. An experiment is a failure only when it also fails adequately to test the hypothesis in question when the data it produces don't prove anything one way or another.”
― Robert M. Pirsig; Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values. ISBN 0-688-00230-7
The Harbeth User Group is owned and run by Harbeth Audio Ltd., a commercial enterprise, and is actively Moderated within that reality. With that all said, welcome, enjoy, and absorb.
Revised Oct. 2023