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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. Deviations from a flat frequency response at any point along the signal chain from microphone to ear is likely to give an audible sonic personality to the system at your ear; this includes the significant contribution of the listening room itself. To accurately reproduce the recorded sound as Harbeth speakers are designed to do, you would be best 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 will alter the sound balance of what you hear. This may or may not be what you wish to achieve, but any deviation from a flat response is a step away from a truly neutral system. HUG has extensively discussed amplifiers and the methods for seeking the most objectively neutral among a plethora of product choices.

HUG specialises in making complex technical matters simple to understand, getting at the repeatable facts in a post-truth environment where objectivity is increasingly ridiculed. With our heritage of natural sound and pragmatic design, HUG is not the best place to discuss non-Harbeth audio components selected, knowingly or not, to introduce a significantly personalised system 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. Our overall objective here is to empower readers to make the factually best procurement decisions in the interests of lifelike music at home.

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. Always keep in mind that without basic test equipment, subjective opinions will reign unchallenged. With test equipment, universal facts and truths are exposed.

If some of the science behind faithfully reproducing the sound intended by the composer, score, conductor and musicians over Harbeth speakers is your thing, this forum has been helping with that since 2006. If you just want to share your opinions and photos with others then the unrelated Harbeth Speakers Facebook page http://bit.ly/2FEgoAy may be for you. Either way, welcome to the world of Harbeth!"


Feb. 2018
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UK's European Union membership referendum 2016 (Brexit).

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  • Originally posted by ssfas View Post
    My wife actually phoned me up today solely to ask if I’d heard the latest Brexit news ...
    My wife, who keeps her emotions very much to herself, even after the death of her parents, wept (for the future of our nation) the morning after the referendum as results started to come in. The shock of both the result and her reaction has kep me at this Blog ever since.

    Today:

    Theresa May rejects cabinet pleas to postpone Brexit vote.

    PM instead offers a concession in the form of ‘parliamentary lock’ on Irish backstop. Asked on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme whether she was prepared to delay a vote she is expected to lose, May said: “No. What I am doing is leading up to a vote on Tuesday. Yes I am meeting colleagues, I’m listening to colleagues’ concerns. Not about delaying it, I’m listening to colleagues’ concerns around the backstop.”

    The Times reported that some cabinet members, including the defence secretary, Gavin Williamson, were pushing for a delay to the vote over fears the defeat would be so large it could bring down the government.
    Here.

    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

    Comment


    • Extraordinary. Which bit is lost in translation? When you decide to leave the cricket club and your resignation is (reluctantly) accepted, why the devil should the committee be in the least interested in your tap on the door before your subscription expires to renegotiate your departure?

      I think the difficult must be over the word "negotiation". If two parties do not desire to or cannot or will not negotiate, for whatever reason, the game is off. It makes you wonder how little the public understand about the world of commerce and politics. Worrying really.

      The British government has been accused of failing to protect the rights of British and EU citizens in the event of a no-deal Brexit, as Michel Barnier reiterated that he would not renegotiate the agreement currently on the table.

      Amid demands in Westminster for the prime minister to be sent back to Brussels to seek more concessions from the EU, the bloc’s chief negotiator told a conference of regional leaders: “I must say once again today, calmly and clearly, it is the only and best possible agreement.”

      Barnier said: “Everybody needs to do their bit, everybody needs to take on the responsibility. The British parliament will be voting on this in the next few days. This has serious implications for the future of the country.” He said a no-deal Brexit remained a possibility, and urged regional leaders and business to speed up their preparations for such an outcome.

      A Home Office plan for EU citizens’ rights in the UK after a no-deal Brexit, published on Thursday, has been criticised for letting down both EU citizens living in the UK and British citizens on the continent. The European parliament’s Brexit coordinator, Guy Verhofstadt, a former prime minister of Belgium, said the offer was a “watered-down” version of the terms agreed in the withdrawal agreement.

      He said: “EU and UK citizens cannot be the victims of a no-deal Brexit, nor used as bargaining chips in the Brexit negotiations. In the case of no deal, the European parliament and I have been clear that we want the citizens’ rights deal that has been provisionally agreed to be ringfenced and the EU must honour this. The citizens’ rights deal shouldn’t be watered down as the UK has today proposed.”

      EU leaders have previously said the manner in which the British government treats their citizens will be reflected in the hurdles that face UK nationals living on the continent.
      Here.

      To negotiate, let alone renegotiate, even with a used car salesman, he has to want your business enough to bother.
      Alan A. Shaw
      Designer, owner
      Harbeth Audio UK

      Comment


      • You really do have to wonder about the outcome of next week's critical vote ....

        For a while now some of us in Westminster have been convinced that Theresa May is a sleeper agent whose mission is to undermine her own government. That conspiracy theory is now officially dead in the water. Because there is now nothing secretive about the prime minister’s actions. Her cover is well and truly blown. She is now entirely open about using every opportunity to destroy her credibility.

        May has gone rogue. A one woman Terminator, whose systems are riddled with malware and is hellbent on destroying everything around her. The government, the country, the universe. But most of all herself. It’s long been axiomatic that the prime minister is at her most convincing when she is saying nothing at all. So her best chance of getting her Brexit deal through the commons was always to hide under the duvet and watch Dynasties on her laptop. Theresa May rejects cabinet pleas to postpone Brexit vote

        But at some point in the last few days May has appeared to come to the astonishing conclusion that she actually has a hope of winning next Tuesday’s vote. Quite how she has come to that algorithmic impossibility is not clear – circuit overload is the most likely answer – but now the idea is in her head she is doing everything in her power to make sure it doesn’t become reality. Which is why she chose to spend her breakfast time giving a 20-minute interview to Radio 4’s Today programme.

        Here was the prime minister at her most Maybotic. Staccato, brittle and with a delivery that flatlined. She could not have sounded less enthusiastic about her deal if she had tried. It was a good deal because it was the only deal, she said in a dead monotone.

        Worried that she might be presenting herself as too coherent, May spent the last 15 minutes failing to give straight answers to straight questions, talking in meaningless soundbites and leaving everyone guessing as to whether she really had a strategy. If there had been anyone in favour of her deal at the start of the interview, there wasn’t by the end.
        Here.

        That all sounds like the manifestation of hypertension - chronic stress.
        Alan A. Shaw
        Designer, owner
        Harbeth Audio UK

        Comment


        • The increasingly desperate solution for Plan B (or C or D...) when the best plan is starting us in the face.

          Norwegian politicians reject UK's Norway-plus Brexit plan....

          Senior Norwegian politicians and businesses figures have rejected Norway-plus, the increasingly touted British cross-party plan for the UK to leave the EU but join Norway in a free trade trade area inside the EU single market.

          They attacked the idea as “neither in Norway nor the UK’s interest”. The UK would need Norway’s permission to join its Efta club. The rejection is a blow to an influential cross-party group led by the Tory MP Nick Boles, with private cabinet support, that is looking for a plan B if, as expected, MPs reject Theresa May’s deal next Tuesday.

          The former Labour foreign secretary David Miliband and the Tory former universities minister Jo Johnsonalso condemned Norway-plus as throwing away a key advantage of current membership “in the form of our vote, voice and veto around the table”.

          The former ministers’ joint assault on Norway-plus, in a pamphlet written by the People’s Vote campaign, is in some senses confirmation that the Boles plan could become a credible rival to a second referendum as a MPs search for a way out of a potential Commons deadlock.
          Here.

          Meanwhile, in the real world impacting on ordinary people here, the UK govt. is 'planning to charter aircraft to fly in medicines from Europe in the event of a No-Deal'. That's an interesting one. In such a calamitous event, there would, presumably, be no direct flights between the UK and Europe. So where would these European medicines be routed via? Russia?

          How about this for the demonstration of ignorance - from James O'Brien, our favourite radio host: "Jack from Woking is annoyed that translators used by the NHS earn more than doctors and he said he was looking forward to being able to save that money when we leave" here.

          And yet more from the front line (Kent county council, responsible for the port of Dover)

          Kent council leader says no-deal Brexit would cause chaos
          Cargo trucks wait to embark ferries in front of the white cliffs at the port of Dover.

          The leader of the Conservative-led Kent county council has urged MPs to think “long and hard” about voting against Theresa May’s Brexit deal, warning that no-deal gridlock in Dover would spread chaos around the country at a cost of almost £1.75bn a week to the economy.

          After publishing stark no-deal contingency plans for the county on Thursday night, Paul Carter said Kent would need “boots on the ground” and government resources to ensure that the local and national economy kept moving.

          He was speaking as the government’s Border Delivery Group meets key stakeholders regarding no deal and Dover on Friday. He revealed the government still had not released sufficient detail of its own no-deal planning for Kent and called on them to act swiftly to help the council be prepared for the worst-case scenario.
          “The missing link is the government,” said Carter. Kent 'facing gridlocked and rubbish-strewn streets under no-deal Brexit'

          According to the council’s updated contingency plan, released last night, a no-deal Brexit could leave rubbish uncollected, children unable to take exams and council staff working from home for up to six months.
          Here.

          I see a pattern here.This warning is, of course, nothing new. Yet at the time of the referendum, such were described as part of "Project Fear". It didn't look like that to me: quite the opposite - I'd have called it 'Project Get-Real Folks'.

          But in politics, it seems that the message and the time have to coincide for people to be willing to express such and to absorb and digest it and how it may impact their own lives. The public evidently think that they live in a personal bubble, as does the UK. That time those harsh truths to be voiced is self-evidently here, right now.

          What will be fascinating is how the acursed Rees-Mogg, Johnson, Redwood and Farage manage the kick-back. Are they just irritating empty vessels? What is their workable big plan?
          Alan A. Shaw
          Designer, owner
          Harbeth Audio UK

          Comment


          • An interesting day. First we welocomed our second grand child to the world at 9am this morning. She and mother are doing fine, although she was a month early.

            Second, PM May had a reality check:

            Theresa May postpones Brexit deal vote. Prime minister to make statement to MPs as pound falls to lowest level in 18 months. May admits she would have lost vote by large margin.
            Here.

            As for the pound, this will puch up our material costs yet again. If you are intent on buying Harbeth, now is a very god time.

            Thirds, two new staff arrived today: one as Operations Manager and the other as production planner. More on this later, but suffice to say that I am determined to knock-out inefficiences in our business and accelerate on-time-in-full methodology.
            Attached Files
            Alan A. Shaw
            Designer, owner
            Harbeth Audio UK

            Comment


            • Boris Johnson clams to have a strategy to gain the upper hand in EU negotiations - if only they would let him finish speaking:



              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_l_y1MyyAI

              Comment


              • Brexit: what can May hope to achieve in her dash to the continent?

                The European commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, is instead offering “clarification and interpretation” of the terms of the deal and, in particular, the backstop solution for avoiding a hard border on the island of Ireland...

                The backstop envisions an all-UK customs union to come into force at the end of the transition period should there not be an alternative arrangement available. Once in the customs union, the UK would not have any unilateral way to get out, leaving in tatters the Brexiters’ dreams of a buccaneering global Britain signing trade deals around the world.

                The prime minister’s job, and that of both the European council president, Donald Tusk, and Juncker, is to convince MPs of the EU’s sincerity in neither wanting the backstop to come into force and, if that should come to pass, its desire to ensure it will be temporary.
                Here.
                Alan A. Shaw
                Designer, owner
                Harbeth Audio UK

                Comment


                • Brexit - What happens next?

                  Here.

                  Click image for larger version

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                  Alan A. Shaw
                  Designer, owner
                  Harbeth Audio UK

                  Comment


                  • Matthew Parris was on CNN, trying to explain to an American audience how politics could be such a mess that no one has the faintest idea what is going on. At the same time the lawyer Cohen was trying to take Trump down with him. Comedy, tragedy and farce, and difficult to tell them apart.

                    Comment


                    • Some good news on the day of the No Confidence vote, here.


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                      Alan A. Shaw
                      Designer, owner
                      Harbeth Audio UK

                      Comment


                      • Theresa May's Brexit strategy left brutally exposed by Brussels failure
                        Here.

                        Theresa May pushes forward £2bn no-deal Brexit preparations
                        Here.

                        Brexit: David Cameron 'advising Theresa May on options' if deal rejected
                        Here.
                        Alan A. Shaw
                        Designer, owner
                        Harbeth Audio UK

                        Comment


                        • Politics or practicality?

                          Brexit: Cabinet steps up no-deal planning.

                          The cabinet has met and decided to ramp up preparations for a no-deal Brexit amid uncertainty over the fate of Theresa May's proposed EU exit deal. Ministers approved £2bn to go to government departments to prepare, should the UK leave the EU on 29 March without a formal agreement. They also agreed to 140,000 letters being sent out to businesses.
                          Here.

                          What a waste of precious taxpayer resources. That would pay for a lot of school book or NHS operations.
                          Alan A. Shaw
                          Designer, owner
                          Harbeth Audio UK

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by A.S. View Post
                            Politics or practicality?
                            Here.
                            What a waste of precious taxpayer resources. That would pay for a lot of school book or NHS operations.
                            The ministers should be required to hand deliver those letters.
                            This would afford them the opportunity to solicit in-person feedback from their constituents regarding the Brexit process.


                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by A.S. View Post
                              Politics or practicality?

                              Here.

                              What a waste of precious taxpayer resources. That would pay for a lot of school book or NHS operations.
                              The thing that I find baffling, from a distance, is the delusional mentality that there's somehow a "better" deal to be obtained. There clearly isn't. Do May's critics really believe that if she just stamped and yelled a bit harder, the EU would cave, and come to the table offering all sorts of heretofore unavailable goodies? Seriously?

                              Reality is hard, and unforgiving, so it's perhaps not entirely surprising that there are still so many who refuse to face it. But eventually one collides with reality, and it won't be pleasant. I always thought of the British as pragmatic by nature. It seems that they (or a significant percentage, at any rate) are as prone to fantasies and delusions as anyone else.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by EricW View Post
                                ... Reality is hard, and unforgiving, so it's perhaps not entirely surprising that there are still so many who refuse to face it. But eventually one collides with reality, and it won't be pleasant. I always thought of the British as pragmatic by nature. It seems that they (or a significant percentage, at any rate) are as prone to fantasies and delusions as anyone else.
                                One can only assume Eric that the whif of Empire lost still hangs around the political scene. One problem is that few politicians are capable of running any sort of complex business sucessfully and hence really do not have first hand experience of import/exporting.

                                The position - wholly expected and reasonable - from the EU side revealed in this paper today:

                                he United Kingdom will leave the European Union in 100 days' time.

                                Given the continued uncertainty in the UK surrounding the ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement, as agreed between the EU and the UK on 25 November 2018 – and last week's call by the European Council (Article 50) to intensify preparedness work at all levels and for all outcomes – the European Commission has today started implementing its “no deal” Contingency Action Plan. This delivers on the Commission's commitment to adopt all necessary “no deal” proposals by the end of the year, as outlined in its second preparedness Communication of 13 November 2018.

                                Today's package includes 14 measures in a limited number of areas where a "no-deal" scenario would create major disruption for citizens and businesses in the EU27. These areas include financial services, air transport, customs, and climate policy, amongst others.

                                The Commission considers it essential and urgent to adopt these measures today to ensure that the necessary contingency measures can enter into application on 30 March 2019 in order to limit the most significant damage caused by a "no-deal" scenario in these areas.

                                These measures will not – and cannot – mitigate the overall impact of a "no-deal" scenario, nor do they in any way compensate for the lack of stakeholder preparedness or replicate the full benefits of EU membership or the terms of any transition period, as provided for in the Withdrawal Agreement. They are limited to specific areas where it is absolutely necessary to protect the vital interests of the EU and where preparedness measures on their own are not sufficient.

                                As a rule, they will be temporary in nature, limited in scope and adopted unilaterally by the EU. They take into account discussions with Member States and are in addition to the preparedness measures that have already been taken, as set out in the two previous preparedness Communications.
                                Here.

                                Funny how the nonsense spouted all too frequently about 'German car makers needing the UK more than we need Europe...' has not been voiced for many months now. I heard recently that the UK represented (only) about 6% of the market for the German auto industry. Survivable.
                                Alan A. Shaw
                                Designer, owner
                                Harbeth Audio UK

                                Comment

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