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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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Tv/movies good for assessing loudspeakers

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  • Tv/movies good for assessing loudspeakers

    I use the C7 for music and stereo TV sound equally. One thing I have noticed is that film audio (Including the soundtracks) seem to avoid the issues that recorded CD music can have with compression and low DR. I think we can be fooled into thinking our stereos have problems when the music recordings are poor. TV/films often contain lots of natural and ambient sounds that we hear all the time and so gives a good idea of how the system sounds. A case in point is a short movie 'Emelie' I watched on Netflix (it's a effectively 'concise' thriller), the overall audio is a bit lower than average, there is a high DR however with just a couple of very loud sections for shock value, it is very effective in that case, and indeed such sections might just need a big amp (if the film overall is played quite loud) to ensure those short sharp shocks do not clip. The insect song in the filming location overlaps with the same species in my immediate area so just hearing how natural that sounds is a good test of the system. The film also has a rather subtle though effective electronic soundtrack.

    Anybody else find films are a very good way to test your systems?
    Getting to know my C7ES3

  • #2
    It's an interesting question as I find good speakers create a more satisfying movie watching experience. One question I have been playing with but haven't tried yet is can stereo speakers provide center fill, especially for dialogue? It seems film watching with stereo speakers is a good way to test the ability of said speakers to create a realistic soundstage or film set.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Chazk View Post
      It's an interesting question as I find good speakers create a more satisfying movie watching experience. One question I have been playing with but haven't tried yet is can stereo speakers provide center fill, especially for dialogue? It seems film watching with stereo speakers is a good way to test the ability of said speakers to create a realistic soundstage or film set.
      One thing to note is that dvd/bluray often have multiple soundtracks, one sometimes downmixed to stereo, and often the players will have a downmix setting anyway, the stereo track can be quite different in volume level so its a bit of a cumbersome process figuring out which is the best mix to actually play. Also some movies will run the original stereo track and then have a more cleaned up/enhanced multi channel track. I find the dialogue usually sits pretty well centered though I find I do need to sit between the speakers of course.
      Getting to know my C7ES3

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      • #4
        I use mine for TV/movies as well as mucic. I don't really test my recently acquired Harbeths with movie tracks but I'm always amazed at the clarity and no listening fatigue. My ears don't hurt anymore.

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        • #5
          Harbeths good for watching foreign movies and learning foreign languages, very clear intonation + inflection etc.

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