"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 may be for you. Either way, welcome to the world of Harbeth!"

Feb. 2018
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Replacement for Spendor BC1's

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  • Replacement for Spendor BC1's

    at long last I have decided to replace my much loved BC1's which I have had for 40+ years. This morning I took delivery of a pair of Monitor 30.1's and for the last few hours I have been listening to my music collection. OMG!!! They are wonderful! Thank you Harbeth.

  • #2
    Good choice. You will have many years of contented listening.


    • #3
      I’ve had the Monitor 30.1’s for ten days now, listening to all types music for several hours every day. First impressions, the Harbeths are not critical of room placement, they sound good wherever I put them unlike the Spendors which had to be in a specific position in the room. The same goes for listening position, you need to be at the apex of the triangle to hear the best of the Spendors which is not the case with the Harbeths. I originally used Atacama speaker stands made of steel but I think they were resonating at low frequencies, I’ve since swapped them for solid wooden cubes. Again, listening at low levels doesn’t detract from enjoying the music whereas the Spendors needed a bit of wellie. On the other hand the Harbeths are more than capable of filling my listening room ( 6m x 6m ) without loss of detail and clarity.

      Overall, I am more than pleased I chose them.


      • #4
        Why did you go with the 30.1 when the obvious replacement is a SHL5+?


        • #5
          I have, over the years, thought about replacing my Spendor BC1s which I bought in 1976. I did try a pair of original Harbeth HL1s and various smaller ‘BBC type’ speakers, but nothing quite worked.
          As I sit here ( listening to ‘The Archers’ ! ) they just sound so realistic on the human voice. Being very old they must be out of spec. but I just can’t let them go.
          I have dreamed of SHL5s and other Harbeths, but at my age I cannot really justify the outlay.
          Mind you, if I heard a pair at home I could be persuaded to change my mind...