"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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How to spell (and say) our company name!

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  • How to spell (and say) our company name!

    It is amazing the number of folk (overseas) who honestly, truly do believe that our company name has an extra 'r' in it, as in HarbeRth!

    In fact, we are Harbeth, no second R.

    This thread was duplicated by the poster. Please understand that moderation is not instantaneous!

    P.S. It took us nearly 15 years to have the UK post office correct our company name on their data base, which is widely used by direct mailing companies.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  • #2
    Teaching English to foreigners

    Originally posted by A.S. View Post
    It is amazing the number of folk (overseas) who honestly, truly do believe that our company name has an extra 'r' in it, as in HarbeRth!

    In fact, we are Harbeth, no second R.

    As an ex-ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher in my younger days, I would venture that this may be because the words "harbour" and "berth" may be better known to non-native speakers than the word "Beth", which is an unusual syllable and I think occurs only in the context of given names such as "Elizabeth" and "Bethany".

    Also, the "th" sound (whether voiced as in "though" or unvoiced as in "Harbeth") is a tricky one for native speakers of many other languages, which do not contain that sound. This is probably exacerbated by the "r" in the first syllable, which makes it tempting to slip another "r" into the second.

    English is a harder language to learn than many native English speakers realize. The Japanese in particular seem to have a terrible time with consonant clusters (combined consonant sounds in one word which are not separated by a vowel, like the "rb" in the middle of "Harbeth"), since these simply do not exist in the Japanese language.


    • #3
      I think it is because Herberth or Herbert is a name in many European languages. It can be both given and family name and sounds obviously much more familiar to many people's ears than the unique Harbeth company name.

      There was, for instance, famous Polish poet named Zbigniew Herbert. He was one of the best known and most translated post-war Polish writers. He was a distant relative of the 17th-century Anglo-Welsh poet George Herbert.

      Because of that I sort of understand when I see in Polish audiophile forums Harbeth company name spelled as "Herbert", "Herberth", "Harbert" or "Harberth". For some reason people just miss that second "r" and my guess it's because of the name which is more familiar to them. Even some long-term Harbeth users can't seem to spell the name properly which is bizarre!