"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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New to the world of Harbeth - after demoing alternatives

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  • New to the world of Harbeth - after demoing alternatives

    Hello all,

    Just wanted to introduce myself and say "hullo" to you all.
    I just put a deposit down on a pair of P3ESR's in Rosewood, and pick them up at the end of the month. I'm currently using B&W CM1 speakers, and I must say that when I demoed the P3's in an A/B against the CM1's at my local dealer my eyebrows nearly lifted off my forehead. The difference was astonishing to say the least, and I knew I could never go back to the B&W's again and be happy.

    I spent many hours comparing speakers when I bought the B&W's a few months ago, listening to Totem Rainmakers, Sonus Faber Venere 1.5's, PSB Imagine B's, Focal 806v's, etc. and in the end it was the Sonus Faber's and the B&W's. But it was close, and the differences were minor, and it took several LP's to make a decision. At the time my budget was $1,500 CAN, so the P3's never got a listen (they list for $2,500+ here).

    It literally took one A/B comparison of listening to Dave Brubeck – Unsquare Dance on Time Further Out to reveal what I had been missing. It was night and day between the two. I gave my dealer the money immediately.
    Needless to say, I can hardly wait for the Harbeth's to arrive, and the CM1's are for sale.

    Looking forward to continuing the discussion when they arrive.

  • #2

    Hey Rafe - congrats on ordering your P3's. Enjoy the HUG, lots of great info over here!


    • #3

      Thanks Cornelius! looking forward to it.