Curiosity, Facts, Objectivity *for Harbeth owners*

HUG exists to explore practical, universal solutions for maximising the natural sound potential of Harbeth loudspeakers made possible from their careful design, open-minded citizen science, technical measurement, and quality control. The tuning and tweaking of our speakers to personal taste is beyond the remit of this official forum, and we are vigilant to prevent 'influencers' using HUG to perpetrate nonsense and to stoke audiophile anxiety. We pride ourselves on being independent thinkers.

In reality, any hi-fi amplifier designed in the last 50 years or so (that's a choice of thousands) and performing as manufactured will partner just fine with Harbeths. Inevitably though, load-sensitive amplifiers and quirky cables will alter the sonic balance of the loudspeakers that we so carefully design and optimise. Please refer to the 'A', 'X', and 'Z' lists of amps in use by members to see that there is a vast selection in use. This loudspeaker manufacturer's Forum has ceased subjective discussion of audio amplifiers, cables, power supplies, connectors and stands as we do not make these products.

If you want to approach amplifier selection objectively, start with a look at the amplifier’s output frequency response graphs when it’s driving a loudspeaker load*. If it deviates more than a fraction of a dB from a straight line across the audio spectrum, then expect that amplifier to exhibit a loudspeaker-load dependent subjective sonic personality (a.k.a. coloration) which some listeners may like, and others not.

Audiologists, acousticians, sound engineers, film producers, musicians, actors, composers, orators, whispering lovers, the military, and wailing infants use quantifiable differences in loudness to steer human subjective auditory experience in predictable and repeatable ways. However, replay loudness is rarely controlled during the comparison of audio equipment leading to skewed and reversible perceptions, so be careful.

Tolerance and respect for a century of audio science is the backbone of HUG. Contributions deemed combative or disruptive will not appear. The Moderator's decision is always final.

“The real purpose of the scientific method is to make sure nature hasn’t misled you into thinking you know something you actually don’t know.”

― Robert M. Pirsig; Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values. ISBN 0-688-00230-7

Boundaries and Governance for the benefit of all: HUG Terms & Rules for membership and content

Method for identifying truly hifi amplifiers

Working through A-B testing and the issues presented

The Harbeth User Group is owned and run by Harbeth Audio Ltd., a commercial enterprise, and is self-moderated within that reality. Provision of historical production information where known is a courtesy service at our discretion. We consciously down play marketing of our products - they speak for themselves. With that all said, welcome, enjoy, and absorb.

*Published in Stereophile magazine every month

Revised April 2024

Fidelity First®

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Start here. HUG is unique!

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"Which amplifier?" - definitive A, X and Z lists

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Designer's Blog

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