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"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, since deviations from a flat frequency response at any point along the signal chain from microphone to ear is likely to create an audible sonic personality in what you hear. That includes the contribution of the listening room itself. To accurately reproduce the recorded sound, as Harbeth speakers are designed to do, you would be 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 potentially will alter the sound balance of what you hear. This may or may not be what you wish to achieve, but on the face of it, any deviation from a flat response - and the frequency balance of tube amplifiers are usually influenced by their speaker load - is a step away from a truly neutral system. HUG has extensively discussed amplifiers and the methods for seeking the most objectively neutral amongst a plethora of available product choices.

HUG specialises in making complex technical matters simple to understand, aiding the identification of audio components likely to maintain a faithful relationship between the recorded sound and the sound you hear. With our heritage of natural sound and pragmatism, HUG cannot be expected to be a place to discuss the selection, approval or endorsement of non-Harbeth system elements selected, knowingly or not, to create a significantly personalised 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.

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If faithfully reproducing the sound intended by the composer, score, conductor and musicians in your home and over Harbeth speakers is your audio dream, then understanding something of the issues likely to fulfill that intention is what this forum has been helping to do since 2006. Welcome!"


Feb. 2018
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A Harbeth centre channel speaker

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  • A Harbeth centre channel speaker

    This thread concerns the design of a centre channel speaker suitable for use as the dialogue channel in home video (home theatre, AV) and alternative suitable Harbeth speakers.
    1
    Painted matt grey (like M20/30/40), no wood grain
    4.76%
    3
    Painted matt black, no wood grain
    26.98%
    17
    Painted matt "silver" or similar, no wood grain
    0%
    0
    Black ash veneer with wood grain
    23.81%
    15
    Cherry veneer with wood grain
    44.44%
    28
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  • #2
    Design specification for centre channel

    Originally posted by redryder View Post
    ...I've been recommended to find a center speaker with matching timbre and characteristics...
    I'm not sure who has recommended you, but are you absolutely sure that you need a physical centre channel and that you can not generate a centre sonically from your front P3s in 'phantom' mode?

    I realise that the centre channel is important as it carries most of the dialogue (I'm told) but I think you are absolutely correct when you identify that you should aim to match the sonic characteristics of the P3s. This will not be easy: most (all?) contemporary speakers, including centre channel speakers, seem far to colored or aggressive for my taste so be careful.

    Perhaps I should consider designing a Harbeth centre channel speaker. The starting point would be size and shape; once I have that, I can see what drive units could be fitted. If you'd like to make any suggestions - hand sketches with dimensions are ideal - then feel free to fax me or scan and email me and I'll give it serious consideration. The size/style is really critical as a first step; that's where the design process must start. Leave me to worry about the internals.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: A Harbeth centre channel speaker

      Many of us already know...Today TV is getting thinner...
      "Bath with Music"

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Design specification for centre channel

        Originally posted by A.S. View Post
        ...Perhaps I should consider designing a Harbeth centre channel speaker. The starting point would be size and shape; once I have that, I can see what drive units could be fitted...

        Alan;
        Perhaps this might be a good opportunity to reconsider the relative merits of inserting the Radial driver into a new P3 Centre and renovated P3 monitor. Would it add appreciably to the 'truth of timbre' in an already excellent monitor? Particularly if the centre channel is largely dedicated to voice...

        regards,
        -paul-

        Comment


        • #5
          Harbeth floor standing speaker

          Alan,

          would like to take the opportunity to ask about any update on the floor standing speakers project.

          Comment


          • #6
            Harbeth development plans and secrecy ....

            This thread is specifically about a centre channel speaker project for the future. Let's not confuse things by taking the subject off in another direction.

            I'm sure that you'll understand that my specific product development plans can not be aired here in public. We are, fundamentally, a commercial business and to protect our long term (and hence yours) be must assume that this forum is studied by others in the industry. Our plans should not drive their plans.

            What I can say is that I'm extremely busy at the moment drawing to a conclusion an investigation that started in 2005 and was interrupted for 18 months by the Monitor 40.1 project. And no, it's not a floor stander. Please understand that this really is all I can say at the moment, but please do keep your ideas flowing; they are all carefully considered even though on a case by case basis I cannot comment on them specifically for commercial reasons.
            Alan A. Shaw
            Designer, owner
            Harbeth Audio UK

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: A Harbeth centre channel speaker

              Dear Alan,

              I have just bought a pair of M30 and I really enjoy the natural music produced by these newbies! Besides listening to music, I also have a separate system for watching movie and I'm thinking of using the M30 as the front speakers for my 5.1 set-up. (in fact would it be an issue to use them for movie? As long as I don't turn the volume too high, it won't be damaged right?).

              It would be a good news if there is a Harbeth centre speaker to match, be honest its very difficult to buy a centre speaker produced by other brand which could match the quality of Harbeth speakers. Also for cosmetic reason, a matching centre speaker would be the best solution for a 5.1 system.

              Perhaps with 2 Radial cones and 1 Tweeter at the middle??

              Thanks!

              avrookie

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: A Harbeth centre channel speaker

                Yes, that's a logical combination of drivers for a centre channel. I have a general interest in designing such a speaker (although I'm not sure how big the market would be). However, I'm working flat-out on other projects at the moment.

                Incidentally, we're shipping to the BBC today a single M30 plus two M20 to convert one of their stereo installations to surround sound.
                Alan A. Shaw
                Designer, owner
                Harbeth Audio UK

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: A Harbeth centre channel speaker

                  Are Harbeth speakers available as single units to create surround applications?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: A Harbeth centre channel speaker

                    They can be but under specific circumstances. We do not like to "split a matched pair" of cabinets because who would buy the remaining unwanted single cabinet? So, in the rare instance where one cabinet of a pair has some minor cosmetic blemish, we *may* be able to scrap that one and sell its partner. But obviously, this is rare and applies to the standard veneers - cherry and eucalyptus.
                    Alan A. Shaw
                    Designer, owner
                    Harbeth Audio UK

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: A Harbeth centre channel speaker

                      How would someone in the US learn of the availbility of the single unit ?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: A Harbeth centre channel speaker

                        Perhaps post a message on Audiogon to find another person who is also looking for a Harbeth center channel, then team up and buy a pair and split them...tricky logistics but it may be easier than sourcing one speaker on it's own.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: A Harbeth centre channel speaker

                          As a center channel or just for stereo music what is the diffenence between the P3es2 or the new montitor and the Model 20 speaker. I own and enjoy a pair of Model 30's which might be better match as a center channel the model 20's or the p3es2 or the new model
                          Joe hartmann

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            A specification for a Harbeth centre channel speaker

                            Following a question here, I'd be very interested to dicusee with you a provisional specification for this centre channel speaker concept.

                            As I said "I'd really like some guidance from you (all) as to features and most important, cabinet size. In the days of CRT TV, the sets were so big that evan a large centre channel box sitting under the set was dwarfed by the TV. But now, with these skimpy thin TVs I'm not sure how big the centre channel can be, or where it is placed. Under the TV? Standing on what?"

                            So - over to you. How big, what configuration - I'v very interested to hear your ideas.
                            Alan A. Shaw
                            Designer, owner
                            Harbeth Audio UK

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: A specification for a Harbeth centre channel speaker

                              Originally posted by A.S. View Post
                              Following a question here, I'd be very interested to dicusee with you a provisional specification for this centre channel speaker concept.

                              As I said "I'd really like some guidance from you (all) as to features and most important, cabinet size. In the days of CRT TV, the sets were so big that evan a large centre channel box sitting under the set was dwarfed by the TV. But now, with these skimpy thin TVs I'm not sure how big the centre channel can be, or where it is placed. Under the TV? Standing on what?"

                              So - over to you. How big, what configuration - I'v very interested to hear your ideas.
                              I think people here would be more concerned how good a centre channel that you make will sound rather than how big it will look! If you think 2 x 5" RADIAL + 1 tweet will work, I'm sure no one will have complains!! (except maybe the price)

                              Well if you wish something as a reference, perhaps centre channel speakers that you see in the british mag "What hi-fi" can be a guide as to what are possible dimensions?

                              Comment

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