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Since its inception ten years ago, the Harbeth User Group's ambition has been to create a lasting knowledge archive. Knowledge is based on facts and observations. Knowledge is timeless. Knowledge is human independent and replicatable. However, we live in new world where thanks to social media, 'facts' have become flexible and personal. HUG operates in that real world.

HUG has two approaches to contributor's Posts. If you have, like us, a scientific mind and are curious about how the ear works, how it can lead us to make the right - and wrong - decisions, and about the technical ins and outs of audio equipment, how it's designed and what choices the designer makes, then the factual area of HUG is for you. The objective methods of comparing audio equipment under controlled conditions has been thoroughly examined here on HUG and elsewhere and can be easily understood and tried with negligible technical knowledge.

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The Moderators' decision is final in all matters regarding what appears here. That said, very few Posts are rejected. HUG Moderation individually spell and layout checks Posts for clarity but due to the workload, Posts in the Subjective Soundings area, from Oct. 2016 will not be. We regret that but we are unable to accept Posts that present what we consider to be free advertising for products that Harbeth does not make.

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{Updated Nov. 2016A}
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What defines a great speaker?

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  • What defines a great speaker?

    PLEASE READ BEFORE ANSWERING THE POLL

    I am interested to know from the user's side what aspects of the design or a really good speaker you may consider to be the most important. For example - is the styling of the cabinet of paramount importance - or perhaps the underlying technology?

    Feels free to contribute! I am very interested in your ideas.

    PLEASE PICK THE MOST IMPORTANT 4 ITEMS WHEN REPLYING TO THE POLL
    155
    Styling
    7.10%
    11
    Unique technology (cabinet, drive units, crossover etc.)
    16.77%
    26
    Design heritage
    8.39%
    13
    Clarity, image and sound stage
    24.52%
    38
    Stand mounting
    1.29%
    2
    Floor standing
    0.65%
    1
    Hand made in the UK
    5.16%
    8
    Excellent QC (Quality Control) - ISO9001 etc.
    16.13%
    25
    Understanding of the designer's philosophy
    14.84%
    23
    Empathy with the manufacturer
    5.16%
    8
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  • #2
    Re: What defines a great speaker?

    Styling
    Hand made in the UK
    Excellent QC
    Empathy with the manufacturer

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: What defines a great speaker?

      1. Clarity, image and sound stage
      2. Unique technology (cabinet, drive units, crossover etc.)
      3. Understanding of the designer's philosophy
      4. Excellent QC

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: What defines a great speaker?

        1. Clarity, image and sound stage
        2. Excellent QC
        3. Empathy with the manufacturer
        4. Understanding of the designer's philosophy

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: What defines a great speaker?

          1. Clarity, image and sound stage
          2. Unique technology (cabinet, drive units, crossover etc.)
          3. Excellent QC
          4. Styling

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: What defines a great speaker?

            Clarity of image and sound stage
            Understanding the designer's philosophy
            Design heritage

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: What defines a great speaker?

              In order of importance to me:

              1) Clarity, image and sound stage
              2) Excellent QC
              3) Unique technology (cabinet, drive units, crossover etc.) (only if it contributes to #1 above... I will not pay extra for unique technology just for "bragging rights")
              4) Styling

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: What defines a great speaker?

                Clarity image and sound stage
                Empathy with the manufacturer
                Design heritage
                Hand made in the UK

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: What defines a great speaker?

                  Understanding of the designer's philosophy
                  Clarity, image and sound stage
                  Unique technology (cabinet, drive units, crossover etc.)
                  Excellent QC (Quality Control) - ISO9001 etc.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: What defines a great speaker?

                    Timbre truthfulness.
                    Clarity, image, sound stage.
                    Unique technology (drivers, crossover).
                    Quality control.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: What defines a great speaker?

                      1. Clarity, image and sound stage. Plus low colouration, of course.

                      2. Excellent QC (Quality Control) - ISO9001 etc. IME, speakers with good pair
                      matching give an excellent stereo image.

                      3. Floor standing. All else being equal- not always the case, I admit - why waste
                      volume?

                      4. Empathy with the manufacturer. Just like Quad, Spendor, SME, et al in the Good
                      Old Days.

                      Item 4 dates me, I suppose.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: What defines a great speaker?

                        What makes a great speaker ?

                        great music . But most of all enjoyment which means you hear the music you want as you want to hear it without fatigue and false emphasis.

                        I can not reconcile that to the items listed ,or maybe I am just being awkward. But I hope not ,I know when a speaker is right for me and it makes me look forward to getting home and putting on some music.It helps me enjoy and listen to new challenging music and to see value in music i do not even like. all of that makes a great speaker but I honestly could not define it

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: What defines a great speaker?

                          The priorities have changed for me over the years, but here goes...

                          1, Empathy with the manufacturer
                          2, Understanding of the designer's philosophy
                          3, Excellent QC (Quality Control) - ISO9001 etc.
                          4, Design heritage

                          ...and not always in that order, looking again.

                          All the HiFi buzzwords I'd expect as a balanced given, but most importantly of all for me is INVOLVEMENT! I like to react emotionally to the music being played and great speakers do this in spades.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: What defines a great speaker?

                            Clarity, image and sound stage 40%
                            Styling 40%
                            Excellent QC 20%

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: What defines a great speaker?

                              It says I'm not allowed to vote in this poll, but my main reply would be that a great speaker "gets out of the way of the music." The older I get, the less all other considerations factor in.

                              Cheers,
                              Rabbit

                              Comment

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