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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.

Alternatively, if you just like chatting about audio and subjectivity rules for you, then the Subjective Soundings sub-forum is you. If upon examination we think that Posts are better suited to one sub-forum than than the other, they will be redirected during Moderation, which is applied throughout the site.

Questions and Posts about, for example, 'does amplifier A sounds better than amplifier B' or 'which speaker stands or cables are best' are suitable for the Subjective Soundings area.

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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Super HL5 Super Tweeter

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  • Super HL5 Super Tweeter

    Hey Alan,

    What exactly is the function of the super tweeter? I have always been confused about them. I've seen 'passive' ones on really exotic speakers that supposedly add to the speaker's high frequency extension. However, I have never had it explained to me by a real speaker engineer in real world terminology.

    I am a student of history, and will be entering graduate studies this fall. I have been saving my pennies to purchase a pair of Super HL5's---can't wait.

    Regards

  • #2
    Re: Super HL5 Super Tweeter

    The function of a super tweeter is nothing more than to boost the extreme high frequencies. Some believe that these frequencies right on the very edge of human hearing are influential in more accurately capturing the subtle nuances in music.

    As a history scholar you're most welcome here. All the really great work in acoustics has been long researched. By the time you are in middle age and when a method has been found to directly inject 'sound' into the brain, all of this will seem as distant and remote as the industrial revolution. All I'd ask you to remember is that we, like they, were doing our best with the knowledge and tools we had available at the time. If we had more knowledge or better tools we could and would definitely do better. In the meantime, to be worthy of our place in history as those early engineers were, there is no place for anything other than proper attention to common sense and logic.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Super HL5 Super Tweeter

      Originally posted by A.S. View Post
      The function of a super tweeter is nothing more than to boost the extreme high frequencies. Some believe that these frequencies right on the very edge of human hearing are influential in more accurately capturing the subtle nuances in music.

      As a history scholar you're most welcome here. All the really great work in acoustics has been long researched. By the time you are in middle age and when a method has been found to directly inject 'sound' into the brain, all of this will seem as distant and remote as the industrial revolution. All I'd ask you to remember is that we, like they, were doing our best with the knowledge and tools we had available at the time. If we had more knowledge or better tools we could and would definitely do better. In the meantime, to be worthy of our place in history as those early engineers were, there is no place for anything other than proper attention to common sense and logic.
      Thank Alan.
      ....................

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Super HL5 Super Tweeter

        Originally posted by A.S. View Post
        The function of a super tweeter is nothing more than to boost the extreme high frequencies. Some believe that these frequencies right on the very edge of human hearing are influential in more accurately capturing the subtle nuances in music.
        Hi Alan,

        While we're on the subject, why is it only SHL5 that use a super tweeter?

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Super HL5 Super Tweeter

          The super tweeter was fitted to the SHL5 because a) a customer requested it and was willing to pay for it b) there was space on the baffle above the main tweeter c) other customers liked the idea.
          Alan A. Shaw
          Designer, owner
          Harbeth Audio UK

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Super HL5 Super Tweeter

            Whatever - it certainly does the job. The HL5 does 'air and space' far better than the majority of speakers out there. It's uncanny imagery and prescence must owe something to that Super Tweet.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Super HL5 Super Tweeter

              Does it make a difference in the sound or is it mainly marketing?

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Super HL5 Super Tweeter

                I guess that depends on your age and predispositions. As an old geezer (now, reluctantly) I very much doubt that I can hear those extreme high frequencies. As a young man, I could distinctly hear the 19kHz stereo-enabling pilot tone on FM radio .... that's a distant memory now.

                Actually, side issue: have you tried internet radio? My local Robert Dyas store is clearing its stocks of Morphey Richards model 27025 wirless internet radios. You need to have a wireless internet point in your house to connect it to the internet. I'm so impressed with this (plastic) box that I've bought two - they're now being cleared at about ?35. Unlike DAB which so often has ghastly background whistles and digital breakthrough at least on portable sets, let alone high compression and low mono bitstream, this box even on stereo headphones has an astonishingly quiet, clean background. Many stations 'transmit' at high bitrate. Seems to me that WMA (if a station option) sounds very good compared with MP3.

                Now the point: the spec sheet says that the radio's high frequencies cut-off at 7kHz. Since the internal mono speaker doesn't have much top, that's OK with me, in fact, less top is less irritating if its just for background listening as this is, but the great surprise - if true - is that even on 'phones, the amount of detail that I'm missing at the top is negligible. Only really noticeable on cymbals if you know how a cymbal really sounds.
                Alan A. Shaw
                Designer, owner
                Harbeth Audio UK

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Super HL5 Super Tweeter

                  I am in my 50s and have some UF hearling loss so for me the super tweeter is not doing much I guess.

                  As for Internet Radio - I do listen but via my SB (Squeezebox) which has replaced my CD and tuner. BTW - for expats or BBC lovers Internet Radio is the only way we have to hear the R3/R4 both of which are, IMHO, very good. However the BBC uses a fairly low bit rate which is sad - I think they want to push listners to DAB

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                  • #10
                    Re: Super HL5 Super Tweeter

                    I know very little indeed about electronics but always assumed that the super tweeter took some of the hard work that the tweeter did, thus possibly enabling the main tweeter to do a better job? Given the frequencies involved my simply engineer's brain tells me that the tweeter does more 'moving in and out' than the woofer.

                    Point being, as mentioned above - the SHL5s are lovely!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Super HL5 Super Tweeter

                      Good grief no! The tweeter, or supertweeter, barely move at all. You'd need a microscope to see the tiny tweeter diaphragms moving. The bass unit definitely moves when working hard!

                      Luckily for tweeters, there is very little energy in music above about 10kHz, and hardly anything at all above 15kHz so the tweeter has a very easy life. What destroys tweeters is a high level supersonic whistle up in those near-supersonic frequencies of 15-20kHz which would never be found in acoustic music.
                      Alan A. Shaw
                      Designer, owner
                      Harbeth Audio UK

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Super HL5 Super Tweeter

                        I meant frequency of movements, not magnitude! Sorry for being unclear!

                        Thank you very much for the reply!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by A.S. View Post
                          ... Only really noticeable on cymbals if you know how a cymbal really sounds.
                          Absolutely true. I am a drummer and I had experience this from SHL5's supertweeter. For example, the C7ES3 don't offer me that extension who's crucial to my eyes (ears) to truthfully represent the real sound of a cymbal.

                          Sebastien

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