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INTRODUCTION - PLEASE READ FIRST TO UNDERSTAND THIS FORUM!

"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 http://bit.ly/2FEgoAy may be for you. Either way, welcome to the world of Harbeth!"


Feb. 2018
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Floyd Toole - Sound reproduction art and science/opinions and facts

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  • Floyd Toole - Sound reproduction art and science/opinions and facts

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrpUDuUtxPM&app=desktop

    Very interesting video on sound reproduction especially on speakers off-axis reflected sound.

    It will interesting to hear from Alan Shaw on his speaker design in relation to this video.

  • #2
    The $1800 question

    Originally posted by kaydee6 View Post
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrpUDuUtxPM&app=desktop

    Very interesting video on sound reproduction especially on speakers off-axis reflected sound.

    It will interesting to hear from Alan Shaw on his speaker design in relation to this video.
    It was indeed a very interesting lecture. I would like to know what the $1800 dollar speaker was that measured so well.

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    • #3
      The basics of sound quality

      Yes, I am also curious which $1800 speaker that is.

      Basically Toole's view is if the on and off axis frequency response is bad no matter how expensive the speakers are there is nothing you can do to get good sound in a listening room. Change the speakers

      Comment


      • #4
        Secret speaker

        Someone emailed Floyd Toole to find out the identity of the $1800 speaker and he told them it was an Infinity Interlude. I believe it was the IL50.

        Comment


        • #5
          Do we really not know how to listen?

          Is anyone bothered by the implication that if you don't happen to like the sound of the speakers (manufactured by the organization Dr. Toole is/was affiliated with) then the problem isn't with the speakers? The issue instead is that you haven't been trained properly as a listener.

          Although A.S. has mentioned the importance of flatness of frequency response, the emphasis placed by Dr. Toole on frequency response and dispersion suggests, in a way, that quantity of sound is more important than quality of sound. Perhaps there is a companion lecture we haven't yet seen, but there is no reference made to the importance of drive unit cone material and/or the construction of the cabinet - sine qua non elements of Harbeth designs.

          It's curious to note that many of the speakers manufactured by the organization Dr. Toole is/was affiliated with feature some form of aluminium cones. In the course of researching and developing the 'Radial' cone material, A.S. has related that aluminium was found to be relatively unsuitable because of its less than ideal damping properties manifesting themselves as a tendency to ring.

          Comment


          • #6
            A good speaker needs everything to be good

            Originally posted by IMF+TDL View Post
            Is anyone bothered by the implication that if you don't happen to like the sound of the speakers (manufactured by the organization Dr. Toole is/was affiliated with) then the problem isn't with the speakers? The issue instead is that you haven't been trained properly as a listener.

            Although A.S. has mentioned the importance of flatness of frequency response, the emphasis placed by Dr. Toole on frequency response and dispersion suggests, in a way, that quantity of sound is more important than quality of sound. Perhaps there is a companion lecture we haven't yet seen, but there is no reference made to the importance of drive unit cone material and/or the construction of the cabinet - sine qua non elements of Harbeth designs.

            It's curious to note that many of the speakers manufactured by the organization Dr. Toole is/was affiliated with feature some form of aluminium cones. In the course of researching and developing the 'Radial' cone material, A.S. has related that aluminium was found to be relatively unsuitable because of its less than ideal damping properties manifesting themselves as a tendency to ring.
            I think lots of important issues are left out of a lecture which lasts just over an hour. In one of the threads here on HUG where cone material was being discussed AS invited members to ask other manufacturers about cone material. See my response here.

            http://www.harbeth.co.uk/usergroup/s...ght=#post30809

            My Revel M22 woofer has the CMMD cone material (aluminium sandwiched between ceramic layers) as do all the drive units I belive in the "$1800" speaker used as an example in his lecture. If you read the white paper about CMMD cone technology (the original link no longer works but here is a new link http://support.infinitysystems.com/h...apers/cmmd.pdf ) then Dr Toole states that all aspects of a good loudspeaker need to be good to make the speaker sound good. Here is a quote from his white paper.

            "Many factors are involved in the design of a superb loudspeaker system. There are the transducers, or drivers, that convert electrical signals into sound; the electrical crossover networks that divide the frequency range, sending the appropriate frequencies to the woofer, midrange, and tweeter; and the enclosure, which is a critical acoustical part of the woofer system and an acoustical and decorative baffle for the other components. Excellent performance is required of each of these elements if the system as a whole is to be a success, but superb transducers are, in fact, the critical components. They are the heart of a loudspeaker system."

            I think the message he is trying to get across is that if there are flaws in the speaker system such as non-linear frequency responses, resonances, and poor directivity, then those flaws are audible in listening tests. I do not think he is saying that a speaker will automatically sound good in the absence of those flaws, but rather that it cannot possibly sound good if those flaws are there.

            The CMMD cone tackles the issue of resonances in a different way to that of the Harbeth Radial cone. Does it work? I will leave you to draw your conclusions.

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