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The Harbeth User Group is the primary channel for public communication with Harbeth's HQ. If you have a 'scientific mind' and are curious about how the ear works, how it can lead us to make the right - and wrong - audio equipment decisions, and about the technical ins and outs of audio equipment, how it's designed and what choices the designer makes, then the factual Science of Audio sub-forum area of HUG is your place. The objective methods of comparing audio equipment under controlled conditions has been thoroughly examined here on HUG and elsewhere and should be accessible to non-experts and able to be tried-out at home without deep technical knowledge. From a design perspective, today's award winning Harbeths could not have been designed any other way.

Alternatively, if you just like chatting about audio and subjectivity rules for you, then the Subjective Soundings area is you. If you are quite set in your subjectivity, then HUG is likely to be a bit too fact based for you, as many of the contributors have maximised their pleasure in home music reproduction by allowing their head to rule their heart. 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 only, although HUG is really not the best place to have these sort of purely subjective airings.

The Moderators' decision is final in all matters and Harbeth does not necessarily agree with the contents of any member contributions, especially in the Subjective Soundings area, and has no control over external content.

That's it! Enjoy!

{Updated Oct. 2017}
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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

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      • #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.

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        • #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.

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          • #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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