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HUG - here for all audio enthusiasts

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.

That's it! Enjoy!

{Updated Nov. 2016A}
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Active Domestic Speakers

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  • #46
    Hi,
    I'll have to fully agree with my friend Dave, I think he knows very well the subject, after all he's a dealer, having seen/heard hundreds of examples. And, some more things I believe we should severly reconsider:
    It is very hard, costly and highly inconvenient to repair, fix, maintain, move, accomodate (need double extra A/C sockets) -say it as you wish- two boxes with electronics included. And much more difficult to resale and update if decided... Not to mention also that ageing is usually different between electronics and speakers, so I am restricted with posible replacements.
    Just some extra thoughts,
    Regards,
    Thanos

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    • #47
      There's good and bad in all forms of speaker implentation in my opinion. Active should be better if the amps are properly designed for the drivers they're used with (and built in), and the amps don't have to be exposed to the damping and filling in an enclosure either (bigger ATC actives have the amps in a partitioned off section of the cabinet).

      I read elsewhere tonight that there's no such thing as cabinet induced colouration, as John Bowers (B&W) supposedly, in the 70's, researched using an accelerometer and found that unless you use cardboard or similar, the box resonances are 60db below the music signal and, therefore, lower than the driver or crossover distortions. I don't know about this, but I know what kind of box, ported or otherwise, I enjoy listening to...


      It's all too much. I reckon I need a holiday :)

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      • #48
        Whatever the design theory, surely the only thing that matters to the end user is whether we like way the speakers look and the sound they make. Few things annoy me more than being told that if I don't like the sound of a system it's because my ears need 'educating' to appreciate the benefits of a supposedly superior component or replay system.

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        • #49
          Originally posted by JoeHutch View Post
          Few things annoy me more than being told that if I don't like the sound of a system it's because my ears need 'educating' to appreciate the benefits of a supposedly superior component or replay system.
          I couldn't agree more and I very sincerely apologise for forcing this kind of rubbish on people all those years ago when I didn't know better.... Actually, I don't think I was the worst out there either........

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          • #50
            Originally posted by DSRANCE View Post
            I read elsewhere tonight that there's no such thing as cabinet induced colouration, as John Bowers (B&W) supposedly, in the 70's, researched using an accelerometer and found that unless you use cardboard or similar, the box resonances are 60db below the music signal and, therefore, lower than the driver or crossover distortions.
            That other site doesn't seem to be a reliable source of information. To put it as mildly as possible.

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            • #51
              I must admit, Dave, to hear that said in the other place left me utterly amazed.

              So cabinet distortions are below the threshold of audibility, but passive crossover distortions are not?

              mmm

              (Emailing now from Cyprus hanging out of a window pinching broadband from a neighbour!
              Anyone want a Tangerine? If I leaned a bit further I could pick one from the tree!)

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              • #52
                Originally posted by markus sauer View Post
                That other site doesn't seem to be a reliable source of information. To put it as mildly as possible.
                No kidding?

                Perhaps if a little honesty had been employed and the place clearly marked as a manufacturer forum from the start, but trying to pass it off as an 'independent' forum doesn't do a great deal for the integrity of those concerned.

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                • #53
                  Originally posted by DSRANCE View Post
                  I read elsewhere tonight that there's no such thing as cabinet induced colouration... the box resonances are 60db below the music signal and, therefore, lower than the driver or crossover distortions.
                  Box resonances are measureable - have a look at the last plot (cumulative spectral decay) on this page for example.

                  One could quibble over the accuracy of the measurements, but they do tend to correlate with audible colourations. Compare the LS3/5a measurement to the P3 chart in the previous link.

                  Do Harbeth do their own measurements of this nature and would they be willing to share any?

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                  • #54
                    I'd be interested to know if anyone has found out any more details about this - did John Bowers come to the right conclusion?

                    {Moderator's comment: please remind us .... what was his question?}

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                    • #55
                      Cabinet coloration - a criteria?

                      Sorry, to clarify, I'm picking up on DSRANCE's comment:

                      "I read elsewhere tonight that there's no such thing as cabinet induced colouration, as John Bowers (B&W) supposedly, in the 70's, researched using an accelerometer and found that unless you use cardboard or similar, the box resonances are 60db below the music signal and, therefore, lower than the driver or crossover distortions. I don't know about this, but I know what kind of box, ported or otherwise, I enjoy listening to..."

                      {Moderator's comments: I think Harwood's papers on this are the definitive word.}

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                      • #56
                        Actives - don't just sling out the passive xovers and add electronics ....

                        I'm sure Dudley's papers say something different, but I was originally being a little sarcastic perhaps? High Q resonances are definitely what we don't want, as I understand from experience, but the "BBC" way of tuning the main panel noises as far away from the midband as possible is the way I keep returning to and I find it preferable to my ears.

                        The thing for me about active speakers is that you can't just take any old speaker, sling out the passive crossover and replace it with an active amp pack. In my view, the drive units and cabinets must be sorted out first and *this* is why I'd love to see some active smaller Harbeth models in years to come, as they work so well in passive form.

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                        • #57
                          Cabinet coloration inaudible below a threshold

                          Originally posted by DSRANCE View Post
                          I read elsewhere tonight that there's no such thing as cabinet induced colouration, as John Bowers (B&W) supposedly, in the 70's, researched using an accelerometer and found that unless you use cardboard or similar, the box resonances are 60db below the music signal and, therefore, lower than the driver or crossover distortions.
                          Don't know about that quote but B&W braces their cabinet using their "Matrix" precisely to reduce cabinet-induced colouration. So I doubt it's accurate?

                          {Moderator's comment: Doubtless JB was quoting Dudley Harwood's BBC research work which we have covered here before and is detailed in the BBC Research Dept. LS3/5a design report (as an example). You can extend the thinking to say that any signal buried 60dB under the wanted signal is inaudible I guess which makes a mockery of chasing 100dB+ s/n ratios in electronics etc..}

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