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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, since deviations from a flat frequency response at any point along the signal chain from microphone to ear is likely to create an audible sonic personality in what you hear. That includes the contribution of the listening room itself. To accurately reproduce the recorded sound, as Harbeth speakers are designed to do, you would be 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 potentially will alter the sound balance of what you hear. This may or may not be what you wish to achieve, but on the face of it, any deviation from a flat response - and the frequency balance of tube amplifiers are usually influenced by their speaker load - is a step away from a truly neutral system. HUG has extensively discussed amplifiers and the methods for seeking the most objectively neutral amongst a plethora of available product choices.

HUG specialises in making complex technical matters simple to understand, aiding the identification of audio components likely to maintain a faithful relationship between the recorded sound and the sound you hear. With our heritage of natural sound and pragmatism, HUG cannot be expected to be a place to discuss the selection, approval or endorsement of non-Harbeth system elements selected, knowingly or not, to create a significantly personalised 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.

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.

If faithfully reproducing the sound intended by the composer, score, conductor and musicians in your home and over Harbeth speakers is your audio dream, then understanding something of the issues likely to fulfill that intention is what this forum has been helping to do since 2006. Welcome!"


Feb. 2018
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My new design ;-)

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  • My new design ;-)

    Hi, I have taken up speaker building again, and my first project is a double chamber reflex enclosure of 110 litres, based on a pdf by mr. George L. Augspurger from the sixties, a Gamma BBK 200 and a Visaton TW 6 NG cone tweeter, asymetrically positioned.
    The cabinet will be 11mm plywood with 11mm bitumen glued to all internal surfaces, 25mm 'sheepwool' dampings to the top, left, and back interior of the enclosure, wich has a ratio of 3 : 2 : 1. The front panel will be covered by felt or similar around the elements to eliminate edge reflections. The two drivers will be connected to an external crossover by four posts, or to an amplifiers for each driver with an active crossover.
    So, that's my plan, and If you think it stinks, tell me about it ;-)

  • #2
    Is the design you are using the one presented starting on page 41 in this publication?
    http://www.americanradiohistory.com/...ld-1961-12.pdf

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    • #3
      Yes, it is. I have downloaded a ton of pdf's, covering what I suspect are necessary aspects of loudspeaker design, and this is my choice for the box type.

      The crossover will be a 4th-order Linkwitz-Riley ,with built in bulb-type soft overload protection and possibly some traps to tame peaks in the response.

      I also plan to use the grille to possibly hold acoustic lenses inside to increase mf / hf acoustic power dispersion into the listening space.

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      • #4
        I recall well the days of hifi DIY, but with respect, this user group is paid for and run by a speaker manufacturer. Would a thread about DIY cars lie comfortably on the Mercedes Benz official forum or even pass moderation there?

        Assuming that those who spend time on DIY speakers are not, logically, in the market for Harbeth speakers, may we please understand the strategy behind this thread?
        Alan A. Shaw
        Designer, owner
        Harbeth Audio UK

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        • #5
          It was posted in Speaker Design, I hoped to learn something, but I get it, my mistake. Scrap the thread and my account and I will be on my way.

          And, congratulations, Harbeth speakers sound fantastic :)

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          • #6
            You are welcome here, but actually (and perhaps surprisingly) loudspeaker design is not, it would seem, discussed here - I suppose that it's taken for granted.

            Consequently, I'm sure to learn more about speaker design there are better places on the net. And in all honesty, designing speakers is my income, so there is a practical limit on how much information I am able to give out for free. It's painful to watch somone struggling to make sense of a DIY design when far greater personal experience is needed to problem solve.

            One thing I can tell you though is this. There are many web sites, text books and software programs that can guide you along the way - but there is not one single text book or web site that can tell you how your creation will actually sound. You should be able, with a little skill, to create a speaker with a flat frequency response or whatever you wish. I learned how to do that with a year or so of graft provide that you have some audio measuring equipment. Nothing fancy needed. The problems really start for the would-be speaker designer when the test gear says 'flat' but the ear says 'horrible'.

            The solution, in my opinion, is always to revert to speech as a test source. Definitely not music. Make speech sound credible, as if someone is actually in or on the face of the speaker cabinet, and maybe music will sound OK. Not the other way round.

            Critiquing well recorded speech on loudspeakers is a lost art and vital skill. Learn it. Master it.
            Alan A. Shaw
            Designer, owner
            Harbeth Audio UK

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            • #7
              Thanks! I agree totally, and I have never forgot hearing the news from a pair of AR 3Ai's via a 200W Pioneer receiver at my local hifi pushers demo room. Glass doors and a thick carpet. It sounded dry, just as if the reporter was a real male person right in front of me, then the news ended and the music program continued, and the deep bass came right out of the blue, also with fantastic highs.

              A great lesson. Keep up the good work.

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              • #8
                I'm sure we all have special experiences like that. I vivdily recall the very first track I played on my home-made quasi-LS3/5a speakers (they must have been way-off spec: I hand wound the crossover coils and I cannot recall how I could possibly have known their true inductance values ...). It was the very hot summer of 1976 (?), ladybirds everywhere. The track was Cani Statton, Young hearts run free. Sounded fabulous on 45. Forty one years ago. Seems like yesterday.
                Alan A. Shaw
                Designer, owner
                Harbeth Audio UK

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