Too loud - just say NO, and tweeter diaphragms
This is a very odd report I must say. Personally, I have no difficulty politely asking for the volume to be turned down when listening to audio equipment and I can't understand why anyone would endure such a sonic barrage. And perhaps more to the point, for our customer listening to our sort of real music excessive volume just isn't welcome. So all in all, most strange. We here would really like to get to the bottom of this one and as hifi_dave (perhaps our most experienced dealer) says, unsatisfactory demonstrations 'just don't happen'. I have painfully sensitive hearing to anything that isn't really smooth and I can guarantee that not one Harbeth speaker has ever (or will ever) be anything other than smooth, detailed and warm.
That aside, one thing I'm curious about is the physical condition of the tweeters. As you will have seen from wandering around mass-market audio stores, little fingers just can't resist pressing-in on tweeter diaphragms. Even I have to fight the curiosity of touching the smooth, shiny material. Yes, we do have a metal grille over the domes but is there any possibility that there are creases - no matter how small - on the tweeter diaphragm surfaces? Creases can (depending on where and how deep) seriously disturb the mechanical stability of the bell-like diaphragm and will introduce significant spikes in the upper frequency response which could indeed be described as ringing.
Alan A. Shaw
Harbeth Audio UK