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Thread: harbeth factory tour video

  1. #71
    Join Date: Apr 2011

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    I think the point might be, Andrew, that Strad's violin was hand-built by him using bespoke materials, and 'voiced' by ear. And it sounds both superb and unique for it, potentially just like loudspeakers can, without the aid of computers

    Marco.
    Yes, but with a loudspeaker you are trying to combine the sound of two or more drivers that are vertically separated (unless It's a coax type speaker) at a certain listening distance and height. A violin only has to sound like a violin, It doesn't have to reproduce a signal as accurately as possible. I can't see how you can compare one to the other.

  2. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Macca View Post
    You certainly can, but I am suggesting that the main potential bias will be from those of us who love it when the old betters the new. It's like Rocky where he fights the Russian. The Russian has the latest hi-tech training environment with computer monitoring and optimisation, Rocky has to do pull ups on a tree branch.
    No-one wants the Russian to win, probably not even Russians, because his training is modern, high tech and therefore soulless whereas Rocky's is traditional, organic and primitive, and therefore has 'heart'.
    I totally get where you're coming from. However, the *only* reason I use vintage speakers is because, so far to my ears, they sound better than any modern speakers I've heard - at any price, not because I particularly want to own vintage speakers, and get a 'rosey glow' from it...

    Therefore, *if* in the outcome of the test you're proposing, my vintage speakers (let's say that they were the ones used) were fundamentally and comprehensively outperformed by their modern counterparts, then I'd sell them, tout-suite, and buy the modern ones. Simples

    I'm not 'wedded' to any particular approach. And the same would apply with all the other vintage gear in my system, if the outcome were the same, when tested against modern varieties.

    As ever, for me, it's ALL about what makes my favourite music sound best, not how old or new anything is. Hi-fi equipment is simply a necessary tool with which to reproduce recorded music, so it's just a matter of employing the right tool for the job!

    Marco.
    http://www.thestainedglasscompany.com

    "A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do" -- Milan Kundera.

  3. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Macca View Post
    I wonder if a blind test between old designed by ears speakers and modern computer designs would throw up some surprises? Once the emotional / romantic investment in the old speakers was removed as a factor, would we prefer the modern ones?
    The reason why old speakers often sound better In some way than modern ones hasn't anything to do with the crossover and everything to do with driver technology.

  4. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatmarley View Post
    Yes, but with a loudspeaker you are trying to combine the sound of two or more drivers that are vertically separated (unless It's a coax type speaker) at a certain listening distance and height. A violin only has to sound like a violin, It doesn't have to reproduce a signal as accurately as possible. I can't see how you can compare one to the other.
    Sure, I agree, but there is still a connection, and that connection is the applying of a fundamentally important human element (voicing by ear) in the design of both loudspeakers and musical instruments.

    I would also contend, and indeed experience bears this out, that the best loudspeakers, which have had a judicious element of 'human tuning' in their design, sound superior to those who have been born almost entirely via the use of computers.

    Marco.
    http://www.thestainedglasscompany.com

    "A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do" -- Milan Kundera.

  5. #75
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    In a perfect loudspeaker, only the drivers would produce sound but Harbeth chose to try and keep all the cabinet resonances out of the all Important midrange. The flexible cabinet design gives a better midrange but low frequencies suffer as a consequence.

  6. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by forsell View Post
    The posting you are referring to was.[rude language removed - admin]... All mathematical equations to perform network analysis are known for ages. These mathematical equations are implemented in CAD software for crossover design. What you only have to do is provide input with your crossover configuration, all parameters required and press the "Start" button. The program makes exactly the same calculations that engineers made "by hand" in the pre-computer era. The only advantage is the "time saving factor". In pre-computer era engineers had to calculate every variation in layout + parameter input from new by hand, nowadays the software makes it all. In the pre-computer time you needed around 3 months to get an optimized version of a crossover design, with a CAD software you can make the same job withing 3 days.
    If we go back to my original post I was giving an opinion on what Alan said In the Harbeth video. He said that he knows a designer who doesn't use software and only uses his ears and measurements. To me that sounds like the guy doesn't use calculations In any form (In this modern day and age, why the hell would you do It on paper when It can be done so easily with any old cheap computer?)
    When I said that people who don't use software are chancers etc, I assumed that people would understand that that meant any form of calculations. After all, a computer Is just a giant calculator.
    Obviously, before computers, people had no choice but to do It on paper.

  7. #77
    Join Date: Oct 2016

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    Quote Originally Posted by Martyn Miles View Post
    There is connection.
    Wood for musical instruments is chosen for its effect on the ‘sound’ of the instrument.
    I have discussed this with a friend who builds cellos.
    I told him about loudspeaker cabinets ( my area ) and the use of birch ply for speakers
    such as the Spendor BC1.
    We could both see the relevance of the materials used in each of our areas.
    Yes, the wood is chosen (partly) for its ability to produce sound - but it's not even trying to be neutral are accurate in any way, just sound nice.

    Quote Originally Posted by forsell View Post
    The program makes exactly the same calculations that engineers made "by hand" in the pre-computer era. The only advantage is the "time saving factor". In pre-computer era engineers had to calculate every variation in layout + parameter input from new by hand, nowadays the software makes it all. In the pre-computer time you needed around 3 months to get an optimized version of a crossover design, with a CAD software you can make the same job withing 3 days.
    Yes, I agree, the software is mostly just doing calculations faster than you can do with a calculator.

    Quote Originally Posted by fatmarley View Post
    YA violin only has to sound like a violin, It doesn't have to reproduce a signal as accurately as possible. I can't see how you can compare one to the other.
    Exactly the point I was trying to make. A violin sounds like a violin but makes a rubbish bass guitar. Who would want a loudspeaker than sounds like a violin when you're trying to listen to your favourite rock band?

    Quote Originally Posted by fatmarley View Post
    The reason why old speakers often sound better In some way than modern ones hasn't anything to do with the crossover and everything to do with driver technology.
    Yes, drivers that behave more like the ideal piston are what modern speakers are about imo.
    Going back to musical instruments, modern hi-fi drivers sound terrible as electric guitar speakers. Crappy paper cones with paper surrounds sound much better in guitar amps, but they're terrible for hi-fi.

  8. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatmarley View Post
    In a perfect loudspeaker, only the drivers would produce sound but Harbeth chose to try and keep all the cabinet resonances out of the all Important midrange. The flexible cabinet design gives a better midrange but low frequencies suffer as a consequence.
    Yes, there's never a free lunch!

    However, having listened to and very much enjoyed the musical and natural sound that Harbeths produce (not least because of what you describe), I would applaud that approach, as it clearly pays dividends.

    Marco.
    http://www.thestainedglasscompany.com

    "A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do" -- Milan Kundera.

  9. #79
    Join Date: Apr 2011

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    Sure, I agree, but there is still a connection, and that connection is the applying of a fundamentally important human element (voicing by ear) in the design of both loudspeakers and musical instruments.

    I would also contend, and indeed experience bears this out, that the best loudspeakers, which have had a judicious element of 'human tuning' in their design, sound superior to those who have been born almost entirely via the use of computers.

    Marco.
    I use a combination of simulations, real measurements and my ears to voice my speakers, but my ears always get the final say. I couldn't do It without measurements. If I think there's too much treble, Sibilance or male vocals sound too chesty, then I adjust by ear until It sounds right.

  10. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    Yes, there's never a free lunch!
    There Is If you build a 3-way and put the drivers In separate boxes. With each box you keep the resonances out of the pass band, so the driver can't excite them.

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