Interesting read I found on Lossy Cabinet designs by Harbeth - Page 3 - diyAudio
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Old 19th November 2012, 08:54 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pano View Post
...the coloration of the Harbeth was very noticeable. The coloration was of wood and paper, very distinct. Pleasant, organic, enjoyable, but strongly colored. I assume the woody flavor was from the box.

I like the big Harbeth, but you can hear the box - for better or worse.
Now that I know more about the construction, it's easy to understand why.
I have to agree with Pano... the little LS3/5A one is better in that respect.

dave
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Old 19th November 2012, 09:31 PM   #22
sreten is offline sreten  United Kingdom
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Click the image to open in full size.

Harbeth Audio M40.1, cumulative spectral-decay plot

Hi,

Its hard to say you wouldn't be able to hear the box behaviour,
especially comparing them to a pair of planars with no box.

The fairer comparison is versus a big box speaker of the same size.

The claim is the rapid clearing of resonances as you head into
the midrange is preferable (not perfect) pyschoacoustically.

I think the technique hits a sweet spot around
1 to 2 cuft feet with thin walls well damped.
Not sure about the bigger or smaller boxes.

One thing I can say about the Spendor Preludes I had, the
apparent "speaker sound/nature" changed more with various
recordings than any other speaker I've had.
e.g. bass seems a bit slow / weak on this recording, but no, on
another recording it sounds fine with suppleness and depth.

I'm not saying the Preludes were perfect, far from it, but they
did give an insightful "tinted" view of the recordings nature.
And sounded damn good on stuff like the Eagles / Byrds.

rgds, sreten.
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Last edited by sreten; 19th November 2012 at 09:36 PM.
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Old 19th November 2012, 10:04 PM   #23
Pano is online now Pano  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sreten View Post
Its hard to say you wouldn't be able to hear the box behaviour,
especially comparing them to a pair of planars with no box.
Well yes, of course - and that's what made it all the clearer. You certainly can hear the box. Probably true of most other box speakers, too.

Quote:
The fairer comparison is versus a big box speaker of the same size.
Only if you want to compare box to box. For me a box with claimed little to no talk should be compared to no box at all. Coming from a demo of another box would not provide as much contrast. The contrast was particularly hard on the Harbeth, (as it would be on any other box) but that's the point. It was easy to hear the coloration and its flavor was distinct - wood. Not bad as colorations go, just distinctly woody and warm.
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Old 19th November 2012, 11:20 PM   #24
ORNJ is offline ORNJ  United States
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Originally Posted by tinitus View Post
better keep them seperated
music instruments and related gear is designed for making music

audio is designed to 'reproduce' music, and for making money
Yes but my view is that there will always be compromises in a design. The only ones that dont have the boxy/colorations from a box are dipoles/electrotats. However, they come with their own compromises.

Seeing as how it will never be perfect and how there will always be compromises, it is better to tune the enclosure as if it was an instrument itself.

I hope that makes sense. I typed it quickly as I am heading out the door...
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Old 19th November 2012, 11:31 PM   #25
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Quote:
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Yes but my view is that there will always be compromises in a design.
Given that the best speakers are maybe 10% of the way to where we could get, picking a set of compromises that connects someone to the music emotionally is the art in speaker design.

Quote:
The only ones that dont have the boxy/colorations from a box are dipoles/electrotats.
Some of the "boxiest" speakers i've heard were OB. And some of the least boxy, boxes.

dave
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Old 19th November 2012, 11:41 PM   #26
sreten is offline sreten  United Kingdom
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Originally Posted by phivates View Post
sorry Steve, I find "pointless waffle" about as mean spirited as
Sreten's "clueless conjecture." What are you telling DIYers? Quit?
Obey the Queen's dispatches? You have a party line for us to cleave to?
Non parallel boxes are Satanic? What??
Hi,

"What are you telling DIYers?"

Think and analyse. Look at whats out there. If you think something
should be like "this rule" but not much out there follows "this rule",
then likely "this rule" is a simplistic myth and doesn't matter much.

Other more pertinent issues may completely override "this rule".

Don't bind your design choices to things that don't really matter.

rgds, sreten.
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Old 20th November 2012, 12:18 AM   #27
ORNJ is offline ORNJ  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by planet10 View Post
Given that the best speakers are maybe 10% of the way to where we could get, picking a set of compromises that connects someone to the music emotionally is the art in speaker design.



Some of the "boxiest" speakers i've heard were OB. And some of the least boxy, boxes.

dave
Oh, wow. That is interesting! I have only heard electro stats from Martin Logan and liked their sound but hated the small sweet spot. I have not heard an OB speaker but I know that they do best in a rectangular room several feet from the wall and I dont even look at those as my room cannot accommodate such a implementation. My listening room is 10ft cube and our family room/entertainment room is a odd shape that is open to the rest of the house.

The best speakers in boxes I have heard are one of the more expensive Wilson speakers. I think it was the Alexandria but not sure. I was a azed at their transparency as I couldn't even tell which speakers were on in the demo room. And had a large sweet spot.

I can also say that may taste in speakers leans more toward warm sounding with big soundstage than having something extremely articulate.
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Old 20th November 2012, 12:21 AM   #28
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I have all the respect in the world for anyone who designs a lossy cabinet but who wants to know about a non braced totally resonant cabinet? It was a dumb idea when it first surfaced via Harwood and the BBC and it is no better today. I don't want to hear the box. Best regards Moray James.
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Old 20th November 2012, 06:16 AM   #29
DrBoar is offline DrBoar  Sweden
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For a mobile studio that need monitors for mainly voice range then lossy cabinets with a clean midrange a good thing (the problem in the bass is then a minor issue). I was at a hifi show and the two rooms that I came back to to just enjoy the music was Harbeth and Voxativ. To claim that one solution is much better than the others is making it to simple. A good implementation of a "inferior" solution is better than bad implementation of the "best" principle.
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Old 20th November 2012, 08:39 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pano View Post
Having walked directly from an extended demo in the Magnapan room straight to the Harbeth room in Vegas, the coloration of the Harbeth was very noticeable. The coloration was of wood and paper, very distinct. Pleasant, organic, enjoyable, but strongly colored. I assume the woody flavor was from the box.
This is a perfect example for a big problem in HiFi: detecting an error (coloration) in the sound of a device (box) which reminds of something (wood, paper), and making probably false assumptions where this error comes from.

Please have a look at the measurements from Stereophile: Harbeth M40.1 loudspeaker Measurements | Stereophile.com
I don't know if this is the speaker you've heard but I bet that all of those Harbeth speakers are comparable.
The CSD of the back panel's vibrations looks awful, sure. But above 250 Hz there is no problem. BBC research indicates that these low resonances are less audible than resonances higher in frequency. But without a measurement at the listening position this CSD gives only a peek on the behaviour of the panels, so we cannot tell if these low resonances are below the audibility threshold found by the BBC.

If you scroll down a little you can see the frequency response of that speaker. Although I doubt the high bass peak (I'm sure that's an artifact by the nearfield measurement), you can clearly see a broad peak at 1 kHz. This peak is also visible in the measurements taken in JA's and AD's listening room (two pages further). This peak gives a coloration for sure.

And below, in the lateral polar plot, there is a broad dip above 1 kHz. This dip must be there, as the midrange is 200 mm unit. Again, here's a source of coloration, too.

Summary: there are two definitive sources of coloration (peak and dip), and one possible source of coloration (panel vibration). From this data it is not possible to assume that the "wood and paper sound" is from the panel vibrations. More likely it is from the peak at 1 kHz, and this can be tested by equalizing this peak.
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