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Multi-Way Conventional loudspeakers with crossovers

S. Harsch XO
S. Harsch XO
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Old 5th July 2020, 10:50 PM   #701
hifijim is offline hifijim  United States
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With a more extended listening session today, I have a more defined opinion of the Harsch filter.

I evaluated the 200 Hz and the 2 kHz filters separately, and also together.

The 2 kHz showed almost no difference on-axis between the LR4 and the Harsch. I made a single horizontal 45 degree off axis measurement, and there was not much difference, but the LR4 seemed slightly smoother. I did not make any vertical off-axis measurements.

Listening to the difference between the Harsch and LR4 at 2 kHz, I honestly could barely detect any difference. I listened to both the satellites by themselves, and with the woofer cabinets (I have a filter which allows the 6 inch mid driver to run full range down to 60 Hz). I was hoping to hear an improvement in imaging due to the transient perfect performance of the Harsch, but I did not.

The 200 Hz required some work to get right. I could not get a good step response, and I realized I needed to refine the delay on the mid driver. I started back to square one, and re-did the driver measurements. Somehow I must have measured something wrong back in April, I needed an additional 9 inches of delay for the phase of the mid and the woofer to be aligned. This error would obviously affect both the Harsch and the LR4 filter.

Once I corrected the delay problem, the LR4 filter sounded improved compared to the old LR4. There was more clarity in the upper bass, less congestion. The improvement to the Harsch was less... it sounded good before, and it still sounded good. For whatever reason, it did not seem as affected by the 9 inches change in delay.

Comparing the Harsch to the LR4 (both with the correct delay, using Harsch or LR4 at both 200 and 2000 Hz), I still prefer the LR4. The Harsch measured better in area near the 200 Hz crossover, but it seemed like there was too much energy there... a chestiness or boxiness. It is possible that the Harsch filter needs to be optimized to get a fair comparison. After all, I have been optimizing the LR4 filters for months.

I will post a plot when I get to my other computer in a few minutes.
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Old 5th July 2020, 11:03 PM   #702
hifijim is offline hifijim  United States
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Well crud... I did not save the FRD file from the full-up Harsch filter network... and I have already put away all of my test gear.

Well anyway, here is a plot of the LR4 filters with the wrong delay (black) and the new correct delay (red).

If I recall, the Harsch filter looked very similar to these from 500 Hz up. In the 200 Hz region, it was almost flat, which would seem to be an improvement, but I found it too heavy in the upper bass / lower midrange on most recordings. As I said before, it deserves a process of optimization before I pass judgment on it.

YSDR - you suggested I try LR2 on my lower crossover. I have tried it several times, and with other drivers and cabinets, it is probably an improvement. My woofer does not like to go above 500 Hz. It needs the steep 24 dB/octave cut.
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Old 6th July 2020, 07:45 AM   #703
digitalthor is offline digitalthor  Denmark
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hifijim View Post
Listening to the difference between the Harsch and LR4 at 2 kHz, I honestly could barely detect any difference. I listened to both the satellites by themselves, and with the woofer cabinets (I have a filter which allows the 6 inch mid driver to run full range down to 60 Hz). I was hoping to hear an improvement in imaging due to the transient perfect performance of the Harsch, but I did not.
.
These are my findings too. I tried both Harsch and FIR many times on many different systems - but could only detect a real difference when using FIR on a set of Quad electrostats... but they have their own problems.
What I really find to be a big issue - everytime - is FR. If there is some bump or dip somewhere, then it might not always be heard - but if somethings sounds wrong, mostly there is an uneveness in the FR or timing problem.
I looked at phase many time - but only found/heard problems when it was related to timing between midrange and tweeter.
I use LR4 on a set of 3 ways with 4 subwoofers - with near flat and smooth FR - also off axis. Then I dont feel the need to worry about phase
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Old 6th July 2020, 01:27 PM   #704
xrk971 is offline xrk971  United States
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S. Harsch XO
It seems you guys all prefer LR4 over Harsch - and that’s ok. It’s most noticeable to me on recordings of smaller ensembles that are minimally post processed. Live jazz in a club, and stuff with drums, stand up bass, guitar, piano. Percussive snaps, plucks, and sharp edged sounds like a rim shot are more realistic. Placement of the band members are more realistic. It’s the same reason why some people like the imaging and realism of single driver fullrange. It’s not going to matter as much with rock, pop, classical symphonic recordings.
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Old 6th July 2020, 02:09 PM   #705
hifijim is offline hifijim  United States
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Like I said, I think I would need to spend more time dialing in the Harsch before I could make a truly fair assessment.

I think some people are more sensitive to certain aspects of phase such that they prefer a transient perfect speaker. the long term popularity of Vandersteen and Theil speakers attests to that. I am not one of those people. When I listen to a Vandersteen or Theil, I hear a great sounding speaker, but not one that stands out from other equally good speakers with high order networks.

I believe I am more sensitive than most people to small aberrations in frequency response, more sensitive to odd-order harmonic distortion, and more sensitive to low frequency group delay.

So I may not be the right person to judge the Harsch crossover, even after I dial it in...


For my subjective evaluation, I used my current go-to set of recordings:

Jazz at Lincoln Center, Winton Marsalis "Handful of Keys", 24 bit 96 kHz FLAC.

Joey Alexander "Eclipse", 24 bit 96 kHz FLAC.

Trio Celeste "Beethoven and Dvorak Piano Trios" 24 bit 96 kHz FLAC.

I highly recommend all three recordings. The performances are deeply satisfying, and whoever recorded and mastered them deserves to be recognized...
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Old 6th July 2020, 03:04 PM   #706
xrk971 is offline xrk971  United States
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S. Harsch XO
Thanks for the test track recommendations, Jim! I will check them out.

Btw, did you see this new possible simple passive Harsch XO with a RAAL 70-20xr and PTT6.5? Needs 2in setback on the tweeter - or a 2in deep waveguide. Not as difficult on a ribbon as there is very little vertical dispersion so won’t have as much an issue with a reflection from the bottom step of a piece of foam is placed there.

RAAL 70-20xr and PTT6.5 Compact TL

This is purely simulation at this point, but the sim is darn accurate based on earlier XO1 I made and verified.

Click the image to open in full size.

The dip and peak at 2.2kHz and 2.8kHz of circa 4dB peak to peak may be a problem for some though. It might be related to the sharp edge baffle of the open baffle test fixture. A real box with a round over edge may smooth that out some. Real TL box is getting re-made due to internal TL channel air leak. So waiting for about 2 weeks I think.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Last edited by xrk971; 6th July 2020 at 03:11 PM.
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Old 6th July 2020, 09:49 PM   #707
hifijim is offline hifijim  United States
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It is really interesting work you are doing with this new filter topology.
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Old 6th July 2020, 11:36 PM   #708
xrk971 is offline xrk971  United States
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Thanks, Jim. This topology is surprising me with how few components it can be achieved with. But a lot of that is driver dependent - like all passive crossovers I guess.
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Old 8th July 2020, 06:18 AM   #709
digitalthor is offline digitalthor  Denmark
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xrk971 View Post
It seems you guys all prefer LR4 over Harsch - and that’s ok. It’s most noticeable to me on recordings of smaller ensembles that are minimally post processed.
I would really like it to work, cause I like the idea. But like you point out - it also really matters what you listen to. Even though my phase is all over the place with my LR4 filters and EQ - then I still sense a very clean phantom center when I listen to an interview on youtube or watch a movie. I'm also very sensitive to FR variations - but will keep experimenting - cause it is a very interesting subject
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Old 4th August 2020, 07:55 AM   #710
tmuikku is offline tmuikku  Finland
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Hi, I tried to make some experiments in VituixCad. Attached are simulation plots from a three way speaker prototype 15", 8" and a horn. Crossover is DSP IIR filters.

I tried to make as good xover as I could (power response, polars etc. all windows pretty) and then turn it into a Harshish xo. Basically took the XRK quide how to make a Harsh xo and then tweaked a bit with the delays and filter components to get good compromise between system phase, power response and vertical polar map. Horizontal polars seemed to be ok so didn't bother to attach that.

note. I haven't listened the harsh filter shown here yet, so no comments.

To me it seems that with harsh xo one can get pretty good results, but the vertical polars are a bit lobsided, null around xo is pretty close to 0 axis (tweeter axis in this case) comparing to the other simulation which is a lot more symmetric and has wider vertical listening window at the mid - tweet xo. Looks like it would be better to put the tweeter below the woofer with the Harsh xo (null below the listening axis instead of above). Another thing is that I'm not sure it is possible to optimize the power response and listening axis response with this setup but they aren't too wild so I think very usable. Phase doesn't wrap like it does with the other plan.

btw. I could make the phase pretty flat for the woofer - mid xo with many different filter slopes + delay, or without delay by inverting the polarity. I don't know excalty what are the acoustic slopes with either setup Have fun!

ps. the harshish xo was made pretty quickly while the other one is iteration number xxx

pps. noticed the harhs xo doesn't have "global" high pass at 30hz as the other one has, so the groupdelay rises quite a bit less.
Attached Images
File Type: png 3way-harshish.png (600.7 KB, 203 views)
File Type: png 3way-harshish-step.png (14.3 KB, 220 views)
File Type: png 3way-matching.png (609.6 KB, 52 views)
File Type: png 3way-matching-step.png (16.3 KB, 51 views)

Last edited by tmuikku; 4th August 2020 at 08:20 AM.
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