- Feb 29, 2016
Funny. My takeaway from that was that KEF has a winner on its hands, and DeVore has a speaker that needs to be heavily rejiggered. That suckout from 80Hz all the way up to 500Hz is anything but pretty. And then from 3kHz to 4.5kHz.. Ouch. It looks to me like a lot of "voicing" went into these things, and not a whole lot of measuring. Unless, you know, frequency response that looks like the waves on the ocean was on purpose. Trying to ge them even close to neutral in an actual room has to be a real treat. And all that for only $15,000!
So this is a thing:
I really want to see some comprehensive measurements...
for those of you who don’t subscribe to stereopile, this is what happened in the last issue:
They reviewed and measured one pair of speakers that cost $15,890 in USD and another pair that cost $5,999. Below is the lateral off axis for each pair. JA described one of these as “textbook loudspeaker design.” For the other pair he had the following remarks:
“horizontal dispersion indicates that the speaker becomes relatively directional between 3 and 8 khz” and “I remain puzzled by the choices that were made for the crossover between the mid-range and low frequency drivers, which will make optimizing the speaker positions more difficult than usual.”
Which one would you spend your hard earned cash on? Which one do you think was the Devour (your wallet)?
The Devore has a sexier narrative (Brooklyn artisanal construction with exotic "natural" materials, idiosyncratic driver choices and crossover by a maverick designer). These narratives all too often serve to legitimise/excuse backwards - or outright bad - engineering under sighted listening conditions. If the market was truly "meritocratic" there would be no space for continued success of the Harbeths and Devores of the world in the DSP crossover era. Retail hifi is never about the sound. Its about entrenching a narrative of one's superior/enlightened taste in esoteric equipment that eludes any criticism.
Not sure what there is to criticize with Harbeth. They measure well, and are designed following scientific principles. And yes, I think they sound rather good, and that is a view shared by quite a few professional users. At least in Europe they are quite affordable (the US prices are admittedly much higher).
Beyond that, I share the distaste for crazy designs and ultra expensive audiophoolery.
Interesting. I've heard these at a couple of hifi shows in Melbourne and really liked them.I heard an older model of these years ago, they were terrible, interesting to see measurements confirm they have problems.