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Sound & Recording review and measurements of the HEDD Type 30 MK2

thewas

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Source: https://www.soundandrecording.de/equipment/hedd-type-30-mk2-3-wege-midfield-monitor-im-test/

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Electronic translation of the text:

01 Individual frequency responses of the three paths. LF ported (red) and closed (purple), MF (green) and HF (blue). The AMT tweeter is driven by a 15 Ohm series resistor.
02 Filter functions in the setting linear phase, normal; LF ported (red) and closed (purple), MF(green) and HF (blue)
03 Overall frequency response closed (blue), ported (red: linear phase, green: minimum phase). Below the filter functions of the shelving and desktop filters.
04 Phase response closed (blue) and ported (red: linear phase, green: minimum phase).
05 Spectrogram of the type 30 with a perfect decay.
06 Horizontal radiation pattern in isobar representation; the level has dropped 6 dB from the centre axis at the transition from yellow to light green.
07 Vertical radiation pattern
08 Maximum level referred to a distance of 1 m with a maximum of 3 % distortion (red curve) and with a maximum of 10 % distortion (blue curve).
09 Measurement of total distortion (TD) with a multitone signal with EIA-426B spectrum and 12 dB crest factor for a maximum of 10 % distortion. With reference to 1 m in the free field, a level of 100 dB as Leq and of 111 dB as Lpk is achieved.
10 Power compression, measured with a multitone signal with EIA-426B spectrum, starting at an average level Leq of 86 dB. Based on this reference measurement, the input level was increased in 1 dB steps up to +16 dB. The green curve shows the curve at +14 dB, the orange curve at +15 dB and the red curve at +16 dB. If a broadband power compression of maximum 2 dB is allowed, the orange curve is the limit. The graph in Fig.09 was derived from the measurement of the orange curve.

With the MK2 models, the Berlin-based manufacturer HEDD is launching a new generation of its studio monitor series. The MK2 series, which will be introduced in January 2021, differs from the first generation primarily in its electronics, which now use a completely new DSP-based filter concept.

The HEDD Lineariser, which was already available as a VST plug-in, is now available directly in the loudspeaker via the filter setup, and you can choose between operating the monitor as a closed box or as a bass reflex system - CoP Technology for "Closed or Ported" is what HEDD calls it. This is made possible on the one hand by the plugs supplied, with which the ports can be sealed tightly, and on the other hand by switching the filtering to match the respective tuning. Both topics, phase linear equalisation as well as bass reflex or closed cabinet, are somewhat a question of faith and certainly much discussed topics in audio circles. In order to offer something for all tastes, all models of the MK2 series allow for both and in any combination.

CoP Foam Plug
The bass reflex ports can be closed securely and tightly with a so-called "plug". The plug can be easily inserted and removed with the corresponding screw.

From an acoustic point of view, the difference between a closed cabinet and one with a bass reflex port is that it behaves either as a 2nd order high pass filter (closed) or as a 4th order high pass filter (ported). The difference in frequency response is that the closed cabinet begins to drop in level earlier towards low frequencies, but then drops less steeply at 12 dB/Oct; the bass reflex cabinet drops at 24 dB/Oct. The two curves for the woofers in Fig.01 allow a direct comparison. The phase response behaves accordingly with a phase rotation of 180° for the closed cabinet and 360° for the bass reflex cabinet.

The closed cabinet thus offers the advantages of lower phase rotation and the possibility of reproducing very low frequencies, even if not at such a high level. By means of an appropriate filter (pole-zero compensation), the closed cabinet can also be equalised towards very low frequencies. This is not possible with a bass reflex cabinet, as the driver runs almost undamped below the resonator's tuning frequency and can be mechanically overloaded very quickly. Therefore, a bass reflex cabinet is usually protected from overload below the tuning frequency by an additional electrical high-pass filter, which then causes further phase rotation. The advantage of the bass reflex cabinet is the higher sensitivity in a frequency range around the tuning frequency. Fig.01 shows the gain in the area between the red (bass reflex) and the purple (closed cabinet) curve.

The second topic "Phase Linear Equalisation using FIR Filters " is often about a compromise between the possible filter latency and the frequency range that can be equalised. Strong phase rotations at low frequencies cause an increase in the group delay. If this is to be compensated, the FIR filter can only achieve this by delaying all other components to this delay time. For the two versions of the Type-30, the phase-linear equalisation succeeds with a filter latency of 15.6 ms for the closed cabinet down to 40 Hz and for the bass reflex cabinet down to 70 Hz. The difference arises because the bass reflex cabinet produces a stronger phase rotation and thus a larger increase in the group delay. So much for the theory.

Type30-AMT
The HEDD AMT with waveguide to optimise the dispersion behaviour. The bars in front of the diaphragm,
which are part of the AMT's front pole plate, are very narrow and thus only interfere
only minimally.

Components and electronics
The various filters in the Type-30 MK2 are implemented with an Analog Devices Sharc DSP of the type ADSP-21479. As before, the familiar ICE power modules are used as amplifier modules in the MK2 models. A 300 AS1 module with power supply powers the two woofers and two further 300 A1 add-on cards power the midrange and tweeter. The maximum output of the power amplifiers is given by ICEpower as 300 W into 4 ohms and 150 W into 8 ohms. For the cone drivers, HEDD uses honeycomb sandwich diaphragms with new resins as bonding material, which, according to the manufacturer, increase the diaphragm stiffness by a factor of 3. Of course, the cone drivers also feature die-cast aluminium baskets and rear-ventilated voice coils. The drivers are equipped with ferrite magnets, which, as long as weight is not an issue, have small advantages over neodymium chassis in terms of driving force and thermal capacity. The AMT, on the other hand, is equipped with a neodymium magnet that is located behind the diaphragm and whose magnetic circuit closes over the narrow bars in front of the diaphragm. The waveguide on the AMT adjusts the dispersion in the transition area to the midrange driver and at the same time increases the sensitivity a little.

The particularly massive and heavy (21.5 kg) cabinet of the Type-30 MK2 is striking. The reason lies in the extremely solid cabinet construction with a 38 mm front and 22 or 28 mm side panels with additional bracing and a separate volume on the back for the electronics. The latter is particularly noteworthy because many manufacturers avoid separating the acoustically active volume of the woofer from the space for the electronics, thus reducing the overall volume and saving costs. On the other hand, some electronic components such as capacitors can also develop microphonic effects and, from a pragmatic point of view, permanent vibrations can also lead to technical problems and failures.

From the measurement lab...
... under anechoic conditions, the following measurements of frequency response, dispersion and distortion are taken. The class 1 measuring room allows measuring distances of up to 8 m and offers free-field conditions from 100 Hz upwards. All measurements are made with a G.R.A.S 1/4″-46BF measurement microphone at 96 kHz sampling rate and 24 bit resolution with the Monkey-Forest audio measurement system. Measurements below 100 Hz are made as combined near-field-far-field measurements.

Filtering
Via the control panel on the back, the settings "lineariser on/off" and "ported/closed" can be selected in all combinations. Further filters are available with the settings Extended LF Range and for the combination with a subwoofer at 80 Hz crossover frequency. The associated HEDD BASS subwoofers also allow a linear phase response for the complete combination, but then with a somewhat higher filter latency of 30 ms. Further filters are titled High- and Low-Shelving and Desk. The corresponding filter curves, each in the maximum position, can be found in Fig.03 below.

Unusual for today is the control panel on the back with a total of nine rotary switches or pots. Each function has its own switch. Today, however, one would rather expect a colour touch display that can be used to operate all functions and save setups. Of course, a fancy app for remote control with a smartphone should not be missing either, or so one would think. However, if you weigh the effort and the costs against the benefits, then the solution chosen here should not look bad either. The settings can be made clearly, quickly and safely via the switches, and there is no need to sift through menus and submenus in search of the settings. In addition, the settings are usually only made once anyway and then not changed again.

HEDD_Back Panel
Control panel of the Type30 MK2 with an analogue feel despite DSP technology. For signal input, there is an analogue and an AES/EBU input with a link socket. A switch can be used to select which signal (L/R/Mono) from the AES/EBU data stream is used.

With regard to the measured values, special attention is paid to the different versions of the Type-30 MK2. Fig.3 shows three frequency responses: in green and red as a bass reflex system without (grey) and with (red) lineariser for the phase response. As you can see, the phase lineariser has no influence on the frequency response. Both curves are absolutely identical. The blue curve shows the frequency response with closed cabinet and the corresponding filter setting. Below 300 Hz, slight ripples appear, which are probably due to the filter design. The lower cut-off frequency (-6 dB) is even slightly lower at 30 Hz compared to 33 Hz for the bass reflex version. In both cases the ripple of the unsmoothed frequency response from maximum to minimum is 3.8 dB.

The green curve of the bass reflex version shows the expected minimum phase response of a 3-way system with 3x 360° phase rotation. If you switch to "lineariser", it becomes the red curve, which shows a largely linear phase response from 70 Hz upwards. What remains are the 360° at the lower end, which cannot be compensated with regard to the filter latency. If you use the lineariser for the closed cabinet (blue curve), the linear phase response already starts at 40 Hz. The monitor's spectrogram in Fig.5 is correspondingly good.

Further measured values are a radiation angle of 131° horizontally and 98° vertically, which ensure sufficient freedom of movement at the workplace. The pair deviation was a very low 0.6 dB, and the noise level measured at a distance of 10 cm was also a very good 23 dBA.

For the maximum level measurement, the method with 185 ms long sine burst signals was used first. Fig.08 shows the result for maximum 3 % and 10 % distortion. The two curves are congruent in wide areas, which is due to the fact that the 10 % THD was not reached in the first place, because a limiter in the box had already counteracted it. If you look at the sensitivity of the drivers and the available power amp output, the Max.SPL values are lower than expected, especially for the midrange. The reason for this is that the limiters intervene too early, which has already been recognised by the HEDD developers and can be changed via a software update for the monitor.

Fig.09 shows the second measurement on the topic of maximum level with a multi-sine signal that has a spectral distribution according to EIA-426B for a medium music signal (green curve) and a crest factor of 12 dB. This type of measurement thus reflects a very realistic load condition. The distortion value measured here captures both the harmonic distortion (THD) and the intermodulation distortion (IMD) created with this signal. Both together are called "Total Distortions TD = THD + IMD". In relation to 1 m in the free field, a level of 100 dB is achieved as the average level Leq and of 111 dB as the peak level Lpk. These values are also somewhat lower than expected because the limiter intervenes again, especially for the midrange. A second graph in Fig.10 shows the power compression with a gradual level increase in 1 dB steps, where the midrange path also stands out as limiting too early. Here, a little more adjustment is needed.

Practice
The listening test was carried out in an anechoic room, which is different from the usual procedure, because the listening room is currently used as a video studio for lectures. The sound quality of the Type-30 MK2 was convincing in all positions at a listening distance of 2-3 metres. Tonally absolutely neutral and with the well-known fine high frequency response of the AMT driver, the monitor meets even the highest demands. The woofers are hardly inferior and reach down low enough. If you want really powerful bass, then one of the accompanying subwoofers would be recommended.

But now to the core question: what is the effect of the lineariser? At first listen, hardly at all, which was to be expected, since nothing changes in the frequency response. However, if you start to listen more closely to more complex recordings, you will notice a more precise and clearer resolution, which, interestingly enough, can still be heard well away from the listening position and outside the sweet spot. How far this is due to the somewhat unusual environment under quasi free-field conditions is difficult to say at this point. In any case, the effect is interesting.



Conclusion
With the Type-30 MK2 monitor, HEDD has taken a big step forward. The good basis of drivers and power amplifiers of the first generation has been retained and extended by a flexible DSP system, which now opens up diverse and interesting possibilities. An additional feature is the possibility to operate the monitor as a bass reflex system or with a closed cabinet, depending on your own preferences. The Type-30 MK2's measurements and listening impression are excellent. The same applies to the excellent price/performance ratio. The small problem with the limiter settings will certainly be solved with the next software update.

Manufacturer/Distributor: HEDD

RRP/street price per pair: 5.200,- Euro / approx. 5.000,- Euro

Internet: www.hedd.audio

Our opinion
+++ Sound quality
+++ Workmanship and value
+++ Price/performance ratio
++ Measured values
++ Possible applications

Profile HEDD Audio Type30 MK2
Frequency range:
33 (30) Hz - 38 kHz (-6 dB)

Ripple:
(3.8) dB (100 Hz - 10 kHz)

hor. Beam angle:
131 degrees (-6 dB Iso 1 kHz - 10 kHz)

hor. STABW (standard deviation):
28 degrees (-6 dB Iso 1 kHz - 10 kHz)

ver. Aperture angle:
98 degrees (-6 dB Iso 1 kHz - 10 kHz)

ver. STABW:
38 degrees (-6 dB Iso 1 kHz - 10 kHz)

max. effective volume:
101.6 dB (3 % THD 100 Hz - 10 kHz)

bass capability:
104.4 dB (10 % THD 50 - 100 Hz)

Maximum level at 1 m (free field) with EIA-426B signal at full scale:
96 dBA Leq and 111 dB peak

Pair deviations:
0.6 dB (max value 100 Hz - 10 kHz)

Noise level (A-weighted):
23 dBA (10 cm)

Dimensions / Weight:
530 × 280 × 338 mm (W × H × D) / 21.5 kg
 

ernestcarl

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I don’t know if it’s just a translation issue, but maybe they really meant subjective preference instead of faith.

phase linear equalisation as well as bass reflex or closed cabinet, are somewhat a question of faith and certainly much discussed topics in audio circles

I mean, even the tester professed he/she could hear an actual difference (better clarity at least) with careful listening.
 

Jason K

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The linear phase correction of Hedd was weird for hearing when I heard them(07,30 MK2)
Phase response looks nice but the step response was not good. Woofer’s impulse starts faster then tweeter.
 

Ultrasonic

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I think that's the first review I've ever read where the subjective listening test was conducted in an anechoic chamber! Not exactly ideal :rolleyes:.
 

Ultrasonic

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What’s not ideal about hearing just the speaker?

Have you ever listened to speakers in an anechoic chamber? I have and it's weird.

It's surely fundamentally flawed from a subjective standpoint though since it totally removes the impact of speaker directivity.
 

TimVG

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I think that's the first review I've ever read where the subjective listening test was conducted in an anechoic chamber! Not exactly ideal :rolleyes:.

It was that or nothing

In contrast to the usual procedure, the listening test took place in an anechoic room, because the listening room otherwise used is currently used as a video studio for presentations and lectures.
 

Ultrasonic

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807Recordings

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It is funny, you hope to see some new speakers come in with all their hype and really change things. In the end it is the same old high priced stuff with lots of great subjective reviews like their HEDD phones and in the end the results are disappointing especially at this price point.

Neumann KH310 still seems to be a much better approach on paper.
 

AnalogSteph

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In terms of max SPL, this one is sort of an anti-KH310. The midrange clearly is more of a midwoofer (well, given the 250 Hz XO, it kind of has to be) and as such just not terribly efficient. It is clearly the weak spot here, while the waveguided AMT is holding up just fine. Noise level is excellent as well.

The Type 30 Mk2 may be a good fit for an EDM producer with suitably deep pockets... possibly not a coincidence coming from a Berlin-based company.
 

807Recordings

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In terms of max SPL, this one is sort of an anti-KH310. The midrange clearly is more of a midwoofer (well, given the 250 Hz XO, it kind of has to be) and as such just not terribly efficient. It is clearly the weak spot here, while the waveguided AMT is holding up just fine. Noise level is excellent as well.

The Type 30 Mk2 may be a good fit for an EDM producer with suitably deep pockets... possibly not a coincidence coming from a Berlin-based company.
I produce Techno here in Berlin so I do not see how this is ideal? I have found JBL to often be better for what will translate to the dance floor. I still use my JBL SVA 2100s for at least a check on my mixes as their large size really gives a feeling how it will translate to the audience.

Currently using the 305s with their subs and although clearly more accurate they miss that compression feeling of a big stack. You may be correct though as FR I find not as important as the dynamics.
 

3125b

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Not bad ... but the K310 is still so impressive despite being an older and fully analog design.
It plays louder than this HEDD (>100Hz), equal bass extension and SPL, better directivity, flatter FR, has lower self-noise while being a lot smaller.
 
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