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  #1  
Old 26th October 2008, 06:47 PM
vchang078 vchang078 is offline
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Default original Heybrook HB3 speaker

In the 80s, there's the Heybrook HB3 speaker........

I owned the original Heybrook HB3 ( without the Series II label at back ).
Like many of you agree, it sounds really good - Sweet and Dynamic - and
only need a 30W tube amp to drive it to the max ! A true classic and hidden
gem !

I sold this orignial HB3 pair and missed them since then. I managed to find
another pair of HB3 (Series II model ). The later Series II model
looks almost identical to the original one but sounds totally
different. First, it's much more power hungry, even a 70W tube
amp cannot drive it well. Second, the sweetness is replaced
by more overwhleming mide-range. And most of all,
the dynamic is not there in Series II. Has anyone got similar
experience on the two model ? Is there anything to make
Series II sound like its original model ? ( Most of the ebay listing
of HB3 in US/Canada is the Series II model. I only see the UK ebay
has the HB3 original model listed. Shipping cost is too much for
a heavy HB3 pair )

If anyone knows where to find the original Heybrook HB3 speaker
in good condition somewhere in North America, please let me know.
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  #2  
Old 29th October 2008, 12:43 AM
hal55 hal55 is offline
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Default Re: original Heybrook HB3 speaker

I own the HB3 S11s and found them sheer buggers to get the best out of BUT absolutely fabulous when you do. Did use them with a KAT 88 valve amp that put out thirty watts and they were driven easily so can't really agree that they need a lot of driving.
One thing about them (just my opinion) is that as they were designed at the end of the analogue era they sounded really awful with early CD. The highs reflected CDs early harsness but on turntable (had a Heybrook TT2, Heybrook arm and VDH Grado Signature - was that ever a lovely combination) they were open, effortless and sublime. In due course a Plessy ribbon replaced the tweeter which made them more friendly to CD sources.

This is certainly a question for Peter, I hope he answers and personally I'd love to see a write up of the history of Mecom Acoustics (ie Heybrook, or at least Heybrook under Peters ownership) in HiFi World.

Hal55
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  #3  
Old 29th October 2008, 08:21 AM
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naimart naimart is offline
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Default Re: original Heybrook HB3 speaker

Hello and welcome vchang078!

I would agree with Hal55, I never found the HB3 II's to be difficult to drive, but I only ever used solid state amps.

I did demo the original HB3 before eventually buying the Series II, they where lovely - I seem to remember an almost holographic image at times - and they where (from a very old memory) a bit more rounded than the Series II.

But I liked the slightly faster sound from the Series II - so I bought them

As for setup - wall reinforcement was mandatory!! I had a small room with Solid brick walls - perfect. I once took them to a remote Hi-Fi dealer to demo a TT - they where a pain to carry around - literally and it was a complete waste of time as the dealers room was a roof conversion with light wooden walls - they sounded very very bright with no bass.

But I thought they where very punchy and dynamic, but again as Hal55 says when CD came around they began to sound a little bit ragged to my ears.

Regards
Robert
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  #4  
Old 30th October 2008, 05:33 PM
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petercom petercom is offline
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Default Re: original Heybrook HB3 speaker

Difference between Series 1 and Series II HB3 was

a) the midrange was moved above the treble unit to improve phase integration. As naimart says the imaging was almost holographic.

b) the crossover was refined to reflect the better phase integration.

i don't recall them being more difficult to drive. Efficiency remained the same and I don't think the impedance was more difficult, but then it was a long time ago.

The HB3, and the HB1, were designed to be placed against a rear wall and sound mid forward if free standing as a result. it also helps if one wall in the room is solid (though it doesn't have to be the one behind the speakers).

Finally, like many designs of that period, they ARE very revealing of the source.
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  #5  
Old 31st October 2008, 07:39 PM
vchang078 vchang078 is offline
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Default Re: original Heybrook HB3 speaker

Thanks for the reply.
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  #6  
Old 31st October 2008, 07:45 PM
vchang078 vchang078 is offline
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Default Re: original Heybrook HB3 speaker

On the discrepency of my audition between HB3-II and HB3-original, if
it's not the cross-over, then the only difference is :

My HB3-II has the matching stand bolted to the bottom of speaker, whereas
the HB3-original was only sitting on the same heybrook matching stand. Not sure if mere stand-bolting would make such a huge difference though. The HB-3 original is absolutely explosive & holographic, driven by the same sets
of amp - i.e. audible illusion preamp & Eico tube 30w amp.
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  #7  
Old 31st October 2008, 11:53 PM
hal55 hal55 is offline
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Default Re: original Heybrook HB3 speaker

Now you know why so many people either still use their Heybrooks or remember them very fondly. They are just so addictive and hard to replace. Mine have seen off a pair of Final electrostatics that, though gorgeous on some things, were seriously flawed on others.
My HB3s are still in use today and I left off trying to replace them again until Peters Excel WD25T (to be finished end of year vacation shortly) came out - which has won universal praise from everyone.
Best amp I ever heard the HB3s with were EAR 509 or 549 valve jobs running off a Vacuum State RTP preamp and Linn combo (I think it was a Dynavector cartridge). Utterly sublime in a relaxed musical way that didn't really grab you except that suddenly every other speaker at the hifi show sounded wrong.
Twenty five years later I still remember the experience vividly - I must be a hopeless hifi nut!

Hal55
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  #8  
Old 1st November 2008, 10:01 AM
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Shane Shane is offline
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Default Re: original Heybrook HB3 speaker

That would make sense. A lot of the design and development of the HB3 was done with a pair of 509s.

I shall be interested in the comparison with the WD25Ts. My HB3s died a few years ago when the mid-range unit surrounds perished and domestic pressure demanded their replacement with a pair of Mission 782s. I still miss them...
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  #9  
Old 1st November 2008, 08:23 PM
hal55 hal55 is offline
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Default Re: original Heybrook HB3 speaker

Domestic pressure?? Pity, the midranges were then easiest things to replace, MCA11FC were, I think , the replacement drivers and and they were just "drop in" - no woodwork or crossover adjustments necessary. Probably sounded better than the original 11FMs as well. Did that changeover on mine since they also had the foam problem and for good measure my cat put his claws thru one of them.
My pair still have the original low frequency drivers which are still sounding ok after 22 years, wouldn't mind updating them though. Anyone know the model number or replacement number??

Hal55
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  #10  
Old 4th November 2008, 03:42 PM
vchang078 vchang078 is offline
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Default Re: original Heybrook HB3 speaker

I did try driving the HB3-II with a 100W tube amps ( VTL MB100 ) but
still not getting the holographic effect as experienced in HB3-original.
The HB3-II is bolted to a matching stand. I can try dis-engage the bolting
and let the speaker just sit on the stand. Any advice from HB3-II owner with the Heybrook matching stand ?

The HB3 is the most enjoyable speakers I ever own, better than ProAc & KEF
floor standing ones. It has the brilliant balance between sound stage, dynamic, sweetness and excels in all fronts. I agree a historic covergage of classic product ( TT2, HB3 ) in the heydays of Heybrook would be welcoming.
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