December 7, 2014

HE3 - an elegent valve friendly speaker

Here's a dilemma. How do you create a speakerthat meets all these goals:
  • easy for a valve amplifier to drive (benign impedance load and high sensitivity)
  • a slim and elegant design (tall and slender rather than wide and chunky)
  • pleasing tonal balance with full bass and no emphasised regions to get a high sensitivity rating
  • strong bass extension
Based on the questions I'm often asked, it's much harder than people realise. Often people don't realise the implications of each decision. If you want a slender box that isn't very big, with good bass extension, generally it's going to mean it won't achieve high sensitivity.Something has to give. 


HE3 is my answer. First we start with a conventional dome tweeter with fairly high sensitivity and an exceptional midbass driver - Acoustic Elegance TD6M. Here we achieve 93 dB sensitivity which is quite reasonable. Many speakers claiming higher don't actually deliver it. This is a spec that is often inflated excessively. Even individual drivers rated at 99 dB in reality may only have 93 dB of useful sensitivity.

Now the key in this design is that the bass is active, with a side firing 10" woofer. Here we dispense with high sensitivity and use brute force with a built in amp that also features DSP. The added bonus is that we can use EQ in the room.

Prototype coming soon.


  1. Hi mate, has this progressed at all?
    Looks perfect for what I'm looking for. Would this be available as a kit form? I'm pretty keen to do my first sit speaker.

  2. I recommend that you always sit to listen to a good speaker!

    HE3 is not yet ready but it is a speaker I intend to launch this year.

    To discuss further:

  3. I will add that it will be available as a kit, finished, fully active and passive hybrid.


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