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In the Forum: Horn-Loaded Speakers
In the Thread: A new CES 2010 loudspeaker?
Post Subject: Ocean Way Audio HR2 loudspeakerPosted by Romy the Cat on: 1/13/2010

Thanks, ferenc.

I went to Ocean Way Recording the Federated Mike mentioned but I did not see anything in there and I did not know that they have also an site. They call it the HR2 and it was built for them by Allen Sides, so it is not their own speaker.

From their web site:  “About the monitor systems:

The HR2 monitor system is designed as a high definition reference point to sonically judge and decide intricate musical balances for final mixes. What separates the HR2s from other high end audiophile loudspeakers, apart from its use by professionals, is its capacity to provide virtually unlimited dynamic range while maintaining absolutely matched uniform frequency response between channels. The two sides from 1k to 20k typically fall within 1dB of each other creating absolute symmetry in regards to stereo imaging. The HR2s unique 120 degree dispersion coupled with having identical flare rates on both HF and LF horns also allows for a very wide listening window eliminating the narrow "sweet spot" effect. The HR2 also produces extended and detailed low end to 18Hz.

In some circles of the audiophile community, the word "professional" can have a somewhat negative connotation. Prior to the HR2 "Professional" was often synonymous with loud, harsh and a lack of depth of field. The HR2 finally bridges the gap between superb audiophile and accurate professional studio monitors. There is nothing currently manufactured anywhere in the world, at any price that looks, sounds or performs like Ocean Way HR2 monitors. The HR2 integrates brilliant horn designs never fully realized from the late 1950's with exceptional wide bandwidth low distortion drivers and a tri-amplified and equalized electronic package second to none.

From an audiophile or a professional recording engineer's standpoint, what could be more perfect? The HR2 will reveal things in your best recordings and mixes you may have never heard and provide dynamics you may have not thought possible. If there is a negative aspect to the HR2 it is that poorly recorded music will be revealed, with every nuance starkly evident. From a recording engineer's standpoint, these are invaluable assets allowing for the best recording and mixes possible and from the audiophile's standpoint, their best recordings will sound simply exceptional.

Additional note: The purchase of a pair of HR2s may lead the new owner to be a bit more selective as to what music they are willing to play for their discerning friends.

About the designer:

The designer of the Ocean Way monitor systems, multi Grammy award winning engineer /producer and studio owner Allen Sides, has been a die-hard audiophile and musician since the age of 13. The HR2 is in some ways the culmination of almost 40 years of his experience designing high resolution studio speaker systems for his many studios as well a wide variety of commercial installations including George Lucas' Skywalker Ranch scoring stage, Trevor Horn's Sarm studios in London, and Walt Disney's Hollywood Records as well as private installations for musical artists like Gwen Stefani, David Grohl and Beck. Mr. Sides has also personally recorded over 500 albums many of which have become audiophile classics. Mr. Sides designed, built and owns Ocean Way Studios Hollywood, Ocean Way Studios Nashville, Ocean Way Studio St Barth's at Eden Rock and Record One Studios Sherman Oaks. Together these comprise the most award winning and successful music studios in the world. Albums recorded in Mr. Sides' studios have sold in excess of 1 billion copies. A brief list of artists Mr. Sides has worked with would include Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, Phil Collins, Michael Jackson, Eric Clapton, Green Day, Faith Hill, Mary J Blige, Alanis Morissette, Neil Diamond, John Williams, Andre Previn and Ry Cooder. Mr. Sides brings a new dimension and understanding to what is possible in high end speaker design and the HR2 is the realization of this experience.”

The explanation is a bit pedestrian and some design aspects are a bit questionably done. I do not know who Allen Sides is but he obviously got inspiration from old RCA LC-9 loudspeaker. There is nothing wrong with it and in fact I like now he used dedicated bass, mid bass and upperbass channels. The size and the shape of the lower MF throat is something that I very much do not like. If I remember correctly RCA has a long throat where Mr. Sides went for rectangular throat. What RCA did it there were not techniques of diffractive so-called constant derisively, something that need to be used in this application.

I have no idea how this speaker sounds. I do not particularly care about Allen Sides background as his described experience is hardly relevant to good sound, in fact it most likely  confrontational to good sound. If the OceanWayAudio would name the drivers they use then the things would be much clear but they do not. Anyhow, here is a new, looks like a commercially available acoustic system. I presume that hypothetically the lower bass section might be doubled by placing one more bass section above the tweeter… With proper driver sand smart crossovering the configuration might be fun to experiment with. I do not know if the HR2 was designed with triangle or rectangle back and it meant to be sitting in corner. Let see if any more information would come out….

The Cat

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