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Hedd Type 07 Mk2 - An Experience

MartinC

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Some of you may be aware that I was trying out a pair of Hedd Type 07 Mk2 speakers at the beginning of February. As may have been guessed I ended up returning these so first up I want to highlight that I did so and got a full refund via bax-shop.co.uk without issue, which to be able to I needed to request the refund within 14 days of getting them.

I bought the white model which I did really like the look of actually. They had a sort of satin white finish, rather than the rubbery type of finish that I know the Mk1s had. Annoyingly I didn't take any good photos of them actually in use, but here's one to give the idea of one in situ behind one of my Shearwater floorstanding speakers. (The microphone was there for a test nothing to do with the Hedds!) And yes, I did move the Shearwater out of the way when listening to the Hedds 😛.

Hedd and Shearwater_cropped_smaller.jpg

Here's the Hedd Audio page with details: https://www.hedd.audio/products/type-07-mk2

So why didn't I keep them? I really wanted to like them but fundamentally I just didn't enjoy listening to them. I'm sure others have been in a position of thinking they ought to like something but when it came down to it, didn't, and that's where I got to. Swapping back to my Shearwaters highlighted two main differences - firstly that there was just more life and enjoyment with the Shearwaters but also that the lower midrange on the Hedds just sounded thin by comparison. I've no idea whether the latter was technically more accurate but I didn't like it as much. Below is a link to John Darko's review of the Hedds. In this he noted preferring a specific pre-amp as it gave him an overall fuller sound with them, and I suspect this was a response to the same issue that I found. I should perhaps say that I used the Hedds connected directly to the XLR analogue outputs of my miniDSP SHD.

Another issue with the thinner sound that was a deal-breaker for me was that they integrated terribly with my sub as a result, with the transition between the two being very obvious in a way that it is not with my Shearwaters.


(Edit: apologies if this video doesn't start at the beginning for anyone - I can't seem to stop it doing it even though there isn't a start time in the file path!)

One possible concern I had before getting the Hedds was that hiss from the tweeters may be obviously audible but at my ~2.5m listing distance I couldn't hear it. They were also perfectly capable of playing loud enough in my roughly 4.65 m x 2.35 m lounge.

From a purely technical perspective I'll finally just note that I did look at how the 'lineariser' functionality performed and the improvement it made to the measured impulse response was actually very clear. The first graph that follows is with the lineariser off (black curve) and the second with it on (blue curve). When I was listening to the speakers I always had the lineariser on so I can't comment on what this may have subjectively achieved. I'd like to have done but I had limited time before having to decide whether to return them or not.

Hedd Type 07 Mk2 Lineariser Off Impulse Response.jpg
Hedd Type 07 Mk2 Lineariser On Impulse Response.jpg
 
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Pedro2

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Thanks for your thoughts, Martin. A couple of things that I found interesting; firstly, the poor integration with your sub and secondly, the quality of the mid/bass.

As you're probably aware, I now use a pair of Type 05s, paired up with a small JL Audio Sub (high and low pass filters handled by an active crossover). I must admit, that when I first listened to the Hedds driven full range without sub, the sound was underwhelming and over powered by their prodigious bass output in my room. They were worse in this respect to the AE1a that I was using at the time (these also have a powerful bottom end output for their size). Once paired up with my sub, however, I found the treble smoothness and clarity of the Hedds won the day (although it wasn't a night and day win over the AE1a - more a worthwhile improvement in SQ for the money). I also haven't got an issue with upper/mid bass, although I'm not comparing it with another pair of speakers that might be making a better job of it.

I've looked up your existing speakers and they appear to be around 20yr old (approx) passive models with fantastic reviews and a small but loyal fan base; they are obviously something special. I believe that I may never return to passive speakers, but only something special would tempt me. The problem with this is the likely cost. Something to match your passive speakers + power amp would cost in excess of £5k to £10k new I believe, so I will probably stick with high quality actives. My Linn streamer/dac/preamp also seems to feed the Hedd's quite well too, so this may be another factor.

I haven't measured my system yet but have an Umik lurking in a Christmas box somewhere, so at some point, I'll get round to it - at the moment, temporary illness + Covid has laid me low so it will have to wait a few weeks. It was good to read your thoughts on the Hedds, even if you didn't take to them, as there are few users on the Wam as far as I am aware.

PS - I also used Bax-shop to buy from and would use them again - your experience on return and refund seemed to be painless.
 
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MartinC

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I've looked up your existing speakers and they appear to be around 20yr old (approx) passive models with fantastic reviews and a small but loyal fan base; they are obviously something special. I believe that I may never return to passive speakers, but only something special would tempt me. The problem with this is the likely cost. Something to match your passive speakers + power amp would cost in excess of £5k to £10k new I believe, so I will probably stick with high quality actives. My Linn streamer/dac/preamp also seems to feed the Hedd's quite well too, so this may be another factor.

Yes, you're about right on the age of my Shearwaters. I just checked and I bought them in December 2004 but I was the second owner. My power amp is maybe a couple of years younger but I've had it a long time too (also as second owner). I didn't pay this but their combined RRP when new was about £7k. What a modern equivalent would be or cost I've no idea. I obviously think they're decent but equally I'm not sure they'd particularly wow anyone now. Possibly I'm just spoiled by having had them so long but I'm very open to them being bettered, hence trying the Hedds.

On the subwoofer integration I do wish I'd had more time to experiment in case I'd somehow got something wrong somewhere but I had limited time to experiment before I'd have had to pay to keep them longer (5% of purchase cost minimum beyond 14 days). At the point I'd decided they weren't keepers I also didn't want to risk damaging them by swapping back and forth any more. I have successfully integrated three other pairs of speakers with my current sub and one other, so I was a bit surprised how poorly the Hedds seemed to gel.

Hope you feel better soon.
 

Pedro2

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I’m on the mend, thanks although it’s going to take some weeks.

Just a few final thoughts on your thread. The second graph (lineariser on) shows quite a flat response generally, and is noticeably better than the black line.

Regarding the sub integration, I notice that Darko combined the type 07s with a Hedd sub. From what I can gather, the sub uses a high pass filter to feed into the 07s and would obviously mate well (I presume). I did toy with the idea of selling my JL sub in order to buy the Hedd but I’d have to hear the Hedd sub first at home. The JL is a wonderful piece of kit but the integration might be seamless using all Hedd gear. I’m just guessing, though and I’ve got no urge to change at the moment.

Finally, your passive kit obviously sounds great and connects you emotionally with the music. My last experience with passive kit left me less impressed - I had a pair of ATC scm11 driven by a Nord type D power amp. The sound was detailed, tonally accurate and could play at extremely volumes without breaking into a sweat. It also sounded too dry for my taste and the AE1a came as a breath of fresh air - much more involving, although others might have disagreed. Horses for courses…
 

MartinC

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Regarding the sub integration, I notice that Darko combined the type 07s with a Hedd sub. From what I can gather, the sub uses a high pass filter to feed into the 07s and would obviously mate well (I presume).
I think you realise but for info. I did use my miniDSP SHD to apply a high-pass filter to the main speakers as well as low-pass filter to the sub, as well as optimising time alignment and the using Dirac Live to EQ the in-room response below about 150 Hz.
 
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