Heybrook HB2 Floorstanding Speakers

HB2

Two-way bookshelf speaker

User Reviews (8)

Showing 1-8 of 8  
Nick Drabble   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 08, 2011]

Heybrook HB2's bought in 1980 along with A&R A60 Amp and both still going strong.

Quite simply they are hard to better without spending £2000+. I have run them with the A60 for years but also Arcam Solo and now Naim Uniti and they still sing. They have a sweet treble, with mid range more open than many can manage today, and bass that is tight yet deeper than you would expect for a cabinet of it's size (41x23x21). Vocals and instrumentals are as if they are in the room. They can get muddled in the bass at high volumes but are well controlled with plenty of detail at modest levels.

I keep looking to replace them with something up to date but struggle to find anything that is significantly better. I have tried Spendor SA1 (lacking bass a little but clear natural open and articulate) ATC SCM11, Neat Motive 3 (both very good but not really an upgrade per say; the Neat possesses many qualities similar to the Heybrook), ProAc Tablette Anniversary and a number of floorstanders including Spendor A5. While there are undoubtedly some good speakers out there, the faithful Heybrook HB2's take some beating.

The acoustic foam fronts started to disintegrate in the 90's and I purchased a new set from Heybrook. The speakers are rear ported and need careful positioning to avoid becoming too boomy; about 14" from the wall keeps everything open and clear in my room.

The best £140 I ever spent on Hi-Fi.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
mystic fred   AudioPhile [Sep 04, 2005]
Strength:

highly sophisticated sound especially on vinyl, spacious clarity, wide soundstage, tight clear bass. shows up cheap source/amps, needs quality front end. suitable for all types of music (except rap etc.needs 12/15" bass drivers!!).

Weakness:

non weaknesses really, though positioning/height is critical (not really a weakness),they can tend to sound a bit "nasally" sometimes, also they don't like being overdriven. some amps may find these a job to drive.

HEYBROOK HB2 (mftd.1981). i still have these speakers after 24 years simply because i haven't yet heard anything good enough to replace them. even celestion dittons lose out to these in the tweeter department, and modern speakers such as monitor audio bronze/silver i have tried just sound plain dull (bi-wiring doesn't work much either so don't bother!). only thing is the grilles deteriorate but they sound better without them. sometimes these speakers sound so real it makes you jump! i bought another used pair of these from devon this year for £70.00 on ebay.

Similar Products Used: celestion ditton 15xr, monitor audio bronze/silver, b&w dm20.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Zevcowboy   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 14, 2002]
Strength:

There has been no bleed or mushiness. Each sound has integrity - especially in the mid to upper.

Weakness:

Though I generally like the look, the faux-wood wallpaper-like finish on the blond pair peeled slightly and looks a little cheap.

I''m running the HB2s off an NAD 3240PE intergrated amp and they sound terrific. I was initially a little disappointed with the bass (to be expected, perhaps, in a bookshelf). It sounded empty or hollow. But after moving the speakers around and letting them ''burn in'' I really like them. They are a terrific value. The sound is precise and full.

Similar Products Used: B&W
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
ixlr8   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 20, 2002]
Strength:

Price/Performance

Weakness:

Somewhat shabby with wind instruments, I don''''t listen to too much of ''''em anyway.

I read a review earlier in this section mentioning some other material for the woofer cone. The pair that I own has a high-grade Kevlar 160 mm driver with a smooth, 25mm silk dome. I''''m driving a pair off a NAD C320(USD 350), which is 40 @8 ohms. I also have a NAD C521 CD player(USD300) player. The setup sounds marvellous, in my study which is about 15x15. The speakers are about 4'''' away from the rear wall on custon stands, but they hit hard. I''''m basically a car audio buff and I wanted tight and clean bass. I thought I''''d need an active sub, but I''''m more than happy with the low end of my system. The mids are clean and crisp and the highs are accurate. The HB2s are sturdily built and are deep chested with the vocals. The soft clipping on the NAD never allows the sound to be unpleasant even at high SPLs. At nearly a 1000$s, I think it is one of the best setups that one can put together in India.

Similar Products Used: Monitor Audio Bronze ser. Bookshelves. Got ripped off for them. They couldn''''t come close to what my corrent setup does.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
  [May 11, 1999]

The Heybrook HB2's are small (16 3/8"H x 9 1/4"W x 9 1/4"D) two way speakers with a 6 1/2" bextrene (plastic) woofer with a rubber surround and a 1" soft dome tweeter. They are attractive (the real wood veneer is wrapped around the speaker so that the wood grain matches from side to top to side to bottom) and well made, with attention paid to the details. They have several limitations. They are very inefficient (SPL 84 dB @ 1W @ 1 M), requiring about 4 times the power needed for an average speaker (about 90 dB @ 1 W @ 1 M). They also cannot handle very much power (100 W, more or less, depending on frequency and duration). Consequently, they are incapable of high volumes (max. usable SPL 95 dB, more or less, depending on too many factors to mention) in large rooms (though if you use them in a relatively small room [about 14' x 14' or so] and do not listen at volumes that risk damaging your hearing, this should not be a problem). As one would expect from a speaker of this type, the bass is somewhat lean, though it is clear and well defined. The impedance is nominally 8 ohms, and does not drop below 8 ohms below about 7 kHz, and stays well above 4 ohms throughout the 20-20 kHz range, so it should prove an easy load for most amplifiers.

The sound quality of these speakers is very good. As mentioned above, the bass is somewhat lean (rolling off at about 60 Hz), but has enough 'impact' to avoid
imparting a sense of deficiency in the bass. The sound is smooth and natural, and can be listened to for many hours without fatigue. The Heybrooks are particularly capable of rendering percussive and brass instruments with great realism. They convey a large and open soundstage. They are very 'clean' and 'articulate.'

These speakers are well suited for someone more interested in the quality of the sound than in its quantity.

Overall, the sound quality is excellent for a small bookshelf speaker. This is a speaker which, despite its several real limitations, tends to make one not notice the limitations and listen to the music. I have had mine for about 15 years, and plan on keeping them for life. The matching stands (list $95) are attractive and sturdy, well worth considering if you can get them.

I paid $300 for mine (demos in perfect condition) with the stands; a very god value. I would not recommend them at list price ($489 + $95 for the stands, totaling $584--I would get the Magnepan MMG's for $500, though they have some of the same limitations), but I do not think the HB2's are made anymore, so one would be buying them used anyway.



OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
MG   Audiophile [Jan 05, 2002]
Strength:

Good soundstage, Good frequency response for a 6.5" 2-way, very sturdy build quality.

Weakness:

Cheesy foam grilles, only connectors are female banana jacks(no binding posts)

Hate to admit this, but I use these little gems on a non-home theater, stereo TV system driven by a Harman Kardon hk395i(mid '80s) receiver. The sources are an early '90s Sony Hi-Fi VCR, the variable audio outputs of a Toshiba 30" TV, and, occasionally, a Sony portable CD player. What I really liked about them when I picked them up off of the Used Equipment bench at my store was the exceptional build quality of them. I was just looking for a good, sturdy pair of speakers to play TV/video through so I could disable the deplorable speakers built into the TV. What a find. I've recently(just for giggles) put them onto my main system which consists of a VPI HW-19III turntable/Audioquest PT-5 tonearm/Audio Technica AT-OC9 cartridge(eliptical stylus older production, not micro-line stylus newer production) phono front end, Forte' Audio Model 40 preamp, Forte' Model 6A or AVA Super 70+ power amps along with various Monster, Tara Labs, and Audioquest cables and the sound was absolutely wonderful!! They need to be on stands with the tweeters at ear-level +/- 2" or so and well away from the rear and side walls. This opens up the soundstage wonderfully and the bass doesn't suffer the way it does with other British "mini-monitors"/"bookshelf" speakers I've heard, i.e. Spendor, Spica, etc. However, to get the best bass from the system, a subwoofer would really flesh out the overall response very nicely. Seeing as these are vintage early to mid-'80s, the "cheesy foam grilles" I mentioned above are starting to fall apart and my plan is to fashion a new set of fabric-over-wood-frame grilles to replace them, which I can't imagine would affect the sound very much. It's a real crying shame that Heybrook no longer markets their products in the USA!( assuming they're still in business).

Similar Products Used: N/A
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Zladislaw   Audio Enthusiast [Aug 24, 2000]
Strength:

Crisp vocals, superb soundstaging

Weakness:

Fussy about placement as they have a rather narrow projection

I agree with many of the comments and criticisms posted above. I do not find them to be particularly inefficient, however. I have them in a 10 x 12 study driven by only a 30 watt Tandberg and they are more than adequate for this small space. They are nowhere as efficient as the Klipsh, but the soundstaging remains impressive.

I do not have space for these on the floor and they do not sound best at ear level unless tipped back 20 degrees or so. Following the manufacturer's suggestion, they are mounted 56" from the floor 18" from the corner. I tried them in other locations and the effect was suboptimal. Angled floor stands or 56" off the floor away from the corners works.

Since they are only a 2-way speaker the bass can be thin at times. The B&W (forget the model), also a bookshelf, had plenty of bass but never sounded as authentic as the Heybrooks. After listening them quite a bit I attended a small acoustic concert in a superb concert hall. That chrystalline sound was something the Heybrooks did handily when I listened to them again. They tend not to fatigue and are just about perfect for a small room.

They are extremely well-constructed, beautiful, articulate and tough. I wouldn't would not recommend them for larges spaces, as the prior poster has aptly pointed out. Still a pleasure to hear after 15 years.

Similar Products Used: B&W, Klipsch Heresy
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
2
Showing 1-8 of 8  

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