• Welcome to the all-new HUG. All content has been converted from the old system, and over the next days we will re-style HUG in a more familiar way.

Sunlight

BAS-H

Member
Hello. Have recently turned my living room around 90°. Great result all round but means the front baffles get exposed to sunlight for a short time (~2 hours) in the summer. It strikes the baffles at an oblique angle, ~120°, increasing until it disappears behind buildings. Have I any need to be concerned regards the long term life of the drivers, surrounds etc.? Grilles are permanently in place.

Thank you, Ben, Aberystwyth
 

A.S.

Administrator
Staff member
Cherry veneer ages very fast. In fact, we have to be very careful how we store cherry cabinets because on a really bright midsummer's day, the sunlight through the roof light panels will age the veneer in a couple of hours.

Other veneers are not noticeably light sensitive.
 

tIANcI

Member
Cherry veneer ages very fast. In fact, we have to be very careful how we store cherry cabinets because on a really bright midsummer's day, the sunlight through the roof light panels will age the veneer in a couple of hours.

Other veneers are not noticeably light sensitive.
Would it be advisable to say use bees wax? Other than keeping it away from direct sunlight.
 
S

Smoooth

Guest
Does cherry get darker or lighter when ageing and getting exposed to light?
 

A.S.

Administrator
Staff member
Cherry darkens.

As for beeswax, I do not know. I would have thought that it would attract and trap dust.
 
S

Smoooth

Guest
Cherry darkens.

As for beeswax, I do not know. I would have thought that it would attract and trap dust.
Ok, thanks Alan! I use beeswax mixed with paraffin oil on my cutting boards. I would not use it on speakers if the mix is not very light due to the problems with it being sticky indeed. A light oil with beeswax is "Boos Mystery Oil" from John Boos. I had a small gentle scratch in my cherry finish on my 5s which I added pure paraffin oil to, let it sit for a minute or two and then swiped off with a cloth, Scratch became nearly invisible. I love the cherry finish and the sound from my 5 plus.
 

tIANcI

Member
Ok, thanks Alan! I use beeswax mixed with paraffin oil on my cutting boards. I would not use it on speakers if the mix is not very light due to the problems with it being sticky indeed. A light oil with beeswax is "Boos Mystery Oil" from John Boos. I had a small gentle scratch in my cherry finish on my 5s which I added pure paraffin oil to, let it sit for a minute or two and then swiped off with a cloth, Scratch became nearly invisible. I love the cherry finish and the sound from my 5 plus.
Looks like a very light sort of wax may work to keep the wood in shape. A very very light sort of wax. A bit too oily and the Cherry is gonna darken for a while. 😂
 
S

Smoooth

Guest
Would be interesting knowing how the matte wood is treated from factory for those who want to restore scratches or just take care of the finish.
 

MikeM

Active member
For those who wish to adhere to what is found under the official User Guide located under the Loudspeaker section on the home page (and not fall foul of the speaker guarantee!) this is what Harbeth say:

Care
For your Harbeths

To maintain your speakers occasionally wipe over the wood with a slightly damp cloth rinsed in a dilute detergent suitable for wood veneer. Do not use wax polishes. Please avoid direct sunlight, radiators, draughts, smoke, ozone and other chemicals on or near the cabinets.

The special protective Harbeth SuperGrilles™ should be fitted during listening; lightly brush them with a soft, dry paintbrush. Caution: Do not press or touch the drive units under or through the grille.


Of course, neither this nor any of the other comments above - which maybe only Alan can professionally comment on here - has answered the OP's (Ben) main worry as to whether exposure to sunlight will affect the long term life of the speaker drivers and surrounds.
 

BAS-H

Member
Thank you all for your advice and comments. Seems like the best defence is the curtain, between 6 and 8 in the morning! I like simple solutions.

But MikeM is right... I'd be very grateful for an insight into the effects of (strongly angled; not square on) sunlight on the drivers/surrounds/glues beneath the grille.
Ben
 

Milosz

Active member
I'd be very grateful for an insight into the effects of (strongly angled; not square on) sunlight on the drivers/surrounds/glues beneath the grille.
Ben
I think “grilles always on” is best advice. It’s not only best solution to get the sound balance intended by the designer but also provides best protection for drivers. You can also ask fellow HUG member @szigony . I remember that a few years ago he came up with the idea of cloth covers for various Harbeth models.


As regards the veneer, one of my Harbeths is cherry, the other pair is rosewood. It is true that cherry veneer darkened quickly: after a few weeks in moderately sunlit room it changed colour significantly. Rosewood seems stable or at least changed colour too slow for me to notice the difference.
 
Last edited:

A.S.

Administrator
Staff member
It's important to remember that the colour black is the best at absorbing the energy in sunlight, which is why a black object becomes hot.

The photons in sunlight contain significant energy to generate about 500W per sq. mtr per hour (Europe) in summer on the earth - or indeed, your speakers.

That's a very considerable amount of heat energy, and you should expect that if it falls directly on any part of the speaker, but especially black coloured parts (woofer cone, woofer surround, tweeter diaphragm) that it will, in the short term, influence the flexibility of those parts, which will change their acoustic performance, and also, less predictably, irrevocably interfere with the inter-molecular bonds in those parts over a period of time. In other words, change their sound and shorten their life.

If you keep the grilles fitted all the time, as I have designed the speakers to be used, you will have a long service life and a stable acoustic performance.

That's material science for you!
 

tIANcI

Member
If you keep the grilles fitted all the time, as I have designed the speakers to be used, you will have a long service life and a stable acoustic performance.

That's material science for you!
But Mr Shaw ... you designed the front of the speaker looking so good that many are so tempted to remove the grill and enjoy the visual aspect of your speakers! 😬
 

A.S.

Administrator
Staff member
But Mr Shaw ... you designed the front of the speaker looking so good that many are so tempted to remove the grill and enjoy the visual aspect of your speakers! 😬
Many say that! But, a thought.

Although the woven grille material looks and feels very thin to the human eye - not much thicker than ladies stockings - as far as a sound wave is concerned, it is significantly thick at the highest frequencies. That means that its properties are such that at the top of the audio band, sound waves find it a bit of a struggle to penetrate the seemingly porous material, and as frequency increases less and less high frequency energy passes into the room. That consequence is completely predictable for a given cloth of given thickness and weave tension, which is what I have specified.

Solution? Dead simple .....
 

BAS-H

Member
Thank you very much for your insight as always Alan. Grilles and curtain it is. Amazing to learn a square meter of black surface could absorb half a kilowatt.

Good idea about whole speaker cloth covers but I couldn't bear covering up such beautiful functional furniture.
 

A.S.

Administrator
Staff member
To be clear: the 'solution' I alluded to two posts up is a) keep the grilles on to extend the life of the drive units and b) appreciate that the designer compensated for the very slight HF attenuation that is consequent on short wavelength, high frequency sound waves interacting with woven cloth by adjusting the crossover drive energy to the tweeter. So, remove the grilles and the overall balance will be slightly more toppy than it is intended to be in the design lab.

You may prefer that, and indeed, depending on the age-related nature of your own ears you may consider that to be more correct to you. But really, this is again another strong argument for the benefits of tone/tilt controls.
 

tIANcI

Member
To be clear: the 'solution' I alluded to two posts up is a) keep the grilles on to extend the life of the drive units and b) appreciate that the designer compensated for the very slight HF attenuation that is consequent on short wavelength, high frequency sound waves interacting with woven cloth by adjusting the crossover drive energy to the tweeter. So, remove the grilles and the overall balance will be slightly more toppy than it is intended to be in the design lab.

You may prefer that, and indeed, depending on the age-related nature of your own ears you may consider that to be more correct to you. But really, this is again another strong argument for the benefits of tone/tilt controls.
Don’t add ketchup when the chef has slaved in the kitchen for us! 😂
 
Top