The long-awaited HUMAN 81 DK is now available.
Best viewed in "landscape" mode.
I used to use a nice little slogan, which went "Simply, the Best". Nowadays it looks like "Music to Your Ears" has taken over. This essay is based more on the former in its structure. The end result is the same.
Primarily, what I want is for people to hear their music the way the creator intended.
There are two different aspects to this concept that dovetail together in such a way as to be truly inseparable.
One is about the idea of HUMAN Speakers - that is, simply, to build the best speakers I can - and therefore the best speaker systems that you can buy.
The other is about the reality of HUMAN Speakers. It means that in order to get the best sound possible, speaker systems should be simple. This means using parts that are designed to go so well together that a minimal amount of components are required, letting the music shine through clearly.
The joy of music reproduced with breathtaking realism and clarity is surely one of the technological wonders of the twentieth century - and I suspect it's going to be enjoyed well into the twenty first, as well! I am very pleased to manufacture speakers which will provide you with the very best of this marvel - with my own hands.
HUMAN Speakers was founded in 1987 to bring that realism and clarity to you in the form of reasonably priced, solidly engineered, great sounding speakers that will stand the test of years of pleasureable listening.
Many of today's home entertainment systems neglect the potential for beauty in favor of mass marketed, pseudo-science glitzy looking systems that fall far short of the intimate intensity of accurately reproduced music (and movies). What's worse, is that in spite of the lower costs possible with mass marketing, the advertising costs to convince the consumer that the products are worthwhile make them a poor bargain to boot!
They do this for two reasons. One is to respond to the constant change demanded by a marketplace which they have conditioned to expect it. "New is better" as a philosophy is constantly promoted by manufacturers and their mouthpieces, the various hobby magazines. This is their way of staying in business. To create a constant demand for change is to create constant demand for this years model and "expert" analysis of all the latest "features" and "technology," and how essential they are.
So when a product hits that magical point of being an ideal compromise between price and performance, it can only be sold for a year or two before it must be changed to meet the demand for "new and better". For a couple of years it can be repackaged, renamed and restyled, but the result is usually that the "magic" disappears pretty rapidly.
Please don't imagine that I am just a curmudgeonly old fellow (well, I am) who despises anything "new or improved." Some marvelous advance is almost always being gained in some kind of product or other, lowering costs, raising quality, or lightening the environmental burden of a product. It's just that in my experience most of the time the changes in products in the American marketplace are not actually improvements.
The other reason for the failure of many home entertainment products to be as good as they could be is the change in manufacturing and business philosophies over the last few decades. Back in the seventies, American kids fresh out of engineering and business schools would excitedly embark on their careers by launching speaker companies that they themselves were proud to be associated with. These were the sort of people who wanted to build speakers they would bring home and listen to in their own homes. Nowadays most consumer audio products are manufactured to the lowest possible cost overseas by conglomerates owning many brand names and caring only about the bottom line. This leads to constant research into how to cut costs and sell more product, but eliminates the folks who used to spend most of their time listening, and constantly refining the product, until they were happy to stand by it and say "we built this!"
Well, I think that if you are doing something right you should keep doing it that way, while keeping your ears and mind open to genuine improvements. I also believe deep down in products that last for decades, not years. To digress from the subject of speakers a little, I think that our throwaway consumer culture is doing terrible things to our planets environment, our "economy," and to the education of our children.
What I strive to do is build straightforward, really good sounding speakers. No gimmicks or trends, just great sound you can enjoy year in and year out. I think speakers should be as uncolored as possible, meaning that all the different tones and harmonics of the music are reproduced equally, duplicating the balance of the source. They should disperse this tonal accuracy widely, not in a narrow "beam," so that all the sound in the room has the same, natural timbre, so that the sound reflected from your walls matches the direct sound from the speaker - the same as if there were real instruments in the room. Speakers should sound really good whether they are played quietly or loudly, or anywhere in between, so they can produce whatever sorts of musical experience you want at the time.
All my HUMAN Speakers are designed and built here in America by hand. I listen to every pair before they leave the building to make sure they are wonderful. If my philospophy makes sense to you, I would like you to seriously consider buying HUMAN Speakers when you are making your next speaker purchase.
Huw Powell, Chief Cook and Bottlewasher
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