Diapason - France


By Jean-Marie Piel


The music lover's dream loudspeaker

Near Beziers in France, high up on the hills and surrounded by countryside, Phy-HP just recently opened its doors. This model factory is home to a loudspeaker of exceptional quality. The loudspeaker designer Bernard Salabert has been dreaming up this project for the past 10 years. He invested all of his skills, ingenious ideas and much time into it... There is nothing totally revolutionary about this 21cm diameter loudspeaker. It is just simply close to perfection, an intelligent blend of the highest quality ever produced over the last half-century. It features an Alnico 5 DG pot magnet, extremely pure iron polar parts precision machined to the nearest micron, a very narrow air gap, a 15 ohm coil on a tracing paper chuck, an exponential horn design paper diaphragm, a rubber-coated small-fold suspension, as well as a bronze basket and peripheral phasing ring...


This wide-range loudspeaker follows in the footsteps of the LE-8, Supravox and Lowther models and has been thought out and studied down to the slightest detail. For example, its basket has five spokes with five mounting screws. When listening, the fact that it is an odd number rather than an even number makes a great difference. Bernard Salabert knows what he is talking about, he also knows that every part of a loudspeaker can be heard. For this reason, he didn't think twice about building his own machine to manufacture the coils. To his mind, loudspeaker quality depends just as much on the quality of its components, the extreme accuracy of machining and assembly, as on the design itself. Its H 21 LB 15 is a kind of anachronism that is oblivious to compromise. Outside the market, it is reviving the memory of some of the finest loudspeakers of the past, such as the Western, Altec, Siemens and JBL of the 1940s and 50s. Listening tests proved that it even surpasses them in terms of coherence, subjective linearity, dynamics and tonal quality. However, its frequency response falls around the 8,000 Hz mark. Yet you forget this absence in the upper treble frequencies as it is compensated by perfect stage presence and balance. Producing excellent results on a single flat baffle, it is a wonderful match for low power mono triode amplifiers (sensitivity: 98 dB/W/m). Discovering the existence of such loudspeakers is for us all, as music lovers, an opportunity that we have rarely come across this century.