HT3 vs. HT1 in 5.1 (long post)

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jflores

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HT3 vs. HT1 in 5.1 (long post)
« on: 1 Jan 2006, 09:19 pm »
Hello all,

   Not an owner...yet. Great board here though. My wife and I have decided to start piecing together a quality 5.1 setup. We mainly watch dvd's and play games, although I would like to have a system versatile enough to handle our diverse music tastes. I would say 80% of the use would be home theater, and 20% music. We listen to everything from Aerosmith to Dave Matthews, Dashboard Confessional, opera, classical, piano, and jazz.
   
We found Salk Sound online, and based on the reviews and comments, as well as perusing the galleries, have found that the combination of good looks and great performance are exactly what we both would like. Our limiting factor, like all younger couples, is money and space (in apt. right now). Here are my 3 options I would like you all to comment on:

A) Buy a good receiver, sub, and a pair of HT1's. Add the center and surrounds (also HT1's) later.

B) Save longer, buy a good receiver and a pair of HT3's, add 3 HT1's later to complete the 5.1 setup. No sub because HT3's are "good enough" on the low end.

C) Same as option B, but add a sub to really add the low end punch (<35Hz)

I'm quite sure option A will be the best system I have heard to date, and we would never need to replace it. The only question in our mind, is whether we should spend the extra 2K for the full range fronts offered in options B and C. My wife actually doesn't like the look of monitors on stands, she prefers floorstanders. But if I could save her 2K and have the same performance, she could "tolerate" monitors on stands. It seems to us that option C is the best money could buy (and could fill any area we could ever afford one day), but is the full range really necessary (or at least worth 2K) over a monitor when you have a sweet sub?

I have had my heart set on an SVS PC-Ultra sub, and although it would take more work, I'm sure I could integrate it well with the Salks. I'm not sure exactly what Receiver to buy to go with the Salks (or how much it would cost me), but I had been looking at the Denon 3805 and Harman Kardon DPR-2005 (wife likes the styling and small size) before I found Salk. Please comment on some receiver choices for me as well, I really want something that matches up well.

Thanks all for your time, sorry for the long post.

Kishore

HT3 vs. HT1 in 5.1 (long post)
« Reply #1 on: 1 Jan 2006, 09:29 pm »
Bigger is always better and I am sure your wife would agree :lol:. My first instinct is to recommend HT-3s, a processor (3805 is not bad)and a  add center channel. HT3s go low enough- you can add sub/surrounds later. Ask Jim about a custom sub too.

The more important question is how big is your room? HT1 may be more relevant if your room is medium sized or less.

Cheers,
Kishore

zybar

HT3 vs. HT1 in 5.1 (long post)
« Reply #2 on: 1 Jan 2006, 10:14 pm »
I agree with Kishore, we really need to know your room size to help make suggestions.

Having had the HT3's for quite some time now, I can tell you that it is definitely possible to enjoy HT without a sub (although I still want one).

Depending on room size, a pair of HT1's + sub (from Jim vs. SVS) or maybe a pair of Jim's new floor stander with extremis drivers would do the trick.

I am not so sure about a receiver mating well with the HT3's.  I have the Denon 3805 but only use it to drive the rear pairs of my HT.  You might need to go up the line and get a receiver with more power to really make the HT3's sing.  If you go the HT1/sub or other floor stander it might be a better match.

Also, depending on your HT setup, you might not need a center channel.  That savings could be used to get better amplification which would improve system performance.

George

_scotty_

HT3 vs. HT1 in 5.1 (long post)
« Reply #3 on: 1 Jan 2006, 10:59 pm »
By all accounts the Salks run about 85db sensitivity and will repay your efforts to provide them with first class power. If you are going to try to hit
THX or Dolby Digital reference levels during DVD replay this will require careful consideration when selecting amplification for home theatre applications.
Scotty

Dave G

HT3 vs. HT1 in 5.1 (long post)
« Reply #4 on: 2 Jan 2006, 01:54 am »
Josh,

Another possibility would be to go with a variation on Option 1.  Buy a receiver, sub, and a pair of HT1s right now, but save for a pair of HT3s and a center and then move the existing HT1s to surround duty.  At that point you might also consider getting a decent 2 channel amplifier to beef up the power   to the HT3s.

Good luck.  From everything I've read, the Salk speakers, especially the HT3s, are really, really, REALLY good.

Dave

fRsimms

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Get the HT3's
« Reply #5 on: 2 Jan 2006, 03:32 am »
I have HT1’s with an SVS PB12+ sub. The HT3 was not available when I bought my system.  The sub is good but at the frequencies that the HT1 handles, the HT1 sounds better than the SVS. This means that I have to crossover at 40Hz to the sub.  I expect the HT3’s to be the same.  You would probably need a sub that can crossover at 25Hz or so.  I am not sure you can expect any sub to sound as good as the Salks at the frequencies that the Salks handle. Remember that other speaker designers are only mortal.

Because of the above observations, I highly recommend you buy the HT3’s first and forget the sub.  The price of the HT1’s, stands and sub will be near the HT3’s.  Jim will probably take long enough to make them that you can save the money.

jflores

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HT3 vs. HT1 in 5.1 (long post)
« Reply #6 on: 2 Jan 2006, 04:59 am »
Quote from: zybar
I agree with Kishore, we really need to know your room size to help make suggestions.


Right now, I'm in a 12x20 ft. room that is open in the back to another 10x10 room. An L shape if you will. Its not real big by any means, so I'm pretty sure the HT1's will fill it with plenty of sound, and the HT3's might be overkill. Someday, when I get a house with a basement or other room that can be dedicated to my theater, I'm going for a larger space. Because home theater is expensive, and I don't want to upgrade 5000 times, we were hoping to start piecing together "the last system we would ever have to buy" such that it would work in a larger room that I have someday.

I know very little about floorstanders, other than they offer full range sound. Could someone please explain how I would integrate them into a 5.1 or 7.1 system if they cannot be driven by just a regular receiver? I am not sure of all the connections and equipment that is needed to have a separate amp for them, and still receive sound from the receiver driving the other speakers and doing the processing. I'm really only familiar with "traditional" 5.1 and 7.1 setups where you hook all speakers and power from the same box. Any equipment recommendations would be wonderful, so I could go out and learn more on my own.

By the way, the idea about starting with HT1's and then moving them to surround duty and adding HT3's later is awesome, can't believe I didn't think of that!

jflores

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HT3 vs. HT1 in 5.1 (long post)
« Reply #7 on: 2 Jan 2006, 05:03 am »
Quote from: _scotty_
By all accounts the Salks run about 85db sensitivity and will repay your efforts to provide them with first class power. If you are going to try to hit
THX or Dolby Digital reference levels during DVD replay this will require careful consideration when selecting amplification for home theatre applications.
Scotty


Can you recommend a receiver for an all HT1 5.1 setup? Also, what sort of receiver/amp would you recommend for 5.1 with HT3's out front?

Thanks!

Kishore

HT3 vs. HT1 in 5.1 (long post)
« Reply #8 on: 2 Jan 2006, 06:22 am »
I was having a senior moment when I mentioned 3805- I meant Denon 4806 which did VERY well in benchmark tests in this review.

What is your budget for this 'HT receiver' if I may ask? The higher the number more happy I am  :mrgreen:.

......There is also the option of  getting separates pre-pro/amp with Outlaw 990/7 or 5 Ch  amp (Outlaw, Parasound, Anthem, Butler)or browse thru audiogon for both.

Cheers,
Kishore

jflores

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HT3 vs. HT1 in 5.1 (long post)
« Reply #9 on: 2 Jan 2006, 03:26 pm »
Quote from: Kishore
I was having a senior moment when I mentioned 3805- I meant Denon 4806 which did VERY well in benchmark tests in this review.

What is your budget for this 'HT receiver' if I may ask? The higher the number more happy I am  :mrgreen:.

......There is also the option of  getting separates pre-pro/amp with Outlaw 990/7 or 5 Ch  amp (Outlaw, Parasound, Anthem, Butler)or browse thru audiogon for both.

Cheers,
Kishore



I was hoping to keep the receiver under $1500. There is really no budget right now, we a little saved up, and we are going to save up for what it takes to get the job done. I don't want to have Ferrari speakers and a Honda Civic receiver to match. I really don't know what level of price is necessary in receiver to match the quality and power demand of the Salks.

That being said, I personally was shooting for a maximum project cap of $10K (for the 5.1 plus receiver). HT3's are $3900, 3 HT1's are $3300, leaving me about $2800 to play around with for cables, shipping, and a receiver. Right now it looks like I can get a Denon 4806 for about $2600 online, so it might be an option, but a 3805 is only $800, which would leave me enough money to buy the sub I wanted as well. Although it looks as though with HT3's, I may not need one for several years anyway.

When going up about $2K in receiver, other than certification, and probably more processing power/quality of components, is there much difference in output power that would lend itself to driving HT3's rather than a 3805 not cutting it? I thought that the 3805 could bi-amp the front 2 channels if using 5.1 instead of 7.1, giving me around 220 watts per HT3, is that incorrect?

jflores

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HT3 vs. HT1 in 5.1 (long post)
« Reply #10 on: 2 Jan 2006, 03:33 pm »
Quote from: zybar
I agree with Kishore, we really need to know your room size to help make suggestions.

Having had the HT3's for quite some time now, I can tell you that it is definitely possible to enjoy HT without a sub (although I still want one).

Depending on room size, a pair of HT1's + sub (from Jim vs. SVS) or maybe a pair of Jim's new floor stander with extremis drivers would do the trick.

I am not so sure about a receiver mating well with the HT3's.  I have the Denon 3805 but only use it to drive the rear p ...


I love your setup zybar. Based on your profile and the above comment, I take it that if I spring for HT3's, I may not need a center or a sub? I noticed you just have surrounds and the front HT3's L and R. You must really be impressed with the sound to forgo both a center and a sub, and maybe I should do the same with the option to add later.

Marbles

HT3 vs. HT1 in 5.1 (long post)
« Reply #11 on: 2 Jan 2006, 03:52 pm »
If you must buy an expensive HT/music setup instead of paying off debt, or saving for a house, then based on your current room size, I say get the HT3's.

They will sound better then the HT1's + sub as the integration is just superb.

You can get a good receiver now, and as money becomes available you can add an amp.

After that, if music becomes more of a priority, you can add a 2 channel pre with HT bypass.

Finally, you can add a center, surrounds and sub.

Make sure whatever receiver you end up with has pre outs.

Keep in mind that if you go with a receiver instead of seperates, the sound you get from the HT3's will be compromised.

I would look to the Arcam receiver line first, then to Pioneer Elites and Denon's.

zybar

HT3 vs. HT1 in 5.1 (long post)
« Reply #12 on: 2 Jan 2006, 03:53 pm »
Josh,

I forgot about the bi-amp option on the 3805.  I still think it would run out of steam and clip on tougher program material.  I have been able to get the 3805 to clip with it just driving four surround speakers!

As for not having a center channel...that really depends on your setup and location of your seats.  Since I run a front pj and my seats are all between the L/R speakers I don't feel the need for a center channel.  I would probably feel otherwise if I had a different setup.

I do miss having subs and will add them back into the equation when I move into my new house.  While the HT3's are excellent in the bass department (they produce some of the best bass I have heard), the 10" woofers can only move so much air and provide so much impact.  I was originally going to use my pair of VMPS Larger subs, but couldn't get them to match up with the HT3's.  I think you will have the same issue with the SVS subs.  I would have Jim make you a sub using the TC sounds driver (this is what I will do) to really blend it well.  When Jim showed me a model of the sub I wanted it was flat down to 14Hz!!!  So I am sure it will rock the foundation and privide plenty if impact and dynamics.

Feel free to contact me via PM to continue this discussion offline.

George

Rocket

HT3 vs. HT1 in 5.1 (long post)
« Reply #13 on: 3 Jan 2006, 02:18 am »
Hi,

If you are going to spend this sort of money on speakers you should have good amplification, you might want to consider this product;

http://www.underwoodhifi.com/mod_denon.html

Regards

Rod

DMurphy

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HT3 vs. HT1 in 5.1 (long post)
« Reply #14 on: 3 Jan 2006, 05:32 pm »
It could be that the HT1's with sub would do fine, but speaking as an economist rather than as a part-time crossover designer, every time I look at Jim's cabinets for the HT3, and then look at the price tag, the 3's just seems like a really great investment.  Work like that costs a lot more in the real world.

David Ellis

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HT3 vs. HT1 in 5.1 (long post)
« Reply #15 on: 3 Jan 2006, 06:14 pm »
Quote
every time I look at Jim's cabinets for the HT3, and then look at the price tag, the 3's just seems like a really great investment. Work like that costs a lot more in the real world.


I agree with Denis in this regard.  Jim's work on these cabinets almost magical.  

Most folks have never had the opportunity to listen to a setup like Jim's.  It's quite amazing, and if you have some time before making your decision, perhaps a visit to Jim's home in Oakland Michigan is possible.  I am sure you will be very impressed with what you hear at Jim's home.

However, I recommend you DON'T bring your wife.  She will almost surely develop house-envy, and your HT system might never matriculate.  Jim's shack is quite impressive.  Aside from this, I am sure the trip would be very fruitful.  f you are really considering spending $10k... a trip to Oakland/Detroit would be worthwhile IMO.  You will also be able to see a very modest front projection setup perform extremely well.

I currently have an Optoma H31 projected on a flat well-painted wall.  The sound is in 2 - channel.  Some folks are willing to spend a bunch more $$ for speakers behind their heads.  I don't find much financial value herein.

I think all of the commentary presented above is very solid, and agree with the comments from Marbles regarding the cost of the HT3 and the mortgage impact.  However, Jim's cabinet work on the HT3 is absolutely incredible and the sonics are world-class.  These speakers really should cost $20k+.  The HT3 sonics are easily on-par with the Joseph Audio Pearl, and the HT3 looks much better.

Marbles

HT3 vs. HT1 in 5.1 (long post)
« Reply #16 on: 3 Jan 2006, 06:21 pm »
Quote from: DMurphy
It could be that the HT1's with sub would do fine, but speaking as an economist rather than as a part-time crossover designer, every time I look at Jim's cabinets for the HT3, and then look at the price tag, the 3's just seems like a really great investment.  Work like that costs a lot more in the real world.


Crossover R&D should cost more in the real world as well.  Some how I can't help but beleive Jim got a really good deal and is passing that savings on to us customers as well.

MaxCast

HT3 vs. HT1 in 5.1 (long post)
« Reply #17 on: 3 Jan 2006, 06:33 pm »
Quote
Crossover R&D should cost more in the real world as well. Some how I can't help but beleive Jim got a really good deal and is passing that savings on to us customers as well.


I'll second that.

David Ellis

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HT3 vs. HT1 in 5.1 (long post)
« Reply #18 on: 3 Jan 2006, 06:36 pm »
Quote
Crossover R&D should cost more in the real world as well. Some how I can't help but beleive Jim got a really good deal and is passing that savings on to us customers as well.


Yep, many folks have benefited largely from the Dennis Murphy (aka The Godfather), and his professional vocation.  His professional position prohobits him from making any profit from his hifi labors.  Dennis has spent easily 150+hrs with me, and I am sure this number is similar for Jim.  

I think Dennis's dogs continue to apprecaite their master's work.  When I visited with Dennis the dogs seemed to utter a pleasing sigh following each MLS sweep  :) , and a sublime howl when phase and amplitude were correct.  :) .  I think Dennis's dogs were trained by that RCA dog.

jermmd

HT3 vs. HT1 in 5.1 (long post)
« Reply #19 on: 3 Jan 2006, 06:42 pm »
You can always buy a sub and HT1's now with a plan to sell the HT1s and upgrade to HT3's at a later time. On the other hand, the HT3 setup is definitely best and will be very satisfying in the long run. The answer to your dilemma is purely economic and can only be made based on your financial situation.

I like to think of the HT3's as the last speaker you will ever need/want. Sometimes the progression from starter system to the "ultimate" is fun. Regardless,  Salk speakers are a great beginning to a great system.