If the HT-3 is 'the last speaker you'll ever buy'....

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ajzepp

...does that mean the HT-1 is "the last monitor you'll ever buy"?  

I'm definitely considering the HT-3, but I've always really loved the sound of a good monitor/subwoofer over a floorstander. Just a personal preference. The trick is that the  monitor really needs to be a 'full-sounding' speaker. I don't want anything 'thin' in my HT, that's for sure. Anyway, do you guys consider the HT-1 to be on the same level among monitors as you do the HT-3 among floorstanders?  

I have a 120" projector screen on my front wall, and I'm strongly considering picking up 3 Mapleshade Bedrock stands to place 3 monitors on across the front and slightly below the screen. I have an SVS subwoofer that uses a TC Sounds driver, so it should have the same sonic signature as what Jim uses in the HT-3, right? I really don't care for center speakers, UNLESS it's feasible for me to use the same speaker as the mains. The Mapleshade stands make this possible, and I can only imagine how awesome 3 HT-1s would sound across the front.

Thoughts?

ctviggen

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If the HT-3 is 'the last speaker you'll ever buy'....
« Reply #1 on: 15 Feb 2006, 07:06 pm »
Why don't you care for centers that aren't the same as the R/L speakers?  I ask because I've had two different set ups like this (Linn and VMPS) and thought they both integrated incredibly well.  I've seen the arguments of people who say you "must" use three of the exact same speakers on the front, but I'm incredulous as to why -- I honestly can't tell I'm using a different speaker.  On the other hand, zybar doesn't use a center and likes that.  

Would you be using the SVS for music?  I didn't care for my SVS for music -- I thought it too boomy and could localize it -- but I don't think I have the same one you do.

ajzepp

If the HT-3 is 'the last speaker you'll ever buy'....
« Reply #2 on: 15 Feb 2006, 07:59 pm »
Hi Bob:

I actually discovered 'phantom mode' a few years ago when I had to return my Paradigm studio/cc speaker for a new one. I was pretty bummed cause I had just gotten LOTR and was really psyched to watch it. Well, I fired it up with just my studio/100s up front and 20s in back and didn't even THINK about the center until about an hour into the flick when I took a 'drink' break. I thought to myself, 'Holy crap, I haven't even noticed that it's gone....and I even like it better for some reason!'.

With my Maggies over the past year and a half, they throw such a ridiculously large soundstage and image so well that a center was't even a thought. But if I go back to monitors - my first love - I just don't know that only two of them can really handle what I want to get out of my HT experience. I just think that three of them across the front, combined with the SVS sub, would be favorable to two.

What don't I like specifically about centers? Well, first of all it just makes more sense to me to allocate those funds toward better mains.....or better SOMETHING. Since none of the info in the soundtrack is really lost, just handled by the mains instead, I don't feel it's worth the money in most cases. I also have very good hearing. We did extensive testing when I was an undergrad in psych, and I found out that my hearing is exceptional. So I think I'm just extra sensitive to any 'difference' in the front stage. If it's not a cohesive wall of sound, I notice it. Even with the same drivers and built by the same manufacturer, a center channel just isn't going to sound the same as the mains. It may be subtle, but to me it causes it to stick out and I just don't care for that. It's just been easier to run my mains in phantom.

So, three HT-1s seems like it may do the trick. But I REALLY want a monitor that is so damn good that it really could be "the last speaker I'll ever own".....which, to most of us in audio, means that it MIGHT get us through 3-5 years before we're wanting something else lol.

ajzepp

If the HT-3 is 'the last speaker you'll ever buy'....
« Reply #3 on: 15 Feb 2006, 08:03 pm »
Oops, forgot the SVS question....

The SVS subwoofer is the best I've ever owned.....so honestly I dont know if I can really say how much I like it for music. I've heard LOTS of great speakers, so I know what I'm missing when I don't have it. But the SVS is different. I just sort of go on faith. I do know that for what I paid for it, it does an absolutely STUNNING job with HT. I've owned some of the bigger SVS models when I had a larger listening room, but this little PB-10 is really nice for my 16x25 room I'm in now.

So, to answer your question, I guess I just don't really know. What are you using for music now?

fRsimms

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If the HT-3 is 'the last speaker you'll ever buy'....
« Reply #4 on: 17 Feb 2006, 02:55 am »
Quote
I have an SVS subwoofer that uses a TC Sounds driver, so it should have the same sonic signature as what Jim uses in the HT-3, right?
[/i]

I have a pair of HT1's with a SVS subwoofer that uses a TC Sounds driver.  My thinking when I bought the sub was the same as yours.  I found out that the only way I could get a good integration with the sub was to crossover at 40 hz to the SVS.  When I cross over at higher points the smoothness of the SVS sub in the corner seems to muddy up the base notes as compared to the HT1 alone.  This means that the HT1 has to handle the bass frequencies which increases the distortion on the midrange woofer compared to the HT3.   I highly recommend that you go with the HT3 if it will work out for you.  Also remember that Jim didn't build the SVS sub.

jermmd

If the HT-3 is 'the last speaker you'll ever buy'....
« Reply #5 on: 17 Feb 2006, 01:48 pm »
I have the HT3's to either side of my screen and an HTC in the center on a custom built stand that Jim Salk made for me. The center integrates well with the sides and it looks great. One of these days I'm going to post pictures. The center stand was very reasonably priced, fits the center perfectly, matches the baffles and HT3 bases, Is exactly the right height and is angled upward 12 degrees so as to aim directly at the listeners head. I can't think of a better solution for the front 3 speakers of a high end projection home theater. I haven't heard the HT1's but I imagine the set up you describe (3 across the front and an SVS sub) will be very good.  I expect it will be comparable to the HT3's for home theater and not quite so good for music (but still very good). If you're set on monitors, I doubt you could do much better.

zybar

Re: If the HT-3 is 'the last speaker you'll ever buy'....
« Reply #6 on: 17 Feb 2006, 02:32 pm »
Quote from: ajzepp
...does that mean the HT-1 is "the last monitor you'll ever buy"?  

I'm definitely considering the HT-3, but I've always really loved the sound of a good monitor/subwoofer over a floorstander. Just a personal preference. The trick is that the  monitor really needs to be a 'full-sounding' speaker. I don't want anything 'thin' in my HT, that's for sure. Anyway, do you guys consider the HT-1 to be on the same level among monitors as you do the HT-3 among floorstanders?  

I have a 120" projector screen on ...


I don't think the SVS sub will integrate really well with the HT1's.  I believe Marbles tried this and never could get it to be seemless.  Just because both use TC Sounds, it is wrong to assume they will match.

Think of the HT3's as full range monitors in terms of their performance.  The drivers blend prefectly and you sure as heck won't have a "thin" sound.

If you must go the monitor route, what about Jim building you a sub?

George

Marbles

If the HT-3 is 'the last speaker you'll ever buy'....
« Reply #7 on: 17 Feb 2006, 02:41 pm »
I tried the HT1's actively XO'd with an NHT X2 crossover to an ART 351 eq to my Crown K2 amp to dual SVS Ultra subs.

I was VERY happy with this setup and could have easily lived with it.

Then I got the HT3's and they just integrated the bass another level higher.

When I first tried the HT1's, I ran them full range and broght my subs in under them at around 40HZ.  That was OK, but not special.

Then I actively XO'd the HT1's at 70HZ, releiving the HT1's from having to play the lowest notes and they really came allive.  It was pretty darn good.

The HT3's midrange only has to play down to about 250 HZ and is therefore even a tad cleaner.

ajzepp

If the HT-3 is 'the last speaker you'll ever buy'....
« Reply #8 on: 17 Feb 2006, 09:33 pm »
Marbles: Those may be the nicest HT-3s I've seen yet....what a beautiful finish!

ajzepp

If the HT-3 is 'the last speaker you'll ever buy'....
« Reply #9 on: 17 Feb 2006, 09:37 pm »
Zybar: Point taken....I guess with me the bass is the least of my concerns. My main focus is a nice huge, transparent, realistic sound. Once I find that, I'll figure out whether I just need to get a larger model of that particular speaker, or find a way to properly integrate the bass. I think I'm just a lot more picky when it comes to the mids and highs. It's not that I don't want the bass to properly integrate, cause I absolutely do. I just don't often target the low end as 'what's missing' when I listen to a particular speaker.

I am really wanting to clean up my 2-channel though, so even though I've always preferred a nice monitor over a floorstander, I can see the advantage of having a near full-range speaker for music. I'll be glad when I finally get my budget set over the next month or two....then I can stop with all the speculation and get down to some LISTENING and BUYING :)

MaxCast

If the HT-3 is 'the last speaker you'll ever buy'....
« Reply #10 on: 17 Feb 2006, 10:05 pm »
I have a demo pair of HT-1 running full range right now.  The first thing I notice is depth and layering.  Center image is spot on and moves from center to L/R when required.  Sound stage is almost as wide as my nOrh's.  The sound is....Salk Sound  :!:  heh, heh

I do not use a center channel so I'll be giving this a shot a bit later with a AVR.  I will also be running the HT-1's actively xo'd to a pair if 12 subs.  I'm really looking forward to that.  

I recommend getting signed up for the demo tour.

ajzepp

If the HT-3 is 'the last speaker you'll ever buy'....
« Reply #11 on: 17 Feb 2006, 10:16 pm »
Max: Are there any other speakers you might be familiar with that you can compare to the Salks? I haven't heard anything from Nohr

MaxCast

If the HT-3 is 'the last speaker you'll ever buy'....
« Reply #12 on: 17 Feb 2006, 10:44 pm »
Speakers in my house have been very limited, especailly in this price range.
I had some Shamrock audio speakers that were good, Selah SA-1's which were real nice, I recently had the RAW HT-3's which is a nice floorstander....all these companies are internet direct.  They all offer an in home audition which is the best way to audition anything.  

Sorry I can't compair to something more main-stream.  I will say that the Salks have the best top half of any speaker I've had in my house.  I have clear and detailed top end, a layered, defined midrange and some bottom end (I have not taken any in room measurements yet).  I do not hear any break up issues which some speakers have in the midrange.  Obviously not a HT-3 but it did well with a quick test run of Flight of the Cosmic Hippo off the great Bolder Cable Demo disc. As I said, I can't wait to xo them (which will be at 80Hz through a Merchand active xo).  In a HT setting I think they would be great.

zybar

If the HT-3 is 'the last speaker you'll ever buy'....
« Reply #13 on: 17 Feb 2006, 10:49 pm »
Glad to see you are enjoying the HT1's.

As good as they are, I am told the HT3's take it to the next level!

Keep your thoughts and observations coming.

George