HT3 pairing with Audio Research, recommend near field listening setup?

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audiotom

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I am considering the Salk HT3's and had a few questions

Has anyone ran HT3's with Audio Research
I have the LS 5 MK II preamp and D200 amp (solid state 110 watt ch)
may need to upgrade the amp next

Also my room dimensions are 27 by 15, I would have the speakers set up out from the long wall with a near field type listening arrangement. I am currrently using VOn Schweikert Vortex screens (similar to a VR4.  Would a long wall near field arrangement (8-10' away) work well with the Salk's?

thanks

tom

brj

Welcome to AC, Tom!

I have what can roughly be described as an 18' x 18' x 12' room, but that is a gross oversimplification of many asymmetries.  That said, I sit roughly 9' from the baffle plane of the speakers and have no driver integration issues.  They are pulled out roughly 2' from the wall to give the rear vented ports a little breathing room.  I don't think you'd want to sit much closer than 8', as I'm not sure the drivers would integrate fully.  Dennis Murphy may be able to answer that question more definitively.

You will probably want to treat your room if at all possible, as you'd really prefer some distance behind you to avoid some particularly nasty room modes.  Bass trapping is on my own to-do list in the next month or so, and I have about 6 feet of space behind me.

Sorry I can't help you out with the amp question, but I understand that the Channel Islands D200 is a great pairing with the HT3, and one that I'd like to hear.  George/Zybar would be a good person to talk to, as he experimented with the D200s and HT3s in his system and speaks highly of the combination.

Good luck!

jsalk

Tom -

I had a diiscussion with Dennis Murphy a few months ago about the proper distance for taking performance measurements of the HT3's.  In this case, it is important to take measurements at a distance that insures good driver integraion.  As I recall, and Dennis may want to elaborate (or correct me if I am remembering incorrectly), the drivers should be fully integrated at about 4 feet.

- Jim

95bcwh

Jim,
  I recall Dennis said it's 4 meter.. :D

see:
http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=30450.0

barry

brj

Yet another reason that I want a bigger, better listening room!  *sigh*

jsalk

Barry -

You may be right.  I re-read Dennis' previous response and it does say 4 meters.  But that is over 12 feet and I am sure than when we made measurements at the Rocky Mountain Audiofest, it was no where near 12 feet - more like 4 feet.  So I would want to make sure he meant 4 meters.

- Jim 

brj

Jim, have I mentioned that more than once I've fought down the impulse to put my HT3s on the back porch so that I could measure them in free air? :)

Barry, thanks for the link... guess I should have remembered since I started the thread! :lol:  Hopefully, Dennis can jump in and confirm the distances.  In any case, I know that whatever slight degree of driver integration I might be giving up with a "short" 9 foot listening distance is swamped by room mode issues, at least in the bass region.

95bcwh

Yet another reason that I want a bigger, better listening room!  *sigh*

I have the smallest room in the world, my ears are only 6.5ft away from the speakers, and yet the HT3 sings like nobody else in my room! Even a guy who owns a system worth $350k said he was amazed how my setup sounded with all those room treatments (ugly) :lol:

The limitation with small room is, when listening to live recordings, I felt like I am on the stage with the bands instead of having the band singing 5 - 6 ft in front of me.

jsalk

After thinking about it and re-reading Dennis' post, I am sure 4 meters is correct for the design axis. 

But the driver integration will be predicated on the dispersion characteristics of the drivers than anything else.  So I want to perform this experiment:  Move in toward one speaker until you can sense individual drivers.  Then back off until they are fully integrated.  Measure the distance. 

Barry reports 6.5 ft provides good integration.  Perhaps others can perform the test as well and report their findings.

- Jim

zybar

I have found that a good 9-12' feet is needed for 100% proper blending.  Shorter than that, I can hear the different drivers (although it isn't obvious and in your face).

Personally, I sit about 14-16' back, but I realize that isn't practical for most people.

George

95bcwh

I don't know whether I can "certify" that 6.5ft gives good integration. To be honest, I don't know and haven't been taught to appreciate what it means when people said they can hear different drivers. I probably need to ask a pro to educate me a little. But the Salk HT3, despite only 6.5ft from my ears, disappear completely in the room, sometimes I still couldn't help staring at these speakers and asked myself - where's the sound from the speakers, my whole body is on the stage, but I don't hear any speakers, I hear guitarist 3 ft 30degree to my right, drummer 4ft 20degree to my right, singer, 2ft right in front of me, piano all over the place, bass guitar 4 ft 45 degree to my left.....etc... does that means that I have good integration? Or "integration" has nothing to do with speaker disappearing?

brj

My understanding is that imaging and soundstage are primarily affected by how closely the speakers (and everything else in the chain) are matched from left to right.  The better the output level matching between channels, the more precisely you can create the small signal differentials needed to generate a stereo image.

You can have poor driver integration, however, from a single speaker (mono source).  I believe that poor driver integration shows up as a frequency discrepancy in the regions where one driver hands the signal over to another.  I would guess that for drivers in phase with each other, the output would most likely be too low if the drivers aren't integrated, but elevated levels might be possible as well.  (I haven't yet read how different order crossovers might affect this.)  So basically, you won't have a flat frequency response if you sit close enough to the speaker that the drivers don't integrate.  This behavior will also vary depending on whether you have point source or line source speakers.

I'm basing this on some limited reading and a bit of intuition, so Dennis or others with more knowledge, please correct me if needed!

DMurphy

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The HT3 was optimized for a listening distance of 12-15 ft, and on the tweeter axis.  But that doesn't mean sonic horrors will occur if you move closer.  All that's happening here is that the relative distance of the woofer and mid in relation to the tweeter will change as you move back.  Specifically, the relative distance will grow smaller.  That's just basic Euclidian geometry.  This also means that the arrival of the woofer and mid sound will be less delayed relative to the tweeter as you go back, and that will affect the relative phase of the drivers, and hence how the three sum together.   My software allows me to specify a listening distance, and optimize the phase relationships around the crossover regions at that distance. The software will adjust the arrival time delays because I specify the distances between the drivers before I start designing   If you move a lot closer to the speakers,  phase will not be a precisely aligned and the summed response will differ.  But this is probably much more noticeable on a computer screen than in actual use.  I would guess that if you like the sound of the HT3 at 12 feet, you will probably still like it at 6-7 feet.

audiotom

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thanks for all the response and further discussion on distance away and driver intergration

I measured my current setup and it's 11' to my sweet spot from each speaker (the direct diagonal measurement) 

I noticed in a few reviews that some people considered the HT3 a little forward in the high freq. Is this more tied to system synergy, room acoustics  or the speakers characteristics.  Obviously source material plays a role as well.

The 'asulk"  review at audioreview.com (second page) sounded like this was a major issue

'These speakers do everything exceptionally well, but the forward nature may not be for everyone…'

But he then goes on to say
"Yes they are extremely revealing and have very high resolution throughout the full frequency spectrum, but they also have a natural sound due to their accuracy and can be listened to for long periods of time without fatigue"

So what are your comments on the forward high end. Also can the treble reduction switch be added to an existing pair of speakers?

thanks

Tom

zybar

thanks for all the response and further discussion on distance away and driver intergration

I measured my current setup and it's 11' to my sweet spot from each speaker (the direct diagonal measurement) 

I noticed in a few reviews that some people considered the HT3 a little forward in the high freq. Is this more tied to system synergy, room acoustics  or the speakers characteristics.  Obviously source material plays a role as well.

The 'asulk"  review at audioreview.com (second page) sounded like this was a major issue

'These speakers do everything exceptionally well, but the forward nature may not be for everyone…'

But he then goes on to say
"Yes they are extremely revealing and have very high resolution throughout the full frequency spectrum, but they also have a natural sound due to their accuracy and can be listened to for long periods of time without fatigue"

So what are your comments on the forward high end. Also can the treble reduction switch be added to an existing pair of speakers?

thanks

Tom


Saying whether something is forward sounding or not is so subjective, I am not sure how much value there is in that statement.  Unless you know the reviewer/poster, the statement lacks the proper context to be useful.

In terms of being able to listen for long periods of time without fatigue...I think owner posts have pretty much been unanimous on this topic.  Not only do HT3 owners listen for long periods of time with no issues, the performance of the speakers compells them to listen for long periods of time.

George

brj

I've listened to my HT3s in my own system and one other, and in neither location does the tweeter sound forward to my ears.  (I've run across one or two pieces of poorly recorded popular music that tend a bit toward the "bright" side, but that was the recording and not the system.)  My system is all solid state, and the other was full of high quality tubes, and both systems reside in treated rooms - mine less so and rather "live".

Of course, what sounds great to me may sound hot to you, so take all of that with a huge block of salt.  I'll add that if your upstream gear is at all harsh, you will definitely hear it through the HT3s, and that may be the reason for some previous comments about a "forward" top end.  The rooms could have been under-treated as well, which can have a huge impact on system sound.  The HT3s are extremely revealing, and reward pairings with upstream components of similar quality.

audiotom

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thanks brj and george

my audio research is slightly on the warm side of neutral, so hopefully it would be a match made in heaven

 also I would be pairing it with Acoustic Zen Matrix two interconnects which are very neutral. sources - audio aero prima, evs millenium dac, nottingham spacedeck table.

internet searches turn up many overly favorable reviews with great imaging, resolution and seamlessness - sounds great and quite an accomplishment

I listn to a broad range of music including jazz, pop, alt country, chamber music, etc

occasionally I find a thread with treble concerns so I thought I'd ask here to actual owners rather than someones quick demo

here's a thread on a forward high end but who knows what material and hardware these guys have
http://www6.head-fi.org/forums/showthread.php?t=155304

just trying to sort the wheat from the chaff here without hearing these in the flesh first, thanks


Tom


zybar

Tom,

To put things in perspective on the HT3's...

I have a pair of $20k Vandersteen 5A's sitting in the back of my room waiting to be inserted so I can try and improve my sound.

The HT3's are that good...

George

DMurphy

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The concern in that thread is more with the midrange driver than the tweeter.  This is a reaction Jim and I have struggled with for some time.  I've often thought that if the driver were painted black and looked like paper, there wouldn't be any complaints.  Actually, you can get an HT3 with a Nextel version of the W18 and an appropriately modified crossover if this is a concern to you.   And the tweeter can be adjusted down quite easily even if you don't order the countour switch.  My personal reaction after listening to the Nextel version was that it sounded very much like the magnesium version, but I haven't had a chance to A-B them directly in stereo.  I hope to within a month or so.

95bcwh

I have tried HT3 with Audio Research SP16 and Bryston 4B-SST. Although the SP16 is not in the same league as the LS5, it retains the Audio Research "House sound". I thought the mid range of that setup is very nice, certainly the most lushy I have heard. The trouble is, it sacrifices the high, imaging, and the bass. Perhaps the LS-5 will do better in these areas.

HT3 is perhaps the most "transparent" speaker you can buy at any cost. I've been to the RMAF listening to all kind of speakers costing 50 times more, I do not feel that the HT3 is inferior when it comes to "transparency". Of course, some of the more expensive speaker like Acapella (with plasma tweeter) has better timbre, texture on the high which I really crave about.

With regards to whether one should choose a HT3 or a more forgiving speakers, I chose the HT3 because when it comes to good recordings, I know I'm hearing something that many other speakers are simply not capable of reproducing. When it comes to bright recordings (admittedly, 70% of the recordings out there are on the bright side), I choose to use my electronics to tame down the harhness. On hindsight, I probably should have ordered the contour switch upgrade too - but I haven't heard the contour switch to be able to make a value judgement. :wink:









my audio research is slightly on the warm side of neutral, so hopefully it would be a match made in heaven

 also I would be pairing it with Acoustic Zen Matrix two interconnects which are very neutral. sources - audio aero prima, evs millenium dac, nottingham spacedeck table.