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

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Wally King

If I may jump in for a moment and add my two cents:

I've had the HT-3s for six months now, and for the life of me I cannot understand the "concerns" some folks have re. a too-foward upper end or midrange.

These speakers are the smoothest, sweetest, most addictive-sounding speakers I've ever heard.  My only disappointment since I've had them is that I don't have enough hours in the day to bask in their glorious sound.

Another thing that I don't understand from some comments I've read in the past is that while the HT-3s may sound wonderful when listening to a recording of outstanding quality, recordings of lesser quality can be a bit hard to take because the speakers are so revealing.  Well, the HT-3s are revealing, but I've yet to come across a single mediocre recording that didn't sound better, a lot better, on the Salks than whatever else I'd played them through in the past.

That being said, my electronics are all tube or tube/SS hybrid, so perhaps that explains, at leats in aprt, my own experience.  But, audiotom, I would think you'd be just fine with what you'd be using with the Salks.


audiotom

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thanks everyone for the insightful comments (good discussion on driver convergence with distance away and toning down the critics on the "forward"? top end)

I took the plunge today on a most beautiful pair of HT3's (Kirk in Atlanta) that were completed in August 2006 and I will be the third owner.

http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=30343.0 

These were one of Jim's most adventuresome cabinets yet with the solid bubinga front baffle and woofer round out. I drooled over them here on the forum the other day and as fate would have it, I saw the audiogon ad the next day.  My Christmas comes in January in New Orleans this year. After being displaced for 9 months in Houston and finally getting my music room back together, this will be a fitting addition.

I'll let you know how they work with my system

Thanks
Tom


avahifi

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Wally King, I absolutely agree with you.

Frank Van Alstine

95bcwh

One other thing to keep in mind is - AGING! And I don't mean to insult anyone one this, realizing that sooner or later I may have to face similar situation. I am 30 year old, and most of the audiophile friends I have here in Houston are a decade elder than me, and when I listened to their systems at their home, I found the tweeter a little "hot". When they came to my home and listened to mine, they prefer me not rolling off the high with my Tact. My point is, the older we get, the more likely that we're able to withstand "hot" tweeter. So now while I may find the HT3 a little bright on bad recordings, as I age, I may find them more and more enjoyable. :green:

pugs

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I have had my HT3's I think since April '06.  I was a little dissapointed when I first got them because for me, they were a little thin and bright.  After I replaced my Odyssey Tempest pre with a Modwright SWL SE, things got much better.  Good recording sounded great, but not so good recordings and hard music sounded on the bad side.  Overall, the HT3's were still on the thin side, lacking heft.  Hard rock and other noisy type music still did not sound very good.

Just last week, I bought a modified Ack! V 1.0 to go with my SB3, and wow, things got much much better.  Absolutely no more fatigue, it sounded like vinyl, bad recording sounded good again, and I could blast Tool louder than I wanted with no harshness whatsoever.

A couple of days ago, I started experimenting with a Behringer DEQ2496, and things are very promising.  I finally have a hefty, yet crisp and detailed sound.  Now I know why people have been so excited about these speakers.

There were two factors that caused the lackluster sound of the HT3's:  The Odyssey Tempest, and the DAC and analog output of my SB3 (with full Vinnie mods).

Wally King

One other thing to keep in mind is - AGING! And I don't mean to insult anyone one this, realizing that sooner or later I may have to face similar situation. I am 30 year old, and most of the audiophile friends I have here in Houston are a decade elder than me, and when I listened to their systems at their home, I found the tweeter a little "hot". When they came to my home and listened to mine, they prefer me not rolling off the high with my Tact. My point is, the older we get, the more likely that we're able to withstand "hot" tweeter. So now while I may find the HT3 a little bright on bad recordings, as I age, I may find them more and more enjoyable. :green:


Obviously, the aging process cannot be ignored, just as we can't ignore the effects of the room, or even the music we listen to.  But, the speakers my Salks replaced were Magnaplanar 1.6s. I still have the Maggies in a 2nd system, and I can tell you that, compared to the Salks, the Maggies do sound bright or harsh, and thin, on many recordings.  Granted, I'm listening in a different room, with a different source and different amplification,  but I'm also using a tubed preamp with the Maggies, and generally listen to the same types of music on both systems.

So, I guess I'm not going deaf yet. When the Maggies start sounding buttery-smooth, then I'll begin to worry.

As Pugs indicates, l think the equipment that's paired with the Salks, if not up to par, can significantly diminish the Salk-listening experience, more so, I think, than the quality of the recordings themselves.