Bill's birds eye maple HT3's, HTC and stand

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jsalk

Bill's birds eye maple HT3's, HTC and stand
« on: 24 Nov 2007, 02:23 pm »
Bill wanted a pair of Veracity HT3's and an HTC center channel in birds eye maple.  About the time he placed an order, we had just completed the production system for building SongTower speakers.  We were so happy with how that system worked, we decided to adopt it to HT3's as well.  So it took a little longer than anticipated to complete Bill's speakers.  But I think it was worth the wait (and hopefully, Bill will too).

The new system features fully mitered joints all around.  So there is no possibility of telegraphing seams and there is 50% for glue surface in each joint.  The braces are fully dado'd in place as well for 50% more glue surface there as well. And we went to a single 3" free-flowing flared port to increase the port diameter and reduce port noise ever further.  We think these are all very worthwhile added features.

Bill's speakers are the first utilizing these changes.  Here are some pictures...



with grills...



and a close-up...



Bill also wanted a stand for his HTC.  It had to be exactly 20" from the floor to the top of the HTC center channel and inclined at 5-degrees.   We thought it turned out quite well.



Happy listening, Bill!

- Jim

Woodsea

Re: Bill's birds eye maple HT3's, HTC and stand
« Reply #1 on: 24 Nov 2007, 03:14 pm »
Those look great.  What is the sound difference with the new build process?  I would think a color closely matching the finish would be better than the black for the cloth.  It could be just me  :oops:   The center stand is really nice.

Bill@LakeGeorge

Re: Bill's birds eye maple HT3's, HTC and stand
« Reply #2 on: 24 Nov 2007, 04:41 pm »
That's all right I don't think the grills will be seeing much time on the speakers anyway, unless my grandsons are around.

Thanks Jim they look great, I can't wait.

Bill

jsalk

Re: Bill's birds eye maple HT3's, HTC and stand
« Reply #3 on: 24 Nov 2007, 09:34 pm »
Woodsea -

What is the sound difference with the new build process? 

I don't know if there are any significant audible differences.  But we are always looking to continually improve our products. 

The 3" port is a good example.  A single 3" port has more total area than two 2" ports.  This provides for greater air flow.  Plus the flared openings create less turbulence than a straight port.  The only drawback is that the 3" port has to be longer to arrive at the same cabinet tuning.

We started using this port on the SongTowers and wondered if it would work for the HT3's.  We thought that perhaps it would require too much length for the design.  But when we did the calculations, we found that it would work.

At the same time, we were developing templates to use the same production system for the HT3's that we now use on the SongTowers.  So in cutting the templates, we had to decide which direction to go and opted for the new port.

Does it make a difference?  From a theoretical point of view, yes.  Less port noise should be the result.  As a practical matter, I doubt you could hear the difference.  First, the port noise from two 2" ports was quite low to begin with.  Second, the port exits out the rear of the cabinet and the sound emanating from the woofer masks any port noise that might be present.

As for the build process, there is now no possibility of telegraphing seams since all joints are mitered. Plus there is 50% more glue suface in a mitered joint, so it is stronger.  Dadoing the braces in place also increases their glue surfaces and locks them in place.  It all makes for a more rigid cabinet.  Does it sound different?  Probably not.  But it is better, so we made the change.

We chose to make these changes because small incremental improvements add up over time and our aim is to continually improve our products.  We normally don't even talk about changes like this since we make them on a constant basis. 

- Jim

Bill Baker

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Re: Bill's birds eye maple HT3's, HTC and stand
« Reply #4 on: 24 Nov 2007, 10:07 pm »
Beautiful work as always Jim :drool:

Bill@LakeGeorge

Re: Bill's birds eye maple HT3's, HTC and stand
« Reply #5 on: 29 Nov 2007, 02:35 pm »
Well I got part of my speakers yesterday.  I arrived home to find 2 HT3's sitting outside my garage, DHL tracking said they were still in Michigan. 

These are gorgeous.  The bass is incredible, everything is so defined.

I am waiting for the rest of my delivery to setup and calibrate and will report back, but so far in a word incredible.

Thanks Jim

satfrat

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Re: Bill's birds eye maple HT3's, HTC and stand
« Reply #6 on: 29 Nov 2007, 02:43 pm »
Hey Bill, I hope the fact that my Cowboys beat up on your Giants won't deter you from inviting me over for a listen sometime down the road?  :lol: I'm thinking these Salks are maybe just a little better in the visual & audio department than your most excellent Onix were?  :D



Cheers,
Robin

randybessinger

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Re: Bill's birds eye maple HT3's, HTC and stand
« Reply #7 on: 29 Nov 2007, 04:41 pm »
Outstanding Jim. I am going to write and see if you have any interest in making a stand for the HT-1 I am using as a center. 

martyo

Re: Bill's birds eye maple HT3's, HTC and stand
« Reply #8 on: 29 Nov 2007, 05:04 pm »
Beautiful Jim! These are the first I've seen with a "full grill". I know in certain situations grills are needed and some of us just like them, they sure do cover up a lot of the beautiful work. Of course either way is better than my current set-up, grill on the right, off on the left.   :lol: I do like the contrast of light wood and dark grills. 

Very nice Bill.

95bcwh

Re: Bill's birds eye maple HT3's, HTC and stand
« Reply #9 on: 29 Nov 2007, 06:06 pm »
Jim,
  I wonder, what does it take to make the top a smoother curve like this:
( No..I don't mean to suggest that you copy the Kharma... just a picture to illustrate what I mean)



Rgds
barry

jsalk

Re: Bill's birds eye maple HT3's, HTC and stand
« Reply #10 on: 30 Nov 2007, 03:13 pm »
Jim,
  I wonder, what does it take to make the top a smoother curve like this:
( No..I don't mean to suggest that you copy the Kharma... just a picture to illustrate what I mean)

Rgds
barry

Barry -

If you notice the bottom of the cabinet, it is curved as well. 

The way this is usually done is called, among other things, translamination.  Imagine a piece of 3/4" or 1" mdf cut in the shape of the cabinet.  Now duplicate this and cut out the internal section of the piece to duplicate the internal dimensions of the cabinet. Duplicate this many times and finally cut another piece just like the first.  Now stack all of them one on top of the other and glue them together.

Using this technique, you can create virually any cabinet shape with any internal shape you want including all bracing.

Since the pieces need to be exact, they are normally all cut with CNC or pin routers with templates. 

This is something we may try with some future model.

- Jim

PhishPhan

Re: Bill's birds eye maple HT3's, HTC and stand
« Reply #11 on: 30 Nov 2007, 04:07 pm »
Those look great.  What is the sound difference with the new build process?  I would think a color closely matching the finish would be better than the black for the cloth.  It could be just me  :oops:   The center stand is really nice.

Who cares what the cloth looks like? If I had the honor of owning these speakers I'd want to see those beautiful drivers, not the grill. I think the black would look nice in my closet. :wink:

Those speakers look stunning. I think Birdseye maple is my favorite wood, and these have done nothing to dispel that opinion.

You don't give student discounts do you? :D

Woodsea

Re: Bill's birds eye maple HT3's, HTC and stand
« Reply #12 on: 30 Nov 2007, 04:22 pm »
I agree about the closet as well!  I just view it as more aesthetically pleasing if you need the grills for whatever the reason, to have a tan-like cover rather than the EYE catching Black against the fine Birds eye. 

klh

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Re: Bill's birds eye maple HT3's, HTC and stand
« Reply #13 on: 30 Nov 2007, 05:29 pm »
I actually prefer the black cloth from a practical perspective. These are going in a home theater. And probably a high end one at that. Having a non-reflective black grill on while watching movies is a major bonus. When the lights go back on, off go the grills. You get the best of both worlds.

Bill@LakeGeorge

Re: Bill's birds eye maple HT3's, HTC and stand
« Reply #14 on: 30 Nov 2007, 09:04 pm »
Well the grills made a brief appearance on the speakers during assembly, they mount with magnets (very cool).  Since 9:00am these babies have been playing tunes from every source I have.  Jim gives you a birth certificate and I think these are already out of diapers. 

Right now, Dave Matthews Live at Radio City.

What really sets these apart from my previous speakers is the awesome bass and the clear airy highs that just seem to float above the stage, magical.

The construction of these is something else, I hope one of my grandsons does run into them :duh:, they will get the s**t knocked out of them :lol:

Bill@LakeGeorge

Re: Bill's birds eye maple HT3's, HTC and stand
« Reply #15 on: 7 Dec 2007, 09:31 pm »
Well I have been breaking these babies in for the last week, I leave the system run while I am at work.  Jim told me they were probably 95% broke in when they shipped.

The last 2 days they really started to open up.  The soundstage fills the front of my room from floor to ceiling.  If you close your eyes you can see the stage and musicians. I can't believe it.

When I first listened I knew it was a step up over my previous speakers.  They were gutted Onix Ref 2's with new drivers and crossovers from Danny Ritchie (GR Research) and they were great.  But after 100+ hours on the Salks there is no comparison.

Jim you need to tell buyers these need break in.

And to top it all of these are gorgeous to look at :drool:  they could be, no they are the finest piece of furniture I have.

Thanks Jim and Company

DMurphy

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Re: Bill's birds eye maple HT3's, HTC and stand
« Reply #16 on: 8 Dec 2007, 04:19 am »
Given that you like the speakers so much, I should probably just leave well enough alone (and I couldn't be happier that you like them).  But I do have to say a couple of words about break-in.  I'm sure you think you heard what you said you heard.  And maybe you did.  But for the record, the drivers that were used to design the HT3 had far less use than you've given yours.  And the crossover components were brand spanking new.  So if something changed with further use, that change would in theory negatively affect the performance targets I was seeking.  In that regard, I've measured my HT3 many times over the past year, and the results are always the same.  No change in frequency response.  No change in distortion.  No change in sensitivity.  I sincerely hope the tweeter response hasn't changed, because that would indicate that the ribbon element had stretched beyond its factory setting, which couldn't be good.  And there's no scientific basis for expecting any change in crossover component performance.  The one exception to all this is the woofer surround, which can relax a bit with use and change the box tuning slightly.  That won't affect basic frequency response or crossover optimization, but it could help eliminate any sense of boominess in the midbass.

Now--obviously you're going to reply that theory and measurements can't contradict real changes in what you heard.  And I can never convince you that you didn't hear what you said you heard.  But I do want to float the alternative hypothesis here--which is that you weren't used to the sound of the HT3 when you first turned it on, but that your ears adapted to the sound with use (and perhaps very quickly).   This is just my opinion and Jim might want to completely disagree with me.  But I personally would never claim that any design I've worked on requires extensive break-in to realize its full potential.  I simply don't have a scientific basis to substantiate that claim.

BrianM

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Re: Bill's birds eye maple HT3's, HTC and stand
« Reply #17 on: 8 Dec 2007, 01:45 pm »
Very interesting..  :smoke:

I don't know if Occam's razor technically applies here, but the psychological factor of being introduced to something new seems simpler than the prospect of drivers that are 95% broken in only opening up in that last 5%.

Break-in aside, I was wondering about warm-up.  Do speakers need any warm-up time at all, or change at all in the first few minutes of play?

fsimms

Re: Bill's birds eye maple HT3's, HTC and stand
« Reply #18 on: 8 Dec 2007, 02:07 pm »
I don't know if the speakers need warm up or not.  I have had my HT1's for 4 years.   There is a factor that I have seen with my speakers.  I will play songs and think.  "Wow, I knew that these speakers were good, but I didn't know they were that good!"  They have been playing over 4 years for 24/7.  I don't think that they are still breaking in.

Big Red Machine

Re: Bill's birds eye maple HT3's, HTC and stand
« Reply #19 on: 8 Dec 2007, 02:13 pm »
The full frequency range you now hear is a result of the stretching of your eardrums, not the speakers!! :green: