HSU HB-1 Speaker Owners - How do you like these speakers? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 135 Old 06-29-2011, 08:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Alas, upgraditis hits and I'm back on the prowl looking for a better upgrade. After some research, I have my eyes on the HSU HB-1 MK2 speakers.

I am pretty convinced that I will upgrade to full surround set of these speakers, I just wanted to hear from any current owners what they think about these speakers.
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post #2 of 135 Old 06-29-2011, 08:46 PM
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I've heard the setup below and they sound very good. I think I prefer the detail from the av123 x-series and the ascends, but the hsus look great and are very smooth. What speakers do you have currently? What have you heard that you liked and/or didn't like?

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...7#post20587267
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post #3 of 135 Old 06-29-2011, 09:08 PM - Thread Starter
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I have a set of Polk Monitors speakers(40, CS2, 30) and a HSU STF-2 subwoofer. I'm fairly happy with these speakers. The HSU subwoofer impressed me enough to look into the HSU HB-1 speakers as upgrades.

I did attempt an upgrade recently with some Behringer 2030p monitors in a surround configuration, a lot of people seemed to enjoy these speakers. While I did notice more detail with these speakers, their clinical flat frequency response made them so neutral and flat that they felt kind of lifeless and didn't really engage me.

No matter how much material I watched movie wise, I kept feeling like they subtracted from the listening experience. They were great with music sources, but the thing about monitors is that they don't mask bad recordings, everything shines through in gritty detail. This might be okay for some people, but for presentation purposes, I did not enjoy them.

So I guess I'm looking for a speaker that has more detail than my Polks, but also has some character. They don't have to be as clinically accurate as the Behringers.
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post #4 of 135 Old 06-30-2011, 01:02 AM
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I have the Hsu speakers and also the big brother to your behringer monitors, the 2031p, so we have kind of a point of reference. I would say the Behringers have more detailed highs, but the Hsu's have a punchier sound. I think the Behringers aim for neutrality above all, whereas the Hsu's are designed more to bring to life a THX demo or something impressive like that. They can handle high volumes with aplomb, but they sound nice with low volumes as well. I'm not really sure if that's what you are looking for. You might try ordering a pair, try them out to see if that is the sound you are after, and order a whole 5 speaker set if it is. If it isn't, return them for a full refund within 30 days.
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post #5 of 135 Old 06-30-2011, 06:44 AM
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Interspy24 (aka V.Pain), thanks for throwing out the link for me. I am still learning and processing the sound of the HSUs. I can relate to the OP because I started off my journey with in-wall Polks. I liked them, but wanted more. I did not realize the can of worms I would be opening. I went through several speakers, being disappointed with most. I quickly realized that I grew accustomed to the lively nature and colored highs of the Polks. I totally agree that they are fun and lively speakers. I also recognize that I LIKE FUN SPEAKERS. The journey from the Polks initially ended last year when I had the AV123 X-series. The Polks were more sensitive, brighter, and thus sounded louder than the X-LS/X-CS. Slowly I warmed up to the X-series and learned to love them.

I wanted to switch to a smaller speaker and go with a bookshelf. Based on price, looks and a few reviews, I decided on the HSU HB1-mk2. The finish is AMAZING, and they look like they cost 5 x the price. With the horn tweeters, I was expecting a forward speaker that would be very lively (hopefully shadowing my experience with the Polks). The HSUs sound great for music; however, I am still trying to get used to their sound for movies. They are not as forward as I was expecting. The sound is rich, and they play full range (more so than the x-series). See my link posted above (post #2) for more info and pics.
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post #6 of 135 Old 06-30-2011, 01:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the feedback guys. I completely agree with Deepstang that the Polks have a lively nature. When I switched from the Behringers back to the Polks, I could definitely notice the difference and I started to appreciate the bang for the buck that you get with the Polks.

I realized to myself that I do prefer speakers that are more fun and presentational. Monitors are great, but unless you are mixing a 5.1 soundtrack, the neutrality can take away from the experience. This is all to each one's own taste, as a lot of people like the Behringer monitors in a surround setup.

ShadyJ, that's great to hear your thoughts since you've sampled both speakers, I'm sure the 2031p is pretty close to the sound of the 2030p. The way you are describing the HSU HB-1s is exactly what I'm looking for. A speaker that has some character and can bring movies and music to life.

I do believe I will pick up a pair of the HSU HB-1s, before I get the complete set. This was I can spend some time with them to see if they're worth a full upgrade.
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post #7 of 135 Old 06-30-2011, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by avspace View Post

I do believe I will pick up a pair of the HSU HB-1s, before I get the complete set. This was I can spend some time with them to see if they're worth a full upgrade.

That's what I did: got a pair of HB-1mk2 bookshelves and lived with them for about 6 weeks before deciding to get five more. My main reason for buying them was the imaging and off-axis response. The fact that they play low is a nice bonus, will allow you some flexibility when blending with your sub.

Sanjay
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post #8 of 135 Old 06-30-2011, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by avspace View Post

Thanks for the feedback guys. I completely agree with Deepstang that the Polks have a lively nature. When I switched from the Behringers back to the Polks, I could definitely notice the difference and I started to appreciate the bang for the buck that you get with the Polks.

I realized to myself that I do prefer speakers that are more fun and presentational. Monitors are great, but unless you are mixing a 5.1 soundtrack, the neutrality can take away from the experience. This is all to each one's own taste, as a lot of people like the Behringer monitors in a surround setup.

ShadyJ, that's great to hear your thoughts since you've sampled both speakers, I'm sure the 2031p is pretty close to the sound of the 2030p. The way you are describing the HSU HB-1s is exactly what I'm looking for. A speaker that has some character and can bring movies and music to life.

I do believe I will pick up a pair of the HSU HB-1s, before I get the complete set. This was I can spend some time with them to see if they're worth a full upgrade.

Since I am in the same boat, looking at moving from my Polk Monitors to a more efficient horn driven speaker for HT use you may want to take a look at the BIC Acoustech series. I have been reading that thread for the couple days and apparently they are really good speakers that most say seem like they can compete with speaker 3-4 times their price. I have also been looking into the HSU, but now that I have been reading about the BIC's my mind is running circles. I had my mind set on some Paradigms a few weeks ago, but I am trying to get the most for my money and the Paradigm Studio series is a lot of money (to me anyway)
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post #9 of 135 Old 06-30-2011, 02:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

That's what I did: got a pair of HB-1mk2 bookshelves and lived with them for about 6 weeks before deciding to get five more. My main reason for buying them was the imaging and off-axis response. The fact that they play low is a nice bonus, will allow you some flexibility when blending with your sub.

How do you like your 7.1 HSU setup? I'm assuming that you have a HSU subwoofer too.
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post #10 of 135 Old 06-30-2011, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Smigro View Post

Since I am in the same boat, looking at moving from my Polk Monitors to a more efficient horn driven speaker for HT use you may want to take a look at the BIC Acoustech series. I have been reading that thread for the couple days and apparently they are really good speakers that most say seem like they can compete with speaker 3-4 times their price. I have also been looking into the HSU, but now that I have been reading about the BIC's my mind is running circles. I had my mind set on some Paradigms a few weeks ago, but I am trying to get the most for my money and the Paradigm Studio series is a lot of money (to me anyway)

The HSUs are about the same price as the "equivalent" BIC. The HSUs are finished nicer, come with a 30 day trial and are designed by a verified audio expert that just also happens to build some of the best subs for the money.

I know which ones I would rather own. And in fact when it comes time for me to set up my HT the HSU LCR will likely be what I get.

Gene

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post #11 of 135 Old 06-30-2011, 03:04 PM
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The HSUs are about the same price as the "equivalent" BIC. The HSUs are finished nicer, come with a 30 day trial and are designed by a verified audio expert that just also happens to build some of the best subs for the money.

I know which ones I would rather own. And in fact when it comes time for me to set up my HT the HSU LCR will likely be what I get.

Gene

I hear ya, really the thing that got me was how efficient the BIC's are. Don't get me wrong, the HSU's are fairly efficient but the owners of the BIC's all seem to be really happy with them. I do not know if this has anything to do with it, but I know HSU has helped design some of BIC's subs; like the BIC VK-12 I have (that is why I bought it), so maybe he has helped with some of their other speakers. I think when it comes down to it, I will buy two HSU bookshelf's with the center and if I do not like them return em and grab the BIC's. I was looking at speakers many times more (Paradigm Studio series and Monitor Audio), but it seems you can get speakers for less that may not be better but will get you real close.
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The HSUs are about the same price as the "equivalent" BIC. The HSUs are finished nicer, come with a 30 day trial and are designed by a verified audio expert that just also happens to build some of the best subs for the money.

I know which ones I would rather own. And in fact when it comes time for me to set up my HT the HSU LCR will likely be what I get.

Gene

Gene , the HSU speakers are not about the same price as BIC Acoustech equivalent .

BIC Acoustech LCR 322 shipped

HSU Research LCR 577 shipped

to me that's a big difference

the only thing that hsu has over the bics is the 30 day trial also hsu helped in the acoustech series .

http://www.bicamerica.com/showpage.php?brand=1
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post #13 of 135 Old 06-30-2011, 03:46 PM
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I hear ya, really the thing that got me was how efficient the BIC's are. Don't get me wrong, the HSU's are fairly efficient but the owners of the BIC's all seem to be really happy with them. I do not know if this has anything to do with it, but I know HSU has helped design some of BIC's subs; like the BIC VK-12 I have (that is why I bought it), so maybe he has helped with some of their other speakers. I think when it comes down to it, I will buy two HSU bookshelf's with the center and if I do not like them return em and grab the BIC's. I was looking at speakers many times more (Paradigm Studio series and Monitor Audio), but it seems you can get speakers for less that may not be better but will get you real close.

http://www.bicamerica.com/showpage.php?brand=1

yea hsu did help with the speakers as well , good luck either speaker is a great and im sure you will be happy
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post #14 of 135 Old 06-30-2011, 03:57 PM
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http://www.bicamerica.com/showpage.php?brand=1

yea hsu did help with the speakers as well , good luck either speaker is a great and im sure you will be happy

I knew I read that somewhere before. To be honest if HSU had a floorstander, the race would be tighter.
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post #15 of 135 Old 06-30-2011, 04:04 PM - Thread Starter
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I have a HSU STF-2 subwoofer that is absolutely amazing. A quick read on the www.hsuresearch.com site and you'll find that Dr.HSU has a doctorate from MIT in engineering and he consults for several audio companies. So he really knows his stuff.

Apparently he used custom software to engineer and fine tune the HB-1 speakers. If the HB-1 speakers sound anywhere near as good as his subs, I think its a winner. I actually took the time to read each and every review link on HSU's site on the HB-1 page, I think its definitely worth a spin.
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post #16 of 135 Old 06-30-2011, 04:18 PM
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I hear ya, really the thing that got me was how efficient the BIC's are. Don't get me wrong, the HSU's are fairly efficient but the owners of the BIC's all seem to be really happy with them. I do not know if this has anything to do with it, but I know HSU has helped design some of BIC's subs; like the BIC VK-12 I have (that is why I bought it), so maybe he has helped with some of their other speakers. I think when it comes down to it, I will buy two HSU bookshelf's with the center and if I do not like them return em and grab the BIC's. I was looking at speakers many times more (Paradigm Studio series and Monitor Audio), but it seems you can get speakers for less that may not be better but will get you real close.

How efficient are the Bics really? I wouldn't just go off the specs listed since companies are known to inflate numbers. For now, I plan on getting klipsch rb-81's and they are listed at 97db sensitivity by klipsch specs but measured by hometheater magazine got only 91db sensitivity. The bic may not be that much more efficient over the HSU.
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post #17 of 135 Old 06-30-2011, 04:19 PM
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I have a HSU STF-2 subwoofer that is absolutely amazing. A quick read on the www.hsuresearch.com site and you'll find that Dr.HSU has a doctorate from MIT in engineering and he consults for several audio companies. So he really knows his stuff.

Apparently he used custom software to engineer and fine tune the HB-1 speakers. If the HB-1 speakers sound anywhere near as good as his subs, I think its a winner. I actually took the time to read each and every review link on HSU's site on the HB-1 page, I think its definitely worth a spin.

No doubt and with the 30 day trial period it makes that much more tempting. I am just saying not to sleep on the BIC's because he helped design them also. Most of the people in the Acoustech thread say they sound like speakers 2-3 times their price, and some of these people did side by side comparisons with $1,500-$2,000 speakers and said the difference was minimal at best.
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post #18 of 135 Old 06-30-2011, 04:22 PM
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How do you like your 7.1 HSU setup? I'm assuming that you have a HSU subwoofer too.

Currently inbetween subs, but not missing them much since the Hsu speakers go so low and my system is used 90% of the time for music. A calibrator friend had come over and was so surprised by the bass that he whipped out his portable RTI and put the mic an inch from the woofer. After his eyebrows went past his hairline, he pushed the display in my face: flat down to almost 40Hz (falls off a cliff below that).

Of course, I wouldn't recommend using them as 'fool range' speakers the way I am. The advantage of having them go so low is that it gives some flexibility in sub/sat blending. Compared to bookshelves that start rolling off at 80Hz, you've got an entire octave below that to find exactly where your subwoofer makes the best splice with the speakers.

Sanjay
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post #19 of 135 Old 06-30-2011, 04:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Currently inbetween subs, but not missing them much since the Hsu speakers go so low and my system is used 90% of the time for music. A calibrator friend had come over and was so surprised by the bass that he whipped out his portable RTI and put the mic an inch from the woofer. After his eyebrows went past his hairline, he pushed the display in my face: flat down to almost 40Hz (falls off a cliff below that).

Of course, I wouldn't recommend using them as 'fool range' speakers the way I am. The advantage of having them go so low is that it gives some flexibility in sub/sat blending. Compared to bookshelves that start rolling off at 80Hz, you've got an entire octave below that to find exactly where your subwoofer makes the best splice with the speakers.

Thanks for the info, that is great to know that it goes low enough to give some flexibility with sub crossover.
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post #20 of 135 Old 06-30-2011, 04:27 PM
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How efficient are the Bics really? I wouldn't just go off the specs listed since companies are known to inflate numbers. For now, I plan on getting klipsch rb-81's and they are listed at 97db sensitivity by klipsch specs but measured by hometheater magazine got only 91db sensitivity. The bic may not be that much more efficient over the HSU.

True, but I remember reading somewhere in the thread that some one said they did not have to turn up their volume as much with their BIC's as they did with their old speakers. If I remember imthink he said his old speakers were rated at 86db efficiency. Not that means anything either though. I think when it is all said and one I will demo the HSU speakers in home and if I am not satisfied return them and use the money for the BIC's.

I too was looking into the Klipsch reference series, but I heard their lower models can be a bit bright and the upper Reference line is a bit out of my price range. I still have not had a chance to demo the Klipsch's yet, but I am trying to find a local place other than Magnolia as their listening rooms are less than optimal. I actually wish I knew someone in my area that has these so I could take a listen in an actual house.
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post #21 of 135 Old 06-30-2011, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by DCM88 View Post

Gene , the HSU speakers are not about the same price as BIC Acoustech equivalent .

BIC Acoustech LCR 322 shipped

HSU Research LCR 577 shipped

to me that's a big difference

the only thing that hsu has over the bics is the 30 day trial also hsu helped in the acoustech series .

http://www.bicamerica.com/showpage.php?brand=1

Thanks for the info- I guess I was going on the price of just the book shelfs - BIC about $110 and HSU at $130. Center channel the HSU is about double the BIC.

I did not know that HSU helped with the BIC design. Does that mean they will sound similar/as good without the nicer finish?

I could save some money. Shipping on the HSUs to Hawaii is pretty pricey (although I am willing to pay it if there is a significant difference to the better).

Gene

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post #22 of 135 Old 06-30-2011, 06:05 PM
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Thanks for the info- I guess I was going on the price of just the book shelfs - BIC about $110 and HSU at $130. Center channel the HSU is about double the BIC.

I did not know that HSU helped with the BIC design. Does that mean they will sound similar/as good without the nicer finish?

I could save some money. Shipping on the HSUs to Hawaii is pretty pricey (although I am willing to pay it if there is a significant difference to the better).

Gene

I do not think it was all of the BIC's, just the Acoustech line ( the ones with model numbers starting in PL). The PL series does have a pretty nice finish, black laquer tops and bottoms. I am not sure about the sound, but tweeters look very similar. Check out acousticsounddesign.com
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post #23 of 135 Old 07-01-2011, 09:01 AM
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If price is a concern, just use the same HB1-mk2 from the center. Many believe it is best to have the same identical speaker for the front 3. The HSU HB1-mk2 is more than sufficient to function as a center speaker. I use it in that configuration. Look at my pics. I just put the HSU sign at the bottom, and viola, a clean center channel look!

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...7#post20587267
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post #24 of 135 Old 07-01-2011, 06:21 PM
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If price is a concern, just use the same HB1-mk2 from the center. Many believe it is best to have the same identical speaker for the front 3. The HSU HB1-mk2 is more than sufficient to function as a center speaker. I use it in that configuration. Look at my pics. I just put the HSU sign at the bottom, and viola, a clean center channel look!

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...7#post20587267
It sounds OK turned on it's side? No need to rotate the tweeter? I would much rather run three of the same too, but may not have the room to stand it up depending on how I mount the TV.

Thanks
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post #25 of 135 Old 07-01-2011, 07:00 PM
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It sounds OK turned on it's side? No need to rotate the tweeter? I would much rather run three of the same too, but may not have the room to stand it up depending on how I mount the TV.

Thanks
Gene
You will want to rotate the tweeter. But it is very easy to do, I did it myself, all it takes is 5 minutes and a philips head screwdriver. All the screw holes are symmetrical so you don't have to drill any holes or anything like that. Just unscrew, turn the tweeter, screw back in, simple as that.
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post #26 of 135 Old 07-01-2011, 08:19 PM - Thread Starter
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You will want to rotate the tweeter. But it is very easy to do, I did it myself, all it takes is 5 minutes and a philips head screwdriver. All the screw holes are symmetrical so you don't have to drill any holes or anything like that. Just unscrew, turn the tweeter, screw back in, simple as that.
Does rotating the tweeter really make a difference? I mean, will that improve the alignment of the speaker's sound disperal when you turn it on your side?

Are you talking about rotating just the tweeter or the horn with the tweeter?

I would think that turning the tweeter woudn't serve any purpose at all, or if you rotate the horn itself, ruin the alignment between woofer and horn.
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post #27 of 135 Old 07-01-2011, 09:06 PM
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Posted this in another hsu thread...

Just thought I'd share this with y'all. So my father decided a year or so ago that he wanted to finally upgrade our old "HT" (a 32" CRT and an Aiwa style panny 5 disk cd/dvd/surround system) at the family cabin. His goal was to spend no more than $3k for a tv, receiver, speakers and a bluray player. After recommending hsu and demoing my vtf 3.3, he read all of the reviews and decided to buy the Enthusiast 2 system with an upgrade to the 3.3 (the room is ~ 40'x25'x25' at peak, log walls and exposed beams and rafters). He was leery about spending that much on speakers and there was no way I'd be able to convince him to spend more for a bigger sub. I told him that I'd let him use my old receiver if he went ahead and got his speakers so he could be breaking them in and enjoying them while he decided which tv, etc he wanted. So, for Father's day, I went up and set up his new system for him.
Hsu's speakers are just as good as the subs! The HB-1s are amazing. He even made a point of saying that he heard things in his 'oldies' that he'd never heard before. Even before getting it all dialed in, they didn't really sound like they even needed a sub, they were that good. The highs were light and clear, never harsh or too bright. Accurate, punchy midrange that made me realize how much I'm missing in my own set up, and that solid smooth bass we all know and love from hsu. Dialogue from the center was spot on as well. My fears that the 3.3 wouldn't be enough for his room were unfounded and pointless. It sounded just as good in his room as it does in my 3000cu' room.
It'll be a while before I can buy new speakers, but when I do I'll be buying an Enthusiast set up. Since I already have a 3.3, maybe I can get a deal by swapping out the sub for an MBM...
I know you can also opt for using 3 center channels for the LCR.
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post #28 of 135 Old 07-02-2011, 01:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avspace View Post
Does rotating the tweeter really make a difference? I mean, will that improve the alignment of the speaker's sound disperal when you turn it on your side?

Are you talking about rotating just the tweeter or the horn with the tweeter?

I would think that turning the tweeter woudn't serve any purpose at all, or if you rotate the horn itself, ruin the alignment between woofer and horn.
To be honest I am not sure that it does make a lot of difference. I would assume the difference is in the off-axis frequency response. If you are only listening in one position I don't think it would make a difference. This procedure is recommended by Hsu Research if you want to use the HB-1 as a horizontal center or the HC-1 vertically as left and right fronts.

You rotate the horn itself, which the tweeter is mounted in. Best not to touch the tweeter. You just unscrew the horn, lift it up a bit, rotate it 90 degrees, and screw it back in.
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post #29 of 135 Old 07-02-2011, 05:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post

It sounds OK turned on it's side? No need to rotate the tweeter? I would much rather run three of the same too, but may not have the room to stand it up depending on how I mount the TV.

Thanks
Gene

With all do respect, did you look through the pictures in the link I posted?? I showed how in my set-up I am using a regular HB-1 mk2, on it's side as the center channel. In those pictures, I actually showed me removing the tweeter so that I can turn it's orientation by 90 degrees. It may have not been so obvious that the tweeter was turned 90 degrees when it was removed; however, it was turned 90 degrees .


Quote:
Originally Posted by avspace View Post

Does rotating the tweeter really make a difference? I mean, will that improve the alignment of the speaker's sound dispersal when you turn it on your side?

Are you talking about rotating just the tweeter or the horn with the tweeter?

I would think that turning the tweeter woudn't serve any purpose at all, or if you rotate the horn itself, ruin the alignment between woofer and horn.

Yes, rotating the tweeter does make a difference. I talked to Pete (from HSU) about this. The tweeters are designed to have a specific dispersion. If the speaker is laid on it's side, that dispersion would be in a different orientation to the L/R. Furthermore, it would deteriorate the intended performance of the speaker.

Again, if you look at the link at the beginning of the thread (posted by Interspy24, and again by me yesterday), you can see what to do. The entire horn tweeter easily can be unscrewed, removed, and turned 90 degrees.

I have no complaints about my center. Dialouge is very clear and smooth. In fact, I venture to say that the tweeter is not as heavily utilized in the center channel (in terms of the material recorded from the producer). The "effects" often are sent to the Left and Right speakers (and surrounds). The center is primarily dialouge and of course for panning (images going from one side of the screen to the other, and the speakers representing that audibly).
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post #30 of 135 Old 07-02-2011, 11:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deepstang View Post

Yes, rotating the tweeter does make a difference. I talked to Pete (from HSU) about this. The tweeters are designed to have a specific dispersion. If the speaker is laid on it's side, that dispersion would be in a different orientation to the L/R. Furthermore, it would deteriorate the intended performance of the speaker.

Thanks guys, I just wanted to make sure it actually made a difference, its great to learn new things on avsforum.com, I had no idea that rotating the tweeter was even recommended.

I did get the sense from your photos deepstang that you were rotating the tweeter. Is the HSU logo easy to move after you turned the HB-1 on its side?

I guess I'm contemplating between getting a HC-1 center or using an HB-1 on its side now.
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