HSU HB1 Mk2 vs Energy RC-10 ??? - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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post #31 of 76 Old 08-31-2011, 06:06 PM
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Audyssey multEq on my Denon 1910 has the option of bypass L/R where it EQs the center and surrounds/sub but not the mains restoring bass and treble for the L/R. That's how I run mine. In my room, the bypass L/R feature opens up my soundstage more. With it set to Audyssey EQ it sounds too confined for my tastes.

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post #32 of 76 Old 08-31-2011, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by cjsiv View Post

Audyssey multEq on my Denon 1910 has the option of bypass L/R where it EQs the center and surrounds/sub but not the mains restoring bass and treble for the L/R. That's how I run mine. In my room, the bypass L/R feature opens up my soundstage more. With it set to Audyssey EQ it sounds too confined for my tastes.

Where do you see this option? I would think I have it on the 3310 if you have it on the 1910. I have been all over the menu but dont see anything/anywhere to bypass the mains. I must be missing something somewhere
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post #33 of 76 Old 08-31-2011, 08:01 PM
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Originally Posted by dunan View Post

Also, I'd like to know how vocals/voices sound with this set, are they thin or full sounding, etc.

Since I'm going from a monitor 70/center channel setup (ten 6.5 in. drivers) to three 6.5 in drivers, will there be a drastic difference in the midrange?

Check out my post for a quick review of the hsu's compared the x-series and ascends. In short, I think the polks generally have a slightly forward sound and the hsus's are laid back. I'd put the hsu's a notch or two behind the polk's in terms of brightness.

I dont know the specs of the polks, but you're losing a LOT of cone area. My guess is the polks you have will have a significant advantage over the hsu's in the lower frequencies. The hsu's dig deep, but the polks will walk away when pushed hard. The polks you have are VERY well reviewed for that price range. Aside from the primus towers, the polks you have are probably the best bet for a floorstander in that price range. With respect to the hsu's I think you're taking a step back. If you're looking to save space then that's understandable but I think in terms of performance you're not going to gain anything.

Tell us more about your room and setup. Are you using subs? What are you currently unhappy with regarding your setup? What are you looking to acheive by swapping speakers?

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Originally Posted by dunan View Post

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Lol

Btw, I referenced a shootout with the hsu's and some polk monitors. The polks really ran away from the hsu's. This was probably the older design, but definitely something to review. Keep in mind this is the smaller polk monitor, you have a better speaker than what is being tested:

http://www.audioholics.com/reviews/s...arch-hb-1.html
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post #34 of 76 Old 08-31-2011, 09:13 PM
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It's on the screen where you select the modes for dynamic volume, dynamic eq, etc. The audyssey page. Reference offset etc. I you highlight audyssey and push left or right, it switches to bypass. Same with remote. If you press the multEq button it cycles between audyssey , flat, bypass l/r and off.

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post #35 of 76 Old 08-31-2011, 09:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjsiv View Post

Audyssey multEq on my Denon 1910 has the option of bypass L/R where it EQs the center and surrounds/sub but not the mains restoring bass and treble for the L/R. That's how I run mine. In my room, the bypass L/R feature opens up my soundstage more. With it set to Audyssey EQ it sounds too confined for my tastes.

Just FYI...

When using the Bypass L/R setting, Audyssey uses the averaged response of the L/R speakers as the target curve for applying EQ to the center/surrounds. It doesn't EQ the center/surrounds to the Audyssey house curve (or to flat response). So whatever the averaged response of the L/R, which varies greatly with room acoustics, placement, ect - that's what Audyssey will try to EQ the center/surrounds to match...

According to Chris Kyriakakis of Audyssey, the Bypass L/R setting is used only by certain manufacturers, and it's not an Audyssey recommended setting.
http://ask.audyssey.com/entries/9416...-target-curves

Nothing wrong with using that setting if you like how it sounds... but thought it was worth pointing out how that setting works...

Also, not sure why you'd feel this "restores" bass and treble to the L/R... If you don't like the slight treble roll off of the Audyssey house curve, you could try the Flat setting, which doesn't have any rolloff. Also, Audyssey isn't robbing the speakers of bass, but it will try to flatten the bass out some, which, if the bass was overemphasized to begin with, may make it sound like some bass is now missing... but in reality it should be a flatter response.

Of course, this is the idea behind Audyssey, but it's certainly not perfect... And as I already mentioned, it's all about what sounds good to you...
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post #36 of 76 Old 08-31-2011, 09:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Interspy24 View Post

Check out my post for a quick review of the hsu's compared the x-series and ascends. In short, I think the polks generally have a slightly forward sound and the hsus's are laid back. I'd put the hsu's a notch or two behind the polk's in terms of brightness.

I dont know the specs of the polks, but you're losing a LOT of cone area. My guess is the polks you have will have a significant advantage over the hsu's in the lower frequencies. The hsu's dig deep, but the polks will walk away when pushed hard. The polks you have are VERY well reviewed for that price range. Aside from the primus towers, the polks you have are probably the best bet for a floorstander in that price range. With respect to the hsu's I think you're taking a step back. If you're looking to save space then that's understandable but I think in terms of performance you're not going to gain anything.

Tell us more about your room and setup. Are you using subs? What are you currently unhappy with regarding your setup? What are you looking to acheive by swapping speakers?



Lol

Btw, I referenced a shootout with the hsu's and some polk monitors. The polks really ran away from the hsu's. This was probably the older design, but definitely something to review. Keep in mind this is the smaller polk monitor, you have a better speaker than what is being tested:

http://www.audioholics.com/reviews/s...arch-hb-1.html


Interesting...

I thought with all the glaring reviews the HB-1's got that they would eat the monitor 30's for lunch, but wouldnt expect them to take on the 70's head to head. i knew I'd be losing something, but wasn't sure what exactly.

What I ultimately want to do is replace the towers with something smaller - competent wall mounts if possible. I know i'm giving up a lot of cone area and probably thickness of voices/instruments but also on the fence because I have a 3 month old that may soon be knocking over those towers soon. And yes its partially a space saving move as the room I'm in is VERY unforgiving as far as what I can do with it placement wise.

I'm using an HSU VTF2MK3 sub, and to me the tweeters on the polks sound a little tinny to me, as well as the horror stories I hear about how if you even put a moderate amount of power into them they blow. And for sure, the polks do pretty good in the bass dept. If I wasn't using them for HT, I wouldnt need a sub.

The R50's I have as surrounds that i bought used had a blown tweeter but I didnt have a lot of time to audition them as I was in a rush at the time and the guy selling had the tower with the blown tweeter sitting farthest away so I couldnt hear it. I tried getting a hold of polk TWICE, got no response thru email and phone so I had to replace the tweeters with drivers from boston acoustics, which worked out really well btw. I paid more for the tweeters than both towers.

So, what I'm looking for is something cleaner with better sounding tweeters in either a wall mountable design or standmounts, but the aforementioned 3 month old may make the latter a little difficult to do.

Any suggestions will do really, I'm open to options, just not very expensive ones.
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post #37 of 76 Old 08-31-2011, 10:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alphaiii View Post


Just FYI...

When using the Bypass L/R setting, Audyssey uses the averaged response of the L/R speakers as the target curve for applying EQ to the center/surrounds. It doesn't EQ the center/surrounds to the Audyssey house curve (or to flat response). So whatever the averaged response of the L/R, which varies greatly with room acoustics, placement, ect - that's what Audyssey will try to EQ the center/surrounds to match...

According to Chris Kyriakakis of Audyssey, the Bypass L/R setting is used only by certain manufacturers, and it's not an Audyssey recommended setting.
http://ask.audyssey.com/entries/9416...-target-curves

Nothing wrong with using that setting if you like how it sounds... but thought it was worth pointing out how that setting works...

Also, not sure why you'd feel this "restores" bass and treble to the L/R... If you don't like the slight treble roll off of the Audyssey house curve, you could try the Flat setting, which doesn't have any rolloff. Also, Audyssey isn't robbing the speakers of bass, but it will try to flatten the bass out some, which, if the bass was overemphasized to begin with, may make it sound like some bass is now missing... but in reality it should be a flatter response.

Of course, this is the idea behind Audyssey, but it's certainly not perfect... And as I already mentioned, it's all about what sounds good to you...

I guess I should have been clearer with my response. Was typing on my iPhone at work....

When I said it restores bass and treble, I was referring to the actual adjustment with the Denon settings. Not that by simply changing to bypass it made the bass and treble more emphasized.

The bypass L/R still EQs the subwoofer to flat and applies filters to the others, just not the audyssey house curve as you stated. For me, this works great in my room. It is a much larger soundstage and is cleaner with my setup also giving me the ability to tweak my bass and treble while still having the EQ of the sub.

Regardless of whether audyssey recommends it or not, it sounds better to me with my particular setup. My initial point was that there is a way to get bass and treble adjustments with Denon without defeating the Audyssey all together. Sorry if I confused anyone. And thanks for the link. It was very informative.

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post #38 of 76 Old 08-31-2011, 10:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dunan View Post

How do you like the imaging on the 3 HB1's you have there?

And how did you get to adjust the treble on your denon? Is this something new on the '12 models, because on my 3310 you either use audyssey *OR* the bass/treble - in other words, once audyssey is set, you cant add or take away anything EQ wise like bass/treble. Very frustrating if you feel it's not bright enough and you want to raise it a little like you did on yours.

Sorry for my delay in response. The HSU's have good imaging. As NixonRSX said earlier, the HSUs just seem to disappear. Here is a quick review I did of the HB1s:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...7#post20587267

I have had Polk in-walls in the past and know that their tweeter is more forward than the HSUs. It actually made me question why I never thought (or rethought) about Polk bookshelfs. The Rti-a3 did sell at a higher MSRP than the HSU (and Infinity Primus); however, I think they make for a good HT speaker.

My Denon 2112 has a treble and bass adjustment settings, just like my previous Onkyo 605. I am not sure about the older models with Denon, sorry.

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Originally Posted by ruger311 View Post

are you hearing anything outta the left main that you dont on the right main as far as the port being closer to wall

any sound from air moving and hitting the wall any?

looking at the HB1s for my room as well some they will be a little farther from the wall than yours but not a whole lot

I don't hear any sort of port noise, or port noise reflection. The right speaker is more reinforced because of the wall. Audyssey set the right speaker with a +1 to compensate.

WhskyTango, I have to double check the exact distances Audyssey set for the HB1s.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Interspy24 View Post

Check out my post for a quick review of the hsu's compared the x-series and ascends.

http://www.audioholics.com/reviews/s...arch-hb-1.html

As Interspy said, that article is using the original HB1. I would consider that article irrelevant as the mk2 is a different speaker. With all respect, I was actually a bit surprised the Polk monitor 30s reviewed so well. I always eyed the Rti series, but never spent time listening to the Monitor bookshelfs.

I agree with Iaintyourspy24, that going from a multiple driver tower to a bookshelf will be a notable step back if you are running in full range or double bass. You said you have a HSU sub, so I am assuming you cross the speakers at 80Hz. I will also say that if you prefer the more forward almost bright sound of Polks, the HSUs will be an initial shock. They are very neutral in sound. I find the Polks can get fatiguing if listening to material at loud levels or for an extended period of time. The HB1 mk2s is easy to listen to.
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post #39 of 76 Old 08-31-2011, 11:13 PM
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Originally Posted by deepstang View Post

Sorry for my delay in response. The HSU's have good imaging. As NixonRSX said earlier, the HSUs just seem to disappear. Here is a quick review I did of the HB1s:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...7#post20587267

I have had Polk in-walls in the past and know that their tweeter is more forward than the HSUs. It actually made me question why I never thought (or rethought) about Polk bookshelfs. The Rti-a3 did sell at a higher MSRP than the HSU (and Infinity Primus); however, I think they make for a good HT speaker.

My Denon 2112 has a treble and bass adjustment settings, just like my previous Onkyo 605. I am not sure about the older models with Denon, sorry.



I don't hear any sort of port noise, or port noise reflection. The right speaker is more reinforced because of the wall. Audyssey set the right speaker with a +1 to compensate.

WhskyTango, I have to double check the exact distances Audyssey set for the HB1s.



As Interspy said, that article is using the original HB1. I would consider that article irrelevant as the mk2 is a different speaker. With all respect, I was actually a bit surprised the Polk monitor 30s reviewed so well. I always eyed the Rti series, but never spent time listening to the Monitor bookshelfs.

I agree with Iaintyourspy24, that going from a multiple driver tower to a bookshelf will be a notable step back if you are running in full range or double bass. You said you have a HSU sub, so I am assuming you cross the speakers at 80Hz. I will also say that if you prefer the more forward almost bright sound of Polks, the HSUs will be an initial shock. They are very neutral in sound. I find the Polks can get fatiguing if listening to material at loud levels or for an extended period of time. The HB1 mk2s is easy to listen to.

That's what i was thinking too, the HB-1 MK2's are supposed to be a much better version of the HB-1.

Yes, they are crossed over @ 80, I dont use a doublebass or full range settings. mains/center/surrounds set to small.

The problem is the polks aren't bright enough, at least not in my setup, and i think the tweeters sound a little tinny to me. Cleaner with better highs but non fatiguing is what I'm looking for ultimately. I have the sub so I'm not really worried about the low bass that some smaller speakers put out.
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post #40 of 76 Old 08-31-2011, 11:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dunan View Post

Interesting...

I thought with all the glaring reviews the HB-1's got that they would eat the monitor 30's for lunch, but wouldnt expect them to take on the 70's head to head. i knew I'd be losing something, but wasn't sure what exactly.

What I ultimately want to do is replace the towers with something smaller - competent wall mounts if possible. I know i'm giving up a lot of cone area and probably thickness of voices/instruments but also on the fence because I have a 3 month old that may soon be knocking over those towers soon. And yes its partially a space saving move as the room I'm in is VERY unforgiving as far as what I can do with it placement wise.

I'm using an HSU VTF2MK3 sub, and to me the tweeters on the polks sound a little tinny to me, as well as the horror stories I hear about how if you even put a moderate amount of power into them they blow. And for sure, the polks do pretty good in the bass dept. If I wasn't using them for HT, I wouldnt need a sub.

The R50's I have as surrounds that i bought used had a blown tweeter but I didnt have a lot of time to audition them as I was in a rush at the time and the guy selling had the tower with the blown tweeter sitting farthest away so I couldnt hear it. I tried getting a hold of polk TWICE, got no response thru email and phone so I had to replace the tweeters with drivers from boston acoustics, which worked out really well btw. I paid more for the tweeters than both towers.

So, what I'm looking for is something cleaner with better sounding tweeters in either a wall mountable design or standmounts, but the aforementioned 3 month old may make the latter a little difficult to do.

Any suggestions will do really, I'm open to options, just not very expensive ones.

Slowasathreeleggedturtlestang did the same thing in terms of going from the floorstanders to the hsu's. He saved real estate and it does look cleaner. As you stated, I think a wall-mount or something similar would be the best bet. A stand mounted monitor is probably equally likely to get tipped over by a toddler. (Btw congrats on the little one!)

Imo the earlier hb1's left something to be desired, the mk2 has the improved horn and something with the tweeter. As easily as the polks won the shootout (all preferred the polks to the hsu's) I dont know how the mk2 would fare. Certainly better, but I dont think it will go from one spectrum to the other...

The other thing to keep in mind about horns is the imaging. A few have noted there is a tight sweet spot, the off-axis response isn't so great. I find most of the speakers I like do very well in this area, but that's personal preference.

Sorry to hear about the hassle with the tweeters, that's no good. That's a nice sub you have. Ho big is your listening area? Do you primarily listen to music or movies? I think a few options for you to consider would be the following:

1. Infinity Primus P163 - they are about $85 each and have gotten great reviews. Without a doubt, that's a strong contender for the best sounding pair of new speakers under $200. They are also front ported, so you won't have to worry about space behind the speaker.

2. Energy RC-10s - they are on sale for $300 and these speakers have had excellent reviews as well. I haven't heard them, but they are very popular and usually retail for around $550. As noted earlier my older energys sound great - they have a very smooth sound to them - no harshness but still have detail. I really like them. I think this is an excellent pair of speakers, and while sound is very subjective - I think it's the pair I'd recommend to most at the $300 mark.

3. Emotiva is running a great sale. They have their 6.2 monitors on sale for $200 each, and the ERD surrounds are on sale for $250 (for the pair). The surrounds have gotten great reviews, and at that price I'm tempted to pick up a pair just to try them!

4. Ascend makes a smaller sealed speaker known as the htm-200. They are smaller than the popular cbm-170 bookshelves. Dr. Hsu himself actually uses these are surround in his demo room. I will say, you're giving up a lot from floorstanders that can really rock going to these. However, they are MUCH smaller and you have a few mounting options.

Finally, I want to restate from an earlier post that the best way to find out what you like is listen, listen, and listen. You really get an idea of what you like and what you don't like. You start hearing (or maybe you dont) the differences and what tradeoffs you want to make. In the same listening area would be ideal, but sometimes time and resources make that tricky. I will say that after doing my mini comparisons I found many speakers that I liked and disliked. None of them were so bad I wouldn't listen to them, but on the other hand I found ones I really enjoyed listening to. Hope this helps!
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post #41 of 76 Old 09-01-2011, 07:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjsiv View Post

I guess I should have been clearer with my response. Was typing on my iPhone at work....

When I said it restores bass and treble, I was referring to the actual adjustment with the Denon settings. Not that by simply changing to bypass it made the bass and treble more emphasized.

The bypass L/R still EQs the subwoofer to flat and applies filters to the others, just not the audyssey house curve as you stated. For me, this works great in my room. It is a much larger soundstage and is cleaner with my setup also giving me the ability to tweak my bass and treble while still having the EQ of the sub.

Regardless of whether audyssey recommends it or not, it sounds better to me with my particular setup. My initial point was that there is a way to get bass and treble adjustments with Denon without defeating the Audyssey all together. Sorry if I confused anyone. And thanks for the link. It was very informative.

Got ya. I misunderstood some of the previous post.

And yep, it still EQ's the sub to flat... which is most important anyway.

And I agree - just because Audyssey doesn't recommend it doesn't mean the bypass L/R setting can't be useful. The results will just be variable, depending on room, placement, speakers used as L/R, ect. Sounds like you get great results with it in your room...
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post #42 of 76 Old 09-07-2011, 07:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by WhskyTangoFoxtrt View Post

deepstang,

Are you able to check the distance/levels of your LCR?

Sorry for my delayed response. My initial setting my Audyssey XT was
LEFT=12.4 ft CENTER=12.5 ft RIGHT=12.7ft.

I spent more timing adjusting the toe and lateral tilt (now pointing down a bit, more toward the listener). I was able to hear the sweet spot and understand the tweeter dispersement more. There is a notable sweet spot, and it is a bit focused (as InterSpyonyourmom24X said). It does sound good off-axis as well, but a bit more smooth vs the sweet spot.

I re-ran Audyssey XT, and the proportions for the distance remained the same. I did notice that I liked the sound even more with the new calibration. The sound was a little more lively and detailed.
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post #43 of 76 Old 09-07-2011, 02:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deepstang View Post

Sorry for my delayed response. My initial setting my Audyssey XT was
LEFT=12.4 ft CENTER=12.5 ft RIGHT=12.7ft.

...

I re-ran Audyssey XT, and the proportions for the distance remained the same. I did notice that I liked the sound even more with the new calibration. The sound was a little more lively and detailed.

It looks like the bookcase doesn't impact much.

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post #44 of 76 Old 10-01-2011, 10:15 AM - Thread Starter
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So, I bought a pair of RC-10s a few weeks ago. Here are my initial impressions that I wrote down a couple of weeks ago:

The RC-10 seems more laid back than I expected. I will let them properly break-in before I make conclusions. I only connected 1 thus far, and still have the HB-1 connected on the other side. The tweeter seems WAAY laid back with the RC-10. I put my ear up to the tweeter to see if it was working. I did hear faint noise coming from it, so I am assuming it works.

Vocals on the HB-1 are more forward than the RC-10 thus far. With the HB-1, the artist seems to be standing on a mic at a distance similar to the speaker. With this fresh single RC-10, the vocals sounded like the artist was singing from a location behind the speaker. Also, the vocals did not sound as confident. I should specify that the demo was a bit flawed because 1) the test was done at the same volume where the HB-1 would naturally play louder (HB-1 is 2 db more sensitive), 2) the HB-1 has a wall directly behind it thus allowing some reinforcement, and 3) the RC-10 is new while the HB-1 is "broken in" (if that is even necessary).
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post #45 of 76 Old 10-01-2011, 10:27 AM - Thread Starter
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It has been a few weeks and I connected both RC-10s (where the HB-1s were residing). I do feel like there is a difference in sound now that the RC-10s have had about 30 hours of material through it.

In MY room I feel like the HB-1 performs better. The RC-10 seems more laid back, and they sound smaller. The bass response with the HB-1 sounds more effortless and a deeper than the RC-10s. I will say that the highs with the RC-10 does sound fuller and more detailed, while the highs on the HB-1 seems thin. Keep in mind that these conclusions are from my room where wall placement is close.







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post #46 of 76 Old 10-01-2011, 10:29 AM
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I know I have said this before but it really sounds like you want some Klipsch speakers. If I were you, I would keep my eyes open on Craigslist, Ebay, and Audiogon for some RB51s or RB61s. There is also Klipsch's own classified forum, I always see some tempting deals in there when I look. Paradigm has a reputation for being forward as well, you should give some of their bookshelfs a listen to.
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post #47 of 76 Old 10-01-2011, 10:32 AM
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The RC series is known for being laid back. The CF series is known for being forward and in your face.
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post #48 of 76 Old 10-01-2011, 11:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Final follow-up:

I had trouble deciphering between the RC-10 and HB-1, so I decided to pack them both up and bring them to a local audio shop yesterday. I fell in love with a pair of PSB Imagine B speakers a few weeks back at this audio shop (Audio Concepts in Dallas). They are $1k/pair speakers. Yesterday I asked if we could do a comparison of my RC-10 and HB-1 versus the Imagine Bs.

The RC-10s were connected first. They were pulled 4 feet away from the back and side walls. We were about 8 feet from the speakers. The Energy's instantly created a wonderful large sound stage. The employee said that he is surprised that a speaker so small plays so large. They sounded full, played low and was very detailed. The imaging was amazing as well. I was so impressed.

Next the HB-1s were connected. I made the mistake of telling him the price of the HB-1s, $150 a piece. He was shocked at the quality of build and the piano finish at that price. The HB-1's took a turn for the worse once the demo started. The HB-1s instantly sounded like they were missing detail. They also did not play nearly as low, had a smaller sound stage and did not sound dynamic. The employee said that vocals sounded a bit "shouty" and "unresolving". I had to agree. In my room I thought the vocals sounded more confident, bass was low and full, and overall the HB-1 seemed to have a larger sound stage. I was surprised the difference a room and positioning can make!

Finally the PSB Imagine B were connected. The same material of Greg Brown ("Further In" album), Diana Kroll and others were played. The Imagine B had a wonderful neutral sound; however, it sounded less detailed than the Energy RC-10s. The RC-10s seemed to image a bit better. I will say that female vocals on the Imagine B had more emotion and character. Overall I would say that the RC-10 was the better speaker. The employee said that the RC-10 would give any speaker a run for their money at it's price point. I told him the RC-10 was $599

I walked into that demo telling the guy I was probably going to return the RC-10s. I realized the treasure I had with the RC-10s upon leaving the shop. I was initially in love with the Imagine B, but now I finally found favor with the RC-10.

Now this morning I started doing some more critical listening in my room with the RC-10s. Again, the sound stage seems a bit small and the bass seems a bit forced and boomy. I realize what a HUGE difference room and placement makes to the sound of speaker. I guess the HB-1 does better with close wall placement while the RC-10s need room to open up. As I said before, I think the HB-1 creates a larger sound-stage in my room with bass that sounds more effortless.

I appreciate the advice with getting the Klipsch. I may get a pair from BB to demo. I actually want to bring home the CB-20 and see how that sounds in my room. It seems to be mix between Energy and Klipsch (as it should be).

EDIT: One other interesting point is that the HB-1s were more efficient in my room; however, the RC-10s were more efficient in the demo room.
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post #49 of 76 Old 10-01-2011, 01:46 PM - Thread Starter
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CONCLUSION:

I spent 4-5 hours today listening to the RC-10s (in MY room) with a variety of music. I finally swapped back in the HB-1s to re-analyze and compare. I must say I was a bit surprised. I left that audio shop doubting my own conclusions in my room. When I swapped the HB-1s I instantly noticed that the treble was much more forward. Cymbals and noises in that higher frequency range sounded crisp, but perhaps almost a bit harsh. I already know that I am not a big fan of very neutral speakers, so there are parts of that forward treble with the HB-1 that I found myself enjoying. I can confidently conclude that in MY room the HB-1 is a more forward speaker.

I initially thought that vocals were the strong point of the HB-1s compared to the RC-10. I now give the nod to the RC-10 in terms of vocal reproduction. I would also say that the RC-10 is a LITTLE more detailed. The highs are full and not colored.

The bass in the HB-1 still sounds large and effortless in my room. I swapped back in the RC-10 again today, and confirmed that the bass sounds boomy and shallow (in comparison to the HB-1). Also confirmed that the sound stage is much smaller with the RC-10 in MY room. With the HB-1 it almost sounds like a small sub is in use.

The RC-10 does sound more natural. It is amazing how the experiences in that show room (described in previous post) is almost opposite of my experiences in my own room. The HB-1 is more sensitive in my room, where the RC-10 required less gain in the show room.

I would still conclude that I would give the HB-1 the good nod for use in my room. If had the option to pull the speakers away from the walls and it was a rectangle sealed room like the show-room at Audio concepts, I would EASILY choose the RC-10s.

Crazy conclusions, but it is what it is. Que sera sera.
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post #50 of 76 Old 10-01-2011, 09:17 PM
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I read your comment in the other comparison thread and failed to comment. However, I found that you gave a much more detailed and descriptive post to this thread. I would be very interested to hear your comparisons on the CB-20s now that you have narrowed down your choices and have had time to compare them all. If you are still willing to give them a try that is.

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post #51 of 76 Old 10-02-2011, 12:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deepstang View Post

CONCLUSION:

I spent 4-5 hours today listening to the RC-10s (in MY room) with a variety of music. I finally swapped back in the HB-1s to re-analyze and compare. I must say I was a bit surprised. I left that audio shop doubting my own conclusions in my room. When I swapped the HB-1s I instantly noticed that the treble was much more forward. Cymbals and noises in that higher frequency range sounded crisp, but perhaps almost a bit harsh. I already know that I am not a big fan of very neutral speakers, so there are parts of that forward treble with the HB-1 that I found myself enjoying. I can confidently conclude that in MY room the HB-1 is a more forward speaker.

I initially thought that vocals were the strong point of the HB-1s compared to the RC-10. I now give the nod to the RC-10 in terms of vocal reproduction. I would also say that the RC-10 is a LITTLE more detailed. The highs are full and not colored.

The bass in the HB-1 still sounds large and effortless in my room. I swapped back in the RC-10 again today, and confirmed that the bass sounds boomy and shallow (in comparison to the HB-1). Also confirmed that the sound stage is much smaller with the RC-10 in MY room. With the HB-1 it almost sounds like a small sub is in use.

The RC-10 does sound more natural. It is amazing how the experiences in that show room (described in previous post) is almost opposite of my experiences in my own room. The HB-1 is more sensitive in my room, where the RC-10 required less gain in the show room.

I would still conclude that I would give the HB-1 the good nod for use in my room. If had the option to pull the speakers away from the walls and it was a rectangle sealed room like the show-room at Audio concepts, I would EASILY choose the RC-10s.

Crazy conclusions, but it is what it is. Que sera sera.


I feel your pain man, I could not decide which ones I like the most either, so I kept both the HSU's and the Energys...and swap them every couple weeks in my bedroom.
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post #52 of 76 Old 10-02-2011, 07:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Saints View Post

I read your comment in the other comparison thread and failed to comment. However, I found that you gave a much more detailed and descriptive post to this thread. I would be very interested to hear your comparisons on the CB-20s now that you have narrowed down your choices and have had time to compare them all. If you are still willing to give them a try that is.

I have not decided if I will buy (borrow) a pair of CB-20s from BB. I won't have the time until next week. I will be honest, I also have the P163 on my radar as well. I have Infinity ES250 surrounds, and I like the sound of their MMD tweeters. I popped in Transformers 3 last night, and it has a ton of material that pans from front to back (and all around) in full range. I could clearly hear the change in tonality from the panning. This is the first movie that made me want to match the sound of my front and rears a little more.

Oh, and....Who Dat!!

NixonRSX, you speak the truth brotha! When I came to my conclusion after this journey, I thought of you. I guess it was nice for me to experience and confirm with my own ears. Like my good friend V-Pain (Interspy24) says, "if you can't tell the difference between 2 sets of speakers, choose the cheaper one". I think that my HB-1s are more attractive vs the RC-10s with the grill on. As I said earlier, even the Audio Concepts employee commented on the piano finish on the HB-1. He said that "the finish alone should be a $300 upgrade, not the cost of the speaker".
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post #53 of 76 Old 10-11-2011, 01:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Looking forward to a comparison, especially of the RC-10 to the CB-20.
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post #55 of 76 Old 10-11-2011, 04:44 PM
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Quote:
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Oh, and....Who Dat!!

4 and 1 baby!

So the cb-20s are shorter than the rc-10s? Hmm I thought they would be about the same size as the cb-10s?

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post #56 of 76 Old 10-11-2011, 09:31 PM - Thread Starter
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I am glad the pictures helped to give a good comparison to the size difference between the Energy speakers. The CB-20 has a more attractive shape, and honestly is the more handsome speaker. The RC-10 has a better finish, higher quality material in the box, veneer, posts, grill attachment, and the driver. To me, the CB-20 looks better in the room. The grill is cheaper and pressed in place (vs the magnet w/ the RC-10); however, the final look is much more attractive, contemporary, masculine and sleek.

A friend and I did a blind demo, where the listener was blind-folded and various speakers were swapped in/out. The person blind-folded would call out thoughts/comments, and the other person would write them down.

Background on us. I typically like a more forward speaker and primarily listen to HT material with my speakers. Interspy24 listens to a lot more music. He is a big fan of AV123 Rockets (owns the bad boy Rockets 850s, which is his main speaker), and enjoys an older pair of Energy bookshelf speakers he owns (two AC-300 center channels).

I was the first one blind-folded. My mistake is that I was trying to guess what speaker I was listening to. That caused me to focus on guessing what speaker I was listening to vs listening without preconceived notions. When I imagined I was listening to a specific speaker, I applied prior known characteristics I had of that speaker. This distracted me from being honest with my ears and thoughts. Interspy24 decided not to guess what speaker was being played. He simply listened and commented. His strategy was much better. I guess that marketing and research major paid off.

My comments on the RC-10: Highs not detailed and not mature, vocals sound a little more forward. This was the 2nd speaker played, and I thought it was the HSU!

My comments with the CB-20: Instantly liked the sound, detailed, forward, confident, vocal sounds good, they seem more efficient (b/c of noticeable increase in sound).

My comments with the HB-1: Balanced, good detail, vocals sound warm, sounds good. This was the first speaker played. I actually guessed that the HB-1 was the RC-10. I totally reversed the RC-10 and the HB1. Lol!

InterSpy24 was than blind-folded and the various speakers were swapped out. I will post his blind data that I recorded.

InterSpy24 and the RC-10: neutral, balanced, smooth, powerful low end, one possible weakness is that they sound a little "easy". He also said this is a speaker he like and would buy. This was the first speaker I played and he made that comment. I actually tried to trick him and put the RC-10 back in the mix as speaker #4 in the demo. I played the CB-20 before this, so a lot of his thoughts are in comparison. He said the RC-10 sounds more balanced, not as bright, cleaner, "it works", volume seems low, bass more clean/accurate, again he said he likes the speaker and would buy it. The RC-10 is the only speaker that he commented he would buy. He said that both times they were played.

Interspy24 and the CB-20: louder, more forward than last (Pioneer A. Jones), he likes it more than the last but not more so than the first speaker (the RC-10), not harsh, bass more accurate than last (Pioneer A. Jones), louder volume.

Interspy24 and the HSU HB1: sounds funny, bass was prominent, highs seem funny, sound is full, powerful, louder than previous (RC-10), bass seems boomy maybe even muddy (not clean), a lot of sound but not balanced.

It was very interesting seeing the results. I guess everyone has different tastes. Interspy24's thoughts on the RC-10 seemed spot on to many AVS members. I had different conclusions, and obviously different preferences with the sound I like, just like we all do. I prefer a brighter more forward speaker, vs a straight neutral speaker.

It is amazing how many variables come into play when we look at a speaker and listen. We may think about the cost, the look, the size, the material, and even think about what EVERYONE else has said about the speaker. I didn't recognize how much pre-conceived bias I had with speakers. Being blind-folded flipped the script.

We both agreed that the CB-20 would be the better speaker for HT. Interspy24 would easily choose the RC-10 as the one he would buy. I would probably buy the CB-20 for my taste and listening material (90% ht, 10% music). I felt a little odd that my opinions were different than many AVS members; however, I am OK with that and glad that I can be honest with myself.
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post #57 of 76 Old 10-11-2011, 09:45 PM
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I'd be interested to see if/how your opinions changed if the speakers were level matched for each comparison. Then the less efficient speakers would be on a more even playing field with the others...

Still, kudos for doing the listening blind...
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post #58 of 76 Old 10-11-2011, 09:51 PM - Thread Starter
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I'd be interested to see if/how your opinions changed if the speakers were level matched for each comparison. Then the less efficient speakers would be on a more even playing field with the others...

Still, kudos for doing the listening blind...

Haha. I thought about you, alphaii, during the demo. When Interspy24 was blind-folded, I used the SPL meter and tried to keep the volume around 75dbs. I guess the best way is to first use white noise, spl match, than play the material. You must have a masters in research and marketing like Interspy24 .

Interspy24 tricked me with speaker #3 and #4. They BOTH were the same speaker (Pioneer by A. Jones). For demo #4 he increased the volume dial by 2.5 points (on the Denon dial). My opinions totally changed and I thought they were different speakers.

Deepstang on speaker #3: less detailed, small sound-stage, vocals not as full (previous demo was the RC-10).

Deepstang on speaker #4: vocals neutral, balanced, very neutral, not open sound stage. I guessed that these may be the RC-10s. LOL!!!!! $100 speakers cranked up vs $600 award winning Energy's!
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post #59 of 76 Old 10-11-2011, 10:15 PM
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Quote:
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I'd be interested to see if/how your opinions changed if the speakers were level matched for each comparison. Then the less efficient speakers would be on a more even playing field with the others...

Still, kudos for doing the listening blind...

And you have to wonder what happens in HT when the speakers are EQ'd by Audessey, as many listeners will do.

But yeah. I love hearing this kind of comparison. I've been toying with the idea of getting a pair of CB-20s based on experience with the CB-10s, and now I'm more firmly convinced that they would be a good choice next time Vanns put them on sale.

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post #60 of 76 Old 10-12-2011, 06:15 AM - Thread Starter
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And you have to wonder what happens in HT when the speakers are EQ'd by Audessey, as many listeners will do.

But yeah. I love hearing this kind of comparison. I've been toying with the idea of getting a pair of CB-20s based on experience with the CB-10s, and now I'm more firmly convinced that they would be a good choice next time Vanns put them on sale.

I forgot to mention that we listened ONLY in pure direct mode, thus NO Audyssey, subs or any other type of calibration was applied.
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