HSU HB1 Mk2 vs Energy RC-10 ??? - Page 3 - AVS Forum
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post #61 of 76 Old 10-12-2011, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by deepstang View Post

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

So basically your "test" was just like taking 10 different TV's straight out of the box, leaving them all at default factory settings and then making random conclusions based on personal preference? .... Alrighty then.

OTOH, I guess that's in keeping with decades of "tradition" in the audio world.
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post #62 of 76 Old 10-12-2011, 12:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTVChallenged View Post

So basically your "test" was just like taking 10 different TV's straight out of the box, leaving them all at default factory settings and then making random conclusions based on personal preference? .... Alrighty then.

OTOH, I guess that's in keeping with decades of "tradition" in the audio world.

You must like to instigate people and get a reaction with posts like that
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post #63 of 76 Old 10-12-2011, 12:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTVChallenged View Post

So basically your "test" was just like taking 10 different TV's straight out of the box, leaving them all at default factory settings and then making random conclusions based on personal preference? .... Alrighty then.

OTOH, I guess that's in keeping with decades of "tradition" in the audio world.

What?? That analogy has no relevance here. You definitely live up to your name.

Direct mode with most (if not all) receivers removes any processing or calibration. Taking a TV out the box and evaluating them would use the exaggerated extreme colors and brightness from the factory. Fail.

Here is the HDTV forum:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forumdisplay.php?f=166
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post #64 of 76 Old 10-12-2011, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by HDTVChallenged View Post

So basically your "test" was just like taking 10 different TV's straight out of the box, leaving them all at default factory settings and then making random conclusions based on personal preference? .... Alrighty then.

OTOH, I guess that's in keeping with decades of "tradition" in the audio world.

Last time I checked, speakers only have the 'factory setting'.
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post #65 of 76 Old 10-12-2011, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by deepstang View Post

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.

that is wonderful and yet another example of how difficult it is to control all the variables involved in doing a good A/B comparo, hopefully this will be educational to those reading along!

that type of "trickery" (using the same speaker 2x in a row but at different volume, repeating a speaker later on in the test) is quite important. What would have been even more interesting (and obv more time consuming) would have been to keep going with more than 4 trials, in random order, so the same speaker appears more than once. See how persistent your impressions are...

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post #66 of 76 Old 10-12-2011, 08:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTVChallenged View Post


So basically your "test" was just like taking 10 different TV's straight out of the box, leaving them all at default factory settings and then making random conclusions based on personal preference? .... Alrighty then.

OTOH, I guess that's in keeping with decades of "tradition" in the audio world.

What a poor ass comparison. Do you even know what your talking about? Go find out what pure direct mode is and then read up on what the auto correctness software does.

Next time troll harder.
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post #67 of 76 Old 10-13-2011, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by deepstang View Post

What?? That analogy has no relevance here. You definitely live up to your name

I'm merely pointing out that your even your "blind test," has no real objective basis and ultimately is still 100% based on personal preference. You made no attempts to adjust for room/speaker/amplification interaction and thus you have no idea if you're "measuring" differences between the speakers or some combination of speakers, room and amplification.

I don't know why the audio "community" is still so resistant to applying some kind of calibration before attempting to judge the merits of individual components. The sound you ultimately hear is a result of the entire audio chain + environment, not one individual component.

You wouldn't take this approach with your video evaluations, why do you still take it with audio, especially with all the available modern tools?

PS: The first post was more of (actually was) a joke, this one is serious ... especially the above question.
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post #68 of 76 Old 10-13-2011, 10:53 AM
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ultimately is still 100% based on personal preference

in case you didn't notice, that is what they were testing. This was in no way an "objective" comparison, there was no claim of such and it was clear from the description that it wasn't even the intent. They were just trying to gauge how their personal preference changed when sight was taken out of the equation, to see what would happen when you stripped away certain biases. Obviously they were still hearing the room in addition to the speaker, that is patently obvious and was acknowledged already in this very thread with the discussion of how different his impressions were when he listened in the dealer's showroom instead of his living room.

viewing uncalibrated video displays, as was pointed out by several folks already, is in no way analogous to playing an un-EQ'd speaker. It's simply a terrible analogy, since "out of the box" displays are intentionally screwed up to make them appealing to the masses.

what "calibration", beyond ensuring level matching and equal physical positioning, would be practical for an amateur "shoot out" blind test among multiple sets of speakers for the home enthusiast? You can't run an auto EQ program like Audyssey for each pair of speakers with each switch, it would take far too long. Auditory memory is too transient.

I don't think these posters were claiming that they had done any "objective" testing nor were they attempting to do a rigorous, controlled study. It seems you would rather foist your own expectations onto their "experiment", try and make it into something it's not, and stir up problems in the thread. Do you have any actual, practical suggestions, or are do you just get off on lording over people?

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post #69 of 76 Old 10-13-2011, 12:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTVChallenged View Post

The sound you ultimately hear is a result of the entire audio chain + environment, not one individual component.

But the variable being changed is one individual component: the speaker. Everything else, including levels, were kept constant. So audible differences can't be pinned on the entire audio chain + environment, because they didn't change. That means any differences the listeners heard could only be attributed to one individual component: the speaker.

The point of an informal listening comparison like this isn't to evaluate the absolute fidelity of each speaker but instead to hear relative differences between speakers. Let me underscore that: they weren't doing an 'evaluation' of one particular speaker, where you listen for how that speaker interacts with the entire audio chain + environment, they were doing a 'comparison' of several speakers, where you listen specifically for differences relative to one another.

Sanjay
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post #70 of 76 Old 10-13-2011, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

But the variable being changed is one individual component: the speaker. Everything else, including levels, were kept constant. So audible differences can't be pinned on the entire audio chain + environment, because they didn't change. That means any differences the listeners heard could only be attributed to one individual component: the speaker.

Well, but the environment could privilege one speaker over another, such as distance from the wall, something deepstang already indicated was factor in previous listening with the RC-10 and the HB1.

That being said, batpig is right. It would very unpragmatic do any calibrated testing. And it's too bad that Audessey MultiEQ isn't designed to easily save multiple test configurations.

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post #71 of 76 Old 10-17-2011, 08:17 PM
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Sorry for not chiming in sooner, lots of travel for work has kept me quite busy this past week…

Props to deepstang for getting these speakers and listening to them. I pushed and egged him on to try and decide what he likes the best – and imo that’s one of the big takeaways from the listening we did. Listening and comparing really lets YOU decide what you like. I strongly preferred the rc10s, and he really liked the cb20s. The rc10 is technically the “better” or “higher-end” speaker but that doesn’t mean you will like the sound. There really isn’t a right or wrong, it’s a preference and a learning experience – that’s almost the most fun part of the journey for me.

History:
Quick background of what I like in speakers: I started out with av321 speakers and while they get a lot of negative publicity, I strongly believe the x-series offered tremendous value in budget speakers. I really enjoyed my x-series classics, then planned to upgrade to the x-statiks but didn’t have room for them. I ended up with the x-cs encores as mains and then stepped up to the rocket line. The 750s were great, but a bit too laid back. After a lot of auditioning and searching I ended up with the 850 sigs and absolutely love them. I would have liked the paradigm studios but I couldn’t argue with the price of the rockets and their reviews were very good to say the least.

Aesthetics:
The pictures really tell a story in terms of the size between the speakers. The hsu is definitely the largest speaker. The rc10 is a more narrow but deeper than the cb20. I like the gloss finish on the front of the cb20. The hsu’s gloss finish is great as well, but fingerprints and reflections may be an issue depending on placement. I do agree with deepstang that the cb20 is the better looking speaker. From a distance the finish of both the energy speakers look similar with the grills on – I think the black oak or whatever they call it looks pretty good for the most part (the rosenut finish is hard to find, but it looks good as well). I noticed the size of the speakers more from the listening positioning than the finish. Up close you can tell the differences, minor in the grand scheme of things but noticeable.

Listening Settings:
As deepstang mentioned we listened in stereo mode. I’m big on testing without using mcacc or audyssey, and that’s what we did. It’s also quicker in that you don’t need to run settings then try to remember what was what. I’d say we were maybe 8-10 feet from the speakers. Remember audyssey is room correction, not speaker correction. I do agree that running everything in an ideal comparison would be different, but we were relatively consistent in our approach. Speakers were slightly toed in, about ear level height when sitting down at the listening position. We used a couple Dave Matthews songs we were both very familiar with. If we had more time, we could have done the test in different orders with more music, but this gave a good idea of what the differences were and which we preferred.

First Impressions:
When we first listened (before the blind testing) we heard the hsu speakers. Imo they sounded good - they played deep and the highs seemed to kind of reach out. They seemed laid back, but definitely not as laid back as I remembered them earlier this year. We then switched to the rc10s. For me I noticed a difference immediately. I mentioned this to deepstang, and he was quite shocked as he noticed the difference as well. I don’t know why it wasn’t as noticeable before, but to me the rc10s just outclassed the hsu’s for music. They didn’t play as “big” per se but they sounded cleaner for sure. I used the word balanced a few times but they sounded great – smooth but still had good top end. The energy’s I have at home and the rc50s I heard sound very similar. I mentioned earlier in the thread I’m a fan of the energy’s – so keep that in mind.

HSU’s and Energy RC10s:
One thing I noticed between switching to the energy’s was they didn’t seem as loud; the volume seemed a bit lower. I believe the hsu’s are rated at half space, but they were still probably a bit more efficient. The bass from the hsu’s are more prominent, but it wasn’t as clean imo. I don’t want to use the term muddy, but boomy is probably more appropriate. In switching speakers, I commented that I would buy the rc10 twice. I was biased in that I knew all the speakers were say, under $400, but that’s the one I would buy.

Energy CB20:
The cb20 was definitely more efficient than the others. It seemed to play great at lower volumes – this is something that’s nice depending on listening preferences. I’m in an apartment, so I can’t really turn things up super loud. The cb20 was similar to the ascend 170s in that they sounded good at lower volumes. The rocket 750s and elt’s really needed some volume to shine (rockets loved power and the elt’s were like 84db efficiency). It was also the most forward of all the speakers. I didn’t think it was too bright or shrill, but at high volumes this might be a challenge.

Conclusion:
I hope this helps those who were considering these speakers and/or just wanted to read about the experiences others had. While the pioneer speakers were a bit behind the others, they offer pretty good value for $100. I do think the primus p163s are a decent jump in performance and price at about $160. For new speakers, it’s hard to argue with the value of the primus line at that price range. The CB20s had a more forward sound and seemed more efficient than both the hsu’s and the rc10s. For movies I think I would prefer these, but I never cranked them to high levels. I preferred the rc10s and think it’s a great speaker for its sale price. It’s widely known as the performance leader at the sale price, and now I know why. The hsu’s are nice too, but I think either of the Energy speakers offer a sound I prefer. They do play loud and won’t be fatiguing, which is nice for those looking for an easy to listen to sound. Hope this helps!

Btw clock radio fidelity is better than I expected! That or I must have a bad clock radio
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post #72 of 76 Old 10-19-2011, 06:13 PM
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Based on this review it would be interesting to try the Polk Monitor 30's into the mix
http://www.audioholics.com/reviews/s...arch-hb-1.html
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post #73 of 76 Old 10-19-2011, 11:12 PM
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Originally Posted by crazyrob425 View Post

Based on this review it would be interesting to try the Polk Monitor 30's into the mix
http://www.audioholics.com/reviews/s...arch-hb-1.html

That review is from '07 and is the original HB-1's , not the newer HB-1 Mk2's that they are talking about here....
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post #74 of 76 Old 10-19-2011, 11:25 PM
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That review is from '07 and is the original HB-1's , not the newer HB-1 Mk2's that they are talking about here....

I know that but on HSU's websites they reference other professional reviews from the same timeline..... I just think it would be an interesting comparison to add
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post #75 of 76 Old 10-20-2011, 12:50 AM
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Originally Posted by crazyrob425 View Post

I know that but on HSU's websites they reference other professional reviews from the same timeline..... I just think it would be an interesting comparison to add

Oh I see what you did there
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post #76 of 76 Old 10-20-2011, 06:16 AM
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That review is from '07 and is the original HB-1's , not the newer HB-1 Mk2's that they are talking about here....

I agree with crazyrob425. This is why it would be interesting to see what happens if the Polks were compared with the HB-1 MK2s.

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