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post #121 of 134 Old 05-21-2009, 05:45 PM
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How do these perform in a 2.1 setup? I am talking strictly music (no X-Men or LotR). Is the sound bright or harsh with that horn tweeter? I have never heard a horn tweeter speaker. I am considering getting a pair of these to match up with a HSU sub. Right now I have a pair of B&W M1s which surprisingly sound great (used to be my surrounds) with a sub but I would like to upgrade the speakers. I mainly care about music in this setup so are these speakers good here or are they really meant for HT usage?
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post #122 of 134 Old 05-30-2009, 03:56 PM
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I think these sound uncompressed and clear without adding color to the sound even at high volume with music (100 dbs with ep2500 amp--500 watts or so to each speaker). I did not find it harsh. YMMV.
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post #123 of 134 Old 06-07-2009, 02:13 PM
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I am looking at getting a new 5.0 setup with a budget of around $1,000.

I am leaning toward an HSU HB-1/HC-1 package or the Ascend CMT-340 SE for fronts and center channels and the 170 SEs for the rears. I also like what I'm reading about the Emotiva Erm-1/Erm-6.2 speakers. However, as I am planning to make do with a modest Denon AVR without any outboard amplification, I am a bit wary of trying to drive 5 4-ohm speakers without it being hard on the amp section of the receiver...

So, back and forth I go between the Ascends and the HSUs. The only professional reviewer I could find that has reviewed both packages is Jeff Van Dyne for Home Theater Sound. I shot him a quick email and, to my pleasant surprise, he promptly got back to me with a brief comparison. Unfortunately he did not audition both packages in the same listening room - and auditions were a few months apart.

Here is an excerpt from his reply:

"...let me say that both are excellent speakers but are very different. I would characterize the Ascend as the more accurate and detailed of the two. They’re probably closer to my Paradigm Studios in their presentation than the Hsu speakers are. I also suspect the Ascends are more forgiving of room variations and speaker placement. However, I have to warn that this is based on my experiences with each speaker in two very different rooms and a little knowledge of the design philosophies behind the Ascend. I would say the Ascend is probably the more revealing of the two. The flip side of this is that the Hsu had a warmer, richer sound and a huge soundstage. It’s a livelier speaker and is more forgiving of bad recordings. I don’t normally subscribe to the philosophy of different speakers for rock, jazz or classical music, but I will say that I particularly enjoyed listening to classic rock (much of which isn’t particularly well recorded) through the Hsu speakers."
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post #124 of 134 Old 06-07-2009, 04:17 PM
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Hi Cynan, you gave me some very helpful advice regarding speakers in the past, so I'll try to give you some helpful info regarding this, although I have not heard the Ascend speakers. I can tell you the difference between the HB-1s and my other speakers.
I have HB-1s in the same room with some Infinity Primus p362s and some Alesis studio reference monitors.
The HB-1s are not nearly as detailed as the reference monitors, but then again reference monitors are made specifically for detail- they don't miss anything.
I am hesitant to say they aren't as detailed as the Primuses, in my listening I don't hear anything in the Infinitys that goes missing in the HB-1s, although I hear a different emphasis on certain sounds. Doing a comparison with a copy of the Pioneer special edition of the Amadeus soundtrack, I found that the woodwinds came through much clearer in the Primuses, but I also found the qualities of the brass instruments to be much more lifelike in the HB-1s. This seriously could all be in my imagination though, I wasn't doing a blind test. On either speaker though, Amadeus was a joy to listen to.
Another thing is, with the Primuses you could move around the room more and the sound stays the same. The Hb-1s have a narrower field or cone of sound or whatever it is called where if you strayed too far from where the speakers are directed, it stops sounding "right". What is this effect called?

One thing about these HB-1s, which I guess some people dislike, is how much force they give to loud, plosive sounds, such as percussion. I know it is not to everyone's liking, but this is why I love these speakers- with the right material they come ALIVE! I listen to drum and bass music and other kinds of music that uses a lot of percussion, and these have to be the very best bookshelf speakers for that sort of material. For this reason I think they would also make good speakers for movies, although I mostly use them for music.

I could go on, but I will just sum it up: if you like a detailed, nuanced, flat, even sound, there are better speakers. But if you like wild, little beasts that can rock out without losing clarity, these should be high on your list of consideration.

On another subject, some of what I said brings to mind something else to consider: why not use reference monitors for home audio? I have the feeling some around here don't think Monitors would make for good recreational listening, but I used them precisely for that for years, and I really enjoyed them. I'm not as knowledgeable about speakers as most around here, but I think that, for a lot of people around here, they should take a stroll down to the pro-audio dept at Guitar Center instead of Barret's or Magnolia. I think they would find some very pleasant surprises there.
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post #125 of 134 Old 06-07-2009, 04:24 PM
 
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If you haven't seen any reviews,I found a review that audioholics did on awhile back. i haven't read it yet either.http://www.audioholics.com/reviews/s...earchterm=HB-1 All though hsu not to far from here i may just go take a visit and listen to them ehehe
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post #126 of 134 Old 06-07-2009, 04:27 PM
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Quote:


I don’t normally subscribe to the philosophy of different speakers for rock, jazz or classical music, but I will say that I particularly enjoyed listening to classic rock (much of which isn’t particularly well recorded) through the Hsu speakers."

I actually consider classic rock to be mostly very well recorded, at least in terms of dynamic range. I do think that other speakers are probably better in other areas, but these HSUs do really well with dynamics imo. Dynamics are my favorite part of home theater, and thus I really like these speakers. And I severely doubt there is any better performing speaker in ANY area at the price level , though I have not auditioned many or done extensive listening.
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post #127 of 134 Old 06-07-2009, 04:27 PM
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Quote:

the review is of the older mk1 version...the new versions are reportedly much better. I have only listened to the new versions.
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post #128 of 134 Old 06-07-2009, 07:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

The Hb-1s have a narrower field or cone of sound or whatever it is called where if you strayed too far from where the speakers are directed, it stops sounding "right". What is this effect called?

Off-axis response.

Hearing is believing vs Believing is hearing.
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post #129 of 134 Old 06-07-2009, 07:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sound dropouts View Post

I actually consider classic rock to be mostly very well recorded, at least in terms of dynamic range.

Much classic rock I listen to is fairly compressed. And not that much of it is what I call "very well recorded", imo, although there are some exceptions.

Hearing is believing vs Believing is hearing.
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post #130 of 134 Old 06-08-2009, 02:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

Hi Cynan, you gave me some very helpful advice regarding speakers in the past, so I'll try to give you some helpful info regarding this, although I have not heard the Ascend speakers. I can tell you the difference between the HB-1s and my other speakers.
I have HB-1s in the same room with some Infinity Primus p362s and some Alesis studio reference monitors.
The HB-1s are not nearly as detailed as the reference monitors, but then again reference monitors are made specifically for detail- they don't miss anything.
I am hesitant to say they aren't as detailed as the Primuses, in my listening I don't hear anything in the Infinitys that goes missing in the HB-1s, although I hear a different emphasis on certain sounds. Doing a comparison with a copy of the Pioneer special edition of the Amadeus soundtrack, I found that the woodwinds came through much clearer in the Primuses, but I also found the qualities of the brass instruments to be much more lifelike in the HB-1s. This seriously could all be in my imagination though, I wasn't doing a blind test. On either speaker though, Amadeus was a joy to listen to.
Another thing is, with the Primuses you could move around the room more and the sound stays the same. The Hb-1s have a narrower field or cone of sound or whatever it is called where if you strayed too far from where the speakers are directed, it stops sounding "right". What is this effect called?

One thing about these HB-1s, which I guess some people dislike, is how much force they give to loud, plosive sounds, such as percussion. I know it is not to everyone's liking, but this is why I love these speakers- with the right material they come ALIVE! I listen to drum and bass music and other kinds of music that uses a lot of percussion, and these have to be the very best bookshelf speakers for that sort of material. For this reason I think they would also make good speakers for movies, although I mostly use them for music.

I could go on, but I will just sum it up: if you like a detailed, nuanced, flat, even sound, there are better speakers. But if you like wild, little beasts that can rock out without losing clarity, these should be high on your list of consideration.

On another subject, some of what I said brings to mind something else to consider: why not use reference monitors for home audio? I have the feeling some around here don't think Monitors would make for good recreational listening, but I used them precisely for that for years, and I really enjoyed them. I'm not as knowledgeable about speakers as most around here, but I think that, for a lot of people around here, they should take a stroll down to the pro-audio dept at Guitar Center instead of Barret's or Magnolia. I think they would find some very pleasant surprises there.

Are you referring to your Infinity's when you use the term "reference montiors"??
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post #131 of 134 Old 06-08-2009, 02:46 PM
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No, I mean pro-audio speakers that you will see in recording studios rather than home audio consumer type stuff. This sort of stuff. The Infinities are a long way from studio monitors in design philosophy and sound reproduction.
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post #132 of 134 Old 08-26-2011, 11:17 PM
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Sorry to bump an old thread but I'm interested in these little gems, possibly to use as mains & possible center - anyone have any experiences with these since this thread?

Nothing but rave reviews, but I have yet to see anyone incorporate them into their speaker lineup.
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post #133 of 134 Old 10-09-2011, 09:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dunan View Post

Sorry to bump an old thread but I'm interested in these little gems, possibly to use as mains & possible center - anyone have any experiences with these since this thread?

Nothing but rave reviews, but I have yet to see anyone incorporate them into their speaker lineup.

Based purely on the reviews and my desire for the ULS-15, I bought a Hsu Research Ultra 1 package, but dropped from 7.1 to 5.1 and got three HC-1 centre speakers for the front instead of the HB-1s.

I'm using a NAD T747 (a fantastic-sounding disaster of a device) to power the setup and a Squeezebox Touch running FLAC.

Sound is flawless. Never bright or harsh, but the treble is incredibly extended and crisp when required, and the weight of the bass from the ULS-15 is enjoyably scary. The system has that high-end-audio sound that always jumps out of the more expensive demo room in the hi-fi store. Imaging is pinpoint.

I wanted a music-oriented system that was home-theatre capable, and I wanted deep, clean bass, and the Ultra package has absolutely satisfied me.

I would recommend you consider the three-centre-front approach, as it's really not expensive and it's a massive increase in sheer amount of speaker if you're a fan of stereo listening (I am). I can say I've compared the HC-1 to the HB-1, but I can't imagine that the smaller speaker would sound better. There is vertical lobing because of the horn being between two woofers, but it's not really any more of an issue than moving off axis should be. A little dip in treble is all that happens if you're off axis. Hsu will rotate the horns to a vertical position for you if you request it.



That's my setup, to give you an idea of the three centres.
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post #134 of 134 Old 10-11-2011, 12:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dunan View Post

Sorry to bump an old thread but I'm interested in these little gems, possibly to use as mains & possible center - anyone have any experiences with these since this thread?

Nothing but rave reviews, but I have yet to see anyone incorporate them into their speaker lineup.

WHAT!!!

Have you searched the speaker threads? I have often clogged up the threads with my posts on the HB-1 mk2s.

I know you posted this a couple of months ago, but here are some helpful links (with owners such as myself, ShadyJ and Sanjay commenting):

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1355638

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1344541
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