HTD Level 2 vs Level 3? - AVS Forum

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blakex's Avatar blakex
07:48 AM Liked: 10
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12-06-2006 | Posts: 71
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My room is about 15x30 for movie screening, but it is also a bedroom, so I am relegated to a 15x15 area at one end. I am considering the HTD speakers for my home theater and wondered if the benefits the Level 3's offer over the Level 2's would be lost in my small-ish area.

HTD states, "Ideal for both music and movies, Level TWO is the best choice for most listeners and most rooms, including smaller dedicated theaters."

However, is the extra $500 to go from Level 2 to Level 3 worth it in the long run? This is my first foray into speakers not from a HTIB, so I'm not the most adept at knowing what to look for. I'd like speakers that will last me a while (hence my thoughts about Level 3).

Just looking for some thoughts, opinions between the two systems.

Thanks in advance,
=Blake=
Bailey151's Avatar Bailey151
08:41 AM Liked: 69
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Only you can answer the question of worth. Is the $500 in the budget or would the level 2 be close to the budget? Is adding piecemeal an option?

The level 3's will dig a bit deeper & perform a bit better. They have a 6.5" driver compared to the level 2's 5.25". Also the level 3s have a ribbon tweeter - argued by quite a few to perform better than the traditional domed variety - though that's really a personal choice.

Overall I'd guess (no hands on experience) the 3s are better but you need to ask yourself the questions I mentioned.

I own the level 2s but if space wasn't an issue I'd have likely gone with the 3s. I'm in no way disappointed with the 2s, they are very good for the price. They're better than speakers costing a whole lot more I've listened to at the store.

Given the life expectancy of speakers $500 really isn't all that much.

Maybe you could order them both & then return the ones you didn't like? HTD pays return shipping for the 1st order. I auditioned middies before the 2s.
Luis Gabriel Gerena's Avatar Luis Gabriel Gerena
08:51 AM Liked: 12
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As Bailey said, thats a question only you can really answer but in my case, my rooms is even smaller at 15'x11.5'x7.80' and I own the HTD Level 3 towers and 3 of the Level 3 Centers. Up to know I was considering returning 2 of the Level 3 centers that I was using as main before I bought the Towers because they are too big to use as rears in my ultra small room. Then, I realized that I wont be living here forever so when I finally move to a bigger place I would have loved to have those big rear speakers (not that the bookshelves are bad or anything). So in my case, I went with the Level 3 all the way even though my room is so small.
As Bailey said $500 is not a lot and when you consider that we change electronics so often but speakers could last for years and years so it makes sense to invest as much as we could afford on speakers.
Regards
blakex's Avatar blakex
09:07 AM Liked: 10
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Thanks, those were pretty much my thoughts. I can spare the $500 if the difference between the two is noticeable.
Slirp's Avatar Slirp
12:50 PM Liked: 10
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Pick what's right for you. The 3's are great I'm sure, but everything you read out there says the 2's are no slouch. I'm about to order a set of the 2's for my HT. In the end it wasn't that the 3's were too much, or that they were an extra $500 over the level 2's, it was that they fit what I'm looking for. They're rated really well, and they fit what I want to pay for what's going to be mainly a 90% HT setup.

I'm no audiophile, I do enjoy good quality though.

Edit:
Oh and I can take the extra $500 and buy me a HD-DVD player for my Sammy
ninefivezero's Avatar ninefivezero
01:06 PM Liked: 10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bailey151 View Post

I auditioned middies before the 2s.

Could you give some impressions of the middies? How was their build and sound quality? Did they not preform as expected, or did you simply realize you needed more for your space?
blakex's Avatar blakex
02:00 PM Liked: 10
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Here's Chris' response from HTD:

Thanks for the response! The big difference between the Level Two and Level Three speakers is primarily the size. The tone is very similar but the Level Three speakers do have a more open "airy" feel to the upper frequency range because of the Kapton ribbon tweeter. The Level Three speakers also play down lower becuase of the larger drivers and larger cabinets, but the Level Two speakers will absolutely fill your size room. To give you an idea, our showroom is about 20' x 30' with 11' ceilings and the Level Two system will fill our showroom with no problems at all. Let me know if you have any other questions.
blakex's Avatar blakex
02:15 PM Liked: 10
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My last question for the day...the only place that space is limited is in the rear. I see the Level TWOs are smaller than the THREEs. Would putting two Level TWO bookshelves back there with Level THREEs up front be a problem?
Slirp's Avatar Slirp
03:04 PM Liked: 10
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Since they're based of the same drivers you might get away with it. Only difference is you'll have a different type of tweeter in the back.
Luis Gabriel Gerena's Avatar Luis Gabriel Gerena
03:12 PM Liked: 12
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Its always nice to have the same lineup all around but sometimes is not possible so dont sweat about it. Its not as having different centers and mains, you can still tell the difference but I wouldnt worry about it. In fact at some point I considered getting the midies for surrounds since everytime I need to open the door I have to remove one of the rear speakers...annoying! :-)
One of the times I will be pissed off at not having the same rears will be when listening to Pink Floyd's Dark side of the moon.
Regards
mcpheeny's Avatar mcpheeny
04:42 PM Liked: 10
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You know, I am having the same debate, although my place is a 1000 sq. ft loft where all the rooms open into each other. I'm not an audiophile by any means, but I would like good sound. Also, I live in between two other units, so I probably won't be able to crank up the sound as much as I'd like. I'm just looking for good quality sound at moderate levels. I am thinking about using the Level 2's or 3's for the L/C/R, and getting some cheaper satellites, if it makes a difference.

Anyone else have any ideas?
jacbri's Avatar jacbri
07:31 PM Liked: 11
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Make sure to pick up some stands or wall mounting brackets from HTD (I purchased the stands) the prices seem pretty good, and Brian from HTD stated they were some of the nicest he has seen.
jacbri's Avatar jacbri
07:36 PM Liked: 11
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on the HTD site they also show a pic of the level two and three bookshelves on the stands to give a comparison.
blakex's Avatar blakex
07:39 PM Liked: 10
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Yeah, I'll have to get the wall mounting brackets for the rear speakers. Already found the studs and they should work, but be quite large for rear satellites
nicnic's Avatar nicnic
08:39 PM Liked: 10
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Quote:


Originally Posted by mcpheeny

You know, I am having the same debate, although my place is a 1000 sq. ft loft where all the rooms open into each other. I'm not an audiophile by any means, but I would like good sound. Also, I live in between two other units, so I probably won't be able to crank up the sound as much as I'd like. I'm just looking for good quality sound at moderate levels. I am thinking about using the Level 2's or 3's for the L/C/R, and getting some cheaper satellites, if it makes a difference.

Anyone else have any ideas?

I got my Level 3 towers and center about a month ago and I'm very happy with them. They do seem a bit power hungry, but a separate stereo amp driving the towers helps. I have Level 1's for the side and rear surrounds and they seem to go pretty well with the Level 3's.
Luis Gabriel Gerena's Avatar Luis Gabriel Gerena
08:48 PM Liked: 12
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Cool another Level 3 tower owner! What receiver are you using? They do great with my HK but the HK is a powerful receiver. I need to try it with an old piooner receiver I have to check how they do with a less powerful receiver.
Feel free to post your impression on my HTD/ONIX/Premier acoustic review thread.
blakex's Avatar blakex
09:02 PM Liked: 10
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When you say powerful, what do you mean? The wattage output of the receiver?

Mine's only 100x7 - couldn't justify the extra $300 for 110x7 - especially in my smaller room.
nicnic's Avatar nicnic
09:51 PM Liked: 10
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Quote:


Originally Posted by Luis Gabriel Gerena

Cool another Level 3 tower owner! What receiver are you using? They do great with my HK but the HK is a powerful receiver. I need to try it with an old pioneer receiver I have to check how they do with a less powerful receiver.
Feel free to post your impression on my HTD/ONIX/Premier acoustic review thread.

My receiver is the VSX-1015. Pioneer says it does 120x7 RMS from 20-20k w/ 0.2% THD, but the back of the receiver says 480W, so that's a maximum of 68Wx7 or 96x5 (not including the processing and other things that take up some power). The stereo amp is actually an older Kenwood receiver but it has better power: 130x2 RMS from 20-20k w/ < 0.008% THD (and says 500W on the back).

Ya, I've been following your review thread. Thanks for taking the time to do all that. Since I didn't really audition anything else, your reviews definitely make me glad I got the Level 3's.

blatex-

Yes, powerful is referring to the wattage output of the receiver. I don't think $300 would be worth it either, unless the 100x7 was an inflated rating and the 110x7 wasn't.
blakex's Avatar blakex
10:08 PM Liked: 10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nicnic View Post

Ya, I've been following your review thread. Thanks for taking the time to do all that. Since I didn't really audition anything else, your reviews definitely make me glad I got the Level 3's.

Yes, many thanks Luis for the in-depth review. I had considered Athena, but heard mixed reviews regarding the center speaker and I just have a better feeling about getting the HTD direct with such great support from Chris and the great people here answering questions and such backing them up.
Slirp's Avatar Slirp
10:20 PM Liked: 10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blakex View Post

Yes, many thanks Luis for the in-depth review. I had considered Athena, but heard mixed reviews regarding the center speaker and I just have a better feeling about getting the HTD direct with such great support from Chris and the great people here answering questions and such backing them up.

Agreed, Chris and Mike have both been very easy to deal with. It sounds like you're inching closer to buying those level 3's? If you do pick them up I'll be very interested to hear what you have to say about them. I just ordered my level 2 setup today.
Luis Gabriel Gerena's Avatar Luis Gabriel Gerena
10:49 PM Liked: 12
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I would like to hear from you and the Level 2 as well as I have never heard them before. There so many great speakers out there that I am finally understanding why people have more than one brand. I used to think they were crazy but no I understand. :-)
Bailey151's Avatar Bailey151
08:16 AM Liked: 69
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12-07-2006 | Posts: 1,955
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Quote:


Could you give some impressions of the middies? How was their build and sound quality? Did they not preform as expected, or did you simply realize you needed more for your space?

They were excellent - for their size. Really it's simply a matter of physics, there's just no way the middies can deliver the same range & stage as the larger L2s (or L3s). Sometimes, especially with speakers, size does matter. They just couldn't fill the space adequately (about 12x12'). They did sound VERY good, especially for the price & their size. If I had the room I would have kept them as surrounds (I went with Orbs for the WAF issue). The level2s just simply fill the room better & they give a fuller sound, given the size that's to be expected.

Quote:


I would like to hear from you and the Level 2 as well as I have never heard them before.

Well I don't have your background.....but....I can give it a "shot" My previous setup was a pair of BA CR9's - I've used them for several years & like them quite a bit. They present a very detailed sound with a nice sound stage. Nothing about them is great, they're just a solid pair of speakers.

L2s - when I first got them I thought they were "dull" in comparison. Not a knock, but the CR9s are much brighter. Since I've been using them I've come to like the warmer tones of the L2s. They present a good sound stage & while the tweeter isn't quite as bright it does a great job. The L2s are used exclusively for HT duty (& the CR9s as 2ch music) in this role they are excellent - they can fill a decent sized room with sound no problem. I use them with a less than opitmum 65w/ch @6ohm reciever (Onkyo TX-LR552) = no problem driving them to levels beyond my ability to tolerate. They pump out a suprising amount of bass & the tweeter provides detailed, abiet warm, response. After about a year with the L2s I find when listening to music I find the CR9s to be a bit bright, though they do present a bigger soundstage. Fit & finish on the speakers is excellent - they really look nice. A concrete example, the opening music from CSI (orginal). This song by the Who sounds exactly like I remember it when I was a kid - nice warm hard rock sound, like the old vinyl days. Hits hard & nary a sign of "digital" edge or brightness. Or another, the IPOD commercial w/ the song by the Jetts (sp?) - the guitar is really "raspy" & sounds excellent.

(told ya only use them for HT)

Would I buy the level 2s again? Yep, in a heatbeat. I've haven't heard anything that comes close in that price range (& it beats quite a few many $$$$ higher).

Caveat - if I had the room for the 3s I'd likely have gotten them, the larger soundstage from the ribbon tweeter would be very nice.

I've pestered Chris with many a question, among them using various HTD speakers - he's pretty much said that ALL the HTD speakers are similar in tone = you can mix & match as you need (though matching is the optimum).
Slirp's Avatar Slirp
10:11 AM Liked: 10
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It's write ups like ^ that make me happy I just dumped my money in to these speakers.

Luis, you can bet there will be pics and a review up when I get them set up.
jacbri's Avatar jacbri
04:59 PM Liked: 11
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after looking at the level 2s I know now I should have bought them for my dads speaker package. With the bic 100 it would have been within a 100 bucks.
Slirp's Avatar Slirp
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jacbri View Post

after looking at the level 2s I know now I should have bought them for my dads speaker package. With the bic 100 it would have been within a 100 bucks.

lol that's exactly what I bought. I got the level 2 towers, shelves, and center. Then I picked up the H-100 from overstock.com. Heh, funny stuff. All should be here next week.
blakex's Avatar blakex
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Ordered the towers and center today. The rears and sub will be coming soon after Can't wait to get them. Unfortunately, my TV was delayed due to shipping damage, so it all has to wait to be auditioned.
jacbri's Avatar jacbri
11:38 AM Liked: 11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slirp View Post

lol that's exactly what I bought. I got the level 2 towers, shelves, and center. Then I picked up the H-100 from overstock.com. Heh, funny stuff. All should be here next week.


I know I am constantly reminded, you know they say that hindsight is always 20/20 and I hate to be the one who says they did not buy the best for their money. Hopefully when my dad visits he will not notice how much better the HTD's are.... wait, he will... sh***t!
Slirp's Avatar Slirp
12:49 PM Liked: 10
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Just got my shipment confirmation, they'll be here next Wed. Woot!
blakex's Avatar blakex
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slirp View Post

Just got my shipment confirmation, they'll be here next Wed. Woot!

Got my shipment confirmation today as well - just getting towers and center now and the bookshelves and sub later this month or next.
jhammer22's Avatar jhammer22
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I tried the level 2's and level 3's in my room with a Yamaha receiver and an HK receiver and much preferred the level 2's. I did not like the sound of the level 3's at all. I would guess I listened to them for a few hours at least. From the outset though, I did not like the sound of the level 3's with either receiver. My $.02. The Level 2's had a very pleasing sound. They aren't much to look at up close, but they sound good.

The ID companies are doing something right. I've tried the SVS speakers and the HTD speakers, and have impressed with the sound of both of them.

J

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