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HSU HB-1's at 4 ohms Minimum Impedance Work With Pioneer VSX-1020 or Onkyo TX-SR608?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hi Folks, I have four HSU HB-1's in my 7.1 setup (as Front and Surround) and I am considering purchasing either the Pioneer VSX-1020-K or the Onkyo TX-SR608.
The HB-1's have a Nominal impedance of 6 ohms and a Minimum impedance of 4 ohms.
I emailed and later phoned the Pioneer Customer Support people and both answers were NO! They said that because the HB-1 impedance drops to 4 onms at a few frequencies that it would not work. The phone contact was short with me and said the only thing that Pioneer made that would work at 4 ohms was the $7,000.00 SC-09TX!!
I also emailed Onkyo regarding the same question but have not received an answer.
I think at least the Onkyo TX608 would work with the HB-1's from a few postings in other threads but I would REALLY appreciate any experiences you have with using the HSU HB-1's with either of these Receivers (or their earlier editions).
Any other HB-1 owners coments would also be welcome.
post #2 of 12
Welcome to the forum Larry

My advice would be to call HSU directly, to get a straight answer though.
It seems that most of these "traditional brands" CS don't know a thing...

Hard to believe that a very efficient horn-loaded speaker such as yours (excellent ones, btw, however I don't own'em but have listened to' em), the AVR's of your choice wouldn't be on par to the task though
post #3 of 12
What are you using to power them now, and is it sufficient?
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaball77 View Post

What are you using to power them now, and is it sufficient?

I was/am using an Onkyo TX-SR605. It worked fine at first but started shuting down once in a while, seemingly for no reason. I could restart it and it would play fine for the remainder of the session. This seemed to be unrelated to the volume setting. It seemed to get worse and worse over the 2 years and 6 months that I have owned it (6 months out of warranty!). I called Onkyo Customer Service last year while the unit was still in warranty and the lady said to disconect all speakers and turn the volume all the way up and if this did not cause the receiver to shut down then it was not the receiver's problem. In this test it did not shut down.
The problem continued to get worse. I checked all the usual suspects like shorts at the connection terminals, and checked all the HB-1's DC resistance. All the DC resisnance were close to 3.6 ohms.
Sometimes I had to restart the receiver 10-20 times or more before it would stay on.
Now, the receiver will not come on at all with my 7.1 speaker system connected. I can get it to come on with only the two front and the center speaker on but am limited to about 56 on the volume scale before it shuts down which is not enough good for movies.
I have also disconnected all speakers again (like the lady at CS said) and it shuts down at about the same volume, about 56-58 on the volume scale.
I'm suspecting that the receiver's automatic shutdown circuit was to sensitive and finally mostly failed. But your can see why I'm a little shy about another $400 to $500 purchase.
The Onkyo TX-NR708 is certified for 4 ohms but almost $300 more.
post #5 of 12
Maybe look at an Onkyo 707 (last year) or Yamaha 600 series. These have pre-outs so you could add an external amplifier later (which I would do!). Emotiva has the UPA series which is an honest 125w/channel. They also have the XPA which is 200w/channel. This would most likely be the cheapest option to drive your speakers. You could also use the 707 at first, but I wouldn't do that with the Yamaha (too weak). The 700 and 800 series ARE NOT 4 ohm capable. Ultra 2 certification is needed for 4 ohm speakers. Even then, it is truly a rare AVR that can handle 4 ohms.

Ideally getting the amp with your new AVR would be fine. The Yamaha 665 can be found for $300 or less. The UPA-5 is $599 and the UPA-7 is $699. This puts you at $900 or so, but this would be a MUCH better option over an AVR that really isn't designed to drive 4 ohm speakers.

I think the major problem is your driving all 7 channels. Most mid level AVRs have horrible power with all channels driven. They can struggle with 8 ohm speakers, let alone dips below 4 ohms. If you can get a 5 channel amp and put the rest on the AVR you should be fine. The other option is a higher end AVR to get better power, but I think this is a worse option over time. The amp would last through multiple AVR upgrades, saving you money long term (Yamaha 600 series is the cheapest line with pre-outs). Upgrading wouldn't be too bad every few years to stay current.

I hope that helps. Tough when you have power pig speakers but if you explore your options it doesn't have to kill you forever.
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
I lost a long response due to my inexperience in posting. Depressing!!

But here goes again. The manual for my Onkyo TX-SR605 states "ONLY CONNECT SPEAKERS WITH AN IMPEDANCE OF 6 OHMS OR HIGHER".
Well, my HSU HB-1's are 6 ohms Nominal. I would think that all speaker impedance ratings are Nominal since the impedance varies depending on the frequency. I don't understand why just because HSU lists the Minimun impeadance of the HB-1's at 4 ohms at certain frequencies that it is that much different than any other speaker rated at 6 ohms.

The manual for the TX-sr608 states a similar requirement as follow:

(North American and Taiwan models) You can connect
speakers with an impedance of between 6 and 16
ohms. If you use speakers with a lower impedance, and
use the amplifier at high volume levels for a long period
of time, the built-in amp protection circuit may be activated.
post #7 of 12
I think I would call Hsu and ask them these questions...

But from my armchair troubleshooting I'd be surprised if it was the speaker's fault. The product page says the recommended receiver setting is 8 ohms, and they're really efficient at 92dB. Could be your receiver just got tired. It's probably what, 9 years old now?
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaball77 View Post

I think I would call Hsu and ask them these questions...

But from my armchair troubleshooting I'd be surprised if it was the speaker's fault. The product page says the recommended receiver setting is 8 ohms, and they're really efficient at 92dB. Could be your receiver just got tired. It's probably what, 9 years old now?

I wish it were older. I wouldn't feel so bad. The TX-SR605 is 2 1/2 years old and 6 months beyond warranty.
It's such a hassle to unplug everything, box it up pay shipping, be without it for a time even under warranty it's not hardly worth the effort for the older tech. receiver.
The 2010 offerings have lots of upgrades that I would like to have ---IF I can get some confidence that a new TX-SR608 wouldn't die as well.

I mentioned in one of my earlier posts that the Onkyo TX-NR708 was "THX Certified for 4ohms performance". (Even though my speakers are just as much 6 ohms "nominal impedance, minimum 4 ohms as any other 6 ohm rated speaker) It might work fine with my speakers. Still, questions remain.

I have talked (email) to Pete at HSU and he thinks any of the receivers I mentioned should work. They have used several of the earlier models in their listening rooms etc. and they have worked fine.
My concern grew when the people at Pioneer Customer Support said only a $7,000. model of theirs would work with my speakers.

I really would like to know that the Model TX-SR608 would work.
post #9 of 12
Are you sure there is no issue with speaker wires touching eachother or grounding out? Just doesnt seem right.
post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by larrysmith View Post

I have talked (email) to Pete at HSU and he thinks any of the receivers I mentioned should work. They have used several of the earlier models in their listening rooms etc. and they have worked fine.

Doesn't get much better than that. You got your answer straight from the horse's mouth.

You might also want to check to be sure your receiver has adequate ventilation. Maybe it's just overheating because it can't stay cool enough?
post #11 of 12
Check all of your wires too ... perhaps one of them got pinched (or chewed) along the way.
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
I Just purchased the Onkyo TX-NR808 AV Receiver and think it will solve the problem. Thinking the speakers just pulled to much from the old Amp. so the much higher output from the new one should fix it. It is THX Rated for 4 ohm speakers as well.
Another plus is all the latest features of the NR808!!
Thanks for all the inputs. It really helped.
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