Here we go, my HT3s and HTC have left the building...
This has been a bit longer wait than I anticipated, but every minute from the time I placed my order up until this morning is like nothing compared to the excruciating last few hours, and what will be the next couple of days.
My system has come a long way over the last year... It all started when my POS old TV died around Thanksgiving '07. I picked up a shinny new LCD and stepped into the world of HDTV. It became obvious that my old stereo was no longer in equal company and thus began what I thought was going to be a search for a new pair of $2000 speakers, and I was done... Yeah, right!!!!
Well, all of you guys helped me to spend every spare dollar as I happily upgraded every piece of electronics in my chain. I still have one or two more links to go, though I have come to the conclusion that they are not essential ones as my focus shifted from Home Theater to my true passion of music.
Speakers were my first hurdle, and they proved to be the biggest one as well. I listened to everything I could get my ears on (32 different models), in my price range, and then beyond, finally deciding on the SalkSound Veracity HT3. That search is well documented in this very thread. Still, once I had decided on my speakers, I was now confronted with a bit of a wait (for them to be custom built, and for their new woofer to be developed) and several more decisions about their aesthetics. Those decisions, for me, were a perk for choosing to go with a pair of Salks. For some people they are a deciding factor... you can totally customize their appearance! How cool is that?
The HT3s are a relatively inefficient speaker, so my first concern was to make sure that I could feed them enough wattage to make them sing. Turns out, that the amp I had my eye on was one that a fellow AVSer and friend (Hifisponge) was currently auditioning in an effort to fine tune his own system. Well, it turned out to be one of the many puzzle pieces that he tried to fit, but decided against for some reason or another and I wound up buying the very same Parasound Halo A51 that he was trying out! Kind of ironic that when he first got the amp, I chided him about selling it to me when he moved on to the next piece...
So, I now had an amp and no way to use it! Kind of silly, right? As a result of research, and my iPod, I had become more and more interested in computer based audio. My entire music library at my fingertips with CD quality or better, sounded pretty good to me. It wasn't until I payed cschang a visit to hear the Sierra's that I had seen an operational system of this nature, then again a couple of days later when I auditioned the SongTowers. Well both of those auditions and their respective owners got some gears turning in my head about the future of audio and it's reproduction. With a gentle push from another new found friend (rydenfan) I contacted Dan Wright of Modwright Instruments to inquire about his modifications to the Transporter. Well, as luck would have it he had just received a black one back from a review and was able to sell it to me as a demo model for a price that was just within my reach!
That left me with an amp I could only use for one component at a time, either the Oppo that I have been using to watch DVDs, or the MW Transporter, so it went unused by me for a few more weeks deciding to leave everything hooked up to my trusty old Onkyo receiver for switching ease. A couple of very long work weeks later (with lots of overtime) and my wallet was feeling fat, so I called up Matt at AudioArchitect again (I actually bought the Halo from Matt as soon as Tim returned it). AudioArchitect had just become a certified ModWright dealer, and since Dan will only sell his products through a dealer (mods on the other hand are handled direct), Matt was the perfect choice. For a second time he proved to be very helpful, and gave me a solid deal, this time on a Modwright LS-36.5.
Somewhere along the line I built a TV stand/entertainment center to house all my new toys and spent many, many hours ripping my CD collection to FLAC so they could be streamed to the Transporter in a lossless format. Next came a new set of DIY speaker cables, which I have yet to put into my system, and lots more research on various vacuum tubes to roll in my MW-TP and 36.5. I have to say that the crappy speakers (that I cannot wait to replace with my HT3s) have never sounded better!
I have made several other friends here on AVS that have helped me keep my sanity, shared my current obsession with sound, and have provided me with excellent advice in the past months. So, a big thanks to those I have already mentioned plus Mudslide, Nuance, Warpdrv, golfugh, Grenamc and everybody else that has shared my journey throughout the year. You guys have proved an invaluable resource in my education and exploration of a modern sound system.
I have yet to get a HT processor (using the analog outs and volume control of the Oppo for now, through HT bypass on the 36.5 when I watch a movie). Seems to get what I want here the wait is becoming triple of that for my speakers. Current set up is fine for now but I am unable to add another source (like a BluRay player, or PS3) until I get a pre/pro. Thats where my sights are set for '09.
I wish everybody the best, and a prosperous upcoming year, filled with aural ecstasy.
-Greg (aka Funk)