Great time Saturday! Huge thank you to the host Mike for opening up his house and letting a bunch of crazy audio guys come over for Show and Tell.
Mike’s theater gorgeous and gave me many ideas for my future new build. The pictures I’ve enjoyed of it over the years do not do it justice. My experiences with the various HT GTGs I’ve attended across the Midwest over the years have shown me that each space is unique. Each theater had something I have taken away from it that makes me say “Wow”. Mike’s theater – it was the immersive surround experience. Sure, he has tons of speakers located at specific locations around the room, but through the several ATMOS disk features, I was simply unable to locate them. I was more immersed with the presentation, more concerned with the dragonfly flying over my shoulders and to the rear of the room. In short, Mike’s theater set the bar for the surround experience. Made me realize in Yoda speak “much to learn I still have” with respect to how I tackle surround next time.
It was great seeing some old friends and making new ones, especially now that I have returned to my home state. Great knowing SE Michigan has the same audio sickness so many of my Chicagoland friends have. And there is no cure by the way…
HT-8 vs HTM-8 Shootout – my favorite test
Mike set up the bedroom, complete with absorption at reflection points for some 2-channel listening. Thanks to Rich for grabbing me upstairs to witness this one in particular, this was the highlight for me.
Long story short- the HT-8s win the “Best Value” award. Erich and Matt have really outdone themselves with these. It was close to impossible to hear the differences between the HT-8 and HTM-8. Perhaps female vocals were a tiny bit smoother on the HTM, but it was incredibly close.
Put another way – if the HT-8s would have been available some 5 years ago when I first became Alice and ventured down the rabbit hole, I may have stopped with them. They are that good; and I think Rich will be very happy with a triplet of these for his mains.
Volt-6s vs. HT-8s
Yeah… no contest. I had Volt 6s as my surrounds in my old theater and was always impressed with them. And they are a great sounding speaker! But 2 seconds of listening to the HT-8s right afterward had me giggling and realizing the HT-8s will unquestionably become my surrounds in the new theater.
HTM-10 vs. HTM-12
Bias to the 12s as they are mine. However the 10s were 95% as a good as the 12s; the tiny decrease in efficiency notwithstanding. I think you really have to have a trained ear to hear the size difference in the waveguides as well. Scott’s veneer finish on the 10s was fantastic as well.
Helix Dome HTs
All you guys that went to AXPONA yesterday? Yeah, the Helix Domes could have been playing blindly in one of the hotel rooms with $5,000 bookshelves next to them, and you would not have discerned any difference. Great speakers.
Upstairs Family Room – 893s vs. Cinema/Fusion 8s (? – Mike’s main upstairs setup)
The Cinema 8s held court with higher efficiency and perhaps a tiny bit more bass response (ported vs. the sealed 893s). However, the 893s showed their true colors and reminded me of my Minneapolis tour last April where I heard these marvelous speakers. Now I know they will perform in a large, airy room as well as a smaller basement setup and shine either way. Yes, both speakers are designed to be used with a sub – and they make it easy to do so when crossed at 60 or 80Hz. Mike’s single 12 did a wonderful job of integrating with both speakers. However those guys wanting mains that will keep up with four 18s – both the Cinema 8s and 893s are fully capable of doing so. Even off receiver power, they both performed fantastically.