Home Theater Direct owners please come forward...

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by Luis Gabriel Gerena, Jan 28, 2004.

  1. Luis Gabriel Gerena

    Luis Gabriel Gerena Second Unit

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    Hi!
    I remember when this HTD speakers were really famous here. What happened? ARe there any owners that can share their experiences with me. I am getting Level 3 towers soon. Please comment on how they sound and compare them to others you have heard.
    Regards
     
  2. steve nn

    steve nn Cinematographer

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    I have had a little experience with the Level III towers. My impression was for the $$ they performed very well. They could handle anything I threw at them. They since have been upgraded along with the center. I ran the center for about a year and then loaned it to a friend.

    Chris over at HTD is very good to deal with and knows how to treat a costumer. For the money I was impressed.
     
  3. Nhan_H

    Nhan_H Second Unit

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    I have 1 friend with 1 pair of level 3 bookshelves, 1 level 3 center & sub (really bulky items), another friend with a pair of level 2 bookshelves, and a third friend with a set of level 4 (including the 2 front towers). I've only heard the level 3s and 2s, not the 4s. The level 3 bookshelves are pretty nice, but the 2s couldn't quite keep up. For the money, they are great products.

    I have a level 2 center that I've been using in my livingroom HT for about a year now. It's been delegated to bedroom HT duties, since I have my Rockets now. The level 2 center did an excellent job for the $100+ I spent, but no comparison to the Rocket RS200.

    Chris is an extremely nice guy, as I've been over to their office several times, and he's been really helpful each time. I'm planning to go back to see if he'd let me borrow some of the level 4 towers to do a battle with my Rocket RS550s. And if I still have my PSB 6Ts at that time, I'll throw them into the mix as well.

    Maybe you can provide us with more info as to what it is you want from the level 3 towers, exactly. What kind of sound are you looking for, what room size, HT% vs Music, etc.
     
  4. Luis Gabriel Gerena

    Luis Gabriel Gerena Second Unit

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    I was at their office also (texas right?) and he was indeed very cool. He told me to buy the axioms I was thinking about then and take them to their offices for a side by side comparison that way I didnt have to buy both the axiom and the htd at the same time to make the comparisn.
    I want my towers primarily for HT but music is a close second. I want towers cause I live in an apartment so a sub isnt something I think I will be able to use too much. Besides I like the fuller sound of the level 3 towers compared to bookshelves. I would love to hear your comparison of the level 4 tower against your rockets, heck, maybe i can join you if you dont mind to hear it myself. :)
    In any case let me know what you think about the Level 3 and 4 towers compared to any others you have listened to. What I liked the most was their impressive imagin even in their non ideal setup.
    Regards
     
  5. Erik M

    Erik M Auditioning

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    I couldn't agree more with the customer service comments here. Chris and Brian bend over backwards to make you happy. I live in DFW and came out to see them several times in Allen, TX. They also set up two of my co-workers and have fixed any issue that has come up for any of us. In my own case they loaned me speakers for 6 months while I was waiting for the Natural Cherry to come in. In anther my buddy had his center channel fall to the floor, and they gave him a new grill and driver at no charge!
    I have a set of the Level III towers, LV3 bookshelf's and LV3 center. I've been using them for about a year and I wouldn't trade them for anything twice the cost. I listened to speakers for several months before deciding on these and had several in my house to A-B them. They Image very well, are a very balanced sound, are very well constructed, and have a warm sound without sacrificing the high end. If I had to pick a brand to compare them to, I would say they sound like the last RT series of Polks but with better fit and finish. I would recommend the LV IIIs if space isn't an issue as they have a definite advantage over the LV IIs IMHO. The LV IIs had a brighter sound and that might appeal to you. I also found that to my ears the LV IVs had a better sound but were too close to the sound of the LV III's to justify the price increase.
    Another overlooked piece of HTD is their near perfect fit and finish. I have the Natural Cherry wood and they just glow. These LV III's are easily my finest piece of furniture, and the Level IV's are just drop-dead gorgeous! [​IMG] Just go to your local Home theater shop and see how much you pay for speakers with a glass-smooth real cherry wood finish on all sides. The box is 3/4" MDF with Bracing and the grills and ports are routed-out MDF not plastic. They are also all bi-wired with nice gold-plated four-way connectors.
    I admit that I had the advantage of seeing them in person and that helped alot. Even if you aren't nearby, you can try them out in your house, return them, and not be out one penny based of their excellent trial period. They have made me a big fan of HTD, and of direct marketing. It's the way to get the biggest bang for your buck and it's the way things are going IMHO.
    Thanks - Erik Monson in Grapevine, TX
     
  6. Luis Gabriel Gerena

    Luis Gabriel Gerena Second Unit

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    Hi!
    Thanks for the great post. So you really like the Level 3? I want to either get the Level 3 towers (5 of them in order to use 1 as a center for perfect timbre match) or the Level 4 bookshelves. What do you recommend? Which other speakers you audition before picking the HTD speaker? Axiom, Ascend? Well I am almost ready to buy but still cant decide if the Level 3 towers are better than the Level 4 bookshelves...
    Regards
     
  7. DavidNighorn

    DavidNighorn Stunt Coordinator

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    I have both the Level II and III (older model) bookshelf speakers. My mini-review is that the LII's are really good speakers for the money. They are fairly airy and they image very well on stereo sources. Then I bought a full set of the LIII's.

    It may just be me but these things really sound warm. Gone is the air that I was so used to along with some of the imaging. This is not to say that they are bad speakers. If I was unable to A-B them with the LII's, I probably wouldn't have noticed. This really is too bad because I wanted to like them. Unfortunately, I'll be taking advantage of the 30 day return policy.

    On the bright side, HTD has alway been excellent in the CS area. I called Chris today and he has already sent me my return instructions. No questions asked, no resistance offered.

    David
     
  8. Luis Gabriel Gerena

    Luis Gabriel Gerena Second Unit

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    What do you mean by Level III older model? Do you mean the version previous to the updates they did late 2002? I auditioned level 3 and 4 and found them not warm nor bright. I think they offer a good balance without imposing tonality. Thats the thing with speaker...its hard to judge them based on others' opinions since what is bright for me could be normal for others. :) Still, thanks for sharing the info. Based on the audition I think the Level 3 towers sound better than the bookshelves and not only in bass performance but imaging as well. If I am not able to wait for the shoot out article before deciding I will go with the HTD but will audition the towers level 3 against the the level 4 bookshelves.
    Regards
     
  9. Jud

    Jud Extra

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    I own a pair of L3 towers and an L3 center. To my ears, they're 95% as good as a pair of B&W towers I auditioned a while back that ran for several times the price. I like the tower look much better than bookshelves on stands, and I couldn't find any towers that looked as nice as the L3's for anywhere near the price. For someone on a
     
  10. Erik M

    Erik M Auditioning

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    I agree with everything that Jud stated about the HTD Level III Towers. They are incredible! I also auditioned many retail speakers and thought they were either worse in some way or too close for my money. Off the top of my head I also listened to Infinity's, Klipch, Boston's, Def-Techs, Wharefdale EVO-40s, JBL Northridge/Studios , B&M 601's, and Polk RT's. Towers aren't available from very many direct speaker companies and that is what I wanted. This keep me from considering Aperion Audio, Ascend Acoustics, and others. I think most of these companies won't sell towers because they are about 100lbs a pair, and they don't want to make another design. Also many of these other speakers were rear ported and that limit's your placement. I like front porting and don't understand why it's not done more.
    I would also say that I also think the LV3 center is an absolute bargain at $150. Look around and see what that money buys you at the store [​IMG] The Center is so good I almost went with 5 of them. One thing that I noticed at the local stores was how much you got gouged on the center and surrounds even if you found a good deal on towers. Once you add up most 5 speaker sets you were over $1500 quick. Add a Sub and you well over $2000. The LV3s come in at about $1000 for all of it.
    If you do end up getting HTD speakers I would highly recommend paying the $10 more per speaker for one of the real wood veneers. The real wood really makes them standout as something you didn't buy from Best Buy/Circuit City for even non-audiophiles (and spouses of course [​IMG]).
    Since I've been so positive let me be critical of HTD for a second on a few small things. I wouldn't mix and match between levels if you care about timber matching. They say it's ok, but to my ears the level's sound different from one another. Also their demand is higher than their supply. If it isn't in stock, you may have to wait quite a while. I also had trouble with the shielding on their LV3 center. The new driver magnets are very big. They were very kind working this out, but it took trying three centers to eliminate it. I think they have since fixed this issue, but do your own checking. Lastly, I also don't think their subs are the best you can get. They sound good sonicly for music and HT, and are well made, but they could use more power IMHO.
    Good hunting! - Erik
     
  11. Jud

    Jud Extra

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    For those of us that have wives who won't let us have speakers out very far from the wall, the front porting is definitely a nice feature.

    I will also second, though, that the L3 center is not very well shielded. I pretty much gave up on putting directly it on top of my TV (of course now I've got a projector so it doesn't matter)
     
  12. DavidNighorn

    DavidNighorn Stunt Coordinator

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    I hereby retract my derogatory comments on the LIII bookshelf speakers. After about 50 hours of break-in, these things rock! Imaging is very nice and the ability to hit the high's of the high-hat while capturing the kick-drum is very pleasant. Voices, both male and female, sound very natural and 'in my room'.

    I'll be cancelling my RMA with HTD. The morale: Let the speakers break in for a while before issuing a final judgement.

    David
     
  13. Luis Gabriel Gerena

    Luis Gabriel Gerena Second Unit

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    Cool! I am glad you like the bookshelves as I was a little surprised about your comments but nothing like break in to fix a speaker.
    Regards
     
  14. Nhan_H

    Nhan_H Second Unit

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    Yes, just hook them up to the receiver and let them run for like 3 days straight at moderate listening levels. Then come back and listen. This the is rule of thumb for most speakers. Glad you're enjoying your speakers.
     

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