HTD Level 3 Center Black

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by chrisCo, Apr 7, 2005.

  1. chrisCo

    chrisCo Extra

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    Not sure what's going on but take a look at the picture of Home Theater Direct's Level 3 Center Speaker with black finish. A bad link or the preview of things to come?

    htd.com/levthrecensp.html

    (Its gone this morning. What I saw last night while surfing, the picture of the black finished center had different drivers - white cones, no "phase plugs" and a different tweeter, maybe a ribbon but I'm not sure. The caption was the same, not available till late April.)
     
  2. Nhan_H

    Nhan_H Second Unit

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    Hmmm...sounds interesting. Thursday nights are usually good bar nights [​IMG]
     
  3. chrisCo

    chrisCo Extra

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    bump. look again.
     
  4. RyanJE

    RyanJE Second Unit

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    Yea whats up with that. Chris told me they were going to do this some time this week. What do you guys think about the new ribbon design?
     
  5. Nhan_H

    Nhan_H Second Unit

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    Chris, I had known about this for a while now. I was just messing with you [​IMG] I couldn't really say anything, since they held me to secrecy [​IMG]

    Chris at HTD sent me a pic of what the L3 center would look like after I sent his a link to this post. For this price range, I don't think anyone else is offering this type of speakers. I was hoping to get a demo pair from them for the little Dallas GTG some of us will be attending in May, but I'll have to keep my fingers crossed. Either way, I'll be getting the new L3 center for the bedroom [​IMG]

    Check out the new 3s:
    http://www.htd.com/lethsp.html

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  6. RyanJE

    RyanJE Second Unit

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    I was talking to Chris the other day and heres what he said about why they are changing the design. Unfortunately theres no specs on the site yet.

    "Hi Ryan,

    This is actually going to be the first major design change in seven
    years to all of our products. The cabinets will all look the same (we
    didn't want to go too drastic with the first change we make) but the
    drivers and tweeters will be different. We are moving to a new ribbon
    tweeter in the Level Three speakers that has very similar
    characteristics in sound quality to the current silk dome tweeters that
    we use but they will naturally play all the way up to about 40 kHz which
    will enable us to get the full frequency range (up to 20 kHz) without
    having to tweak the crossover in any way. The current silk dome
    tweeters we use play up to 18 kHz and the only way we can get them to go
    all the way to 20 kHz is by making adjustments in the crossover. The
    new Level Two speakers will keep the silk dome tweeter.

    The new drivers will be made with fabric and ceramic; this is a new
    design and somewhat new technology and I am not 100% sure the technical
    benefits of this driver, but I do know they sound great from the samples
    we have received and also sound very similar to the current doped pulp
    cones.

    We have looked into changing driver material for the last couple of
    years but have yet, until now, to find a cone that produces a sound
    similar to what we are using that we have been pleased with. One reason
    for changing cone material is that too many people do not understand the
    purpose of pulp cones, and while this is essentially a cooked paper cone
    that we are currently using, there are a lot of people out there who
    believe this is inferior technology. We want to keep all of our
    speakers as natural and flat as possible and metal alloy, polypropylene,
    and Kevlar drivers just don't sound as natural as paper does. This new
    fabric ceramic driver produces a very natural tone and is a little more
    open in the midrange. The fabric is used to form the shape of the
    driver and the ceramic is used for rigidity. We are also doping these
    cones, which is essentially a coating process that adds warmth to the
    sound.

    All of the crossovers are also being upgraded which will give a little
    bit of a smoother transition between the upper mids and the highs, but
    you really do have to do some pretty astute side by side listening to
    hear this difference. I also found out that not all of the new pricing
    was finalized last night but the discussions are still going on right
    now. I can assure you that we will have the new pricing by tomorrow.
    Thanks again and let me know if you have any other questions."
     
  7. Nhan_H

    Nhan_H Second Unit

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    It would seem that the initial pre-order price is the same as the old L3s and L2s, with the exception of the L3 towers (the added mid would be one justification for the price increase). I wish I had the money to pick up those L4 mains in the piano finish--they are really classy looking [​IMG] And I already own a pair in mappa burl. Damnit...I own too many speakers--need a bigger house. Anyone know a good real estate agent [​IMG]

    I'm hoping to drop by the office for a listen when they get a demo pair in. I'll have to call Chris next week!!
     
  8. RyanJE

    RyanJE Second Unit

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    Nhan please post back and let me know if you listen. I was thinking about placing an order and would love impressions against the old L 3 bookshelves. Chris wrote me this

    "Also, when doing critical listening tests
    I can pick up a little bit of a smoother sound in the transition between
    the upper mids and the highs, but this is barely noticeable."

    Does that mean a mudied mid-range. IM not sure how to take that.
     
  9. Nhan_H

    Nhan_H Second Unit

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    I don't think it means that either one has a muddied midrange. I think he meant that with the new tweeter, they're able to make the transition (x-over) from high-mids to low-highs better than with the old speakers. I think muddied mid-range is where either the bass or highs dominate, so that you can't really separate the instruments being played.

    With these newer tweeters that extend up to 40kHz, fans of hi-rez music can take advantage of this extended frequency range. Most speakers are designed to go up to 18-20 kHz, only. I'm very interested in how they perform. I can definitly say that the looks are more eye-catching than the current L3s.
     
  10. RyanJE

    RyanJE Second Unit

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    Im going to order the L3 books and the center so I cant wait to have a listen.

    Too bad I have to wait until mid May to listen! At least I have some good time to audition others before then. Hey if you do get to hear a demo let us know!
     
  11. Nhan_H

    Nhan_H Second Unit

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    Cool deal. Congrats on the purchase. I'll definitely do that.
     
  12. chrisCo

    chrisCo Extra

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    So yesterday I drove to Plano, TX and picked up a clearance priced Level 4 bookshelf system, could not wait any longer. A little over a month ago I A/B'd them with the current Level 3's at HTD's showroom.

    I want to thank everybody that participates in this forum. About a year ago I decided it was time to dip my toe in the water in this home theater thing. If it was not for this forum I would have spent a whole lot more and got a whole lot less. For about $1,700 I'm in with a 5.1 system, new THX select receiver, BFD, cables, not bad for a starter system.

    My two cents is the Level 4 bookshelf speaker is pretty special in the universe of consumer priced bookshelf speakers. I need to use this system for music also and I was struck by their naturalness and huge sound stage. They dig pretty deep too. For home theater the detail and clarity out of the center is better than anything you'll hear in the price range at BB, CC, Fry's, Tweeter.... I spent alot of time in those places also.

    I don't think HTD gets enough love here. I don't want to get into which internet direct speaker does what best. I was not going to A/B a handful of speakers in my house and return the ones I did not like. It's a nice thought but I seriously doubt it happens often. For those of you that live within a 100 miles of Plano, Texas and are contemplating a speaker purchase between $150 to $3,000 at one of the retailers you need to take an afternoon off and make the drive. For those who do buy speakers off internet unheard, these guys are a real deal and worthy of your consideration.


    I also can't tell you how thrilled I am that my days of going to Fry's and being punished by their "Drumline" surround demo are over.
     
  13. RyanJE

    RyanJE Second Unit

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    Chris did they have a demo pair of the new L 3's. If so what did you think?
     
  14. Nhan_H

    Nhan_H Second Unit

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    Chrisco, I agree that HTD doesn't get much love around the forums, like they used to. I guess it's due to most of their customers not spending time around the forums.

    Let us know what you think of the L4s when you had a chance to break them in. Also, were any of the new L4s displayed in the showroom? I'll have to stop by for a listen pretty soon.

    Also, there'll be a GTG in Dallas on May 21st for demoing some speakers/electronics (mostly AV123 products). Join us if you can. I'm hoping that HTD can loan me a couple of the new L3s for this event.
     
  15. chrisCo

    chrisCo Extra

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    Yesterday they had one new L3 bookshelf, one new L3 tower in the showroom not hooked up. It will be interesting once they get into people's homes. I have not seen drivers like those, very unique.

    PM or show me where to look for the details of the GTG I'll see if I can make it. Thanks for the invite.

    No new level 4's and I don't think you'll see that for awhile. They sound like they want to invest resources in drivers and sound and not so much the cabinetry. The L4 drivers are a step up but the L4 cabinets make up a significant portion of the increased cost between the lines. I chose the fours because the bookshelf in particular is more musical IMO.

    I suspect (more than suspect actually) that as the months go by you will see an offering for some upgraded finishes for the new Level 3 family and possibly a "Special Edition" L3 offering with some higher end drivers instead of a new Level 4 line. They will at some point this year or early next stop recommending recievers to match up with their speakers. There is a reason for that too.
     
  16. RyanJE

    RyanJE Second Unit

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    When do you think theyll get specs on the new speakers?
     
  17. Nhan_H

    Nhan_H Second Unit

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  18. Raj_asaurus

    Raj_asaurus Stunt Coordinator

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    Are HTDs considered on the bright side or the warm side? I like the sound of my polk RTi38s but i'm thinking I may sell them and preorder these new L3s...

    What do you guys think?
     
  19. chrisCo

    chrisCo Extra

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    Raj,
    I can only speak to the recently discontinued level 3's and 4's. I don't think anyone would call them bright. Perhaps they lean slightly, ever so slightly to the warm side. How the new one's will sound I don't know. They are significantly different and it seems unlikely that they would have the same tonality and timbre (although I suppose that they could). Compared to your Polk bookshelf either of the "legacy" L3 or L4 bookshelf speakers will image much better and present a bigger soundstage. The Polks, to me, localized and you never forgot that you were listening to a relatively small speaker. If you listen loud the HTD bookshelfs will take being pushed better, I think that's when the Polks tended to drift to the bright side.
     

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