HTD level III bass issue

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by Patrick-J, Oct 3, 2004.

  1. Patrick-J

    Patrick-J Agent

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    My father had a 20 yr old Realistic receiver and pair of tower speakers. One of the channels went out on the receiver, so he decided to get a new one. He wanted something fast and cheap so I recomended a Sony
    Stereo receiver that was in stock BB. He ended up buying the Sony STRDE597 6.1 receiver on the off chance he wanted to do surround sound in the future.

    I said ok, and hooked it up. Long story short, the seals on one of the realistics was litterally disintegrating to the touch so I started looking for a pair of speakers to go with the Sony. I settled on a pair of Home Theater Direct Level III towers, which I thought were a good value and would suit their 2 ch. listening which was a mix of CDs,DVDs and music from DirectTV. So fast forward 6 days and the Level IIIs show up (As an aside they were very well packed and look great)

    I hooked them up, Receiver set to 2 ch. large speakers and we started to run through some music. George Jones, Paul Simon, Moody Blues, CCR, Cibo Matto.

    Even without break-in I think these sound great, Dad agrees that the mid range is excellent and even mom notices that she can understand lyrics that she couldn't before. Dad's one complaint is that he feels they are lacking in bass. He has the Bass maxed on the receiver at +6 and the trebble down at -6 and seems content but not thrilled. I'm horrified, and thinking he is crazy because the bass sounds fine to me.

    So driving home, I begin wondering if I'm crazy. So I listen to Cibo Matto and CCR on my system which is an Energy Take 5.1 sat system with their 8" sub. Now I use my sub when I listen to music because my speakers aren't much bigger than soda cans. On my system I have a little more low end thump then his HTD IIIs, but for music it's not so much hearing bass but rather feeling the floor vibrate. It's nice for movies, but for music I don't see needing reproduction of that 20-35 hz range. The HTDs are 40hz-20k which sounds very good to me.

    I told him to run them for a week or 2 and see what he thinks after a while. He was asking if a sub would help and my answer was "not for music" but maybe his definiton of good bass and mine are different. his old realistics each had a 10" driver in them. Perhaps a set of big JBLs might have been a better choice. I obviously want this system to sound good to him, but I also need some affirmation that I'm not nuts on this one. More importantly I need to know what to do now if he's still not happy with the bass.Different speakers? subwoofer? different receiver?



    Patrick
     
  2. Nhan_H

    Nhan_H Second Unit

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    I see 3 problems here:

    1. Receiver....not going to give you enough juices for the lower-end frequencies, which require plenty of power.
    2. Level of expectancy. Those Realistics with the 10" woofers should be able to produce quite a bit more bass than the 6.5" drivers of the HTDs. However, the bass from the realistics may not be as tight (just a guess here). Maybe he's used to bloated bass, not clean, tight bass. Some people tend to prefer the former to the latter, until they get used to the clean bass.
    3. Did you calibrate the speakers with the SPL meter at all? What about placement? There might be null spots in your parent's listening positions. If the HTDs are listened to at a lower SPL than the Realistics, that might give the impression that the Realistics are producing louder bass.

    The clarity seems to be superior, so that's not a surprise to me.

    The HTDs are only $430/pair, so expecting them to produce ultra-low bass with authority (especially paring them with the Sony) is not realistic (no puns inteneded [​IMG]

    Adding a subwoofer would certainly help the situation, since your dad's demand for bass seems to be more than what the HTD/Sony combo can deliver. You might think about taking your energy sub over there and see if that improves it any.
     
  3. Patrick-J

    Patrick-J Agent

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    I don't have an SPL meter, and the speaker placement is limited by the room setup to where they are right now. I think you're right about brining over the Energy sub. It will give him a good comparison point. I'm sure the sony isn't driving the HTDs to maximum effect, but I don't hink he'll want to spend any more money in that direction. Maybe if he likes the subwoofer effect, I can pick one up in the 200-300 $ range. That would be a step up for movies, and maybe give him the bass he wants for music. It also could be the most cost effective solution at this point.

    Thanks

    Patrick
     

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