HTD Middies- First hand Review by a NON-Audiophile

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Andy Sz, Feb 4, 2003.

  1. Andy Sz

    Andy Sz Extra

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    After doing a ton of research on this forum and others I decided that the set that would best meet my (and the wife’s) needs would be the HTD Middies (available at www.HomeTheaterdirect.com). I have seen only 1 first hand account of these speakers so I figured someone might like to hear what I (a total NON-audiophile) have to say.

    First, let me say that customer service is GREAT. I traded quite a few e-mails with Chris over at HTD and he was very helpful with all of my questions. Now onto my speaker experience…..

    PACKAGING- When I opened the boxes, I was impressed at how well they were packed. Double-boxed and protected on all sides by styrofoam. Well Done! Included with each speaker were an owner’s manual and a set of self-adhesive rubber feet and a set of foam feet. Speaker wire/Sub cable is not included. No problem. I went down to the local Home Depot and bought some 16 gauge wire as well as some “F to RCA” adapters to convert an old RG-6 cable I had lying around into a sub cable.

    APPEARANCE- The Middies are smaller than I imagined. And this is a good thing, as the wife wanted something as close to Bose cubes as possible. The Middies are roughly the size of 2 Bose cubes stacked up. The dimensions are 9.5”(h) x 4.5”(w) x 5.25”(d). The sub’s dimensions are 14”(h) x 11”(w) x 15”(d). Again, it meets the WAF specifications…I bought the black set and the finish is VERY NICE. I like that the speakers are made of MDF rather than the typical plastic you usually find in this price range ($499).

    PERFORMANCE- Here’s where my non-audiophile status comes into play. I don’t know a whole lot about the technology of speakers, but I do know what my ears tell me. And here is my point of reference: I recently auditioned the Bose Acoustimass 6-III in my house. Therefore I will be comparing the Middies to the Bose (unfair to Bose maybe?).

    First thing I noticed were the gold 5-way binding posts on the Middies. Now I don’t know if this gives a performance boost over spring clips, but it does give the consumer a feeling of high quality to see them on the back of the speaker.

    So after setting them up in the conventional way with the five sats going to the receiver and the sub connected to LFE out, I popped in the beach scene (scene 1?) of “Saving Private Ryan”……WOW!!!!! You could hear the soldiers on the vehicle puking right next to you as they approached the beach. You could hear the bullets whiz by your head. You could feel the explosions.

    The Bose, on the other hand, hardly output any bass whatsoever. The cubes were crisp but had almost no mids or lows at all. And my ears got tired of the sound after about 10 minutes. With the Middies though, the sound was much warmer. You could hear the highs, the mids, and the lows. The sub, although it is only an 8” woofer, really put you into the action. I was VERY IMPRESSED and experienced no fatigue whatsoever.

    Next I threw on “The Matrix”. In the first scene, Trinity jumps into the air and freezes while the camera circles around her. This scene really works out the sub so I was eager to see how the Middie sub handled it. Of course, it passed with flying colors. I repeatedly played that little part of the scene and every time I did, the smile on my face got wider and wider…….The it was on to the “Dodge This” scene. Again, absolutely amazing!

    IMPROVEMENTS? – Whenever you purchase something, there will be some things that you would like to see improved. . As happy as I am with the Middies, they are no different. However, these things are VERY minor and have nothing to do with performance.

    The first thing I noticed is that the grilles on all 5 sats are identical, meaning they all have a small “HTD” badge at the bottom of the grille. No problem, right? Well, I laid the center sat horizontally on top of my TV. Now the “HTD” badge is on the right side and the letters are sideways going vertically. It takes away a bit from the aesthetics of an otherwise attractive speaker.

    The only other thing I’ve noticed is that the grilles come off very easily. Now nothing has happened in the 12 hours that I’ve had them set up, but I am a little concerned that the grilles will work themselves loose and fall off. However, as I have never owned a high-quality set like this before, maybe this is the norm. Perhaps you can tell me.

    THE BOTTOM LINE- I’ve only had the Middies set up for about 12 hours, and have only listened to them for about 2 hours, but so far I am EXTREMELY HAPPY with my purchase. The speakers really look beautiful and perform even better. From what I’ve read about break-in, the Middies should only improve their already outstanding performance as I break them in.

    If you are searching for a set of cubes to satisfy your space limitations or the WAF, take a look at the HTD Middies. They are a bit larger than Bose cubes but they definitely outperform them (it’s not even close)! You will not be disappointed.

    By the way, if you would like any specific info on these speakers, please feel free to post a response here or send me a PM.
     
  2. Erik Farstad

    Erik Farstad Supporting Actor

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    Andy, I bought these for my family room home theater and have been pleased myself...perhaps I was that review you mentioned? [​IMG] I think HTD "quoted" me on their website because I ran these babies through some sound tests to see if they "really" played down to 100hz and they did! [​IMG] The WAF is definately good with these and because mine had to be closed away inside a cabinet (hey it's only a family room theater) their size vs. their performance was a no-brainer!

    Glad to see they're working out for you as well Andy...enjoy!

    E
     
  3. Andy Sz

    Andy Sz Extra

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    Could be Erik. Sounds familiar....

    Do you have any of the surrounds on a stand? If so, what kind of stands are you using? DO I need to buy stands from HTD or would generic stands from the local Best Buy suffice?
     
  4. JeremyFr

    JeremyFr Supporting Actor

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    sounds like my experience with the Energy Take 5's
     
  5. balajiPA

    balajiPA Auditioning

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    i am looking to do outside mount of 2 front and 2 rear speakers from the ceiling(home is prewired)
    Given this scenario, which one is better choice between HTD middies and Energy take 5.2.
    I want to order online today or tomorrow.so,please reply soon if the experts have any input here.
     
  6. Erik Farstad

    Erik Farstad Supporting Actor

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    Andy: I'd use any stand that would place the Middies at the correct height that you are trying to achieve...therefore if you can find one's at BestBuy go for it! [​IMG]

    Jeremy! Wow, you're real close to me if you're in Tacoma! [​IMG] The Take series are wonderful, I had a pair for my rear surrounds in my old townhouse!

    Balajipa: I love Energy's, that's why I use them in my E-Cinema, but I haven't compared the Middies next to the Take 5.2's. Costwise, you're spending a lot more for the Energy's so that's somethign to consider...plus the Middies are slightly larger then the 5.2's...tough call. I guess that's why 30-day trials are so nice! Good luck...

    E
     
  7. Andy Sz

    Andy Sz Extra

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    thanks for the advice Erik...

    Balaj, I have no experience with the Energy's (although I have read great things about them) but you can't lose by taking the HTD's for a test drive. They make it really easy to return the set if for some reason you don't like them. They will even send you a prepaid UPS label so you don't pay for shipping on any returns.
     
  8. JeremyFr

    JeremyFr Supporting Actor

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    I personally haven't heard the Middies so I cant speak for there sound quality though it seems that Andy really enjoys them, on paper they look like pretty nice speakers especially at there pricepoint and since I have not heard them I have no ability to say anything negative about them.

    I can speak for the Energy's since I do own them and I really enjoy them. they are quite a contender at there pricepoint and even are capable of outperforming IMHO many other speakers at much higher pricepoints. I have listened to quite a few setups and I have really enjoyed my Energys and forsee having them for quite a while.
     
  9. Rory Buszka

    Rory Buszka Supporting Actor

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    Yeah, if you got one of the newer Bose AM6 series systems (with the downfiring bass module) you can really tell the difference with the step up to the HTD subwoofer, on account of the Bose's woofer is only 5.25" and it only has one, and its amplifier starts to run out of power very easily. I personally think the HTD subwoofer looks too "conventional" (this is coming from a person who really goes for unconventional designs) and I think the Pinnacle sub would have been cooler just because of its size but you seem to have found something that suits you very well in the HTD Middy subwoofer, and I'm sure you saved a good deal of cash. The Middies themselves really look like a winner, however, and at that price point, you might have a hard time finding anything quite as good. Indeed, HomeTheaterDirect is still keeping up its great reputation. I'm glad that you found my suggestion to be helpful.
     
  10. Andy Sz

    Andy Sz Extra

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    Rory,
    You were a BIG help in turning me on to the HTD's. Although I'd LOVE to get a big 12"-15" SVS sub (or something similarly powerful) I also must keep the WAF in check. The Middie sub has not disappointed me at all.

    Thanks again.
     

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