N804+htm2?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Yoon Lee, Apr 29, 2002.

  1. Yoon Lee

    Yoon Lee Stunt Coordinator

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    It seems to be norm to have HTM1 if you have N804. Since I already stretched my budget all the way I can some more, HTM1 is completely out of reach... Do you think HTM2 will do bad with N804? If so, maybe I should go down to N805 to have them matched more properly...
     
  2. rodneyH

    rodneyH Supporting Actor

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    NO, the HTM-2 is a very very fine speaker, the HTM-1 is a 804 on its side, the HTM-2 is a 805 on its side. For me, when I upgrade my CDM7NT, CDMCNT, I will be going to the 804/HTM-2 combo, is it as good as the HTM-1???NOPE, is it still better than 99% of the center speakers out there??? I think so.
     
  3. Brian Vaughan

    Brian Vaughan Stunt Coordinator

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    Don't worry about using the HTM2 with your 804s. I have this exact set-up (with SCM1 surrounds) and I absolutely love them!

    Cheers, Brian
     
  4. Alan Kurland

    Alan Kurland Stunt Coordinator

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    I had this before, but since I upgraded I'm much happier with the HTM1. (I use 804s for fronts)

    There is a sizable difference, but it may depend on the room and space available. The HTM1 is huge and heavy.

    My advice is to get what you can afford now, you'll be happy with the HTM2. Most dealers will allow you to upgrade within a year, you should check, and see if you can swing it financially. Remember, this is a long term commitment, you should be satisfied, and if you're thinking maybe to go for the HTM1...maybe you could within the year. You make the choice.

    Good luck!!
     
  5. MarkFrab

    MarkFrab Agent

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    The real problem with the HTM-1 vs 2 when matching with the 804 vs 805 is the 2-way vs 3-way designs of the speakers.

    You [rant]will[/rant] have phase problems whenever you mix typical 2-way and 3-way designs, because nearly every 3-way design with 3rd order crossovers has the midrange wired in opposite polarity from the woofer and tweeter. In 3rd order 2-way designs, the woofer and tweeter are wired in opposite polarity.

    This means that in the case of the B&Ws:

    N804 20-350Hz: phase 0

    N804 350-4KHz: phase 180

    N804 4KHz+: phase 0

    HTM-2 20-3KHz: phase 0

    HTM-2 3KHz+: phase 180

    They're wired this way because the crossover alters the phase of the signal. Supposedly, the phase wiring of the drivers offsets the phase change of the crossovers, resulting in all frequencies being in-phase. However, in practice, you usually end up with phase problems when you mix 2 and 3-way designs.

    So you'll only have for sure have correct phase in the 20-350Hz and 3K-4KHz ranges. The critical mid-range freq (i.e. most human voices) will likely be out of phase in the center vs the mains. On the other hand, the bass freqs are the most sensitive to phase accuracy and they do remain in phase.

    Will all this bother you? Maybe, maybe not.

    In truth, most soundtracks do not, in my experience, require phase-correctness, as it only really matters during sound pans across the front soundstage - a not-exactly-common occurrence.

    Also, I'm not positive that the Nautilus series uses 3rd-order crossovers. I believe they do but I don't have any documentation either way.

    Regards.
     
  6. rodneyH

    rodneyH Supporting Actor

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    Mark, you obviously know much more than I, but don't you think that B&W would have done something to correct just what you are talking about, or do you think that B&W assumes everybody that gets 804s will get the HTM-1??

    I don't seem to have a problem with my CDM7NT with the CDMCNT, perhaps maybe this is because the 7 in a 2 1/2 way design and not a 3 way??? SO that would mean if someone got the CDM9NT (3 way) it wouldn't match as well to the CDMCNT (2 way)??? I am all confused now
     
  7. MarkFrab

    MarkFrab Agent

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    RodneyH,
    I believe that B&W does think that people will match the 805 with the HTM-2 and 804 and up with the HTM-1. That's how the line was designed!
    And yes, the CDM NT series has the same problem. Rears have the same issue too. And frankly, I do not understand what they mean by a 2 1/2 way speaker. WTF is that?
    Remember, B&W (indeed, as is the case for most manufacturers) speakers were/are designed for stereo music and intended to be used in pairs. Home theater speakers, while they did give them some thought, are a secondary market. And a new market too - and poorly understood.
    On top of all that, experts disagree on the need for phase and time-correct designs for stereo listening - how much more confusing does it become when you add 3 more speakers for surround sound? And how many people even have their speakers setup properly? Would it be worth spending a lot of time and money designing phase-correct systems? Tune in next week, same bat-time, same bat-channel, for the answers... [​IMG] Hopefully someone else will provide them, because I don't have any real answers.
    Besides, as I said earlier, most movie software doesn't do things that would really require a band/phase-accurate center - or rears for that matter. Voices laid down on the center channel are usually on the center channel exclusively - no phase problems there. Surround sound effects more often provide ambient environmental effects rather than localizable sound cues. Not always, but usually. So why incur costs for total band/phase accuracy?
    Multi-channel music, on the other hand, is a totally different beast. I think phase problems will be much more noticeable and significant with the newer high-resolution DVD-A and SACD formats. These formats, unlike home theater, have the potential for accurate 360-degree imaging. Also, they are much more likely, IMHO, to try and do tricky immersive soundfields.
    Interesting times, my friends. Interesting times.
     
  8. Justin Doring

    Justin Doring Screenwriter

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    I know that a lot of people use the HTM-2 with the N804, but I personally would advise against it. The HTM-2 is a two way design that only matches the N805. The HTM-1 is a three way designt that matches the N804 perfectly, as it uses an identical complement drivers. Sure, the HTM-2 sounds good with the N804...until you've heard the HTM-1 in its place. The HTM-1 is a far superior center, and considering that most of the information in a soundtrack comes from the center channel, that's the last place I'd skimp. If the extra $1000 is a big deal, go with the CDM-NT speakers for rears, as the front three speakers are the most important.
     
  9. James_N_H

    James_N_H Stunt Coordinator

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    MarkFrab

    Firstly I hardly dare mention my system on here as everything mentioned above puts it to shame, but I am a student so one can only expect so much. MarkFrab as you mention about B&W main and centre speakers not working too well with each other and you have said that about both the nautilus and CDMNT range can I ask about my DM's? I have the DM605 S2's as mains along with the LCR60-3 centre, from your knowledge are these matched at all? Thanks.
     
  10. James_N_H

    James_N_H Stunt Coordinator

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    MarkFrab

    Firstly I hardly dare mention my system on here as everything mentioned above puts it to shame, but I am a student so one can only expect so much. MarkFrab as you mention about B&W main and centre speakers not working too well with each other and you have said that about both the nautilus and CDMNT range can I ask about my DM's? I have the DM605 S2's as mains along with the LCR60-3 centre, from your knowledge are these matched at all? Thanks.
     
  11. MarkFrab

    MarkFrab Agent

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    James_N_H (and all),
    I don't want to imply I am any sort of expert - I'm still learning too.
    Also, I don't want to give the impression that I have all state-of-the-art equipment - nothing could be further than the truth. For example, don't ask me about my rears. :b
    Still, I do know that unless the speaker manufacturer takes pains to avoid it, that some phase-shift will occur due to the crossover networks.
    Also, please don't think I'm saying the the speaker lines I've talked about are total mis-matches - they do have the same timbre, etc.... It's just that if you mix 2-way and 3-way speakers you can get band-specific phase problems. Though it's not even particularly noticeable in most cases!
    With all that in mind, the web site says the DM605 S2 is a 3-way 6th order speaker. I am not very familiar with 6th order crossovers, and I do not know how or if there is any frequency-specific phase-shift for one. And the center you mention is another 2 1/2 way box... Sorry, I just don't have enough information to answer your question.
    In fact, [rant]I don't know what specific crossovers B&W uses in any of their speakers. For all I know, they are all band/phase/time-correct![/rant] Though usually if this is the case, the manufacturers tend to promote it in their marketing materials, and I can't find anything for B&W that states they are phase-correct - though I have seen statements that the Nautilus tweeter is time-correct at least on some of the speaker lines.
    Still, when all is said and done, it is just better not to mix 2-way and 3-way speakers - just as it's better to use timbre-matched speakers and to use speakers that have the same crossover frequencies.
    Regards.
     
  12. rodneyH

    rodneyH Supporting Actor

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    Justin, in the same vain, the CDM9NT doesn't match with the CDCNT, but instead the HTM-1, because of the speaker arangement. I guess really the CDM9NT doesn't have a center channel that fits its needs (I don't think that someone who spends $2600 on mains will spend $2000 just for a center?)
     
  13. Dennis B

    Dennis B Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey FrabMan,
    Are there any links or references you could post here for those of us who would like to dig a little deeper into the crossover dungeons [​IMG] ?
    Thanks.
     
  14. Yoon Lee

    Yoon Lee Stunt Coordinator

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    So, it IS better to have N805s around with HTM-2? Then, a sub will have to be added to the equation even when I listen to 2 channel musics... I expect a ton more debates on how much N804 sounds better than N804+sub combo. [​IMG]
     
  15. ManojM

    ManojM Stunt Coordinator

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    Yoon, I use 804 fronts, 805 rears and a HTM2 center channel. Although I would agree that having an HTM1 would be the ideal scenario, I have been quite happy with my HTM2. Eventually, I will get an HTM1 one of these days, but I really don't feel like I am missing all that much. I use a REL Strata III sub with the 804s for a bit extra bass "air," as my setup makes quite a bit of bass already. My friend uses the same sub with 805 fronts and HTM2, and it does sound very good on music, as the REL blends extremely well with the Nautilus line. I would have been just fine without the sub, but I do live in a condo and can't have the bass turned up too much. With the proper placement (use spikes), and a good amp, the 804s really do put out a decent amount of bass, and I actually do not like turning up my REL sub for music. I guess the bottom line of my opinion is: The HTM2 will do just fine and blend well. I have a rather critical ear, and I do not find the "phase coherence" issues to adversely effect the quality of the soundstage, and the sonics are well matched. If you listen more to music than HT, go with 804 fronts. If you do more HT, you can go with the 805s and a good sub, I would recommend the REL Storm in a matching finish to your speakers. I would not base your judgment on poor matching of the HTM2 to the 804s, I just don't believe that it is a significant issue.
     
  16. MarkFrab

    MarkFrab Agent

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    Dennis,
    I'm not aware of any specific web sites that detail the issues. There are plenty of web sites out there that touch on the issues though - just do a search and you'll find all kinds of crap.
    Yoon,
    Yes, all things considered it is better to have the HTM-2 with N805s. Personally, I think it's always better to have a subwoofer - even if you have mains that provide good bass response. A special-purpose tool (like a sub) will (almost) always produce better low bass then mains.
    Manoj,
    I've said several times that the phase problems are far less significant with movies that with music. [​IMG] Still, if you've never heard time/phase correct speakers set up properly... It's kind of like the "Matrix". Everything seems fine - if you've never been "outside". [​IMG]
    Regards, all!
     
  17. Justin Doring

    Justin Doring Screenwriter

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    If I was on a "budget" and wanted B&W Nautilus speakers, I would initially get the N804 and the HTM-1 and nothing else.

    First, the N805 is a great mini monitor, but when you add B&W's stands (or decent ones from another company), the total comes to about $2500, which is only $1000 less than the N804. That $1000 buys you a much better speaker, because, although you're sacrificing a bit of the imagaing capability you get with mini monitors, you're gaining a three way design which means you get a dedicated midrange driver which translates into a less cluttered midrange than the N805's, two woofers which translates into much more bass so you don't absolutely need a sub, and the ability to play louder in larger rooms. The same argument holds true for the HTM-1 as well, as stepping to that from the HTM-2 yields the same benefits as going from the N805 to the N804. In other words, your $2000 buys you a lot! You could hold off on a sub, as the N804 provides adequate bass for music and movies, and you cold use any old speakers for rears temporarily. I'd take two or three really good front speakers over 5.1 lesser ones any day of the week!
     
  18. Yoon Lee

    Yoon Lee Stunt Coordinator

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    But if the phase issue is so critical, all those people who has B&W 603s, 604s, CDM7NT, and CDM9NT are all doomed. From my limited experience,I didn't see that many 3 way center channel speakers...
     
  19. Frank_S

    Frank_S Supporting Actor

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    I own N804's with the HTM-2. I did'nt go with the larger center because of my smallish room. I also don't watch as many movies as I used to, music rules in my home.
    I have'nt noticed any phase/time correct issues in my setup.
    Everything sounds great to me. [​IMG]
     

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