Question about B&W HTM1 center

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by JayF, May 13, 2003.

  1. JayF

    JayF Stunt Coordinator

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    My current setup is B&W CDM 7NTs as mains, 1NTs as surrounds and the CDM CNT as center. I'm very happy with the 7 NTs, but find the CNT lacking in dynamics. Would I be crazy to try matching a HTM1 with the 7NTs? I've read through many, many threads but have never seen this asked. Am I just being stupid considering this? My dealer says it would be fine, but is he just after a sale?

    I know I will eventually upgrade the 7NTs into the Nautilus line, but probably not for 8-10 months. By the way, I did audition the HTM2 but wasn't exactly "wowed" by it, but maybe it would be a better choice?

    Thanks!
     
  2. ross ish

    ross ish Stunt Coordinator

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    I would not get too hung up with matching the center voicing to the mains; especially if the matching center does not sound good. Upgrade if you can and try to stay within the same manufacturer as the mains (although again I have heard mismatched systems that sound awfully good). Since only a tiny percentage of a film's content has panning across the three front speakers, it is far more important to purchase the best sounding center you can afford....75% of programming takes place within the center channel. This is double true for music. Nothing more irritating than hearing center that are not dynamic, muffled, boxy, chesty, nasially etc.
     
  3. Lynn Little

    Lynn Little Stunt Coordinator

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    I use a HTM1 with my N804s. The voice matching is SUPERB. IMO, the HTM1 is one of the best 3 or 4 center speakers made.

    That said, the only way I'd recommend that you buy a HTM1 is if you plan to buy N804s, N803s, etc to match it in the next 8-10 months.
     
  4. JohnOwens

    JohnOwens Agent

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    Jay, I also have a CDM center (SE) and I find it VERY dynamic when called for. Loud passages or gunshots can nearly make me jump out of my seat. Of course the only comparison I have is my previous B&W CC6 center - definitely lacking in the dynamics department and also quite a bit less clarity.

    Are you sure nothing is amiss in regard to setup or calibration?
     
  5. JayF

    JayF Stunt Coordinator

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    John, I'm not sure if the CDM (SE) is the same speaker, I don't think it is. In any case, I'm fairly confident it's not a setup issue. I have a front projection system & have tried the speaker both below & above the screen. Don't get me wrong, it doesn't sound terrible, just not as exciting as the 7NTs.

    Ross, I've received similar responses as yours from various hifi dealers I've called across the country. Since my usage is 95% movies and I'm not into 5-channel music, it's sounding like this really may work for me.
     
  6. Ned

    Ned Supporting Actor

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    Jayf-

    Are you running the center large by any chance? Do you have a subwoofer?
     
  7. Leo_P

    Leo_P Second Unit

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    Jay, have you thought about getting another 1NT as a center? How about going all the way and getting a 7NT for a center?
    I have 9NT's along with a CNT and a pair of SNT's. I have no problem with the CNT, it's a big improvement over my last center, an Axiom VP100.
    But if you don't like the CNT, try a 1NT. Or, if you're sure you're going to upgrade soon, go for the HTM1.
    Good luck.
     
  8. Pete H

    Pete H Stunt Coordinator

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    I believe you would find it pretty easy to listen to the HTM1 with any front speakers. IMO it would be difficult to listen to a center of lesser quality than the fronts. The HTM1 does eliminate the need to upgrade regardless of what you do with the fronts. (IMO again)

    I use the HTM1. I wanted to buy the HTM2 because I thought I wouldn't care. Auditioning the two proved me wrong.
     
  9. Lynn Little

    Lynn Little Stunt Coordinator

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    "I believe you would find it pretty easy to listen to the HTM1 with any front speakers."

    I don't really agree with the part about "any front speakers". However, as 7NTs are kind of close to N804s, the match might work OK...

    "IMO it would be difficult to listen to a center of lesser quality than the fronts. The HTM1 does eliminate the need to upgrade regardless of what you do with the fronts. (IMO again)"

    IMO, those two opinions match my opinions 100%! [​IMG]
     
  10. JayF

    JayF Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, I'll know soon enough how this mating will work, I ordered the HTM1 today.

    Leo, I have tried one of my 1NTs as a center (just playing one day) and that really didn't do anything for me. Trying it with a 7NT just wouldn't work unless I went with a perforated screen which I'm not inclined to do.

    I'm going to keep my fingers crossed that the HTM1 will make me smile. If anything, all of my mono DVDs should sound as good as possible!
     
  11. Lynn Little

    Lynn Little Stunt Coordinator

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    "I'm going to keep my fingers crossed that the HTM1 will make me smile."

    I don't think you have a thing to worry about there!

    Jay, what will you be driving your new HTM1 with? I drove mine with an Outlaw 1050 (65wpc) for over a year, and it sounded pretty darn good. I now drive it with a Pioneer Elite VSX-45TX, which sounds quite a bit better. I use a Bryston 4B ST to drive my mains. I plan to get a Bryston PowerPac 250 or 300 SST to drive my HTM1, hopefully this year...
     
  12. JayF

    JayF Stunt Coordinator

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    Lynn, I have a Sunfire Cinema Grand amp rated at 200 wpc. I love what it does with my 7NTs. The B&W dealer thought it would be fine with the HTM1.

    Rest of my current system, if interested, is a Theater Grand pre/pro and EAD Theatervision P DVD player (great with audio CDs). I power my pre/pro, DVD player & CRT projector with a PS Audio PowerPlant 600. The amp is plugged into a PS Audio Ultimate Outlet.
     
  13. Ned

    Ned Supporting Actor

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    Do you run the center channel "large"?
     
  14. JayF

    JayF Stunt Coordinator

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    Ned, no, I run it small.
     
  15. Lynn Little

    Lynn Little Stunt Coordinator

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    "Lynn, I have a Sunfire Cinema Grand amp rated at 200 wpc."

    That ought to do just fine!
     
  16. Lynn Little

    Lynn Little Stunt Coordinator

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    BTW, what finish did you order yours in?
     
  17. JayF

    JayF Stunt Coordinator

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    The red-stained cherry wood. At first I was leaning toward the black, but but the red will match the trim in my room.
     
  18. Lynn Little

    Lynn Little Stunt Coordinator

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    My N804s and HTM1 are that color, beautiful...
     
  19. JayF

    JayF Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, the HTM1 arrived the other day. It's definitely huge. I haven't had a chance to try it out for more than an hour, but what I've heard so far has impressed me. The few scenes from movies I've tried have sounded great and that's without any breaking in. The cabinet itself is beautiful.
     
  20. Jack Dotson

    Jack Dotson Agent

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    O.K. lots of reply's here so let me throw my 2 cents in.

    You were worried about mathing you mains? Try using the HTM's with Magnepan 1.6's. Yes, this is exactly what I did. Like the one fellow pointed out, I too feel it is more important to have a really good center than one that is the same brand as your main speakers.

    I love the sound of my Maggies, especially for music. However, they do not have the dynamics or detail of the Nautilus line. I use my sytem for HT and SACD multi-channel, but it will probably be used 70% for HT so I decided to go with a dynamic speker.

    Having said all that, I auditioned several centers over the past couple of months and did an indepth between the HTM-2 and the HTM-1. I went with the HTM-2. I do agree that the the HTM-1 is better, but only as far as deeper and better bass are concerned. If I were goig to run mine full range then it would have be the HTM-1, although HTM-2 had more bass than I expected. I tested them with a 80Hz filter employed and I could not tell the difference. YMMV, but this is what I heard.

    I just got mine today, so I can't comment on in-home performance, but I'll report back once I've had some time with it. BTW, when I checked with fold on the Maggie forum I found a number of 1.6 and 3.6 owners using the HTM's and in some cases their dealers recommending them over the Maggie center.
     

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