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Home Theater Lounge System of the Month

Discussion in 'Home Theater Lounge' started by CJ, May 10, 2017.

  1. Tex Thai

    Tex Thai Member

    SWEET @Jack!!!! Great review!!!!
    It is clear it must play LOW and loud enough, can you say how musical it is? In other words, how well does all that mass keep up with music that is moving right along faster than say movie explosions?
    That has always been the challenge on the deep bass players for me.
    Good to hear about the HSU, thanks,
    God Bless,
    Wayne
     
  2. Jack

    Jack Well-Known Member Donor War Zone Member Top Poster

    Thank You very Much Wayne, although I found the review a bit tedious and off topic at times.
    You ask a valid question that I should’ve answered initial review. In short, I find this sub to be a delight with music. Truth be told it is not my old REL sub which was the bees knees for music but not a fruitful for movies. I think the Hsu adds a great foundation to the music when it needs to be there and is gone when not needed. There does not appear to be any overhang or bloat and it keeps pace with what is going on.


    I use a couple tracks to test the sub and the first is Diane Krall, “All or nothing at all”. In the beginning there is a standup bass that runs down the neck and then back up and it seems to be somewhat problematic as it is going up the neck and the notes are getting deeper and deeper in that the means will usually pass off to the subwoofer and if the subwoofer is no good you tend to hear a big difference in tightness and timber. Another good one is by Jane Monheit, “Honeysuckle Rules”, and it has a standup bass that’s quite similar to the previous track I mentioned. In this case the beginning of the song is very sparsely recorded with the base and her voice and you can really dig into how the sound of the base tends to change as he goes back up the neck and the frequency lowers. In a perfect world the sound of the base should remain taught, deep and hopefully one cannot tell the difference between the means and the means being helped by the subwoofer. Of course there’s always ”Flight Of The Cosmic Hippo” but that was just for fun.

    There are many regular bass guitar cuts but I like and one that is always stood out is on the Fleetwood Mac rumors album and it’s called “ The Chain”. I love how the Hsu seems to add just the right amount of flesh to the sound of the bass just before the chorus.


    I don’t think it’s necessary to go on and on but suffice to say that I as a big fan think it does wonderful, if judiciously set up.
     
    Tex Thai likes this.
  3. Tex Thai

    Tex Thai Member

    Thanks Jack for that followup. That makes it clear your sub is a winner in your system.
    And I like the way you are checking how it works with your speakers. I find it is NOT easy to mate a sub into a system so that it is not noticeable when
    the mains hand off. Good one.
    God Bless,
    Wayne
     
  4. CJ

    CJ Well-Known Member Admin War Zone Member

    Top Poster Of Month

    This is one of the reason I appreciate my Triton's so much. I can truly get away with running them with no subwoofer.
     
    Tex Thai likes this.
  5. Tex Thai

    Tex Thai Member

    Yes, agreed on the Tritons, so can I but I prefer to dig a little deeper into the bass than the Tritons will go.
    God Bless,
    Wayne
     
  6. Jack

    Jack Well-Known Member Donor War Zone Member Top Poster

    I do wish I could have something like the Tritons as that would seem to be the perfect marriage of top to bottom blends and maybe have an external sub on the side for movies. Now that is how ya do it.
     
    Tex Thai likes this.
  7. Phil A

    Phil A Active Member Top Poster

    That's why I use Rel subs for music (I do use one of them for HT too in a secondary system in a small to average sized room). They do have dual inputs (for high and low level) so one can use them for both but the older ones I have (all more than 10 years old) are not really going to give one the deep bottom end with the dedicated channel. The new Rel reference series looks nice but they start at $4k so I when I had my recent lightning damage I opted for the Power Sound Audio S1500 for HT in the main system. They allow one to set a crossover for the high (speaker) level connection (basically the combo of A thru D and numbers on the below pic amount to crossover points to allow one to fill in the bass the mains don't reproduce) and low level for HT too.
    maxresdefault.jpg
     
    Tex Thai likes this.
  8. Tex Thai

    Tex Thai Member

    Jack, that is what I do, the Triton's built in subs for music, and an extra sub for movies.
    Phil, that looks like it can do all sorts of things, maybe even have babies!!!!
    God Bless,
    Wayne
     
  9. Phil A

    Phil A Active Member Top Poster

    In my old place (in VA - pic below) for a bit I used the two Rels for HT as well as music. It was OK, but it was a huge room (like 7,000 cu ft with the 19 ft ceiling and opened into other spaces) and they really didn't cut it with me after I finished the basement and first used (for a short period) an old Phase Technology Octave 1.0 sub and then a Dayton Audio Titanic Mk. iii (which bit the dust recently with a lightning hit). The basement of the old house was a big room too (maybe 700 sq ft) and after having a good HT sub, I started to use the main system mostly for music (it got too much light during the day anyway for movies) and sometimes (but not tons) for HT (found the old house basement to be a better HT experience).

    The Rels are great for music. I have a Strata III too in a secondary 2-channel system. When dialed in right (I have a one third octave RTA and a mic for my PC music server to measure), they disappear and just produce the bass the mains are missing.

    main room.jpg
     
    Tex Thai likes this.
  10. Jack

    Jack Well-Known Member Donor War Zone Member Top Poster

    I really enjoyed the time with my REL subwoofer, as you say you’re pretty much just worked. I had a PSA sub for a short while but it didn’t agree with me and so I replaced it with the HSU and in reality I would expect that either sub would make the owner quite happy. Once I get back on my feet with work I will put the second sub in the room because it kinda needs it, however I think the next one will be a DIY.
     
    Tex Thai likes this.
  11. Phil A

    Phil A Active Member Top Poster

    The Dayton Audio Titanic Mk. iii I had was a good HT sub. If not for the lightning damage, I'd still have it. The PSA S1500 has more output (and is sealed too). For me it was a question of how much I wanted to spend on a replacement. If I had my old house with the basement, I'd finish it differently (have a real dedicated HT room vs. a nice looking room that happens to have a HT in it) and probably go nuts on a sub. My spare room with the Rel Q150 is small to average size and the Rel works nice for both music and movies in there. I always used to tell myself my next one of something would be DIY and then I'd never get to it. One of these days perhaps I'll catch up with stuff and dig it a project.
     
    Jack and Tex Thai like this.
  12. John Celardo

    John Celardo Well-Known Member Donor

    Hey Jack, great review. Some of the things you wrote are just what I heard when I hooked up my PSA 15. It's there when you want it, and disappears when you don't. It replaced an ancient Sony 12" that I stuffed with hollowfill. Never had real subs like you.

    I had the same experience you did with a Diana Krall recording. I have that Jane Monheit CD and I'll give it a spin. I was surprised how deep but subtle the low end is on some of the vinyl I put on the turntable. Paraphrasing the Chief from Cuckoo's Nest, "SUBWOOFER.....GOOD!"
     
    Jack and Tex Thai like this.
  13. Jack

    Jack Well-Known Member Donor War Zone Member Top Poster

    Thank You John. For years I railed against having the big subwoofer in that I felt multiples of the smaller ones would add up to something bigger. In addition I was under the incorrect believe that the larger subs would sound boomy or tubby when it came to music reproduction. I think it was David Yohn that convinced me otherwise when he told me my rel subwoofer was not meant for home theater and once again he was spot on.

    There are many many good recordings that benefit from a powerful subwoofer with some additional suggestions as follows.

    Tracks two and three from the gladiator soundtrack.
    The California Project, Papa Doo Run Run on the Telarc label
    Pink Floyd Wish You Were Here Blu Ray disc or Sacd
    The Telarc 1812 is brimming with explosive bottom end
    Aaron Copland, Fanfare for the Common Man, also on Telarc.

    I am sure others could add even more.
     
    Tex Thai likes this.
  14. Phil A

    Phil A Active Member Top Poster

    There's so many good cuts out there to demo bass response on music selections. Below are a few more:

    Bela Fleck – Flight of Cosmic Hippo

    Ozone Percussion Group – Jazz Variants

    The Mighty Sam McClain – Gone for Good (live – you tube link below as a sample and it doesn't do the cut justice vs. the CD)

    Al Di Meola – The Embrace

    Vandaveer – Fistful of Swoon

    Clair Martin – Riverman

    Diana Krall – Temptation

    James Taylor – Gaia

    Sheffield Labs Drum Record



     
    Tex Thai and Jack like this.
  15. John Celardo

    John Celardo Well-Known Member Donor

    I was surprised how well the vinyl version of James Taylor's Mud Slide Slim showed off the subtleness of the big sub. The acoustic guitar takes on an interesting sound quality with the right amount of low end.

    I have some of the recordings you and Phil listed. I didn't think of the Copland Fanfare, which is one of my favorite classical pieces. And 1812 of course, daaah! I've heard it live many times at Tanglewood with cannon. Unfortunately, I gave away the vinyl Gene Krupa, Buddy Rich Original Drum Battle to my nephew when he started playing drums. That might have made the house crumble.
     
  16. Jack

    Jack Well-Known Member Donor War Zone Member Top Poster

    Listening to the 1812 live at the outside concert area of Grant Park in Chicago every year for the 4th of July festival was truly an inspiration. These concerts also used 6 live cannons that were pretty closely sinked to the music and when they went of the concussive force they generated were awe inspiring. At home I dont get that same reaction, DUH, but it has not yet upset the subwoofer or mains. Keeping my fingers crossed.
    The Bela Fleck Cosmic Hippo cut is something to behold and kind of good music at the same time.

    I forgot to mention, Roger Waters' "Amused to Death"has everything you could want to show off your entire system with the cut Three Wishes being more than fun. The disc is hard to make it from the beginning to the end in one sitting as there is so much going on at all times it might tend to mess with your senses of it but I highly recommend it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2017
  17. CJ

    CJ Well-Known Member Admin War Zone Member

    Top Poster Of Month

    Bela is actually one of my favorite groups. I've seen them live twice.
     
  18. Jack

    Jack Well-Known Member Donor War Zone Member Top Poster

    Is Bela and the Flecktones considered jazz ?
     
  19. CJ

    CJ Well-Known Member Admin War Zone Member

    Top Poster Of Month

    Jazz, fusion, progressive bluegrass, jam band... per wikipedia. Genres are a tough thing.
     
    Barry_NJ likes this.
  20. Jack

    Jack Well-Known Member Donor War Zone Member Top Poster

    Thanks, I did not think to look them up. I have seen his concerts on you tube but never in person. Quite the nice man.
    I asked because Jriver put him in the jazz genre but I never really got the jazz vibe, blue grass progressive or otherwise as well as general americana music seemed good to me.
     

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