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  #1  
Old January 4th, 2014, 5:17 PM
Moldbuster Moldbuster is offline
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HSU FLOORSTANDING Speakers?

Does Hsu have any plans to build a FLOORSTANDING loudspeaker? Something along the lines of an upgraded HB-1 with an MBM built in ought to do the trick. I have HB-1s with the center and they are ridiculously good for very little $$, but missing in dynamic range and resolution compared to my former system (Full Active Danley Labs System...I converted the Dedicated theater building to a 2 bedroom rental). Looking to upgrade and curious if Hsu has plans for something a bit more substantial in the speaker offering dept.
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  #2  
Old January 4th, 2014, 7:32 PM
ATL ATL is offline
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Not sure if anyone from Hsu Research will give an official response in this matter on this public forum. Doubt they'd let the cat out of the bag here.

I'm no marketing genius, but I don't see this happening (breaking into the floor-standing market). Obviously, Hsu started out concentrating on subs (in the 70s or 80s...?). Didn't get into satellites and centers until much later, and probably only because they saw a niche for one-stop shopping (i.e. subs, sats & center from one mfr - especially with the advent of 'home theater'). Just a guess on my part. Of course back when they started up, there really was no such thing as home theater (and therefore "center" speakers), so it's a totally different marketplace today compared to back then. Even 3-piece sat/sub systems were fairly new then.

Truth be told, few (if any) mfrs are successful at making high-quality subs, sats, centers and full-range speakers. Usually when a mfr breaks into an area outside their initial concentration, it has less than ideal outcomes. Some companies make great sats or subs or floor-standers, but it's hard to name any that are good at everything.

I think there is such a thing as 'too many choices', at least from one manufacturer. If they came out with a line of floor-standers, with a low-end dipping into anywhere near the "upper deep bass" region, they would end up cutting into their own subwoofer market.

There are also costs for research and development for any new product line, which takes away from the R&D that is an ongoing expense for existing products. (Obviously R&D doesn't end when a product hits the market - not if they want to continue improving.) It's just a matter of economics that if they pull R&D dollars from their subwoofer line (which has been their bread & butter since the beginning) in order to expand into a new area (even though it seems a small step from satellite or center speaker to floor-stander), something's going to suffer.

I would hope that whatever direction they take in the future, they will not forget their roots - that being affordable infrasonic audio reproduction. For that is what sets them apart from the rest of the crowd, and what has attracted thousands of us to them over the decades. In essence, I think it's what has made them successful over the years. I'm afraid that if they attempt to become a full-product-line outfit, their initial concentration will be watered down and will suffer because of it. And whatever loyalty their customer base has shown in the past will suffer as well.
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  #3  
Old January 4th, 2014, 8:14 PM
shadyJ shadyJ is offline
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Agreed with ATL, there is no point in Hsu making floor standing speaker when they have subs. A typical 3 way floor standing speaker isn't much more than a bookshelf speaker sitting on top of the cabinet of a wimpy subwoofer. I think Hsu should make a speaker that increases the dynamic range of their current line, not the frequency range.

One thing I would like to see is affordable high powered speakers that concentrate on crazy dynamics above 70 hz or so. Something with a compression driver and powerful woofer, sort of like Pi speakers or those SEOS kits. I feel like there is a big hole under maybe seven hundred dollars or so of speakers with pro-level dynamics. Klipsch speakers are pretty powerful but they don't really serve this market.
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  #4  
Old January 29th, 2014, 11:29 AM
Deromax Deromax is offline
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The HC-1 will take insane amount of power. A little understood fact is they are 12 ohms, so a typical amp will put out less than their 8 ohms rated power into these. If you instead use a more powerful amp along with proper high pass filtering, the HC-1 will begin to sing!

I power my HC-1 center with a bridged Bryston 4B. That is about 650 watts into the 12 ohms load.
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  #5  
Old January 29th, 2014, 6:44 PM
SME SME is offline
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Wow, 650 W? I am running an Emotiva XPA-5, which is rated at 200 W/channel. It handles the front LCR HC-1s and HB-1 surrounds very well. The seats are roughly 8-10 feet from the speakers. I've played back several movies at reference level without issues. When I think I'm hearing clipping, a replay at lower level usually confirms that the clipping is in the mix and not my system. As one example, Star Trek has a phenomenal sound track (maximum warp!) that comes through very cleanly. That said, many movies sound too loud at theatrical reference level, and I think that's partly because many Blu ray and DVD releases are re-mastered at lower levels with less dynamic range.

Has anyone done any distortion measurements (like CEA for subs) on these? Some day I may get around to doing such measurements myself as I have the equipment to do so, at least in-room. I have one REW measurement of my center channel playing at around 72 dB at the main listening position. The worst distortion occurs under 300 Hz with peaks around 1% THD. From 300 Hz on up to 10 kHz, THD is around 0.5%, and is mostly 3rd harmonic in nature.

It'll be interesting to see how they do when pushed harder.
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  #6  
Old February 27th, 2014, 9:43 AM
Deromax Deromax is offline
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Unless you have a clip indicator on the amp, you won't know what is really happening. When I used a single channel of the Bryston 4B (250W onto 8 ohms) it was often clipping on loud gunshots or similar sound effects.

I'm sure the actual delivered power never come close to 650 watts, but I decided I never wanted to see another red clip LED. Hence I decided that overkill would be good, and I had the 4B other channel available anyway.

My 5.2 system have 3400 combined watts.
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  #7  
Old February 27th, 2014, 10:36 AM
SME SME is offline
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My XPA-5 has red LEDs that are supposed to illuminate when clipping, but I only ever see them during power-on self-test. I don't know how the clip indication is implemented, so it's possible that the clip light doesn't visibly illuminate when clipping does occur briefly as in an impulse.

Likewise, I can imagine implementations in which the clip light illuminates even when clipping isn't occurring. A decent amp should be able provide more than its rated RMS power instantaneously for very brief peak demands, but this peak power capability isn't easy to define in a consistent way for comparison between products, so "serious" manufacturers don't typically quote it. A clip light which is calibrated to illuminate when the demanded voltage exceeds the RMS (or RMS+3 dB) rating of the amp may light up even though sufficient voltage is available for the brief impulse.

Anyway, I for one would be interested to see what kind of speaker Hsu Research could come up with for a somewhat higher price tag. I have no idea what form such a product might take. Is a 3-way design worth considering, or does the additional crossover adversely impact aspects of sound quality unrelated to headroom? I don't know.

Two improvements that I think could make a difference are: (1) better cabinet damping and/or a driver decoupling mechanism and (2) active crossover. While an active crossover design could provide a substantial improvement, it would most likely require integrated amplification and connection using line-level outputs which aren't commonly available on low/mid-level consumer AVRs. This fact may limit the appeal of (2) for Hsu Research which seems to be targeting this market.
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  #8  
Old February 28th, 2014, 3:44 PM
Deromax Deromax is offline
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Converting an HSU speaker to active crossover (or most other speakers too) should be the simplest of thing. Actually, I might try it some day!
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  #9  
Old March 1st, 2014, 9:51 PM
SME SME is offline
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Well, I don't just mean using an active crossover but also optimizing it for sound quality. I believe much of what makes the Hsu speakers non-fatiguing is to do with the crossover design. It's not as simple as it looks.
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