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  #1  
Old March 9th, 2007, 6:22 AM
microbiologycor microbiologycor is offline
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Hsu HB-1 review

I just read the new edition of Home Theater Magazine and Mark Fleischman sings the HB-1's praises pretty loud...it's a good sign when a reviewer like Fleischman says they want to be careful and not rate a budget bookshelf speaker TOO HIGHLY (this means he really likes it but doesn't want to tick off people who went out and bought a pair of $1200 bookshelves that he also rated very highly and are now having buyer's remorse). I thought it was very interesting that during his listening review he talked only a little about the character of the speaker and sound he was hearing and a lot about the sound from the movies he was watching...my interpretation: the speakers "dissappeared" and he forgot he was reviewing a new set of bookshelves (which is impressive that he wasn't making comments like "weak bottom end...'cupped hands' sound from horn...could be more midrange detail, etc.). His only real critique speaks volumes for the speaker: something to the effect of "if they had spend more money on higher quality drivers they probably could've been a little more transparent" (read: they darn sure couldn't be any better for the price) and there isn't a speaker that this isn't true about.

Congratulations to Dr. Hsu and team for designing a speaker that is loved and endorsed by one of the toughest/most thorough reviewers in the industry.


(you guys should tell him before you put his quote on the box...he seemed a little shaken seeing his own quote on the box
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  #2  
Old March 9th, 2007, 9:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by microbiologycor View Post
I just read the new edition of Home Theater Magazine and Mark Fleischman sings the HB-1's praises pretty loud...it's a good sign when a reviewer like Fleischman says they want to be careful and not rate a budget bookshelf speaker TOO HIGHLY (this means he really likes it but doesn't want to tick off people who went out and bought a pair of $1200 bookshelves that he also rated very highly and are now having buyer's remorse). I thought it was very interesting that during his listening review he talked only a little about the character of the speaker and sound he was hearing and a lot about the sound from the movies he was watching...my interpretation: the speakers "dissappeared" and he forgot he was reviewing a new set of bookshelves (which is impressive that he wasn't making comments like "weak bottom end...'cupped hands' sound from horn...could be more midrange detail, etc.). His only real critique speaks volumes for the speaker: something to the effect of "if they had spend more money on higher quality drivers they probably could've been a little more transparent" (read: they darn sure couldn't be any better for the price) and there isn't a speaker that this isn't true about.

Congratulations to Dr. Hsu and team for designing a speaker that is loved and endorsed by one of the toughest/most thorough reviewers in the industry.


(you guys should tell him before you put his quote on the box...he seemed a little shaken seeing his own quote on the box
Hello:

I have HB-1's for my front and surround speakers and an HC-1 center speaker and I will second that review. I am very happy with them (and my HSU subs).

Well done team.

Splotto
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  #3  
Old March 12th, 2007, 10:13 AM
Jadams Jadams is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Splotto View Post
Hello:

I have HB-1's for my front and surround speakers and an HC-1 center speaker and I will second that review. I am very happy with them (and my HSU subs).

Well done team.

Splotto
Anyone else wnat to comment on these?
I am making my final decision today. And I know the two are totally different speakers but have narrowed it down to the HSU's and the Onix Rocket RS450's. If I go with the Hsu's I would be saving a lot of money.
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  #4  
Old March 12th, 2007, 10:44 AM
AudiblConoiseur AudiblConoiseur is offline
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another test...

Anyone out there test these against the Ascend CBM-170SE or CMT-340SE's? What did you find and why the HSU over Ascend?
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  #5  
Old March 21st, 2007, 10:00 AM
Jadams Jadams is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AudiblConoiseur View Post
Anyone out there test these against the Ascend CBM-170SE or CMT-340SE's? What did you find and why the HSU over Ascend?
Anyone? I was also seriously considering the Ascend 340SE's. I ended up getting the Onix Rocket RS 450's. Very nice speaker but am considering returning them and getting the HSU HB1's and with the money that I would be saving, I can get an VTF-HO real soon. What do you guys think I should do?
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  #6  
Old March 21st, 2007, 10:28 AM
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Wink CENTER CHANNEL SPEAKER

I bought the HC-1 in January and am very pleased! Particularly after shopping around and seeing what other's offered, and their prices. No regrets.
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  #7  
Old March 21st, 2007, 10:49 AM
Jadams Jadams is offline
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I bought the HC-1 in January and am very pleased! Particularly after shopping around and seeing what other's offered, and their prices. No regrets.
So you only have the center?
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  #8  
Old March 23rd, 2007, 8:25 AM
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HC-1

Yes, I just have the HC-1 as the center speaker and a VT3-MK2 as the sub. Main fronts are ADS monitor series (most, if not all people on this forum won't recognize them-quite old 25 years-but sound as good as the day I bought them). Surrounds are cheap-don't laugh-Radio Shack speakers. $60 when bought also quite a few years ago.
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  #9  
Old March 24th, 2007, 11:23 AM
Jadams Jadams is offline
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Originally Posted by feisty View Post
Yes, I just have the HC-1 as the center speaker and a VT3-MK2 as the sub. Main fronts are ADS monitor series (most, if not all people on this forum won't recognize them-quite old 25 years-but sound as good as the day I bought them). Surrounds are cheap-don't laugh-Radio Shack speakers. $60 when bought also quite a few years ago.
So is the center very detailed?
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  #10  
Old March 25th, 2007, 8:50 AM
feisty feisty is offline
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VERY " SUBJECTIVE" ANSWER

Difficult question to answer as the answer depends upon the listner. To my ears, the answer is "yes". At the same time I do not believe you are going to get anybody that bought this speaker to say "no".
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  #11  
Old March 26th, 2007, 8:28 AM
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Originally Posted by feisty View Post
Difficult question to answer as the answer depends upon the listner. To my ears, the answer is "yes". At the same time I do not believe you are going to get anybody that bought this speaker to say "no".
Hello:

We all want to feel good about our purchase and we want our decisions ratified by the masses.

When it comes to speakers, you really need to get speakers that sound good to you.

For me...I am arguable an extreme novice when it comes to audio equipment. I do not notice the audio nuances that others mention when listening to music/movies. Maybe my ears aren't as fine tuned; maybe I listened to too much very loud music in a very small car when I was young; or maybe I never really had good equipment (my vote) and I never had the opportunity to hear really good sound.

Either way, I purchased the HSU speakers and I am very happy with their sound even after listening to other brands at local stores.

In the end, I like them. If I didn't I would have sent them back.

Make yourself happy. Buy whatever sounds good and don't let so-call experts tell you that a certain brand is junk or 'the best'.

Splotto
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  #12  
Old March 26th, 2007, 9:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Splotto View Post
Hello:

We all want to feel good about our purchase and we want our decisions ratified by the masses.

When it comes to speakers, you really need to get speakers that sound good to you.

For me...I am arguable an extreme novice when it comes to audio equipment. I do not notice the audio nuances that others mention when listening to music/movies. Maybe my ears aren't as fine tuned; maybe I listened to too much very loud music in a very small car when I was young; or maybe I never really had good equipment (my vote) and I never had the opportunity to hear really good sound.

Either way, I purchased the HSU speakers and I am very happy with their sound even after listening to other brands at local stores.

In the end, I like them. If I didn't I would have sent them back.

Make yourself happy. Buy whatever sounds good and don't let so-call experts tell you that a certain brand is junk or 'the best'.

Splotto
So in all, how dynamic is your system? Does it really rock your room without any problems? My maiin concern is that sometimes I play my movies back at very high volumes, I just want to make sure that the speakers can handle it. I already fried a pair of speakers in the past.
I am already going to purchase the HO and MBM, so I will have your exact same set up. I am just wondering what you think of your entire set up.
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  #13  
Old March 26th, 2007, 9:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jadams View Post
So in all, how dynamic is your system? Does it really rock your room without any problems? My maiin concern is that sometimes I play my movies back at very high volumes, I just want to make sure that the speakers can handle it. I already fried a pair of speakers in the past.
I am already going to purchase the HO and MBM, so I will have your exact same set up. I am just wondering what you think of your entire set up.
Hello:

As I said...'Dynamic' is lost on a tin ear like me.

However, I love my system. It can get loud but I never really crank it up except for mistakes.

The sound, to me, is clear and I can feel and hear the bass. I get lots of items in the house rattling at various points.

I am setting up a dedicated HT room now and I am considering just buying another set of the HSU speakers since my family room sounds so good and I just can't justify spending over $1000 on a pair of speakers (let along 5.1 or 7.1 of them).

Splotto

PS I will say that the size of the HC-1 shocked me when it arrived....it's huge.
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  #14  
Old March 26th, 2007, 10:55 AM
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A VERY, VERY HONEST, AND GOOD ANSWER!

I, also, am in the same boat as Splotto-do not have audiophile ears and too busy to do the testing that others have done. Based upon what he said, I would believe him and trust him. Try the speakers-and if you do not like, return them.
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  #15  
Old March 26th, 2007, 1:10 PM
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Originally Posted by feisty View Post
Based upon what he said, I would believe him and trust him.
Let's not get carried away. :-)

Splotto
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  #16  
Old March 28th, 2007, 9:06 AM
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I compared the HSU HB-1 with the Ascend CMT-340SE for the front mains for music and HT. I ended up preferring CMT-340SE sound over the HB-1. The HB-1 sound was less forward and more restrained in the high frequencies. But, then again, my ears are getting older, so maybe the Ascends were compensating for natural high frequency decline. Regardless, I found the HSU HB-1 and HC-1 to have excellent sound and they were definitely a great value. They would be easy to listen to for long periods and they handle movie dynamics very well. The Ascends sound different and will cost more. Whether they sound better and are worth the additional cost is up to your personal sound preference.
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  #17  
Old April 1st, 2007, 3:31 PM
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Thanks

I really enjoyed reading tese reviews/ critiques. I ave my eyes on the HSU HB-1s. I entered into an Audioholic's drawing to win a 5 speaker set including the HC-1; but I havn't heard bac. Someone else probably won them. Oh, well. I'm happy for them.

I'm always looking into the latest offerings for when I make my speaker upgrades (when I have the cash). Currently I'm fixated on the HB-1s/HC-1, the Ascends CBM-170 Ses/CTM-340 SE or AV123's Xl-s series. I'd love to read comprisons to these fine products. I'll keep a lookout.
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  #18  
Old April 20th, 2007, 9:47 PM
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I have been on a quest for new Home Theater speakers for quite a while now. I have been very picky about this decision. Some might call it obsessive or compulsive or even obsessive compulsive. I prefer to call it hyper-vigilant. I currently have some Klipsch Synergy series speakers. Which are okay but I want something a little more lifelike and with a little more punch. I think that the HB-1s might sound similar to my current speakers since their design is nearly the same but the reviews seem to say otherwise. I have a great HSU sub at home right now so I'm willing to give the HB-1s a try.

I'll be heading to Southern California next Friday and I am planing to visit HSU headquarters to audition the HB-1s, the HC-1, and the MBM-12. I really like the idea of the MBM and I hope it delivers that mid bass punch that I really want. To me that's the biggest loss with typical inexpensive bookshelves. The MBM should bridge the gap between the bookshelves and the sub quite nice. The lobby shooting spree scene from The Matrix will be my test for the MBM-12. There is a nice bass line on bass guitar in that scene and if you have the right system it will sound nice and punchy behind all the gun fire. I hope the MBM will deliver, I have a feeling it will. I'm looking forward to testing it out.

I have already auditioned a number of speakers and I will be comparing the HSU HBs to all of the speakers I have already tested. So far I have tested the NHT Evolution M5 bookshelves ($449 each MSRP), KEF iQ9 Towers (about $450 each), BG Z5 Bookshelves ($399 each MSRP), and a number of Klipsch Reference Series speakers.

Here is the quick rundown of the speakers I have tested so far.

NHT M5s - Great sound, I have always been a fan of NHT and I love the M5s. I have tried them in my own home and I was really pleased with the sound. The NHT M5s are at the top of my list right now. Of course like all of the other speakers I have tested so far these speakers are a lot more money than the HSUs. The NHT M5s are highly regarded and their bigger bothers the M6s are very highly regarded. The M5s have some bits of technology that I have not found in any other speakers in this price range. One feature is the boundary compensation feature that is designed to reshape the crossover network based on where you place the speakers in your living room. If your going to place them close to a boundary such as close to a wall or inside an Entertainment Center you use one setting, if they are going to be further away from a boundary, more in the open you use the other setting. The other feature is what NHT calls virtual focused geometry. Basically this feature allows you to focus the high frequencies toward the listening position. Read the Evolution manuals on the NHT website if you want to know more about these features.

KEF iQ9 Towers and iQ6C - These speakers look beautiful but looking beautiful doesn't mean that they sound great. The finish on these speakers and the design elements are make these speakers look wonderful. They come in a number of finish options that would match well to just about any contemporary living room. As for the sound, they are a very close second to the NHT M5s for me. The KEFs are just a tiny bit harsh compared to the NHT M5s. The other thing I didn't like was I felt like I could get the same sound and volume from the NHT M5s without having a tower. Bookshelves will work better in my living room but I don't think the bookshelves in the iQ range from KEF would have measured up to the M5s. The iQ6C center channel sounds great however. I listened to some DVD-Audio on this setup and this particular DVD-Audio disk had the singers voice all mapped to the center with the instruments mapped to the L+R. The center really delivered. The singers voice sounded great.

BG Corp Z5s - These speakers use a planar ribbon tweeter which is the star feature. The ribbon tweeter makes for an unbelievable sound stage. If you close your eyes and listen to the music with the BG speakers you can not tell where the sound is coming from. These speakers take a stereo image and place all the instruments on a virtual stage right in front of you. It's really an amazing experience. There is no directionality to the sound with these ribbon tweeters. However they sound just a tad bit muted to me. I wanted just a tad bit more brightness on the high end than the BGs were able to deliver. I was also in a fairly bright, reverberant room when I tested the BGs. So in a room less reflective the BGs would have sounded even more muted at the high end. If your into jazz and classical, these speakers will probably hit the mark for you. If your into Pop and Rock they may be just a tad reserved for you. P.S. I'm a guy so if you're a woman you will probably love these speakers. Women seem to be a little more sensitive to high frequency tones than men are.

So why am I telling you all about all these other speakers? Well, I thought I would share my experience with these other speakers that I have tested with the plan of telling you all what I think of the HSU HBs after I audition them a week from today.

I'll do my best to be fair and unbiased. You know how much the other speakers I have tested cost compared to the HB-1s so you can make your own judgement based on my upcoming review. I'll compare the HSUs to all of these speakers that I have tested so far. I'll be bringing my own test CD with me to test the HSUs, the same CD that I have been using to test all of these other speakers.

Thanks in advance to HSU for letting me come into their offices to test out their products.

Last edited by broodwich : April 20th, 2007 at 10:26 PM.
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  #19  
Old April 21st, 2007, 6:56 AM
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Audioholics Review

There was also a recent review at Audioholics that was very favorable for the HB-1's

http://www.audioholics.com/reviews/s...speaker-review
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