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RAW Acoustics HT8
2 Reviews
rating  5 of 5
MSRP  3999.00
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Reviews 1 - 2 (2 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by John Cook a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: July 26, 2007

Bottom Line:   
This is not going to be overly involved, as I tend to cover off pros and cons and prefer to leave audio buzzwords out of the equation! I want this to be short and to the point but, I tend to ramble so be warned… this could go on for a while!

I’m not sure how to write this and keep any sort of flow going so I’m going to touch on the points below and hope that at the end of it all, it makes some sense:

- Customer Service
- Delivery
- Fit & Finish
- Performance
- Pro’s & Cons

First things first, RAW Acoustics is an excellent company to deal with. Al is always accessible via phone or email and anytime I had a question Al was always quick to respond. I always take customer service into account whenever I’m thinking about buying something in this hobby we call audio and Al did not disappoint. If the customer service sucks, more often than not, I stay clear and look elsewhere. That is not the case with RAW and in the case of my speakers, Denny from Custom Concepts who was also involved also gets a big thumbs up as he was also very quick to respond to any and all of my questions and I had a few throughout the process. Thumbs up!

My HT8’s came crated and arrived in mint condition. Thumbs up!

How is the fit and finish you ask… AWESOME! The finish on my speakers surpasses the finish of my old reference speakers the GS60’s from Monitor Audio, which are no slouch in the appearance department. I have looked them over top to bottom looking for a flaw and if there is one, I can’t find it.

When I first un-packed the HT8’s I was caught a little of guard as they are bigger then I was expecting and with the spikes installed, they get even taller! It’s not so much the height that got me, it’s the depth that I misjudged and is one of the main reasons on why this review has taken me so long to get around to doing. They are a rear-ported speaker (big ports) and require a fair bit of room behind them, which in my current set-up isn't going to happen. They need to be placed close to a back wall or I will find myself in trouble on the domestic front! So with that in mind it took me a lot of playing around before I found a compromise that worked for the speakers and at the same time was something my wife was willing to accept. I’m currently running them 10in from the back wall with a slight toe in towards each other with the woofers facing each other. This is still far from optimal but it works rather well. One thing that had to go was the spikes as the speakers with the spikes installed are simply to tall to work within the room they find themselves in. The spikes do offer a performance gain but I found it to be marginal at best and was something I could live without for the time being. I actually find that the bass response is better with just the bases installed but I lose some imaging when the spikes are removed. As I’m a bass nut, I can live with this trade off any day of the week.

Once I hit the point of being happy with placement I discovered that the HT8’s like power and a lot of it. This led me down the road of trying out a fair number of amps that I had on hand, borrowed from friends and from accommodating dealers. I tried several in the 100w, 150w and 200w range and each time I increased the real world power that was available the HT8’s sounded that much better. At one point I was running a pair of Parasound HCA-1500A’s as 600W a side mono blocks and the HT8’s loved the combo but something still wasn't right. I’m not a fan of running stereo amps in mono as for some reason it just never sounds right to me. I have no idea why but it just doesn’t. So I moved on and tried a few other amps before hitting on an amp that the HT8’s love, the MC402 from McIntosh. At 400W a side and 100amps of current the HT8’s have met there match. With the MC402 in place the HT8’s came alive! At low volume levels to insane volume levels the MC402 maintains control of the HT8’s at every step of the way. There are a few more amps that I want to try but that will be down the road as I find myself in no big rush at the moment.

How do they sound? Think bass as in a lot of it. These speakers put out more bass then even I was expecting. Al states on his web site that the HT8’s can play in the 27hz range and let me tell you from first hand experience, they can handle bass. The two 6.8in side-firing woofers offer up fast and tight bass. This is something that I personally love. At low volume levels you can feel the bass not just hear it. Amazing bass performance from a floor standing speaker. When the volume increases, the woofers seem to be able to handle whatever I throw at them. Granted I have yet to really open the MC402 as the amp is capable of producing an insane amount of power and I’m not sure what the HT8’s max power rating is. What I do know is that they can play low or play insanely loud and do both with ease.

This is the first set of speakers that I have owned that use a ribbon tweeter so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had read that ribbons are the way to go but I had fears of receiving a speaker that was going to be “in my face” which is something I don’t like. Call it overly accurate, bright or whatever this is not something I want in a speaker. This is not the case with the HT8’s. If anything I find them to be on the laid back side. The detail and clarity is there but it’s not way out there and offers up a very pleasing sound that doesn’t generate listening fatigue. The ribbon has turned out to be something that I was not expecting but is something I very much like. These speakers really seem to be able to do it all, imaging, bass, clarity it’s all there. They are definitely a speaker that will let you know when you have the “garbage in, garbage out” problem. Poorly recorded material can be brutal to listen to but recordings that have been done correctly sound amazing. I have a very large MP3 collection that I stream via a Transporter and I have discovered a lot of MP3’s and even some FLAC’s that I can no longer listen to as they sound like crap.

I should make mention of my listening tastes as I think source material is relevant to know when posting thoughts on how a speaker performs. I’m mainly a rock / metal person with some Blues thrown in. I have been listening to it my whole life and with 40 just around the corner, I have no plans on changing my listening tastes. I can go from Steve Ray Vaughn to Robert Cray to Shadows Fall in a heartbeat and the HT8’s do well with both styles. I have two pre teen daughters who are in to Pink, Rihanna, Justin Timberlake and various other artists along those lines and although I don’t like most of it, hip hop and dance sound excellent on the HT8’s. So much so that I have found myself listening to some of the better recorded dance and hip hop material lately as I just like the way it comes out of the HT8’s. Once again it’s the whole bass thing for me.

I’m not going to talk a lot about the how the HT8’s do with HT, as I’m sure you can judge for yourself based on what I have already said but just so there is no confusion, they kick ass! In conjunction with my sub it’s very impressive to hear and feel the impact of a good movie explosion across the entire front viewing area, which is what I get with the HT8’s.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2006

Price Paid:    $3999.00

Purchased At:   RAW



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by John Cook a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: July 26, 2007

Bottom Line:   
This is not going to be overly involved, as I tend to cover off pros and cons and prefer to leave audio buzzwords out of the equation! I want this to be short and to the point but, I tend to ramble so be warned… this could go on for a while!

I’m not sure how to write this and keep any sort of flow going so I’m going to touch on the points below and hope that at the end of it all, it makes some sense:

- Customer Service
- Delivery
- Fit & Finish
- Performance
- Pro’s & Cons

First things first, RAW Acoustics is an excellent company to deal with. Al is always accessible via phone or email and anytime I had a question Al was always quick to respond. I always take customer service into account whenever I’m thinking about buying something in this hobby we call audio and Al did not disappoint. If the customer service sucks, more often than not, I stay clear and look elsewhere. That is not the case with RAW and in the case of my speakers, Denny from Custom Concepts who was also involved also gets a big thumbs up as he was also very quick to respond to any and all of my questions and I had a few throughout the process. Thumbs up!

My HT8’s came crated and arrived in mint condition. Thumbs up!

How is the fit and finish you ask… AWESOME! The finish on my speakers surpasses the finish of my old reference speakers the GS60’s from Monitor Audio, which are no slouch in the appearance department. I have looked them over top to bottom looking for a flaw and if there is one, I can’t find it.

When I first un-packed the HT8’s I was caught a little of guard as they are bigger then I was expecting and with the spikes installed, they get even taller! It’s not so much the height that got me, it’s the depth that I misjudged and is one of the main reasons on why this review has taken me so long to get around to doing. They are a rear-ported speaker (big ports) and require a fair bit of room behind them, which in my current set-up isn't going to happen. They need to be placed close to a back wall or I will find myself in trouble on the domestic front! So with that in mind it took me a lot of playing around before I found a compromise that worked for the speakers and at the same time was something my wife was willing to accept. I’m currently running them 10in from the back wall with a slight toe in towards each other with the woofers facing each other. This is still far from optimal but it works rather well. One thing that had to go was the spikes as the speakers with the spikes installed are simply to tall to work within the room they find themselves in. The spikes do offer a performance gain but I found it to be marginal at best and was something I could live without for the time being. I actually find that the bass response is better with just the bases installed but I lose some imaging when the spikes are removed. As I’m a bass nut, I can live with this trade off any day of the week.

Once I hit the point of being happy with placement I discovered that the HT8’s like power and a lot of it. This led me down the road of trying out a fair number of amps that I had on hand, borrowed from friends and from accommodating dealers. I tried several in the 100w, 150w and 200w range and each time I increased the real world power that was available the HT8’s sounded that much better. At one point I was running a pair of Parasound HCA-1500A’s as 600W a side mono blocks and the HT8’s loved the combo but something still wasn't right. I’m not a fan of running stereo amps in mono as for some reason it just never sounds right to me. I have no idea why but it just doesn’t. So I moved on and tried a few other amps before hitting on an amp that the HT8’s love, the MC402 from McIntosh. At 400W a side and 100amps of current the HT8’s have met there match. With the MC402 in place the HT8’s came alive! At low volume levels to insane volume levels the MC402 maintains control of the HT8’s at every step of the way. There are a few more amps that I want to try but that will be down the road as I find myself in no big rush at the moment.

How do they sound? Think bass as in a lot of it. These speakers put out more bass then even I was expecting. Al states on his web site that the HT8’s can play in the 27hz range and let me tell you from first hand experience, they can handle bass. The two 6.8in side-firing woofers offer up fast and tight bass. This is something that I personally love. At low volume levels you can feel the bass not just hear it. Amazing bass performance from a floor standing speaker. When the volume increases, the woofers seem to be able to handle whatever I throw at them. Granted I have yet to really open the MC402 as the amp is capable of producing an insane amount of power and I’m not sure what the HT8’s max power rating is. What I do know is that they can play low or play insanely loud and do both with ease.

This is the first set of speakers that I have owned that use a ribbon tweeter so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had read that ribbons are the way to go but I had fears of receiving a speaker that was going to be “in my face” which is something I don’t like. Call it overly accurate, bright or whatever this is not something I want in a speaker. This is not the case with the HT8’s. If anything I find them to be on the laid back side. The detail and clarity is there but it’s not way out there and offers up a very pleasing sound that doesn’t generate listening fatigue. The ribbon has turned out to be something that I was not expecting but is something I very much like. These speakers really seem to be able to do it all, imaging, bass, clarity it’s all there. They are definitely a speaker that will let you know when you have the “garbage in, garbage out” problem. Poorly recorded material can be brutal to listen to but recordings that have been done correctly sound amazing. I have a very large MP3 collection that I stream via a Transporter and I have discovered a lot of MP3’s and even some FLAC’s that I can no longer listen to as they sound like crap.

I should make mention of my listening tastes as I think source material is relevant to know when posting thoughts on how a speaker performs. I’m mainly a rock / metal person with some Blues thrown in. I have been listening to it my whole life and with 40 just around the corner, I have no plans on changing my listening tastes. I can go from Steve Ray Vaughn to Robert Cray to Shadows Fall in a heartbeat and the HT8’s do well with both styles. I have two pre teen daughters who are in to Pink, Rihanna, Justin Timberlake and various other artists along those lines and although I don’t like most of it, hip hop and dance sound excellent on the HT8’s. So much so that I have found myself listening to some of the better recorded dance and hip hop material lately as I just like the way it comes out of the HT8’s. Once again it’s the whole bass thing for me.

I’m not going to talk a lot about the how the HT8’s do with HT, as I’m sure you can judge for yourself based on what I have already said but just so there is no confusion, they kick ass! In conjunction with my sub it’s very impressive to hear and feel the impact of a good movie explosion across the entire front viewing area, which is what I get with the HT8’s.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2006

Price Paid:    $3999.00

Purchased At:   RAW




Reviews 1 - 2 (2 Reviews Total)

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