Decware HDT Floorstanding Speakers

HDT

  • Dual side firing passive radiators
  • Vertical transmission line
  • Top mounted dispersion plate
  • Internal coupling chambers

User Reviews (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2  
bbaker6212   AudioPhile [Sep 06, 2005]
Strength:

Microdynamics, glorious mids, wide soundstage, realistic tone, speakers dissapear. High efficiency great for low powered tube amps.

Weakness:

Bass does not go as low as one might hope for in floor standing speaker of this size (but what IS there is fast and tuneful). Smallish sweet spot.

I agree with most of the sentiments in the earlier (Corey) review. Some added thoughts. First off, the HDT very soon will be sold in two forms. The Mark one (MK-I) which is the current version using the Fostex FE206E, and a soon to be released (MK-II) which reportedly will be a two-way with a different mid-woof and a ribbon tweeter. This report is of my HDT MK-I. I have implemented the HDT MK-I "Alternate Tuning" tweak which is sold by Decware for about $70 if I remember correctly. At this point in time the HDT MK-I is not sold with the Alternate Tuning, but only as an after market kit. Meaning the MK-I reportedly will only ship with the original tuning - however Steve @Decware is an accomodating guy and *may* have the AT tuning The MK-I AT kit comes with new passive radiators, some port extentions (PVC tubing extentions), and some pieces of foam for placing inside the cabinets. It took me about 2 hours to razor-knife out the old passive radiators, attache the port extensions remove existing cabinet stuffing and insert the new foam, and glue in the new PR's. The Sound: The original HDT sounded so very good that I never realy realized or felt that anything was missing - that is until I heard it after the AT mod. The AT makes the very good sounding HDT's even better in every way. The soundstage becomes even larger, more microdynamics/nuances, better treble (while still sounding smooth), the speaker seems to open up or "come alive". Instead of just being an exacting speaker, it now connects with your emotions. It's obvious this box tuning is exactly what the FE206E needed. If you will be using the 206E and/or an amplifier optimized for 6-8+ ohm speakers, I can't imagine you would buy or build the MK-I's without the AT. If you have an amp that prefers 2-4 ohm speakers (like the Decware Zen CS), the HDT MK-II was designed for that - though I've never heard it. See the Decware site discussion forums for more info and comments/reviews of it. There are only two shortcomings to this speaker in my opinion, and I'm splitting hairs here. The sweet spot is pretty small, and the bass does not go as low as I would like. Well you can say that for almost all single driver high-efficiency speakers. Btw, the reader will undoubtedly think me biased given my associated equipment: basically it's all Decware equipment except my CD player. Let me assure you there is a good reason for this. No, I'm not a friend of the family and I don't get ANY discounts ;-) It's just that Decware , in general, makes equipment that sounds far and away better sounding than it's cost would indicate. The amp + preamp are truely awesome compared to just about anything regardless of cost; better than anything I've ever owned and at least as good as anything I've ever heard. I'll give a full review the CSP preamp and TABOO amp at a later date. Bass augmentation: I found a silly cheap solution to improving the bass without messing things up. A pair of Yamaha YST-SW215 "subwoofers" sold at Best Buy, with a try/buy return policy for $125 each. Yes, I said $250 for the pair! It has a servo controlled 8" paper driver and a 100 watt amplifier built in. Not really subwoofers, but bass augmentors as they don't go down to 20hz or vibrate the house. But they add much more athority to the bass, blend well with the HDT's, and don't mess up the glorious mids.

Similar Products Used: Hornshoppe Horns, Loth-X, Genesis, DIY Ariels Associated equipment in use: Decware CSP tubed preamp, Decware TABOO SE pentode tube amp, both preamp and amp are stock except for TJ 274B rectifiers. Sony DVP-NS999ES SACD player. Pure Silver interconnects, silver-over-copper multistrand speaker wire.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Corey D   AudioPhile [Jun 12, 2005]
Strength:

Midrange realism, depth of tone, low end timbre and response, top end dispersion, soundstage depth, efficiency and build quality. These speakers have incredible attack and dynamics across the entire band. They are NOT dry or clinical.

Weakness:

Off axis top end response. If you want a speaker that hits 20K in another room then look elsewhere. They also do not hit the lowest octave so home theater is out for these.

I have come to realise that I am in fact becoming an audiophile. Although I did get into this system(single driver speakers/tube amp)with the intention of just enjoying the music as a music enthusiast I have come to realise the actual potential this gear from Decware has, which has motivated me to construct a complete soundroom and optimise this gear, results pending as I type this. I have held back for over a year before coming on here and writing a review. This was tough because although i have never met the man, I greatly respect Steve Deckert and would like nothing more than help out his sales with a good review a month or so after I bought the gear. In hindsight, I am glad I waited and have learned lots the past year about component break-in, warm-up etc. The HDT speaker uses a full range single driver speaker by Fostex. It is a model FE206E. Steve Deckert modifies the driver by applying a black dye, removing the dust cap and bonding a 15/16 socket to the pole piece which acts as a phase plug. He also damps the basket with felt. The cabinet design itself is very esoteric and I recommend visiting the Decware site and reading the design notes of the HDT's. Also worth mentioning is the absolute, painful breakin required for this speaker design to completely resolve itself to full potential. I estimate a full 1500 hours for maximum midrange liquidity and optimal low end extension as the driver suspension and most notably the passive radiator surrounds loosen up and respond with full attention and authority. My amplifier could also become a factor in this as well as it was purchased new approx. the same time as the speakers. I have always had a fascination with speaker design in that a really good, or even reference design does not need to, or perhaps should not cost mega bucks. I mean, we are really dealing with the physics of wood and drivers. Single driver speakers of popular brands like Lowther CAN run a few more bucks, but all and all a well designed speakers' main focus goes into the physics of its design geometry in the purist sense. With that said, do not become biased at the relatively modest selling price of the HDT speaker compared to the large dollar units available. The latter is simple markup and or use of extravagant design materials demanding big dollars(profit). That is fine with source or amp components with world class power supplies and trannies but in my opinion the HDT loudspeaker gives worldclass performance for a modest price and has taken speaker design about as far a one can take it, the old school way of good old fashioned, get your hands dirty, tweaking. 6 years went into the complete design of this cabinet. The strongest points of these speakers are their coherency, realistic tone and low end definition. You can forget about lack of low end response with these speakers, period. They have the tightest, most highly defined and musical bass I have ever heard. I have also never heard a speaker with the coherency and ability to completely disappear like these do. These speakers simply vanish, they are gone. This is the type of trick a good pair of single driver speakers seems to be designed for in the first place. I mean, isn't that the point of single drivers, that awesome coherency? Set up in a diamond configuration relative to the room(45 degrees) I have heard sounds 20 feet back and approx. 3 feet forward of the drivers. The soundstage is back and deep, coming forward slightly on certain passages. They are not "forward" in a traditional sense so if you like it in your face than look elsewhere. The strongest point of these speakers is by far their depth of tone and midrange. Even out of the box, these speakers absolutely nailed ALL vocals perfectly even without breakin. The realism was truly there from the start and that midrange just liquified through breakin. The transmission line and dispersion plate emit a completely natural, complimentary resonance to the midrange that I can only describe as "real" sounding. I can't describe it any other way. You want to hear male or female singers in your room? These speakers can pull it off, perfectly. You want to hear the reverb snap off a snare, or the throaty growl of a stand-up acoustic bass? These speakers nail it. You want the rich harmonic stacking of a buttery tube guitar solo or delayed tone of a keyboard, like I said, the midrange is just real. The fact that these speakers are called "High Definition" Towers should be a clue. They pull no punches in a traditional sense. They are simply efficient enough and responsive enough to let it all hang out if you haven't done your exercise.(room treatment) I suspect no problems on quality tube gear and vinyl but I have dedicated them to digital. In short the high end is crisp and revealing. If you want to play loud rock surrounded by drywall then I suggest you keep your listening sessions to a minimum. These are audiophile gear but not a Lowther nightmare.

Similar Products Used: All previous speakers used completely out classed by this product. My Decware SE34-I tube amp was actually designed for this type of driver. It prefers the 6-50 ohm impedance curve this driver sweeps and is actually voiced for digital in its parallel configuration which I run 99% of the time. Beautiful synergy.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-2 of 2  

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