Message started by brad on 10/08/05 at 20:09:37

Title: HDT's with TABOO
Post by brad on 10/08/05 at 20:09:37

I was PM'ed this and thought to post it as others might be interested... (John, if you object let me know and I'll remove it)


I own HDT original speakers and started with a select. Liked it, but not enuf bass. I had the amp modified to EX and liked the new weight and bass response, but missed the air and top end to some degree of non ex. I have since sold the EX and was looking at moving to the TORII MK2, but the few comments I've seen so far from Decfest (whats going on) seem to rate the Taboo as tonally better than the Torii Mk2, so I'm rethinking to maybe a Taboo.  

I was planning to run direct from CD thro amp to HDT's. Do you think Taboo would be ok doing that.

Also have you moved to the mods for the HDT's (with gel waxing as well?) and how do they compare to originals.

Thakns for any info.  The forums for some reason seem to be doing alot of non audio discussion lately, and I thought I would try this more direct approach.


No, I have not gotten "gelled" yet :)

I can't speak to the Torii as I've never heard it. But I would say that certainly with the HDT's you don't need more power than what the TABOO puts out.  You might however get better bass (extension/weight, not necessarily speed/tone) due to the increased headroom of the more powerful Torii.  Certainly a nice thing about the new Torii is the larger choice of speakers you have - you'll never have to worry in the future if a speaker will mate well with it since it's powerful enough to drive all but the most inefficient speakers.  

Were those comments you read about the TABOO vs the Torii with the HDT's or other speakers?  And was that the MKI or MKII HDT's?  Are these comments posted somewhere on the forum?

IMO, you likely won't go wrong with either amp. Just buy the one that fullfills your power requirement given your room and speakers, and listening tastes.  You can adjust the tone/signature of either amp through tube swapping.  Tube swapping is a bit cheaper with the TABOO as EL84's are relatively cheap.  And of course the smaller signal tubes are low cost if you don't go for the rare NOS types.  

I'm in the middle of trying out other tubes in my TABOO - Sovtek 12AX7LPS signal tube and waiting for my JJ EL84's to arrive.   Not that it doesn't sound fantastic with the stock tubes (JJ ECC83 + SV83's), but I'm just curious how the sound changes - and I heard the EL84's have more "spank".

Going direct from CD to TABOO will depend on the output of the CD player. I heard an expensive Shanling CD player hooked up directly that did not have sufficient volume.  On the other hand,
I just hooked up a (~$120) Pioneer DV-578A SACD/DVD-A player (that I have been using temporarily while my Sony 999ES player is getting modified) directly to my TABOO and the volume turned up almost to the max setting.  With this setting I get a volume level as loud as I ever listen (in my large room with vaulted ceiling) and no distortion or amp clipping.  Turning the volume up higher still to the max setting, I can hear distortion, but again this is louder than I like anyway.  Also, the sound quality is decent given the cost of the CD player.

My personal recommendation to you given your desire for both top end and bass is to get the TABOO and the CSP.  And whatever you do, install the HDT Alternate Tuning tweak - it makes a big difference IMO. And if you haven't done it already - put felt on your FE206EM phase plug.

I hope this helps. -Brad-

Title: Re: HDT's with TABOO
Post by johnnycopy on 10/09/05 at 04:35:38


If you could please provide me with a little more info on the differences you specifically heard between your stock and alternate tuning tweak HDT's.

Regarding where I heard about the taboo vs Torii Mk2, on the general audiophile forum under "OK, whose decfest blogging", the following is a quote from morpheous85:

"I got to compare the Taboo with the new mk2. The mk2 had a bit extra bass and was a little less refined. Still a good sounding amp."

I also PM'd Randy after DECFEST, who indicated comments very similar to those above from Morpheous85, tho neither indicated on which specific speakers they did the comparison.

I understand what you are saying about the torii being more flexibile with different types of speakers than the taboo or select, but my recent journey from higher power amps (tube and solid state) and lower efficiency speakers to the DECWARE world have provided a fast, open and detailed sound that I know I don't want to lose. The first few (and only) watts of the select have been addictive and I believe the taboo in lucid mode might be frighteningly good.

With all the new products that steve has introduced recently, I am somewhat confused. The RL-3's, parker audio, nibbelins, torii mk2, taboo, etc. - gees there are too many options with too little review information. That is why I was really hoping for more posts detailing people's auditioning thoughts from decfest, to help provide some new comments to augment Steve's  excellent personal advice.

So here I sit with HDT's (unmodified), and no Select.  I'm sure the guy I sold it to is enjoying it!!  

As for my next steps - not sure yet.  For those who have had the chance to be at DECFEST 2005, I'm looking forward to more of your posts.

Thanks for the info / advice Brad.


Title: Re: HDT's with TABOO
Post by brad on 10/10/05 at 03:15:03

HDT alternate tuning  - 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.

"opens up and comes alive" is about the best I can describe it. Maybe - it energizes the driver more?

Some may claim it's a small difference, I do not. It depends upon many things. Your hearing, your perspective, your experience level with other audio equipment, what aspects of music reproduction you value most, etc.

For sure, it will improve your sound more than that amount of money would being spent on wires or any other audio tweak I know of.

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