My HDTs arrived unscathed and have now been making music for six days. They have replaced my Omega Super 3s. The Omegas had gotten me closer to the music than I had ever been before but with literally no bass to be had I was very limited as to my selection of music. As an example, Dark Side of the Moon could not be listened to, as it did not sound like the same CD. It sounded as if half of the information was missing. Out of all my CDs I found myself listening to the same four again and again. Those, however, sounded fantastic.  
 
    Until my SE34I.2 arrives I am using my EL84 based Almarro with 4.8 watts per side. Power tubes are NOS 1963 Mullards being driven by a Mazda French Silver Anode 12AX7. I like the Almarro better while using my Eastern Electric MiniMax pre amp. Speaker cables are Mapleshade Golden Helix and ICs are RS Audio Silver Reference. My source is an EE MiniMax CD player and my old Sony X55ES.  
 
    My first impression of the HDTs was that they sounded very much like the Omegas but with more weight and I now understand the term Fostex Sound I mean this in a good way. The Omegas took forever to break in and were almost offensive when new. The HDTs were beating the fully broken in Omegas right out of the box but sounded eerily similar. It was then that I realized that I was listening to the same four CDs at moderate levels and I guess that they would sound similar. Out went Diana Krall and in went Dark Side of the Moon and up went the volume. When the heartbeat started I immediately knew that I would not be investing in a sub. These things do make bass! Then the music began and out came the best sound I have heard to date. I used to live over the audio store where I bought my equipment and have heard plenty of high-end systems. I came from the world of high power SS and complex crossovers. My system, back then, was modified B&K mono blocks and four thousand-dollar JSE model 4 speakers with Infinite Slope crossovers.  These HDTs with 4.8 watts were kicking the crap out of that system and everything else that I had ever heard at my old stomping grounds. If you tell me that these things will improve with time I would have to wonder how? At one point they actually frightened me. Those running footsteps on Dark Side appeared to start climbing up the wall of my room and I had to turn and look. It was as if they had separated themselves from the rest of the music and took off running. These things are just that special and I cant imagine ever replacing them. The name says it all! I now eagerly await the arrival of my SE34I.2, which Steve says has the best synergy he has heard to date with the HTDs.  
                 
Oh yeah, they do not shout!

-Craig Smith


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