Hyperion HPS-938 speakers

Has anyone had any experience with the Hyperion HPS-938? Seem to be having a problem with them being bright in the top end, lean in the mids, and light on the base. In all the reviews I have read never any talk of these problems. I have Arcam gear and Nordost cables. Have had them for quite some time. Any thoughts??
First, I have no experience with these speakers. However, I've learned to always look to the amplifier/speaker match as one of the keys to a satisfying or unsatisfying system. Amplifier-speaker synergy is paramount. If the match is a poor one (a mis-match), and synergy does not exist, you never hear the best the amplifier can offer, nor the true potential of the speakers. It sounds like you have a mismatch and lack of synergy there. If my theory has merit, you need to look to speakers that are known to match well with Arcam gear, since you have an all Arcam system. In addition, I may be wrong, but don't some of the Nordost cables have a lean sonic signature? Good luck in uncovering your system issues.
What amp do you use?
They are nice speakers from what I heard at the recent hi-end show. Although I should a agree with you that they had a bright character wilson-like.
I have an Arcam P1000. Using it in a 5.1 system. The spare two channels are being used to bi-amp the fronts. Looking at the McIntosh MC-207 and the NAD M25 amps to replace it. Now wondering if I should keep the amp and change the speakers. I have tons of detail and a wide and deep soundstage, just no "meat on the bone" so to speak.
The Αrcam most definitely is the problem. Try a true 2-channel amp preferably a musical one like the Mcintosh and your problem will be gone!
Take one to audition at your home and you will see.


I've heard them many times at Quest For Sound(in Bensalem,PA)At first I did not like them.They were paired with a DK Design Group VS-1 mkII.I've gown to like them quite a lot over the past 2 years.They sound best with tube amps.The Granite Audio monoblocks,Consonance Cyber 800's,Jas 2.1 and 2.3 integrated amps,and Soundquest SQ 88 integrated all do a nice job.My favorite was the Consonance amps(which I purchased).The bass was deep and much better controlled than the DK.

Transnova (Larry),

Do you think Mac solid state amps get me closer to tube sound? Have to keep home theater in mind also. Tubes are not practical in my set up.

I also like Hyperions and I can tell you that careful component matching is a must. But if done successfully the sound is very satisfying and musical without the edginess/brightness that you are describing and which I have heard ones or twice when paired with wrong puppies.

About your thoughts about Macs.........

I would say yes.....not exactly tubes but musically satisfying. Might be a very good match for Hyperions.
Also don't overlook the source, room acoustics, preamp etc.
A lot of it comes down to synergy and room characteristics.

First of all a disclaimer: I am a Hyperion dealer.
IME the HPS-938 speakers have tremendous sinergy with McIntosh amplification. I am not a McIntosh dealer.

I have used HPS-938s successfully with a Mac Mc402 (solid state, 400W/channel, way too much spare power, great dynamics, sweet sound) and a Mc275 (tubed amp, about 90W/channel, the magic of tubes).
There is no brightness or lack of bass when paired with those amplifiers AND a first rate digital or analog source.

The HPS-938s also play outstanding music (though at lower max SPL levels) with Hyperion SET tubed amps.

I believe that most opinions about the 938 reflect poor choice in front end components. With the wrong CD player, one will hear lots of "digititis" through these very fast and clean speakers.
Most people allocate their budgets in equal shares split between source, amplifier and speakers. HPS-938s demand high-end (and higher-priced)source, cabling and amplifiers to really give their best, because their performance-to-price ratio is outstanding.
One common mistake is to assume that all digital sources are "bit perfect" and any 1k-2K SACD=DVA+CD player will be good enough for a high-end system. There is nothing further from my experience.
Good digital costs money and outstanding digital sources cost serious money, because digital reproduction of music is an always evolving technology. In a way, one could say that it is much more expensive to "squeeze" state of the art performance from a CD player than from an amplifier or speaker.
Amplifier circuit diagrams have beeen stable for the past 30 years. One pays for voicing, more power or fancy casework, but 99% of the amps out there (tube or solid state) have an input gain device, a phase splitter and a multiple of output devices fed by a linear power supply.
On the other hand, look up the diverse technical solutions and escalating prices for the usual digital references:
ARC CD-7 (tubed regulators +tubed output),
Wadia (phase-linear processing of the digital signal),
AMR (non-oversampling, choke input power supplies, tube output),
Meitner (DSD decoding),
Audio Aero (32 bit-192 KhZ upsampling, tube signal gain, Anagram computer to "smooth" out the digital sampling steps, dCs (ring DAC)
and Esoteric (proprietary transport + tight clocking).

Last time I checked, there were no 4-5 K$ CD players that would do justice to these speakers... all the mid-price players that I have auditioned suffer from digititis.

IMHO to achieve what these speakers are capable of delivering one needs a top-line CD player that focuses on musical gestalt (not HI-FI detail) e.g. ARC, Wadia, Audio Aero or Metronome, to name a few.
I am not saying that they are the best...my point is that they are so good that pairing them with a mid-price amp and source will not reveal their excellent musical qualities.
I hope this helps
I am running an Arcam FMJ CD-33 into a Musical Fidelity X10v3 tube buffer into my pre-amp/processor. With Nordost Red Dawn cables connecting them. Just added Nordost Heimdall speaker cables and like them very much. Would like to add the interconnects (Heimdall) to replace the Red Dawns. I have Audioquest Panther and Jaguar between my amp and pre-amp. (All of which are balanced). Probably going to my the Mac MC-207 very soon! (as long as my wife doesn't find out how much it cost's).

Do the Audioquests match up well with the Mac? I do have several pairs of single ended Red Dawns lying around to sub in if needs be. A new CD player will be way down the pipe but it will probably make a big difference too. Alot of options out there but where I live not many dealers and few choices in the high end arena.
Wifes and audio don't match well.
Mac and Hyperion will.
Audioquest will work well in your set-up and with Mac.
Owned both not too long ago.
CDP....well, yes it is true that you will get what you pay for it but there are nice choices in all categories. Find the best player in around 1K-2K that is musical (not detail, sharp or super reviling). Few for future references:

*Rega Apollo
*Consonance Reference 2.2 MKII tube output cdp
*Jas Musik
*Morrow Audio cdp with tube output (buffer)

From $1000 to $1800 new. Used at 20% to %40 off depending on age and condition.

Good luck
The Nordost Cables are as you descibed.Light in bass and mid,bright in highs
Also the Consonance droplet is a very nice cd player!
An aslo I agree with Ozyy about the Nordost cables. I had my system all wired up with valhallas and I got rid of them. All nordost have a unique sound that suppose is a good match only for dark sounding systems. Its definitely not a good match with your Hyperions.
Yes, Droplet is great but costs a lot more.
I know that there is (was? I'm not sure if it is still available) one up for sale as a dealer's demo for great price.
Opportunity like this does not come often.
True overachiever. I own one - I should know.
I have had the Hyperions since they were first introduced in the US back in '94. I would agree tubes sound better with the 938s and Nordost would not be a good match. Get rid of the jumpers provided by the manufacturer and get good quality jumpers that are the same as your speaker wire - biwire if you can. Most silver cables sound brittle and thin to me. Copper has more body and natural timbre albeit with less ambience retrieval and imaging. Put Isonodes under the midrange/tweeter module - the best tweek I've found so far. There is an independent Hyperion users group website that you may find useful.


Dear moderator, if I am violating any rules by posting the above link, please delete the link.
I did a phase test on the woofer cabinets using a AA battery. When hooked up positive to positive and negative to negative the woofers moved in. It is my understanding that the woofer should move out if the polarity is correct. Neither cabinet move as it should. Sent a message to Hyperion yesterday and haven't heard anything yet. Anyone make any sense of this.
Dracule1- Thanks for the link. It helps and the isonodes sound to good to be true. 4 large per speaker or the 5 smaller? Which is better?
Hey guys forgot to mention that these speakers are sitting on heavy carpet. The heavy speakers cause the spikes to go through the carpet and are resting on the concrete slab. Is this the killer I think it may be?
I used 4 larger isonodes. Haven't tried the smaller ones.
In my experience if a speaker sounds bright to you in a specific room no amp or cables will help the situation.

On that note, I own Hyperion's smallest monitors and they are horribly bright. I have to add an L-pad.
Hawkeye43...There is no "correct" way for the driver cone to move for a + voltage input. There are good arguments for both directions being correct, but it really doesn't matter because if you think that absolute phase is important you can always swap the speaker wires around. JBL drivers, for an example of one manufacturer, has the cone pull in for a + voltage.
I also own Hyperion monitors on my second system and they are definitely NOT bright, they even are on the dark side of neutral.
They sounded bright right out of the box but after 40 or 50 hours of breakin everything sounded really fine.

I also think that Nordost cables are the main problem on Hawkeye system, i think you should try some good copper cables, Analysis plus for example.
Different experiences and performance with the same speakers or same line of speakers means one thing. As with all speakers, their performance is highly dependent on the associated electronics, front end, wires, room, AC, isolation, etc. -You need SYNERGY-

Based on the high opinions of your speakers, Hawkeye43, I'd keep the 938's and build a new system around them.
Well I pulled the trigger, I purchased a McIntosh MC-207. It should be here around Wednesday. Looking foward to getting it in and seeing what it can do for the Hyperions. Curious to see if it matches up well with my Nordost and Audioquest cables. If not there will be some cables for sale. My local dealer says that Mac and Nordost match up well, his opinion (he is a dealer for both). If not,there isn't many other options here locally. Will have to go to somewhere like the cable company, and in my experience they are spotty when it comes to service. They do have a huge selection of cables though.

Hopefully, this is the start of building a true "higher" end system. Next will probably be a pre-amp. But that is down the road.
Congratulation on the excellent amp your purchased!
Im almost sure that is going to match perfectly both with your speakers and your Nordost cables.My friend your problems are probably solved.
Happy Listening!
Just received my new McIntosh MC-207 it today. I installed it in my system and notice right away of more bass than my Arcam amp. The soundstage seems tight and the highs are sharp.

Are all these sighs of a new amp just trying to run in? if so how long does it take?
3-4 weeks , 4-6h on average per day should do it.
It won't change much after that. IMO.
You should hear its true capabilities and character after or around first 100h.

Congrats on new amp.
Don't worry , it will cool off with time .

It has been running in for almost 48 hours. Has cooled off quite a bit. Still needs to open up some. Not throwing as much "air" as the Arcam was. Looking foward to hearing it at it's best. Going to borrow some innerconnects, Nordost Heimdall, Syn. Research, and Kimber Kable to run between my pre amd power amps. The Kimber is an all silver cable. Never had all silver in my system before. Any suggestions, other cable options?
I wouldn't recommend silver cables in your setup. They might be to hot for your rig. Then again , silver cables are not created equal. Some are very good with little coloration and some poorly design are somewhat sharp, edgy and can project the illusion of very fine detail which is nothing more then coloration that will drive you nuts over time. I could give you a deal on my silver speaker cables that were custom made for my friend and end up in my system when he was cleaning up. Those are top of the line Vampire that cost
about 2K. You can have those for 1/10 of the original price. But they are huge monsters. You don't want those beasts with your Hyperions.
I would recommend something like Audioquests, Cardas, Morrow Audio to name a few. Copper is more appropriate for your set up then poorly made silver wire. IMO.
However you can experiment with KK silver cable for the sake of " been there , done that" . They are OK. Used to own the balance version.



Any thoughts on whay the system seems to have lost its "air" to a point. Everything sounds right but not nearly as much "air". They only wierdness to my system is a Musical Fidelity Tube Buffer that is still in the mix. Worked wonders with the Arcam amp. Only thing I can think of that is unusual. Again any thoughts? Sorry to keep hounding away. Hoping it is just run in time.
It should open up at about 100h mark. It needs a little time to settle in. It's quaite normal behavior for new equipment to go through sometimes weird periods during breaking time. I would not worry to much about Mac, it will get only better from now on (like wine).

Musical Fidelity tube buffer might be in fault here but it is only my speculation. It wouldn't hurt to remove it temporarily from the system to evaluate its beneficial properties ......,or its negative effect on the overall sound quality. From mine expirience, unnecessary components in the system rob the detail, clarity and most importantly transparency. It is just like throwing in the signal path extra caps, resistors, boards, power supplies and cables. Less components between the source and the speakers the better. I am not saying that it is your case but it is just a thought.

So try that and give your nice brand new Mac some time to reward you with sound you are seeking for.

& not to worry, I can't sleep anyways.
The Mac. has been running for 7 days solid. Always find it wierd that the sound changes so much over time. It is relly starting to sound pretty damm good. Still love just a tad more "air" but it is still sounds great. Bass is out of sight. and the mids are much smooter. But still retaineds alot of detal.

Now playing with some loaner innerconnects. Love he Heimdall, Syn. Research I'm on on the fence with. The Kimber select is the KS-1011. Thought I was receiving KS-1021. Wanted to see what silver is going to sound like in my system. Anyone had any experience with those boutique cable places. They are less money, but how do they do in the real world.

Going to bring over a friends B&W 804's tomorrow. Interested on seeing how well they match up against the Hyperion 938's? And at the end of all questions is to dump or not to dump the Arcam Pre/pro or the Arcam FMJ cd player. What do you guys think??
My guess is that your 938s shamed the B&Ws.
In my experiency silver interconnects sound very good with Mc amps. They give a bit more transparent sound without sounding harsh. Actually nothing can sound harsh with a Mcintosh amp.
I am a new owner of Hyperion 938. My decision was solely based on many great reviews and positive owners feedback from Audiocircle. Overall, I am very pleased with my purchase and found the hyperion very revealing of the sources and amplification. Changing from an old Rotel CD player 855 to a very modest Oppo 970 made a signifcant change in sound dynamic and ambience. My set up is Audible Illusion preamp and B&K 202 amp. I found the Hyperion on the bright side, and looking to replace the B&K with a tube amp. With my budget under $1500, any advise of a good used tube amp that matches the Hyperion 938? I have looked into a couple of choices like a VTL ST-85, VAC PA 80/80 and Conrad Johnson (MV60 or Premier 11A). I prefer brand name over the lesser known.

I also noticed there are not many Hyperion owners in audiogon. Hyperion seemed to do well around 2005 with many great reviews. Wonder why they are still not popular and not selling as much recently (including the new 968).
Simple why they aren't selling as well. No reviews on Stereofool or Absolute Fool.

Under $1500, tube amps that do well with 938 are http://www.mcalisteraudio.com (personal experience), http://www.pacificcreek.com (second hand info), and possibly http://www.angelfire.com/biz/bizzyb

McAlister amps sound very smooth, detailed, great bass, and very good soundstaging/imaging, but build quality is DIY like and reliability might be an issue.
Dracule1 - the McAlister has two amps - SE44 and PP150. I know PP150 can drive the Hyperion without a problem, but wonder if the 22Watts SE will do. Any experience with that? Also, I understand they have noise from transformers, and reliability is another issue dealing with a Canadian company.
Answering a couple of questions. First the B&W's did not fair nearly as well as I thought they would. It was amazing the difference between the two. The 938 were better in everyway. Given that they are close in price I expected a much better fight. Makes me feel better about the Hyperions.

Since changing from a Arcam to a McIntosh amp the speakers shine. I have not heard it with SET tube amps and would love too. But, the solid state McIntosh has opened my mind on what the speakers can do. Was very worried with the Arcam amp driving them.

The other thing I have noticed is that the Hyperions are very sensitive to differend cabeling. Have been trying different pairs from the "Cable Company". Hate to say it but the Nordost Heimdalls and the Tara Labs RSC 1 series 2 are great too, but expensive. (these are innerconnects between the preamp and amp). Have looked at smaller companys like Signal,Morrow,Rscables,Audio Art cables. Prices look good but harder to find reliable reviews to help make the leap with them.

Before the Mac I was ready to put them up for sale and move on but now I have seemed to have connected with them.
Next a preamp. What to by.......?
This is a post script to my last post, but you guys should get a kick out of this. Had not mention the new amp purchase to my wife. About a week goes by and she haden't noticed it in the rack. We started watching a move and she ask "why does it sound so different?", I replyed, "Different good or different bad"? She says "it sounds so much better", at that point I know that the amp was staying. If anyone ever asks, you guys don't know anything. Ha Ha,


Bryantho, to answer your question, the 938s will play adequately with an 8W 300B if your idea of adequate is 85-90 dB in a medium/large room. They were designed for just this type of amplifier and it works. I had 938s a couple years ago and ran an 8W 2A3 SE amp (yes 8W) as well as 845 SETs (~20W). The latter would never come close to clipping or sounding harsh at any volume. Bass was slightly more rounded than with a solid-state amp (not a negative IMO).
Hi Dave, nice story.......sounds like I have heard it before, oh yaaaa , everytime I change something major in my system my little girl notice it right away. Wife notices only the differences when it comes to balance on our bank account.

David, what preamp qualities interest you the most.
Stereo with Home Theatre pass thrue or HT processor? If I were you I would go for the formal. I may also add that tube preamp would work really nice in your rig.
Some of the cable brands that you have mentioned offer 30 or 60 days money back on their products. It would not hurt to try them and see/hear for yourself. I have owned Signal and one of anticable's speker wires to name the few. However in my system Morrow cables rule. I like these cables so much that my second system will also use 100% Morrow Audio cabling .....but that is just me and YMMV. Do what your gut feeling tells you.

Looks like I made some mistakes in the links. Meant to say
http://pacificcreek.com/index.php?cPath=98 (second hand info). Third would be Tube Audio Design.

In regards to the 22 watt SET amp from McAlister, I see no problem as Hyperion have their own SET design with similar power rating. Yes, the build quality of the McAlister is less than desirable especially when you look at the innerds which look like a 2nd grader put it together. The transformer hum was a real issue when I had them eventhough Peter claimed to have fixed the problem. But the sound is very good for the money. Shipping from out of country is a pain no matter what.

I have been thinking hard about preamps. Leaning towards the Arcam FMJ P9 Think thoes number are correct. Also the Mac mx-136 both are a bit pricy. Maybe quite a while. not sure how else to set it up??
are you interested only in HT preamp or you want the best of both Worlds????? It can be done you know. Your budget would help make some useful recommendations.

You will never reach musical nirvana with HT processor alone. No matter how good it looks on the paper. Dedicated 2 channel rig which can coexist with Surround Sound Home Theatre setup is the only way to get the best of both formats. Invest in very good stereo preamp and surround sound processor. Don't worry we will guide you through if in need.

Haven't been on for a while. Sorry.... my budget is 6k or less. Have been thinking about it and not sure how to make it all work together going that way? HT processor makes sense because it is easier. But, if there is another way that will give me better sound I'm interested! The WAF is important. She uses the system too. (guess I sould lock the door when I leave).

When it comes to hooking it all up the video pass through is easy the way I have it set now. I do have a DVDO IScan VP 30 doing all my scaling. Very powerful unit if you can figure the thing out. (just and FYI when we are talking about hooking everyting up and trying to keep it easy).

Thanks for your time,

Home theatre and high quality Hi-Fi is definitely possible and it doesn't necessarily have to cost an arm and a leg to do it right. I am not a huge advocate for Home Theatre since I have left that journey and started or more like revisited the roots of the original multichannel experience - "Stereo" . But this time with the fresh start which means, eliminating all of the unnecessary distractions like, SACD, DVDA, AC3
, DTS, THX etc. and video from my consideration. While educating myself how to do it right and with caution and fear of making mistakes that I will have to pay dearly in case of failure. That adventure was and still is very enjoyable and fun. Considering the fact of very small loses due to in home auditions, blind.....or more like deaf purchases of used gear online and time that was invested in auditioning, attended trade and costumer shows. This of coarse wasn't a matter of weeks, months but years.
In my humble opinion it is extremely difficult to accomplish both with a single component such as HT processor, which is design with multitasking and versatility in mind. Incorporating every aspect of HT experience , sacrifices had to be made. And I don't care what the manufacturer's claims are about specifications, noise, integral separation and interference is, as it is impossible to achieve the Holy Grail of both Worlds in the single unite......However for someone with adequate funds strategically allocated in key components and willing to reach the the goals of uncompromising performance isn't all that difficult.
I would suggest the best component for HT duties. I am unfamiliar with present gear and/or what that might be ( I had a Krell Showcase prepro at one point. That is as far as my experience goes. Heard other gear but I am sure it all have change by now). For HT only , I like Anthem Statement D1 Preamp-Processor , which I have heard plenty and believe to be an excellent product for the money. I am sure that you know many others just as good but remember....its purpose is only uncompromising HT performance.
Stereo duties will belong to separate linestage (preamp) with HT pass-thru input. There are many great choices from both families. Solid State as well as tube preamp.
Setup is easy. You have to setup your new stereo rig first.
Connect the source like CD, LP or stereo outs of your SACD player to linestage as those would be used strictly with stereo mode. Then , connect the stereo preamp to your right front and left front amplifier channels and you are almost done. Now use the left front and left right "out" on your HT processor and connect those to left and right HT pass-thru "in" on your stereo preamp and remaining channels (C,BR, BL) to amplifier channels for the center, back left and back right channels. That is it you are done. How it work? Simple, when you are listening to your stereo system, just use the linestage and stereo components that you want to listen and which are connected to the preamp. You HT has nothing to do with it , you have to separate systems now. When you choose to watch some movies or play some multichannel tracks nothing special is require. Signal for "L" & "R" front is unaffected and linestage acts like it is not even there. It simply passing the signal thru. It is bypassing all the circuitry and it doesn't degrade the signal.

My recommendation for one of the best preamps that I know of from my experience is Dodd Audio battery powered preamp with 2 6922 tubes and absolutely unaffected by power line filth since its 4 batteries can power this baby up to 20h on 1 charge. What is cool about it is that when you use the HT pass-thru Dodd doesn't need to be turn on. So when your wife wants to watch movies, simply turn the selector knob on Dodd and you can turn it of.....that is it, done. If she wants to listen to music, turn on the Dodd - select the source (CD,SACD stereo input, satellite radio or LP). Easy???? I think so. Your wife might also find it stress free and fun after few tries.

Here are some links

Dodd first impressions

stereo mojo review

10 Audio review

six moons review

It sells for $3300 new but for limited time it is on sell directly from Dodd's website or Walter of Underwood (that is where I bought mine) - price is $2495 but I am not sure if the special sell offer period is still going on. Check with Walter of Underwood or Gary of Dodd Audio.

Take care , do some reading ask around, search and you will find what you want.


Now use the left front and left right "out" on your HT processor and connect those to left and right HT pass-thru "in" on your stereo preamp and remaining channels (C,BR, BL) to amplifier channels for the center, back left and back right channels.

Sorry for that it should say :

Connect the left front channel out and Right front channel out from your HT prepro - to left and right HT pass-thru "in" on stereo preamp.

Don't forget to select HT pass-thru on stereo preamp when you want to watch movies or listen to multichannel music.
Dodd doesn't need to be "ON" but it must be in HT mode. When listening to stereo source, choose the appropriate input on the linestage that corresponds to the source that you want to listen and which is connected to linestage. Volume on linestage is by-passed when in HT mode. For movies use the volume on your HT processor.

Sorry, it is late and I am seeing in double.

Take care

>>absolutely unaffected by power line filth<<

First of all not all ac power can be characterized as filty. Most of us have discovered a way to cope with suspect ac power if in fact it exists.

Buying a battery powered component simply because ac power MAY be poor (operative word is MAY; it is not absolute and there are solutions if it occurs) is very poor decision making. Don't forget battery power almost always limits dynamics. There is no battery powered component I would own or sell including the garage brand mentioned here.
If I am bi-amping will that pose a problem in this setup??


No- Dodd as well as many others have two sets of outputs for bi-amping. So you can easily connect one amp to pre-out -A- and 2nd amp to pre-out -B-.