I understand your interest in comparing the HT3s to Tyler, Silverline, etc., as those are presumably in a class higher than most speakers I have heard. Unfortuntely I have not had the opportunity to hear any of them. I would love to go to one of the shows to hear speakers like those, but travel is nearly impossible. I can only hope that one day a show will be in Atlanta. We did not try different amps, but I suspect not (fussy), for two reasons: (1) The amp used was a Van Alstine Fet Valve Ultra 550 (hybrid - 250 wpc). (Pre and DAC also Van Alstine Ultra series, transport unknown, but nothing special. Also, speaker cable was plain old hardware store 12 gauge wire.) This gear, though well built, is relatively affordable and very straight forward engineered (all stock power cords). In other words, about as plain a set-up as one could have. (2) Jim stated that he sometimes demos his HT3s with lower powered amps, some costing only a few hundred dollars, with similarly impressive results. After visiting with him and experiencing his modest set-up, I do not doubt this statement. I am not sure how sensitive to room placement they are as we did not move them around (130 lbs. on a spiked plinth, carpeted room), but they are dual rear ported at the bottom (woofer) of the cabinet. They were approx. 3' from the front wall and several feet from either side wall, toed in slightly. Medium-sized HT type room, but no special treatments noticed at all. At one point, Jim pushed the volume way higher than anyone would/could listen to. I suspect that the room contributed more to the ear pain than distortion. His drivers (cone material) are super high def/ low distortion. I went there hoping to hear a QW that was for sale on A'gon, but it was sold. I did not listen to any two-ways. I wish I could have, but I was crunched for time per my flight home that afternoon. (Jim's place was not the purpose of my visit to Michigan, just a quick side-trip. Though an awesome one, at that.) As far as comparing them to the Zu Druid, overall I found the Zu less full, with less satisfying timbre. To me, the music produced by the Druid sounds like its coming from a tall, shallow box. The HT3 simply fills the room to capacity with music as if there were no box speakers involved at all. If interested, my review of the HT3s is posted : http://www.audiocircle.com/circles/index.php?topic=29112.0
I hope this helps.