An interesting question, the answer to which I suspect has less to do with the speakers themselves than the folks who buy them based on reviews with out regard to how they might actually sound in their room with their equipment. When they get the speakers they just don't "sound" like they fantacized that they would using their equipment, they become unhappy, complain, then put them up for sale.
In my limited experience I have found that room and system synergy is critical and the more revealing the speaker the more critical it becomes. Room set-up for the new speakers is critical - you don't just plunk them down in the same place as the old speakers - its back to the drawing board. Room treatments less so but still must be considered - you may need less, more, or different. And matching electronics to get the sound you want is a major task.
I believe that most high quality, revealing but neutral sounding speakers can sound supurb (limited only by the room) but you have to make a dedicated effort to make it happen.
This doesn't mean that there aren't some overly enthusiastic reviewers about who will gush over something new that really doesn't have legs, but you won't find a conspiracy of reviewers from different mags all saying great things if there isn't some good reason.
I agree with Newbee! I just started a new job 130 miles from home. I had to move into a one room, 12x12 converted barber shop with a linoleum floor until my wife can get a transfer and move up here.
My system still sounds good, but nowhere near the same as at home. The size of the room and what's in the room affects what you hear more than you might realize, especially if the sound is being reflected, bouncing off of everything and hitting your ears from all directions.
I forget who said it, but the comment was that how "good" your stereo is, is ultimately based on what you hear, and the speakers and the room have the most effect on that.
Well, I just got mine. Settled on an used ARC LS15 pre and Krell KSA100 to drive the bugger, must say that the combo sounds better than at the dealer's place. The speakers are not yet fully run in for that matter.
Maybe the lowish price of the 938s misled those guys into using lesser electronics which do not bring the best out of the speakers. Of course I agree with Newbee and Krell-man that the room acoustics play the most important part.
Ctchen's post prompted me to dig further (I stopped searching for reviews and users' comments after deciding on the purchase) and find the contrast in the comments very interesting - 90% liked what they heard. The main complaints are regarding the lower mid/upper bass which are in themselves conflicting; some said that the speaker sounded lean in this frequency range while others claimed that the speaker sounded too "dense" in this region and add some chesty coloration to vocals.
I find my 938 to be very neutral in my setup so I gather all boils down to the front end electronics and room acoustics. Btw, I was using a pair of Proac Response 3 before the 938 came along.
I agree with the above comments too.
Although I have another theory but this is merely that, a theory:
My understanding is that Hyperion 938s have been out of stock for several months now due to the unexpected demand. New production just started being available again the past few days. What I dont understand is that bad comments regarding these speakers started to appear just 2 weeks ago when these speakers can hardly be found.
When a mid-priced speaker such as the 938s suddenly become recognized as an excellent value for money speakers, able to compete with speakers 3x its price, several people gets shaken up. When these things happen, some react negatively. It is very likely that some countered by posting negative comments. This is what I think is happening here. But as I said, this is merely my theory.
Roy. Interesting.... Sound similar to the proac 3?
One of the biggest mistakes online posters can make against their fellow audiophile consumers is to hype product value. We've all seen it in spades on this board and others. How many times have we read comments such as this... "For X price these speakers are a steal" or "I don't know how the manufacturer can sell these speaker for this price?" or "So and so's speakers are worth 3x the price" or perhaps this one... "Joey D's X92 sounds better than speakers costing $25K."
Well guess what guys, these manufacturers aren't stupid and they read these boards with gusto. Small shops often times undervalue their products to get a foothold in the marketplace and rely on idiots like us to promote their product long enough create high demand and before you know it prices double. I can think of example right off the top of my head that followed this exact scenario and now every speaker in their product line-up has nearly doubled.
Be enthusiastic, but be smart for God's sake. Don't buy into the trap.
On another thread I read that production in China is causing problems with the quality.
Perhaps some speakers went on the market with productionfaults.
Ecclectique, the 938 extends lower in the bass than the Response 3. It's much more transparent too and gives better depth.
I've had a different type of experience with the HPS 938.
I thought the sounds were OK for the money, nothing great, but what I'm griping about is the company's service.
I contacted the sale's manager (West Coast), regarding a replacement for a bass module. First he gave me a price quote only to retract it later and said that it was a typo, it was for one, not a pair like he first quoted. Then he said he was doing me a favor and gave me a 20% discount, then renaged that offer and said that his "boss" would only authorized a 10% discount.
I was fed up with the company and dumped the speakers for a loss, but IMHO, I think that support from a manufacturer is too important for this manufacturer to behave in such way.
Take McIntosh for an example, I needed new KT88 tubes for my MC275 and contacted them, got them in 3 days ($400 in cost) for no charge and no question asked. That's why Mac has been in business for 50 yrs. I'm not sure if Hyperion will be around after next yr.
Just my 2 cents.
I think the Hyperion are very transparent, they deserve good electronics.
If people try to make them work with cheap components the result will not be good despite their qualities.
They match nicely with Tact electronics for exemple.
I know no speakers as good in their price range, btw i compared them with more expensive speakers like BW802 (not the S) and Dynaudio C2 and prefered the 938.
I was matching the HPS 938 with my McIntosh MC275 and a lamm LL2 Deluxe.
Like I said, they were OK for the money but nothing spectacular like some of the reviewers said.
I think better result could be obtained with even a pair of Totem Forrest for example.
Sorry to sound rude but I think the 938 is several leagues above the Forrest, having heard both extensively. My personnal experience is that the 938 reproduces faithfully what is fed with, so care in matching electronics and cables are critical. For that matter, I dun think MC275 can control the 8" woofers of the 938 as well as the 6 1/2" woofers of the Totem.
It's been awhile since I last checked this board after writing my review of 938s last year. I'm perplexed by some of the recent negative posts, but I've seen this kind of reaction to other well reviewed products. I really have to agree with Newbee and others about component matching and room interaction. When properly set up, I like these speakers better than the planars, ribbons, and stats I had heard or owned in the past. Although I'm running them with tubes, I think most people will prefer a good SS amp with these speakers - you get more impact, cleaner highs, bass extension, etc.. The Hyperions SS electronics are very synergistic with these speakers, but no one ever talks about them. I guess no one wants to take a chance with unreviewed electronics. I'm thinking about trying out SS myself.
I don't think McIntosh tube amp is a good choice for the 938s based on my experience. I think Macs are too smooth and creamy for my taste. I've heard Macs mated to the other well reviewed Gallo Reference, and the combination sounded aweful to me. Sound was smooth alright but it was veiled and bloated. No one, as I recall, called the Gallos veiled and bloated, so it must have been a bad combination with the electronics and possibly the room.
For those of you who remember from my review, I received my speakers and found some minor cosmetic defects. Well, I just got email from Albert Wu who informed me that finally the new production run is here. I will be trading in my current speakers with my replacements this month. Thanks Albert.
By the way, I too have auditiond the Totem Forests before buying the Hyps, and I have to agree with Roy. The Hyps are on a completely different level, no comparing the two.
I agree w/ you on the low fq regarding the HPS 938 vs. the Forrest. Good ears Cel.
I've listened to the 938's, mated with their pre-amp and power amp, for well over 1000 hours. They are as superb, transparent and accurate as all the reviewers attest.
I did add a James Loudspeaker EMB-1200, which greatly increased the low bass below 31 Htz.
Which Hyperion pre-amp are you using - the tube or the solid state one? I'm looking for feedback on their P25T.
The Hyperion HPS 938's are truly superb!
Of course, they must be matched by equally superb equipment, and perhaps that has troubled some listeners. I drive them with the Hyperion Sound BEC-250 pre amp and BEC-P25 amp.
Without a doubt my ears, and those of my family, bear out all the rave reviews: sonic clarity, soundstaging, and wide ranging accuracy from bass to midrange to highs.
Hyperion Sound has offered the audiophile world a terrific service: Near-live performance quality is served up by a modestly priced system, allowing many more of us to enjoy the wonders of real music
I was and still am driving them with the Hyperion Sound BEC-250 amp and BEC P25 solid state pre-amp.
The sound is superb!
I have had a pair of Hyperion 938's for several months now,these replaced apair of ATC20SL's a very accurate English loudspeaker used in recording studios worldwide.Although I rated the ATC's very highly the Hyperion is in another class.The sheer musical involvement,transparency and integration are the finest i have heard in my 40 years of hi-fi involement/love of music.I am not into hi fi "fashion" and have always sought an accurate souund.My love in music is classical owning around 2500 CDs - music is my first love,hi fi helps satisfy thatand no other speaker has satisfied it as well.My amplification,CD and tuner are by a highly regarded English company called AVI.I do not think you will be able to purchase these in America.Recently I read the Hyperion owners web site and a number of owners had commented that they thought the sound improved by placing Sorbothane or similar isolating pads between the top and bass units.Icould understand the logic of this and last week tried it,and it did improve the sound-even more clarity yet smoother in the high frequencies and more inner detail.The best just get better!!!!!!!!!! Kook forward to any replies. Malcolm Smith
Hi Malclm, that was me at the owner site who recommended the sorbathane feet. I'm glad you found it useful. Please come by and join the owners forum. We'll be happy to have another family member. Stay tuned as I'm about to get a new tube amp for the 938s.
Nice to hear from you guys, that you are enjoying the Hyperions!
Hyperion Sound has launched some new models like the 968.
Anybody heard them?
I don't think any of us has heard them yet.