AR HC6 or Take5.2?

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by John Garcia, Mar 29, 2005.

  1. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 1999
    Messages:
    11,571
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    NorCal
    Real Name:
    John
    Looking at these packages as a low cost option for my dad for a second system. I can get the HC6 for 20% off right now, but the sub still looks like the weak point. With the Take package, I can pick up the Dayton sub and have a fairly decent little system, but I'm not crazy about the sound of Energy (it's not for me though), and I can also get it locally. Anyone have thoughts on these two systems?

    The JBL NSP-1 doesn't seem to be available at BB any longer.
     
  2. Alan Wise

    Alan Wise Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2004
    Messages:
    236
    Likes Received:
    0
    John,

    Have you thought about the HSU Ventriliquist system?
    It comes with a reasonably decent sub.

    Al. Wise
     
  3. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 1999
    Messages:
    11,571
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    NorCal
    Real Name:
    John
    Yes, that's in the running too, though I had heard info about the "next" version that supposedly would use the same sort of arrangement for the rear speakers as the fronts. Not sure if I'd need to wait for that though. I thought the VT-12 came with no sub? With the STF-2, that's a bit more than I'm looking to spend, but it would do the trick, though I could pick up the Dayton sub and add it to that too. Have you heard the ventriloquist setup?
     
  4. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 1999
    Messages:
    16,738
    Likes Received:
    129
    If you can still get an HC-6, go for it (and I think the woofer is pretty good). I have one in my bedroom system. Also, I put together my friend Dave's audio system built around the Take 5.2. We got an eight-inch Energy woofer to work with it. Though far beamier and directional compared with the HC-6, it seemed pleasing in the midrange (his speakers are driven by a Denon 1705). I'd call the two systems about equal overall, though the HC-6 system is more pleasing (to me). And it looks awesome.
     
  5. Phil Iturralde

    Phil Iturralde Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 1998
    Messages:
    1,867
    Likes Received:
    0
  6. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 1999
    Messages:
    11,571
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    NorCal
    Real Name:
    John
    Probably should have mentioned budget. I can get the HC6 for ~$325 + shipping, and that's about what I'd like to spend because I still have to get a receiver too. So far, it looks like the best deal. For the size of room it's going in, I think an 8" sub will be plenty, though my concern was that it listed -3dB at just 36Hz. The Dayton will give me 25Hz - maybe the Dayton could be a X-mas present for him [​IMG]

    The Ventriloquist with an STF-1 would be OK, but stretching the budget a bit. I found a used set for $500 with an STF-2 just now though, and it's local.

    Thanks guys.
     
  7. Greg Thomas

    Greg Thomas Second Unit

    Joined:
    May 3, 1999
    Messages:
    438
    Likes Received:
    0
    If your CompUSA has any left, they were selling the Ventriloquist for $99 w/o the sub. You could add the Dayton sub and get off very cheaply.

    Buy.com had the Athena Point 5 system for less than $200 also w/o sub.

    And lastly, maybe the Athena Micra 6 might interest you for $300 complete.
     
  8. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 1999
    Messages:
    11,571
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    NorCal
    Real Name:
    John
    Checked the near-by CompUSA for that deal and they were out. Think they'll get any more and sell them at that price? I may drop by and check again.
     
  9. Greg Thomas

    Greg Thomas Second Unit

    Joined:
    May 3, 1999
    Messages:
    438
    Likes Received:
    0
    John,

    My CompUSA was out of them too. I'm sure it was a clearance sale because they were unloading the Infinity Primus 150 and 250 at the same time, and they're all gone also. But they did have this JBL 6.1 system for $199 and the Infinity Primus Theater Pack for $219.

    So you've still got a few choices out there. The JBL includes a 10" sub.
     
  10. Ron T

    Ron T Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2005
    Messages:
    79
    Likes Received:
    0
    The HC6 are in a class by themselves. There's no way they should have been that cheap and that accurate.
     
  11. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 1999
    Messages:
    16,738
    Likes Received:
    129
    Well, that system originally sold at $800. But even then, $800 is pretty cheap -- especially given how good the HC-6 is sonically and aesthetically.
     
  12. Marc H

    Marc H Second Unit

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2001
    Messages:
    497
    Likes Received:
    0
    John,
    Try and hear the little Orbit5.1A system from Dahlquist if you can. It's very inoffensive for a small speaker system. Smooth and with a presentation on the warmer side of the Take 5.2. The little Orbit sub is excellent for a cheap sub too. Fairly tight and handles dynamics quite well.

    Also, the Take 5.2 is replaced with a new series now so you might find some clear out deals at Good Guys if they still have them. There's a whole new, high tech looking Take series out now.
     
  13. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 1999
    Messages:
    11,571
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    NorCal
    Real Name:
    John
    Well, found a local HTFer who just happened to be selling the HC6 for a great price, so I picked them up today. WOW, I don't remember the cabinets looking that nice when I first saw them (I guess I wasn't paying attention [​IMG] ). I'll fire them up this evening to get an impression of them.
     
  14. MattyK

    MattyK Auditioning

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2005
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think you'll find you have made an excellent choice. Outside of the appearance of the HC6, which is just outstanding, I found the sound performance to be commensurate with speakers at a much higher price point. For a small room, say under 2000ft^3, they provide a superb experience. I found them to be a tad bright when new, but as they broke in warmed right up. Vocals for HT are pristine. You are in for a real treat with multi-channel music, such as The Eagles' Hell Freezes Over DTS DVD.

    All that being said, I found the sub to be very sensitive to placement. I highly recommend the "placement by crawling around method" - you'll probably find that the sub has to be slightly farther from the wall / corner than you have experienced in the past. Lastly, while the sub response is tight, for HT you will find performance somewhat limited if you enjoy really low frequency effects. One option is to replace the sub. Another would be to consider a bass shaker like a butt kicker, which will transform the bass experience without increasing SPL.

    Enjoy!

    Matty K
     
  15. terence

    terence Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2002
    Messages:
    985
    Likes Received:
    0
    The AR HC6 is a great system that flew under the radar, and did not get a lot of luv. Below are some pro reviews of the HT system. I too think you will be quite pleased with the sound & build quality of this very classy looking set up. I also had a friend p/u this system for his new set-up.



    [​IMG]

    Cnet review

    Home Theater Sound review

    Audio Revolution review
     
  16. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 1999
    Messages:
    11,571
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    NorCal
    Real Name:
    John
    Well, got them setup tonight. Initial impressions -

    The satellites were mostly par for the course as satellites go, EXCEPT for how great they look. Man, these are some of the nicest looking satellites I've seen! *a-la NHT* with those gloss piano black cabinets. When I hooked them up in my bedroom, they lacked any useable bass as expected. What I didn't expect was how much depth they were capable of; I was honestly surprised. They did sound rather bright when I first fired them up, but I left them on for an hour or so, with a variety of music, and they mellowed out a little. They sounded quite nice with vocals and gave a pretty good representation of "size" on Loreena McKennit's Live in Toronto & Paris. The center doesn't have a big presence due to it's lack of decent bass, but dialogue still sounded clear and acceptable. The only negatives - "semi" binding posts do not accept bananas (contrary to what one review said), so I will have to get some spades. Second - the lack of extension means you need a receiver with a flexible x-over that can be set at least to 100Hz or higher.

    The sub felt boomy at first. It required quite a bit of dialing in to get it to sound decent. Not at all unexpected. I was not mistaken that the sub is the weak point, but it is not junk either. It puts out very respectable levels of bass, though it doesn't go very low. For the relatively small room that is its new home, it was definitely adequate. In a larger room, it would certainly struggle and it definitely is sensitive to placement. Like the rest of the speakers, it looks great. The only real negatives - the lack of a filtered speaker level output for the mains, though I would have also wanted the center filtered this way as well, which would have made connection a bit more complicated. Hooked to a receiver with adequate bass management, this isn't a big issue. Second being the need for correct placement.

    Due to the time change, we only watched some HD cable movies with 5.1 briefly, and all were sufficiently impressed that the setup was deemed a success. [​IMG][​IMG] I will have to drop by again to revisit the system with a few tweaks and a calibration once they have become familiar with it and it gets a bit more broken in.

    Overall - Not bad at all. They are not going to be enough to fill a larger room. I wasn't blown away by them, but they did manage to impress me enough that I would recommend them to others looking in the price range. Considering that I got them for $240, I doubt I could have gotten something that would be much better. I am very happy with them, as is my father.

    Thanks for all the input guys.
     
  17. terence

    terence Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2002
    Messages:
    985
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi John,

    Great post! You brought a lot of useful info back to us. When you do finish tweaking please give more impressions dvd's, muti-ch music etc. thx
     
  18. AngeloEug

    AngeloEug Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2005
    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey John,
    Glad to hear the AR's are a hit with your dad! Great meeting you and talking "shop".

    I'll have a six pack ready for when you "calibrate" my pb-10...LOL![​IMG]
     
  19. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 1999
    Messages:
    16,738
    Likes Received:
    129
    Not bad at all?

    For a speaker system in the sub-$1,000 range, the HC6 takes no prisoners. Midrange-wise, it's transparent, seamless. There's a tad of "suck out" between lower-midrange and to when the woofer kicks in. And as for the woofer (it's not a "subwoofer," btw), it's pretty decent once you've figured out the placement.
     
  20. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 1999
    Messages:
    11,571
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    NorCal
    Real Name:
    John
    Hmmm, to me, midrange is where their deficiency is, and I don't mean that in a bad way at all because they are still small satellites and good ones at that. As one of the reviewers in one of the links provided by Terrence, there is pretty much no way to completely remove the gap between them because if you raise the x-over, the sub becomes too easy to localize, and if you drop it down, the gap widens as the sats naturally roll off. I could hear it because I'm used to my speakers that were all selected for their great midrange, but I'm sure my dad wouldn't notice at all. [​IMG] They are definitely better than 99% of all HTiB speakers out there.

    *edit - one thing I noticed was something that one of the reviewers mentioned also - the center is not a 100% perfect timbre match for the sats. I thought it was just my placement, which had to be near the floor because my dad's LCD setup doesn't allow placement above or really in front of either. Though with the reviewer saying something to the same affect, I suppose that's really what it was.

    I've heard one small set that was actually better than these guys, and you would probably be as surprised as me that they were a Sony package - some small cast magnesium cabinets with all aluminum drivers, the SS-LA500:

    [​IMG]

    Seriously nice midrange (rated to 58Hz); very nice looking sats, though not as nice looking at the HC6 sats, and a sub that was about the same as the one in this package.


    Thanks for the great deal Angelo! It was great meeting you too. The stands worked out well too [​IMG] We'll set something up soon. [​IMG]
     

Share This Page