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H/K 130 Vs. Onkyo 501 any thoughts?


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#1 of 29 OFFLINE   Dan DRC

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Posted February 01 2004 - 07:56 AM

I have purchased everthing I need for my girlfriends home theater rig except the receiver. The set up is as follows: room is 15' x 13' with a 16' vaulted ceiling. I have five Jamo E500 bookshelf speakers for LRC and SS
one Velodyne CHT8 for the sub.
The Jamo's are a very small 3.5" two way
but sound quite nice with a fabric dome tweeter, they are rated for 50 watts cont and will only play down to 120Hz.

The reason I wanted to choose between the 130 and the 501 would be price. $400 and under just fits the budget a little better. I wanted to purchase the unit at circuit city and the 130 is going for 399 and the 501 is going for 299. The main feature that apeals to me about each unit is the flexability in the adj crossover section, either unit would be a good fit for the Jamo and Velodyne combo because of this. This rig will be about 75 percent home theater and 25 percent music.

I really don't think the 6.1 feature is any advantage to me in this small of a room, I feel that 5.1 is just fine. The Onkyo is 65 watts per ch and the H/K is 45 watts. Which does'nt really matter to me either. So is the H/K worth the extra $100?
What do you guys think?

#2 of 29 OFFLINE   Chris Sherman

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Posted February 01 2004 - 10:27 AM

Harmon Kardon AVR 130 better amp section. Less features but better sound quality. Nice review at Cnet.com.

#3 of 29 OFFLINE   Dan DRC

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Posted February 01 2004 - 12:38 PM

Thanks Chris for the input. I will check out the review at cenet.com

#4 of 29 OFFLINE   larry mac

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Posted February 01 2004 - 05:34 PM

I would try to find a HK AV125. I recently bought one at Fry's for $250 and am very happy with it.

Of course you won't get the ghetto jambox glowing blue volume control.

#5 of 29 OFFLINE   Chris Sherman

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Posted February 02 2004 - 08:07 AM

You can also check the user reviews at Circuit City.com , whre people who have actually bought the equipment rate the product. Pretty neat of Circuit to do this and yes they even print the bad along with the good.

#6 of 29 OFFLINE   John S

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Posted February 02 2004 - 08:22 AM

The SR501 has decent component video switching, with HDTV come'n o strong, I chose it over H/K offerings that didn't have them.

#7 of 29 OFFLINE   Luitz

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Posted February 02 2004 - 08:26 AM

I think Onkyo is a better sounding amp and doesn't run as hot as the HK

Also maybe this is better http://www.downtowna...tx601dtsre.html
http://www.tweeter.c....ductId=1334208
Try to spend as much as u can Its the heart of yer system.

#8 of 29 OFFLINE   larry mac

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Posted February 02 2004 - 11:00 AM

I have had the Onkyo TX-DS575 for a couple years now and have been mostly satisfied with it. I think it has a very good 5 channel stereo. It has had a few quirks now and then. The rear surrounds quit a couple times and I had to unplug it to reset it or something. It's built like a tank and has a learning remote.

I just recently got the HK and am very impressed with it. I can't honestly compare the performance of the two because they are in completely different environments, but that HK kicks ass. Also, being newer, the HK has DPLII. One thing I don't like about my Onkyo is the inability to dedicate so many different settings for various sources & modes like the HK does.

#9 of 29 OFFLINE   Chris Sherman

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Posted February 02 2004 - 11:24 AM

I have to disagree about the Onkyo SR 501 and 601. I used to buy only Onkyo so I definitely have nothing against the company. The amps in the HK sound way better to my ears and even their entry level receivers always get great reviews for sound as you move up the ladder it only gets better. In a recent "blind" shootout of the Onkyo SR601, Pioneer VSX 912K, and a Yamaha RX-V640 the Onkyo finished last for sound. The Pioneer first. If you can swing $379.00 for the HK AVR 230 it has component switching if you need it, However it is sold out at both Jand R and Vanns, both authorized dealers so you can get the 2 year warranty, unless you can get Circuit City to price match. Audio Advisor has the Pioneer VSX 912 for $399 it has both component switching as well as pre-outs for all channels, something the Onkyo SR601 does not. The Pioneer also has a nifty microphone for balancing the channel levels. The HK AVR 230 and Yamaha RX-V640 also have a full set of pre-outs. I also think the Cirrus DSP chips in the new HK AVR's is top notch . The pioneer VSX 812 still uses motorola chips like those in my old Onkyo TXDS656 and 676. The VSX 912 gets the Crystal chipset much better but not as good as the Cirrus. If I were buying under $400.00 the Pioneer is unbeatable. Under $500.00 I like the HK AVR 230 for features and sound quality . The Onkyo's have a nice interface and are the easiest to set up.The SR 601 has the best remote, other than that they don't really stand out .

#10 of 29 OFFLINE   Luitz

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Posted February 02 2004 - 01:05 PM

Nice review

http://www.audioholi....review_01.html

#11 of 29 OFFLINE   Chris Sherman

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Posted February 02 2004 - 02:58 PM

Luitz,
The SR601 has gotten plenty of good reviews , I just don't think Onkyo holds the under $500.00 receiver title like they once did with the 575 and 575X models. No preouts on a receiver in this price range is a rarity today, yet they give it a 12 volt trigger for powering up an auxillary amp. It's funny the reviewer didn't like the remote . I think it's one of the best learning backlit remotes bundled with a receiver. Cnet gives it high marks but they just don't use superlatives like audiophile, or superb sound, like they do when reviewing the Harman Kardon or Denon receivers. They mostly tout the features instead of praising the sound. BTW , if you read the Cnet reviews they comment on how hot the SR 500 and SR 600 get. I saw no mention of this regarding the Harman Kardons except for the AVR 325 which employs a fan. Both of my Onkyo's have cooling fans. Anyhow I'm not bashing Onkyo , I just feel I can do better for my money right now . I honestly like the sound of my $299.00, bedroom , HK AVR 225 better than the $799.00 Onkyo TXDS676 in my main room . Which is why I'll soon be replacing it with an HK AVR 230. I'll be gaining a rear center , component switching, keeping the preouts, and gaining better surround decoding. I'll be losing a barely discernable amount of power and B speaker outputs. It could be the HK is a better match for my speakers, though I kind of doubt it, but I was absolutely floored by how much better my system sounded when I replaced my Onkyo 656 with the HK 225 and I expect to be equally pleased when I finally replace the 676. I guess the bottom line is you have to live with the gear so you have to pick what's best to your ears. I have found the reviews I read on both Cnet and the Circuit City website to be dead on and invaluable to me, so I somtimes can't resist the urge to comment when someone asks a question I think I have the answer to. Which brings me back to HK 130 vs. Onkyo 501, for the best sound HK 130 if you need more features get the HK 230.

#12 of 29 OFFLINE   Mike^C

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Posted February 03 2004 - 07:08 AM

Interestingly enough, I chose an Onkyo over a Marantz and HK. I probably would of gotten a Denon but the refurb price for Onkyos were excellent and I felt both the Onkyo and Denon were close in sound. Both the Marantz and HK were disappointing to me. So try going to a Circuit City or a local shop and giving both a test run.

#13 of 29 OFFLINE   Mitch_J

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Posted February 03 2004 - 11:13 AM

HK AVR 225 at www.harmanaudio.com
it's just under the $300 that you're looking at.

#14 of 29 OFFLINE   Dan DRC

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Posted February 03 2004 - 02:53 PM

Thanks Mitch for the suggestion, but the 225 lacks the adj crossover, it is fixed at 100 Hz. It is a good value though at 298.

#15 of 29 OFFLINE   gene c

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Posted February 03 2004 - 04:28 PM

First off, I own an H/K 520 and an Onkyo 500. Either the 130 or the 501 would be a fine choice. I wouldn't think the H/K 130 would be 33% better than the Onkyo 501 but the H/K may have an edge in sound quality and the Onkyo in ease of use. The H/K is more modern and the Onkyo more functional. If you plan on keeping the receiver for the long term I would suggest the H/K. If an upgrade is in the near future, than maybe the Onkyo. Gene
"Everyday room": Panasonic 58" Plasma, Dish HD DVR, Pioneer Elite vsx-23, BDP-23 BR, dv58avi universal dvd player, Paradigm Studio 20 V1, CC-450, Dayton HSU-10 subwoofer.

"Movie/Music room": Toshiba 65" DLP, Dish HD receiver, Marantz 7005, CC-4003, BD-7006, Polk LSI25's-LSi7's-LSiC, 2 original Dayton 10" "Mighty-Mites" subwoofers. (subject to change without notice).
 
Also have  MB Quart Vera VS05 +.....too much to list. Help me.
 
 

 


#16 of 29 OFFLINE   Rogozhin

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Posted February 03 2004 - 05:03 PM

I have just setup my HK225 ($230 refurb at ecost-works perfectly) to my SD 300Tis, SD RTS3s, Shiva 12" (powered by a NAD 902 doing mono), and RCA CS550-sounds wonderful but is no where near what my NAD 314 and 218thxs were doing from my computer (Analog out to Fort3) (but I didn't have enough money for a preamp nor a reciever with preamp outs-but is sounds pretty good Posted Image-

I'm thinking of the 330 within the next 6 months.

I listened to the onyo at a crappy CC-not impressed with the sound, but too many variables to attribute this to the amp.

For the money I spent though I'm more than pleased-and the 100hz cutoff doesn't affect much when your center, mains, and rears are running large.

ROGO
"Those who long for exaltation look upwards, but I look downwards for I am the exalted."

Thus Spake Zarathustra

#17 of 29 OFFLINE   Luitz

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Posted February 03 2004 - 05:27 PM

Dan DRC
Can u audition the Onkyo and H&K with your speakers?
Take the center channel and the 2 fronts and take them to the store hook them up and listen.Tell us what u think sounds best with them on any receiver. Your speaker are small so shouldn't be to much trouble.
http://www.jamospeak....id=E 500&tab=1
Also I noticed its for your girlfreind. Well then i'll say buy the cheapest decent peice and the cabling u need to hook it all up.I dont think she is a critical as you. If she is Kudos
Posted Image
Besides this is your stuff right? why you even asking us??
Fosgate mod 4, Acurus A150 (3), Snell K/II all the way around with Snell THX sub, Panasonic rp56 DVD, Panasonic VCR, 35'Mits TV
Thats nice product.Wish i could find a price on this http://www.snellacou...com/RCS1000.htm
And I love everthing about the look of this stage one product just prefer it in black >>> http://www.klipsch.c....=y&id=&line=
Her system looks like a soon to be living together bedroom system to me ..Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

One more thing dont you notice some missing bass between 90sub/ 120hz fronts?

#18 of 29 OFFLINE   Dan DRC

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Posted February 04 2004 - 01:55 AM

Yes an audition would be the right thing to do but the two units are in different rooms in CC so a direct side by side test would be difficult.

Actually the system I have listed on my profile has changed with time. I still have the Snell stuff but I am using a Yamaha 1200 for DD and DTS. I guess the issue with the girlfriend system is that it will be my main system for the next few years. Her place would not have the room for my Snell set up. So I wanted to build a system that had FWAF ( future wife approval factor )LOL!! and yet make me happy also. The good news is she is all for a dedicated room for home theater and a new system in our next home but that is a few years away. Posted Image

As for the Onkyo vs H/K I like the user interface of the Onkyo but I have a gut feeling the H/K is a better product.
Better build quality in the amp section. The Onkyo is a great product for 299 though. I really dont see why anyone would buy a Sony, Pioneer or JVC in this price range when you could get the Onkyo. But everyone has a differnt view and thats what makes this hobby fun I guess.
Of course the best way for me to settle this would be to buy them both and audition them at home with the system. This may be what it comes down to.

Luitz I am not sure what you mean by the 90s sub and 120Hz
fronts? The Velodyne CHT 8 should play well up to 120Hz
and I think it will blend well with the Jamo's or am I missing something?

#19 of 29 OFFLINE   Luitz

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Posted February 04 2004 - 09:57 AM

The Jamos are 120 hz to 20khz
The subs crossover is max 120hz which I feel wont offer enough bass midbass and will make u loaclize the sub. I would like to see u have a lower roll of on your front speakers and center. SO you could run the sub at 90hz and match the recievers sw preout
Most recievers at this dollar point dont offer ajustable oxver sub out and its stuck at 80 or 90 hz out.

Still tell us which reciever you use..

Have funPosted Image

#20 of 29 OFFLINE   Dan DRC

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Posted February 04 2004 - 10:24 AM

Yeah I have thought about the possibility of being able to localize the sub because I could be running it too high. i thought I would just have to get everything set up to find out. But I do understand your point and it is a very good one to make. It sucks when the sub is not properly set up and you can tell where it is positioned.

The 130 and the 501 have adj crossovers. from I belive 60 to 150. I could just try and run my Yamaha 1200
( fixed 90Hz ) and see what it sounds like first.