Best $300 Package - Onkyo 510 or Acoustic Research HC6

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Alex_Santos, Aug 18, 2003.

  1. Alex_Santos

    Alex_Santos Second Unit

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    I can't seem to decide between the two sets and was wondering if anyone could shed some light. The AC's are well reviewed and look very nice. Ive heard the sub is poor though and some people have had some problems with it. The Onkyo set has 6 speakers which will let me do 6.1 but they aren't as widely reviewed and certaintly don't look as nice. Any thoughts?
     
  2. ChrisLazarko

    ChrisLazarko Supporting Actor

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    Well your going to have to remember that unfortunatly with a package like these you won't get a "top notch" speaker system. My personal preference would be the Onkyo system though just because they are well known and have made themselves known over the years with good quality amps and no Home Theaters In A Box systems.

    Just listen to both system and see which you like better. Also, you should be able to upgrade the sub in the future as long as the reciever has a subwoofer out on it, I believe the Onkyo does, not sure about the other system though.
     
  3. Alex_Santos

    Alex_Santos Second Unit

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    Neither of these packages comes with a receiver. Speakers only. Acoustic research and Onkyo both have very good reputations so I don't really see that as a sticking point.

    As far as getting a "top notch" system goes, Im well aware that Im not going to be getting top of the line here. Thats why there only $300. Its going to suit my needs for a year or two and then Ill upgrade.
     
  4. Nhan_H

    Nhan_H Second Unit

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    I haven't heard either of these speakers, but the ARs are very well reviewed. Onkyo is known for their receivers more so than for their speakers. I'd choose the HC6 if I had to spend my $300. I wouldn't expect the included sub to be great by any stretch of the imagination. But I'm sure it'll be fine for smaller rooms. Bey, for $300, what do you expect?
     
  5. TommyWMedford

    TommyWMedford Stunt Coordinator

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  6. Pablo Abularach

    Pablo Abularach Supporting Actor

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    Why dont you go with JBL NSP1 and a sony SA-WM500 it will cost you around $350, but IMO it will be better than both setups.
     
  7. Nhan_H

    Nhan_H Second Unit

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    I forgot that the HC6s used to cost quite a bit. And from Tommy's link, the reviewer was comparing them to systems in that price range and even ones above the $1K mark. At $300 right now, it is an absolute bargain. I've also heard good things about the JBL NSP1s, but all things equal, I'd go for the classier looks of the HC6s.

    Pablo, can you give us some insight as to why you think the JBL choice would be better? Is the Sony sub a 12"?
     
  8. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    There is a good chance that Phil will join in the discussion, as he always has a lot of information on JBL.

    Which system is better is largely a matter of preference by the listener, at least IMO. They both share some of the deficiencies that are common with all of these satellite, small subwoofer systems and they both have in common delivering quite good sound at a bargain basement price.

    I have no opinion on the Onkyo, but I would observe that JBL and Acoustic Research have been in the speaker business for many years.
     
  9. Pablo Abularach

    Pablo Abularach Supporting Actor

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    Nhan,

    Wait until Phil comes see this link, he is a great guy with a lot of JBL info.

     
  10. Nhan_H

    Nhan_H Second Unit

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    Thanks, Pablo. Can't wait til Phil joins us [​IMG] I did look into getting the JBL package a while back for a friend of mine. The HC6 wasn't in the picture, since it was costing around $500-600 back then. But with the lower price, it's just that much more attractive. Either speaker system is a bargain at this point.

    I'm sure a 12" sub would trump the 8" any day (around these price points, anyways). I actually wanted to get the WM40 when I was searching for a cheap sub, but thought its size was too big at the time. I'm demoing a Velodyne CHT-12 in my home right now (bigger than the WM40...imagine that [​IMG], while I'm waiting for my Rocket sub to come in. Hope I'll be pleasantly surprised by the 10" Rocket sub's performance in my own home, since the Velodyne's been doing an awesome job of late [​IMG]
     
  11. Phil Iturralde

    Phil Iturralde Screenwriter

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    Auditioning is the No. 1 recommendation by all long-time HTF members, but those trained to hear the differences have agreed that our hearing can be fooled, so it's good to create a good established Sound Reference to compare against!

    Many Reviewers use their favorite speaker as a Reference to compare the tested speaker(s), ... not just because it sounded great, but because what they heard was proven by Objective Benchmarks - hard facts displaying the typical SPL characteristics in a Computer Controlled environment using a Calibrated Mic & Software!

     
  12. Alex_Santos

    Alex_Santos Second Unit

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    Break out the party favors, Phil's Here!

    The only speaker set Ive had a chance to audition was the NSP-1's. I didn't really care for them. Can't really put my finger on it, just my tastes I guess.

    As far as the other sets go, Best Buy doesn't carry the HC-6's in store and Circuit City's speaker area is horrible for listening.

    Im kind of leaning towards the Onkyo's only because they come with the 6th speaker. That will let me get into the more advanced sound modes which will be nice. Anyone at all have these?
     
  13. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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  14. Mark Russ

    Mark Russ Second Unit

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    "But since you don't know me, let me just quote Rich Warren comments for the AR HC6 from page 76 - Sound & Vision FEB/MAR 2002 issue (copied w/out modification)...

    quote:

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    However, that clarity was also the Achilles' heel of the HC6 system. The crisp, clear high end, upper vocal range, and substantial bass overshadowed an uneven, somewhat weak midrange and lower midrange. Voices tended to lack richness and authority. ...

    Listening to just the front L/R satellites and the subwoofer confirmed my initial impression of the HC6 system's strengths and weaknesses. Overall, the music sounded satisfying, but voices -- male voices especially -- lacked the depth and warmth you would hear from larger, more expensive speakers. This may have resulted from a hole in the frequency coverage where the satellites speakers cross over to the subwoofer.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------



    Rich Warren also noted that the satellites lacked magnetic shielding, maybe some HC6 owner can verify if that is still true!?! If you want to read the entire somewhat positive S&V AR HC6 speaker review, go to your library and look for the Sound & Vision FEB/MAR 2002 issue."









    This is the same Rich Warren we're talking about here, who has also glowed enthusatically over Bose before! Therefore, feel free to disregard anything he says. If he thinks Bose was great, how could he possibly say anything bad about AR? I just don't get it. I'm sure the AR set would trounce anything from Bose!
     
  15. Nhan_H

    Nhan_H Second Unit

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    Thanks for all the responses, guys. I was away running errands all afternoon, and could get to a computer until 9 tonight. Read all the posts and even went to my bathroom's library section and got the S&V's Feb/Mar2002 issue out. I was ready to write a long response but the HTF's server was down. It's getting kinda late now, so I'll just say a few words and will respond more tomorrow.

    Thanks, Lew....I was hoping the Rocket sub would get here this month, so I could do a more accurate comparison with the Velodyne. I'll have to take it back to Circus City before this month is over [​IMG] I'll be heading over to best buy to check out the Klipsch sub afterwards. Any comparison between the rocket and velo will have to be done from memory. Sorry, it wasn't my fault that I won it...Michael (forgot his last name) was the original winner and was generous enough to reject the prize [​IMG]

    Alex, I guess Phil's response re: listening preference is correct, since the JBLs have been favorably reviewed and liked by many people here, but you didn't find it to your liking. Not sure why the extra 6th speaker would interest you that much. I think many would agree that in order to do the rear surrounds correctly, you must have a pair of speakers to do it with. So that means 7.1, instead of 6.1. Forgot if you mentioned whether you've demoed the Onkyos or not.

    Phil, thanks for the response, but I was hoping that you'd be more objective and detailed with your response (hehehe)--what a letdown [​IMG]

    I'll have to interject my thoughts about the Bo$e speakers tomorrow, as I did a 3-minute listen to their speaker setup at a local Fry's today.

    I need to go off to bed now, but I'll continue the discussion tomorrow.

    Again, thanks for all the input, guys.
     
  16. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    I still think Phil should get a JBL Salesman of the Year
    Award [​IMG]

    Phil I hope you aren't this energetic about every single
    product you use..

    Geez I can see it now..

    www.charmin.com

    User "SqueezeMePhil"

    "It's clear to see that Charmin is the much better toilet
    paper than those cheap other brands. It has been reviewed
    favorably by this, and this and this.. and read this article
    and this man says.. and that and this... And check my web
    site and yadda yadda [​IMG]

    Hahaha
     
  17. Alex_Santos

    Alex_Santos Second Unit

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    Nice. You know, thats kind of creepy in a way.

    Nhan - I haven't been able to demo anything yet in home because of lack of transportation. Ive only got a bike so I can't take things home with me yet. I did try and listen to the Onkyo's in store yesterday but my Circuit City has horrible setup and acoustics. Even the high end Polk's sounded terrible to me. Cnet gave them an 8.1 which is very high for them but I really haven't seen too much else in the way of reviews.

    All Im trying to figure out now is whether Ill want 5.1 or 6.1 because thats the only real difference between the sets besides looks. Or at least I think it is...
     
  18. Nhan_H

    Nhan_H Second Unit

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    Alex, if you want to go with the 6.1 setup, make sure you have proper room to put that rear center channel. I have limited space, since my couch is against the rear wall. I've thought about putting a ceiling speaker directly above, but that wouldn't work right. If your 5.1 rear speakers can image well, you wouldn't really need the 6th. Also, more and more DVDs are out now with DTS-ES and DD-EX, but the titles are relatively few. And even so, I believe the DTS flavor is the only one that does DTS-ES discrete 6 channels. The DD-EX and some DTS-ES material is 6.1 matrix.

    Sorry about the transportation problems. Can you bum a ride off of someone, or rent a truck at Home Depot for like $20, cab ride, bus? Hate to see the possibility of your picking a set you'll end up not liking, simply because the in-home experience is not up-to-par.
     
  19. Greg-ST

    Greg-ST Stunt Coordinator

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    I just received my JBL NSP1II speaker package a few days ago. I'd have to agree with all of Phil's info. These badboys are awesome!! Just listen to Daredevil with them. They completely blew me away (almost literally too.. heh).

    In fact, they're so good that they really amplify bad audio soundtracks in movies. Just the other day I decided to watch The Lost World: Jurassic Park. All these new sounds, which I could never hear before with the tiny/tinny 3" driver satellites I was previously using, were suddenly brought to life. Let me tell you, all of the high frequencies sounded absolutely terrible in the soundtrack. It is very bright and brash, and quite fatiguing. Listen to these speakers with good audio and you'll be in for quite a treat.

    Alex, good luck with any purchase that you make!
     

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