HT in a box vs. components...is extra $$$ worth it?

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by RyanJM, Jun 30, 2003.

  1. RyanJM

    RyanJM Extra

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    I'm considering getting either a cheap Home Theater In a Box, or spending a bit more for components. What I really want to know is; does the extra cost deliver an audible improvement in sound quality worth the extra money? I know that whether or not it's "worth it" is subjective, but I'm asking for opinions from any of you who have a HTIB and/or component parts or have listened to both.

    What I've been looking at so far:
    HTIB:
    Acoustic Research HC6 HT Speaker System w/Denon 1803 reciever

    Total Cost- Approx. $800

    Components:
    Paradigm mini-monitors(or similar)
    HSU vtf-2 subwoofer
    Denon 1803 reciever

    Total Cost- Approx. $1500

    I've looked at reviews at audioreview.com and seen that these products all recieve great reviews, but of course, they are great for their price.

    Any thoughts/suggestions would be appreciated. I'll never be able to test these two systems together, so that's not really an option. Thanks.
     
  2. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    Ryan,

    I don't think either way would be bad.. The HC-6 is one
    heck of a good sounding system if used in a moderate room.
    I wouldn't choose the HC-6 if the room is say 25' x 30' with
    vaulted ceilings.. But if it's a moderate room then by all
    means the HC-6 will fill it with great sound and look very
    stunning. I would however budget a little more money and get
    a larger sub woofer to go with it.. (something like a Sony
    SA-WM40 would be great for a little more money).
     
  3. Mike_Gr

    Mike_Gr Stunt Coordinator

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    Ryan,

    I recently read a thread on another forum and found the following info regarding the HC6. Maybe it will be helpful to you in some way. I copied and pasted below:

    {"I'm slowly replacing an AR satellite (HC6) system I mistakenly bought a few months ago. "

    Me too! Did you get suckered in by the two reviews that heaped praise on the system? There was one in The Perfect Vision by someone named Tom Wiilson, and another one online at HomeTheater Sound by Jeff Van Dyne that raved about this system to high heaven. Wiilson laid it on pretty thick, saying this was one of the most remarkable products he had found in 20 years of reviewing! I should have been suspicious that all the other reviews I could find rated it from slightly above to slightly below average for its price. To my ears there was a big hole in between where the sats died out and the subwoofer came in.}

    The reply was:

    {I probably read a review or two that influenced me, but mostly I tried to convince myself that $425 for the HC6 system was all I really needed to spend for a home theatre speaker package. However, I forgot that I like when a voice sounds like a voice and a piano sounds like a piano! That I like to clearly hear the distinctive sounds of the various instruments in a band/orchestra/ensemble, etc. And that I like closing my eyes and visualizing where each sound is coming from on the imaginary stage in front of me. If my room were small, they might have been effective for home theatre, but the room is big and the speakers, especially the sub, just couldn't handle it. Did you sell your HC6 system? How did you do it and what were you able to get for it? I ended up buying....}

    Just because these guys didn't like it doesn't mean you won't. I would surely pay attention to the room size issue. I just wanted to give you some food for thought on the matter. Did you do a search in this forum or any of the others for the HC6? If it were me, I would definately try to find as much information as possible.
     
  4. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    Mike,

    Hmm that's the first negative comments I have heard about
    the HC6. Of course everyone's ears are different and I do
    agree the 8" sub isn't enough Oomph but the Satelites DO
    blend with the stock sub and will blend with a 12" or larger
    sub also.

    I just wonder if maybe they meant the HC5 system.. I don't
    know.. But there are numerous people here with the HC-6 and
    have never had a bad thing to say about it and I also have
    heard the HC-6 and think it's a terrific deal for the money
    (even at the real retail prices they were bringing which
    was 700 or so dollars not more than 6 months ago).

    In a large room? forget the HC-6 or ANY small satelite
    system and if I were to purchase the HC-6 I would also get
    a larger sub regardless of the room size.

    But like I said I don't think either way would be a bad
    choice.
     
  5. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    Interesting perspective Mike—I too heard a bit of satellite/sub separation, but for me this was not excessive (at the price). I think that the HC6 is very good value for $400, but it would get lost very quickly in a medium to large room. I considered it very carefully for my bedroom.


    Ryan I just heard yesterday a new $900 (no receiver) system from Rocket, with which I was most impressed. A low end Denon, which would bring the system cost to well under $1,500—probably about $1,300 including the cabeling, was driving it.

    This system is far superior to the HC6, but then it is also more expensive. The cabinet finish is remarkable for speakers of this price-- Pictures three and four
    here, which were taken at AV123’s Dallas road show are a bit closer to what I remember the finish to be, than the ones with a bit more red tones.

    I was extremely impressed with these speakers at this price point.
     

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