HTiB Speaker Sound Better Than My Polks?

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by Steve>JF, Sep 6, 2006.

  1. Steve>JF

    Steve>JF Agent

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    I helped a friend set up an Onkyo HT-S790 HTiB 7.1 system. We checked it with Gladiator, the "Battle of Carthage" chapter. I was impressed with the dynamic sound of the speaker system that comes with this system. The sub is adequate, but the sats sounded very clear. The swords and noises seemed to jump out of the speakers. I have Polk R15 sats and a Polk C120 center making up a 7.1 system powered by a Kenwood KRF-X9090D AVR and they don't sound nearly as dynamic as the Onkyos. The Polks use a "3/4" silk/polymer dome tweeter", while the Onkyos have a "1" balanced-dome tweeter". The Onkyo tweeter appears to be made out of a brown plastic. They don't seem to be as expensive a speaker as the Onkyos. Can someone tell me why these speaker seem to sound more vivid? Am I being seduced by "cheap" speakers? And if so, are there better speakers for HT than for music and vice-versa?
    Thanks for your replies!
     
  2. Nathan W.

    Nathan W. Stunt Coordinator

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    Maybe (man, I hope not) the system is emphasizing a certain frequency range to seem to stand out like Bose does with their cube systems. You would have to listen to the system longer with movies and music to see if it actually performs decently or if it would just get irritating after awhile.

    I really hope you haven't just been "Bosed" by Onkyo. More than likely, though, the "new & different" sound of the Onkyo system is just being perceived as "better" by your brain. It will probably wear off.
     
  3. Steve>JF

    Steve>JF Agent

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    Nathan...I have listened to Bose and you could be right. They do remind me of Bose somewhat, but they do sound better than Bose because they are bigger. I don't know. They just seemed to jump out at me. But, you may be right. I have not listened to them at length. BTW, I do not like Bose speakers.
     
  4. Ron Temple

    Ron Temple Stunt Coordinator

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    I owned an Onkyo 770 for about 3 months...it did a very nice job as an entry level HT, nice receiver, a decent HTIB sub, and inefficient cheap speakers that really showed their weakness in music. I upgraded to Polk R50s and 15s...there is no comparison. If your system is calibrated, it will eat the Onkyo's up and spit them out for dynamic, soundstage and imaging, musically and for HT. I've since moved on again, but the Polks are very decent entry level speakers.
     
  5. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    The Onkyo speakers are crap. They are easily the weak point in their HTiB systems. I've heard Ron's setups and I agree, they are definitely better than anything offered in the Onkyo packages. I would start looking at whether or not your setup is configured correctly.
     
  6. chuckg

    chuckg Supporting Actor

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    I just installed the same system - Onkyo S790 - for my dad. I was surprised to find that the system sounded better than I expected. While I still have wires dangling with speakers on end tables and crates, his is fully finished with everything nice and neat.

    My ears tell me that the upper mids are somewhat hotter than normal, not surprising with the dual 5" fronts. If you look closely, you'll find that the surrounds and backs are nothing more than a single 3" driver, which would also accentuate the upper mids.

    Listen carefully, and you'll probably realize that the "swords and sounds" jump out because the other sounds are muted.

    All in all, though, for $400 it ain't a bad deal.
     
  7. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I installed the 780 for a customer and for the price it does sound quite acceptable. The speakers are quite cheap though, likely costing a few dollars at most to manufacture. The cabinets are extremely thin, the drivers are cheap, and I'd imagine the x-overs are little more than a cap or two. The mylar tweeters are bright and overly accentuate the highs which may give the impression that you are hearing more sound. The sub is also has a relatively poorly constructed enclosure. More or less what you are paying for with these packages is the receiver. It is not a terrible system, but it isn't a high quality one either.
     
  8. Steve>JF

    Steve>JF Agent

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    Thanks for all the feedback, guys. You are right. My Polk R15s sound much better after listening at length to the Onkyos. John, I think you hit it on the head. The mylar tweeters are very bright. They seem to be installed on all cheaper HTiB speakers systems I've noticed. I have my system configured correctly. The Polks sound great with concert DVDs and movies. They are definitely more full sounding then the Onkyos. However, as some of you said, the Onkyo system is not that bad and definity not the worse HTiB I've ever heard.
     

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