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Kenwood HTB or JBL NSP1? (1 Viewer)

EricHaas

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My sister and her husband want a surround sound system on a budget of $700 or less, a 5.1 system including receiver.

I have narrowed the choices down to the Kenwood HTB-505, for $475 which includes the entire package, or JBL NSP1 + PB10 sub + a $250 receiver ($600).

Anyone have an opinion on this? The Kenwood is less expensive, but I hear more recommendations for JBL here.
 

David King

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Mar 2, 2002
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Unless the Kewood HTB have have improved a lot since my first one (HTB 203, 1 way speakers with a passive sub :angry: ), the JBLs should sound a lot better. The Kenwoods small size would be more female friendly. Buying the Kenwoods would also save big bucks (Im sure can be had for less than $475), which could be used as a down payment on a better setup if they fall in love with home theater. So both choices could be good and bad.
 

LowellG

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Circuit Cities have the Onkyo HTS 650 for $450 right now, you might want to check it out as well.
 

EricHaas

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Yeah, I suppose I am leaning toward the JBL's, particularly as I would expect the PB10 to be better than that Kenwood sub. The main drawback is that they have to buy a receiver separately with the jbl's, and they are very "turnkey." My brother-in-law wants me to e-mail him with the address of the vender website so he can just go there and put in the order. They will find buying in 2 stages annoying.

$425 is actually the cheapest online price for the HTB-505, but with shipping $475. That is their top of the line HTB among the ones that don't come with DVD players. One thing is that the receiver with the HTB-505 will have PLII and I don't know that any receiver for $250 or less that they would buy will have that. I want them to have decent surround for TV.

Any other opinions on either of these or anything else in that price range that is small in size?
 

Wes C

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Jan 7, 2002
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I have the discontinued Kenwood HTB 544 and it is great for the money.

The 505 has a 120 watt amp as opposed to 100 in the 444, but I dont think the reciever is quite as good.
 

Mike Kao

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Oct 31, 2000
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The new Kenwood models are actually pretty decent. I used to own one of their first HTB sets and did not like it much at all, but I've heard their newer one's with DBLII incorporated in the receiver and they were much improved. I wasn't, and still am not too impressed with my current JBL NSP1-II set (replaces last years NSP1 model), but I have not listened to both sets side by side... I'm doubt they are critical as most of us are about their sound though, so I'm sure both sets will fit the bill fine!
 

Vin

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Oct 23, 2000
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The main drawback is that they have to buy a receiver separately with the jbl's, and they are very "turnkey." My brother-in-law wants me to e-mail him with the address of the vender website so he can just go there and put in the order. They will find buying in 2 stages annoying.
Eric, I think this is key to the decision making here. It sounds to me like the Kenwood HTB fits the bill perfectly. :emoji_thumbsup:
If the newer HTB-505 is anything like last year's model, your sister and brother in-law will look at you as an audio god for making this recommendation.....after you've set it up for them of course! ;)
Vin
 

steve nn

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Jan 12, 2002
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I have the 504 and from what I see of the 203 it does not compare. I would compare the 203 to something you would get at Wallmart. I agree with Vin. I do not run the 504 in it's original configuration now, but for the money and the comparisons I made, this really stepped up to the plate and delivered. I see the new Ken has a better sub. This is good.
 

ReggieW

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Mar 6, 2001
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JBL gets my vote here by a longshot. If you were to read a spec sheet on the abilities of the Kenwood HTB speakers and JBL NSP1's, or simply listen to both side by side, there would be no comparison. espeically impressive is the N-Center, which I believe to be the best center speaker for the price. The JBL's sound MUCH better than any HTB I've ever heard from Best Buy or Circuit City under 500.00 - and quite a few people in my family have HTB setups from Kenwood, Sony, pioneer, etc; I haven't seen Phil around here the past couple of days, as he's the guy who could really educate you on all things JBL. Great speakers for the money imho.
Reg:emoji_thumbsup:
 

John Garcia

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I recommended the NSP-1 to a client, went and set them up for him, and he was quite happy with them (Marantz SR5200, NSP-1, Sony SA-WM40). I brought my normal listening material, and put them through their paces. IMO, this a very good setup for the price. The N24s are great for movies, but they lack a bit of realism and depth for music, likely due to the plastic enclosures, so don't expect audiophile speakers (which nobody should at this price). For the price, I really don't think you can do much better.

I'm not sure what Phil has been up to lately either, but if you do a search on NSP-1, or JBL, you should find plenty of info from him.
 

EricHaas

Supporting Actor
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Dec 25, 2001
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Let me throw one more idea into the mix. I can recommend he get the Energy Take 5.2 system (with sub) for $595. I have a spare Sony receiver from an HTB system that my parents bought. (I gave them a Sony receiver I had that was better than the one that came with their HTB and so took home the one that came with it.) I can then give them this receiver. It doesn't have DTS or PLII.

So Energy Take 5.2 + el cheapo receiver, or Kenwood/jbl nsp1 with a bit better receiver?
 

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