Should I reconsider buying AR now?

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Jack_TN, May 21, 2003.

  1. Jack_TN

    Jack_TN Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, I had about decided to get the AR HC6 for my first HT system, but with AR apparently going belly up, I'm a little hesitant to buy them now. I doubt there'd be any problems, but you never know.

    Some others I've considered:

    JBL NSP1 II plus sub
    Polk R15 all around plus sub
    (CC has the R15s on sale for $80/pr now)

    Any advice? I've gone round and round about what to buy until my head is spinning [​IMG]

    Thanks,

    Jack
     
  2. ChadLB

    ChadLB Screenwriter

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    Many people speak highly of the JBL series. I forget which models. The other question is how much do you want to spend on a sub?????
     
  3. Debbie_L

    Debbie_L Stunt Coordinator

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    Jack,

    AR is going belly up? Say it isn't so! Are you talking strictly about the speaker division or the whole company? Isn't Recoton AR's parent company? Is Recoton in trouble too?

    As for the HC6 speakers, I have heard them only once, but thought they were a great deal for the money, especially in light of the fact that they can often be purchased at under $400 for the complete 5.1 package. They had a nice, detailed sound, but tended to become strained and harsh when pushed to very high volumes. In fairness though, this would be a problem with any small satellite speaker. I listened to the Polk R15's at my local CC (an admittedly less than ideal listening environment) this past Monday night. I doubt you'll ever do better at $80/pr. I have only heard the JBL's at Best Buy and as usual, the place was so noisy, it was hard to really get a good listen. Even so, I thought they sounded pretty good, although I personally prefer the AR's and the Polk's.

    It really boils down to what sounds best to you, the size of the room the speakers will be placed in, your listening habits (ratio of music to HT), how you'll be mounting the speakers (wall, stand, bookshelf, etc) and if this is an issue: the size of the speakers and how they fit into your room. If your listening room is small, the AR's would be a great choice and wouldn't dominate the room -- and they look fantastic too -- bonus! However, if you want to play them loud, especially in a somewhat larger room, the Polk's would probably be the better choice. My impression of the JBL's is that they would do as good a job as the Polk's and AR's for HT, but I preferred the sound of the AR's and Polk's for music. Like the Polk's, I think the JBL's will be more capable of filling a larger room than the AR's, though none of these speakers would be ideal in a really large room.
     
  4. RISUG

    RISUG Stunt Coordinator

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    Hello Jack,

    If you go with AR and if you should ever be in
    need of service or parts you can contact AB Tech, their telephone number is 1-800-225-9847. AB Tech took over AR's
    warranty/repair and parts division, I thought you might want to know just in case the service issue (which is as important an issue as anything else) was the only thing keeping you on the fence from going with AR.
     
  5. Jack_TN

    Jack_TN Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks, Reese. That's good to know.

     
  6. Debbie_L

    Debbie_L Stunt Coordinator

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    Jack,

    I've got the HK AVR325 and I love it. I wanted something that would do justice to music as well as HT and the HK really fills the bill.

    Check out this link for an incredible deal on the AR HC6:
    http://www.etronics.com/product.asp?...stk_code=arhc6

    Enjoy that new plasma when you get it -- lucky you! [​IMG]

    Debbie
     
  7. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Hi Jack. May I call you Jack?

    I have the HC6 system in my bedroom setup. It is fabulous—a very neutral-sounding sat/woofer system that blends together seamlessly when listened to in the proper environment. Excellent inner-detail articulation without being overly clinical. Offers a convincing sense of spaciousness on well-mastered DTS 5.1 and DD 5.1 tracks. Sounds amazingly good and frequency-expansive at low levels—which was a key criterion. Impression: It's a system designed with accuracy in mind. Its looks are icing on the A/V cake.

    The current company that calls itself Acoustic Research is not the same company that gave birth to the name anyway. Henry Kloss's company has gone through changes of ownership before. Its current owner going bankrupt won't discontinue AR's existence. Some entity will by it.
     
  8. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    Jack B.

    While it is true that Henry Kloss isn't behind the current
    AR entitiy I guess we could say that about most speaker
    companies, as they have all changed hands through the decades.

    The truth is that AR the current company has produced some
    fabulous products in thier time as owners of said company.
    Numerous speakers from AR have won over the hearts and minds
    of consumers and professional reviewers alike. You are a
    testemant to that by saying what you say about the HC-6 setup.

    Jack T.

    As Reese pointed out. AB Tech Services takes care of warranty
    issues as they always have. I have dealt with AB Tech Services
    on two occasions and have been nothing short of totally
    pleased with thier speed and thier communication with me.

    I would absolutely NOT hesitate to jump on an HC6
    package right now. You are getting a full 5.1 compliment of
    speakers that is well worth the $700.00 + retail for around
    $400.00. You won't get into a JBL setup with a sub woofer
    for that amount no matter where you go!

    But either way, JBL or AR both make fantastic speakers!
     
  9. terence

    terence Supporting Actor

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    As a proud AR owner i could not agree more with Brett & Jack! AR makes great speakers and can be had for incredible prices online. I have heard the HC6 system and let me say i'm not sat/sub person but i was very impressed by it's performance. Also i have done business with AB Tech because my wife's cat pushed my center SC2 of the the top or my 61" RPTV, so i had to by new drivers to replace the damage ones great CS. Below are reviews of this system happy reading.

    http://www.hometheatersound.com/equi...search_hc6.htm

    http://www.audiorevolution.com/equip...hc6/index.html

    http://electronics.cnet.com/electron...2-8726194.html
     
  10. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    I went out and listened to the HC6 system after reading a post by Jack some time back and was most impressed. It would be very hard to duplicate its performance at a sub-$400 price point.

    My only (very slight) criticism is that I detected a bit missing between the sub and the satellites, which is a general problem with setups of this type.

    I agree with Brett. A very good buy at $700—a great buy at $400.
     
  11. RISUG

    RISUG Stunt Coordinator

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    Like "poppa AR" Brett said, you can't go wrong with AR.[​IMG]
     
  12. Mark Dickerson

    Mark Dickerson Stunt Coordinator

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    Jack:

    Yes, AR's parent Recoton is going belly up, but as a corporate bankruptcy attorney, I know this process pretty well and I would assure you that AR is not going to disappear. They will be sold as the most saleable business unit Recoton has, and the money from the sale will help pay off Recoton's creditors.

    In fact, I would suggest that AR will probably be in much better shape after they are sold because it is likely that the new owners will pump some money into it for both marketing and R & D. AR is a market leader and a great brand, and the new owner will most probably look to improve its market position (unless it is bought by some nitwits who don't understand the business--this sometimes happens, but not often, and even if it did, the brand would still be good for a number of years, so I wouldn't be concerned). If you like their product, I would recommend that you go ahead and get it and don't be too concerned about the bankruptcy of AR's parent.

    Cheers! [​IMG]
     
  13. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Actually, the msrp on the HC6 system is $799. So, it retails for $800 and you can find it at reputable dealers for only $400. And, again, there's that gorgeous black-lacquer finish (the system comes with soft gloves for handling the speakers). It reeks of class and is a supreme example of value.
     
  14. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    Jack,

    The gloves are certainly a nice touch.. Hell I spend $500.00
    on a Franklin Mint Corvette and I got gloves with it too [​IMG]


    I do have to agree with that Debbie said though. If these
    are for an extremely large room they would not produce enough
    SPL and would have to work too hard to acheive reasonable
    output (simple physics no small satelite can get past it).

    But I believe for the size room and the positioning I don't
    think Jack will have a problem.

    Generally speaking diy'rs get better bargains on speakers
    when they make them on thier own.. You couldn't even build
    a set of 5 speakers and a sub of this quality for $400.00
    period... You would be hard pressed to do it for $800.00
    and come up with the same level of quality. It's a shame
    AR doesn't get more attention today than it does.. I am
    and have been very confident in thier product for years
    past. You can't go wrong IMHO.
     
  15. Danny Tse

    Danny Tse Producer

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    Although I don't own any AR products, I have been very impressed with their speakers and accessories. I am hoping someone like Boston Acoustics will come along and pick up AR....Boston did a fabulous job of enhancing Snell's product line after its purchase of the high-end speaker company. Let's keep our fingers crossed.
     
  16. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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  17. JohnGoggan

    JohnGoggan Stunt Coordinator

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    So -- it looks like etronics has these for only $300+shipping... So, we're talking $345 for me to have this in my home. Some of the reviews weren't great -- and mentioned system that were similarly priced being a bit better. But, I'm sure that was based on $800, not $300, so I'm assuming that, at $345 shipped, this is probably a great deal for a guy that wants to upgrade from his Sony HTIB speaker package, yes?

    Any reason I shouldn't jump on this?

    - John...
     
  18. JohnGoggan

    JohnGoggan Stunt Coordinator

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    The reviews seem to indicate that these speakers have no real way to attach them to a speaker stand -- is that accurate? Pretty much have to just set them on top of one? That would mean I can't use them with my existing stands (which are made to be screwed into the speaker from the back or bottom)... That would kinda suck. Hmmm...

    - John...
     
  19. Phil Iturralde

    Phil Iturralde Screenwriter

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    If performance means anything, ... I recommend adding the JBL NSP1's to your audition list. The JBL SPL charcter can be described with ... super flat Studio Monitor like mid's** (clear, realistic vocals), crystal clear highs (violin sections, bells, cymbal crashes, etc.) and overall HT dynamics (AVG Friday NITE DVD Movie sessions = 106 dB+ approx. -10 dB below REF Level - w/no fear of blowing up a driver) which was also confirmed by S&V JBL NSP1 Objective Tests ...

    JBL NSP1 Frequency Response
    N-24 front left/right..... 89 Hz to 18.9 kHz ±2.7 dB
    N-Center.................... 89 Hz to 20 kHz ±5.5 dB
    N-24 surround............ 89 Hz to 18.4 kHz ±3.2 dB

    Now, compare the AR HC6 Frequency Response using the same Standard Objective Speaker Test ...

    AR HC6 Frequency Response
    HC6 front left/right...... 125 Hz to 20 kHz ±5.1 dB
    HC6 center................. 110 Hz to 20 kHz ±4.2 dB
    HC6 surround............. 125 Hz to 20 kHz ±4.9 dB

    NOTE: One advantage to a Standard Objective Speaker Test*~ is that you can't fool the Calibrated Microphone and MLSS Computer Software. The speakers SPL characteristics vs. typical HT angles are very revealing.

    *~SOUND&VISION MAGAZINE - Speaker Testing Notes IN THE LAB by Tom Nousaine

    FRONTS: Averaged over a ±30° window, with double weight given to the most common listening angle, 30°.

    CENTER: Averaged over ±45°, with double weight directly on-axis.

    SURROUNDS: Averaged over a ±60° window with double weight given to the widest off-axis angles.

    So, I recommend adding the JBL NSP1's to your audition list, ... you might agree with the following speaker reviewer's assessment, ...

    JBL N-Series high frequency performance is attributed to the inclusion of JBL TEC Award Winning PRO LSR Studio Monitor's Elliptical Oblate Spheroidal (EOS) waveguide -- a little recess that focuses the metal tweeter's powerful output. The waveguide creates a "window" of +/-15 degrees vertically and +/-30 degrees horizontally, thus minimizing room reflections that might come back to hit the speaker.

    **Besides personal experience, ...

    Brent Butterworth wrote Product Review JBL N24 Mini-Speaker
    ...

     
  20. Jack_TN

    Jack_TN Stunt Coordinator

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    John,

    Don't know if the HC6 are compatible with your current stands or not. You could think about wall mount them.

    Thanks to all for the comments. They have reassured me greatly. Like some of you said, a $800 set of speakers for under $400 is a steal!

    Yeah, Jack, you can call me Jack [​IMG]

    Jack
     

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