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HK: Just when you thought you have decided ...

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by danfray, May 5, 2004.

  1. danfray

    danfray
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    Hi guys,

    I'm sure I'm not the first guy and definitely not the last one ... but just when I had decided on what to get, the sales guy came along and upset the apple cart :)

    Living in Singapore and visited the Harman Kardon distributor here. Yup, got my eyes and ears on a HK set. Originally I had wanted a 330 or 507 (pending on price) and well they counter-offered:

    HK 330 - 370 quids
    HK 430 - 500 quids
    HK 507 - 500 quids

    And ... HK 5550 for 330 quids.

    Got the chance to compare 507 and 5550 side by side. Sound wise, little to separate between the two ... However, not sure whether my eyes was playing tricks with my ears ... the 507 sounded better to me. Clearer, more distinct, and the separation seems to be better. A thin line though but discernible with comparison.

    No chance to test out 330 and 430 on the same setup ... they've got them hooked up on different speakers. However the nice folks there promised to let me audition the different sets when I return again...

    Assuming that there is little difference sound wise between the 330, 430, 507 and 5550 (valid assumption?), is it better to plonk the money on better speakers or just get the best my money can get? I wanted to spend abt 1000 quid on the system.
     
  2. danfray

    danfray
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    (I know this is not exactly the right thread but it's related...)

    And talking about speakers, I listened to a couple of infinity (for obvious reasons) and was offered the following:

    Infinity Oreus 5.1 - 530 quids
    A pair of Infinity MTS tower with 2 subs as stands - 670 quids

    See pic here. Its the tower speaker with the sub below:
    <http://international.infinitysystem...eMTS_series.asp?cat=&ser=PRM&language=ENGLISH>

    The sales guy assured me that the MTS is an absolute bargain. Problem is, my budget for the speakers is about 550-600 quid. The Oreus gives me everything but with the MTS, I only got two front speakers with 2 subs. What shall I do :) or rather, what will you do?

    Oreus got more focus (dunno whether that's the right word). It seems as if someone is singing right there in front of you, between the two speakers. And I like that very much. But a bit weak when it comes to movies. And harsh as well.

    MTS, better range, deeper sound stage, basically beats Oreus hands down in all departments except the "focus" part. Problem is, I want the "focus" from Oreus and the rest from MTS :laugh:

    What now?

    Coming back to the original question... should I save a couple of hundred for the amp and use it to get the MTS?

    Thank you guys so much for your patience...
     
  3. Wasabi

    Wasabi
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    danfray,

    From what I can see, even with going for 330, you still need to spend outside your budget to get a MTS centre, and another 2 towers + stands, just to get a 5.1 system. If 5.1 is enough, what is the additional cost?

    And if you want 6.1 what does 3 MTS towers + 3stands and a MTS centre cost?

    MTS looks like an expensive solution to me, I would still go for Oreus as it is a superb sat system for the money, and the HK430, as it has 7.1amp for future proofing, and a RS232C port for firmware upgrades, which HK intends to release sometime, which will include DPLIIx, to complement excellent Logic7, and a switching source sound dropout, among others.

    And if you in the future want to expand to a 7.1 you just need a pair of Oreus satellites, which should cost less than 150 looking at the price differences in Singapore and UK.

    Wasabi
     
  4. danfray

    danfray
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    Thanks Wasabi,

    >From what I can see, even with going for 330, you still need to spend outside your budget ...

    Actually, I'm thinking of breaking the bank :) You know how the urge comes to just spend a bit more and justify by having lesser upgrade in the future?

    I was thinking of getting the 330 + MTS. Just a little over 1000 quid... and then get some cheap-can-do centre and rear speakers. Then upgrade them in the future. Bad move?

    It's just that the MTS is so damn cheap from the usual price. No?

    On the other note, I tot the 330 is 7.1 as well. And can't we upgrade the firmware with a cdr instead of the RS232C port?

    Thanks so much for your help.

    Cheers,
    Dan

    BTW, anyone think that I should get the 5550 instead of the newer series?
     
  5. Andywilliams

    Andywilliams
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    Hi Dan
    Had a listen to the mts towers at the northern show earlier this year,for £670 your getting a hell of a lot of speaker for the money, Iam sure you would regret not getting the mts only problem is that you would need the matching centre other wise you would notice the tonal change when sound is panning from left to right,Rears wouldnt be a problem as matching isnt as important as the front three.On the amp front you are best demoing each amp with the speakers and pick the best one you can afford.
    Its always best to stretch your budget to the limit as you will only go and change if your not satisfied and that will cost even more of your hard earned cash.
    Hope this helps.
    Cheers Gonzo.:)
     
  6. Wasabi

    Wasabi
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    dan,

    Upgrading firmwares through CDR's I think only applies to DVD players. How would you send the signals to the amp? That's where the RS232C port comes in, I'm not an expert on this, but I think you link it from your computer.

    Perhaps someone else can explain a bit better?

    Dan what is the cost of the MTS centre?

    So if you choose 330 + 670 pack + MTS centre + cost of 2 rears of cheaper brand = still around 1300-1400pounds?

    Dan, could you visit your av shops there and provide us some some alternative speakers and prices that you think is reasonable? so we can help you guide a bit better. Also what is the price of the MTS towers with stands itself?

    Cheers

    Wasabi
     
  7. danfray

    danfray
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    Hi Gonzo, thanks for your help. That was pretty much what I was thinking about....spending more initially rather than constantly upgrading.

    But then again, I can't help but recall the first time I bought a PC. Basically bought the top-of-the-range PC, thinking that I dun need to upgrade so often or so soon. Didn't exactly happen that way :)

    Does the same thing happen with hifi enthu? or is it only a PC phenomena? This is my first set and I was kinda hoping it would last me for at least 10 years....am i dreaming?

    Wasabi,

    You are right. I should check out more of the prices of the alternatives. Will keep you guys updated. The problem is that I'm visiting the HK official distributor. They dun carry any other stuff besides Infinity and JBL. So my choice is pretty much limited.

    Regarding the RS232C port...yeah you are right. silly me ... where in the heck would i put the cdr :laugh: guess i better look at the 430 at least then.

    Any HK users can comment between 430/507/5550? If I do get the MTS, will the above receivers do the speakers justice? Oh man...it looks like an endless cycle to me :eek:

    Thanks,
    Dan
     
  8. bluesfan

    bluesfan
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    Most important feature of 430 is the frame delay. Separates a proper av receiver from the cheaper ones. Pity they took the tone controls off the front though. 430 weight 18kgs! Having said all this they're an awfully long time on the firmware update which was obviously a cockup in production tesing that they didn't notice the drop out problems. Incompetents!
     
  9. Wasabi

    Wasabi
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    Dan,

    There are loads of AV shops in Singapore, why do you just want to go to HK distributor?

    Wasabi
     
  10. danfray

    danfray
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    Hi bluesfan,

    Based on what you and wasabi said, I guess I will be opting for the 430 then. Just took a quick scan through its manual. Are there any place where they do comparison of these receivers? It's almost impossible to compare by reading 4 separate manuals...


    Wasabi,

    There's mainly two areas in Singapore where the AV shops are concentrated. One at Adelphi where I was sorta snubbed cos apparently I'm not paying enough. The other at Sim Lim, where the people are more interested in getting the best commission than selling you what you want. Anyway, I'll be checking out these places.

    Went to the distributor cos most shops here dun really carry HK. I think there's only 3 authorised dealers in HK here.

    Thanks,
    Dan
     
  11. bluesfan

    bluesfan
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    The 430 is better all round than the 330, better remote, frame delay accessible from remote not nested in menus, probably better design for heat control - see avland for pics.
    Personally, the 630 is a step too far. Got a reply on the 430 firmware update today - still no date fixed. You might want to wait till pliix comes with the 430 shipped rather than having to do the update yourself. All the reviews say the sound is bright and crisp which is what I want. I found Marantz sound sweet but cloudy and not enough treble detail.
     
  12. danfray

    danfray
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    Erm...I dun believe this.

    Checked the web and it seems that the MTS Tower is going for 2000 quids each and the subwoofer, 1000 each.

    And the official HK dealer is quoting me 670 quids total for 2 MTS Towers and 2 sub??? :eek:

    Someone slap me .... sheesh, I got a bad feeling about this.

    Dan
     
  13. Wasabi

    Wasabi
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    Dan,

    If I had known the price level of the MTS, I wouldn't even mention the Oreus.

    I think you should overspend and get the full set up :clap:

    Check this 5 page review out!!! - stereophile

    You got yourself a mega mega once in a life deal!

    Please let us know what a 5.1 and a 7.1 MTS set up would go for? And make us jealous :lease:

    Wasabi
     
  14. danfray

    danfray
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    You know how they always say if it sounds too good to be true.... then it's too good to be true.

    When I found out that the front two speakers + sub easily cost 6000 and I was being quoted 670, I suspected that there must be something fishy going on...

    It turns out that the 670 is for Infinity Prelude PFR not Prelude MTS: http://www.infinitysystems.com/homeaudio/product_detail.aspx?Prod=IF70018&cat=&sType

    Prelude PFR is like the pre-cursor to MTS. Doesn't seem to have any reviews of it on the net, but thanks to Wasabi, the stereophile article had a one line mention of the PFR.

    I must say that the HK people were not conning me. Just me jumping to conclusion when I saw the MTS pic on the infinity site. Tot it's the same, just different colour.

    PFR is a discontinued series... While it appears to be highly regarded at that time 1995-1999, is it still worth it?

    Really appreciate you guys help on this. Should I still continue with the PFR?

    Thanks,
    dan
     
  15. Wasabi

    Wasabi
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    That I don't know Dan,

    I have no idea how good the PFR are.

    I guess gonzo might know better.

    Wasabi
     
  16. Andywilliams

    Andywilliams
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    Hi Wasabi
    Nope i dont know either,Dan would the dealer let you listen to the speakers before purchasing then if they sound good to you buy them,When i listened to the mts they were paired up with the new h/k 630 receiver and the new slim dvd 31 player and the sound and picture (panasonic plasma) was great.Over the years i dont think speakers have come on in terms of performance as much as electronics so i would imagine the pfr would still be very good at the price you are paying.
    Get a demo.
    Cheers Gonzo.:)
     

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