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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I originally posted my comments on some comparison testing I did over the weekend in the Samsung HW-K850/HW-K950 thread. In it I pitted a Samsung HW-K950 against an Yamaha RX-V581, Definitive Technology Mythos SSA-50 Soundbar, and a Pair of Onkyo SKH-410's. The RX-V581 drove this speaker setup exceedingly well I'd say, but I am replacing it with an RX-A770 this coming weekend. Below are my impressions on the competition. I'd like to know if anyone else has gone this route with a passive soundbar or is considering it. In a concession to the WAF I gave up discrete separates after a move to a new house a year and a half ago. I originally went with a Vizio s5451w-c2 54" soundbar but found it lacking. The SSA-50 was my solution while still adhering to my compromise. Discuss!

This past weekend (8/5/17) I bought a HW-K950 to test out. I have to say that I like it. It sounds good. But I am going to return it. The main reason is its inability to pass an Atmos soundtrack over ARC. Like naustin I too have a Vizio P-Series display that does pass Atmos over ARC. This is an important capability that should be supported by a 2016 product. It would not have been hard to do or expensive. I want my HDR and Atmos at the same time and not one or the other as would be the case with a Roku Ultra, which I also have. I'll eventually add a UHD BD player.

For comparison I had it up against a mid-low end Yamaha RX-V581 receiver in a 5.1.2 configuration. The second reason is that even without the two rear height channels the Yamaha was able to generate a good convincing 3D soundfield. It also sounded quite a bit better than the Samsung. The bass was deeper and tighter and the soundstage more precise and dynamic.

I had a similar speaker configuration in that the Yamaha was connected to a Definitive Technology Mythos SSA-50 passive soundbar. It has 12 drivers in its cabinet and generates an artificial surround field through interaural crosstalk. It's not a perfect effect but does at times reach out to the sides slightly behind the listening position quite effectively. Most of the time however, it is to the sides just in front of the listening position. This can be compensated for though with a pair of surround back speakers in a 7.1 configuration. For the height Channels I used a set of Onkyo SKH-410's positioned on either side of the SSA-50.

The third issue that hurts the HW-K950 is the cost. If I'd bought it open-box (I let one sit in my cart for a few day and someone bought it) it would have cost about $1100. New they now sell for $1199. After tax that came out to $1300. This is simply too much for a soundbar. If it had cost $500 I would probably be keeping it despite the ARC limitation. It is a great piece of kit but too expensive for what it it is.

In contrast, I got the receiver refurbished for $299, the SSA-50 for $350 on ebay, and the Onkyo SKH-410's for $114 on Amazon. That's $763 for a superior result. It is not quite as clean as the Samsung setup because I do have a bundle of sheathed speaker wire (which will eventually go in-wall) going into the SSA-50 but my sub and surround back speakers are wireless thanks to Rocketfish wireless speaker kits. So, for now this is what I'm going to stick with.

I'll be interested to see if Samsung does something about Atmos pass-though over ARC, and DTS-HD capabilities. If those two things change then I'd definitely take another look. If the ARC issue goes away I'd take another look. The looks, sound quality, and convenience of the HW-K950 are definitely assets. However, I think it is probably too much to expect of Samsung to fix the shortcomings of the HW-K950 in this 1st generation product. Afterall, there's money to be made on the 2nd iteration with none of the current problems.
 

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I'll be getting the star-ssa3 and using 4 Polk ceiling speakers for a 5.1.2 setup with my denon avr-3300 receiver. Where did you get a refurb soundbar?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'll be getting the star-ssa3 and using 4 Polk ceiling speakers for a 5.1.2 setup with my denon avr-3300 receiver. Where did you get a refurb soundbar?
I bought mine used on ebay. You can, however, get DefTech refurbs from a storefront on ebay called Baja Waverunner.
 

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I originally posted my comments on some comparison testing I did over the weekend in the Samsung HW-K850/HW-K950 thread. In it I pitted a Samsung HW-K950 against an Yamaha RX-V581, Definitive Technology Mythos SSA-50 Soundbar, and a Pair of Onkyo SKH-410's. The RX-V581 drove this speaker setup exceedingly well I'd say, but I am replacing it with an RX-A770 this coming weekend. Below are my impressions on the competition. I'd like to know if anyone else has gone this route with a passive soundbar or is considering it. In a concession to the WAF I gave up discrete separates after a move to a new house a year and a half ago. I originally went with a Vizio s5451w-c2 54" soundbar but found it lacking. The SSA-50 was my solution while still adhering to my compromise. Discuss!

This past weekend (8/5/17) I bought a HW-K950 to test out. I have to say that I like it. It sounds good. But I am going to return it. The main reason is its inability to pass an Atmos soundtrack over ARC. Like naustin I too have a Vizio P-Series display that does pass Atmos over ARC. This is an important capability that should be supported by a 2016 product. It would not have been hard to do or expensive. I want my HDR and Atmos at the same time and not one or the other as would be the case with a Roku Ultra, which I also have. I'll eventually add a UHD BD player.

For comparison I had it up against a mid-low end Yamaha RX-V581 receiver in a 5.1.2 configuration. The second reason is that even without the two rear height channels the Yamaha was able to generate a good convincing 3D soundfield. It also sounded quite a bit better than the Samsung. The bass was deeper and tighter and the soundstage more precise and dynamic.

I had a similar speaker configuration in that the Yamaha was connected to a Definitive Technology Mythos SSA-50 passive soundbar. It has 12 drivers in its cabinet and generates an artificial surround field through interaural crosstalk. It's not a perfect effect but does at times reach out to the sides slightly behind the listening position quite effectively. Most of the time however, it is to the sides just in front of the listening position. This can be compensated for though with a pair of surround back speakers in a 7.1 configuration. For the height Channels I used a set of Onkyo SKH-410's positioned on either side of the SSA-50.

The third issue that hurts the HW-K950 is the cost. If I'd bought it open-box (I let one sit in my cart for a few day and someone bought it) it would have cost about $1100. New they now sell for $1199. After tax that came out to $1300. This is simply too much for a soundbar. If it had cost $500 I would probably be keeping it despite the ARC limitation. It is a great piece of kit but too expensive for what it it is.

In contrast, I got the receiver refurbished for $299, the SSA-50 for $350 on ebay, and the Onkyo SKH-410's for $114 on Amazon. That's $763 for a superior result. It is not quite as clean as the Samsung setup because I do have a bundle of sheathed speaker wire (which will eventually go in-wall) going into the SSA-50 but my sub and surround back speakers are wireless thanks to Rocketfish wireless speaker kits. So, for now this is what I'm going to stick with.

I'll be interested to see if Samsung does something about Atmos pass-though over ARC, and DTS-HD capabilities. If those two things change then I'd definitely take another look. If the ARC issue goes away I'd take another look. The looks, sound quality, and convenience of the HW-K950 are definitely assets. However, I think it is probably too much to expect of Samsung to fix the shortcomings of the HW-K950 in this 1st generation product. Afterall, there's money to be made on the 2nd iteration with none of the current problems.
SSA-50 has 8 OHM and Onkyo 410 has 6 OHM impedence.
Is this not an issue if the receiver is set to 8.
Kindly respond at convenience please.
 
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