Which one of these Onkyo's is the way to go?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by bud659, Aug 4, 2011.

  1. bud659

    bud659 Agent

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    Which one would you choose and why?
    • Onkyo TX-NR509 5.1 Network
    • Onkyo TX-SR508 7.1
    The refurbs price are only $40 difference so price isnt a factor. I guess 7.1 would be better for sports and movies and has a powered zone 2 that could be useful. The network would be cool but only 5.1 and no powered zone 2. is the only difference in features or does one sound better than the other?
     
  2. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    Focus on the features. You won't be able to tell any difference in sound quality. I'd take the 7.1/Zone 2 over any of the latest features but I'm old school. Plus, the $40 would pay for any cables/wires you might need.
     
  3. bud659

    bud659 Agent

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    the room will have about 6 feet between the back of the couch and the wall. does the 7.1 provide a better surrond sound experience than 5.1 for movies/sports through Comcast cable? I could give up the network feature of the NR-509 for a better sound experience with the SR508 - unless there are other good a/v receivers that can give me both (Denon, Pioneer) for under $250. I prefer Onkyo but would try another brand so I dont have to sacrifice features. Do the speakers for 7.1 systems get placed to the left/right of the couch to hear the sounds from the either side? And with a 7.1 system, am I limited to only 7.1 speakers? I want the Energy Take Classics but these speakers are only 5.1 :(
     
  4. Jason Charlton

    Jason Charlton Ambassador

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    The benefit of 7.1 over 5.1 is largely a matter of personal choice. There is little material out there that is actually encoded as 7.1. What is available is only available on Blu-Ray.


    More likely, if you had a 7.1 configuration, you would use something like Dolby ProLogicII decoding to extract the rear surround data from broadcast TV audio tracks and simulate 7.1. For sporting events, NASCAR, etc. where there is a lot of ambient stadium noise, it can add a good deal to the overall experience.


    For speaker placement, check out this guide from Dolby. Note that for 5.1 systems, the surround speakers are placed to the sides. It's the 7.1 setups that include the speakers in the "rear" of the room. This is a VERY common misconception.


    Also, as you mentioned, for 7.1 you need to have several feet of space between the seating and the back wall for maximum effect. It sounds like your room geometry would support a 7.1 setup if you opt to go that way.


    Finally, all 7.1 surround sound receivers can be configured to run as 5.1 (or 4.1, 3.0, etc.). The important thing when setting up a 7.1 receiver as 5.1 is to connect the surround speakers to the "side surround" terminals on the back of the receiver. Do not connect them to the "back surround" terminals - those are reserved for 7.1 setups.
     

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