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Serious problem with Onkyo HELP!!


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#1 of 96 Mike Trueblood

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Posted January 07 2003 - 02:23 AM

I'm wondering if Onkyo has a problem with their design of the SR500

Here is the problem
I have a SR500 only a few weeks old. I have connected it to my DVD player with coax digital cable. I have the subwoofer mode set to mode 3 which according to the book outputs the LFE channel of a digital source. I get no sound from the subwoofer.

I have tried
In mode 1 the subwoofer plays the bass from the other 5 speakers, however the LFE track still gets lost.
I changed subwoofers to one that is proven to work with LFE
I changed DVD players with the same result
I took my reciever back and exchanged it for a different SR500, still won't play LFE
I called Onkyo twice and they couldn't help

I'm starting to wonder if the SR500 is even designed to play the LFE track at all.

I'm completely lost on what to do now, other than get a different model. Any ideas out there at all?

Mike

#2 of 96 David Cohen

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Posted January 07 2003 - 05:25 AM

Is your DVD player set to output a bitstream, or is it still set to the defauly PCM out? No bitstream, no LFE!

Good Luck

#3 of 96 Mike Trueblood

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Posted January 07 2003 - 05:58 AM

I do have the DVD player set to bitstream, though I tested with PCM

#4 of 96 ChristopherBer

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Posted January 07 2003 - 09:01 AM

The Onkyo is made to play LFE I have yet to see a home theater reciever that doesn't. Posted Image . I have the same reciever and I have it set to Subwoofer Mode Two and it works just fine. Have you tried adjusting the crossover on the reciever?

#5 of 96 Mark Arrigo

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Posted January 07 2003 - 11:36 PM

I have the same exact problem with my R500. No sound comes from the subwoofer during THX optimization or with AVIA calibration of the LFE channel. But sound does come out during "subwoofer" calibration" with AVIA. This led me to believe that, as you say this receiver does not correctly decode the LFE channel. I called Onkyo and they said that if during the test mode if sound comes from the subwoofer everything is ok. I believed them at first until I played a DVD that sounded terrible during scenes with obvious LFE(opening scence of Attack of the Clones). I called again and they said it was probably the pre-out and to take it in for service. Well it's there now. If they can't find anything wrong with it, I'm planning on having a very long and unpleasant talk with the Onkyo folks, I suggest you do the same. I'll let you know what they say (I should have an answer this morning.

Mark

#6 of 96 Mike Trueblood

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Posted January 08 2003 - 01:06 AM

Mark,

Interesting news

Yesterday I took my R500 back to hhgregg and talked to the manager. After explaining my problem he agreed that something must be defective with the model as it happened with both of the R500s I got from them. I was given a refund for it and am currently looking at other models.

The strange thing is that while I was in line at the return desk, a lady turned around and said that she also had to take a R500 back to the store. She had the same exact problem, and had to eventually change to a different model to get it to work.

Mark my receiver did the same thing with the AVIA disk. Let me know what your service center says.

Mike

#7 of 96 Kevin Goodwin

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Posted January 08 2003 - 05:45 AM

Oh, brother...I just bought the SR500 off of Ubid, and haven't tested it yet with a 5.1 source in Mode 3. I mistakenly had the subwoofer mode set to 1 when I set it up, and thought everything was fine. I'll have to try it after work tonight.

#8 of 96 Mike Trueblood

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Posted January 08 2003 - 08:39 AM

Kevin,

Let us know what you find.
Wonder if onkyo would recall them if they found that the LFE didn't play correctly.

Mike

#9 of 96 Kevin Goodwin

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Posted January 09 2003 - 12:51 AM

Well, I put the Onkyo in Mode 3, and played part of Attack of the Clones, and I got bass out of the sub. It sounded a little "choppier" sounding than my last receiver (Kenwood VR-407), but that's probably just my receiver/sub settings, or the differences in the receivers. I'll have to try some discs that I've played before -- I haven't watched AOTC yet.

Are you guys getting sound out of your surrounds? I know when I set the receiver up, I had trouble at first because I'd set the sound input to "direct," but I had to hit one of the other buttons to get it out of stereo mode. It wasn't extremely obvious at the time.

Of course, the unit I bought was refurbished, so I suppose it's possible that there was a problem with it when it was new.

#10 of 96 Mike Trueblood

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Posted January 09 2003 - 01:08 AM

I was getting the digital 5.1 sound from all the surrounds, however the sub got nothing usefull. The sub would seem to misfire as you could see it popping every so often. But this signal the onkyo was producing never generated an actual tone.

#11 of 96 Kevin Goodwin

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Posted January 09 2003 - 01:29 AM

My sub is firing at all the appropriate times -- explosions, etc., but it doesn't sound quite like I thought it should. I'm going to try messing with the crossover & speaker volume settings on the receiver. I couldn't really crank it last night, since my 7-month old daughter was in the room, and I was concerned I'd scare the pants off her.

The misfiring you were getting was at random times? Just for fun, did you try using an optical input? I don't suppose it would make a difference, but who knows?

#12 of 96 Mark Arrigo

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Posted January 09 2003 - 02:04 AM

I finally got a call from my service provider. He basically told me what I expected to hear. There is nothing physically wrong with my Onkyo. The problems I am experiencing (no LFE channel)is a function of how this receivers decoder works.

As others of you are reporting, I am getting sound from the subwoofer when playing DVD's but it sounds choppier (just as someone else describes)and more abrupt than the other receiver I had hooked up. The opening sequence in Attack of the Clones where the ship flies overhead was most noticeable so far: a big'ol belch sound the moment the ship flies over, whereas with another receiver the bass was a gradual and steady increase then decrease. I tried every conceivable setting prior to bringing it in to the service company with no luck. When set to mode 3 no sound comes out unless a low frequency effect is sent to the receiver this results in the subwoofer not outputting any sound most of the time and when it does it usually sounds pretty bad.

At this point I'm at a loss. I bought the entire refurbished system (speakers included) from Onkyos web site so just returning it to a local store is not an option. I'm also not about to pay to ship a 110 lb box to California either for refund. The speakers are great, as is the receiver except for this one very noticeable point (IMO). Simpling having Onkyo exchange the receiver is not an option since this seems to be a "design flaw" of this model. I may call up Onkyo (again) and after waiting on hold for at least half an hour see what they are willing to do.


Mark

#13 of 96 Kevin Goodwin

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Posted January 09 2003 - 02:43 AM

That does sound like exactly what I was hearing -- very abrupt bass that cuts off very suddenly. It's almost like a noise gate opening & clamping down at the beginning & end of the signal.

I'm stunned that this wasn't reported in all the numerous reviews I read online before purchasing the receiver. Several reviews on Audioreview.com, Amazon, CNET, etc. mentioned how great this receiver was, and a few even mentioned the great bass sound. Could there be something wrong with recent receiver builds only? I'm interested in what Onkyo has to say on this.

#14 of 96 Mike Trueblood

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Posted January 09 2003 - 03:01 AM

I also can't believe how many positive reviews there were on this model. They must not have realized that you had to be in mode 3 to get LFE.

Mine sounded great in mode 1. I had played the pod race of episode 1 several times for friends. The sub would play significant bass that was awesome while in mode 1. After taking my SR500 back to HHgregg a few days ago I hooked up a HK120 so I could continue using my system while I shop around. I played this same scene and the difference while actually getting the LFE track was amazing.

In mode 3 the onkyo never produced any sound, even when I know for a fact the receiver was getting a significant LFE input.

#15 of 96 Kevin Goodwin

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Posted January 09 2003 - 03:17 AM

I'll have to try the receiver in Mode 1 & see if I can live with it. I only paid $170 + s/h for this receiver from Ubid, and for that price, I don't know if it's worth the hassle of returning it. Maybe I can sell it on ebay. :P)

It really irritates me, though, and I'm going to talk to Onkyo about it. Maybe they can give me a trade in for an SR600...probably not...

If anybody talks to Onkyo, please make sure & post your experience here, so we can use the evidence -- thanks!

#16 of 96 Mark Arrigo

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Posted January 09 2003 - 04:43 AM

Just got off the phone with Onkyo. The first service person was a idiot. He said he had "never" heard of this problem before. I then pointed out this forum and the fact that others are having the exact same problem (maybe all of you who are having this problem should call). He then transferred me to sales and service (ext. 225 for direct access, at least that what they gave me so I don't get stuck on hold forever next time)and they were more helpful. They will exchange my unit for another model. They instructed me to use the feedback/question email option at the bottom of the support page to ask a specific question regarding what receiver they sell that doesn't have this problem. God only knows I don't want to exchange this one only to get one that does the same dang thing. I will call the sales/service dept back when I get an answer or if I don't hear from them by tomorrow. Not sure what they will charge me for if anything. I assume the difference in price but who knows maybe if enough people complain they will upgrade for free (wishful thinking). I'm sure as heck not about to pay for shipping back to them. I'm picking up the receiver form the service center this afternoon and will re-hook it and see if by some miracle I can get the thing to work right.

Mark

#17 of 96 AaronJB

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Posted January 09 2003 - 05:07 AM

Just curious: are those in this thread using the Onkyo reciever with the Onkyo speakers that come with the Onkyo HT-650 set or are you using the Onkyo reciever with other speakers?
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#18 of 96 FarhadB

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Posted January 09 2003 - 05:19 AM

Just a thought. Is it possible that the signal level in mode 3 is set too low so that the Sub actually shuts off? That can explain choppy bass.

#19 of 96 Mark Arrigo

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Posted January 09 2003 - 05:38 AM

Yes, I am using the speakers that came with the HT-S650. I hooked up the subwoofer to a separate receiver (Panasonic)to make sure it was not the speaker. Only the HT-R500 produced the screwy results.

I also thought about the possibility that the subwoofer was going to standby mode. I tried every setting I could think of. I cranked the volume control of the woofer itself: didn't work. Uped the decibels on the speaker setting for the woofer: didn't work. Tried the above with modes 1,2,and 3 and all three crossover frequencies: didn't work.

In my non-expert opinion it has to be the the decoder that's at fault. That's the only way I can see why LFE calibration using either the THX optimizer that comes with many DVD's or the LFE calibration on the AVIA DVD doesn't emit any sound at all (in any mode in any setting). On a interesting side note when using the "subwoofer" calibrations on the AVIA DVD the subwoofer works fine, it's just when LFE is played that things get screwy.

I'm still waiting to hear from Onkyo on what receiver I can exchange for and what the cost is.

Keeping my fingers crossed.

Mark

#20 of 96 Baldemar Garcia

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Posted January 09 2003 - 05:39 AM

FarhadB,

That was actually my first thought, and something I suggested to Mark on another forum, where I made my recommendation without studying his symptoms. But surely their subs wouldn't be shutting off in the middle of a short scene, such as the opening of AOTC. It seems to me the dedicated LFE material is having to overcome some threshold in the Onkyo decoder that shouldn't be there. So LFE material with a wide dynamic range gets bursts through, but test signals appear to be too low to get through. I definitely think that Onkyo model is defective.
bgarcia