Alternatives to the Onkyo SR600?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Tim_Speicher, May 22, 2002.

  1. Tim_Speicher

    Tim_Speicher Stunt Coordinator

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    OK, so it seems like Onkyo may be pulling the wool over the eyes of the consumer with regards to it's new SR600 receiver. I currently have this receiver - paired with the JBL NSP-1 (no sub, yet). While I currently live in a small apartment, thus I keep the volume low to moderate, I do plan on taking that step and getting into a house some time soon. I have not been disappointed - yet - with this receiver (Plus I have no other basis for comparison[​IMG] ). However, I don't want to find out that this receiver may not deliver the same results when placed in a full size family room.
    So, with that in mind, I am looking at reviewing other receivers (similar features)in the same price range ($400-$500 max) that have better power ratings. I know that there are a lot of them out there, but I don't have too much time left before my 30 days is up. So I'm asking for some suggestions to help me concentrate my efforts.
    I really appreciate any help the group can give.
    -Tim
     
  2. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Marantz SR5200, Denon 2802, Harmon Kardon AVR320.

    I hooked up an SR5200 with the NSP-1 and a Sony SA-WM40 for a friend/client, and I thought it sounded quite good. Very good for movies, a bit lacking in midrange for music (speakers not the receiver), but still good for the price. This combination definitely had no problem filling the room with sound.

    Do you watch more movies or listen to more music? I would take Marantz or H/K for music in this price range.
     
  3. Zac_F

    Zac_F Agent

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    Outlaw 1050. It doesn't have DPLII but it does everything else better than the other brands in the price range. My guess is the price, currently $500, will also come down soon.
     
  4. Tim_Speicher

    Tim_Speicher Stunt Coordinator

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    Guess I left out a few important bits of information... (Thanks John [​IMG] )
    - This system will be used mainly for movie purposes (85/15).
    - The remote is not important what-so-ever, as I will be using a Phillips Pronto.
    - If you know of a website that has the receiver you are recommending for a nice price, I'd be grateful for that information.
    Thanks again!
    -Tim
     
  5. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I don't think this is the best price, but they are an authorized Marantz dealer: Cambridge Soundworks - HiFi.com I don't see it right now, but they recently had a $50 or $100 off deal on this receiver. I know it can be found for less, but likely not from authorized dealers.
    I have not heard the Outlaw, so I cannot comment on it, but it does get very good reviews on this forum.
     
  6. Paul Clarke

    Paul Clarke Supporting Actor

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    I agree with John and Zac. All of the receivers mentioned are quite good for the money. I think the 5200 or the 320 would be better choices for music but with your projected usage ratio they are all in play. Some Yamaha models might do as well.
     
  7. ThomasL

    ThomasL Supporting Actor

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    Is the 6th channel important to you? i.e. do you want DD-EX and DTS-ES support? Also, do you want DPLII and DTS:Neo6?

    In the $400-500 range, besides the Onkyo, these are the ones I've found:

    Yamaha HTR-5560 (or the 630 equivalent)
    Marantz SR5200
    Pioneer VSX-D811S

    Other models:

    The Harman Kardon 320 has support for 6 channel processing but just includes 5 channels of amplification. You need to buy a separate amp to power the 6th and 7th speakers. It's also a little above your price range.

    The Denon 2802 is also out there but if you buy it from a local authorized dealer, it's also well above your price range. It has all the features that the Onkyo has I believe.

    Out of the 3 listed above, only the Pioneer will do DTS-ES Discrete as the Onkyo SR600 does. Also, only the Pioneer has DTS:Neo processing. All 3 will handle DD-EX/DTS-ES Matrix and DPLII.

    As for power ratings go, you really need to see standardized testing. None of them are going to do what they list when all 6 channels are driven. The Pioneer probably cheats the most when it says 100 watts x 6. But then again, it may have more than enough to power your size room and your speakers.

    I would say given your budget, if you like the Onkyo SR600, stick with it and give it a try in your new room/house. If it doesn't seem to have the power you need, then sell it/trade it up for something better. But my gut feeling is, you'll want to look above the $400-500 budget receiver in that case.

    Also, one thing the Pioneer also has is pre-outs for all channels so separate amplification can be added later.

    good luck,


    --tom
     
  8. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    The 5200 also has pre-outs for all channels as well as a powered 6th channel (85x6). More than enough power for the N24s.

    If the H/K AVR320(325) is a bit too much, then there is always the ARV220(225).

    At MSRP, the 2802 will be above this price range. In this price range - MSRP, you would then be looking at the 1802.

    Each can be found at or below this price range online, but as stated, those prices may or may not be through an authorized dealer.

    I also have not yet had a chance to listen to the TX-SR600, but I liked the DS595. So what is it that you don't like about the SR600?
     
  9. Norman L

    Norman L Second Unit

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    Tim,
    If you have or can use an Amer Express Gold or Plat card.
    You can buy the Denon 2802 which lists for $799 for about $675 at authorized dealers. Send AX a print-out of an unauthorized Internet dealer that sell it for $528 and Ax will send you a check for $147. Your net is $528.

    The unit is 6.1, rated 90w, 74w 5 channels - tested by S & V, pre-outs for all channels plus preouts for mains in another room, phono input, LFE adjustments for DTS & DD separate from the setup.

    I am trying to find out about the Pioneer 811S, and the Yamaha 630 or 5560, both have preouts. What per 5 channels??

    You must enjoy the sound quality.
     
  10. Tim_Speicher

    Tim_Speicher Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks everyone for the responses...
    At this point, I'm not dissatisfied in the least with the Onkyo SR600. However, like I had mentioned, I don't really have much of a comparison base. Most of my other friends only have those small bookshelf systems or a couple of those old speakers that look like they came out of the trunk of a car. [​IMG]
    I'm not too surprised about the lack of power from the receiver, as I use to be into the car stereo scene. If your not familiar with that market, over-stated wattage runs rampant.
    As for me, I guess my biggest concern is that when I do move out of the apartment and get a house, I will be so caught up in trying to furnish it and adjust to the extra expense that I most likely will not have the opportunity to upgrade the system that I just put together.
    At this point in time, I think I can do without the extra 6th channel, as I'm not currently using it. I don't really need all those fancy surround modes, either. I would however, like to keep the DPII feature, as I find it quite nice.
    I was doing some calculations based on some information that I found off the search function and it seems that based on the JBL's NSP-1 system, I would need the following to hit reference levels. (Please correct me if this is in any way incorrect - I'm still trying to get all this figured :b)
    N24's (Sensitivity 86db) 64 watts - 103db?
    N-Center (Sensitivity 90db) 32 watts - 104db?
    I'm guessing that means that I would need a min. of 64+ watts of power to get the front & rears to approach reference levels and 32 watts for the center. Granted this doesn't take into consideration peaks that maybe call for more power? While it would seem that I may just have enough power for the center, on normal scenes - I'm not likely to reach it from the N24's.
    I originally looked at the Onkyo 595 and Denon 1802, but held off due to the release of the SR600. I find it startling that many gave the 595 got high marks. Now it's being commented that it seems to suffer from the lack of power the 600 does. Yet, most of the older reviews rave about it? Does that suddenly make it not a decent receiver anymore? [​IMG]
    Anyway, I really do appreciate the recommendations from the users and I am looking into them. I may end up staying with the SR600 and use it to grow into the whole home theater field - but I do want to keep and open mind.
    I may also take another hard look at the Denon 1802, as many people gave the nod to this receiver when I first developed an interest in H.T. Oh well, I've got a couple more weeks before my times up and I have to make a decision. Until then, I'm open to any suggestions.
     
  11. Steve_Tk

    Steve_Tk Cinematographer

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    HK 320 only 499 at JandR.com

    55W per channel but is honestly rated. I'm in the same boat as you, can't decide on which reciever.

    I've found that for now 6.1 is not something I need. And the HK can give you that in the future if you want it.
     
  12. Paul_Fisher

    Paul_Fisher Screenwriter

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    Another vote here for the Marantz 5200, just got one and I love it.
     
  13. StevenK

    StevenK Second Unit

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    I find the lack of DD-EX and only 5 channels of amplification a big hit to the H/Ks. In my time with the 520, however, those amps sounded great.
     
  14. Paul Clarke

    Paul Clarke Supporting Actor

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    Steve,

    Last years model, the 310, tested out at 78Wx5 at clipping and had a Fidelity Firewall (where it most closely matches the manufacturers spec) of 73Wx5. With H/K's extremely linear power increases, the 320 should be good for 80Wx5 real world.
     
  15. Steve_Tk

    Steve_Tk Cinematographer

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    I'm new to all this, so I'm not really sure what you mean. Are you saying that even though HK says it's 55x5 that it is probably that much more than that? around 80x5?
     
  16. Paul Clarke

    Paul Clarke Supporting Actor

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    Yes. Unlike most mass market manufacturers, H/K, NAD, and a few others rate their products conservatively. The 510, (H/K spec 80Wx2 8Ohm, 70Wx5 8Ohm) and 310 (H/K spec 60Wx2 8Ohm, 50Wx5 8Ohm) have been tested many places here and abroad and have always delivered greater output than their ratings. With H/K I have found that the continuous power rating for 5 channels driven is always the MINIMUM you can expect.

    People often make the comment about how pricey H/K is for what you get. IMO, that's because H/K actually gives you the 'what' for the price.

    My $.02
     
  17. Norman L

    Norman L Second Unit

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    Paul,
     
  18. Ryan Schnacke

    Ryan Schnacke Supporting Actor

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    Tim, it seems like you're putting a lot of faith in an virtual stranger and not enough in your own ears. I appreciate Norman's valuable input to the ongoing SR600 power discussion. But its most valuable to those who don't already have an SR600 in their home to experiment with. As you said ...
     
  19. KC Alewine

    KC Alewine Extra

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    Getting back on track...
    Check out the new JVC RX-8020VBK A/V receiver. It's rated at 120 Watts (2 channel) or 100 Watts (5 channels).
    http://www.jvc.com/product.jsp?model...L026800&page=2
    - Dolby Digital EX, DTS-ES, and Dolby Pro Logic II.
    - S-video + component switching (35 MHz bandwidth)
    - 5.1 inputs, 7.1 outputs
    - 4 assignable digital inputs (3 optical, 1 coaxial)
    Crutchfield price is only $399 with a feature set that exceeds the Outlaw 1050 [​IMG]
    It looks good on paper, anyhow. How it sounds, who knows? But at first glance it appears anyone who is waiting for the Outlaw 1050 might consider this unit as an alternative, especially if they were planning to use the 1050 as a pre/pro only [​IMG]
     
  20. Cary P

    Cary P Stunt Coordinator

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    Tim,

    I don't think that you can do much better than the Onkyo SR600 in the $400-$500 range. The fact is, almost all of the mass market manufacturer's inflate their power ratings at this price level. As Paul pointed out, only H/K and NAD are known to advertise conservative power ratings for their receivers. I believe that Onkyo has a reputaion for having more robust power supplies and better build quality than most of the mass market competition in that price range, so I don't think there are any obvious alternatives.

    I own a Marantz SR7200, and wasn't too pleased when I read that it only tested at 29 watts X 6. But I'm mainly using it as a pre-pro, only using the SR7200's internal amps to drive my rear surround speakers. Given that I like the sound, looks, and ergonomics of the SR7200 - I decided to keep it for now.

    If you do decide to upgrade in the future, I think it would be wise to get a receiver with pre-outs. This way you have the flexibility to add as much amplification as needed.

    Cary
     

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