Buzz about Onkyo receivers being underpowered has me frustrated and confused

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Nick P, Jul 27, 2001.

  1. Nick P

    Nick P Second Unit

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    Well, has it been accepted that the older X7X series are better than the X9X receivers? I bought a 595 based on Onkyo's reputation for having quality receivers with conservative WPC numbers. Then the reviews start coming in and their quality is now in question. Now I'm starting to feel ripped off and I don't know what to do. Should I sell the 595 and get a 575X or switch back to Yamaha and get a 5250 or even a 5460?? Please help!
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  2. Thomas_Berg

    Thomas_Berg Screenwriter

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    I am confused as well. i was to believe that the 595 stepped up from the 575x, but after that thread (in its long, confusing entirity) i'm a little worried. even though i'm running Cambridge SoundWorks speakers, can someone reassure me that i made the right decision?
     
  3. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Do you like the sound of the receiver? Yes? Then don't worry.
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    Philip Hamm
    AIM: PhilBiker
     
  4. Jeremy Anderson

    Jeremy Anderson Screenwriter

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    As owner of a 595, I can tell you this: Regardless of what the numbers say or how they rated it, the unit puts out more and cleaner sound than your average consumer 100wx5 rated receiver. It sure as hell blows my old JVC away, and despite the ungodly volume I've turned this thing up to, I have yet to hear any sign of it straining. If anything, it made me realize that I need a better subwoofer to keep up with it. [​IMG]
    Relax... You got a great receiver, and you're going to love the way it sounds.
     
  5. Nick P

    Nick P Second Unit

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    Philip and Jeremy,
    Actually, I'm not so sure I like the the Onkyo sounds when compared to my old Yamaha R-V905. The Yamaha didn't have DTS so that is why I went receiver shopping. The Onkyo doesn't seem as bright or dynamic sounding. I guess I'm not used to the more mellow sound yet. It also does not have a seperate LFE pad and if the main speakers are set to small then the center and rear are locked to small also. DP2 doesn't thrill me too much, in fact I get more bass from the subs in TV Logic mode than I do in DP2. I do admit that the surround stage in DP2 is superior to Prologic though. I'm still confused, I hate the idea of making yet another bad decision. Any more thoughts?
    Thanks
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  6. Paul_Psutka

    Paul_Psutka Stunt Coordinator

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    If you're unhappy and feel that you were ripped off, why don't you call up Onkyo and ask to speak to a product support manager, or a head marketing person.
    Onkyo is not going to learn about how people feel unless they call them and tell them.
     
  7. Jeremy Anderson

    Jeremy Anderson Screenwriter

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  8. Matt Wallace

    Matt Wallace Second Unit

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    I totally agree with Jeremy's excellent post. Give yourself some time to adjust and look for material you are familiar with to feel the differences.
    As far as power, I watched at CC as they drove the hell out a Polk system bi-wired for quite some time to demo it for me and it performed flawless. Power wasn't even an issue. I think in most real-world app's, you'll be okay. In my system, the sound of the old Sony was SO coloured, I had no idea. I'm sure for some folks it's okay, but for me I want something musical AND faithful, not to mention that it will make an awesome HT. Not bad for under $600 bucks !!!
    Matt
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    "And I say I'm dead, and I move"....
     
  9. Nick P

    Nick P Second Unit

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    Jeremy and Matt,
    Thanks for the replys. I've been using the 595 for almost 2 months now and I don't know if the "new" sound is going to win me over or not. My old Yamaha does have all the missing features I listed above; seperate LFE pad, all channels can be set to small or large, and the prologic mode on the Yamaha definitely has more bass than DP2 on the 595. I compred the speeder bike chase in Return of the Jedi to compare the two receivers. The explosions were louder and deeper with Prologic. Also tried the pod race scene from Phantom Menace and got the same results. Once again I will say that the overall surround field is much better than PL. I use the receiver for HT only and I've been playing my favorite DVDs to see how they sound and most of them seem less "alive" with the Onkyo. Perfect example would be the opening of Charlie's Angels when they jump from the plane and "Live Wire" by the Crue starts playing. With the Yamaha it was loud and in my face, very exciting sounding. With the 595 it just sounds like background music. Like you said Jeremy, it may be that the Onkyo sound just isn't for me. That's why I was asking about the 575X. Is it a brighter sound or similar to the 595? I'm also still concerned about the under powered issue. Right now I have very efficient speakers and an approx. 1900 cubic foot room. What if I decide to buy new less efficient speaker and change rooms? Then the power question becomes a factor. I got a very good price for the 595 (359.00 plus shipping) so I think I can almost break even on ebay and then go back to Yamaha or perhaps even some other brand that sounds a bit more dynamic. Any other brands sound similar but even better than Yamaha?
    Thanks again
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  10. Glen_L

    Glen_L Stunt Coordinator

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    I could swear I remember somebody stating recently that Onkyo's TV logic mode is actually the original DPL rather than a custom DSP mode.
     
  11. DonnyD

    DonnyD Screenwriter

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    Yep, those old 905 Yams will spoil you, won't they? It was my first Yamaha and like you I moved on to get DTS. Several friends went with the Yam 1105, an outstanding receiver regardless of price and I went with the 2095.
    Having been in this hobby for several years, I've heard some great stuff and frequent the HT B&Ms in a 100 mile radius, often to audition and buy equipment for friends who are setting up an HT and haven't got "a clue".
    Anyway, guess my Yamaha has spoiled all of them cause all of them have Yamaha. I just set up a RXV 1000 and it blew my socks off. Has me shopping for a new ES model.... a 3000 or RXV1.
    All receivers will have their ups and downs but if you are unhappy with your O, then certainly go back to what you feel sounds better to you. I am a bit that way.... I spent thousands of bucks on speakers(several times) only to find that they did not please me as good as what I had. Sold'em and still have my old JBLs (25 year old monitor series).
    I would definitely reccommend the 1105 if you're trying to be prudent with money (dts but no ES), but a 1000 Yam would be great. Good luck.
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  12. Jeremy Anderson

    Jeremy Anderson Screenwriter

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  13. Nick P

    Nick P Second Unit

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    Jeremy,
    Mental lapse, forgot to mention the reason I had my rears set to large with the Yamaha (center was to small) is because I have a Velodyne F-1200 running via speaker level in the rear channel. I know it probably wasn't necessary since I could set them to small and route the bass through the sub out but since the rears are full range in DD and DTS then I thought I would play around with it.
    Donny- so I can expect the new Yamahas to sound like my R-V905?
    Any other "bright" sounding receivers I should look at?
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  14. MatthewJ S

    MatthewJ S Supporting Actor

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    I'm GLAD TO SEE THE DISCUSSION OF AMPLIFIER QUALITY NOT TAKING A BACK SEAT TO THE DSP MODE-DU-JOUR / SURROUND FORMAT OF THE WEEK...I can remember when I switched from a very good sounding DPL rcvr ,years ago , to another brand of rcvr(actually another good brand) and was less than happy with the result. No doubt the fact that the new receiver had dd (though to early for dts), was a major influence in my change ,I just couldn't get past what I had lost in stereo sound....now when I went chasing DTS I was determined not to make the same mistake twice(trading sound quality for features/formats).I have had customers who keep buying new receivers in the same(sometimes even lower) price range just to get the dsp of the week and then talk about howtheir new rcvr doesn't sound as good as their last one . Just like the last thread about the new onkyo's amp power , voltage switch, thin sound ,etc. said, when the unit has every bell and whistle and format under the sun for
     
  15. Tony Lai

    Tony Lai Stunt Coordinator

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    >Onkyo is not going to learn about how people feel unless they call them and tell them.
    What about this - you don't like dodgy power figures, Callista Flockhart weight loss, impedence switches?
    Don't buy their 'crap'. It'll help you sleep at night. I think I'll pass on Onkyo and Yamaha and all that.
    They'll learn about creative engineering and 'new math'. Eventually.
    I get the feeling these issues would be much more odd if one of the poweramp manufacturers did this instead of an industry sector that came up with PMPO and DIN like it's Greek inches.
    It's like a breath of fresh air to read Trevor Schell's thread where some semblence of manfacturer integrity still exists between these guys and the Universal weaselling.
    T.
     
  16. Paul_Psutka

    Paul_Psutka Stunt Coordinator

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    I just think it's sad if someone already owns one of the new Onkyo receivers and then sells it without even bitching to Onkyo first.
     
  17. Nick P

    Nick P Second Unit

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    Paul,
    At this point I'm probably more likely to dump the Onkyo because of my dislike for the sound so I can't really complain to Onkyo about that. It's my personal taste with that issue. The amp quality and possible inflated WPC numbers were what pushed me over the edge so to speak. You're right, I should question Onkyo about this but I'm sure they would find some BS way to defend their product and in the end nothing will change.
    Some other receivers I'm now considering:
    Harman Kardon AVR 110 or 210
    Denon AVR-1801
    Yamaha HTR 5450 or RX-V equivalent
    Any opinions on these? I know the HKs are rated at 40 WPC but I've been under the understanding that the HK true and very clean 40 watts would rival other's 100 watts.
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  18. Jeremy Anderson

    Jeremy Anderson Screenwriter

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    I feel the need to make a few clarifications (and a few personal opinions):
    1) No power rating has been done on the Onkyo 595 to dispute their claimed 75wpc. The 696 was the one whose rating came up short. I'm not saying that perhaps the 595 doesn't perform up to their claimed specifications, but I -AM- saying we shouldn't assume their entire new line of receivers is that way without having more evidence.
    2) Without nitpicking over numbers, I can honestly say that I am very pleased with the volume, clarity and accuracy I'm getting out of my 595. I've had two supposed 100w x 5 receivers before this, and neither of them came even close to the dynamic sound and ability to handle transients that the Onkyo has. My boss has the 575x, and (again, disregarding the numbers) my 595 can get quite a bit louder than the 575x and still retain a clear sound. I don't work for Onkyo, and I'm not trying to be an Onkyo evangelist... but even if you told me the 595 really only puts out 30w/ch, I would still be incredibly satisfied with it.
    3) After listening to my 595 for quite a bit, I think the complaints of it sounding "thin" are most likely due to the slope of the Onkyo's crossover. In many systems, the transition from the speakers to the sub overlaps a bit more, strengthening the bass around 80hz. On the Onkyo, it's difficult to hear a point where both the speaker and sub are playing the tone when using a bass sweep. Now, you could see this as a bad thing... but when I run a frequency sweep on mine, my SPL meter shows a very smooth transition from speakers to sub (using a correction chart), without any crazy peaks (like I've had with both my previous receivers in their crossover ranges). Personally, I enjoy this flat response.
    4) I think a lot of people's expectations on how a receiver should sound is dependant on the type of music they listen to. I'm not saying this is true of Nick or anyone else here, but I have found in the past that people who listen to music normally inundated with unnatural amounts of bass (hip-hop, rap, rapcore, etc.) are happier with receivers that complement that sound. My musical tastes range anywhere from bluegrass to folk to punk rock to jazz fusion to classical, depending on my mood. Over this past weekend, I listened to CDs from all of these genres, and the 595 handled them quite capably. The Onkyo matches (and exceeds) the quality of sound that I'm looking for based on the music I listen to, and I haven't found a single CD that made me feel disappointed in the sound. That being said, people who listen to other types of music may be looking for a different sounding receiver.
    5) Nick doesn't like the sound of the receiver in comparison to his old Yamaha. This does not mean that it's a bad receiver, just that Nick's personal preference is for a different sound than the Onkyo can offer. I wish him luck in his search for a receiver that sounds a bit closer in tone to his previous Yamaha, and from reading his complaints regarding the Onkyo, I think the Denon would probably be his best bet.
     
  19. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I've now had my 696 for about a week, and watched pieces of Toy Story 1 & 2, and the action sequences from The Matrix (and rented The Contender) this weekend, along with some TV, videogame, and music listening.
    I don't consider myself an audiophile, but I care about sound quality a bit more than the typical consumer. And I found the 696 to perform wonderfully. Playing The Matrix at about 50% volume, with five small speakers and a sub, I was very impressed. There were never any moments of receiver strain. And since I have downstairs neighbors (who were out this afternoon), I will rarely play a movie that loudly. For me, a 100W receiver is overkill. If you have similar listening tastes or conditions, the 696 or 595 will likely be overly sufficient.
    As for the 'flavor' of the sound, I don't notice any particular coloring. But I don't have much to compare to. So I'm happy there as well. Obviously, if you don't like the coloration from an Onkyo, you'd be better served by a brand that colors things to your tastes.
    As for DPLII -- this is exactly what I wanted. I really like its effect, especially on music. I find it more enveloping, but without calling attention to itself as many other DSP modes do. It also does wonders for videogames encoded with PL (e.g. Rogue Squadron for the N64).
     
  20. Ron Reda

    Ron Reda Cinematographer

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    Nick,
    Just one little sidenote...
    If you go with a Yamaha, try to get a 5250 over the 5460 (which I believe replaced the 5250). The 5250 weighs in at 27.3 lbs. whereas the 5460 weighs in at 23.2 lbs. Sounds to me like they took some of the guts out...
    P.S. I'm a newbie, so I don't really have too much to compare against or too much money to spend, but minor details aside, I love my 5250.
     

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