Disappointed with my purchase-time to upgrade!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Chris_A_J, Mar 3, 2003.

  1. Chris_A_J

    Chris_A_J Extra

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    Hi all,

    I haven't been here in a long time and of course I need some advice. I purchased an Onkyo 696 Receiver about 5 months ago and have been extremely disappointed...

    My main concern is with its musical performance. It does well (not great) for HT but lacks the punch (i.e. bass response) for music. For reference I am running a pair of Paradigm monitor 9's, adp-370's, and a cc-370. I will be ordering a SVS 20-39PCi next week and I need a new receiver. The main receiver I am looking at is the Marantz SR-7300.

    To those who have experience with this receiver, will this be a strong step up? I don't mind shelling out some extra $$$ for a quality receiver.I just don't want to make the same mistake twice.

    BTW, any other suggestions for a receiver are welcome....preferably in the $1,000-$1,500 range.

    Thanks in advance,
    Chris
     
  2. Khoa Tran

    Khoa Tran Supporting Actor

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    i think you should go with seperates.....outlaw has a great package....


    but if you want a receiver then i would suggest something from NAD....
     
  3. Chris A H

    Chris A H Stunt Coordinator

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  4. chung_sotheby

    chung_sotheby Supporting Actor

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    I think that in the $1000-1500 range your best bet is the Rotel RSX-1055. Same processing core as the RSP-1066, but is $200 less and it comes with five channels of amplification.
    As for the Outlaw, I owned this unit, and while I adored its HT performance, I found the 2 channel to be quite lacking. I thought that the HK520 bested the Outlaw in terms of 2 channel. The 950 sounded somewhat dull and lifeless with none of the nice bloom and warmth of good 2 channel.
    Also, you might want to check out the HK8000. You can get these at great prices now, and they are very musical and also have Logic 7, which is great. Just make sure that you buy from an authorized dealer just in case you get a lemon.
     
  5. John-Miles

    John-Miles Screenwriter

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    Well I recently bought a new receiver, and it was betweent he Marantz 7300 and the Yamaha RX-V1300 personally i prefered the yamaha.
     
  6. Marty Neudel

    Marty Neudel Stunt Coordinator

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    Chris,

    This is going to sound radical, BUT --- based on what you've told us, I have a feeling that you are eventually going to be disappointed with the sound of any receiver you buy in the price range you mention.

    Have you considered saving your money to buy a high-quality stereo amp ($3-5K new). I don't know if your receiver has main pre-outs, but they can be installed for under $50. The amp you buy will then last you through all your future upgrades for years (decades) to come.

    Marty
     
  7. Claude M

    Claude M Stunt Coordinator

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    yeah, I agree with Marty. The 696 I believe has RCA Pre-Outs for all Channels, therefore start thinking seperates.
    Add a 2 channel amp or a couple of mono blocks for say $600 to power the L&R channels. The SVS and the new amps powering the fronts should settle you down long enough to save some more cash to perchase a 1066 or the 950.
     
  8. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

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    First off, yes the 696 does have preouts.

    As for your situation Chris, I also had the same disappointment with my Onkyo 696. Sound came out, but never grabbed me. Maybe it was the speakers I paired them with (Klipsch). Maybe it was my ears. It definitely had to do with expectations. My older Onkyo Pro 7 receiver sounded much more authoritative and dynamic with music. I tried to live with the Onkyo, but, in the end, gave up.

    I should mention I had been out of the audio loop for quite a few years and made the stupid, impulsive assumption that, if Onkyo sounded great back then, it would sound even better now. The difference to the negative was immediately noticeable.

    Here's how I remedied the problem and why I'm very happy with my current system. First, I, like you, started posting and reading these message boards. I found that the Onkyo's rated power was very deceiving and, as a result, started looking for imformation on which amps might best complement my speakers. I decided to go out auditioning ones I heard good things about, but then UBid started auctioning Parasounds and this is the one amp I had heard perhaps the best things about overall when matched with my speakers. I lucked out when I won a 1205A. I lucked out even more by having it do wonders for my system. It really was night and day. HT and music improved dramatically, even using the 696 as the pre-pro.

    I could have lived with that sound pretty easily. It really was good and bested my old Onkyo which I so loved. But.............

    You see, I'm from the old days before home theater when two-channel sound was it (well, there was quadraphonics). I still longed for a certain sense of hearing things as I did from my memories of yesteryear. I do realize my ears have changed and that it was vinyl times back then, but I decided to eventually get the Rotel 1066 pre-pro and that, for me, did the trick. No, the sounds not analog like altogether, but it is musical, dynamic, and sweet.

    I'm sorry for being long winded here (I'm writing this with a temperature of 103 and am slightly delirious), but I want to echo what Marty said and try to audition a power amp to see if that improves things dramatically for you. If it does, I'd go for it. Later, down the line, you can start salivating over pre-pros. You just have more flexibility via this route.
     
  9. Dalton

    Dalton Screenwriter

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    I'll second Chung's recommendation of the Rotel 1055. I have owned several brands of receiver's in the past year and a half and I finally settled on a Rotel 1066 pre-amp. I know it's not the 1055 but i was told by the Rotel rep in my area that the 1055 and 1066 have virtually the same pre/amp section. The 1066/1075 combo i have now sounds fantastic. I would also note that Marantz would be my second choice as long as you could get a problem free unit. I have owned the 7000 and 7200 and they were good for HT and excellent for music.

    Good Luck,
    Dalton
     
  10. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    Rotel is good, NAD is a unsung reciever. It doesn't have as many bells and whistles but it delivers the sonic goods.
     
  11. Chris Sherman

    Chris Sherman Second Unit

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    The 696 was the first Onkyo receiver tested by Sound and Vision that showed a dramatic drop in power with all channels driven. This seems to me to be where Onkyo began to skimp on the amplifier section/power supply. I have the two predecessors to your receiver the 656 and the 676. They both sound good on both HT and music. I tried one of the newer SR receivers and thought it sounded weak on music. I don't believe you need to move to seperates to get acceptable sound with music though. Marantz , Denon , and Harmon Kardon still make receivers that will do justice to both home theater and music . I am not trying to start a debate with anyone here or bash Onkyo. I was a diehard Onkyo fan for many years , I simply feel that they have gone downhill here recently, which is why I returned the SR series receiver and went with Harmon Kardon.
     
  12. Chris_A_J

    Chris_A_J Extra

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    Thanks for all the great advice....

    My only concern is that if I use my 696 as preamp the sound will still be the same, just louder. Don't get me wrong, I want my setup to be loud, but I also want the sound to be warm and musical. My local hi-fi shop doesn't carry Onkyo so listening to the Onkyo as a preamp will be impossible without purchasing first.

    Now, as far as adding a stereo amp or monoblocks will that not make the monitor 9's overwhelming when listening in 5.1? I definetly would like the sound to be balanced for HT.

    I want to upgrade to an extent but going into the $3,000-$5,000 range for an amp is out of my scope. I love HT but my other hobbies and my budget will not allow to go that high up in the ranks [​IMG] (Hell I need to save for a house [​IMG] )

    Once again I appreciate all the input and I feel that this forum is a valuable asset and has helped me to make purchases that I have not regretted(besides the Onkyo, and that was my own fault
    :b
     
  13. Craig_Kg

    Craig_Kg Supporting Actor

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    Just get a decent integrated amp (or pre+power) within your budget and use the Onkyo as a source for HT only (via front preouts). Connect 2 channel sources (CD, TT, tape...) to the stereo amp setup directly so the receiver isn't used at all for these sources.

    If you calibrate the setup as per normal (with the stereo volume set at a reference point or set to unity gain if it has it), then there should be no reason that the front pair should be out of balance with the others in 5.1 use as long as you set the stereo volume to the reference (or go to unity gain) each time you use the receiver. This all sounds much harder than it actually is.

    As a side benefit, the Onkyo will perform better for the other 3 channels when the mains aren't powered off it as the power supply only has to cope with supplying 3 amp output stages instead of 5.
     
  14. Dan_Diesel

    Dan_Diesel Extra

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    Chris,

    I bought the Rotel RSX 1055 about 7 weeks ago and I love it the music is great and so is HT. The speakers that I'm using are the Studio 20's and CC.
    But I do hear the the Studio series need power to really make them sing so I'm thinking about getting an amp for them. Something like the Anthem PVA 5 or 7.

    Good luck Dan
     
  15. George W

    George W Stunt Coordinator

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    ugh. I have the Onkyo 696 as well and was happy with the sound, and now you have to go and post something like this and get me all upgrady [​IMG]. That being said, I suggest you wait until your sub arrives before you upgrade. It could be that setting your speakers on small and adding the sub may give you the sound you're after. Just some food for thought before you spend a bunch of money.
     

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