Help!! Suggestions Please Onkyo 803 vs. Yamaha RX-V2600

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by RickRO, Feb 24, 2006.

  1. RickRO

    RickRO Stunt Coordinator

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    Well guys,

    Thought that I had made my mind up, but you know what happens when your planning and you have to much time to research on the net.

    I had planned on going with the Yamaha 2600 due to the HDMI switching and the "upscaling" available with the unit. With this "technically" I would be able to run one cable to the FP I'm planning and be done. Everything I own from composite to HDMI/DVI would be input into the 2600, upscaled if needed and be output to the FP through HDMI. But I'm worried about the "quality" of the upscaler in the unit, also concerned about adding another step in the conversion step. If i would send a component 480p to the projector (which is 720p native) it would need to be "scaled" anyway so why complicate the mess or get a so-so result if the scaler in the FP is better.

    Specs on the 2600

    here.

    Now the here is the Onkyo 803. Through my research I have found that the 803 is an HDMI switcher, but not an upscaler and also will not send anything but HDMI in to HDMI out. This unit does convert composite, S-vid to component out which helps and I would need to run the HDMI and component both and since this is new construction that won't be a problem.

    Specs on the 803
    here.

    I have listened to both units and I like them both. Unfortunately not with the same set of speakers though
    [​IMG] . I also like the look of each unit, both have a very nice "upscale" look to them IMO.

    I will only be getting "one shot" at this HT thing before the purse strings are closed for other home improvements and I want to do it right the first time. I have been doing some on line shopping and the units are about 200 or so difference the 2600 being the more expensive of the two. That unto itself is not a deal breaker. I'll save the 200 and spend it somewhere else or spend it on the receiver if the 200 is worth it.

    What do you all think?

    Sorry so long and if this post should be "posted" somewhere else please move it.

    Thanks

    Rick
     
  2. eddieZEN

    eddieZEN Second Unit

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    Disclaimer: The following is based on my generalized experience with Onkyo and Yamaha RXV receivers, I have not heard the specific models you're looking at.

    I would choose the Yamaha for its superior music performance and more robust power supplies, but if you're mainly doing HT the Onkyo would be fine and will probably be a lot easier to use/set-up, that's IMO is Onkyo's strongest point.

    ****

    If this is a primarily HT setup I would actually spend a heck of a lot less on the receiver though. HDMI upconversion sounds great on paper but I have read that many users find it overrated if not downright problematic. Don't be seduced by bloated feature lists of bells and whistles that just look good on a glossy brochure.

    For HT the most important things really are: 1. the display, 2. front 3 speakers ESPECIALLY the center, 3. subwoofer. Make sure you have adequate budget for those 3 things first.
     
  3. Evan M.

    Evan M. Supporting Actor

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    I agree with Eddie, If it were my decision I would go with the Yammie. They seem to have a bit more punch, more reliable and "better" musicaly. What size room do you have and what speakers do you have? Speakers will have the biggest impact on sound and do not discount your room size and its' shape. Like Eddie said, if you are looking at music too then I would get the Yammie. If it is just for HT then you could "downgrade a bit.......however a lot of that will again depend on room size and your speakers. When I audition a receiver and speakers I ONLY listen to music. Music will better be able to show you the subtle differences in receivers and speakers. After I make my decision I pop a movie with the choices just to be on the safe side....but have never had a movie alter my decision.....and I am 80% movies 20% music........ My wife cares more about the music part......

    I used to have a Yammie RX-V620. It was great for HT and was a VERY solid receiver for only 450$. It sufferred for music though. It did not have the punch and dynamic sound I was looking for. I decided to upgrade all the way to the RX-V2200 (this was 4 years ago version of the 2600). I have never looked back. The difference in music is night and day.....plus it had pre-outs for when I go with a separate amp.
     
  4. RickRO

    RickRO Stunt Coordinator

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    Guys thanks......

    Some more info to help you out........

    I'm still in the planning stages of my dedicated basement HT with either a Panny or Epson FP and trying to get "all my ducks in a row" so to speak. This will be "obviously" mostly for home theater. With the following breakdown, movies 75%, regular tv 15% music 5%, PS2 5%.

    I have planned on the SVS SBS-01 (with upgraded sub) or if I hold off long enough the MTS-01 system might be available. My room size is 13.5 x 20 with 7.5 foot ceilings.



    I agree with this, and have been educated by guys like you and others here and that is a lot of the reason I am leaning towards the SVS system. I have also looked at the Ascend 340's, 170's as an option, but have not heard either system though. Going of of reviews and recommendations from here and other forums.

    Thanks again

    Rick
     
  5. Evan M.

    Evan M. Supporting Actor

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    I know this is not the speaker forum but the Ascend 340's are in a totaly different league than those SVS speakers. That is not my words either.....that is from the owners of SVS who have A GREAT DEAL of respect for Ascend. If you can swing it then get the Ascends. The SVS's are more in line with the Ascend 170's. I think Yamaha and Ascends would be a nice dynamic set-up myself. I have heard them with a HK 630 and it was very nice......I would have preffered something A BIT more foward so I think them mated with a Yammie 2600 would be fantastic...that IS ME though....YOMV.
     
  6. Henry Wai

    Henry Wai Extra

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    RickRo

    Should also consider the Onkyo 901, can buy it new on ebay for $800.00 USD
     
  7. RickRO

    RickRO Stunt Coordinator

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    Henry....

    have done that, and it looks as though it is actually the nicer of the two (803-901) however it does not have from what I can tell HDMI switching like the 2600 or the 803. HDMI would be nice to have in my HT receiver since I am planning on making it the "hub" of my setup. Everything seems to be heading in the HDMI direction and I know that you can never truly "future proof" anything but would still be nice to have.

    Rick
     
  8. eddieZEN

    eddieZEN Second Unit

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    Rick,

    with music being just 5% of your usage I would not even bother with either of the 2 receivers you mentioned nor the Ascends (I have the 340s across the front and love them but I'm a 70% music user). The SVS package is not in the same league as the Ascends but for HT it'll do fine as well as provide you with a solid subwoofer in the PB10.

    Then again if you don't mind spending an extra $500 or so an Ascend/Hsu combination would be very nice! The Ascend 340 center is worth its weight in gold, brings voices and dialogue alive (which is about 60-80% of most HT soundtracks). Many buyers find that they actually end up increasing their % of music listening with the Ascends!

    My recommendation for the receiver would be the digital switching Panasonic sa-xr55 or (if HDMI is really a big deal for you) the sa-xr70. Do a Google search (and also search the AVS Forum) for it, it has a staggering SQ-to-price ratio. A few music-oriented people dislike it, but for predominantly HT/TV use it's a no-brainer. Only drawback is it's hard to find in stores though return shipping to Amazon.com would be just $15 or so which is peanuts.
     
  9. Jongyoon Lee

    Jongyoon Lee Stunt Coordinator

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    Rick,

    I was searching for HDMI switching receivers for about two months earlier this year. Long story short, I came to the conclusion that HDMI receivers are not ready for the market yet, with HD-DVD and BlueRay with TrueHD and DTS-HD codec coming along. You will need a receiver that has built in codec for those, and HDMI 1.3 to pass the HD track in digital.

    With the current generation receivers, you can still pass multi channel audio in 24/96 or 24/192 LPCM, and leave the transport to decode the HD tracks. That may work for some people, but may not for others.

    Anyways, in my list there were Pioneer Elite 72 and 74, upcoming Harman Kardon 640, and Marantz 7500 and 8500. I didn't consider Yamaha or Onkyo for various reasons, but those are mainly personal preference. After dismissing HDMI switching capability, my list changed to Panasonic XR55, Sony ES, Harman Kardon AVR 635, and Marantz 7500. They are all good receivers, don't cost an arm and a leg, so you can save the money for later upgrades.
     
  10. RickRO

    RickRO Stunt Coordinator

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    Jongyoon Lee

    What did you end up going with?

    I looked at the models that you listed in your post the Elite's are nice and the Marantz looks good too. I like the Panasonic XR55 (price is very reasonable) but am concerned if it will be "enough" for my dedicated HT. I'm still learning about this stuff. I haven't considered Sony receivers as of yet, but I'm keeping my options open I guess until the day I get to buy all my "stuff"

    I appreciate all that have responded. [​IMG]
     
  11. Oren Paul

    Oren Paul Stunt Coordinator

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    Rick

    I have a Yamaha RXV-1400 that I am happy with. I am not sure if there is any JUNK at your price point and all mentioned here are good. That said if I were buying today I would consider the offerings at www.outlawaudio.com if I were buying today, at the time I purchased they were kind of between offerings. But again your choices are all good.
     
  12. RickRO

    RickRO Stunt Coordinator

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    Oren

    I have heard some here talk about outlaw audio but other than that have no exposure to them. Visited their site and I am impressed with what they have to offer.

    Geesh now I have even more options to consider......I need an advil!



    Thats good to know. I don't mind paying for quality gear, I know that in this HT thing you get what you pay for and I certainly don't want to get hosed!

    Some around here have said the following By cheap Buy twice and the other spend the money and just cry once! I'm paraphrasing but that is the "jist" of it anyway.

    Now thanks to you I have three contenders the outlaw, onkyo, and yamaha. If anybody wants to sound of about the outlaw feel free to chime in.[​IMG]

    Rick
     
  13. Jongyoon Lee

    Jongyoon Lee Stunt Coordinator

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    Rick,

    Let me first say that all the receivers you have in the list are good. Like Oren said there is no junk, and you will not go wrong with any of them. The final choice will always be personal and subjective though, so you should take any advice, including mine, with a grain of salt.

    My general strategy was to audition the receivers in the list from least expensive to most, and stop when I found something comfortable enough to keep. With that strategy the list was orderd to Panasonic XR55, Sony DA5000ES, Harman Kardon AVR 635, and then Marantz 7500. Panasonic and Sony have digital amplifier, which is love or hate feature, while Marantz and H/K have traditional analog amp. I didn't consider Yamaha and Onkyo, because I saw too many posts disliking either brands. In contrast, you don't see anyone disliking Marantz or H/K. There are some build quality related issues around Harman, but the sound quality and feature seem to be solid. And issues with Sony is mostly initial quality, noise floor, and software glitches, but I haven't seen anyone complaining about the sound quality of Digital Master amplifier. My only experience with Yamaha is DSP-A1, the former flagship model. I just found it to be ho-hum to be the flagship. I haven't auditioned any Onkyo equipments. I didn't consider Denon because I used to own AVR 5700 some times ago, and wanted to try something else this time.

    I first bought Panasonic XR55. I really wanted to like this one. The sound quality was good, probably the best in its price range under $300. I found the SQ to be quite similar to Sony DA5000ES. What I couldn't get over was the fact that it really was cheap $250 receiver. It lacked features, such as video upconversion, audio delay, has limited number of digital inputs, cheap remote, cheap display, loud clicks on surround mode changes, etc. If the budget was $250, Panasonic would be a no brainer. But comparing XR55 against other more expensive receivers is not really fair to XR55. All three competitors in my list, DA5000ES, AVR 635, and SR7500 have list price of over $1000.

    The next one I bought was refurbished DA5000ES. It is an older model and is replaced by DA7100ES with price tag of $2000. I liked the Sony a lot. The sound quality was superb. I thought it would be good enough to use in the music setup, and could replace my Class integrated amps. The remote was decent. I liked the control-s connectivity to my Sony XBR PDP, so I can point the remote to the TV instead of the receiver on the side. I hated the extremely poorly written manual. I also hated the cheap toslink connector for digital audio input, which broke off while setting it up. I hated the absence of time base correction, as I seem to be getting a lot of jitter based artifact when using S-Video input upconverted to component. When I used composite video the problem went away. I hated the inability to assign the component video to different input.

    I figured the problems I found with Sony were minor. I liked the sound quality, looks and aesthetics and that's where I stopped, and I am happily settled with Sony DA5000ES. I don't know what I'm missing out by not going with H/K or Marantz, both would have been equally good choice. I guess I'll have to wait until the next upgrade. [​IMG]
     
  14. RickRO

    RickRO Stunt Coordinator

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    Jongyoon

    Thanks for taking the time to post. If I were doing a bedroom or family room HT I would do the XR55 I've not heard it but I figure that with all the hub bub around it for around 250 give or take I probably couldn't do much harm. Since this is going to be a dedicated HT I just feel that it wont have the umph I need.

    I guess that sometimes we just lean towards what we have been exposed to. Friends of mine have had Onkyo and Yamaha equipment and have had good luck with them so that is where I started. Not much experience with Sony have had a mismash of Sony stuff through the years, but not any home theater stuff believe that or not (not even a sony TV in my past). Not on purpose just happened that way I guess.



    I completely agree with you, but that means I can't blame you or anyone else if it goes bad right? [​IMG]

    Like I said in an earlier post I have heard and liked the Onkyo and Yamaha product. Tried to audition some Denon stuff once, but was snubbed at a high end store that carried Denon so nuff said bout that.

    HT equipment is a lot like women, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

    I am going to be checking into the Outlaw stuff some more so I think that I've got it narrowed down a little anyway.

    Now if I choose to go the Outlaw route do I go with a receiver/amp or separates?????..........hmmmmmmm have to think about that one........
     
  15. eddieZEN

    eddieZEN Second Unit

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    Rick,

    Between Onkyo and Yamaha I'd pick Yamaha, something like the RXV-657 would really be all you need.

    HT is really a very simple thing. All you need is a sufficient power to drive your speakers with sufficient clarity and SPL, a competent subwoofer for your LFE, and decent speakers that can handle high volumes without distorting. Unlike music listening where sufficient power and detail are NOT the only criteria since during HT at least 75% of your attention is focused on the screen, so little sonic nuances that would be conspicuous during music listening become mostly irrelevant.

    Most of the higher end AVRs are IMO designed by marketing departments who figure (perhaps correctly) that most consumers will, out of ignorance or naivete, make their choice based on which one's got a longer list of bells and whistles (connections, decoding formats, DSP modes, etc.)---bells and whistles which, once they've got the thing in their homes, they'll most likely never use to begin with.

    That's why unless you have an auditorium for an HT room, a bunch of hard-to-drive 4 ohm speakers, and a gazillion different sources to hook up to it, I just don't see any sense in spending more than say $500 for an AVR tops.
     
  16. RickRO

    RickRO Stunt Coordinator

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    Eddie and all...

    I really appreciate all the input, the plan is to make part of the basement into a dedicated HT along with that comes a front projector, surround sound (of course), DVD, and at some point the new format what ever it is, VCR, satellite and PS2.

    My goal is to have the best setup I can without having to pull a second mortgage on the house! If I can get that with "only" spending 400-600 on a receiver that will handle all of that, then thats more money on other goodies and that's ok by me. I certainly don't want buyers remorse (which I'll get anyway always do with any large purchase) but I don't want to be six months down the road wishing that I'd spent a little more money "right out of the box" and not happy with my over all setup.

    I know that at some point the "upgrade bugs" bites everyone that happens with anything I think to a certain degree. It is probably easier to "justify" expenditures over or above what the "boss" and I have talked about for this project now vs. going back six months to a year later wanting more money to upgrade. Also due to when this HT thing is done we are moving on to the master bath remodel so monies will be tied up with that! Project for me then one for the wife then one for me then....well you get the idea.

    Guys again thanks for all the insight and advise. I'll be looking at the other Yamaha offerings too Eddie.

    Rick
     
  17. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    While we all have our limits on how much to spend, either by theory or whats in our wallets, there can be a significant increase in sound quality by moving up within the same brand or changing brands to a higher priced one. As long as there's more than power, inputs and useless features to justify the higher price. BTW, for me it's +/- $800 by the wallet and +/- $1750 in theory. Then it's off to separates. But I'm sure Denon and Onkyo have sold a fair number of those $5000-$6000 avr's. But not to me. I'm too cheap.
     
  18. Oren Paul

    Oren Paul Stunt Coordinator

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    Now if I choose to go the Outlaw route do I go with a receiver/amp or separates?????..........hmmmmmmm have to think about that one........


    They have a preamp (970 I think) which is the front end of their 1070 receiver, meaning if you want separates later you already have a good preamp.

    I have been spoiled with good "mid-fi" equipment for over thirty years, there is an audible difference between entry level and the $800.00 - $1000.00 class of receiver you are considering.
     
  19. RickRO

    RickRO Stunt Coordinator

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    I have been doing a lot more searching on the net and I have checked the RX-V657 looks like a very nice receiver for the price around 450.00.

    What about the RX-V2500 the specs are respectable and have come across on the net for about 550.00. Seems like a lot more receiver for "just" 100.00 more.

    Both receiver have gotten good reviews (but I take thoes with the perverbial grain of salt) and with them I don't have HDMI or DVI but both upconvert composite/s-vid to component so that is good. The 2500 also has s-vid out to zone 2 and since I'm also planning a work out area behind the HT I can run that to the TV in there along with zone two speakers.

    I feel that with the 2500 I am not going overboard on a receiver that has features that I'll never use, but still has enough features and fexibility to provide me with years of HT bliss.

    Rick
     
  20. eddieZEN

    eddieZEN Second Unit

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    if you can get the 2500 for just an extra $100 from a reputable/authorized dealer I'd say go for it, that's a sweet deal...I thought those were a lot closer to $1K.
     

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