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Is Onkyo not as good as Denon? (1 Viewer)

RichardMA

Second Unit
Joined
Apr 16, 2002
Messages
446
I've always been intrigued by these two companies.
They seem to be at roughly the same quality/price level
and yet I hear very little about comparisons to each other.
Denon (big effort on their part to be in the home theater
industry) seems to dominate the high end receiver business.
I'm wondering how Onkyo's top line compares with say Denon's
4802 since I don't think Onkyo has anything to compete with
Denon's 5803 yet. Also, where does Integra's receivers
fit in? They don't appear to be any better than Onkyo's
top models, but I figured they launched the line for the
same reason Toyota launched Lexus, to get a new name people
would spend more money on.
 

Jed M

Senior HTF Member
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Oct 2, 2001
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This used to be a pretty heated debate but I think recently quality control issues and amp ratings have hurt Onkyo. I don't know if this has been a problem on their upper line such as the 797 and higher but the receivers below that have been given mixed reviews. The 989 may not be as spiffy as the 5803 but I will give Onkyo all the credit in the world for actually following through on their upgrade promises. I think you will get mixed opinions on this question but I would say as of lately, Denon may be pulling ahead in this argument. That said, I generally prefer the sound on an Onkyo over a Denon but that just my opinion.
 

Dalton

Screenwriter
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Dalton
Both are great companies and put out excellent receivers. I agree with Jed though, I prefer Onkyo's sound. Your other equipment will play a big part in the sound quality though(especially speakers). So Denon may sound better depending on what you mate it with.
 

StevenK

Second Unit
Joined
Jul 16, 2000
Messages
266
I prefer Onkyo's sound and my old 676 was built like a tank. But I agree, recent reports of the SR family being underwhelming has made me wary of Onkyo. They're beginning to sound like H/K.
 

Adil M

Supporting Actor
Joined
Nov 21, 2001
Messages
922
"sound like hk.":eek:
Ok, that's your opinion. I think HK makes one of the best receivers out there.
 

StevenK

Second Unit
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Jul 16, 2000
Messages
266
The H/K comment was concerning the QC problems they've had with the past couple of generations of receivers, the x00's and x100's. The jury is still out on the current x20's.

It may or may not be an opinion, but it seems to me there's general concensus was the last 2 gens of H/K had big QC problems and had really high return rates, hence the very high numbers of refurbs available.
 

JoelM

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Dec 16, 2001
Messages
215
All that I can say is that they are both great receivers. I have an older Oynko575 and just upgraded it to a Denon2802. The Denon just obliterated the Oynko but I feel that this is a "no-fare" comparison because of it being 3 years old. Also I went the separate route with the Denon right of the bat, so I really didn't give its rated watts a beating. I still use the Oynko is the living room and the Denon rests in the dedicated HT room. Although I still do not like the idea of the new Oynko100's series for its lack of a headphone jack. I personally would not care but many people use this feature. Anyway you choose you should be very happy with your purchase.
 

EricHaas

Supporting Actor
Joined
Dec 25, 2001
Messages
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The Onkyo's tend to have better remotes and a more intuitive interface than Denon. Both have excellent build quality. I feel that receivers at a similar price point tend to sound similiar, if not identical. Hence, I purchase based upon features first, price second, looks and build quality third, sonics nil. I know that is an unpopular opinion, but it's what I believe. Anyway, even if there are sonic differences in 2 similarly priced receivers, you can't fairly identify them without extremely well controlled conditions where you demo them with the same speakers in the same room, level matched. At least with speakers you can hook them up to the same hub and a/b them without having to play with cables every time you want to switch off.

Right now I have a Denon 3801 because I got it new for under $500 and it has 7 amped channels. My next receiver will probably be a Pioneer flagship.
 

John McCutcheon

Auditioning
Joined
Jul 22, 2000
Messages
13
Ok, that's your opinion. I think HK makes one of the best receivers out there.
Maybe this should read designs instead if makes. I have a theory on Quality Control based on where components are manufactured. I have read about Q/C issues regarding H-K recently. I've also seen alot of refurbed H-K stuff being sold on eBay lately which, in my eye, kind of backs up these reports. The current H-K receivers, and some other components, are made in China. I've also read about Q/C issues regarding Onkyos. The dreaded "clicking" or "ticking" on the '797's and some '898's for example. But I haven't heard much bad about the 989. I think all of the current Onkyo receivers, with the exception of the 989, are made in Malaysia. The 989 is made in Japan. I haven't read about alot of Q/C issues regarding Denon. I think most of their receivers are still made in Japan. I'm starting to see a pattern forming here....
Of course, I currently have a Pioneer Elite VSX-27TX (made in Japan) that I've had some Q/C issues with which is what got me started shopping again and led me to these three! :crazy:
 

Leo_P

Second Unit
Joined
May 13, 2002
Messages
272
I don't think where a receiver or it's components are made have anything to do with anything. If something is inherently flawed it doesn't matter where it's assembled or manufactured.
As far as sonic differences amongst similarly priced receivers, I was able to tell the difference between a H/K AVR520 and an Onkyo 797. I listened in "pure" stereo mode, switching back and forth between the two, and IMO the H/K sounded better. BTW, the Onkyo cost $150 more than the H/K. At the time I was leaning STRONGLY towards the Onkyo, so I "wanted" the Onkyo to sound better, but it didn't.
Just my $.02.
 

John McCutcheon

Auditioning
Joined
Jul 22, 2000
Messages
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If something is inherently flawed it doesn't matter where it's assembled or manufactured.
I absolutely agree with this comment. But, the fact that not all units from these lines exhibit the same flaws indicates that they're not inherent, but rather quality control issues, IMHO.

As my hearing isn't what it used to be, I probably wouldn't be able to appreciate the sonic difference you were able to hear between the H-K and the Onkyo. But the fact that you could and were able to save $150 in the process had to put a smile on your face!
 

RichardMA

Second Unit
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Apr 16, 2002
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446
The Q/C control of things made in Mainland China, Taiwan,
etc, are not yet up to the Japanese standards. Even though
the factories may be overseen by Japanese people, this
issue with Chinese Q/C will likely take some time to go
away. But it was like this with Japan 30+ years ago.
All "forming" economies go through it. Still, it would
be nice not to spend $1000+ on any piece of equipment
and have zero problems. IMO, you are safer right now
sticking with product made and assembled in Japan.
 
Joined
May 22, 2002
Messages
18
Onkyo and HK both suffer from way too large a % of buis from low-fi mass market retailers who don't have the sales staff or demoing ability to sell on quality...It all comes down to price vs features,features, features...sony rates specs one way for their mass market product and another for ES , CAUSE joe 6 pack only reads the shelf talkers (croy tags) and is probably using (according to one onkyo exec.) "all small speakers so who needs that much power".....so as we see every featuere under the sun for $600 we should know that it ain't amp quality and QC THAT WERE GETTING!
 

Eric_M

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Dec 13, 1999
Messages
218
Despite this issue with lower than advertised power watts on 5 channels, I think most people will be fine with the 600 even if they had nice speakers. I figure as long as your speakers aren't power hungry then you'll be fine with even 30 watts x5. The whole monitor line by paradigm tells you all you need is a min of 15w to drive them. This was my concern until the dealer told me I should be fine. I hope for his sake and mine he is right.
 

Mike Bledsoe

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
May 24, 2002
Messages
67
Dear Richard
I used to work at a place that sold Onkyo and I always hated them they sounded very compressed, like they were struggling. I don't think that Onkyo has anyhing to compare with The Denon 4800 or 5803. According to some of the popular mags Denon is a little better than Integra.
Personally I find Denon to be a very open easy detailed sound not very different from entry level separates
 

RichardMA

Second Unit
Joined
Apr 16, 2002
Messages
446
I've only heard Onkyo (top line receiver mated to B&W's)
once. I didn't like it. Your description of it's sound
is exactly the impression I got from it. More places carry
the Onkyo's now in Toronto, so i'll probably be exposed to
it again, but it's academic at the moment because I went
"separates" back in 1995 and haven't owned a receiver
since then. What I do find annoying is that Denon has put
out a more comprehensive receiver (5803) than any of the
preamps out there save the mega-buck entries like Lexicon.
In terms of flexibility, the preamps used to have the edge
on receivers. Now it's the other way around, to an extent.
 

MarshawnM

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jul 5, 2001
Messages
65
Richard,

Here are my two cents. I think both are great companies with incredible product lines. I started with the older Onkyo 787, and then moved up to the 898. I love it, my buddy coupled the 3802 with Martin Logans and it sounded great as well. I listened to Denon 3802 and the 2802 and they sounded “bright” with my B&W’s. You really can’t go wrong with either company, as for which company is better, that's all opinion based. It will be based on what you like with the equipment you have. Overall in the same price range both companies pieces sound just as good as the other. I will say this out of all the the recievers I listened to under $1500, no other company sounded as good as Onkyo or Denon with my equipment. My setup

Mits 55819WS (55 in Widescreen)
Onkyo TX898
Denon 2800 Progressive Scan DVD Player
B&W LCR Center Channel
B&W 603S2 Fronts
B&W 602S2 Rears
Infinity 120 Sub (12 in powered sub – sucks badly SVS ASAP!)

Hope this helps.
 

Norman L

Second Unit
Joined
Feb 19, 2002
Messages
261
I just returned from the Home Entertainment Show in NYC.

A Denon person advised me, after I questioned him about the new line, that the 1803 coming out in August will be like the 2802 but with more.
1803 will have 90 watts, 6.1, 2 center surround speakers, preouts for another room and I do not remember what else.
Preouts for all channels like the 2802.
Same MSRP $499.

The 2803 and 3803 will not be out for 5 or 6 months.
 

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