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My Onkyo TX-DS595 review. (1 Viewer)

Jeremy Anderson

Screenwriter
Joined
Nov 23, 1999
Messages
1,049
Thanks to the HTF, I decided to replace my JVC RX-778vbk with the Onkyo TX-DS595. Yesterday, I got my Onkyo delivered to my office, where I proceeded to stare at it all day until my boss finally said "you really want to go home and play, don't you?" So he lets me leave early, and I quickly yank the JVC from its shelf and put the 595 in its place. Though I've seen reviews to the contrary, I had no problem whatsoever hooking up bare wire to the binding posts and the installation of all wires took less than 5 minutes. The initial setup was painless and quick. All options are very nicely laid out using the front panel, and within 10 minutes I had all the options set and a rough calibration done using the internal test tones. So I popped in Avia.
Boy, were those internal tones way off base, but after setting with Avia, everything evened out correctly. And let me say, I was impressed with the warmth and clarity of this receiver. I'm so used to my JVC (which has IC amps, but only for the center and surrounds, and you can tell) that I was astounded at how smoothly the 5-channel pink noise pan transitioned from speaker to speaker. My speakers are Polk R10 mains/CS175i center/R10 surrounds/PSW350 sub, and they'd never sounded as clear or full-sounding with the JVC.
So my first thought was "let's see how DTS sounds" (since my JVC was DD only). Of course... this is where I find out that my DVD player doesn't pass a DTS signal (which I've lamented in another thread), so no DTS for me just yet. Though slightly disappointed by this setback, I decide to pop in Fantasia 2000 and play the DD version of the final segment. Dumbfounded is the only word I that can begin to describe how I felt when I heard it. You hear the phrase "jaw-dropping," but rarely do you actually drop your jaw at something (which is a good thing, because if you did it all the time, you'd look pretty damned silly). My Polks suddenly had a clarity to them that they'd never had before -- instruments hovered between speakers and horns sounded more like horns.
To those who question the 75wpc rating of this unit, have no fear... This thing has more than enough to power a small to medium room. I kept cranking Saving Private Ryan ever-so-slightly higher, to a point where I'm sure my neighbors were asking themselves who I was murdering.
So then I pop in a few CD's to check out DPL2. Others have covered this topic more than adequately, but let me say this -- I'm impressed at how much better DPL2 is than DPL, and after hearing Radiohead's OK COMPUTER as electronic instruments passed from speaker to speaker about my room without ever detracting from the front soundstage, I will be using the DPL2 music mode quite a bit. After a little tweaking with my digital cable box, I'm also quite impressed with DPL2 movie mode for broadcast television, at least in comparison to DPL.
To sum it all up, I couldn't be more pleased (despite the DTS setback). Setup is easy, the sound is very warm and pleasing, and it is probably the best money I've spent so far on my mini-HT. I was particularly pleased when my friends showed up to watch THE GIFT last night, and one of them said "wow... the sound is f&*king awesome!" And isn't that what it's all about? :)
 

BryanZ

Screenwriter
Joined
Dec 18, 2000
Messages
1,214
Congrats on the purchase! You boss must have been a very understanding man to let you go home early to set up a receiver. Wonder what he'd do if you had a SVS sub shipped there?
wink.gif
Enjoy!
 

Sean Laughter

Screenwriter
Joined
Aug 3, 1999
Messages
1,384
Great to hear!! Here's hoping the 494 I buy in a few days does as well as the 595 (unless I decide 20 extra watts is worth $100 more for a 15'- 11' room!)
 

Jeremy Anderson

Screenwriter
Joined
Nov 23, 1999
Messages
1,049
Sean, for that size room, I recommend going ahead with the 595 in lieu of the 494. Not only will you get more wattage, you get the Cinema Re-EQ feature and a programmable learning remote (which isn't half bad, though I still prefer my RatShack 15-1994). I got my 595 from J&R (http://www.jandr.com
 

Matt C

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
May 1, 2000
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Matthew
I'm really happy to hear that, Jeremy! I just purchased the 494 last night (it's going to be living in my small room at home and my dorm room at school, so I don't need to worry about the slight increase in power), along with a Kenwood cd changer (i've still got that big purchase buzz going! :) )Anyways, I am now looking forward to my purchase more than ever! I'm using Polk RT-25i's for my mains and RT-10i's for my surrounds, and I can't wait to hear how they sound! BTW, this is pretty weird, but I was planning to use Radiohead's OK COMPUTER as my first DPLII test as well! woah, freaky! You really are lucky though, I wish my boss would let me out of work early on friday when my shipment is supposed to arrive. Unfortunately though, I work in a museum, and let's just say that my boss is not all too inspired by large pieces of electronics equipment
frown.gif
Oh well, enjoy your purchase, and let us know about any further details!
-Matt C
[Edited last by Matt C on July 18, 2001 at 09:53 AM]
 

John Garcia

Senior HTF Member
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Jun 24, 1999
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John
Nice review too.
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Ken Hancock

Auditioning
Joined
Dec 10, 2000
Messages
3
I just hooked my Onkyo 595 receiver up last night as well (surrounds and under-the-carpet wiring is for tonight).
I hit one oddity which I'm not sure if you or anyone else has experienced.
In the manual, it says not to connect the same digital input to more than one source. Why????
Here's what I'm doing:
My Panasonic CV-51 CD/DVD player uses optical out.
I have the DVD source on the 595 set to use OPT1. When I hit DVD source the 595 will also switches the video output to the DVD video source.
For playing CD's I also want it to use the optical out (which it does just dandy), but I don't want it to switch the video source. I set the CD source to use OPT1 as well.
Seems to work fine, but the "NOTE" in the manual has me wondering...anyone know why that note would be there? Should I just ignore it as it appears to be working fine?
 

Sean Laughter

Screenwriter
Joined
Aug 3, 1999
Messages
1,384
Ken,
So you're using your DVD player as your CD player too, and just assigning your DVD source and CD source to both be OPT1? I think the note refers to physically attaching more than one source cable to the digital input. I don't think you can do that with optical, but maybe they just don't want people using a Y-splitter to try and attach two coaxial digital sources to one coaxial input.
 

Ryan Schnacke

Supporting Actor
Joined
Feb 5, 2001
Messages
876
While we're reviewing it, here's the oddities I've noticed with my 595:
2 channel music (direct or stereo) plays about 3-4dB louder than multi-channel music (dpl2, orchestra, studio, etc) for the same volume level. But since the subwoofer output remains constant, you may find that the sub output seems a bit low in stereo mode (assuming you calibrated in DD mode).
The internal test tone for the subwoofer is waaaaay off. Its like 10dB softer than the other signals, so don't even bother with it. Just use VE or Avia or adjust to your preference.
I can't imagine why the remote isn't fully backlighted since the 575 remote was. And why didn't they throw in pre-programmed CD player codes when the put in TV, DVD and VCR codes?
There's no option to select the original Pro Logic mode. In fact, there's no DPL2 options at all. If you're listening to a music source (tuner, CD, tape) you'll get DPL2 music mode and if you're listening to a video source (Video 1,2,3, DVD) you'll get DPL2 movie. But that's it. This receiver must use the absolute minimum DPL2 feature set.
That said, I'm very happy with the 595. Much quality and quantity of sound. And its soooooo inexpensive that it allows you to allocate a good bit more money towards your speaker purchase.
 

Jeremy Anderson

Screenwriter
Joined
Nov 23, 1999
Messages
1,049
The internal test tone for the subwoofer is waaaaay off. Its like 10dB softer than the other signals, so don't even bother with it.
Yeah... The internal tone for the sub was 10db too low when I calibrated with Avia. Also, the internal tone for the center channel was 1db too low when I calibrated with Avia.
But once everything was properly calibrated, I was very pleased with the bass output. The 595 seemed to have tighter cleaner bass going to my sub than my old JVC. However, I'm currently running the subwoofer level on the receiver at +6, so I need to zero it and adjust the level up on the sub itself. I just didn't have the time last night to tweak all of my settings. Tonight will be a whole lot of me doing minor tweaks and playing various demo scenes (which ought to really annoy the roomies!).
 

JakeG

Auditioning
Joined
May 7, 2001
Messages
4
Actually, you can choose between PLII Music and Movie modes on the 595. You need to use the remote though. If you put it in receiver mode, you push the surround mode button on the remote (I think it's 4 on the number pad.) This will display the current surround mode. If you push it again, it will change to either PLII Music, or Movie. Whichever one you didn't just have it on. I hope this helps.
___
Jake
 
Joined
May 12, 2001
Messages
15
You can also set the DPLII mode using the main dial...the first time through the setting it is say movie, then music, movie, music and so on....confused? Try it. The remote is easier.
You sure TV logic is Pro-Logic 1???
I have the 696.
 

Richard Kim

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2001
Messages
4,385
I bought the 595 from J&R over the weekend. Pro Logic II sounds really nice on Pro-Logic DVDs, as well as broadcast TV. I was really impressed when I was watching a baseball game and it made good use of the surrounds. It was like actually being at the stadium!
About Cinema Re-EQ. Does it improve the sound quality of 5.1 material? Or should I just leave in the OFF position?
 

Ken Seeber

Supporting Actor
Joined
Nov 5, 1999
Messages
787
Thanks in no small part to Jeremy's review, I've decided to upgrade to the 595 from a Sony receiver I've been using.
I was wondering, Richard, what kind of deal you got on the 595 from J&R?
 

John-D

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Feb 27, 2001
Messages
198
TV Logic used to be Onkyo's own DSP for TV viewing. I don't know if with the x9x series they've replaced that mode with Dolby's ProLogic.
You may want to use AVIA's click tone test on that effect and see if there are any reverb effects added to the sound.
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The things we own end up owning us
 

Richard Kim

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2001
Messages
4,385
I bought it straight from their B&M for 399. I tried to get them to price match, but since it was not from an authorized Onkyo dealer, they wouldn't bite. Still, most other places are charging up to 499 for it, so I guess I can't complain.
 

Sean Laughter

Screenwriter
Joined
Aug 3, 1999
Messages
1,384
Yeah, thanks partly to Jeremy I also went ahead and ordered my 595 from J&R this weekend. I paid $369 for it though, just asked for that price instead of $359 -- stupid me!! But he also gave me a price break on the speaker stands I ordered at the same time so it all evens out (it's only $10 bucks anyway).
I can't wait to get home and try it this weekend -- it's going to be a long week . . .
 

Wil_J

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Mar 23, 2001
Messages
198
I ordered my Onkyo 494 Last week and got it. The 595 was like $200 more, and I didn't need the features of the 595. Does anyone have this one (the 494) yet? I don't have good speakers and don't even know how to properly calibrate the speakers anyway.
But, with this being my first plunge into the HT world. I must say I am VERY pleased. I've never had DD or any type of surround sound in my Living room before. I've got bad news though, I think I'm hooked on this hobby.....Wil
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the kingfisher flashes above the pond.
Life and beauty swirl in the midst of death."

al'Lan Mandragoran,
*******The Wheel of Time
[Edited last by Wil_J on July 23, 2001 at 04:34 PM]
 

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