Onkyo 494

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by wally, Jan 20, 2002.

  1. wally

    wally Second Unit

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    My old Sony died last night and I'm in the somewhat unenviable position of buying a "bridge" receiver. I had pretty much settled on the Denon 2802 or 3802 for the upgrade. Problem is that I can't afford that for another 6 months or so. I don't want to go that long without DVD!

    Since I don’t think this 6+ year old Sony is worth fixing, I am looking at the Onkyo TX-DS494. The 494 has 55 watts high current (what the heck is that?) and Pro Logic II, appears to be popular new feature. I'm running a 5.1 Polk Audio speaker set up. The 5400 pre-packaged set from a few years back.

    I've seen the 494 for $299. Good buy?

    Thanks in advance for any help.

    wally
     
  2. Jeremy Anderson

    Jeremy Anderson Screenwriter

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    The 494 works well as a budget receiver... with the one big disadvantage that it has no delay/distance settings for the channels. So unless all of your speakers are equidistant from the listening position, I wouldn't bother with a 494. The 595, however, is an excellent receiver.
     
  3. Nick G

    Nick G Stunt Coordinator

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    Wally, the 494 is a great little receiver. That being said, you can get the Onkyo 595 for $375ish from J&R Music World (you may have to haggle a bit). I would suggest going for the 595 if you can go the extra money for this reason, it's a killer receiver for the money and you may just find it's a keeper and not feel the need to upgrade to the 2802 or 3802 down the road. If $300 is the most you can pay at the moment or you are positive you will upgrade in 6 months regardless, then the 494 is the way to go. I am reasonably certain you could get the 494 from J&R for less than $299. J&R is an authorized Onkyo dealer BTW.
    www.j&r.com
    Regards, Nick
     
  4. Albert M

    Albert M Stunt Coordinator

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    You may want to take a look at the Kenwood VR-507 at Circuit City for $270.
     
  5. Chuck C

    Chuck C Cinematographer

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    Ya, if it's not a 595, you ought to go with the Kenwood 507 as an interim solution.
     
  6. ReggieW

    ReggieW Screenwriter

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    My recommendations:
    The Denon Avr-1602 ($285.00 online) or the 1802 ($340.00).
    I guarantee you won't be disappointed with either of these-go ahead and give them a shot.
    Reg[​IMG]
     
  7. Nick G

    Nick G Stunt Coordinator

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    Wally, please ignore Breck's comments, while I am sure they are well intentioned, they are nonsense. None of the receives being discussed here in the $400 to $500 price range have any REAL WORLD SIGNIFICANTLY DIFFERENT POWER OUTPUT. For example, one cannot hear the difference between 60 watts and 70 watts. In any case the sound you hear in your room is 95% speaker choice, room acoustics and speaker placement. Unless you are driving huge, inefficient speakers in a large room with a underpowered receiver, the receiver has comparatively little to do with the sound. Reggie mentions the Denons 1602 & 1802. Both are good receivers and good alternatives to the Onkyos. I happen to own a Denon 1602 in addition to the Onkyo 595. Sonically they all sound similar and if one or the other has a feature you could use that could help you decide which way to go. For example the 595 and 1802 have phono inputs, the 1602 and 494 do not. Below is a link to Cheap Home Theater, where you will find professional reviews of some of the Onkyo receivers we have been talking about.
    Nick
    http://www.cheaphometheater.com/
     
  8. JohnnyN

    JohnnyN Stunt Coordinator

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    I have not personally known many people with good experiences with Onkyo equipment, I'll say please audition the other brands of receivers in the similar price range... I think the Kenwood might be a better value since it can be had for very cheap... I bought the Denon 1602 and I have no regrets...
     
  9. JohnnyN

    JohnnyN Stunt Coordinator

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    Breck.

    Wow. Welcome to the board. hehehe.
     
  10. Albert M

    Albert M Stunt Coordinator

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  11. Nick G

    Nick G Stunt Coordinator

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    Making a bunch of extrapolations between models aren't we Breck. Unfortunately they are just guess work so they are really pretty meaningless. And of the tests of any mid level receivers that I have seen, the power has been exaggerated by all of them. And since you are so fond of receiver reviews, I will quote the ones by folks I know and trust based on their participation in HT forums here at Home Theater Forum and elsewhere.

    Cheap Home Theater:

    "Overall:

    One of the most popular questions we get is "What's the best receiver for $500?" If you aren't planning on implementing a 6 channel surround solution anytime soon, we'll usually tell you to pick up the Onkyo 595. We've come to expect a lot of the 5 series Onkyo's and the new model does not disappoint.

    Overall - 4.5/5"

    Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity:

    "Conclusion: In its price class, the Onkyo TX-DS595 receiver is a standout. It has high bandwidth for lower phase shift, and gives you the newest and greatest of Dolby's achievements, Pro Logic II. For a small home theater, and where you have a large collection of conventional CDs, this is just the ticket for real enjoyment. "

    But you know what Bret, as I mentioned before the receiver plays a very small role with the end sound at your home and all of the receivers mentioned will do the job. To repeat, the sound you hear at home is based almost completely on speaker choice, room acoustics and speaker placement. These are the basics one needs to understand about audio and HT. I see way to many people on this and other forums with $1000 receivers and $500 speakers. Should be the other way around. In any case, I have said what I wanted to say in this thread and will take my leave of it now.

    Nick
     
  12. David_Larkins

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    Keep in mind when shopping for a receiver.
    One must double the wattage to effect a 3db increase in sound output at a given volume. So there really honestly isn't a lot of difference between closely rated receivers. 3db is audible, but it certainly doesn't double the sound. It is important to be aware of what you might be getting, so I would encourage to read the entire reveiw that Breck has raved about. You'll find that indeed the 696 was tested at 46 watts with all channels driven. The review also notes that it tested at 151 watts for 1 channel driven. It does not give a test rating for 2 ch. driven which is what Onkyo specs proclaim to be 100 watts. The review paints the 696 in a very positive light, and in fact makes no mention of it being underpowered (other than in the specs from the 'in the lab' section).
    Read for yourself:
    http://www.soundandvisionmag.com/equ...leID=29&page=1
    I'm not saying Onkyo is right - I think the numbers are misleading - I'm just saying to educate yourself and evaluate any receiver for what it is.
    BTW, I have the older version - the 676 - with all Polk Audio speakers, and I love it. HK and Denon were also high on my list when I purchased last year.
     
  13. wally

    wally Second Unit

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    Well, this certainly turned into a lively discussion!
    Unfortunately my car shot craps yesterday, so, unless I can support my family watching DVDs (I’m open to offers [​IMG]), this purchase is going on hold. Sorry, it will be a few weeks till I can report back.
    Thanks for all the info.
    wally
     
  14. Jerry AZ

    Jerry AZ Stunt Coordinator

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    All I can say is that I have the Onkyo 595, and it sounds a great deal better than my ol' Technics does. [​IMG]
     
  15. Randy Carlson

    Randy Carlson Auditioning

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    Hi All,

    I am considering the Onkyo 696 and was concerned with the power rating figures in the S&V review, so I e-mailed Dan Kumin, the reviewer. Here is his response:

    " In answer to your question, when I say "there's very little likelihood of

    this ever happening in real-world home theater playback," what I'm referring

    to is the probability of a recording ever demanding of all 5 channels

    literally full-output levels, in-phase and precisely simultaneously. The

    fact of the matter is that almost always, one channel or another (usually

    the center) is required to play significantly louder than the others, and

    even in big-surround events like explosions, analysis shows that all 5, 6,

    7, or whatever rarely if ever are required to reproduce full-output (0 dB

    re: digital full-scale) at once, in phase. Even a just-perceptible 3 dB less

    demand on one or two channels should permit the remaining channels to

    deliver their full rated output without strain, even if these remaining ones

    must perform such simultaneously/in-phase/steady-state (which I still

    doubt). And in practice, since the surround and center channels (if not all

    channels) generally are not running full range, this is even more likely to

    be the case, as low frequencies generally account for the lion's share of

    power-supply potential, which is almost universally the limiting factor in

    such all-channels tests.

    In any event, always remember that loudspeaker sensitivity (sometimes

    referred to, a bit erroneously, as "efficiency") is usually a vastly more

    significant determinant than amplifier power of ultimate dynamic potential.

    A speakers system that's 2 dB more sensitive than another is the equivalent

    to upgrading your 60 watts-per-channel receiver to a 100-wpc model.

    In short, and advertising (and magazine copy, including mine) to the

    contrary, power is seldom the most important factor in sound reproduction,

    whether 2-channel or more-channel. Speaker performance and (especially)

    speaker-room interactions, and (most especially) room acoustics, are usually

    far more important---and far more responsive to user adjustment and

    experimentation. "

    This satisfied my question, and along with hearing the receiver paired with the speakers I want, I'm picking it up tomorrow.

    Randy
     
  16. Randy Carlson

    Randy Carlson Auditioning

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    Sorry about the size of above post. I'm still getting used to this.
     
  17. Neil Weinstock

    Neil Weinstock Stunt Coordinator

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    I think that just blew my eyedrums... [​IMG]
     
  18. Lowell_B

    Lowell_B Second Unit

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    My eyes, my eyes!
    Randy, you definately need to fix that font. [​IMG]
    In regards to the original question, even though it's moot now, more info is always good.
    I have an Onkyo 494 and I love it. However, if you're going to be buying the 494 for $300, definately step up to the 595 at around 350-375ish shipped online.
    I know some have had problems in the past, but I picked up the 494 refurb from uBid.com for around 170 shipped, and I have no complaints.
    Lowell
     

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