Onkyo 595 or Onkyo 696

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by MickP, Jan 6, 2002.

  1. MickP

    MickP Auditioning

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    Hello. I have finally narrowed my list of possible receivers down to only two - the Onkyo 595 and their 696.
    Before I beat myself up any longer trying to make this decision I am wondering if the 595 is even a solid choice for my needs or if I would be better served by something beefier. Yeah, I'm a newbie. :b
    Can an Onkyo 595 comfortably drive the following speakers:
    Mains - Polk RT1000i floor standers
    Center - Polk CS400i
    Rears - Polk RT55i bookshelf
    Sub - PSW650 or more likely HSU VTF-2
    http://www.polkaudio.com/home/
    or might I be asking too much of it? I want to be certain before I buy anything. The room is about 20' x 35'.
    ------------------------------------------------------
    More thoughts for those not minding reading long posts - not necessary to my question though and so feel free to ignore:
    The extra 2 bills it will cost me to get the 696 allows me more power (100 watts per channel up from 75), preouts, more inputs/outputs, component video switching, a B speaker out so that a pair of speakers in another room can play from another source (no foreseeable use to me though) and even a better remote. Both receivers are 5.1 and so I have pretty much settled on that for the next so many years - I really hope I don't regret it less than three years from now though.
    The reason for my not simply chosing the 696 over the 595 is that I have no immediate need for the extra I/Os nor the preouts and maybe not even the extra power. I do like future-ability though and that's where those come in. I am also uncertain if the 595 can comfortably drive all of the speakers I have mentioned and if it can't then I would be SOL as it doesn't have preouts to connect an external amp to. So this decision might mean my wasting $400 on a receiver which doesn't do what I need from it (the 595) and therefore having to buy another receiver soon afterwards.
    ps - I have asked this question at several other forums around the web with no replies. . .which seems odd to me as I thought that it would be a fairly easy question (probably in my ignorance mind you) but apparantly it isn't. Maybe because of the Polk speakers many audiophiles tune out and move on. . .or maybe it's because the 595 will likely struggle with this task and so people can't simply say "no problem" and that's why I can't find an answer. . .hey, just guessing at this point. I do know that the Polks are sensitive speakers and are easy to drive (91 dB) though.
    Thanks everyone for your time.
     
  2. Chip E

    Chip E Screenwriter

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    In a room that big, i'd go with the 696.. just my opinion. Hell, i bought a 595 for my bedroom and sold it to a friend to get an Integra 6.2 (Onkyo 696) and my bedroom is only 11' x 10'6"
     
  3. Kyle_Y

    Kyle_Y Stunt Coordinator

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    I would certainly buy the 696. You seem to have a pretty nice speaker setup there, the 696 would be good in that set. Also, the room is big, you will need the extra power. And yes, you never know, my last receiver, which was junk, had only 3 digital inputs, which I thought would be enough, since I was only using one at the time, turned out to be insufficient later. If you are only going to keep this piece for about 1 year, then buy the 595, but if you are going to keep it for 2+ years, go with the 696.
     
  4. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

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    I agree with both Chip and Kyle. You're going to be living with your receiver most likely for quite a few years. The difference between the two receiver's costs spread out over that time is very minimal and the advantages you might receive from the 696 over that time might be significant.
     
  5. Paul_Psutka

    Paul_Psutka Stunt Coordinator

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    I don't think the 696 is worth the extra $300 over the 595. I don't think the "advertised" power difference will be noticeable. There's only about a 2 pound difference between the 2 units.

    However, as you mentioned..... at least with the 696 you'll have the option of adding external amplification if needed.

    If you're leaning towards the 696, I'd go with the 797 for an extra $200. It definitely has more power than the 595/696 (it weighs a lot more), and it's THX Select certified (piece of mind), and is more future proof (6.1, EX, ES, etc.)

    The 595 is still the best value at $399.

    Paul
     
  6. EricHaas

    EricHaas Supporting Actor

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    I am right now deciding between the Onkyo 595 and the Kenwood VR-510. The main reason I am considering the Kenwood (besides THX and preouts) is that it is "advertised" at 110x5, whereas the Onkyo is billed at 75x5. Does anyone know if the Onkyo really is as wimpy as the paper spec suggests, or is the Kenwood as beefy as its paper spec suggests? I have a sizeable room, so power is major consideration. I cannot really spend in excess of $500 though.
     
  7. Mike_A

    Mike_A Stunt Coordinator

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    eric - you always have to be careful with manufacturer's power ratings. Kenwood has actually gotten a good bit better recently, but you'll notice that their power rating is at a much higher distortion level than the onkyo.

    taken from crutchfield:

    Onkyo 595: 75 watts x 5 into 8 ohms (20-20,000 Hz) at 0.08% THD

    Kenwood VR-510: 110 watts x 5 into 8 ohms (20-20,000 Hz) at 0.7%

    Now which one has more power? no way to tell since they're rated in different ways. and is that all channels driven simultaneously on either one? I dont think i've seen an independent test of Kenwood's latest stuff, but Onkyo's are generally pretty close to their advertised power. The fact that the Kenwood is THX select certified does give some piece of mind though and it does have the pre-outs.

    Tough call in your situation, I'm not sure what I'd do.
     
  8. EricHaas

    EricHaas Supporting Actor

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    Thanks for the reply. Out of curiosity, I've always wondered what "THD" refers to?
     
  9. Mike_A

    Mike_A Stunt Coordinator

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    THD = Total Harmonic Distortion

    just becuase they Kenwood is higher when looking at the ratings, it doesn't necessarily mean it sounds worse or has more distortion. That's just the level of distortion at the rated power (according to Kenwood).

    The best thing to do, if its possible, is to do some listening in home. barring that, after some more thought, I think I'd go with the Kenwood for future upgradability if you're worried about power, plus it has component switch, THX certification/processing, rf remote, and a few other bells and whistles.
     
  10. Matt Wallace

    Matt Wallace Second Unit

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    Go 696. Don't forget component switching and composite to Y/C (S Video) conversion. I've thoroughly enjoyed mine! Feel free to email...

    Matt
     
  11. MickP

    MickP Auditioning

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    Thanks for the advice fellas.
    The room is about 20' x 35' so it's not real small.
    I think that I will go with the 696. It is $200 more than the 595 - it can easily be found for $600 at authorized Onkyo dealers on the web such as www.bestpriceaudiovideo.com and www.jandr.com (who also price match) for example. I would like to keep my cost at around that level though.
    Paul_Psutka - I would love a 797 for exactly the reasons you mention however I have not seen the 797 for even close to $600 and so cannot afford it unfortunatley. If I found it for $700 at an authorized dealer then I would have to start choosing between the 696 and the 797 which might just drive me crazy - I'm glad to be decided on the 696 finally. [​IMG]
     
  12. Rick Radford

    Rick Radford Supporting Actor

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    If you don't need DPL II, I think you can find closeout prices on Onkyo 787 for $600 from authorized dealers such as Onecall, J&R, oade.com, etc.

    Finding one might be a problem!
     
  13. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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    I currently own a 575. I'm planning on building some 4ohm speakers and getting a seperate 5 channel amp. If I had been smart enough to buy a 696 this wouldn't be that hard to do soon. But sense the 575 can't drive a 4ohm load and has no preout I'm gonna have to find the money for a Outlaw 950 and the 750 at the same time which will push back my time table a fair bit. If I had the 696 then I could get the amp and speaker this summer and wait another 6months to a year to get the 950 pre/pro. Hell I think the 696 can drive a 4ohm load, so I could just build the speaker, then get the amp and then get the pre/pro if need be. As it stands right now though, I'll have to do all three at the same time.
     
  14. JerryW

    JerryW Supporting Actor

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    Dustin, yes, the 575 (and 575x) will drive 4ohm loads, I've seen it done. You'd probably be looking at ~110-120W /ch into 4ohms. The amps in those receivers are pretty good, considering their low price.
     
  15. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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    You sure? The manual is addimant that the 575 (I don't have the X version) should not be used on loads under 6ohms.
     
  16. Shad R

    Shad R Supporting Actor

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    I have the older Onkyo 555, rated 75x5, and I'm driving JBL radiance series speakers for my fronts, and it drives them pretty good. I'm not sure about the THD, but I don't notice much distortion. Too bad, though, If I woulda waited I coulda got DTS. Oh well.[​IMG]
     
  17. JerryW

    JerryW Supporting Actor

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    Yeah, the 575x manual says the same thing. But I do know that I've seen one used with a set of Infinity Kappa 5.1's, and they're rated at 4ohms.
     
  18. Jim_Stu

    Jim_Stu Stunt Coordinator

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    Mick,

    Get the 696! The pre-amps will be very useful in the

    future. I gave away a unit that was only a year old,

    because it did not have the following features:

    1) Pre-amp outputs.

    2) Center channel equalizer.

    3) All channel stereo DSP.

    My point is after having a 'home theater' set-up for only one

    year, my receiver ran out of features I needed in order to

    solve a couple of 'room' problems.

    JRS
     
  19. BrianKM

    BrianKM Stunt Coordinator

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    Mick,

    I was going through your same dilemma last May in that I liked the price of the 595 ($383 shipped from J&R) but I wanted the pre-outs of the 696. I ended up going for the 595 since I was also getting a set of Norh 4.0s and an SVS at the same time, but now I wish I had splurged to get the pre-outs. It's not that I feel that the 595 is ever struggling to put out good sound at high volume, but I would like to have that stepping stone into seperates that pre-outs provide.

    It looks like you're going with the 696 though, so enjoy.
     
  20. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I've got the 696, but I got it because of a really sweet deal (Circuit City pricing "error", tax refund, sold my old receiver => very low effective cost). Had I been paying with "real" money [​IMG] I would have bought the 595. The only extra feature on the 696 I really use is the OSD (on screen display) for menu setup. But that's not worth $200.
     

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