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Onkyo 606 vs 706 (1 Viewer)

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Jan 14, 2007
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Phil
A little background information. This is going to be my first home theater and need a little help. I have made my decision on 5.1 setup consisting of a SVS sbs highs with a PC12-Plus for a sub. Now my question is: Is the 706 worth the $200 increased price tag over the 606?? What I will be running through the receiver will be an xbox 360, DirecTV DVR and if I do go with the 606 I will be picking up a Blu-Ray player.
 

Brent_S

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Only you can determine worth. :)

The 706 has more audio inputs and better video upscaling. The video scaling may or may not be better than that in your source or display.

Obviously, the 706 has THX processing enhancements. I use the THX modes on my 805. If for no other reason than to get the Audyssey "flat" target curve instead of the normal Audyssey curve that applies a slight bit of rolloff above 12kHz or so...only applicable if you remember to disengage Re-EQ in THX mode since Re-EQ implements a similar rolloff.

THX certification also probably gets you slighty more robust amps due to the minium output requirements and low impedance testing required for certification. Not likely audibly signficant given you'll be running a separate sub to take the load off the mains.

The 706 also has full preamp outputs in case you ever want to go with exernal amps.

The most significant difference I see is the version of Audyssey. You get more resolution with the 706's version.

One other thing I'd check. From memory, I think the 605 didn't quite have enough processing power to apply Audyssey and handle decoding of lossless audio (TrueHD/DTS-HD). That may not be the exact combination, but there was some scenario where Audyssey wasn't usable. You might want to confirm that limitation with the 606.

-Brent
 
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Phil
Well Brent you talked me into stepping up but I think I will run before I learn to walk, since I found the 806 for only $50 more than 706. Thanks again!!!
 

Brett DiMichele

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Brent,

I heard you say in numerous posts you use all the THX Sound modes. Why is it than when I use them they sound "dull and lifeless" ? I guess that's a hard question to pose to someone since hearing and perception is reality and all. But when I turn on any of the THX modes they just sound so flat (too flat). For example I am sitting here listening to some music right now and I am using Neo:6 Music with Dynamic Compression on, Bass and Trebbel at 0, Audessey EQ on. Neo:6 seems to add more vibrance to the sound and THX Music sounds lifeless.

Weird... I'm sure it's a culmination of my room, materials, speakers, source and my preference.
 

Brent_S

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There are three levels of Audyssey for the consumer; four if you count the Pro kit (32 positions, PC required, $$$). The Onkyo comparsion chart lists the 606 as 2EQ (same as the 506) and the 706 is MultEQ (same as 806). The 705/805 and 876/906 have MultEQ XT, probably the 875/905 as well.

I know first hand the 506 measures a max of 3 positions even though the Audyssey site says 2 for 2EQ. The specs say the 806 does 6 positions, which agrees with the Audyssey chart for MultEQ.

-Brent
 

Brent_S

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I would suggest that "Dynamic Compression = On" is the source of "dull and lifeless". That's kind of the purpose of compression.

The biggest difference with the THX modes, IMO, is the switch to the Audyssey "flat" target curve from the "standard" curve. Even there, the differences are subtle as THX engages Re-EQ which is a high frequency rolloff that is similar to the rolloff in the "standard" curve, hence the reason for switching target curves..."standard" + Re-EQ would not be good. Switch off Re-EQ in a THX mode and the high frequency rolloff goes away (supposedly). It's subtle since we're talking about roughly -3dB at 20kHz. Re-EQ is not available in THX Music so it's not completely clear which Audyssey Target is being used. Naturally, the other THX post processing stuff is also in effect, but its impact is relatively minor compared to plain old DPLIIx, IMO, and shouldn't contribute to "dull and lifeless" any more than other surround modes.

Neo:6 uses frequency differences between L/R channels to expand from 2.0/5.1 to 5.1/7.1. This can lead to a more active surround channel, but it sounds unnatural to me to hear a saxophone scale start in the front channels and end up in the rear. DPLIIx uses phase differences between channels to build the matrix so that saxophone stays in the same channel through the whole scale unless the mixer moved it during recording.

-Brent
 

Brent_S

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Just make sure your cabinet has room for the 806's larger chassis. They're a bit bigger than most receivers.

-Brent
 

Brett DiMichele

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Brent,

I swear sometimes my fingers go, before my brain goes.... I meant Dynamic EQ, not Dynamic Compression
htf_images_smilies_smile.gif
 

Brent_S

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For clarification. I use the corresponding THX modes to overlay/expand multichannel sources; DD, DTS, TrueHD, DTS-HD, DVD-A, SACD, MPCM. I also use THX Cinema (DPLIIx flavor) for 2.0 channel video sources, which unfortunately, there is quite a bit of even on HDTV broadcasts.

For regular two channel audio (Redbook CD, no MP3 in this house) it's just "me and Audyssey". Tip o' the hat to anyone old enough to remember that jingle. DPLIIx Music expansion of 2.0 channel isn't horrible, but I still prefer stereo as plain stereo when I turn the lights out and just want to listen. As I mentioned in another post, Neo:6 initially seems more dramatic than DPLIIx, but eventually it gets annoying as the "look at me" gimmickiness takes me out of the music when an instrumet suddenly jumps around the soundstage.

As with all subjective tastes, YMMV.

-Brent
 

Brett DiMichele

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If I want to critically listen to 2 channel I have much better equipment to use. A receiver at the end of the day, is still a receiver. The 806 seems to do a good job on what I listen to. I am a fiddler by nature and I routinely change up the sound modes. One day it's Pure Audio, the next it may be Neo:6.

The DPLXII to my ears just doesn't do it the way Neo:6 does (on 2 channel) I guess my ear favors what that processing format is doing.

For movies, either DD,DTS or DTS MA or TrueHD I don't use the THX processing. Everything in audio is preference and I just never seemed to warm up to THX processing, with RE-EQ on or off.

Thanks for sharing your preferences and info with us.
 

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