Onkyo 800 universal player-My Review

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Jeff Kleinberg, Dec 14, 2002.

  1. Jeff Kleinberg

    Jeff Kleinberg Stunt Coordinator

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    HI,
    I have been using this unit for 5-6 weeks now and thought people might be interested in my opinions, with no offical reviews in yet.

    Picture quality-4/5 I am using a Tosh 57hx81 ISF calibrated, AQ YIQ1 component cables , progressive scan mode and avia re-calibration with the onkyo(very different settings esp C/H)and think the picture quality is excellent but not as good as my old Rp91 which broke. I had my Tv ISF'd with the panasonic so I question whether or not I need to have it re-calibrated(any ideas?) The picture is faultless , it just doesn't have that snap for lack of a better word. Picture is much better than the pioneer 47 A I tried out initially, an had to return secondary to a "lifeless picture" I don't mean to knock the unit but compared to the RP91 it was a huge step backwards.

    DVD Audio 4/5- I am using an anthem av20 v2 and a carver av705x through kimber pbj interconnects and AQ type 4 speaker cable to Paradigm studio 100's, Studio CC and Studio ADP's. The sound quality is very good with smooth highs, the vocals on the panasonic were a little more forward or up front which I liked better(especially on FM rumours silver springs), but sound stage width and coherence is better on the onkyo(analog direct on the anthem). The anthem digitizes the 5.1 input and using the dsp delay and bass management, the onkyo is significantly better. Significantly better than the pioneer 47A(not the AI with the burr browns, I havent heard the AI)

    SACD- 4/5- My first experience with SACD was with the sony 999ES, and with its digital domain bass management and delay settings, it was significantly better than the onkyo, especial in terms of the size and depth of presentation. The onkyo is otherwise and excellent sacd player, with smooth highs and deep bass. the steve Earle 2 channel sacd has a huge soundstage with excellent imaging and deep bass. Miles' silent way sounds fantastic, better after it is digitized to my surprise.

    Remote-1/5 it is terrible, luckily i have a pronto, but have not added the onkyo so I am using the stock remote. I am not a complainer by nature, but this remote sucks. The navigation joystick/pad it awful, it is very difficult to navigate menus, you always click when you don't want to.

    Fit and Finish 3.5/5- too many blue lights that wont turn off
    otherwise a good looking and sturdy unit.

    Overall I am very happy with this unit, I really wanted a combo player. the RP91 was better at the video, but the sound quality of the onkyo is very close to reference. Any questions just ask.
     
  2. Jeff Kleinberg

    Jeff Kleinberg Stunt Coordinator

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    Well the upgrade bug bit again and I just purchased a bryston 9bst. Let me tell you , it is really something special. I dont know if it is just much better than the carver or if there is just more synergy between the components, but this sound amazing. I bought it thursday after work and I was on call yesterday, so I've spent all morning going through my Cd collection and re-discovering it. DVD-A and SACD with the onkyo are now 4.5/5. I only wish I still had the 999es around to hear SACD with the bryston. Back to the music.
     
  3. James R. Geib

    James R. Geib Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the opinions on the Onkyo. I am looking for a universal player, and every bit of information helps to make an informed decision, although nothing beats auditioning in person. The problem is, no-one carries every brand, so side-by-side comparisons are rarely possible.

    Enjoy your player!
     
  4. Rich Wenzel

    Rich Wenzel Supporting Actor

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    Thank you for the review...

    I have two questions,

    1) have you used the marantz 8300 and if so can you please compare the two?

    2) you did not write anything about the redbook performance, do you have any comments on that?

    Thanks again,

    Rich
     
  5. Jeff Kleinberg

    Jeff Kleinberg Stunt Coordinator

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    Hello,
    I have not auditioned the Marantz.

    The red book performance is very good but doesn't touch the anthems, so I use digital connections from my megachanger for all cd's.
     
  6. Jeff Kleinberg

    Jeff Kleinberg Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi,
    I watched Insomnia last night and just wanted to let everybody know that the video quality on the 800 was amazing, I don't know if it "burned in" or my new component cables "burned in", but the picture was much better than the first time I watched this movie. the scenery was much clearer and three dimensional. It like the picture just "popped", i know it sounds strange but it was quite breath taking, like when you get the VTA on a turntable just right.

    Jeff
     
  7. Charles Gurganus

    Charles Gurganus Supporting Actor

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    Jeff, the only thing that has stopped me from buying the Onkyo are bass management issues and I do not want to have to buy the Outlaw BM box. I have large speakers all around except the center and if I understand correctly, for DVD-Audio, you have no BM options. Looks like SACD fairs a little better but I don't think there is a fronts-large, center-small, rears-large option but maybe a fronts-large and center-rear-small option. That would work ok (not Ideal but better than no BM like the DVD-A side). Do I have the BM options for the p800 correct?

    I may wait for the Yamaha 2300, which is suppose to have the DCDi chip but I have no idea about BM issues for that as yet unreleased machine.
     
  8. Jeff Kleinberg

    Jeff Kleinberg Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi, yeah the bass management is a factor, I have the paradigm reference which all go down to 50-60hz, so even just using the analog direct the sound is pretty clean, I'm probably losing some bass, but its not a deal breaker by any means. IMHO bass management is more important when you have a lot of bass peaks that would overload smaller speakers, mostly with theater soundtracks etc. I wanted to try the yamaha too, but it kept getting delayed and I couldn't compare it to the onkyo within my 30 day trial perior. With the anthem i can apply A/D conversion and apply bass management and delays, taking bass management out of the equation by setting all the speakers to large(on the anthem) i find the sound to be much better with the speaker location setting properly adjusted. Better imaging and soundstage. So I think that is what they really need to add to dvd players, because the ICBM cant fix the delays.
     
  9. Charles Gurganus

    Charles Gurganus Supporting Actor

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    Jeff, where did you get a 30 day trial on the Onkyo and how much? You can PM me if you prefer. Thanks.
     
  10. Jeff Kleinberg

    Jeff Kleinberg Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi,
    I paid retail from crutchfield. I know retail, but Crutchfield gives a 30 day trial with free return shipping. so after my pioneer disappointment and given that the onkyo is based on the pioneer(at least thats what is written here) I wanted to have a good return policy. I Think it was a $1000.00.
     
  11. Sach

    Sach Stunt Coordinator

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    what was your Pioneer disappointment?
     
  12. Jeff Kleinberg

    Jeff Kleinberg Stunt Coordinator

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    If you read the review , you will see how dissapointed I was with the pioneer, I really didn't think there was that much difference between quality players , but I was wrong the pioneers picture was so much worse than my rp91.
     
  13. Yumbo

    Yumbo Cinematographer

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    can this be modified for multi-region use?

    if so, how please?

    thanks
     

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