Onkyo Integra - Replace or Repair?

Dec 21, 1999
I have an old Onkyo Integra TX-DS838 (1997) which recently conked out (smoke started coming out of it). Estimated repair cost: at least $120. I have been very happy with this Onkyobut I have been having second thoughts between having it repaired or just getting a new one.

The old Onkyo cost me about $1400 in 1997. Having my own family now, my budget for a new receiver/amp is more or less $500. I was wondering if it's better to buy a new one. Has amplifier technology changed significantly that a $500 amp now will sound better than a $1400 amp 10 years ago?

Btw, my old Onkyo Integra has no DTS, is 90w/channel (FR, C, FL), 50w (RS, LS) but is quite heavy (16.5kg) compared to $500 receiver/amplifiers that are currently available. I have read somewhere that weight is a good measaure of the quality of an amp.

Philip Hamm

Senior HTF Member
Jan 23, 1999
I used to own an 828, which my brother Peter now uses, and loves. No receiver for under $500 new is going to compare favorably with your 838, particularly if your speakers are demanding. You may be able to score something as good on the used market, but if my Integra DTR7 (which I believe is only one model cycle ahead of your 838) went out like that, I'd repair it.


Nov 30, 2006
Real Name
I've got an 828 that I've had for...wow, I can't even remember how long, lol...well, since it first came out. About a week ago, the right channel started to go out, so I'm in a similar boat. I think what I'll probably do is have it fixed...unless the TX-DS797 I just won an auction for on eBay shows up needing the Dolby Digital chip replaced (I've read that a number of the 797s developed a clicking noise and also can have problems with the audio dropping out in DD mode on some DVDs). Depends on how much that, and the cost of a remote control for it, will end up costing me.

OH, and I agree with what Phillip Hamm says above. Nothing new under $500 is going to be worth replacing your 828. If you've been happy with your 838 and have no need to upgrade, I'd get it repaired. The only reasons I'm going with the 797 are 1) I want to be able to run component HDTV signals through my receiver, and 2) 'cause I ended up getting the 797 for just under $200!

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