Onkyo Phono Input Problem

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by ChrisJ/W, Feb 20, 2003.

  1. ChrisJ/W

    ChrisJ/W Auditioning

    Feb 19, 2003
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    Is anyone else here with an Onkyo TX-SR800 (or other similar model, including Integra) using the phono input? I bought the receiver a few weeks ago, and find that the volume I get from the phono input is extremely low. I could live with this for listening, but it's actually so low that when I try to record an LP to CD (on an HK CDR-2), I can't get a high enough recording level even when I turn the recording level all the way up. Since I am trying to transfer an LP collection to CDs, this makes the receiver useless.

    My cartridge is a Shure V15 type V-MR, which is a good mainstream moving-magnet model, rated at 3mV output into 47K ohms, not a low-output moving-coil model. The TX-SR800 says its phono input is designed for moving magnets and has a sensitivity of 2.5mV and 50K ohms impedance, so on paper they are perfectly matched.

    The listening level from the phono input is also very low, as compared with the levels from tuner, CD, etc. I used the Intellivolume feature of the Onkyo to boost the phono level, and had to use the full +12 dB adjustment to get a reasonable match to the other inputs. This, however, did not change the record-out level.

    When I record from the tuner, I get plenty of volume for recording with the record-level on the HK burner set at about 1 o'clock.

    I tried using three different record-out jacks, just in case one was defective. I also see the same low level when I try to record on my cassette deck, but it has just barely enough gain that I can get its meters just into the red when I turn it all the way up.

    I used the same turntable/cartridge/cable and CD burner/cable for recording LPs with my previous preamp, and had no problem getting enough gain, although the phono volume was always somewhat audibly lower than other inputs. It had an input sensitivity of 2.2 mV, an insignificant difference from the Onkyo's 2.5. I tried using different cables from the Onkyo to the burner, with no change. The HK burner has no sensitivity adjustment separate from the record-level knob.

    I've talked to both Onkyo and hifi.com about this, and they weren't much help. They said I could return it for a refund (I have about 10 days left), but neither one thought it was very likely that a different unit would solve the problem. Since it's not a local dealer, I can't just try another one in the store.

    That's where I thought people here could help. If anyone else is using the phono input on this model, I'd like to know your experience. What cartridge are you using? Have you used Intellivolume to adjust levels and, if so, how much did you have to adjust the phono upwards? Can you record from the phono satisfactorily? Thanks.
  2. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

    Sep 30, 2001
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    I can't help you on the recording side of things because
    I haven't tried LP to MD or anything like that.

    Here is what I use and this is the output I get..

    Turntable: Technics SL-22BD
    Receiver: Onkyo TX-DS787
    Cartridge: AudioTechnica AT331LP

    I have the IntelliVolume set at 0Db for all sources

    It takes 50-60 on the dial to get 75-80Db of output from
    the speakers when using the turntable..

    On other sources it takes 30 on the dial to get similar
    output.. The Phono Preamp in the Onk's must be fairly weak
    for there to be such a variance in output.. You could always
    try and external Phono Preamp. It doesn't sound like the
    Receiver is bad, just sounds typical to me.. But I could be

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