Onkyo SR600 vs Pioneer D811

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by John_Drake, Nov 14, 2002.

  1. John_Drake

    John_Drake Extra

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    Hi Everyone...
    I am new to the HT Forum although I have been reading these forums for quite some time now. There seems to be a lot of experienced people here so I need some educate opinions.
    I recently purchased a Toshiba 65HDX82 HD-RPTV and now I would like to upgrade my sound system. I want to replace my old Sony (Sava) Pro Logic system but I don't want to spend a lot right now.
    I am debating going with either the Onkyo TX-SR600 or the Pioneer VSX-D811S. I am also thinking of using one of these receivers with the Onkyo SKS-HT500 Surround Speakers (8ohm).
    The main reasons that I am looking at these particular models is 1) $Price$, 2) Ratings (CNet.com gave them Best Buy rating).
    I am pretty much sold on the speaker package after playing with them in the store and because of their price ($269).
    My main debate is on the receiver. I have listed the main differences that concern me below.
    Here Is My Comparison:
    1) Pioneer is $100 less than the Onkyo
    2) Pioneer is rated 100Watts per channel/Onkyo is 80Watts
    3) Pioneer has 7.1(matrix, I know) Channel inputs/Onkyo does not
    4) Pioneer has Frequency Response 5Hz-100kHz/Onkyo is 10Hz-100kHz
    5) Onkyo 50MHz Component Video Switching/Pioneer has 28MHz
    6) Onkyo can do 8,6,4ohm speakers/Pioneer only 8ohm
    7) Onkyo has .08% Total Harmonic Distortion/Pioneer has .2% THD
    8) Onkyo has 96 & 192kHZ 24Bit DACs/Pioneer has only 96kHz DACs
    9) Onkyo has Crossover Adj.(80,100,120Hz)/Pioneer is (100,150,200Hz)
    10) Onkyo has On-Screen Display/Pioneer does not
    Other Components I Have:
    1) Hughes Platinum DirecTV receiver (not HD) via S-Video/Optical Digital Audio
    2) Pioneer DVD Megachanger (F707) via Component Video/Optical Digital Audio
    3) Panasonic VCR via composite A/V
    4) Sony Playstation via S-Vid and Composite Audio
    I am planning to upgrade my DirecTV receiver in the near future, but will probably connect via DVI.
    My room is 19'x12' rectangle, 2 tiers of seating, stairs behind the back couch.
    I know these are all tech specs, but I could use some opinions on them as well as sound quality, durability, usability, etc.
    Some of my questions are:
    1) Should I really be concerned about the Component Video Switching? I only have one Component Vid Source and One S-Vid source. Should I even bother running them through the A/V Receiver, or leave them direct connect to the TV?
    2) What are the 2 different DACs on the Onkyo receiver?
    3) Should I go with the 100Watt Pioneer or the 80Watt Onkyo that can handle better speakers down the road?
    4) Sound Quality! This is a biggy. I don't have the ability to try this out before-hand and compare.
    Sorry if this is long and I hope I don't sound too ignorant. I am fairly new to home theater and could use the advice.
    Thanks for any input you can provide.
    [​IMG] John
     
  2. Ralph Bru

    Ralph Bru Stunt Coordinator

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    I have used both the Onkyo and Pioneer.... alo JVC.

    the onkyo will sound way better, although I do like Pioneer but you can find the onkyo cheaper if you look around.

    video switching, I have many connections on my 494 and never use them. I hook my LD and dvd player directly to my tv. why go through the reciever and run extra cable or maybe run into interference when running straight to the tv would be better ? a straight connection I figure would be the best bet as I do.

    if your looking for higher end speakers down the road Onkyo might be your bet. it can handle different speaker setups.

    pioneer rate 100 watts and onkyo rates 80, but if im correct onkyo rates true wattage output. pioneer does not.
    I believe you will get cleaner sound from the onkyo. I have out them side by side and yes you can tell the difference. the onkyo hands down sounds sweeter and yes you can tell the difference.

    IMO: Onkyo is the way to go, this is only from my experience. im no pro but i know what my ears tell me. I have gone through alot of recievers till someone opened my eyes and told me to do side by side tests. I was blown away by the Onkyo and never believed till that moment recievers made that much of a difference. you dont know till you try them all out. quality was impressive and my JBL speakers came alive.
     
  3. ThomasL

    ThomasL Supporting Actor

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    John, I compared both of these back in April/May and ended up with the Pioneer 811S. I think I would have been happy with either one.

    As for your comparison and questions, I'd say first off, the speakers (and their placement) are going to affect the sound the most in your setup. I would not worry about component video switching given what you have. If you have enough inputs on the tv, I'd plug things in directly. It just eliminates another middle man for the video signal. As for wattage, at this price point, there is no real difference between 100 watt and 80 watt and indeed, both Onkyo and Pioneer are essentially exagerrating when it comes to wattage ratings. A fellow forum member had some tests done at a lab back in April/May and it was found that the Pioneer did ~78 watts/channel with 5 channels driven at the same time and the Onkyo did ~35 watts/channel with 5 channels driven at the same time. You can do a search to find the exact numbers and the discussion surrounding them. The Onkyo's more refined DACs for the front channels, in theory, should give better sound but not necessarily. In my opinion, that is a pretty minor difference and wouldn't be the deciding factor for me. The Onkyo is 6.1 as is the Pioneer - the only difference is the Pioneer gives you an extra set of binding posts in the back for two rear speakers wired in series. You can do this yourself with the Onkyo - i.e. you can wire two back speakers in series off of the one rear binding post.

    As for sound quality, some, including myself, find the Pioneer a bit lifeless for 2 channel music at lower volumes without the Loudness feature on. It makes a world of difference for me. I recall reading a few others found the Onkyo to sound similar. If your plan is to upgrade your speakers a little later on, if you do think you may get 4 or 6 ohm speakers, then you may want to go with the Onkyo. Some have reported problems with the Pioneer driving (at higher volumes I'd assume) 4 or 6 ohm speakers. I personally have had two sets of bookshelf speakers, both 8 ohm, running in parallel off of the fronts and have had no problems, but we don't tend to listen at very loud volumes.

    My final suggestion is to do a search here at the forum, especially back into April/May when these receivers were discussed much here. You'll find a lot of opinions on them. I'd also recommended looking at other models such as the Marantz 5200/5300 which can be had for a little higher price (another ~$75) - many seem to prefer the Marantz for music listening.

    good luck,


    --tom
     
  4. Ralph Bru

    Ralph Bru Stunt Coordinator

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    its funny the different things you hear.

    I heard my particular reciever actually tested rated higher than it was from 55watts to 67watts.

    you never know th source, so many different things you hear on this forum. take it with a grain of salt.

    also I never heard Onkyo over rating like Pioneer, jvc, kenwood...etc I heard they rate pretty acurate and list true wattage not max.

    my head is spinning.
     
  5. ChadLB

    ChadLB Screenwriter

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    I owned both and the Onkyo probably sounded a little cleaner.
    I had to return the Onkyo for problems I had with it. I now
    have the Pioneer.
    FYI I got the Onky from Circuit City for $399 plus tax.
    Everyone has an opinion.....I listened to what people had to say but in the end the real test was listening to them myself.
    I agree with the 2 stereo mix on the pioneer...a little low.

    Playing dvd's I don't think there was ton of difference. ...
    like I said the Onkyo sounded a little cleaner....but I am
    happy with the Pioneer.
     
  6. JohnBrianW.

    JohnBrianW. Stunt Coordinator

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    Its intersting you said that there is only a $100 difference in the 2. The cheapest I've seen the Onkyo 600 is $800 Canadian and the Pioneer 811 at $500 Canadian, $300 difference. Even with a bad exchange rate it seems like a big difference.
     
  7. Rich Chiavaroli

    Rich Chiavaroli Stunt Coordinator

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    Onecall has the 811 for $359.11 shipped and the 600 for 419 shipped (US dollars).
     
  8. Dan Ojennes

    Dan Ojennes Auditioning

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    I was deciding between these two receivers (and also the Denon 1803) and just last night decided to go with the Pioneer. By the way, I also purchased the same Onkyo speaker set you mentioned (SKS-HT500).

    Best Buy has t24 month S.A.C. on all home Audio over $299
    this week. I went to Best Buy for the receiver and got
    them to match Circuit City's online price of $379 + tax then
    I drove across the street and bought the Onkyo speaker set at Circuit City for $269 + tax.

    I am hooking them up tonight and will let you know
    what I think.

    Dan Ojennes
     
  9. John_Drake

    John_Drake Extra

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    First, I want to thank all of you who responded.
    After your comments and researching this to exhaustion in this forum and elswhere on the web, I decided to go with the Pioneer. My main decision to avoid the Onkyo came from a post here that mentioned some problems with the Onkyo when certain DVD's switched layers. This seemed to be an issue with people who owned a Pioneer DVD player (which I do). Not sure if this was a fluke, but this issue combined with it's higher price and lower wattage rating helped me decide not to take the chance with the Onkyo 600. I really wanted to like other receivers (HK, Yamaha, etc), but the Pioneer seemed to have more features, higher wattage rating, and lowest price in it's class. One other piece of info I forgot to mention is that I plan on using this receiver in my HT room mostly for movies - DirecTV and DVDs (ChadLB, this is where your input helped). I will probably not be playing much music through it (CD or Radio). I have a separate system in the living room for music (and that's another story). But that being said, I think the Pioneer will work out fine for my purposes.
    ThomasL: Thank you, especially, for your input. I went back and read most of the posts concerning receivers in this price range dating back to April. I noticed that you had quite a lot to say about the Pioneer and this was very helpful to me.
    Dan Ojennes: Thank you for your reply. I think we will have lots of notes to compare since I decided to go with the Pioneer last night as well! But I decided to purchase it from an online dealer, Barney's Electronics (eBay - Buy It Now). He has the Pioneer for $302 Shipped!!! He has one left if you are interested
    Pioneer VSX-D811s 100W x 6 Low Buy $287 L@@K
    He has an excellent feedback rating and I noticed he was recommended in other threads here. He said he was shipping it out today so I should have it soon. I also purchased the Onkyo Speakers at Circuit City for $269 on sale! They seemed to be the only place who had this package. Let me know how you make out, I am interested in your opinions/findings.
    All in all, as I said, I am fairly new to HT and I think that the Pioneer coupled with the Onkyo Speakers will be a significant step up from my current setup that I have now (Dolby Pro Logic), and at a bargain price. I will post my opinions too about this setup after I get it all installed and calibrated.
    Anyone else have anything to add? I'm always listening...
    - John
     

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