Onkyo TX-DS696 - comments from any owners?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Rande, Oct 29, 2001.

  1. Rande

    Rande Auditioning

    Oct 24, 2001
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    Would appreciate commentary/evaluation from any current users of this unit. Am considering since it looks like the bottom Onkyo entry to get component input/output.....and component switching. Likes/dislikes?
  2. Troy LaMont

    Troy LaMont Supporting Actor

    Mar 11, 1999
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    In case anyone hasn't extended a welcome to you "Welcome to the forum...".
    As far as the 696 is concerned, I've heard nothing but good about it. There were some initial fears that this receiver was a tad bit underpowered but there were some conclusive testing done by some magazine that proved otherwise (I can't remember all the details but you can do a search on the 696 to find the specifics).
    I've owned Onkyo every since I've gotten into HT. My first receiver was the 656, the Grandfather to the 696. I was very much pleased with the performance from this receiver. It was great. I now have the 777 (which of course I plan to update within the next 6 months to a year) and I just love it. Performance, ease of use, connections, etc.
    I don't think you can go wrong with buying an Onkyo, especially one in the upper-middle of the road.
    Hope this helps.
    :My teacher tells me beauty is on the inside.
    :That's just something ugly people say.
  3. Jake T

    Jake T Stunt Coordinator

    Jul 4, 2001
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    I've had this unit for about 6 months now, and I really like it. It has plenty of power to drive my Dynaudio's which arne't too sensitive.
    The component switching is nice and I love the Prologic II.
    It's very easy to setup too. I think you'll like it if you get it.
    Good luck and welcome to HTF.
    Jake T
    --"The Things You Do In Life Echo In Eternity"
  4. Pamela

    Pamela Supporting Actor

    Mar 14, 2001
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    I have the 696 and really don't have anything bad to report. It has plenty of power for me, is easy to set up and sounds great with my Studio 40s. I'm a happy customer.
  5. David Head

    David Head Second Unit

    Jul 5, 1999
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    I've owned my Onkyo 696 for a few months now and absolutely love it. I am using it to drive a set of PSB Image speakers , which are very efficient (91-92 db) and easily reach reference levels for DVD playback. I found the sound of the Onkyo to be very smooth; not too bright or warm sounding. I also really like the clean layout of the front and rear panels. Here's my overview of the Onkyo 696 features:
    Pros -
    DD, DTS and DPLII decoding
    Programmed/learning remote with key backlighting
    96-kHz/24-bit DACs for all channels
    2 optical and 2 coaxial digital audio inputs
    Component Video Switching
    Composite to S-Video conversion
    THX Cinema Re-Equalization (Re-EQ)
    Late night listening mode
    6-channel analog audio input
    Multiroom stereo audio outputs and IR facilities; Zone 2 speaker outputs
    Runs cool, even after prolonged use
    Very simple speaker setup menus (unlike Sony ES products...)
    Cons -
    No DD-EX or DTS-ES decoding
    DPLII does not include optional "Width", "Dimension" and "Panorama" control (see below)
    Can't use spades with Binding Posts (Banana connectors work fine)
    No bass management for multichannel analog input (which is the same as other receivers in its class)
    Subwoofer internal noise generated for calibration is 10db too low
    No digital audio output
    No front panel a/v jacks
    Sound & Vision reviewed the 696 in the August issue which can be read here .
    You can read more about the PLII information not implemented in the 696 here , which said:

    PL II offers two different decoding modes: Music and Movie. With PL II Music, there are 3 optional parameters: Dimension, Panorama, and Width.
    Dimension is used to adjust the front-to-rear balance in the room. The adjustment has 7 possible positions. The default position is 0 which has the balance equal. A setting of +3 puts the balance toward the front of the room and a setting of -3 puts the balance to the back of the room.
    Panorama is used to wrap the sound field around you. You have two options, On or Off. The default is Off.
    Width is a center spread adjustment. The default value is 3. A setting of 0 sends most of the information to the center channel, and a setting of 7 is full left and right only. This provides a phantom center image.

    [Edited last by David Head on October 29, 2001 at 01:45 PM]
  6. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator

    Mar 4, 2001
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    One Loudoun, Ashburn, VA
    Real Name:
    David Fischer
    I've had my 696 for a couple months. I'm very happy with it, but I'll admit I'm not a very critical listener. I've had no power problems; I like the logarithmic volume control (easier to find a low volume for night listening); and the menu interface, both on the receiver and the OSD, are easy to use. And the remote is probably the best standard remote of any receiver in the price range (if you don't yet have universal remote).
  7. ShawnF

    ShawnF Stunt Coordinator

    Mar 5, 2001
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    Have owned the 696 for over a year now and really enjoy it. Setup isn't bad although the user manual is poorly written. Decent remote. Highly recommended
    My DVDs
  8. SkiingNinja

    SkiingNinja Second Unit

    Aug 14, 2001
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    I don't really have anything to add that hasen't already been said. Just thought I'd throw my [​IMG]in here as well [​IMG]

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