Onkyo TX-DS898 owners -- please answer a few questions

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Scott Merryfield, Jan 29, 2002.

  1. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    I have narrowed my receiver upgrade choices down to the Onkyo 898 and the Denon 4802. Since the Onkyo is significantly less expensive, I would prefer to go that route. However, after reading through the owners manual (downloaded from Onkyo's website), I have a few questions that hopefully existing 898 owners can answer.

    1. Can the receiver be configured to use a single rear center speaker instead of two back surround speakers for 6.1 formats? My family room layout will not accomodate dual rear center speakers easily.

    2. Can the speaker level settings be adjusted using a test disc such as Avia instead of using the internal test tone. The manual indicates that the test tone is generated automatically when entering the speaker level menu. A separate channel level function exists, but the manual states that settings made here are lost when the receiver is placed in standby mode.

    3. The manual mentions that audible noises can be made when pausing a DVD while playing a DTS soundtrack. Is this really an issue in practice?

    4. Does the "very dark" setting when using the DIM function for the receiver's front display work well? My existing Sony DA50ES has some bright red and blue lights that are annoying in a dark room.

    My current plan is to buy just a receiver for now and get used to the sound and workings of the component. Then, if necessary, I may add external amplification at a later date.

    FYI, my current speaker system consists of B&W's 600 S2 series -- 604S2 mains, LCRS2 center, 602S2 surrounds with an ASW1000 subwoofer.
     
  2. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    I also sent question #1 (regarding using a single back surround speaker vs. two speakers) to Onkyo via their website. Unfortunately, the only answer I received was marketing mumbo jumbo. They never answered my question. Here's their response:
     
  3. Todd Beachler

    Todd Beachler Stunt Coordinator

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    I don't own this unit, but have been giving it quite the crook-eye as I'm planning on upgrading soon. Why can't you just hook up one speaker for the rear surround? That signal is mono anyway, right? You don't have to hook up two speakers.
     
  4. StephenL

    StephenL Second Unit

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    1. If you want to use one back surround speaker for THX/Dolby Digital Surround EX or DTS-ES, remember that the decoding provides only one back surround channel so the receiver doesn't have to be configured for one or two back surround speakers. The receiver provides two channels of amplification for the back surround, but those two amplifiers have the same back surround channel source for Surround EX and ES. Listening modes that provide discrete left/right back surround channels (such as All Channel Stereo) should be used with two back surround speakers. The receiver cannot be configured for one back surround speaker.

    2. Speaker output levels adjusted with the LEVEL buttons can be saved by pressing the TEST button.

    3. I haven't heard any noise when pausing or skipping a DTS source.

    4. It's subjective, but I'd say the darkest display setting is not annoying in a dark room.
     
  5. Ricky T

    Ricky T Supporting Actor

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    I have an 989 and only one rear center. During the speaker level tone tests, I calibrate the "unhooked" rear speaker all the way down, and the hooked up rear center properly (to equal my other speakers). This could have been one of the questions I asked and was verified by onkyo tech support last year (but I can't remember!).

    btw, I might get a Lexicon and therefore selling my 989 (~1 year old, mint, has DPL2) if anyone's interested.....
     
  6. james e m

    james e m Second Unit

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    I also have been looking at this product for quite some time and I have a question about the 898 and it's ‘upgradeabiltiy'. If I buy this receiver will it have the capability, when the time comes, to be able to upgrade to decode 7 discrete channels? I'm assuming that will be the logical next step in Dolby EX, changing the surround back channel from mono to discrete. Thanks!

    James
     
  7. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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  8. Bob Jr.

    Bob Jr. Stunt Coordinator

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    Before you buy Onkyo, check out their website about DD 5.1 issues with some new DVD releases. They are having an audio "drop out" problem on thier new receiver line (I have the 797). There has been much debate in this forum (the software threads) on who's problem it is, but you should judge that for yourself. Better to go into the purchase knowing (I did not when I bought)so you can weigh your options appropriately.
     
  9. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    Bob,

    Thanks. I am aware of the DD5.1 issue, and it is definitely factoring in the decision. The current DVDs with problems all have DTS tracks that do not have the problem, but that does not mean that future releases with the problem will have a DTS track.

    The Denon 4802 looks like the next best fit for my needs, but its higher price point will rule out adding any external amplification for quite some time. The Denon 3802 is not a bad choice, but I am concerned about the limited number of digital inputs (I would use up 3 of the 4 available inputs on day one) and its lack of front a/v jacks. The 4802 also does not appear to have front a/v jacks.
     
  10. Brad Newton

    Brad Newton Second Unit

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    would one of the Yahama units compare favorably to the Onkyo 898 unit? Aren't they 6.1 & 7.1 capable without adding additional amps & I haven't heard about them having the 5.1 problems - or have I just missed something.
     
  11. Jeff D

    Jeff D Supporting Actor

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    I love the HTF, I have just connected up my 898 and had the same question about the 2 rear channels. Thanks for all of you who had the information and I'm now off ot check out the 6.1 sound. =)

    BTW, no perfered channel to use? I know my toaster says use the right side for a single slice, how about my fancy reciever?
     
  12. Earl Simpson

    Earl Simpson Supporting Actor

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    You could hook up a small speaker to the unwanted channel and turn the volume down. That way there will be a load on that amp. Also look at the Sony DA5es. If you don't want 7 speakers why buy a 7 amp rcvr. Read the fine print on the Sony and you will see what you are getting for $979 v $1100. Oades/JR/6th ave can get you this unit.
    The reason I butted in was that I bought the 3802 and finding a place for 7 speakers was impossible. Also if you have read my other posts, 6 full equalizers, one for each channel, is a must if you have a hodge podge of speakers like me and no sub woofer.
    The 898 and or 989 advertises it is the only true 7.1 RCVR with a built in processor. I would go with the 989 before the 4802, if you are going to lay down that much money.
    Just my ignorant opinion!!![​IMG]
    PS/ That DVD problem is a DVD problem and not a rcvr problem. I have heard that all rcvrs have problems with 3 or 4 dvds due to improper in-coding. That's what I heard anyway![​IMG]
    THX Ultra Certified
    THX Surround EX 7.1 Decoding
    The Only True 7.1 Receiver
    Dolby Digital & DTS Decoding
    Open Architecture for Updates & Upgrades
    Linear PCM 192 kHz / 24bit DACs for all channels
    RS-232C Port for Control,Communication, & Upgrades
    4 MB Flash Memory
    Optimum Gain Volume Circuitry
    WRAT Wide Range Amplifier Design
    Professional Grade Component Video Switching
    IEEE 1394 Upgradable
    Digital Upsampling Mode
    MultiChannel Inputs (DB25) with supplied adapter
    High Definition DSP
    7.1ch Inputs/Outputs
    Non-Scaling Configuration
    9 Digital Inputs / 8 Assignable
    7 x 160W/CH at 6 ohms
    7 x 130W/CH at 8 ohms
    2 Digital Outputs (1 Coax & 1 Optical)
    IntelliVolume Input Calibration System
    Dual Subwoofer Outputs
    Multi-Room / Multi-Source Capability
    Back-lit Learning Macro Remote with LC Display
     
  13. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    I had forgotten about this thread. In case anyone is interested, I went in a completely different direction and purchased a Pioneer Elite VSX-47TX. I had already eliminated the Onyko 898 and had resigned myself to purchasing the higher priced Denon 4802. However, I was able to get the Pioneer for just a little more money than the 4802, and I liked some of the additional fearures (THX Ultra2 certified, MCACC auto calibration program, front a/v jacks including a digital input, seemingly more solid build). The dealer offers a 30 day return, but I have been quite pleased with the receiver so far and plan on keeping the Pioneer.
     
  14. Jeff D

    Jeff D Supporting Actor

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    Took me over a month (actually 2) to setup my 898, so I'm kinda stuck with it. I'm still feeling it out, there are many things I'm not totally thrilled about. One of the simpliest is the single sub preout. (I would just think for this line you should have 2, just for those that need it.
     

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