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Onkyo TX-RZ50 vs. Denon X4700H vs. Yamaha RX-A6A (5 Viewers)

JNMNL52

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I would like to upgrade my 4-year-old 7 channel Yamaha RX-A770BL 4k AVR to a HDMI 2.1 capable 9 channel AVR to be the heart of my home theater system which includes the Sony 83A90J, Panasonic UB9000 BD player, and Definitive Technology 9.2 speaker system. I am trying to keep my budget below $2,500. I am doing my due diligence research on Yamaha A6A, Denon 4700, and the Onkyo TX-RZ50. All three have great capabilities but unfortunately are not yet available in my area to hear in person, so I am left with evaluating specs. Here is what I have found:

Onkyo TX-RZ50- Retailing at $1,399, I am very impressed with the value and capabilities offered by the 2021 Onkyo RZ50 with (7) 4k/120hz HDMI 2.1 inputs and 2 outputs, Sonos compatibility (I have Sonos eco system), Imax enhanced, THX certified, and Dirac for $1,399. The drawback I see with the RZ50 is that both sub channels are mono, and I prefer two discrete channels. I was also hoping to include Auro 3D. I think an additional risk to consider could be how the new company survives and reliability of the RZ50.

Denon X4700H – Retailing at $1,999, the 2020 model of the 4700H is impressive and supposedly has the 2020 HDMI issues resolved with units manufactured after May 2021. It does have Audyssey MultiEQ XT32, discrete sub channels, Imax Enhanced and Auro 3D. The drawback for me is only one 4k/120hz HDMI 2.1 capable input. But that stated, I only need one at this time for an Xbox Series X. I understand Denon offers an adapter switch that permits 3 additional ports for an additional $200. I would consider the X3700, but it does not have Auro 3D capability. I do not have a sense of the Denon X4700H reliability.

Yamaha Aventage RX-A6A - Retailing at $2,199, this 2021 AVR is built like a tank. It has incredible build quality and performance specs. I have been very impressed with my current Aventage RX-A770BL which sounds great and has been very reliable. The A6A has discrete sub channels, Auro 3D and (7) 4k/120hx HDMI 2.1 inputs with a future firmware update. It does not have Imax Enhanced. I do not like the accuracy of the single position YPAO calibration on my RX-A770 and I am not sure how the new YPAO -RSC 3D multi-position calibration system on the RX-A6A will improve. That is a risk to me over the Denon XT-32 and Onkyo Dirac.

To summarize, frankly, I could go with either of the 3 AVR’s. The Yamaha A6A checks all my boxes except Imax Enhanced and the uncertain new YPAO -RSC 3D multi-position calibration system. Regarding the Onkyo RZ50, I am not sure how big a deal it is having two mono sub channels vice 2 discrete channels – which I currently have, and not having Auro 3D, but I am intrigued by Dirac. The Denon X4700H checks most of my boxes with XT-32, but unknown reliability and a single HDMI 2.1 output.

I would appreciate any thoughts or comments from Yamaha, Denon or Onkyo owners.
 

thej762000

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Stumbled across your thread, figured you deserved a reply. I'm a long term Onkyo owner.. kind of stuck with the brand since (as far as I know) they're the only ones who still do THX. Not a feature a lot of people care about, but I like it. 2 issues off the bat with Onkyo:

* Availability. Onkyo's had debilitating supply chain problems along with a change in ownership. Most of their product line is still in a considerable shambles, the odds of finding an RZ50 are pretty long. I just purchased an open box TXNR797 (2019 model) off of eBay that I was lucky to find.

* Build quality. My old Onkyo unit, TXNR708, had to be repaired for a faulty HDMI board twice within the first 3 years of purchase. The remotes are usually cheaply made as well. I feel fortunate that I've got the TXNR708 to last 10 years.

No brand is perfect, and Onkyo does tend to offer receivers that are feature-rich. Just know what you're getting into. If build quality and reliability is of more importance than features and affordability, go with the Denon or Yamaha. Best of luck.
 

JNMNL52

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Finally, a response! It is apparent this topic is not of interest on this forum. Thanks for input on Onkyo. The RZ50 is rich with features, including Dirac, and a great value, but I am concerned about the longevity of the new company and unknown prospective repair stateside repair centers. I actually pre-ordered the RZ-50 weeks ago, but after more thought, just cancelled it the other day in lieu of a single box solution. I eventually want to grow from a 5.2.4 speaker configuration to a 7.2.4. The AVR's I was initially considering were all 9 channel, requiring an additional 2-channel amp to drive a 7.2.4 system. I am going to bite the bullet and now focusing on 11 channel AVR's. I narrowed my selection down to the Yamaha RX-A8A or the Denon X6700H. The X6700H only has one HDMI 2.1 output, but that is all I need for an XBox-X. The RX-A8A is very rich with features, but most are currently tied to a future firmware update. Still doing my due diligence on both and will pull the trigger on one of them soon. I can get the Denon today, but have to wait in line like everyone else for the Yammy. Build quality and reliability are very important so we are thinking along the same lines. Thanks again for coming up on the net.
 

dlaloum

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I have had 2 Onkyo receivers since 2008/9 ... both have failed... the first due to the HDMI board overheating and frying under-rated capacitors, and the second due to the main sound processing CPU failing - overheating again.

Both were great sounding units (Onkyo TX-SR876, Integra DTR70.4) - and flagship units in their time.

Both were very full featured - when the first (876) failed, I looked at repairing it, but I could get the more current 70.4 for only slightly more than repairing the old unit.

The 70.4 failed a couple of months back... and with the main processor bricked... it is basically an anchor, so I have pulled out the old 876 again - which although it's HDMI inputs don't work, still works using analogue and SPDIF inputs - and still sounds great.

I considered jumping ship to Denon or Yamaha - both have a better reputation than Onkyo for reliability! (with Yamaha being much more so!).

But I want some decent Room EQ capabilities.... and Yamaha has never quite been there in that sense - the Denons have Audissey XT32 - which is what I have been running with the 70.4... I have been wanting to try Dirac - but Dirac with 5+ channels has been prohibitive both from a complexity level and from a financial one.....

The AVR's with Dirac capability are (were) well above what I am willing to pay.... until Onkyo/Integra/Pioneer launched the new series earlier this year.

So now, I have ordered an Integra DRX 3.4 (the Integra version of the Onkyo TX-NR7100... with full pre-outs added).... and I await it's long delayed arrival.

I am taking a chance a third time on the reliability on Onkyo equipment. (more fool me?)

It is interesting to point out that the analogue circuits in the failed units have continued working and working well - the issues have always been in the digital world of sound processing, video processing, CPU's/GPU's - and heat management.

One does hope that the Onkyo engineers have learnt some lessons over the last 10 years.... or perhaps we are seeing engineering limitations associated with warranty timeframes, and cost constraints. - More heatsinks, fans, and appropriate thermal engineering may add 5% or 10% to the cost - and for no economic benefit, as the failures are likely to be after 3+ years.

So we may be looking at generations of digital based components with a lifetime limited to 3 to 5 years.....
 

JNMNL52

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@dlaloum - interesting comment regarding analog circuit continuing to work after failed digital processing. I also entertained the purchase of the Integra DRX-5.4 when I was considering a 9 channel AVR as it appeared to be a slight upgrade of the RZ-50. Now focusing on a single box 11 channel solution between the Yammy RX-A8A and the Denon X6700H. Internet rumor suggests Onkyo is planning a spring launch of the RZ-70 with 11 channels, Auro 3D and Dirac, but that is too far off for me....and not real. If the RZ-70 were available today, I would purchase in a heart beat. I have to believe Onkyo reliability has improved over the years as the new holding company performed their due diligence and invested in them. Good luck with your DRX-3.4!

 

Greg.K

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If you are considering 7.1.4 at some point, all of these will process 11.1 channels, however the Onkyo RZ50 only lets you assign your external amp to the rear surround channels.

Denon/Marantz/Yamaha let you select between rear/rear height channels or front L/R for an external amp to handle. Offloading the front channels makes more sense to me, better to use a dedicated amp for the front stage and let the receiver handle all surround speaker duties.

Since this is exactly what I am planning when I build out my new HT next year, I'm ruling out the RZ50. But I'm waiting to see what's new in 2022 since I'd prefer more if not all HDMI 2.1 inputs than this current batch of receivers has.
 
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JohnRice

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If you are considering 7.1.4 at some point, all of these will process 11.1 channels, however the Onkyo RZ50 only lets you assign your external amp to the rear surround channels.
If that is correct, it would completely disqualify the Onkyo for me, for the reason Greg explained. It's most beneficial to use an external amp for the front three channels, not just L&R.

However, looking at the RZ50, it does have pre outs for the front channels, so it really should be able to use those. the problem could be that it won't allow you to route the needed channels to the internal amps. It would take too much research to find out
 

JimJasper

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JNM... This is a great 16min --> review <-- ...sorry it's 12+ months old (10/24/2020), but it lists a lot of comparisons between different receivers, and helps to quantify the dizzying amount of features into a relatively organized comparison chart .... I'm in the market as well. Worth it to review to help measure features you want....(or didn't realize that you wanted).... hope it helps....keep us updated.
fun i win GIF by The Original Donut Shop Coffee
 

JNMNL52

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JNM... This is a great 16min --> review <-- ...sorry it's 12+ months old (10/24/2020), but it lists a lot of comparisons between different receivers, and helps to quantify the dizzying amount of features into a relatively organized comparison chart .... I'm in the market as well. Worth it to review to help measure features you want....(or didn't realize that you wanted).... hope it helps....keep us updated.
fun i win GIF by The Original Donut Shop Coffee
Great Video; thanks! I would like to see an update of AVR's in this comparison. After more research I am learning more over time and refining my AVR requirements. I am focusing on a single box 11 channel solution and just eliminated the Yamaha RX-A8A due to continued concerns by early owners over inaccurate YPAO calibration and a few poor review comments I have read on other forums. I get the sense the new Yamaha A8A owners become Beta testers and I would like an AVR that is proven. I should wait for the 2022 models to be released but I do not wait that long. I am now looking hard at the 2020 model Denon X6700H (post May 21 production lot w/ new HDMI board) and the 2021 Denon X8500HA. The 8500HA may be overkill for my 7.2.4 configuration, but it does provide plenty of headroom and power. Just pricey.....
 

JohnRice

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The 8500HA may be overkill for my 7.2.4 configuration, but it does provide plenty of headroom and power. Just pricey.....
There is no receiver in existence that has plenty of power and headroom when driving 11 channels. There's a reason they only provide, at best, a full range signal into two channels, or more often the completely useless spec of a 1KHz test tone. There is only enough power coming in to drive two channels to their capacity. Drive 11 channels and all of a sudden that 150wpc is more like 60. For what you're considering, you will get far more for your money by getting a 4700 or even 6700 and at least a three channel amp for the front, which start at $500. That takes the biggest power demand off the receiver and lets it drive the less demanding surround speakers.
 

JNMNL52

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There is no receiver in existence that has plenty of power and headroom when driving 11 channels. There's a reason they only provide, at best, a full range signal into two channels, or more often the completely useless spec of a 1KHz test tone. There is only enough power coming in to drive two channels to their capacity. Drive 11 channels and all of a sudden that 150wpc is more like 60. For what you're considering, you will get far more for your money by getting a 4700 or even 6700 and at least a three channel amp for the front, which start at $500. That takes the biggest power demand off the receiver and lets it drive the less demanding surround speakers.
@JohnRice - I am aware that I would lose some power from 2 channel 150 wpc driven, but did not realize it could go as low as 60. I was thinking more like 90-100, which is acceptable for my relatively small (20"x15.5'x8') media room. So you are saying that there is no single box solution for a 7.2.4 configuration and I should consider a separate amp for either the X6700H or the X8500HA for the fronts?
 

JohnRice

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I'm not saying there are no single box solutions, I'm just encouraging you to consider your goals. What are you hoping to gain by stepping up to the 6700 or 8700. The 8700 lists for $4.5K. That's a lot of money for a receiver. If the main thing you want to gain with it is the rather insignificant increase in power, then my point is that your money is probably better spent differently.

The X4700H is $2K, the X6700H is $3K and the X8700H is $4.5K. Most likely the X4700H provides everything you actually want, while costing $2.5K less. That's a lot of money that could be saved and used for more power where it's needed, in the front three channels. Taking Emotiva as an example, you could get an A-3 with 140 wpc to all three channels for $500 and take that load off the Denon. Or, the Outlaw 5000x with slightly lower power to 5 channels for $769. You can also go with some true power with the Emotiva XPA-3 with 300wps to three channels for $1.3K and still save $1.2K over the X8700H. Depending on the demands of your speakers, the A-3 could make the most sense, and save a lot of $.

When the time comes to upgrade the receiver, you save money again and just get one with pre-outs and move the amp(s) to it.

Then you have seriously powerful Class D options like D-Sonic, again at a higher price.
 

JNMNL52

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I'm not saying there are no single box solutions, I'm just encouraging you to consider your goals. What are you hoping to gain by stepping up to the 6700 or 8700. The 8700 lists for $4.5K. That's a lot of money for a receiver. If the main thing you want to gain with it is the rather insignificant increase in power, then my point is that your money is probably better spent differently.

The X4700H is $2K, the X6700H is $3K and the X8700H is $4.5K. Most likely the X4700H provides everything you actually want, while costing $2.5K less. That's a lot of money that could be saved and used for more power where it's needed, in the front three channels. Taking Emotiva as an example, you could get an A-3 with 140 wpc to all three channels for $500 and take that load off the Denon. Or, the Outlaw 5000x with slightly lower power to 5 channels for $769. You can also go with some true power with the Emotiva XPA-3 with 300wps to three channels for $1.3K and still save $1.2K over the X8700H. Depending on the demands of your speakers, the A-3 could make the most sense, and save a lot of $.

When the time comes to upgrade the receiver, you save money again and just get one with pre-outs and move the amp(s) to it.

Then you have seriously powerful Class D options like D-Sonic, again at a higher price.
My journey in selecting a new AVR has taken many twists and turns as I learn more every day. Your points are well taken. I appreciate what you are stating as it makes sense from an economic and practical perspective. I started this journey by making side by side comparisons and learning about features I did not know existed. My requirements/goals are having at least one HDMI 2.1 input for an Xbox series X and adequate power to drive a 7.2.4 speaker configuration. I would like 3D immersive audio including ATMOS, DTSX and Auro 3D. I am focused on a single box solution because of space limitations. I want an AVR that I can accurately calibrate in a simple straight-forward manner (that works) without guess work. I do not mind spending big bucks on a new device as I tend to keep them for a while and want it to last 5-8 years or so. Its not so much a question of how much I spend, it is more of buying the best that I can afford with all the features I want. I started with the Denon X4700H and soon learned that I wanted more. The Denon X6700H and X8500HA both work for me and are available in stock now. I can add the (3) port HDMI 2.1 switch if needed in the future. Both Denon units are proven, and I will not become a beta tester for an unproven AVR that was released too early - waiting for firmware updates for full functionality. The X8500HA is Denon’s 2021 flagship model which has a little more power and a few more features, and that puts me over the edge. So all things considered, I am going to take a chance, bite the bullet and go with the X8500HA. If it proves to have insufficient power to drive my 7.2.4 system in my relatively small media room, then I will entertain an additional amp and figure out where to put it. Thanks again for your insight and counsel.
 

JNMNL52

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I'm curious what the features of the X8500H are that puts you over the edge for it.
It is the new 2021 X8500HA flagship model. Basically it is more powerful with a bigger 900 watt power supply, more power per channel at 150W, L/R separated mono block power amps, and ESS DACS. It will be supporting my Sony flagship 83A90J, and Panasonic UB9000 BD player, so it made sense to me to match with a comparable flagship AVR.
 

JohnRice

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Agree; I read that and saw it on a few video reviews. I ordered an Aircom T8 which was shipped today. Do you have a Denon?
I currently have a couple Marantz. An SR7013 in the living room and an AV7703 in the HT. That 7013 runs really hot. Not the 7703.
 

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