Onkyo TXSR603X vs. Marantz SR4600

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Nick Cummings, Jul 14, 2006.

  1. Nick Cummings

    Nick Cummings Auditioning

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    My old Onkyo 575 is on the fritz - intermittantly not recognizing dolby digital signals and also shutting down due to overheating fairly frequently (used the same setup for years with no over heating, now the reciever shuts off everytime there's an explosion or other loud full range noise).

    Any way, I'm looking to upgraded but money is a factor. I've got my eyes on the Onkyo TXSR603 and the Marantz SR4600 and I'm wondering if anybody has any strong opinions one way or the other. I use my system for probably 50% music (5 channel stereo) and 50% home theatre. I use paradigm speakers with monitors & a CC370 up front, a PS1200 sub, and titans in the back.

    Right now, i'm leaning towards the onkyo because of its higher power and powered 2nd zone feature. Anyone have any strong feelings one way or the other? I've never used Marantz stuff - is there a big quality difference?
     
  2. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Marantz fan here, though I'd probably opt for the 603 between those two. Marantz power is generally realistic, however I think the 603 will still have more power and it has the auto setup function which I believe the 4600 lacks. The 4600 can handle those speakers though, but I think you'd have to step up to the 5600 to match the 603.

    If you don't mind refurb, www.ac4l.com has some good deals on Marantz and Onkyo.
     
  3. Nick Cummings

    Nick Cummings Auditioning

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    that's funny - that's exactly the site i had been looking at... Is there a downside to going with a refurbished model - saving the money seems like its worthwhile...?
     
  4. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I've used them before and so far I've been very pleased with them. Only downside is less of a warranty, but that is definitely offset by the lower price, and a 1yr warranty from an authorized dealer is better than none. I have no problem with refurb, especially from a reputable place like them. If you do happen to get a unit with a problem, most places like that are usually very accomodating in working with you.
     
  5. fernandos

    fernandos Auditioning

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    Nick, John

    With regards to power, the lower to mid-level Onkyo receivers tend to employ current limiters in their amps and some in some reviews/tests, the Onkyo has not even come close to it's rated power in the all channels driven test (another controversial subject), whereas even the low to mid level Marantz receivers have come close to, met, or in a couple of cases, exceeded their rated power. In a nutshell, the 90W per Onkyo vs the 80W per Marantz is a non-factor. If you want the convenience of auto set up though, go with the Onkyo. Both are good choices, and yes, Marantz makes excellent receivers, both in sound and build quality. Tough call. Lastly, yes, AC4less is an excellent company to deal with. Good luck.
     
  6. Nick Cummings

    Nick Cummings Auditioning

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    So your take on it is that there will be a noticeable performance difference, in favor of the marantz, even though it's rated power is 10 W lower? Interesting...

    What exactly does the auto speaker setup do? Is the microphone in the remote or in the reciever? If its in the reciever, does it work well given that it obviously isn't in the listening area?
     
  7. dany

    dany Supporting Actor

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    You would never notice 10w difference. Double the watts is only +3db i think. I'd go with the Matantz,its just better and the auto setup,i have it and can easily live without.
     
  8. BrianTwig

    BrianTwig Second Unit

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    Marantz owner here. I would step up to the SR 5600.
     
  9. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I've used the 4400 and installed the 601. The 601 seemed to have a little more power than the 4400. Neither are the models listed, but both will still have very similar amplification as their former models, IMO. When it comes to sound quality, I'd give the Marantz the edge, but the difference between 80 and 90 real watts is noticable. Not night and day for sure, and the two are probably closer than not. The 5600 should be an improvement over the 601.
     
  10. dany

    dany Supporting Actor

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    If you can notice any difference between 80 and 90,you must be super human.
     
  11. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    The auto set up in the Onkyo works pretty well..better then some of the other's I've installed. To run the auto set up you just plug in the supplied mic to the front of the unit and put the mic at or near your primary listening spot and hit a button. It'll send out a burst of tones to each speaker to set the distance and levels and then go though a series of tones to try to match each speaker against the others.
     
  12. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I went from one receiver with 105 to another receiver with 120 and the difference was very noticable - nothing else changed. I guess I better put on some blue leotards and a red cape and see if the Daily Planet is hiring...

    10W DOES make a difference that can be discerned, but you will most likely only notice it in having more headroom and how loud a given setup will play, but it depends a lot on what is being used and exactly how real the wattage ratings are. Don't get hung up on +3dB figures, as that is a 50% increase in volume - you do need 100% more power to achieve that, but most people can detect less than a 1dB change in volume (though that change may not be percieved as considerably "louder").
     
  13. Nick Cummings

    Nick Cummings Auditioning

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    The 5600 does look nice... having the powered seperate zone, similar to the 603. But then it is probably more fair, from a price perspective, to compare it to the THX rated onkyo 703.

    Now are we back to square 1 - the onkyo's 100 watts/channel probably being similar to the 5600's 90 watts per channel, maybe the marantz having an edge in build/sound quality, the onkyo having the edge in the auto-setup feature?

    How much do I care about video up conversion and video switching features? I have a cable company provided HD-DVR with digital cable, which for the non-HD stuff I watch I have to rely on the S-video signal - that's probably all I would be up converting, but you can't make chicken salad out of chicken you-know-what, right? If the resolution isn't there, then is the reciever just extrapolating some colors and filling in the extra pixels accordingly? I don't see how that would improve the picture...

    I have not typically used my reciever for video switching, going by the rule that, particularly for analog signals (which, if I understand right, component is still analog and my TV has no HDMI input), the less things that process the native signal the better, I should keep running video directly to the TV instead of through the reciever. It seems all the reciever can do is hurt the signal (with the noted exception of the up conversion, which, as above, seems to have questionable value).

    I'm not trying to pick a fight here, just trying to do my homework before I make a decision. I truly appreciate your input...
     
  14. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    Video switching isn't done for a better picture its done to simplify your setup as you'd only need to run one set of component cables to the TV and have the AVR do the switching. I've got the 703 and honestly all the AVR's I've used recently do a very good job converting the signal to component that I don't see any difference and it makes like easier having the AVR do all the work...esp since my TV doesn't have discrete codes for its inputs.

    I doubt you'll go wrong with either choice and I like both brands. As I said I'm presently using the 703 and I've been impressed so far for what I'm using it for (HT only)
     
  15. Tom Donaghue

    Tom Donaghue Stunt Coordinator

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    You'd likely be happy w/eithe receiver, however I'd consider the 703 if you can swing the diff between it and the 603, less from a power standpoint and more so from a feature standpoint.

    One that stands out to me is the pre-out capability that the 603 doesn't have. While the 603 is a good stand alone receiver, if at any point in the future you'd like to add separate amplification, this wouldn't be possible w/the 603.. -TD
     
  16. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    4600 and 5600 both have preamp outs, though they lack MRAC.
     
  17. Tom Donaghue

    Tom Donaghue Stunt Coordinator

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    Looks like AC4L has a 4600 on sale for $300 here. Includes a 3 year manufacturer's warranty. That looks like a pretty killer deal... -TD
     
  18. johnADA

    johnADA Stunt Coordinator

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    I'll buy refurbed anything, to a point, over new anything after this article I read.
    New anything has a 80-90% average that it wont go bad.
    Refurbed found that 20% and fixed it, so refurbs have a 98% of never going bad after the initial breakdown.
    They write the initial breakdown off, lower the price to reflect that write off and still make the same profit and YOU save money on something that has a better survival rate.


    Now the "to a point" thing. In this particular arena, receivers etc, you then have to look at the makers rep. Like Harmon Kardon, that I would buy either new and or refurbed. There industry standard for failures doesnt met up to the to the 80-90% to begin with, they have a higher failure rate from get go which tells me they dont do things right. But Onkyo-Marantz does meet it!!
     

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