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Techs: 787 vs. 7.1? Any differences inside the box?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by John Garn, Jul 5, 2001.

  1. John Garn

    John Garn Agent

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    The differences between the Onkyo 787 and 7.1 (and I assume the 595 vs 5.2 and 696 vs. 6.2) are obvious from a cosmetic, feature and warranty point of view. But what are the differences internally, if any. Are the DACs, DSPs, CODECs, capacitors, power supplies, heat sinks, etc identical or truly different? Are the internal parts interchangeable? Integras website "suggests" they are better engineered yet the specs for the 787 and 7.1 seem identical? What's the REAL truth?????
     
  2. KyleS

    KyleS Screenwriter

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    Man John if we could only get the truth from Onkyo this age old question could be answered [​IMG]
    I own the Integra DTR-7 and can tell you the differences that I am aware of between the standard Onkyo and Integra units.
    Onkyo has Silver inputs vs the Integra has Gold
    Onkyo in years past has a built in power cord(Some models) vs Integra has a detachable power cord.
    Integra has a longer warranty.
    As far as the internal parts go I have been told by Onkyo(via email) that the parts in the Integra units are hand selected hence the 3 year warranty. If they are the same units then why doesnt Onkyo give you a 3 year like Integra (assuming its not because you pay more for the Integra [​IMG] )
    KyleS
     
  3. John Garn

    John Garn Agent

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    Kyle-
    The differences you stated are pretty much what we know now. I think Onkyo is trying to sell to two markets---the discount market with the Onkyo and the more tightly held dealer protected market with the Integra. Take the basic unit, make some cosmetic and minor technology upgrades, add a third year warranty and this justifies the higher $1200 MSRP (+100 from the 787). I'm guessing but I think the reason this information is not so readily available is the fact that the two units are probably the same inside but this would blow Onkyos marketing strategy so they intentionally avoid any discussions of internals in their brochures, website, etc. Some local dealers I have visited love trying to sell you that the Integra is far superior to the Onkyo.... Only an authorized technician who has repaired both would have first hand knowledge....and they are the ones my posting seeks. Dollars to donuts they are probably close to identical.
     
  4. John Garn

    John Garn Agent

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    Kyle-
    One additional item--what does "hand selected" mean anyway?
    More mumbo jumbo.
     
  5. KyleS

    KyleS Screenwriter

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    Hey like I said that is what I take it to be.... They charge more for the product with a few minor changes and the extended warranty but I would assume that the internals are the same. For myself I personally did and would again pay the extra money for the Gold inputs and an extra year on the warranty. Heck when I was looking at getting the Onkyo 777 I ran into a Mom and Pop store who carried the Integra. To make a long story short I got the Integra for less then the comparable Onkyo. I have found this is pretty true that you can end up getting the comparable Integra for the same price or slightly more then the Onkyo, so why not get it?
    KyleS
     
  6. Craig F

    Craig F Second Unit

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    > One additional item--what does "hand selected" mean anyway?
    > More mumbo jumbo.
    First some background info:
    Electronic components have tolerances. This means that the
    actual measured value of the component is not exactly what
    it is sold as. Components with tight tolerances are available,
    but they are expensive. For instance, the most common
    resistors are 10%. This means the actual value can be plus
    or minus 10% off ( a 20% swing ). For mass produced
    electronics, tight tolerance components would not be cost
    effective. So components with lesser tolerances are used.
    This means the equipment does not perform exactly as the
    engineer designed it.
    Enter “hand picking” or “cherry picking”
    as it is sometimes called by engineers:
    A large company will buy millions of electronic
    components. For lower end electronics, lower tolerance
    components are used. What the company can do, is
    measure the incoming components and separate out the
    components that are close to the desired value. These are
    then used for premium lines, making the unit perform
    better than the economy line.
    BTW. I believe the Integra line uses a beefier power
    supply than the Onkyo Line.
     
  7. John Garn

    John Garn Agent

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    Craig--
    It's all called "QC" (quality control); some electronics companies today even use source inspectors--that is, people who are sent to the component manufacturer to check components before they are shipped to the product manufacturer. Some believe it is for better QC; other believe it is to reduce inventory--that is--fewer bad parts, fewer parts needed on the shelf. Whatever the case, components with lower tolerances are supposed to be better components. Question is, is the Integra with them or not? Ditto your statement re: power supply.
    There's all kinds of rumors--just wish we could get
    "the facts". I still find it hard to believe with all the Integra units being made that they "hand or cherry picking" their components. This just isn't something large Japanese manufacturers have any inclination to do. They make their money on volume.
    Let me know if you have any credible facts.
    Thanx
     
  8. Craig F

    Craig F Second Unit

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    John,
    Onkyo/Integra themselves say the Integra parts are
    "hand picked". I was explaning what that meant. And,
    yes, I have worked with companies that do this. The
    reason is 'cost'. A company that buys millions of parts
    with looser tolerances, can test themselves for ones with
    tighter tolerances and save a lot of money. The
    manufacturer of the part will charge more money for the
    better parts. I have 13 years of experience as a test
    engineer for a major semiconductor manufacturer. The
    difference between parts with tighter tolerances is
    determined by testing. They all come off the same
    production line. Keep in mind that there are also lines
    of parts designed for higher performace as well.
    You are correct that companies work together to insure
    proper quality control, but that was not the issue I was
    describing.
    Regards,
    Craig
     
  9. Jay Sulzberg

    Jay Sulzberg Auditioning

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    I'm an Integra dealer and when I asked the reps what the difference was, I was told it depends on the model. The 9.1 and the 989 are identical. They couldn't find anyway to make the 9.1 any better without upping the price too much (if you want a better preamp only version, go to the Integra Research line)
    But there is more of a difference in the lower lines. I was told that the video section on the Integra's is better. As mentioned, better power supplies and tighter specs. The Integra line is aimed at custom installers who cannot compete with CC on price.
    The Integra line also has features that make custom integration easier. They all have discreet IR commands for power, input, and some DSP mode selection and an IR input jack on the back for both the main zone and the second zone. This is so we don't have to use emitters on the front.
    They also have RS-232 ports for use with AMX and Crestron control systems. This port allows me to access all radio presets and all DSP modes directly, as well as get feedback for most functions. I'm not sure if the Onkyo line has these features. If they do, I'm sure the average CC buyer won't be using them.
     
  10. Craig F

    Craig F Second Unit

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    Thanks for the info Jay.
    I would also like to add that it is possible Onkyo/Integra has a different definition of "hand selected" than I do. I've had more than one confusion over differences in terminology.
     
  11. Jay_E

    Jay_E Stunt Coordinator

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    Craig,
    Do you have an Onkyo/Integra receiver? If so where did you buy it? I am also in the Orlando/Daytona Beach area. I know Circuit City carries the Onkyo line, but I found only one dealer in the area that carries the Integra line. If you have any info I would appreciate it. Thanks.
    Jay
     
  12. Craig F

    Craig F Second Unit

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    Hi Jay,
    Yes, I have the Integra 6.2. The only Integra dealer in the Orlando area is in Winter Garden. It's actually kind of a Mom & Pop shop but they are authorized. It's called AVC.
    407-877-9090
    Craig
     
  13. John Garn

    John Garn Agent

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    Gents--
    I won't belabor my quest for info--let me just say that I have spoken with a couple Onkyo/Integra CSRs (they are one and the same)and they make statements without knowing what they are saying. I was told "hand picked" too but when I asked them what that meant, they didn't know and changed the subject. The only people who are really going to have first hand info are the Onkyo authorized repair techs---and probably only the ones in larger metro areas--these midwest states just don't move enough product for repair centers to be really familiar with recent models.
    So far we have all bandered rumors--and admittedly there are differences in features and warranty which is fine....my dispute or concern is with those who say the Integra line "sounds" better and to me that can only come from one source---better internals, ie, better caps, power supplies, components, circuit design. If you don't need Integras extra features and all else is the same, why pay near to $1200 for a 7.1 when a 787 (identical sounding?) can be had for $7-800?
    For Craig F--I am in technical staffing and have been for 33 years--I used to place a number of components engineers with companies such as GI and the like---
    Since it sounds like you are a EE, do you have any engineer compatriots in your semiconductor world who might have knowledge of an Onkyo or audio versed components engineer? That would solve the problem--no???!!!
     
  14. Craig F

    Craig F Second Unit

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    John,
    Unfortunately I don't have any insight to Onkyo. It is not one of the companies I have dealt with. I worked primarily with computer oriented chips, not A/V. My original post was an attempt to provide some possible explanation based on my own experiences. I agree with you sometimes companies will put out misleading buzz words. It would be nice if Onkyo would give a definitive answer, but that seems unlikely. Good luck, in your quest for the answer.
    Craig
     
  15. Shawn Solar

    Shawn Solar Supporting Actor

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    This may have been already stated but I asked a dealer I often do bussiness with why he didn't carry the integra line as he already has onkyo. he told me that if he carried say the onkyo 787 on display he was not allowed to carry the 7.1 in the integra series and vice versa.so he just stuck with onkyo. one reason is if they have two lines virtually the same but just a little different two dealers in the same area can carry the line and not directly compete with each other. it prevents people from directly comparing prices on the two units. thats the idea anyway. Cerwin vega used to do that as well. they carried 3 speaker line that used the same woofer and the same midrange in almost allthere lines. but they gave them different names and changed the specs by like 3hz so they sell to more dealers in the same area. thats one theory anyway
     
  16. John Garn

    John Garn Agent

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    For Shawn--
    Mass marketers of stereo and other products often take the same product and market them in different packages to cater to different markets. The regular Onkyo line is directed to the high-volume sometimes discounted chains like Circuit City; their products also usually end up on the web and are often heavily discounted. The Integra line, I believe, is the same internally but with additional features and a one year longer warranty. It is also more tightly held thereby making it an attractive product line for the smaller, higher end audio mom and pop shops who typically will avoid any item sold in a Circuit City type store because they are, in business terms, unable to compete with heavy discount retailers. (I used to be a high-end dealer...I know!).
    Take Denon too. They market their receivers in a similar way. The lower end of their line, the receivers with "3" digits, ie AVR-981, is a line sold typically to TV and appliance stores. The "identical" unit, and yes, it is identical--Denon confirmed!--is also sold in the higher end stores as the 2801....compare the PDF files on Denons sight---you'll see they are the same.
    Finally, this marketing strategy also occurs in many other arenas. Warner Lambert, maker of Sinutabs, used to (and may still) market them under the "Sinutab" brand name for one price; they then repackaged them under the "Equate" brand and they ended up on Walmarts shelves. Identical product, different names, different pricing.
    It's called getting the best "market share".
    For Craig F: I spoke to an ex-Onkyo repair tech today. We discussed the 787 and 7.1 altho he was unfamiliar with the two units. After doing a feature/warranty comparison with him he said quite emphatically if the price difference is only $100, the extra year of warranty service would eat up most of that. He also said for the money there is little likelihood that the units are different. Lastly and its funny this didn't dawn on me before, but:
    1) if the two units were radically different, wouldn't it be to Integra's advantage to espouse those improvements? 2) Also, have you noticed that none of Onkyo's or Integra's literature has a blessed word anywhere--soft or hard copy--that says anything at all about the brand and model number of any of their DACs, DSPs, CODECs or anything? Reason: Since both units are the same, stating this info would undermine Integras credibility!
    3) And again, since Onkyo is an international mass-marketer, how in anyone's name could they resort to "hand selecting" components and keep the price difference at only $100?
    The more I think about all of it, the more sense it makes from many vantage points that the two are, indeed, similar, if not identical.
    BUY THE ONKYO! The Integra is more hype than anything!
     
  17. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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    Another point about "hand picking" - it's not just to weed out the parts which deviate more from the specs, but also to match parts. I believe Paradigm does this with its speaker components. Here's how it works - back to your resistor example, with a +/- 10% tolerance, which gives it a 20% range. One way to improve the quality of the product is to match the component selected for the right and left channels, so that if the right channel gets a resistor that is at +7%, the left channels gets another resistor that's +7%. The next unit might get resistors which are -3% in both channels. This way, the sound of one unit varies a little bit from the next one, but the unit itself is more cohesively built than if the components were selected at random. With random selection, the sonic characteristics of the left and right channels would be within 20% of each other.
    This is even more important with speakers, where it's much more important to have the left and right units sold as a pair sound the same, than to have one pair sound identical to another pair.
    [Edited last by Saurav on July 13, 2001 at 03:52 PM]
     

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