Unhappy w/ Onkyo TX-SR600. Need Recommendations for Alternative in this Price Class!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Rich_R, Dec 15, 2002.

  1. Rich_R

    Rich_R Extra

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    I just got the Onkyo TX-SR-600 and I am very unhappy with it. There is no way this receiver pushes 80watts RMS, and music just sounds completely flat (don't know how else to describe it).

    The system is for music as well as HT. I'm using Onkyo HTS-500 5.1 surround speakers. My room is fairly large, probably 15'x24' (open floor plan, living room, dining area and kitchen all open to each other).

    I just finished a subjective test with my 17 year old Onkyo receiver (obviously designed just for music). I tested the 17 year old Onkyo receiver (TX-61) as well as the new Onkyo receiver (TX-SR 600) with the front speakers from the new Onkyo 5.1 speaker set (HTS-500). The 17 year old Onkyo receiver (which was only rated at at about 60 watts per channel) blew away the TX-SR600 (which is rated at 80 watts per channel). Even my wife noticed the difference. Is this what I should expect from all AV receivers in the $600 price range? Does this sound right?

    Again, I don't know how else to explain it other than the TX-SR600 produces extremely flat sounding music, with no depth, and lousy clarity/fidelity (especially at any low to moderate volume). I am most interested in how pleasing music sounds to the ear, not necessarily how "uncolored" the music reproduction is. I have heard very high end systems that boast true uncolored music reproduction, that are just not enjoyable to listen to. Maybe my taste requires an AV receiver that has more bass management capabilities?

    Any suggestions on any other receivers around the $600 price point would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Rick_FL

    Rick_FL Stunt Coordinator

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    I myself am a H/K fan. Their receivers tend to be very "musical" as well as very good in HT. You may want to look into the H/K AVR520, which can be purchased online for around $530 including shipping -- with all the connections you could ask for. I've read quite a few postings/reviews from people who have went from the TX-SR600 to a H/K receiver and were much happier. You may want to listen to some as well.
     
  3. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    Rich, are you certain the receiver is as problemmatic as you state? I would question your choice of speaker package. No offense, but you can likely do much better.

    Just for grins, why not pick up a different pair of speakers to use when comparing your 2 Onkyos?

    Best of luck.
     
  4. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

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    I experienced the same problems with Onkyo's newer receivers as did Rich. I had an old Onkyo Pro-7, rated probably at 80 watts/channel, so, last year, when it was time to buy another receiver, I bought the 696, thinking that it would be a step up power wise as it was rated at 100 watts. To say I was underwhelmed is an understatement. I had already given my old receiver to one of my daughters and regretted having done so, albeit the new one was much more advanced processing wise. The sound quality and power of my old Onkyo put my new one to shame, imo.
     
  5. Rich_R

    Rich_R Extra

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  6. alan_dana

    alan_dana Agent

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    When Sound & Vision tested the 696, rated at 100 watts per channel, they found that it only produced 46 watts per channel with all channels driven.

    If you only need 5 amplified channels, the HK 520 is a very good option.

    If you need 7 channels, another option is the Sony DA4ES, which can be had in the high $600's. A big step up from the TR-600.

    However I wouldn't allocate my dollars the way you are doing. The difference between $300 vs $600 speakers is a lot more than the difference between $300 vs $600 receivers. I'd consider going with something like a Denon AVR-1803 or Pioneer 811S receiver in the low $300's and get better speakers.

    Alan
     
  7. David Lorenzo

    David Lorenzo Stunt Coordinator

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    You can pick up a H/K AVR-325 at Costco.com for $499. If you aren't a Costco member I think they charge a certain percentage more, but it will likely still be under $600.

    It's power rating is low, but no 2 manufacturers rate their amplifiers the same way.
     
  8. Rich Wenzel

    Rich Wenzel Supporting Actor

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    for music and ht combined, a lot of people say the outlaw is really hard to beat in its price range:
    http://www.outlawaudio.com/holiday-sale.html
    $439 for bstock on the 1050 receiver, full warranty, etc.
    as for your speakers, not making fun of them, but i would never recommend someone spending $500ish on a receiver and $300 on a speaker system. Room accoustics and speakers are the two most influential pieces of "equipment" that affect sound quality assuming all things work properly.
    Good luck.
    Rich
     
  9. Rich_R

    Rich_R Extra

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  10. Phuong

    Phuong Stunt Coordinator

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    Paradigm speakers seem to sound good with virtually all amps. Atoms or Titans will sound great. I'm a fan of NHT and have 3 SuperOnes up front. Don't forget to get a good sub, too. Of course, there are tons of good speakers in the 300-400/pair range. These are just a few options.

    Good luck.
     
  11. Phuong

    Phuong Stunt Coordinator

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    Paradigm speakers seem to sound good with virtually all amps. Atoms or Titans will sound great. I'm a fan of NHT and have 3 SuperOnes up front. Don't forget to get a good sub, too. Of course, there are tons of good speakers in the 300-400/pair range. These are just a few options.

    Good luck.
     
  12. Rich Wenzel

    Rich Wenzel Supporting Actor

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    if it were me, and i am not saying to do this, but if i was going to pay around 500-600 for my speakers, i would not get surround sound immediately.

    i would spend the whole wad on the fronts for two reasons.

    1) with a good set of fronts (easily achievable in this price range) you don't need a center. i am not saying that a center wont add something, but a lot of the center can be covered by the fronts. In fact, Thiel, a high end maker has some stuff on their web page about it.

    2) a good pair of fronts will go low enough to provide a good amount of what a subwoofer would do, a cheap one anyway.

    also, this way, if you decide to upgrade, your whole speaker set won't go to waste.

    if it were me, i wuold take the fronts of your onkyo setup and make them my rears and i would buy a good pair of fronts...

    I would look at the psb 5T...absolute sound really likes them in their price range. They are made by the same company that makes NAD....

    Rich
     
  13. AdamM

    AdamM Extra

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    I would try some different speakers first. If you still don't like the sound try a different receiver. At any rate if you arn't happy with what you have you should change it. I don't know if this helps at all but:

    I have an old (10-12 years) Onkyo 904. I just purchased an Onkyo SR600. The old receiver is rated at 65 watts it does get louder faster. Once you have the SR600 at a respectable level it sounds every bit as good. I actually called Onkyo about this and they said it is normal to turn the SR600 up to 50+ since you can't hear it until 40 or so. I've been watching movies at about 65 and it sounds awesome (to me). I purchased the receiver in a package with Polk Audio RTi70 fronts, CSi40 center, RTi38's rear and a PSW404 sub. I very happy with this setup.
     
  14. Frank Carter

    Frank Carter Screenwriter

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    I'll give another vote to check out one of the HK's. You can find great deals on the AVR520 now.
     
  15. Wayne Ernst

    Wayne Ernst Cinematographer

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  16. AdamM

    AdamM Extra

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    I would also take a listen to Polk Audio speakers. If you have a Circuit City near you they are offering a free sub with a purchase of $499 in Polk Audio gear. You could try a pair of RTi38's for front, and RTi28's rear. That would total $650. Get your free sub. Plus Circuit City has several 10% off deals floating around right now. You would still need a center channel, however it's a great way to get in a much better surround setup.
     
  17. Rich_R

    Rich_R Extra

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    Thanks guys. I'll head to Best Buy/Circuit City during my lunch hour tomorrow and give the Polk Audio speakers a listen.
     
  18. Rich_R

    Rich_R Extra

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    AdamM:

    Where can I find info about the free sub and the 10% off w/ Polk. My CC circular does not mention those things. Tx.
     
  19. AdamM

    AdamM Extra

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    Polk's site has info on the sub as well as in-store displays at Circuit City. I got a 10% discount coupon in the mail around the first week of the month. You might want to see if someone you know has a coupon you could use. One thing about Circuit City I have noticed, if you are decent to them they tend to do what they can to make the sale. If you can't find the 10% off coupon see if you can find a Best Buy 10% off... or just ask them if they will knock off 10%. You might be suprised, they have gone above and beyond for me more than once. Hope that helps.
     
  20. Andrew*W*S

    Andrew*W*S Auditioning

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