Which Onkyo? TX DS 797 or TX SR 800?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Eddie_S, Nov 12, 2002.

  1. Eddie_S

    Eddie_S Auditioning

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    They are finally out! The new Onkyo 800 which is supposed to replace the excellent 797. I have a 2-week old 797 and it doesn't drop any codes or click through the speakers!. I guess I am one of the lucky ones. I can replace it with the new TX SR800 since I am still under 30 days. The difference in price is probably $100-$150. So which one to get?

    From my review of the specs the major differences are:

    - SR 800 has DD-EX and THX Surround EX while the 797 has only THX-EX.

    - SR 800 is a true 7.1 with 100X7 while the 797 is a 6.1 with a 100X6. You can go to 7.1 with an external amp.

    - SR 800 you can allocate the 2 back surrounds to a zone 2 to hear a different source in another room. You need an external amp to do that with the 797.

    - SR 800 has a pure audio mode but not the 797.

    - SR 800 doesn't have an on-off botton, only standby/off and doesn't have 12v trigger.

    Isn't the DD-EX same or very close to THX-EX?

    I have heard the 797 and it sounds great. Didn't get a chance to hear the 800. Any help is appreciated.
     
  2. Eddie_S

    Eddie_S Auditioning

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    Any help from current users or future buyers is appreciated.

    The TX 800's started to show up at CC. Price is set at $999 regular but there is a sale now for $949. Does anyone know what's the price online?
     
  3. Tyler DJW

    Tyler DJW Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Eddie, I'm a 797 user myself. First off, DD-EX and THX-EX are the same thing so there is nothing gained there by going to the 800 (they've just updated the DD logo on the front).

    It sounds like the primary difference is the allocation of the amp. If it is valuable to power a second zone I then it would be worth considering. I like that they spread the amp across all 7 channels now, but I'm personally hoping to add an external 7 channel amp later anyways, so it's not important to me yet. (I'm still only running a 5.1 setup). If you don't want to upgrade to an external amp any time soon or the second zone I would probably go with the 800. If I could still exchange my 797 for an 800 I would... it would get me into 7 channels a lot quicker than saving $$ for an external amp.

    From what I've seen it looks like the only other feature added is the DTS 96/24 decoding. I think there are currently only 2 titles encoded with this on DVD-A discs right now so It's really not a driving factor... more of a perk.

    Oh yeah, love the receiver... very happy with my choice, hope you enjoy yours.
     
  4. Eddie_S

    Eddie_S Auditioning

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    Tyler, thanks for the valuable input!

    I decided to get the TX-SR800 and hook it and compare it with the 797 before I return it. So I picked up one from CC for $849 plus tax which is a great price for this unit. They matched an add from the Internet. So the actual difference came up to about $80 between the two.

    I'll post more when I get a chance to set up this weekend.
     
  5. Eddie_S

    Eddie_S Auditioning

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    I know it took me a little longer but here is my opinion on these two excellent receivers.

    I had the two receivers at home for about 2 weeks. I ran both of them with the same setup using a variety of music, some movies and the FM/AM radio too. After swapping the two receivers back and forth several times through the many hookups I have I was able to make an educated decision. I have a Sony DVD/CD player, a Sony Cassette player and a Panasonic TV and local cable. I run large 3-way speakers in the front and small surround/back sr. and a velodine sub.

    I decided after long searching to keep the 797! The reasons are as follows:

    1- The marginal factors (not the deciding factors!)

    - I found the channel separation on the 797 to be slightly better on different DSP listening modes.
    - I am happy with one back surround speaker and know that I can add another one if I want to, with a separate amp., or connect 2 back speakers in series.
    - The 797 can play DD-EX using the THX-EX Surround which is essentially the same.
    - I don't have any music with DTS 96/24 format and it's relatively new format. You can still play it through other decoding formats on the 797, I think.
    - The Radio reception is slightly better on the 797 both in FM/AM

    The important factors:

    - The 800 can get very hot! My older 727 and my new 797 hardly get warm even after playing it loud for a few hours. I like to play my music and my movies loud and my set up only allows me to place the receivers under my DVD player. Heat is of big concern to me. It seems to me Onkyo have made a major design change that I am sure is for the better, or at least hope so. One of the side effects is the excessive heat. Please note that you may not have the same problem!
    - For some reason Onkyo has followed many major manufacturers and decided to shrink the volume display on the front of the 800!! You can hardly see it from 7-8 feet away. I m used to the large volume readout on the front of the 797 and love it. The small volume display on the 800 was annoying to me. It seems this is a minor issue, and it is, but it was annoying to me.

    This is my opinion and you may have different opinion when you compare the two receivers yourself. I am still a big Onkyo fan and I strongly believe that you get a lot more for your money with Onkyo than any other major manufacturer.

    I think the 800 is a great receiver and offer 7.1 without the need for a sep. amp. among few other nice features. I decided to skip this upgrade for now and wait for more upgrades in a future model, maybe in 2-3 years.

    Hope this helps.

    By the way what speakers are you using with your 797? I need new speakers, front L/R and maybe center. I am looking at Polk Audio, Klipsch or Boston, any ideas? I like excellent highs and midrange detailing. I am using a Velodine sub.

    Eddie
     
  6. Cire

    Cire Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Eddie and Tyler!

    Just curious, what're the serial numbers of your units?
    Mine was purchased recently and I asked for the unit with the latest serial number, according to the store manager, it was a 'new' stock (newly delivered, that is) and it's serial number is 2240025379 E.

    I chose this unit too over the 800 (though I was tempted at one point by the 7ch capability of the 800) mainly because I thought it had a more robust feel to it than the 800, and of course, I liked the way it sounded (unfortunately, the 800 was hooked up to an AM10 from where I heard it).

    Anyway, no problem so far, and it makes a pretty good combo with my Energys.
     

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