Why did my 5 year old Onkyo smoke a HK avr310

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Rob TT, Feb 11, 2003.

  1. Rob TT

    Rob TT Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2002
    Messages:
    111
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I picked up a HK avr310 open box at Circuit City so I could upgrade to Dolby Digital and DTS. When I hooked it all up I listened to a CD that I'm familiar with, and was very disappointed. My 5 year old Onkyo 434 sounded so much louder and better. Granted the Harman Kardon did a better job for watching movies (because of the Dolby digital) but for overall CD listening, the Onkyo wiped the floor.
     
  2. ColinM

    ColinM Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2001
    Messages:
    2,050
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Louder usually means better to most people. If you have an SPL meter, make sure you use the same level to compare the two. Don't use tone controls until you're done comparing.

    Just my advice, no offense.

    Maybe it WAS better...!
     
  3. Rob TT

    Rob TT Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2002
    Messages:
    111
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    It was louder and sounded better. It was so obvious that my girlfriend had a sad face after listening to it.
     
  4. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2002
    Messages:
    4,007
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    My brother's 10+ year old Onkyo Pro-Logic receiver (no idea of the model #) eats alive, in 2-channel at least, the H/K 225. We picked one up just to make the comparison one weekend, and there was, indeed, no comparison, even after adjusting with an SPL meter. The sound was, to our ears, both more detailed and more pleasing to the ear, and the 'soundstage' seemed more enveloping.

    Onkyo has made some very, very nice stuff over the years. Haven't listened to one recently, however.
     
  5. JohnSer

    JohnSer Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2002
    Messages:
    198
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I did not find that to be the case when I replaced my 575X with H/K520. While both amps are rated about the same, the HK seems to produce stronger, tighter bass and slightly cleaner highs. Did the HK wipe the floor with the Onkyo? No, but I do believe the HK is better, especially in 2 channel stereo. Is it an equal comparison? No, price wise the HK is a couple levels up the scale.

    Please note, this was not A/B testing and didn't set levels equal with spl meter. I did turn the volume to what I percieved to be same level, and did not go by any volume level indicator. I do try to listen to the detail of different instruments vs how loud it will go.

    JohnS
     
  6. Jonathan_D

    Jonathan_D Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2003
    Messages:
    142
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Louder inevitably translates into "better" sound when doing comparisons. Even a difference as little as 1db will do this. To accurately compare, you must do careful level matching. Of course, I've got a sizable chunk of change that says in a well controlled DBT you couldn't tell the difference! [​IMG]
     
  7. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2000
    Messages:
    5,712
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I believe that the H/K 310 is also quite a few years old as well...
     
  8. MarkO

    MarkO Second Unit

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 1999
    Messages:
    309
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I have a 12 year old h/k AVR 25mk pro logic that sounds better than all the current h/k stuff in Stereo mode. Guess its the price we pay for multi channel digital audio.
     
  9. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2000
    Messages:
    5,712
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Maybe it's the same *total* amount of quality just divided by *more* channels, to give less per channel... [​IMG]

    Heck, I still remember a Pioneer SX (something or other) 450 receiver I had over 20 years ago that had a lower noise floor than the last 2 DD/DTS (DD EX/DTS-ES) pre/pro's I've had... But of course, not with all the bells and whistles.
     
  10. Paul Clarke

    Paul Clarke Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2002
    Messages:
    998
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Edit: Original of double post
     
  11. Paul Clarke

    Paul Clarke Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2002
    Messages:
    998
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Perhaps Rob doesn't want to deal with the issue of level matching as he chooses to ignore it in his reply to Colin...or at least makes no effort to clarify. He is entitled to his opinion but this thread is yet another example of the 'hyperbole spiral' which seems to afflict many posts (Mea Culpa, of course). 'Wiped the floor', 'smoked' and the ever popular---'kicked butt' are simply not useful descriptions of anything in audio. Without proper level matching there is no way to compare any 'loudness' aspect of the sound let alone other aspects comprising 'better'.

    Let's see...32 lbs of 310 with 60Wx2, 50Wx5 and 4 Ohm capable vs 21 lbs of 434 with 55Wx3 + 20Wx2 and ? Ohm capable. I have no doubt the 434 sounds nice. In its' day it was well reviewed and represented a good bargain. But I seriously doubt its' Stereo performance would ever 'smoke' a 310 in anyones' lifetime. Now how's that for hyperbole? [​IMG]
     
  12. Rob TT

    Rob TT Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2002
    Messages:
    111
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    No I didn’t use a SPL meter or do any level matching. Actually, be louder isn’t what I was trying to stress, it was how much better the Onkyo sounded with the type of music I listen to which is mostly rock. The Onkyo just filled the room and hit a lot harder than the Harman. I was just surprised because of the reputation that H/K has, that’s all.
     
  13. JohnSer

    JohnSer Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2002
    Messages:
    198
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Rob, given the stats Paul supplied, I would have expected the HK to be slightly better, and maybe not noticeable at all depending on room, speakers, and set-up. Hey, what you hear is what you hear, and that is all that is important. I have found that a number of rock recordings, music I loved in the past, be exposed when going to higher quality speakers and amplifiers. Be it speakers or amp or both, the loss of detail benefited the rock recordings. Some of the details became grating and annoying while listening to it better systems.

    Hey, look at it this way, it keeps you out of the never ending upgadeitus loop [​IMG]

    JohnS
     
  14. Paul Clarke

    Paul Clarke Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2002
    Messages:
    998
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks John for making that point. [​IMG] I was so frustrated last night trying to edit that post I lost track of half my thoughts. I think Rob may well have experienced the disappointment that comes from hearing very familiar music not sound very familiar. I know a lot of my old Rock stuff just doesn't have the same impact and sound with my new equipment...mostly due to speaker changes (all paper to silk and polypropylene) but also the 'laid back' top end of H/K. It took a small period of adjustment to realize I was hearing all kinds of things I hadn't heard before: both new things and old things heard in a different and more detailed way. Hopefully Rob will have the same experience.
     
  15. Mark Leitch

    Mark Leitch Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2002
    Messages:
    125
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I agree that the new receivers sound *much* better than the older receivers... if anyone has some of those nasty old mcintosh, marantz, pioneer, yamaha, and sansui vintage receivers from the 70s (many likely destroyed by playing disco... *extremely* bad for electronics!) please feel free to ship them to me ;-)

    (just doing my bit to keep the prices in the vintage marketplace down... ;-)

    M.
     
  16. JohnSer

    JohnSer Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2002
    Messages:
    198
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Nice try Mark [​IMG] I think it is safe to say all pieces discussed here are from the last decade. There are probably allot of 70's receiver, given in good condition, can beat the current crop in 2 channel. Hey, just doing my part to lower the prices on the slightly used models [​IMG]

    JohnS
     
  17. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2002
    Messages:
    4,007
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  18. Doug Brewster

    Doug Brewster Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Messages:
    325
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Rob TT

    SPL's or no SPL's....

    My guess is that the "open box" 310 (and 310 begat 320, which, in turn begat 325) was a returned and defective product. Why else would a receiver that is 2 models removed from the current edition be available?

    Doug
     
  19. Rob TT

    Rob TT Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2002
    Messages:
    111
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I’m not sure Doug, It just seemed like it was lacking a little bit, especially in the low-end frequencies.
     

Share This Page