Why did the Onkyo 696 do so junk in S&V's test?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Kyle_Y, Dec 14, 2001.

  1. Kyle_Y

    Kyle_Y Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2001
    Messages:
    238
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Why is it that in the labs in Sound and Vision's latest test of the 696 that it did so poorly. It's 4ohm output especially was a disappointment. It was only about 50wpc into 4ohms, I can't remember exactly off the top of my head. It had good numbers otherwise, but power output, wow, it was embarassing to the Onkyo name, why is that, or should I just steer away from the Onkyo and get a Denon whihc did well in power output?
     
  2. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2001
    Messages:
    1,843
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Kyle,

    I understand your concern and was going through exactly the same hesitation as you now are when I was considering buying a 696, which I did end up purchasing. I initially contacted Onkyo for their response to the review and was e-mailed back that the Onkyo indeed more than meets its published specs. This is from memory as I deleted their correspondence, but it read something to the effect that the test situation by S and V did not duplicate a real world situation in that it drew continuous, unabated power from each of the receivers channels simultaneously or something like that. I then read Consumer Reports tests of the Onkyo which tested the receiver at something like 131 watts/channel @ 8 ohms. Finally, I personally contacted someone I met on another board who reported themselves to be "highly credentialed in the field" and worked for a technology investigation and research lab. This person claimed to have personally measured the Onkyos output and claimed it did indeed measure up as advertised.

    As I mentioned, I now own this receiver and, to my ears, it puts out plenty of clean power. And, I often listen to my music very loud. Ask my family, pets, and neighbors. They'll verify just how loud.

    Have I personally measured it? No, but my honest opinion is that it does just fine in the power department. I'd suggest you go to Circuit City or something and put it to the test yourself though.
     
  3. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 1999
    Messages:
    3,134
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Did consumer reports publish their measuring practice as well?

    Like how many channels are being driven simultaniously,into what bandwith?

    S&V actually uses a quiet wimpy 1khz bandwith into 8ohm loads,not too mention it is constant,so it won't dip to 3-4 ohms many speakers exhibit at certain frquencies.In other words if one product falls way below,their advertised[half or less]power specs,on S&V tests,then they have serious problem in their hand,and maybe they better suited for office or bedroom set ups,then a serious reference level HT.
     
  4. Paul_Psutka

    Paul_Psutka Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2001
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I believe Sound & Vision's reviews are very accurate. And like Lewis said, they tell you the specifics (47 watts @ 1kHz, output at clipping, 8 ohms)

    DanaA, you must not have read or understood the S&V test of the Onkyo 696. They tested 151 watts @ 8 ohms, 1kHz at clipping. It was the 4 ohm output, and all channels driven simultaneously output that was so poor.

    It's worth noting that the Onkyo 696 is not the only receiver that had poor power output into 4 ohm loads or with all channels driven.

    A Sony receiver did poorly last month too.

    Oh, and let's not forget about the Marantz SR-7200. I think it was 27 watts x 6?

    And in the newest issue, a Yamaha receiver advertised at 80 watts x 6, measured 47 watts x 6.

    KLYE, yeah I saw the Denon 2802 review too, and it seems to have a healthier power output than the Onkyo. Kinda surrprised me, because if I recall correctly the Denon weighs even less than the Onkyo. Too bad I dislike the Denon's 2802 remote, otherwise I'd highly recommend that receiver to anyone. I much prefer the 3802's remote.
     
  5. Chuck C

    Chuck C Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2001
    Messages:
    2,224
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Poor power supply.
    All the amps in the 696 (and most mass market AVRs) derive power from one power supply, and as the tests show, the power supply isn't adequate enough to power all 5 amps at the published values. Conversely, it looks like the power supply is more than generous enough to power 2 speakers.
    If you feel you're not getting those dynamic peaks during explosive scenes due to a lack of power, bite the bullet and spend a few hundred on an audiosource amp two. Consequently, adding an amp to the front channels will boost the power for the three remaining channels...it's a win-win situation.
    For the good news about the audiosource amp three, check out Secret's review here
     
  6. David Head

    David Head Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 1999
    Messages:
    302
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I own the 696 and have NEVER had any power issues. I have also never read any owner claim to have any power issues either. I find it interesting that the 696 did "so poorly" in the S&V test and yet it was chosen as one of the products of the year by S&V in the current issue. Please don't try to tell me that it was only chosen to appease Onkyo and save their advertising dollars.
    Room size and speaker efficiency will affect a receiver's performance. What type of speakers do you have? The new Denons are great receivers too. I suggest you try to listen to the Onkyo and the Denon with your speakers if possible to determine which sounds better to you. Unless you have a LARGE room and inefficient speakers, you shouldn't have power issues with the Onkyo. If I was choosing today, I might consider the Denon 2802 instead since you get the addition of DTS-ES for about the same price. I still wouldn't hesitate recommending the 696.
    David
     
  7. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 1999
    Messages:
    3,134
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  8. Robert A. Willis Jr.

    Robert A. Willis Jr. Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 1999
    Messages:
    306
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I haven't read the review. But the testing methodology is standard and the results are probably about normal for a multichannel reciever in this price range. If you use speakers that have a benign impedance load (show about 8 ohms thoughout most of the frequency range) then don't worry about it. Most speakers that you would typically buy to pair with this type of receiver are relatively benign.

    Its when you decide to get speakers from Martin Logan, Theil and some other High-end companies that you would have problems. My Martin Logans (Quests) present an impedance of around 1 ohm at the high frequencies. Admittedly, the Quests are an older model but the new ones aren't much better.

    So if the 4 ohm measurements is the only thing stopping you and you have speakers that present an 8 ohm (or so) impedance throughout the frequency range, DON'T SWEAT IT.

    rw
     
  9. JerryW

    JerryW Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2001
    Messages:
    640
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Could S&V have gotten a "bum" unit? Maybe not a truly defective one, but maybe one with an iffy power supply or something?
     
  10. David Head

    David Head Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 1999
    Messages:
    302
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Matthew,

    The only time I hear the clicks is before the movie starts (usually when the receiver changes from DPLII during the menus to DD or DTS for the movie). I don't have Rambo III to check the problem you decribed. I have NEVR heard a dropout during a movie and I've probably played close to 200 DVDs on the 696 so far. I also don't have any problems with bass for music because I prefer 2-channel music for my redbook CDs. I don't have a DVD Audio or SACD player yet. Maybe you had a defective unit?

    Lewis,

    Are you saying that the 696 would still have been included on the list even if David Ranada thought it didn't deserve it? Do you think that each of the nominations were not up for debate among the other reviewers? I find that hard to believe. I'm not debating David's measurements either. I just don't think the "poor numbers" that are always brought up translate into real world issues for the people that would be in the market for this receiver.

    Robert,

    Bingo! The person that owns high-end speakers isn't going to be interested in a $600-$800 receiver to drive them. I have PSB Image speakers, which aren't high-end but are very nice IMO. These are fairly efficient speakers (90db-92db) that sound wonderful on the 696. I can achieve reference levels with plenty of headroom to spare.

    David
     
  11. Paul_Psutka

    Paul_Psutka Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2001
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Re: manufacturer's published output specifications.
    When they say 100 watts x 6, for example... they don't always mean all 6 channels driven simultaneously. They often mean each channel driven individually one at a time. So the specs are met in this sense.
    In order to have the all-channels driven simultaneously output close to the single channel or 2 channel stereo output, it's usually necessary to buy a separate multi-channel power amp. As many of us know, receiver amps just can't compete with most dedicated power amps.
    Of course, some receivers are better than others, as indicated by the S&V lab test results.
    I've even read reviews of the flagship Onkyo 989 where the 4 ohm output and all channel driven power was criticized. (and no, this wasn't in S&V mag! it was at Secret's of Home Theater and High Fidelity - www.hometheaterhifi.com)
     
  12. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    3,181
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Perhaps I am missing the point here (Or maybe everyone else

    is?)

    They are talking about 4 ohm loads on a receiver meant to

    run at 8 ohm loads. Just because Onkyo releases specifications

    for 4 ohm and even 2 ohm loads this does not mean the receiver

    was ever meant to drive a speaker constant at those levels.

    Sure you may have minute dips to lower ohm loads when playing

    demanding music with certain speakers but this is not a full

    time ohm load.

    I think if they want to test 2 or 4 ohm loads maybe they

    should stick to reviewing higher end seperates stereo or

    monoblock amps that are actualy meant to drive such a low

    impedance speaker.

    It's quite alright to show us what the receiver is capeable

    of at those ohm loads but it's hardly data that you can use

    to make a decision one way or the other. Compare apples to

    apples with 8 ohm loads on all the similarly priced receivers

    and I think that we will see Onkyo does rate thier power out

    put slightly better than most (not all).

    IMHO..
     
  13. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 1999
    Messages:
    3,134
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  14. David Head

    David Head Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 1999
    Messages:
    302
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Matthew,

    That's strange. The only time mine clicks is when changing from DPLII to DD or DTS. I don't hear any clicks during a movie. That would have annoyed me too!

    Lewis,

    I figured that David participated in the review since he did the measurements. I would have thought he would have said something if he felt that it wasn't a good receiver. You may be right though. I'll have to send S&V an email and ask them to clarify.

    David
     
  15. Michael_T

    Michael_T Second Unit

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2001
    Messages:
    460
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  16. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 1999
    Messages:
    3,134
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    David,

    Oops!

    Looks like Michael is right DK did the measurments as well,so I guess you don't have to send the a letter,since it was his decesion all along.

    I guess I'm so used to that DR or TN makes the measurments,that I didn't care to check,who did it this time.

    Sorry for the confusion!:b
     
  17. David Head

    David Head Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 1999
    Messages:
    302
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    No problem Lewis. [​IMG] I have the article and didn't bother to look it up either. :b At least Michael is on the ball...
     
  18. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2001
    Messages:
    1,843
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Matthew,

    Because I haven't heard of that particular problem mentioned before or experienced it myself, I agree to the possibility that your unit might have been defective. What is upsetting to me is the cavalier attitude company reps seem to sometimes take when dealing with customers. Kind of like banging your head against a brick wall. Recently, when I couldn't connect with Earthlink, I telephoned the company's service department and was told by the tech that my drivers had become corrupted and there was no way to restore them. He told me I would have to buy a new operating system to get Earthlink to work again. I asked if this was a certainty with no options, to which he replied affirmatively. A half hour later after playing around with the drivers, I got it to work again. I don't know if this was similar to your experience, but I had the impression that I was talking to someone who couldn't care less if the problem was resolved or not.
     
  19. Paul_Psutka

    Paul_Psutka Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2001
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Lewis, David, Michael...

    David Ranada also tested the Onkyo 696 receiver on the bench. I called S&V shortly after that review came out and was able to speak with David Ranada. I guess Daniel's # isn't listed because he's a contributing writer to S&V. Anyway, David said that because Daniel was concerned about the test results (i.e. poor 4 ohm stereo, and all channel 8 ohm output) that he (David) retested and came up with the same results.

    It's also worth noting that though the Yamaha's 6 channel output was only 47 watts in this month's issue (with all channels driven simultaneously at 8 ohms, 1kHz). It had a healthy 4 ohm output in stereo mode. Healthy in the sense that it's 4 ohm output was greater than the 8 ohm output. Ideally, the 4 ohm output would be double the 8 ohm output.

    Paul
     
  20. Kyle_Y

    Kyle_Y Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2001
    Messages:
    238
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Okay, how loud are these clicking sounds? Is it a sound that increases as the volume increases, or is it a sound that is the same volume all the time, how irritating is it, and can I live with it?
     

Share This Page