Why does my new Receiver sound wimpy?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jay Morrissette, Jun 5, 2002.

  1. Jay Morrissette

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    I just bought an Onkyo 898 to replace my Newcastle 945. I needed more digital inputs and a receiver that was more wife friendly. The Onkyo excels in those. But the sound is kind of weak when compared to my Newcastle.
    Is the problem in the amp or processor?
    Should I add a 3 channel amp for the front? Or should I sell my car and buy a Lexicon MC-12 and some killer amps.
    What I really want are 3 NHT-Pro A-20 monitors up front. They are 250 watts per channel and sound incredible! I use them at work. They are about $1500 per pair http://www.nhtpro.com/pro_productInfo.asp?ProductID=3
    Plus the center would be about $850. Maybe I can consider that for next years budget.
    But for now would a decent used 3 channel amp solve my problem, or is the processor section the problem?
    Thanks,
    ~Jay
     
  2. RichardMA

    RichardMA Second Unit

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    The power amp is unlikely to change the situation much.
    The processing section is different, either the digital
    or the analog area. I'd make sure there isn't some
    kind of "midnight mode" actuated and it's depressing the
    dynamic range.
     
  3. Kevin Alexander

    Kevin Alexander Screenwriter

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    Check your setup. Receivers aren't "plug & play" out of the box. Did you set your parameters? Also, receivers have different sound characteritics - they have different sounds from model to model. Maybe you need to get accustomed to the Onkyo sound. Also try playing familiar software. What are you noticing a lack of w/ the Onkyo compared to the Newcastle?
     
  4. John A. Casler

    John A. Casler Second Unit

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    I hate when that happens! [​IMG]
    John Casler
     
  5. Gerard Martin

    Gerard Martin Second Unit

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    Jay
    Your not alone compared to my Yamaha
    RX-V2095 and Sony DA5ES my Onkyo 898
    sounds limp, lame, weak and wimpy and
    this coupled to Klipsch 98db sensitivity
    speakers. The 898 is a great receiver
    however anyone looking for more movie
    punch should I believe look elsewhere.
     
  6. Jay Morrissette

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    I compared the bass management to the Newcastle. For movies they are both the same- everything below 80hz goes to the sub.
    But for music the newcastle ran the speakers and sub at full range. (apparently Newcastle has always had bass management oddities[​IMG] )
    That would explain why music sounds so different.
    I think the Onkyo just has a lame amp. I'll try it in there "Pure Audio" mode- If that makes a noticable difference, then there may be a design flaw.
    In one review I read on the Onkyo 898 the reviewer noted an overly bright sound. It sounds like some mid bass is missing. Maybe the crossover is bad- I'll try setting the front 3 speakers to large. They should be good for 50hz or so. anything lower than that should be in the lfe channel.
    ~Jay
     
  7. Mike Veroukis

    Mike Veroukis Second Unit

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    Jay,

    Does it run the sub when playing two channel music? I've heard of some receivers which will not send a signal to the sub when playing two channel PCM. Therefore, if that's the case, and your speakers are set to small, it might sound like something is missing.

    What happens when you crank the bass?

    - Mike
     
  8. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    Jay,

    I have the 945MKII which I bought after owning a Denon 3300 for a week. The Denon just sounded flat and cold for 2 channel audio. Didn't even compete with my old Newcastle R-500 DPL receiver. So I took the Denon back and bought the 945.

    While the Newcastle receivers do have their bass management issues, for 2 channel audio I can't think of another receiver out there in their respective price ranges that I'd buy over them.

    Brian
     
  9. Phil Mays

    Phil Mays Second Unit

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    Jay,
    I have the 797. First let me say I AM NOT A PRO[​IMG] .
    When I unpacked my Onkyo I set it up and was slightly dissapionted. I then went to the "distractions" or instructions as my wife calls them. After about 2 nights of "fiddling" the sound improved greatly and one that I am very pleased with. You may be set up correctly, but if not it may be throughing your system way off.
    I will also say that I have a Denon 5800 on lay-a-way.[​IMG]
    Phil.
     
  10. Mike Bledsoe

    Mike Bledsoe Stunt Coordinator

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    Jay
    I don't know what kind of music you are listening to but I have a Denon 3300 reciever and I would say it has a neutral sound a little toward the sweet if you would. No it does not have a mushy wusshy tube sound but except for shear power It does not sound much different than a Krell KAV 250 and I heard them in the same room. Maybe you don't like Krell either.

    Mike
     
  11. JerryW

    JerryW Supporting Actor

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    Maybe he wouldn't like the Krell. I wasn't particularly impressed with the KAV-250 (it was a possible local trade and I was trying it out on my system), I thought it sounded kind of flat and lifeless. Add that in with their overly inflated prices and there's really no way I could recommend them to most people. I'm much happier with my Aragon 4004 MKII, it sounds crisper and more natural to me... plus it was much cheaper (only $700 used compared to $1700 for the used KAV-250).

    Jay, keep working with the settings, something is probably not right. I used a 797 for a while as a pre/pro and it did a pretty nice job.
     
  12. Stephen Houdek

    Stephen Houdek Second Unit

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    Yeah, I'd have to agree with the others that you must have something setup wrong........My 797 really blows people away, ESPECIALLY for HT sound......Gotta beleive the 898 would only be better with more wattage.
     
  13. Laurence_C

    Laurence_C Stunt Coordinator

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    Jay, Do you have the separate channel level settings turned up, they have a default setting of 0 decibels. Turn them up, this will do wonders for the volume.
     
  14. Jay Morrissette

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    First of all I may need to revise that "wimpy" statement.

    I'm not sure, but I suspect that after running the test tones, and then running the pod race scene from episode 1, My shower door upstairs shattered!!

    I can't say for sure that it was the HT system that did it, because I don't know exactly when it happened, but there haven't been any earth quakes or space shuttle landings (sonic booms) lately.

    Last night I changed the front speakers from small to large to see if that would help. It did sound better, but the little 6.5" woofers just weren't enough to fill the room. I think if I could set the crossover to 50 or 60 hz that it would sound much better. Or I could buy larger speakers for the front.

    I can't even fairly compare music between the Newcastle and the onkyo because the Newcastle had improper bass management. So there was more bass than there should have been. When the Newcastle 945 was in stereo mode the LR front speaker and sub were run at full range. The Onkyo uses the crossover at 80 hz.

    I think by "wimpy" I really mean that the sound is very 2 dimensional, whereas the Newcastle was more 3 dimensional. I think that is a symptom of a low quality amp.

    I have a Hafler amp at work, maybe I can sneak it home overnight to see if that helps.

    Thanks,
    ~Jay
     

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