New thread for Onkyo HTS-650 LFE problem


Please reply after reading:

I have had no problem with LFE on Mode three, however I use the coax input, my son-in-law had coax but then used optical and had lfe problems.

I then tried optical with had similar problems with my unit. I read a reply on the BBS last nite about trying the multi-channel mode (I have Toshiba SD-4700 DVD) of all three modes this sounds best, in fact the HTR500 really got warm (not a problem, most receivers do) during AOTC, even the THX optimizer worked fine.

Let us know which input your using and if problem with LFE. Both of our receivers had problems with optical input.

Are you saying that you have the problem using optical and NOT when connected with a digital coax audio cable? I shared your idea on another board and asked folks there to address it as well. Call me an optimist, but that would be a nice quick fix!! Thanks!!

If you have the problem with only optical input but not coax then you have a different problem. The LFE issue is independent of the input. It is a problem with the DD 5.1 decoder in the receiver. If you have the LFE issue you will have it with either input. Again, double check the sound. Read the last couple of posts on the other thread about this. There are some good ways of determining if you have the problem.
BTW, I have tried both inputs in case you were wondering. I started with the coax...

mdg, sorry but there is no quick fix known at the moment. Some units are affected, some are not. It seems to be a hardware problem, not a configuration issue.

Yes, our two HTR500 receivers did not do well on optical, good on coax audio and mine did excellent on Multi. (although not really mode 3 is it)

650 OWNERS PLEASE POST WHICH INPUT YOU USE AND HOW MODE 3 (LFE) SOUNDS (even if you dont have a problem post and let us know which input you use.)

I'm using optical and have used sub mode 1 and 3 and all sounds fine.


I use digital coax. In the AOTC first scene, the ship sounds very abrupt and choppy in mode three. Similar but louder in mode one (due to the bass from theother channels being directed to the sub.)


"Yes, our two HTR500 receivers did not do well on optical, good on coax audio and mine did excellent on Multi. (although not really mode 3 is it)"

It sounds like you may have a different issue. Maybe the optical cable you are using or something else. IF you use coax, run the THX test and get a smooth low tone in ANY MODE you likely do not have the LFE problem.

Mode 3 simply passes ONLY the LFE channel to the sub. Nothing else. This is what the THX test sends. If you don't get smooth low white noise in mode 3 with THX test you likely have the problem.

MODE 3 by itself watching a movie will most likely sound pretty bad. This is because all you are hearing from the sub is the LFE channel. Modes 1 and 2 pass the bass from the regular channels and thus you get the combined low end from all channels INCLUDING LFE.

If you have the LFE problem, it may be difficult to discern watching a movie in mode 1 because you are also getting the bass from the other channels. This means no matter what you will hear bass. However, the DISCRETE LFE track is not being passed through. Think of the LFE track as an extended bass channel. Once you actually hear a movie with the LFE track as intended, you will then notice a huge difference listening to it in mode 1 with no LFE.

When you use the multich inputs and have your dvd players analog outs set to multi, you will hear the LFE channel. The DVD player is already sending the discrete LFE signal to the receiver so there is nothing for the receiver to decode.

I think the best way so far to listen for the problem is to run the "test" from the receivers remote and listen to the white noise the sub puts out. Then run the THX test with the receiver's inputs configured properly and the sub set to mode 3. If you notice the same white noise when it hits the sub (at a lower frequency with the THX test but still should be smooth and clear) then you are ok. If it sounds substantially different, like thumps or clicks ur slow pulsing, then something is wron.

That said, if you do this and don't have the problem with coax but do have it with optical, I'd think you either have something configured wrong or the quality of your optical cable is suspect or maybe a different issue altogether.

Sorry folks for the long-winded post but I see a lot of confusion about this problem and am doing my best to help clarify it. BTW, if anything I've said either doesn't make sense or is just flat out wrong, please let me know. I'm learning as I go along also and just trying to pass along some of it.

Hi All-
I am using a coaxial digital cable from my Sony NS 300 DVD player to the Onkyo HTR 500.
Note: this dvd player does note have a decoder. I DO have the LFE problem. Using the THX optimizer, setting sub mode at 1,2 or 3 I only hear a faint heartbeat-like sound coming from the sub.
Sub sounds fine using the regular audio test from the Onkyo remote

Get a Kenwood or a Sony. They are problem free. May I suggest the Kenwood HTB-505 or the Sony DDW840. They are both right up there with the Onkyo and I repeat they are problem free.

get out
man .. this is an Onkyo troubleshooting thread, not a "buy a Kenwood/Sony thread".

btw, the Kenwood has it's own issues as well as the Sony .. they sound like shiznat

John Raymond
Fortunately I have a 6 Channel multi output DVD player so I can overcome the problem. I didn't think I had it because I had sub output set to +10 in coax mode 3. After listening to the multi versus the coax input again there is no question that something is wrong. (Especially performing the THX optimization)

My TXS-R800 sounds nearly the same performing the THX optimization using multi, optical or coax

I agree there is a problem with HTR500 and Onkyo needs to correct it.

For the previous post concerning Kenwood and Sony(posted by the only "anonymous" thus far in this thread) go ahead and spend your money on those products and later you'll appreciate what you get for under 500.00 with the Onkyo system. Sony owners have a forum of their own trying to solve problems with their receivers IE: noise and I have owned the Kenwood VR 6070 and returned it because it would overheat and shut off and bought the TXS-R800 to replace it.

Mits VS60111
Samsung SIR-T151
Onkyo TXS-R800
HTD Level Three Speakers
Sony SAWM40 Subs (2)
Toshiba SD 4800
Onkyo DXC380
Sony SLNV71
RCA VR 650
RS 15-2116 (JP1)
and HTS-650 upstairs with SD4700 DVD

To anonymous suggesting Onkyo owners buy a Kenwood or Sony---
Go buy stock in those companies & peddle the systems elsewhere.

Even with this LFE problem the Onkyo sounds better than either of those systems. I know because I listened and seriously considered both of them before deciding to go with the Onkyo.

In NO way are the sony's and kenwoods up there with the Onkyo!!! NO WAY!!! Maybe listening with earmuffs on................

To John Raymond-would you please explain to me what this "multi-channel" mode is?
Is it something you set on your DVD player or is it on the Onkyo? If on the Onkyo, how do I get to it.

John Raymond
Multi or Multi-Channel is a term for the 6 channel input of a receiver and output of a DVD player if they are equipped. The HTR-500 Onkyo receiver has the 6 channel input and my Toshiba SD4700 DVD player has the output (most DVD players that have the 6 channel out will also play DVD-audio). 6 channel requires 6 audio interconnects one each front speaker, surround, center, and subwoofer = 6

Each channel for a speaker are sent direct via the amp to the speakers and LFE to sub

If you KNOW you have the LFE problem and you want to help the cause

Please send the following info to PaulCarleton@HomeTheaterSPot.Com

Your Full Name:
Serial Number:
Place Purchased:
Your Contact Info:
Do you have the Problem? : Yes/No

This guy is in contact with Onkyo and trying to get a resolution. Even if you don't have the issue but want to send him GOOD serial numbers it'll help narrow down the serial span of the infected units if it was a bad production run.


LFE bugger
John Raymond - I followed your link over from the hometheaterspot board. Just so everyone on here knows... This should not be a problem with your inputs on the Onkyo. The problem that Onkyo has addressed is a problem with the Dolby Digital decoder in the receiver and it will affect all 3 of the digital inputs.

When you use your 6-channel outs from your Tosh SD4700, you are utilizing the DD decoder in the DVD and that's why you hear the LFE output properly. Your DVD player has a properly functioning Dolby Digital decoder.

This is not to say you are not experiencing something different with the different digital inputs (I'm not trying to downplay your comments), but that *should* not be related to the LFE issue. I say *should* because I've learned not to say anything definitive on these issues until we get a final response from Onkyo.

If you are finding that coax sounds significantly better than the optical inputs, you might want to check your cables. Are they both decent quality? And secondly, if you have left the optical inputs uncapped on the back of the Onkyo (or your DVD player for that matter) they may have accumulated dust inside. Those little black caps are supposed to stay over the input any time it is not in use.

John Raymond
"LFE" your right and I have admitted there is a problem. Both receivers are a month old, bought new, not refurb from the same dealer, and within a few numbers being identical SNs. All optical ports were capped and new AR toslink cables used. Stinger blue coax cable used.

LFE, my STB 5.1 is decoded perfectly using video 1 input and optical, go figure.

Thursday, I sent Onkyo an E-mail explaining the problem, then sent Paul Carleton an Email in the form letter he wanted and then on Friday called the dealer I purchased the units from, He doesnt stock the 500 but will replace with 600 for $$? said he thought 50-75 difference each or if I waited would replace with the TSX-R500, not a bad deal, but right now we are both happy with our receivers, albeit we have circumvented a problem that is still there, and will probably upgrade.

Well I'm off to my weekend "project" of realigning my DT antenna to the Fox transmitter so I can pick up the Daytona 500 in widescreen

LFE bugger
John - I wish I had a dealer like you!! Definitely go for the upgrade to the 600!! I've heard the component video switching on that receiver is really good (rated at 50Mhz - which should be plenty for HDTV signals). I would just love to be able to switch my Xbox and progressive scan DVD player in a receiver and leave my HD STB running directly to my Tosh 56H80.

You are a lucky man!!

Circuit City would not guarantee that the HT-S650 would work 100% so I left the store and purchased the Kenwood HTB-505 which is a great system for half the price of the Onkyo.

John Raymond
Anonymous is right, the Kenwood HTB-505 is a great starter system and you can buy them for under 300.00 after rebates etc and I'm sure they even come with decent cables.

Is there anyone in this thread that didn't start with an Pioneer, Sony, Kenwood, KLH, Samsung etc. Heck my first "surround sound" system was an Aiwa that I bought 10 years ago and it was great.

I'm sure you got the 100% guarantee.....

the infected one
pardon my n00biness .. but

I'm wondering if the people experiencing the LFE issue originally hooked up their units with the provided cheap factory wiring. The gauge seemed to be causing excessive heat unless you upgraded.
For the people that had the heat issue, do you have the LFE problem?
Is it possibe that something fried on the board, maybe the LFE channel?

I give the admin permission to delete this post if it is that ridiculous .. hehe

Infected one, this is not the problem. I am using 16 gauge wire. I never used the wire that came with the system.

I have the LFE problem..grrrrrr. I loved the HTS650 until i read about this problem. Has Onkyo acknowledged a problem yet? I bought mine at CC on 11/22/02. Sub pulses in all 3 modes when running the THX test :(
What is my best course of action for those of you who are ahead of the game. Thanks in advance for any help you can give me...btw I sent an email to the link that was posted in this thread earlier if that helps any.


Call Onkyo ASAP!!! They have at least recognized that the problem exists on some receivers. I still don't think they've realized how widespread the problem seems to be though. Some info on other sites points to the problem being limited to a certain production run. I don't buy it until I see the final results. It seems to widespread. I suppose it could have been a huge production run though. Anyways, the more people run the test, the more come forth with the problem. You have to wonder what's going on. Your best bet for now is to call them, email them, give them the serial # of your unit and any info that might help them figure this thing out. Eventually they will and all will be resolved.

I just recently found out about the problems that the onkyo tx-sr500 is having after the 5 months of owning it. I guess that all the bass in mode 1 (bass from all channels) was good enough and never thought about listening to it in mode 3 (plays just the LFE track, the ".1"). I use a monster optical cable hooked up to a panasonic rv-32k dvd player. I've run all the tests (THX optimizer, & ran a few movies: ATOC & LOTR) and still get next to no bass in mode 3. It is a good thing that I purchased an extended warranty from Circuit City. I'm going to see what they can do about my situation. But first i'm going to call Onkyo and let them know that I too am affected by this problem.

Hi,I purchased my HTS-650 about 4 months ago. I too was in love with my Onkyo HT-R500 until I started reading these posts and I think I have LFE problem. I have a JVC progressive scanner DVD player and hooked it up with a monster Optical wire. So when I run the test channel mode on my Onkyo System, I hear the sub and all speakers sounds okay but when I test it with a dvd that has the THX tester the sub sounds real low that I actually have to put my ear next to the sub speaker to hear it. Does anyone think that this is a problem? If so let me hear about it. Thanks

I have a Onkyo Surround sound system that worked perfectly when it was plugged into the CD player and then later into a JVC receiver. I moved and when I went to get the subwoofer out of the boc the volume button as slightly pushed into the case and wouldnt work. When i plugged it up to the receiver with an optical it wouldnt receive a signal. I then tried to plug it into the cd (where it worked previously) and it still doesnt receive the signal. Does anyone know of anthing else that i can do to troubleshoot and if not, can anyone tell me how much it will cost to have a subwoofer looked at?

New member
Username: Jag4228499

Post Number: 1
Registered: 01-2004
We have a couple of Onkyo receivers and the older one an TX1500 has a loud hum coming out of the left speaker. It is not the speaker (switched lines, tried it on the other Onkyo receiver and both speakers are fine.
The TX 1500 has an incredible sound some much better than any of the new stuff out there so I really want to fix this one and not by anymore.

Unregistered guest
i have onkyo HT-R500
everytime i tryed to turn it on power goes off right away.
i read the book its said it is overprotection.
what do i need to do to fix this problem?

Unregistered guest
Not sure if I have a different problem. My issue is I can't get the subwoofer to turn on at all. It is always on standby (orange light), even when I run the test. Any clues as to what it can be? I tried changing the speaker cable (had a monster subwoofer cable, swapped it with the original, still no good), so i don't think that's the issue.

Unregistered guest
I just recieved a an onkyo ht-r500 reciever, and there is NO sound coming out of it, i tried pressing every button, the only thing that works is the phones out section and the subwoofer (because its powered) can any one tell me whats wrong with it?

Unregistered guest
i just had problem on my onkyo HT-R500. Every time I tryed to trun on the system it goes off by it self in 1 second. Is anybody know how to fix this problem?
plz tell me anyone.

New member
Username: Sleepingbag

Clarks Summit, Pa

Post Number: 10
Registered: Jul-04
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