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What do you think of Onkyo receivers?

 

edster922
Unregistered guest
I'm trying to decide between the TX-SR502 and the TX-SR601/602. My impression is that for under $500, nobody else comes close to Onkyo...agree or disagree?

I have front speakers (Yamaha 3-ways), center speaker (Wharfedale), and a subwoofer (JBL), wired to a VCR, DVD, and TV.

Looking for decent, but not audiophile-quality, sound for music and somewhat less for movies. I mostly watch dramas, so no wall-shaking sound effects like you get with the action flicks. My musical tastes run between classical, jazz, and alternative rock---no rap or techno.
 

Silver Member
Username: Elitefan1

Post Number: 838
Registered: Dec-03
See hifi.com for the Marantz 5400 at $449. Much better than the Onkyo's in sound quality and way more multichannel power. In fact this entry level Marantz has more 5 channel power than Onkyo's $1500 901 receiver. At this price it cannot be beat.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Sinkdrain

Post Number: 36
Registered: Aug-04
I would add Harman Kardon to that list. A new H/K AVR 330 can be had for $400-$500 on the internet. I bought mine for $350 refurbisheed from Harman Kardon direct.
 

anon12
Unregistered guest
i tend to stay away from H/K's. the sound is good but noway better than Marantz's sq.
 

edster922
Unregistered guest
therealelitefan,

thanks for the rec, I hadn't considered Marantz---the 5400 is a bit over my price range, I was looking at a refurb TX-502 for $160 and a refurb TX-601 for $240 at eCost. The 4400 is closer to my price range at $300, though.

How would you describe the difference in sound quality between the Onkyo and Marantz receivers? Warmer? Clearer?

I'm curious, where are the Marantz receivers made?

> In fact this entry level Marantz has more 5 channel power than Onkyo's $1500 901 receiver.

I'm confused; the same site lists the 901 at 110 watts RMS and the 5400 at 90 watts RMS. And unlike Sony, I've always heard that Onkyo like Marantz rates their receivers' RMS conservatively. Not that I'd ever fork out $1500 for a receiver any time soon, unfortunately. : )

 

Silver Member
Username: Elitefan1

Post Number: 845
Registered: Dec-03
For the money you have to spend the Onkyo's will be fine. I'd go for the 601. As to the multichannel power what Onkyo does is imploy a protection circuit that kicks in after a few seconds and cuts power output to around 50 per channel in order to avoid overheating and other problems. Yamaha also does this while Marantz, Elite, NAD, Rotel and others do not because they have better power supplies and heat sinks etc.
I have had two Onkyo's in the past and liked both so I have no problem with those you spoke of at the low prices you mentioned. Sonically I have always found Onkyo to be warmer than neutral which I like. Hope this helps, got to go as they actually expect me to get some work done around here.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Sinkdrain

Post Number: 39
Registered: Aug-04
therealelitefan- Does Harman Kardon use a "protection circuit?"
 

Silver Member
Username: Elitefan1

Post Number: 847
Registered: Dec-03
Not as far as I know and that's probably the reason their multichannel ratings are so good.
 

Silver Member
Username: Rh1

Post Number: 410
Registered: Jun-04
Also consider Kenwood Sovereign, you can pick up a VR5700 at ecost for $480, it's a great receiver at this price
 

Chris F
Unregistered guest
Vols,

I don't think that ecost will be getting anymore of the Sovereign line of receivers. I wanted to get the 5900 but was too slow to jump the gun and lost out on it. They are no longer listed on their site and when I called and ask they said if the part # no longer exists then thats the end of them...

Im going with a refurb Marantz 7400 for $600 instead.
 

edster922
Unregistered guest
therealelitefan,

> As to the multichannel power what Onkyo does is imploy a protection circuit that kicks in after a few seconds and cuts power output to around 50 per channel in order to avoid overheating and other problems.

I'd imagine that this protection circuit probably kicks in only if you're cranking the receiver at close to maximum volumes, doesn't it?

If so, I doubt it'll be much of an issue with me: I currently have a cheap 50w (allegedly) RMS Sony compact system that I run my TV through, and my wife squawks if I go over about 70% of its volume. So as long as she's around, I'm sure I wouldn't be allowed to come anywhere close to the limits of a 85w RMS receiver like the 601. : )
 

Bronze Member
Username: Riches1

Atlanta, GA US

Post Number: 16
Registered: Apr-04
Edster- Check out audioholics.com and go to the "recommended systems" section. They list the Onkyo 502 as their pick for receivers under $500. Also, check out Cheaphometheater.com. They like budget Onkyo's (and Denon) in your price range.
 

edster922
Unregistered guest
Thanks, I'm familiar with audioholics but didn't see that section before...nice vote of confidence there. Cheaphometheater.com seems to have gone out of business though, I got a dead link.
 

Silver Member
Username: Elitefan1

Post Number: 855
Registered: Dec-03
Edster,
The protection circuit kicks works in multichannel mode and kicks in during times when peak power is needed during certain scenes in movies that require lots of power output. It is debateable whether this is a real performance issue or is even noticable so as I said at your budget don't worry about it. The troubling thing for me is that even in the $1500 901 Onkyo feels the need to do this and that would bother me if I was spending that much money. If you have a really good power supply and good heat sinks a protection circuit should not be neccesssary.
 

edster922
Unregistered guest
> The troubling thing for me is that even in the $1500 901 Onkyo feels the need to do this and that would bother me if I was spending that much money. If you have a really good power supply and good heat sinks a protection circuit should not be neccesssary.

I'd agree with you there. Damn, if only I had $1500 to blow on a receiver, LOL!
 

edster922
Unregistered guest
therealelitefan,

BTW, what do you think of the Pioneer VSX-D814 in comparison to the Onkyo 502 and Onkyo 601?
 

edster922
Unregistered guest
bump
 

Bronze Member
Username: Shantao

Post Number: 55
Registered: Apr-04
edster;

Check out the staff review of the Onkyo 601 at www.audioholics.com

It is quite comprehensive and rates it highly.

From my own experience, I love my 601 which I have had since around last March or so.

It is in a downstairs family room (in a bi-level home) that is about 16 x 25. It is hooked to 4 Polk Monitor50 towers and a polk center and has no problem easily filling the room for movies or music. The 601 is rated at 85 watts per channel, and you will get that in 2 channel stereo. I would guesstimate it closer to 70ish with all channels driven, but that is more than adequate for what I am needing.

The 601 receiver is certainly warm sounding, but I tend to like that so for me it was a plus. It was a quantum leap improvement over the sony DE895 it replaced which sounded tinny, thin and was seriously underpowered. That sony distorted when all channels were driven playing movies at a reasonable sound level with my setup and room size.


Hope that helps.

 

edster922
Unregistered guest
Shantao,

thanks, I have read that audioholics.com review before, and I'm glad to hear about your personal experience with the 601...especially glad to hear that you do find it "warm sounding" because my el cheapo Yamaha NS-3390 speakers are far from "warm."

I did recently start looking at the Harman Kardon AVR-330 which goes for $420 refurb at the HK website direct, so now I'm debating what that extra $120 really buys me---I have a pretty discriminating ear for music but I'm sure not anywhere as sensitive as the ears of a TRUE hardcore audiophile.
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