Where's the bass? Not in Onkyo!


Silver Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 404
Registered: Oct-04
After months of wrangling and frustration, I finally sold my Onkyo 701. Why? Because it had very weak bass response. Everything I tried failed, except boosting the bass by at least 8 db. All those "in the know" said that was not good, that I should set the controls to "flat." Nope.
I read the manual over and over, and set the speakers up every way I could. Low-to-mid-range bass was just plain Weak! Cellos disappeared, the bass in jazz groups disappeared. What was wrong?
well, I happended by accident to find an old eCoustics forum that answered my questions. You can read it in Home Audio>REceivers>Archive thru January 16> "Onkyo 701-Bass below 250 Hz."
Here's part of what the chap found in his testing.
- - - -
The manual also states on page 78 that tone control is at 50 Hz adjustable by +/- 10 dB. I plotted the difference between the Onkyo and the JVC in Figure 3 (http://home.houston.rr.com/dillweb/onkyo/figure3.gif ). I noticed on the plot that at 50 Hz the difference was about 10 dB. I adjusted the bass setting on the Onkyo receiver to +10 dB. This audio adjustment is available in the "Stereo" mode, but it is not available in the "Direct" or "Pure Audio" modes. The result is also shown on Figure 3. Increasing the bass setting to +10dB gave me a flat response! This means that the amplifier is perfectly capable of driving my large speakers. This is the way the receiver should perform. There is no reason why I should have to adjust the bass setting because the signal coming out of the amplifier is wrong. This also means that the "Direct" and "Pure Audio" modes will not have the correct amount of bass, as they do not allow audio adjustments.
- - - -
So - buyers of Onkyos beware! If it's accurate bass you want - better test your Onkyo with meters, or forget about it and buy a NAD, or a Harmon-Karden, or Pioneer.
I bought a NAD 763 - and LOVE IT!!!

Unregistered guest
Interesting. Were you using a subwoofer?

I briefly had a 601, never noticed any problem with insufficient bass and that was with my pretty mediocre JBL sub. Of course, I never tried to use the Direct mode because my mains are small bookshelves.

What you're saying is disturbing, but I wonder how applicable it really is to people who have a sub and don't use the "Direct" mode.

Silver Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 408
Registered: Oct-04
I'd have to say that, for people who use a sub and have the crossover set at, say, 110 Hz, they might not be bothered with bass loss. But there is still an octave of sound in there that is a bit on the thin side!
For those of us who use the Onkyo as a music amp with only bookshelf-type speakers, then the lack of bass really shows up!
I don't have a sub - and with the Polk RTi6 speakers, I had a heck of a time trying to compensate for the low bass problem.
Everybody kept telling me that I should set the tone controls at "0" - or use Direct mode. But with that, everything sounded thin and unnatural.
With the new NAD - all is well!

Bronze Member
Username: Buckcrazy

Post Number: 81
Registered: Nov-04
glad that you like nad

Silver Member
Username: Monkey_man_jack

Post Number: 172
Registered: Dec-04
My Onkyo puts oput alot of bass to my speakers. Too much at times and that is wit hor without the subwoofer.
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