Onkyo TX-NR900 vs. Yamaha RX-V2300 Receivers Review


Brian Mitchell
This review has moved to the link below:


Please clarify why the Onkyo TX-SR800 was not selected as a comparison to the Yamaha. The TX-SR800 has the same MSRP as the Yamaha, but is still THX Select certified, has 7.1, has no Net-Tune, and is rated at 100 watts per channel. That would have been a far better comparison for a customer that's only willing to spend $1000.

Brian Mitchell
You make a good point. Although much of the review might have read the same way minus the Net-Tune and price difference, since the TX-SR800 appears to share the same remote, menu interface, and a very similar front panel as the TX-NR900.

On the other hand, I could have compared the Onkyo TX-NR900 to the higher-powered Yamaha RX-V3300 which have the same $1500 MSRP.

Ultimately, I decided the watt for watt comparison was fair.

Yamaha sound over Onkyo? You must have been listening underwater ...
"THX has nothing to do with/even multi-channel music" - really? I'm sure that the THX Ultra2 spec would have something against this ... you obviously aren't up to date ...

My opinion is that your review isn't worth the character space ...

Sounds like Anonymous is taking this a little too personally. Having worked both Circuit City and The Good Guys, I've worked with both products. I agree with the assessment about Onkyo being simpler and easier to use. I always felt Yamaha's are overkill on the glut of extra modes, etc. But, when push came to shove, Yamaha builds a much better amp. The Yamaha will definitely bring out the better sound. The better your speakers, the easier to tell. That's an important thing people (perhaps Anonymous)seem to forget is that low quality speakers can prevent you from hearing the best things a good amp can do in reproducing music. Perhaps that's also why I really enjoyed the equipment and music better when I made the jump from CC. Regardless, I'm not in the same industry currently, but Maybe Anonymous needs a better set of speakers to hear the difference, or stop being brainwashed by the miracle of specifications and terminology and really listen to the music. Also, if the comparably priced Onkyo had less juice in the amp, this review may be even more lopsided.
Sorry Anon, nothing personal, just an observation based on experience.

THX Certification isn't all it's cracked up to be and there is a reason that yamaha never-EVER bothers to certify, they feel that their own standards and processing capabilities are superior and their pint is hard to argue. THX is like having your eggs stamped grade AA. THX Ultra2 does have the post processing for decoralating the rears but that had more effect when Dolby Pro-logic was the norm and you had mono rears. THX-select doesn't have this. sorry Anon but HTMatt and Brian are right.

Michael Fitzpatrick
'Anonymous' - grow up buddy. There is no need to throw a tantrum when someone has a different opinion to yours and you will find people take you a little more seriously if you don't too! What the reviewer wrote was obviously much more clearly thought out and researched than your umm... reply. I found it interesting and informative. I currently have a Denon 3802 and love it but thanks to Brian for taking the time to pen his thoughts.

Whatver ... once you guys "grow up" out of mid fi ... maybe you'll understand "exactly" what I'm talking about.

Yamaha isn't crap, but it can't hold a candle to Denon, Onkyo, or Marantz ... it's more suited to compete against the lower to mid end Pioneer's and Kenwoods'.

Miguel .. go back to school and do some research on what exactly THX "certification" means ... just cause you can't afford it doesn't mean you know jack about it ...

Michael .. "grow-up?" ... I just said I think the review is total crap ... I don't take you seriously either ...

Wow .. HT Matt ... I didn't realize Circuit City gave courses on THX and choosing good speakers to it's salespeople.

Do they sell B&W there? .. didn't think so. So you had better watch out when you put "Good speakers" and "Circuit City" together ... one can imagine that you tested these systems out on Bose speakers ...

This is how the board works. Someone posts a question or an opinion and others get to respond with either helpful hint, suggestions or other points and sometimes add their own questions into the mill. It is a great system because everyone gets to learn something new or at least find out the general feelings of the public. Now if you have something meaningfull to add then please add it.

I don't claim to be an expert on THX. I do listen to a THX Ultra reciever almost every day but that doesn't make me an expert. If you care to educate me on the THX specs and what they mean to me I would really appreciate it because that will make me more knowledgeable. You haven't done that yet. In fact you haven't done anything except to insult the oppinions of everyone (including those of the founder of eCoustics.com) else who has posted in this string.

But maybe you are right so at your suggestion I went back to school. It was funny because what I learned is that the only person who stated anything as fact and not opinion who was wrong in this string was you. You said

Yamaha sound over Onkyo? You must have been listening underwater ... "THX has nothing to do with/even multi-channel music" - really? I'm sure that the THX Ultra2 spec would have something against this ...

Sorry, they don't ... what, are you guessing? You could do some research before sharing your thoughts. Once again the address is www.thx.com And is B&W the only maker of good speakers? I don't think so.
Apologies to Brian, HTMatt and Michael. I don't like being rude on the site but the more ... "Anonymous"... posts ... the ... more ... I ... have ... to ... "laugh"... ... ...

THX Ultra2 does have a music mode which converts 5.1 to 7.1 .. so Miguel .. it looks like you were the one guessing. What are you trying to prove? I have doen my research an you obviously haven't.

As far as opinions go. The owner of this board is entitled to his, as you are to yours, and I am to mine.If he posts "his" review on the board, he should be prepared for criticism/praise. I wholeheartedly didn't agree with a majority of it, and said my piece. Whether any of you didn't like my choice of words, is not my problem...

Yes, yes... you are right. THX Ultra2 does have a music mode. Not intended for 5.1 but for expanding 2 channel music, though I suppose you could use it on DTS cds, not dvd-audio or SACD. Clap clap clap clap, very well done. Semantics since it doesn't apply to this discussion since THX Ultra and THX Select don't have that mode, hence neither do the recievers in the comparison. Also Denon and Yamaha do better jobs of expanding 2 channel music with 5,6,7 and 8 channel stereo and don't have to be THX Ultra2 certified to do it.

Well said Miguel. It is the spirit of the post as well as what it says that is important.

"...Whether any of you didn't like my choice of words, is not my problem..."

Anonymous - mate you are missing the point - it is about not being rude to people - you know, the way the reviewer was rude to nobody - do you think you can see that (it's not a difficult concept)!!? He took the time to write the review and you should respect that, even if you disagree with what it says.

Like I said, if you chose to speak politiely and maturely to others, you'll receive more credibilty here. No mystery, just the way most normal people are!

Presentation is everything! Criticizm can be tactfully delivered in a positive manner, both enlightening the 'reviewer' and the 'critic'.

After all, we are all always learning, including you Anonymous!

Ok, I'd like to turn the discussion away from "personalities" back toward the amps if I might.

I have the RX-V2300 and picked it head to head for superior sound over the Denon (that's an opinion and doesn't invite argument). I have not auditioned the Onkyo in the review.

I also have the new Phillips DVD963SA SACD/DVD player.

I'm not sure of the best way to set up the SACD player with the Yamaha and seek some advice. I ask this because I am having trouble with signal processing, I think there is a problem with the Phillips, but want to make sure it's not the way I have it plugged into the Yamaha. I have the Phillips going into the D-TV/LD assignment. The DVD input on the 2300 only has optical digital input while the D-TV/LD input has both coaxial and optical ins. The DVD has only one mode upon selection, the D-TV/LD toggles from AUTO to DTS to ANALOG. The CD channel has the only other coaxial input. Thus, I chose the D-TV/LD channel.
Can anyone see where that might cause any problems in processing?

Also the 963SA has PCM settings for 96kHz and 48 kHz in the menu, any suggestions on which to use? What problems could I encounter with 96kHz? (I did set it to 48 to eliminate that from the equation and still had the same problems)

BTW, the 192kHz/24 bit CD upsampling on the 963 is fantastic. I am blown away at the sound quality and would buy it as a stand alone CD player even if it didn't play DVDs. But, on some CDs it doesn't work right (sticatto skipping), if I switch those down to 96kHz upsample they work fine. When playing a CD with the Yamaha in DTS or AUTO mode, it will occasionally stop playing and I need to switch into ANALOG to get it to play.

All of these things seemed that they could be caued by either component, what is making me pretty sure the 963 is the culprit is recently, all video went B&W, so it's going back to Phillips for a new one (I did get one of the very first ones they shipped). I still have a nagging in the back of my head that there may be some kind of compatability issue between the two or I have a set up issue.

Sorry for the long post, just don't know how to distill it down any better, Thanks if you hung in this far!

RL, I made the same choice earlier this year. I additioned the Yamaha, denon, pioneer, murantz, etc... I originally chose the 2300 too. Though later upgraded to the 3300, then finally up to the Z1.

The yamaha has assignable inputs, this is very useful and explains why you see more input options under TV/LD - By default, the input assignments in setup match those labeled on the outside of the reciever, but you can change them via setup to you liking. If you want to run Digital Coax from your DVD to your reciever, simply plug it into the digital coax in on the receiver, then use the assignable inputs in your setup menu to specify the DVD player as being connected to the TV/LD input. Now, when you select DVD, it will read the audio for DVD from the TV/LD coax input and will offer you multiple options from PCM, Bitstream(DD and DTS), and analog.

Also, in your dvd setup, you may have to manual enable the bitstream output. My sony's are like this. In your setup menu on the DVD player, make sure Dobly digital and DTS are enabled and that they are not set to PCM but rather bitstream.

Hope that helps.

Hi anonymous,
Allways to criticism people how are doing review.
I never see a review from you, guy !.
So With all your messages, I'm just loosing my time, while the forum is a place where people come to learn.
Please learn me something from your own experience !
And please, forgot this forum after reading my mail.
And last but not least, sorry about my english I'm french speaking person. Do you ?

Great site here. I am looking to spend around $500 or so on a home theater receiver, I would really appreciate any input on my options out there. I listen to lots of classic rock along with some of the newer music out and of course enjoy watching a movie or two on the weekends and want the best sound I can get. Pleas reply.

RL, You didn't mention if you had the 5.1 channel output going from the Philips to the reciever. You may like it better and you will have to do it if you intend to listen to SACD without compression. You may bypass the processing difficulties too. Once you do that you can compare if you prefer the DD and DTS processing in the Philips better or the Yamaha by switching back and forth from the external input on the Yamaha. Make sure you set up your speaker sizes on the Philips or you will loose bass management.
Besides the assignable inputs I think you can name the inputs whatever you want, I know you can on Tidans model and the RXV3300.

RL Metheny
Thanks, I did see that option on the 2300. I was just wondering if there was a better way. I'll give it a try. Is there much difference in using the Coax vs the Optical?

I don't have the full 5.1 going into the receiver. I used the 2 Fronts from the 5.1 and the Toslink to the 2300 and sent the 2 "Audio" RCA outs to my headphone amp.
I'll tell you, the 963 going into my XCANS to Senn 590s is fantastic!

I don't see why you connected the 2 fronts from the 5.1 out and the optical. The optical for dolby Digital, DTS and CDs should be fine. The only reason to hook up the Front outs from the 5.1 outs on the DVD player would be for SACD and unless you will only play stereo SACD you need more cables.

Fully agree with HT Matt, nothing beats Yamaha sound and this is from their class AB receiver amps. Their seperate class A MX amps are superb. For Yamaha to sound good, it needs the flattest speakers with carefuly matched crossovers. Yamaha's own NS-300 or NS-8HX and Magnepans as well as Cantons and B&W compliment Yamaha amps pretty well.

RL Metheny
The two Front analog outs going into the DVD in on the Yamaha play SACD in 5.1.
But on your suggestion I did pull them out of the DVD in and used the full 5.1 outs into the 5.1 in section on the receiver and it does sound much better, although, it is a lot lower in volume. I normally play the Yamaha in the -55 to -45db range, with the 5.1 hooked up now, that needs to get boosted to -30 to -25db. It's quite a shocker if you forget to turn it down before switching to another source!

King Nero
Miguel and any one who will help.

I am trying to choose between the Onkyo SR 701 and Marantz SR 7300. I have not seen any reviews on either products. Your assisstance and/or suggestion is highly appreciated.

King Nero

I just bought a Yamaha rxv3300 along with their dvs1200 and yst sw-800 subwoofer. I have not seen reviews for my receiver anywhere. I have BOSE 901s and Acoustimass V (rear) and was wondering if any of you can tell me anything about my future setup(I haven't set it up yet). Thanks!!!


Sorry King I don't know alot about either but in the mid priced recievers I have been seeing better reviews for Onkyo lately. Surprisingly the newest Home Theater rated Sony's STR-DA3ES the best inexpensive reciever. But in your price range the reciever I like best is Yamaha's RXV1300

Genaro- One thing to be aware of is in adjusting your speaker settings on the reciever you will tell the reciever that you do have a subwoofer and set your front and rear speakers as large. I don't know what center you will have but if it also the bose then the small setting will be appropriate. The 901s Pre-amp EQ will go between the bridge pieces on the RXV3300. Good luck and enjoy.

Any suggestions as to how I might hook up my graphic equalizer to my new (2 days old)RXV2300? I tried using the md/tape input/output jacks, but that seems to only have effect when I play a cassette tape and not all sources like I want it to. Thanks in advance!

R L Metheny

Does the Phillips DVD963SA ouput the Upsampled (CD) PCM throught the Coaxial Output or just analogs?

Give me a buzz via e-mail khellandros66@hotmail.com



Iam thinking of buying an amp pretty soon. But unfortunatly since my parents are paying for it iam not going for overkill. I plan to buy the pioneer VSX-D811S. It seems like an awesome amp. But just wondering.. how does Pioneer compare with Yamaha and the other big boys. I always considered it my first choice.

By the way.. one of the best sites ive seen on the net. Good work!

king Nero

Thanks for the insight. I will look at the Yamaha as well as the Sony DA3ES. Such unbiased suggestions are a boon to many of us who have no idea where to start. Its very easy to be taken in by glossy sales pitches.

Hello, anybody know which is a better buy, Arcam Diva A85 or Musical Fidelity A3.2 integrated amplifier ? Thanks.

Brian, I don't think I've known of a reviewer of any product that wouldn't make a comparison based on price point. If one car had the same horsepower as another would that make a logical basis for a comparative review? I suppose it may be interesting but not for somebody actually contemplating a purchase.

Hi Folks,

Does the Onkyo WRAT (Wide Range Amplifier Tech) equates to SACD/DVD-A capable?

I am refering to the TX-NR900.


Greetings! I am the furthest from being an audiophile like all you guys, but I certainly respect your opinions, and I ask for your help. I am simply wanting something that sounds REAL good but doesn't cost an arm and leg. I am considering Yamaha vs. Onkyo;looking at both. Onkyo TX-SR701 vs. what comparable Yamaha, can you tell me? I looked at Yamaha first some time ago, but Onkyo entered the picture and has me looking there, too. Also, where on the Net is the best place to order from? Best prices, selection, service? HELP!.. and thanks!

I have a question for RXV2300 owners, I have connected my DVD pioneer elite 45A to the above receiver, however I am not able to play SACD's on this system with all channels.

Here is how I have configured it, I have a digital output from the DVD player going into digital DVD input on the receiver. I also have 5 cables going out from the DVD player going into the 6 channel input on the receiver. However, if I play a multi channel SACD, I am getting sound from only left and center channel. When I play dvd I get it from all channels so I know the speaker connection is good.

Well it looks like you all have enough opinions to choke a horse here but I do want to add that I have owned my 2300 for almost a year and have loved it from day one. Way back in the review, before the bickering started, I saw something about the remote having a hidden compartment. Mine has no such compartment and by now I can do anything I want with my eyes closed. My son has a Pioneer Elite and tells me to get one, until he comes over and remembers how good mine sounds. His system cost much more than mine without all that much of an increase in performance "if any".
Sure I would like to try some $5000, 70 pound monster out but I don't live in a 10000 foot house either. Far from it. The system I do have sounds great for music and movies alike. I do use my 6 channel for DVD audio quite often. For the money spent on the system I own, it's a winner. The speakers I have are Wharfdale's "very sweet" and Boston's with a Val sub. Works out well and with the Yamaha I was able to balance the crossovers and sound quite well. I respect this site and enjoy having a place to comment and ask questions. I just don't understand getting into this bickering about who is right or wrong. They are all just opinions and should be respected.

AC - you need six cables from the DVD/SACD player into the receiver. Then you need to enable the six channel input by pressing the "6CH Input" on the remote or the receiver.

Also, check the on-screen menu from the DVD/SACD player to make sure multi-channel output is enabled. Since your DVD/SACD player now controls the surround processing you will likely have to adjust speaker channel volume and bass management settings from the DVD/SACD player on-screen menu.

Correct. The digi hookup will not allow you to play the 6 channel DVD's or SACD's. Also you should, depending on the DVD player, go into the settings on your DVD and check the bass mananagement settings there. Sorry for the repeat The Pioneer Elite 45 is an excellent DVD by the way. One of few, at that price, that plays both formats. It sounds like just having to push that 6 channel button (upper right) on both the remote and the unit. Good luck to you. It sounds like your configuration is a good one.

As a newbie looking for a mid-range receiver ($1000 or less), I am certainly confused about which way to go, however, after reading some of the above posts, should I just go with any top name, ie Yamaha, Denon, Sony, etc and look more carefully at speaker selection as a means to produce a high quality HT environment?

Speaker selection is the single most important decision to make but as far as receivers for under $1000 my favorites are the Pioneer Elite vsx45tx and the Marantz SR7300. Both are very smooth, mellow and can be had on-line for under $800. Retail they are usually $150 or so more. I would not recommend the 3 names you mentioned above as I have owned the Denon 3803 and hated it for it's brightness and SonyES and Yamaha are just plain awful. Are you planning on buying new speakers also?

I haven't looked into the vsx45tx or any of the Marantz models, but was seriously eyeing the Denon 3803 or Sony str-da5es. As I am going to use the receiver for 99% tv/dvd applications. Will the 2 you mentioned be better than the 2 I mentioned for that type of usage? As far as speakers, I really have no idea which direction to go towards. I stopped briefly into a local a/v store today and a sign caught my eye proclaiming the Definitive Technologies BP2006 silver speaker as being a great speaker. I think it was $600 per speaker. Of course, I haven't even looked at sub-woofers, center and rear speakers, yet. I think I saw something on the Def. Tech cube sub-woofer as being pretty decent as well. Any input and suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Def Tech is a great speaker line and the 2006 is one of their best values. The 2006 had built in subs so you don't need to worry about adding one to that system. Both Elite or Marantz would be good matches with the Def Techs. I would also recommend you try to hear Paradigms, Monitor Audio, Infinity and really anything you can hear in your area. I do think both the Elite and Marantz would give you more long term satisfaction for movies and tv as the vocals on the Denon and Sony are what I dislike the most. For my ears they are to sibilant and fatiguing.

I found a local store that does carry the Marantz 7300 and the Pioneer vsx45tx. However, they couldn't locate the P.E. 45tx and thought they may have loaned it out to someone. Hopefully, they'll track it down so I could hear it in action. They only carried 3 lines of speakers. The one that dominated the showroom was B & W. A model they had running was the
cdm9(?), a large floor speaker that ran at $1300 per speaker. It was pretty awesome, at least for my untrained ear. Speaking of untrained ear and the inability to distinguish the finer points of determining different variations in speaker quaility, maybe the Def Tech 2006 would be a good place to start and then down the road as I become a more discriminating listener could upgrade. I wasn't aware the Def Tech speaker had a woofer built in. Would it be more advantageous to still buy a separate sub-woofer if I go with the Def Techs?
Anyway, I hope to hear the elite receiver and compare it to the marantz soon.

You will not need a sub if you get the Def Tech 2006 system and you will not feel the need to upgrade for a long,long time. The only issue with a speaker with built in subs is the adjustment of the sub level. I have never owned a speaker with built in subs so anyone out there with this experience please respond.Both receivers would be great but another poster mentioned that his Marantz would not output to his sub when in direct mode. To me thats a problem.

Hey elitefan, why do you hate Yamaha? Is there a sound difference? The reason why I am asking this because I personally own a Yamaha. Now don't get me wrong, I am a Marantz, Denon, Pioneer Elite fan, but I have always prefered Yamaha. To me Yamaha does some things that the other receivers can't do. And vice versa. And also I think that Onkyo is an awesome receiver. But for music, in my opinion the Yammie beats hands down. But for HT, it is a tie between these 4 brands Yamaha, The All Mighty Denon, Pioneer Elite and Marantz. The only thing that I wish Yamaha had was the Widescreen 7.1 mode that Denon has and THX Certification. Also I heard from my friends at Tweeter Home Entertainment here in Dallas, Tx and they said that the Pioneer Elite VSX-49TX had a problem driving the Martin Logan Speakers they had but the Yamaha RX-Z1 had no trouble at all pushing them to their limit. Why is that?

Thanks Sarandon. It's good to hear from someone else that likes the Yamaha. I love mine, and like you, I find all the receivers you mentioned to be very high quality and good performers. Strangely enough, my son worked for Tweeters here in the San Diego area and was impressed with the higher end Yamaha's also. He owns a Pioneer Elite but has had some problems with the movie tracks giving a background noise. I think Yamaha started off catering to the low end receiver line and has had a tough time shaking that image. I also feel that some of the so called high line receivers have been trying to appeal to the lower budget customer and in doing so have lost some of the quality you would normaly expect to find. When you find Denon in the $300 range and a Pioneer at $129 at some discount store, you know times have changed as far as being able to judge quality by name only.

I agree with you johnb. Yamaha has been catering to the low end line. But honestly I have the HTR-5540 right now and I love it!!! But this isn't the first one I had. My first Yamaha receiver was the RX-V2095, which I miss so much!! But if you were looking for the bang for the buck, then get the Yamaha!!

I dislike Yamaha for the reason you stated; the sound.Way back 25 years ago or so I loved Yamaha but they have been more interested in dsp modes than quality sound for many years. My first digital receiver was a Yamaha 992 and i took it back the same day. What a piece of junk! There is something missing in the Yamaha sound especially with music. No guts,no deep end and my best discription of Yamaha sound would be "hollow". Elite, marantz,nad,onkyo,rotel harmon all blow away any Yamaha I have heard in the past 15 years. I wish they could duplicate their old sound but they seem to not be able to. It's a shame because they offer lots of inputs,a rec out selector and lots of features but I just don't like their sound. Sorry.

I don't know if this thread is still active, but I'm considering a Yamaha RX-v1400 to replace my AWESOME Yamaha DSP-A3090. The only reason I want to replace it is because I'd like component video inputs and 6.1 or 7.1 sound. I was pretty much set on getting the RX-v1400, but a local dealer just put a new in box Pioneer Elite VSX-43tx on clearance for $300 less than the Yam. Since my budget is really tight, this is big deal. I have a Boston Acoustics speakers all the way around with a Sunfire sub. BTW - I took a couple of weeks to audition both Onkyo and Denon receivers at home with my speakers and thought the my old Yamaha still sounds great against them. Any thoughts? Elite - I know what your answer will be :), but any insite will be helpful.

We now know - yamaha is great!
Now the speakers.
Any recommendations for movie and Jazz/Classical listerner?

well to all the people debating what is the best reciver for the money I am going to give you my honest answer in this i had own several recivers from onkyo and sony and i had never been to happy with neither but i when and did my homework read and research and lisiting to yamaha recivers and i have found that the yamaha recivers are the best for the value and outstanding sound quality i give two thumbs UP for yamaha specialty to they rx-v730 or htr 5660 series

In many regards, others opinions is exactly that--THEIR opinion(s). If you like the sound from Yamaha, Denon or whoever, buy it and enjoy. If someone else thinks your choice sounds "bright" or "hollow," let them pay for your equipment. No two amps are the same and no two ears. I enjoy the Yamaha RX-V3300 and if others think poorly, so be it.

Dave J
Is anyone familiar with Infinity in wall speakers? Ordered some Infinity ERS201 in wall speakers, but can find no reveiws. Normally $440 a pair, got them for $200 a pair. Any opinions on how these will sound as surround on a yamaha rxv3300?

I have a Yamaha RX-V1400 and am still awaiting M&K
to produce my speakers...over 7 weeks now; so are M&K as good as the B&W that were referenced earlier in this thread?

Unregistered guest
I read over this forum from time to time and man M.K. you hit the nail on the head. I think a lot of us have forgotten about the music and the movies,thinking more about the equipment than the reason we purchase equipment in the first place.

Lisa France
Unregistered guest
You didnt even compare similiar receivers, you should have been comparing to the 2400 and if you did, you would have seen the 2400 is a much better receiver with much more options and features and much better sounding on 2 channel music.
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