Not Happy with the sound of my Onkyo TX-8050 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 24 Old 01-24-2012, 04:06 AM - Thread Starter
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I purchased the TX-8050 because of the features and the great price available through shoponkyo but I am amazed at how unhappy I am with the sound. It is so thin, and lifeless and bright. Is it my ears? I know it isn't the speakers (ACI Sapphire XL). I guess it is time to look for a better integrated.
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post #2 of 24 Old 01-24-2012, 04:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TKYR1967 View Post

I purchased the TX-8050 because of the features and the great price available through shoponkyo but I am amazed at how unhappy I am with the sound. It is so thin, and lifeless and bright. Is it my ears? I know it isn't the speakers (ACI Sapphire XL). I guess it is time to look for a better integrated.

How do you know that your problem isn't with the speakers + the room?
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post #3 of 24 Old 01-24-2012, 04:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

How do you know that your problem isn't with the speakers + the room?

Because it is not the first system that I'v had in the room, and I have had other electronics paired with the Sapphires as well. The ACI Sapphires are VERY well reviewed monitors with top of the line drivers.
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post #4 of 24 Old 01-24-2012, 04:46 AM
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No loudness control. That would make everything sound thin at lower volumes. I have my Yamaha RX-V467 and only use it for stereo mode. I looked at all the stereo receivers available and didn't find 1 that had everything I wanted. I can believe they make stereo receivers with remotes, and you cant control Bass/Treble with the remote on 99% of them. Plus a HT receiver has a lot more customizing features for stereo only mode. Stereo receivers give you just a "balance" control. A HT receiver gives you "distance" which gives you more channel seperation. And you can customize the "input" for each device. Say your radio plays ok at a volume, you put on a CD, and the volume is louder, you can adjust the input signal volume to equalize different input signals.
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post #5 of 24 Old 01-29-2012, 03:45 PM
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A little story...I at one time owned a Krell KAV-300iL, a 400xi and a 300r. They were outstanding integrateds! I won a Yamaha AX-592 on ebay for $75.00 and it was a fantastic buy. I always have a backup amp just in case. I had an NAD C320BEE previous to the Yamaha. The NAD had a very rich, robust sound but seemed to lack a little detail. I personally thought the Yamaha sounded more "real" and accurate than the NAD.

The Yamaha has tone controls and a variable loudness which ocassionally comes in handy, it is also amazingly powerful and has a pretty decent phono preamp built in. The NAD was warm with a nice full, if not taught bass.

There is a bonus to trying used amps' you can try them out and if you don't like them you lose very little if any money on them. I think in your case and NAD C3XXBEE series may be your cup of tea.
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post #6 of 24 Old 01-30-2012, 03:59 AM
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I have an onkyo stereo receiver and I really like the amp section, but IIRC those Sapphires need some current to make them sing. I used to have Paradigm Studio 100s back several years ago, and even though the specs didn't really indicate they were tough to drive, then didn't come alive until I paired them with an amp with a little more current, first a Parasound and then a pair of Outlaw monoblocks.

I think the advice from Math-geek is spot on...your receiver has pre-outs, so I'd try to get your hands on an amp with more current and play around with it. If that doesn't fix it, maybe consider treating the room. I'd look for an amp that is 100wpc or more into 8ohms, and doubles the spec into 4ohms. Rotel, Parasound, NAD, Outlaw, B&K, Anthem, etc....something like that. You can always find good deals on Audiogon, Ebay, and/or Craigs List. I've also heard people finding stuff at their local Goodwill and pawn shop locations, but I'd try Audiogon first.
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post #7 of 24 Old 01-31-2012, 02:06 PM
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That is not too surprising. considering that the total cost of the components in the preamp and amplifier is about $40.

Look at the other features in it, and that is where most of the money went (and remember, the wholesale cost of it the whole thing is about $140).

I would recommend that you get a decent integrated amp, where the whole budget went into the amp and preamp circuits and NO money went to extraneous circuits.

I recommend the Cambridge Audio amplifiers, some of which are a very good deal just now because Cambridge is getting ready to bring out some new models. A 550A or 650A would be a huge improvement, methinks.

I started a new system at my new city house about a year and a half ago, and had an old Cambridge 340A, and it worked well with first my Boston bookshelf speakers and then my PSB Image T6 speakers. Than I went to a NAD C356 BEE, which was $800, and wasn't happy with the sound at all. I should have sent it back, but waited too long.

I ended up with a Musical Fidelity M3i, and it is fantastic, but that is $1500.

I have had some good NAD amps over the years, starting with the classic 3020 in 1980, but the 356BEE is a dud. People seem to like the 326BEE, and I have a 325BEE in my AV system at my big desert house, which works well with the KEF iQ9 in that system. Go figure.





Quote:
Originally Posted by TKYR1967 View Post

I purchased the TX-8050 because of the features and the great price available through shoponkyo but I am amazed at how unhappy I am with the sound. It is so thin, and lifeless and bright. Is it my ears? I know it isn't the speakers (ACI Sapphire XL). I guess it is time to look for a better integrated.

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post #8 of 24 Old 01-31-2012, 02:41 PM
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i don't know what kind of budget you have but creek makes some nice amps i just upgraded to a creek destiny to go with apair of reference 3a speakers and i don't think i'm going to change anything for a long time

i'm so laid back,i'm laid out
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post #9 of 24 Old 04-24-2012, 07:50 AM
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Reading this, I am getting a little worried about the purchase of an Onkyo TX-8050 Network Stereo Reciever I just made yesterday.

Where I am living, there was nowhere I could audition this prior to purchase.

I plan on useing the TX-8050 for just 2-channel audio only. I am planning on using a pair of Polk RTi A7 floorstanders for front speakers, and a pair of Polk RTi A3 bookshelf speakers for the rears.

Since the TX-8050 reciever is only rated at only 80 w/ch @ 8 ohms, I thought I would just use it for it's pre-amp section and it's networking abilities. With that said, I bought a pair of Onkyo M-282 power amps. These are each rated at 100 w/ch @ 8 ohms. In my mind, this should give me more than double the power of the TX-8050 since I am using one of the M-282 power amps to drive just the front speakers, and another 100 w/ch M-282 amp to drive the rear speakers.

But now I hear that the pre-amp section of the Onkyo TX-8050 is not of real good quality. I am worried that this will effect the overall sound of the 2-channel music I am intending on playing with this setup.

I also bought an Onkyo C-7030 CD player to include in this system.

Considering that this is kind of a budget setup, did I make a big mistake?

.
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post #10 of 24 Old 04-24-2012, 05:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flt Simulation View Post

Reading this, I am getting a little worried about the purchase of an Onkyo TX-8050 Network Stereo Reciever I just made yesterday.

Where I am living, there was nowhere I could audition this prior to purchase.

I plan on useing the TX-8050 for just 2-channel audio only. I am planning on using a pair of Polk RTi A7 floorstanders for front speakers, and a pair of Polk RTi A3 bookshelf speakers for the rears.

Since the TX-8050 reciever is only rated at only 80 w/ch @ 8 ohms, I thought I would just use it for it's pre-amp section and it's networking abilities. With that said, I bought a pair of Onkyo M-282 power amps. These are each rated at 100 w/ch @ 8 ohms. In my mind, this should give me more than double the power of the TX-8050 since I am using one of the M-282 power amps to drive just the front speakers, and another 100 w/ch M-282 amp to drive the rear speakers.

But now I hear that the pre-amp section of the Onkyo TX-8050 is not of real good quality. I am worried that this will effect the overall sound of the 2-channel music I am intending on playing with this setup.

I also bought an Onkyo C-7030 CD player to include in this system.

Considering that this is kind of a budget setup, did I make a big mistake?

.

This all assumes you believe that equipment can magically sound different, in the face of numerous tests and data points that say otherwise. So if we accept that premise as true, yes, everything you bought is terrible because you didn't spend enough and because Onkyo isn't exclusive.

Reality check: it's fine.

Now, what are you doing with those 282s? 100W is *not* double 80W; it's not even close (double would be 800W, confused? see here: http://www.physics.mcgill.ca/~guymoo.../lecture11.pdf). What do you mean by "front" and "rear" speakers as well? Are you running a stereo signal into four speakers? Or what?

Generally speaking, level-matching assumed, the 282 and the 8050 will get you to the exact same place and the exact same SPLs. However if you're driving more speakers with the 282, that will change things. Four speakers (let me guess, in each corner?) feeding the same signal is a bad idea.
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post #11 of 24 Old 04-24-2012, 10:53 PM
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walbert ... Thank's for your input.

Yes, I am going with a speaker in each corner. I am doing this because the other 2-channel stereo system I have in my other home sounds better with 4 speakers vs just 2 front speakers ... at least to me and other neighbors that have listened to it while showing them an A - A/B comparison.

As far as wireing the amps ... I connect the Lft and Rt Pre-Outputs from the Reciever into the Lft and Rt Inputs on Power Amp #1 that will drive the front Lt and Rt speakers ... Then connect the Lft and Rt Outputs on that same #1 Power Amp to the Lft and Rt Inputs on the #2 Power Amp that will power the Lft and Rt rear speakers.

So you just basically get an A/B mode going. You have Lft and Rt separation on both the front and rear speakers ... Same as you would using 1 amp driving front and rear speakers together (A/B mode).

So, instead of 1 stereo power amp needing to drive 4 speakers, you have 2 separate stereo power amps, each only needing to drive 2 speakers.

To me, that's like doubling the power since now you have 2 amps doing the work of driving 4 speakers instead of just 1 amp trying to drive 4 speakers.

At least that's the way I look at it.
______________________________________

QUOTE: "Now, what are you doing with those 282s? 100W is *not* double 80W"

Yup, the amp section of the 8050 Network Stereo Reciever is rated at 80 w/ch ..... but I am using 2 power amps that are rated at 100 w/ch each (that's a total of 200 watts)

I do realize that doubling the watts don't double the loudness of the speakers. It's just not linear like that. But, haveing (2) 100 w amps is alot more power than a single 80 w amp ....... at least the way I look at it.

.
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post #12 of 24 Old 04-25-2012, 05:35 AM
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It's not the Onkyo, unless it is somehow defective.

I own the 8050. Just prior to purchasing it I had a Denon 2809ci powering the same Polk LSI9 speakers. With them both comparison revealed no difference in sound quality, so I sold the 2809 - I wanted network control and streaming features.

Next up, I used an Anthem MCA amp hooked to the Onkyo preamp output. No difference in sound quality. Power difference was apparent at high volumes, but quality remained the same.

Now, maybe the Onkyo sucks, maybe the Denon sucked, maybe the Anthem sucked, maybe my ears suck. But I doubt it.

Edit: the Onkyo also powers a pair of Mordaunt Short monitors on my desktop (B speaker output) . The same comparison and listening test results also revealed no difference. I have no problems whatsoever with the Onkyo amps simultaneously powering hungry 4 ohm speakers and the more friendly 8 ohm MS.

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post #13 of 24 Old 04-25-2012, 05:52 AM
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Preamp section in most cheap stereo receivers is poorly made and destroys sound if you use tone controls. You need to get pretty high in price/quality to get transparent preamp. By that I means inability to hear difference with and without tone controls section engaged into signal path (most preamps have bypass mode, when tone control is passed). I also agree with others on getting used amplifier. Choose something with original price in $800-1000 range (you should be able to get it for 1/3-1/2). Forget about networking functions, get separate media player if you need them.
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post #14 of 24 Old 04-25-2012, 05:57 AM
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Nethawk ... Well, that's good to know.

I hope my combo of budget priced Onkyo components works good together.

Speaking of 2-channel audio only ... I see that some of the "high end" pre-amps on the market are selling for around $2,000. That's just for a pre-amp. And to think, I bought the whole TX-8050 for $256 !

With that price difference, in my "perfect world", that $2,000 pre-amp should sound at least 500% better than the pre-amp in the TX-8050. I don't think my old ears are good enough to actually hear the difference in either of them

.
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post #15 of 24 Old 04-25-2012, 06:01 AM
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Those ACI's have a senseitivty of about 85db if I'm correct. That makes them a pretty tough load to carry for the Onkyo. I have a pair of Aerial 5's which are in the same ballpark at 85db and I'm using a 200wpc Forte Model 6 to run them. Sometimes these small bookshelf speakers can be bigger power hogs than floorstanders.
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post #16 of 24 Old 04-25-2012, 06:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ap1 View Post


Forget about networking functions, get separate media player if you need them.

But just buying a Squeezebox cost about the same as what I paid for the TX-8050. Then I would still have to buy the pre-amp and the power amp.

Maybe I'm just too cheap for this forum
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post #17 of 24 Old 04-25-2012, 06:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flt simulation View Post

maybe i'm just too cheap for this forum

word.
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post #18 of 24 Old 04-25-2012, 06:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ap1 View Post

Preamp section in most cheap stereo receivers is poorly made

Is this something you can back with evidence, or is it just a theory? I detected no difference whatsoever using either Onkyo or Anthem amps, both nearfield and in my large room. My experience is more evidence than theory.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ap1 View Post

Forget about networking functions, get separate media player if you need them.

The networking functions in the Onkyo work fine, and are impressive. Yes, squeezebox is more versatile, but it's also more expensive than the TX-8050.

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post #19 of 24 Old 04-25-2012, 09:06 AM
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Fit Simulation:

You'll have comb filtering and cancellation issues with how you're going to set those speakers up - the gain is also not going to work how you're imagining it. If you co-located the speakers it'd increase gain, but it wouldn't deal with comb filtering. What I'd do is return the ~$700 of stereo equipment you just bought, pick up an AVR, and hook up four speakers to it. Use some of it's matrix features for multi-channel output (like Pro Logic II or whatever).

The way you're setting it up is stable though, and it will work correctly. Remember to set the 282's to switch off when they aren't getting a signal (saves power and saves hassle of turning everything on constantly).
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post #20 of 24 Old 04-25-2012, 10:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nethawk View Post

Is this something you can back with evidence, or is it just a theory? I detected no difference whatsoever using either Onkyo or Anthem amps, both nearfield and in my large room. My experience is more evidence than theory.

Every time I enabled/disabled bypass for tone control in inexpensive receivers and amps, I heard a difference (with bass/treble/loudness controls at neutral position). I had to get real high-end amps when I do not hear difference anymore.
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post #21 of 24 Old 04-25-2012, 12:28 PM
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^^ Thanks. As I suspected, theory only.

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post #22 of 24 Old 04-25-2012, 04:02 PM
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I've been looking at different options to pair with B&W CM1s - the Onkyo 8050 being one of them. I've also considered the HK 3490, Emotiva XDA-1 plus an amp, some of the cambridge audio models.

I've slowly come to the realization that the best option might be to pick up a used (formerly) high-end receiver. Something like a Denon 4800/5700/5800 or a Pioneer VSX-49TX. True I would not be utilizing most of the features these receivers offer, but they have plenty of power and flexibility for a 2-channel setup.

Just a thought.
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post #23 of 24 Old 04-26-2012, 02:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justins123 View Post

I've been looking at different options to pair with B&W CM1s - the Onkyo 8050 being one of them. I've also considered the HK 3490, Emotiva XDA-1 plus an amp, some of the cambridge audio models.

I've slowly come to the realization that the best option might be to pick up a used (formerly) high-end receiver. Something like a Denon 4800/5700/5800 or a Pioneer VSX-49TX. True I would not be utilizing most of the features these receivers offer, but they have plenty of power and flexibility for a 2-channel setup.

Just a thought.

It doesn't need to be old, and it doesn't need to be "high end" (how is that even quantified) to satisfy what you want to do. If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times: power is power and you don't need a lot of it.

I would suggest a modern AVR in the same price bracket over an older unit; spending $300-$600 on something that was fancy in 2002 is not a good idea.
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post #24 of 24 Old 04-26-2012, 06:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ap1 View Post

Every time I enabled/disabled bypass for tone control in inexpensive receivers and amps, I heard a difference (with bass/treble/loudness controls at neutral position). I had to get real high-end amps when I do not hear difference anymore.

Is this an unsupported assertion, or do you have reliable listening tests and/or bench test results to back it up?

Besides, the idea that tone controls have to be sonically neutral when centered is unrealistic. After all, the purpose of tone controls is to introduce audible differences. Why fault them for doing so?

In many cases the equipment has effective means to bypass tone controls that permits operation without their effect on the signal.

Your comment as stated could fault a piece of equipment that sounded different when its tone control bypass switch was operated. Is that what you are talking about?

Any piece of equipment that implements its tone controls in the digital domain can easily remove their effect from the signal path without providing a separate bypass switch.
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