Onkyo 8020 vs "better" - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 14 Old 09-13-2017, 10:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Onkyo 8020 vs "better"

I used to have two separate systems, one for video and one for audio, because I had a man cave. We downsized and my NHT 2.9s and integrated were banned.

I was left with the Denon AVR 1612. It was fine when dedicated to video, but I hate it switching between both. I can't get the sound right for both. One is always off. The GUI SUCKS!

Long story short, stereo music is the top priority. I'm thinking of switching to a stereo amp.

I need a sub out since my JBL Studio 550 only has low level inputs.

The Onkyo 8020 gets very good reviews. I can't A/B it with the more expensive amps like Cambridge and NAD. If $500 is my max budget and bells and whistles mean nothing, what will I notice spending more than the 8020? Subtle or really clear cut?

Thanks!

Last edited by eyemgh; 09-14-2017 at 12:40 AM.
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post #2 of 14 Old 09-14-2017, 02:00 AM
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Are you using a blu ray player also as your audio source? If so, consider the Onkyo 8270, with hdmi inputs. 499 bucks/ 100 wpc. The 8020 is only 50 wpc, You'll appreciate the extra headroom in 100 wpc.

Did you get rid of the NHT 2.9s? What speakers where in your dedicated video system? I'd have been tempted to keep the integrated, get rid of the video system entirely and keep the 2.9s and the integrated. I'm perfectly happy with 2.0 (or in your case 2.1) for movies.

Another option that sounds pretty cool, but I don't see it on the Yamaha US site yet is the new r-n803 stereo receiver. They claim it's the first stereo component with room correction. (They are actually wrong, cambridge audio has one, anthem has an integrated, and Lyngdorf, all have 2 channel integrateds or receivers with room correction.) The yamaha is a 100 wpc stereo receiver, 4 ohm capable, with ypao room correction. Unfortunately no hdmi. I was on the yamaha site and was going to send them an email asking when this was coming to the us. but apparently you need an account to log in to send to 'contact us'. The receiver is on canada's web site. I suspect it will be upwards from 500 though.

It's hard to judge without knowing which speakers you kept and how many, and what other equipment you are using. On another note, I'm surprised you can't get the 1612 to sound ok with both inputs. I used to use a denon 3311ci, that sounded respectable, although I've since upgraded to an anthem product that blows it away. You should be able to set up the denon with video going to one input and audio going to another (even if they use the same input, like hdmi). You can then tailor the different inputs to your liking and switching between stereo music and video should be as simple as switching inputs. I used to do that with my denon.

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post #3 of 14 Old 09-14-2017, 07:51 AM - Thread Starter
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I had an Energy Take 5 with my video system. When we downsized and I lost the man cave, the better half wouldn't tolerate the 2.9s in the main room. Out of the desire to simplify, and not listening to much sit down music at the time (headphones only), I converted to a KEF sound bar. I began to regret it almost immediately.

I now have two SuperOnes, a SuperCenter, and a JBL Studio 550 sub.

Video sound is a low priority. Voices must locate to the screen and the soundtrack can't overwhelm the dialog. Otherwise, TRex bass, surround, etc. Aren't priorities. Nearly all video is streamed.

100% of my listening is Spotify 320. I can hear a difference A/B with anything less, but find it indistinguishable from lossless when tested blind.

I'm sure i could get the Denon to sound better, but the GUI is SO damn frustrating! I was thinking id simplify setup and improve sound by returning to an integrated.

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post #4 of 14 Old 09-14-2017, 11:07 AM
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If it is for listening to stereo music only and the room isn't too large, I would think the 8020 would be entirely satisfactory. I've been using one in my 15' X 20' living room for the past nine months and have been happy with how it sounds through a pair of Onkyo floor speakers and a Dayton 12" subwoofer. The nice thing about the 8020, in addition to the price, is that it has a subwoofer output and a phono input. It works for me, anyway, and I have all the undistorted audio that I can stand in my living room.
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post #5 of 14 Old 09-14-2017, 11:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Good to know! My room is about the same size.

I think the first thing to do is muddle my way through the Denon manual, which, is another thing that ticks me off, it only comes on a CD-ROM. How many people have a computer where their stereo is? Even a laptop is a bit of a pain. I bit the bullet and printed all 100+ pages. It's probably why I never fully learned how to use it in the first place.
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post #6 of 14 Old 09-14-2017, 11:41 AM
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The Onkyo comes with a paper manual!
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post #7 of 14 Old 09-15-2017, 01:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eyemgh View Post
Good to know! My room is about the same size.

I think the first thing to do is muddle my way through the Denon manual, which, is another thing that ticks me off, it only comes on a CD-ROM. How many people have a computer where their stereo is? Even a laptop is a bit of a pain. I bit the bullet and printed all 100+ pages. It's probably why I never fully learned how to use it in the first place.
You might want to start fresh and 'reset the micro processor', then run a new audyssey calibration. I never had to spend much time with the manual. I started it up, plugged in the microphone and let it run and follow the on screen prompts. When you play a source particularly music, make sure dynamic volume if off. Dynamic eq is ok, think of it as a 21st century loudness button, but try music both with and without. For low level music listening it has some advantages, adjusting bass and treble response to the ears perception of those frequencies as a function of volume. Dynamic volume comes in handy for late night movie watching as it will cut down on loud booming passages in movies. Another advantage to dynamic volume based on what you said above is that for movies it will help not having "the soundtrack overwhelm the dialog." Other than that, once done the denon should recognize what type of input is coming in and adjust itself accordingly.

(One note on your sub. For a good audyssey cal, set you sub output at around 12 o'clock. Run auydssey. If it has to correct more than +/- 6 db, adjust your sub output accordingly and rerun audyssey. Consult auydssey thread for more details, or use google, but above is a good rule of thumb.)

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post #8 of 14 Old 09-15-2017, 08:58 AM - Thread Starter
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I don't think it's the Audyssey per se. It's my lack of familiarity with the features and the cumbersomeness of learning them. When I ran it as video only, it was golden. It's switching back and forth between music and video that has been a challenge. I plodded my way through the manual and figured out how to switch between 5.1 (I have a center, but no surrounds) and plain, unprocessed stereo. It's now sounding pretty good. Again, all on me, but Denon doesn't make it easy. I guess I'm spoiled by the likes of the iPhone.
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post #9 of 14 Old 09-22-2017, 02:34 PM
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The Onkyo 8020 would be just fine. Remember, the sound comes from the speakers not the receiver. You will want to spend the most you can on good speakers.

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post #10 of 14 Old 09-23-2017, 10:25 AM
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I replaced an HK 3390 with an Onkyo 8020. Didn't notice any sound quality differences between the two, and 50wpc vs 80wpc isn't much of a difference. For a simple 2 channel receiver it worked very well. I use a Yamaha V773 AVR now - I'll replace it when it dies. It has all the connections I need and sound quality is good through a pair of Infinity IL40 towers. I have a Yamaha DVD-1700 & an Amazon Fire Stick connected to it. I use the front USB port most of the time with a USB thumb drive loaded with FLAC music files.

I think too many of us compare 50wpc to 100wpc and go for the higher power and tend to ignore other features that will make a difference. I used to do that myself. My back room vinyl setup is currently being driven by an old Nikko integrated amp driving a pair of AR-2ax speakers. The Nikko has watt meters. Any more than about 2-3 watts is too danged loud for me. The Nikko can put out up to 40wpc - I'm using less than a tenth of that and it sounds very good. I've tried to output up to 10 watts - way too loud. I'm learning to quit listening to my audio gear and start listening to the music.

Yamaha CX-A5000 - VTA ST-120 (6550 output tubes) - Salk Song Towers - Oppo 103
Vinyl Room: Emotiva PT-100 - Acurus A100 amp - Acoustic Research AR-2ax - Marantz TT42 - Oppo 103
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eyemgh View Post
I don't think it's the Audyssey per se. It's my lack of familiarity with the features and the cumbersomeness of learning them. When I ran it as video only, it was golden. It's switching back and forth between music and video that has been a challenge. I plodded my way through the manual and figured out how to switch between 5.1 (I have a center, but no surrounds) and plain, unprocessed stereo. It's now sounding pretty good. Again, all on me, but Denon doesn't make it easy. I guess I'm spoiled by the likes of the iPhone.
Onkyo 8270 stereo receiver has bass management and is $500 new from Crutchfield and $350 factory refurb from A4L.

https://www.crutchfield.com/p_580TX8...c&awug=9032311

Geoff A. J., California
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post #12 of 14 Old Yesterday, 12:24 PM
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Onkyo 8270 stereo receiver has bass management and is $500 new from Crutchfield and $350 factory refurb from A4L.

https://www.crutchfield.com/p_580TX8...c&awug=9032311
That 8270 is beginning to interest me. It was $399 when it was 'new' refurbished - even better at $349. I may yet buy one of these to replace an aging Yamaha V773 - trouble is the Yamaha is still working great.
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That 8270 is beginning to interest me. It was $399 when it was 'new' refurbished - even better at $349. I may yet buy one of these to replace an aging Yamaha V773 - trouble is the Yamaha is still working great.
I never replace a piece of equipment unless it fails or I give the old one away!

It's nice to know that there is finally a reasonably priced stereo receiver with bass management; for crying out loud an outboard high quality sub crossover for a receiver with pre outs/main ins can cost as much as the Onkyo.

Geoff A. J., California
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post #14 of 14 Old Yesterday, 07:21 PM
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I never replace a piece of equipment unless it fails or I give the old one away!

It's nice to know that there is finally a reasonably priced stereo receiver with bass management; for crying out loud an outboard high quality sub crossover for a receiver with pre outs/main ins can cost as much as the Onkyo.
The cure for that is to run full range speakers. Each of my three pairs of speakers are full range. The song towers - the AR-2-ax in the back room - and the Infinity IL40's in the bedroom. The only time my 2 subs come on is with movies. If the sound track isn't that great I might not use surround mode.

That Onkyo 8270 also has HDMI ports - a first in a 2 channel receiver, I think.

Yamaha CX-A5000 - VTA ST-120 (6550 output tubes) - Salk Song Towers - Oppo 103
Vinyl Room: Emotiva PT-100 - Acurus A100 amp - Acoustic Research AR-2ax - Marantz TT42 - Oppo 103
Twas a woman who drove me to drink. I never had the decency to write and thank her ~ WC Fields
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