Pure sound quality. Onkyo vs Marantz? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 42 Old 01-04-2009, 07:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Greetings everyone,
I very recently picked up an Onkyo 706 AV receiver at a great price (i.e. $500). Since then a friend who previously owned a high end stereo shop recommended Marantz as a better receiver from a pure sound quality point of view. While I love movies, I care more about music.

As we all know, people says lots of stuff about the different brands. From those who have listened to all this equipment, will a similarly spec'd Marantz sound better than an Onkyo? If so, how much better? In what ways?

Thanks in advance. I am still within my return period for my Onkyo.
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post #2 of 42 Old 01-04-2009, 07:35 PM
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until you have both side by side in the same room, hooked up to the same speakers, you'll never know.

You not gonna hear what someone else does so take your "friends" advice with a grain of salt because it's not as cut and dry as that.

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post #3 of 42 Old 01-04-2009, 07:56 PM
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While I've not heard a Marantz (I'd like to), I did have a SR705 and moved to a Pioneer Elite 92TXH which is considerably better in SQ than the 705 was- fuller, warmer wider sound. I feel there are better out there than the lower/middle end Onkyo, especially if you spend a couple of hundred more. That said, tons of people love their sound, just not me.
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post #4 of 42 Old 01-04-2009, 08:02 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n8dogg View Post

until you have both side by side in the same room, hooked up to the same speakers, you'll never know.

You not gonna hear what someone else does so take your "friends" advice with a grain of salt because it's not as cut and dry as that.

+1
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post #5 of 42 Old 01-04-2009, 08:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply You make some excellent points. I would never rely on any single person's subjective opinion- even about a restaurant! Ultimately, AV equipment has to please the individual user.

However, certain receivers are better regarded than others for either sonic or video performance. For example, it is clear from perusing these forums that Denon receivers are generally preferred over Onkyo.

The advice was given to me by somebody who is currently working in a AV store that just happens to carry Onkyo, Denon, NAD and Marantz. He actually is in a unique position to compare equipment. I'm not particularly nor exclusively interested in his opinion. This is way I'm wondering if folks across the forum have any intelligent or consistent opinions.

-- Take care.

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Originally Posted by N8DOGG View Post

until you have both side by side in the same room, hooked up to the same speakers, you'll never know.

You not gonna hear what someone else does so take your "friends" advice with a grain of salt because it's not as cut and dry as that.

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post #6 of 42 Old 01-04-2009, 10:28 PM
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I understand about your friend who works there but it is still just his opinion.
I really just mean maybe you should go to his store and bring some cd's, get him to connect some speakers so you can a/b test and decide for yourself. (without him feeding his salesman mumbo jumbo.

And personally if I had to choose? I'd go with nad, The marantz sound is not for me (which is why I went with separates )

Blasting brown notes for 10 years and counting!

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post #7 of 42 Old 01-04-2009, 11:39 PM
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Not sure that it really matters, but Onkyo receivers I've auditioned in my theater/music setup have pretty weak pre-amps in terms of sound quality. Overly bright is how i'd describe it.

Probably works great on most low to mid-range home theater speakers, but on more analytical/accurate music oriented speakers it wasn't a happy marriage.

To be fair, I was only testing the pre-amp as I use external amplification.

Never had a Marantz in here, but as far as low-cost receivers go, I was very impressed with the sound quality of the Pioneer 1018 when used as a pre-amp.
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post #8 of 42 Old 01-05-2009, 03:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by naschbac View Post

Not sure that it really matters, but Onkyo receivers I've auditioned in my theater/music setup have pretty weak pre-amps in terms of sound quality. Overly bright is how i'd describe it.

Probably works great on most low to mid-range home theater speakers, but on more analytical/accurate music oriented speakers it wasn't a happy marriage.

To be fair, I was only testing the pre-amp as I use external amplification.

Never had a Marantz in here, but as far as low-cost receivers go, I was very impressed with the sound quality of the Pioneer 1018 when used as a pre-amp.

I had an Onkyo 606 and took it back for a 1018, I am much more happy with the 1018.
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post #9 of 42 Old 01-05-2009, 03:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by naschbac View Post

Not sure that it really matters, but Onkyo receivers I've auditioned in my theater/music setup have pretty weak pre-amps in terms of sound quality. Overly bright is how i'd describe it.

Probably works great on most low to mid-range home theater speakers, but on more analytical/accurate music oriented speakers it wasn't a happy marriage.

To be fair, I was only testing the pre-amp as I use external amplification.

Never had a Marantz in here, but as far as low-cost receivers go, I was very impressed with the sound quality of the Pioneer 1018 when used as a pre-amp.

I had an Onkyo 606 and took it back for a 1018, I am much more happy with the 1018.
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post #10 of 42 Old 01-05-2009, 05:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Was the 1018 also an Onkyo?


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Originally Posted by JTik View Post

I had an Onkyo 606 and took it back for a 1018, I am much more happy with the 1018.

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post #11 of 42 Old 01-05-2009, 05:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply.

Quote:
Originally Posted by naschbac View Post

Not sure that it really matters, but Onkyo receivers I've auditioned in my theater/music setup have pretty weak pre-amps in terms of sound quality. Overly bright is how i'd describe it.

Probably works great on most low to mid-range home theater speakers, but on more analytical/accurate music oriented speakers it wasn't a happy marriage.

To be fair, I was only testing the pre-amp as I use external amplification.

Never had a Marantz in here, but as far as low-cost receivers go, I was very impressed with the sound quality of the Pioneer 1018 when used as a pre-amp.

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post #12 of 42 Old 01-05-2009, 06:03 AM - Thread Starter
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I would agree about listening w/ my own ears w/ recordings that I am familiar with. I have a standard set of CD's that I bring w/ me whenever I audition equipment. Listening in a store, in a different room, different speakers, different electronics... can also be of limited value. Whenever possible, I try and demo equipment at home on my stuff. That tells me what I really want to know.

I also like NAD very much. My last AV receiver and CD player are both NAD. While many love the NAD stuff for audio, it is not always considered tops for video processing.

I will probably go w/ a separates approach for a smaller room 2-channel listening environment, as my HT is currently in my family room.

Take care.

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Originally Posted by N8DOGG View Post

I understand about your friend who works there but it is still just his opinion.
I really just mean maybe you should go to his store and bring some cd's, get him to connect some speakers so you can a/b test and decide for yourself. (without him feeding his salesman mumbo jumbo.

And personally if I had to choose? I'd go with nad, The marantz sound is not for me (which is why I went with separates )

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post #13 of 42 Old 01-05-2009, 06:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tim3320070 View Post

While I've not heard a Marantz (I'd like to), I did have a SR705 and moved to a Pioneer Elite 92TXH which is considerably better in SQ than the 705 was- fuller, warmer wider sound. I feel there are better out there than the lower/middle end Onkyo, especially if you spend a couple of hundred more. That said, tons of people love their sound, just not me.

I am no pro in sound quality but statements like this confuse me. The sound was fuller,warmer and wider. In my opinion audio reproduction should be true to the original recording. If you do blind listening tests and one receiver sounds fuller than the other receiver, is the receiver that sounds "fuller" correctly reproducing the sounds? How can that question even be answered?

I only ask this because I get confused when terms like "full","warm", "bloated", "coarse" or any word that describes "texture" of music. I'm not disagreeing that these terms should be used but, there is no accurate definition to how someone perceives sounds.
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post #14 of 42 Old 01-05-2009, 06:25 AM
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headshrinker2,

IMO, the Marantz sound is akin to NAD's. I had an NAD T760 and loved it's sound. When it died I bought the Pioneer 1018, and subsequently a Marantz 5003...ended up keeping the Marantz because of the "warmer" sound it produced. I have not compared the Onkyo...
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post #15 of 42 Old 01-05-2009, 09:03 AM
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I'm curious how big the differences are in sound quality these days since almost all receivers have an automatic calibration mode (audyssey, mcacc, ypao). I just got the Denon avr-989 (same as 2809ci) and it sounds completely different (much fuller, warmer etc.) with Audyssey calibration vs. the precalibrated sound.
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post #16 of 42 Old 01-05-2009, 09:34 AM
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Onkyos are brighter than Marantz but have a lot more features. I'd say the overall sound quality is the same. Marantz seems to have better materials and sounds cleaner on the higher freq. I ended up getting the Marantz.
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post #17 of 42 Old 01-05-2009, 09:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bryanb View Post

I'm curious how big the differences are in sound quality these days since almost all receivers have an automatic calibration mode (audyssey, mcacc, ypao). I just got the Denon avr-989 (same as 2809ci) and it sounds completely different (much fuller, warmer etc.) with Audyssey calibration vs. the precalibrated sound.

I can't comment on YPAO as I haven't used a Yamaha receiver lately due to my bias against their house sound but Marantz's MRAC seems to be missing EQ and low freq correction compared to Audyssey. But Denon which is the strongest proponent of Audyssey doesn't come with a better amp module to begin with so even with Audyssey it still sounded veiled and unbalanced. To me anyway...
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post #18 of 42 Old 01-05-2009, 10:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Veda View Post

I can't comment on YPAO as I haven't used a Yamaha receiver lately due to my bias against their house sound but Marantz's MRAC seems to be missing EQ and low freq correction compared to Audyssey. But Denon which is the strongest proponent of Audyssey doesn't come with a better amp module to begin with so even with Audyssey it still sounded veiled and unbalanced. To me anyway...



Marantz uses Audyssey MultEQ...at least on the US models. I see you list your location as Asia - do they not use Audyssey MultEQ on the Asian models?
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post #19 of 42 Old 01-05-2009, 12:59 PM
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What I'm curious about is since current Onkyo and Marantz receivers use Audyssey, will they sound any different comparitively after Audyssey calibration? Assuming we are comparing similar models with similar quality DACs etc.
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post #20 of 42 Old 01-05-2009, 05:04 PM
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This is a great question...I'd like to hear some feedback as well. Maybe you could pose it in the official Audyssey thread and let us know.

Only comment I have - FWIW - is that after MCACC on the PIO and Audyssey on the Marantz, the Marantz sounds better...and it sounds better with the correction stuff disengaged on both.
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post #21 of 42 Old 01-05-2009, 05:10 PM
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Quote:


I did have a SR705 and moved to a Pioneer Elite 92TXH which is considerably better in SQ than the 705 was- fuller, warmer wider sound. I feel there are better out there than the lower/middle end Onkyo, especially if you spend a couple of hundred more. That said, tons of people love their sound, just not me.


Its simply a different EQed setting. Do people really believe AVRs are built differently to color the sound? Any AVR (with same build quality) will sound the same if the settings are actually the same.

I would also bet that I could run Audyssey on either, setup a blind test and no one here could pick out the Onkyo or the Marantz

Placebo drugs have also been proven to stop pain

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post #22 of 42 Old 01-05-2009, 05:27 PM
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I tend to agree...but how does one make AVR A's settings sound equal to AVR B's short of professional calibration?

As to your second point - which I think is bryanb's question - does Audyssey provide the equivalent of this professional calibration no matter how the unit was EQ'd from the factory?

FWIW - I tend to listen to music in Pure Direct mode anyway...
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post #23 of 42 Old 01-05-2009, 08:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by penngray View Post

Its simply a different EQed setting. Do people really believe AVRs are built differently to color the sound? Any AVR (with same build quality) will sound the same if the settings are actually the same.

I would also bet that I could run Audyssey on either, setup a blind test and no one here could pick out the Onkyo or the Marantz

Placebo drugs have also been proven to stop pain

It sounded better, what else can I say. What terms would you use to describe the difference if you heard a Radio Shack receiver versus a Marantz 6003 for instance? Different amps and processors have different qualities and therefore, sound, regardless of EQ settings being equal.
And by the way, it was an opinion for the thread starter to help him make a decision per his request.
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post #24 of 42 Old 01-06-2009, 12:10 AM
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I dunno about onkyo but my uncle had a marantz (high end one not sure of model number) it died on him so i told him to get the receiver i have (denon 2808ci) once i hooked it all up for him he told me he loves the denon and the marantz sounded like crap next to it.. for some reason the marantz gave the speakers a lot of distortion and a crappy sound the denon makes it sound Crystal clear.
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post #25 of 42 Old 01-06-2009, 06:59 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by penngray View Post

Its simply a different EQed setting. Do people really believe AVRs are built differently to color the sound? Any AVR (with same build quality) will sound the same if the settings are actually the same.

I would also bet that I could run Audyssey on either, setup a blind test and no one here could pick out the Onkyo or the Marantz

Placebo drugs have also been proven to stop pain

Too much bass from DIY speakers have been proven to ruin the listener's hearing also.
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post #26 of 42 Old 01-22-2009, 07:48 AM
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Which is better in terms of sound quality in movies and music? Audyssey or M.R.A.C?

I'm thinking of buying a refurb sr5002 or similarly priced onkyo 576 or 606. I just don't know if the Audyssey will kick M.R.A.C. by a mile.

TIA
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post #27 of 42 Old 01-23-2009, 12:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sx_abella View Post

Which is better in terms of sound quality in movies and music? Audyssey or M.R.A.C?

I'm thinking of buying a refurb sr5002 or similarly priced onkyo 576 or 606. I just don't know if the Audyssey will kick M.R.A.C. by a mile.

TIA

I am wondering this exact question. I heard that the Marantz sounds better from a purely audio quality point, but I think that the Onkyo might end up sounding better with the Audyssey. I'm not 100% sure though. Anyone else?
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post #28 of 42 Old 01-25-2009, 12:17 PM
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Anyone?
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post #29 of 42 Old 01-25-2009, 12:41 PM
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I always wonder why people use so many adjectives to define sound.

What exactly does bright or warm or full or airy etc. mean?

Unless I have heard the original recording in the same studio in which they were recorded, I never know what exactly a song should sound like. So there is no way to
judge if an equipment is exactly reproducing the music.
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post #30 of 42 Old 01-25-2009, 12:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tagerton View Post

Anyone?

I have tried many mass market AVR's like Yamaha 659,661,663, Denon 688, Onkyo 705, Marantz Sr4002 etc. and I didnt find any difference. I mainly tried for 2ch music (no EQ of any kind used).

I also had the impression that Marantz SQ is superior. It is all just BS.

At the mid level all these mass market AVR's sound pretty much the same.
If you are going for high end amps, pre-pros then you might notice differences in sound quality. At some $500 price point there is not going to be noticable differences, at least that has been my experience. I did that to finally put my mind to rest.

Look for the features that you need, go to the store and see if you like the remote, check the price and then make a decision.
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