setup question, what type of speakers used?
And while we are waiting. Here is the first review I know of from AV Forums, poster: Irobot on the PR
-SC5507 9.2 Channel A/V Controller
I recently purchased the PR
-SC5507 and thought I'd post a mini-review of it. It's my first Onkyo amp, previously owned Denon and Marantz amps.
First impression, it's a big ugly black box and even though it doesn't have any power amps, it's still larger than my previous Marantz avr and almost weighs as much. Yep, this one's best kept hidden away in a cupboard. I've put it next to my Arcam P7 and it makes the P7 look small and stylish
. Speaking of Arcam, my original intent was to get the AV888 but that unit has issues and lacks some useful features (Audyssey, DSD) and some features that might be worth playing around with in the future (DSX,PLIIz etc.). However, if the Onkyo didn't satisfy on the sound quality front, I would still consider changing to the Arcam (if they fix the issues). But that won't be necessary as having spent some time with the Onkyo, I'm very happy with its sound quality for music and movies. Also it's worked flawlessly with everything I've thrown at it so far, multiple sources (PS3, Sky HD, Oppo BDP-83, Sonos, PC), simultaneous HDMI outputs to TV and PJ and being able to play an audio source (CD) while having a muted video source on the TV (football). You can tell it's a mature product as it should be being the 3rd or 4th gen pre/pro from Onkyo. One thing I didn't like is that there seems to be a relay inside the amp that clicks when you change sound formats. It also clicks when changing channels on Sky HD if you’re using the optical connection. You get used to it though.
Plenty of HDMI inputs, seven at the back, one in front. I took the easy option and plugged my Sky, Oppo and PS3 into the ones labelled cab/sat, DVD/BD and game respectively. It saved time having to mess around assigning inputs. Sky only outputs DD5.1 through the optical so you have to assign the cab/sat audio input to one of the optical inputs i.e. OPT1 making sure to press ENTER so that an asterisk appears next to it i.e. OPT1*. I expect this will catch a few people out.
There are three source configurable trigger sockets, I use one to turn on the power amp and another to turn on the sub. You can set a delay between them to avoid power surges.
Firmware updates can be done over the web like the PS3 and Oppo. The first update is already available, something to do with the iPod dock and internet radio, neither of much interest to me but I tried it anyway and the update worked fine, took about 15 minutes.
Auto setup starts as soon as you plug the Audyssey mic in. The mic is the usual Audyssey tower mic with a threaded insert for tripod mounting. You have to do a minimum of three positions and up to eight max. You can choose between wide and height channels but not both together. There’s two subwoofer pre outs which are treated separately. Auto setup will determine level and distance individually for each sub. I like this line from the manual:-
"No matter how many speakers you use, two powered subwoofers are recommended for a really powerful and solid base".
Looks like Onkyo are base junkies
Audyssey is engaged by default when auto setup completes and so is Dynamic EQ. Dynamic Volume is off by default and I'm inclined to leave it turned off as I don't like the idea of any compression to the sound. Auto setup did a good job on my system.
The Onkyo sounds great with stereo music. There's a sense of greater space and clarity to the sound compared to what I've heard with previous amps. If you switch to a matrix mode, "Dolby PLIIx Music" in particular, there's some real magic going on with the sound. Take for example tracks from Fleetwood Macs Mirage album, the main vocals are clear and precise and come from the front soundstage while the background vocals appear to come from around you and particular instruments from different parts of the surround soundstage. It sounds fantastic even though it's just a stereo CD but sounds every bit as good as some of my multi-channel SACD discs. Matrixing has never worked this well before with other amps and I’ve often just gone back to listening in straight stereo. The surround processing of the Onkyo is top class.
Movies sound superb. Watching Sunshine in DTS Master Audio, the Onkyo seems to sound more complete, you get enveloped with the sound/atmosphere of the movie. With previous systems, the surrounds gave me all the effects OK but not so much the atmosphere. At lower volume levels, the surround channels don’t fade out like my previous amps. This is probably down to Dynamic EQ.
I put on a concert blu-ray, Iron Maiden - Flight 666 and ramped up the volume to reference level. Holy crap, it was seriously loud but awesome, half the street must have heard what I was listening to. The drum sounds in particular were excellent, a really visceral impact.
The single remote supplied is OK but will no doubt end up in my remote control shoebox once I get the Harmony programmed with the most useful buttons. One problem with the remote is that you’ve only got one button to cycle through the surround modes and this amp has a huge number of surround modes so trying to get to the one you want can be a hassle. The Onkyo’s got plenty of DSP power, you can apply surround sound modes to things like DSD and HD bitstreams which my previous amp couldn’t do.
The OSD is really useful, it will show volume changes so no need to squint at the front panel any more. Surround mode changes also come up on screen. Pressing "Display" will show info about the audio input and output, pressing it again will show info about the video input and output. The setup menu isn’t overlaid though.
Video processing is pretty well covered with the ability to set resolutions and picture adjustments per source. Or you can just set a global resolution or you can set the global setting to "through" and it will pass the video through untouched.
I don’t know why Onkyo are calling these new units "network controllers/receivers" because it won’t play videos over your network. It will play music over the network but it puts a short gap between songs which is annoying for live music or classical or lots of other stuff like Pink Floyd. Internet radio is the only thing it does properly over the network. I'll be sticking to the Sonos for music playback.
Here’s a naked shot for anyone who’s in to that kind of thing
, sounds superb, has a huge amount of flexibility with both audio/video and works flawlessly with every source I tried and nothing much to complain about.
I’ll post some feedback when I’ve had a chance to try out PLIIz or Audyssey DSX.
UPDATE #1 - 7/11/2009
I ran some frequency sweeps with REW software to see what effect Dynamic EQ is having on my system. These curves are at different levels but overlayed on each other so you can see the effect.
With the Onkyo running at reference level or with Dynamic EQ switched off, I get a fairly flat frequency response as shown by the black line. The more you reduce the volume, the more Dynamic EQ will compensate by adjusting the base curve and surround levels.
(7.1) Fronts: Kef Ref 203/204C Rears: MA R225HD Sub: MA GSW12 Pre/Pro: Onkyo PR
-SC5507 Power Amp: Arcam P7 PJ: InFocus X10
Sources: PS3, Sky HD, Sonos, Oppo BDP-83
Poster's Very nice setup!: http://www.avforums.com/forums/membe...ro-stylee.html