Onkyo pr-sc5507 pro Review [technical talk only please] - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 869 Old 11-24-2009, 03:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Working with many Onkyo components (mainly receivers) has become so repetitive I haven't had to open a manual in quite sometime. Hooking up the Onkyo 5507 Pro I decided to treat it like homework and actually read it. I found it had some pretty good info and I thought it explained the new sound modes Height and DSX in good detail. So after spending some quality time with the Receivers I was anxious to finally get my hands on their the new pre-pro. So how does it stack up using my AMPS?

I used to have an Emotiva MPS-2 AMP which I was fairly satisfied with. I then decided to try a B&K 200.7 AMP and have been blown away with the upgrade in sound quality. Especially the Center channel and how clear the voices have become. Deep and distinct with pristine clarity to be exact! Since I am running Height speakers above my Fronts I needed a 2 Channel AMP and decided on the flexible Niles SI 275. It has been more than adequate and my Height sound has ever sounded better. Especially with sports! I have always had good sound in my theater but this set up is that much better. So what does the 5507P bring to the rack?

For one thing I can use my XLR Balanced cables. Of course I also am using RCAs still for hooking up the Heights to the Niles AMP. It also gives you 8 HDMI inputs (one in front) which these days you can't have to many of. My favorite new option on the latest from Onkyo is the Ethernet ability to do firmware updates. Which will come in handy (hopefully soon) when they address the audio drop out issue (more on that later)...

Sound Experiences... First heading into Blu ray (using Height sound) I was more than impressed with DTS-HD and Dolby TrueHD soundtracks. Bullets were flying everywhere and rain made my dog nervous. Voices (again) were the best I have heard to date. Being Thanksgiving the family wanted to watch Four Christmases and even that movies sounded terrific. The dialog seemed as if they were in the theater with us. The moments there happened to be surround sound really grabbed your attention. And yes I am talking about Four Christmases! Other action titles were pure ear candy. Gaming, I was also impressed with the sound of Call Of Duty Modern Warfare 2 from the Xbox 360. The bullets and explosions really sucked me into the game. Same for Madden 10 and the crowd. DirecTV on the other hand was good when watching live. Especially football. The Heights above the Fronts really sparkled. I have discovered my favorite sound mode for sports is PLIIx with DSX. That really keeps the Rears and Backs into the game while showing what Height speakers can do. Hearing the QB bark out signals or just the crowd roaring will make your heart pound. I was also shocked to hear even more clearly than before the idle chatter of the crowd between plays and even some players talking trash (sometimes using expletives). Speaking of DirecTV let's discuss...

ISSUE: The audio drop outs that seem to occur with Dolby Digital programming that is recorded is a know issue and they are working on it. We record Dexter, Supernatural as well as a few other shows and it seems common to experience a couple drop outs per show. I will say the 5507 has had some (more so than the 1007/3007 I just had here which were very few and far between) and it can be quite frustrating. It has only happened with recorded programs from DirecTV. Using two different HD DVRs (HR21 PRO and HR23). If the sound was not as good as it is with Blu rays and live TV it would be hard to put up with it. But it is. I will suggest trying to hang in there while they get to the bottom of this. I have submitted a pretty large report to the engineer crew to assist them. So here's to hoping...

Enough with sound. How about Video. The 5507 (like its higher end cousin receivers) has the HQV REON VX chip. I have been very impressed with the picture quality when sending in 1080i (from DirecTV) and then having it deinterlace to 1080p. You have plenty of video calibration options. You can even have it convert a source to 1080p/24! In the pics below you will see many of the options. Not only do you get "universal" brightness and contrast settings you also get them for Red, Green and Blue. Same goes for setting the Gamma Curve! You can literally dial the image (while seeing it) to near perfection. And of course you also get Hue and Saturation adjustments. You also have your ISF night and day as well as custom settings. There is also Edge Enhancement (which strangely works well), Mosquito NR, Random NR and Block NR. There is also a Picture mode (Auto, Film, Video). I found Auto to work well. I did see a slight stutter during the football games yesterday and changing it to Video cured it. There is also a ZOOM mode which allows different Aspect Ratios. I included a few pics from a couple movies but will definitely add more over the next day or so. With family in for the Holiday it has been tough getting more time. Let's just say this is the best scaling chip I have seen to date in a Receiver/pre-pro.

Remote... I like the lighted remote (pic below) and this latest gen really has a nice button layout. They are glossy and classy looking. They also have some "key" commands that will help you out when you first set up and are trying to get used to the 5507. Hitting the Display button will tell you exactly what is coming in (sound and video wise) and also tell you what you are sending out. Even if you are doing upconverted color 10 bit or 12 bit! You also have an Audio button hat allows quick Bass and Treble adjusting. Not to mention we also get a Video command that will allow you to change resolution on the fly. And of course you get THX and other sound mode options as well as all your direct input selections. Speaking of sound mode options lets spend a minute on them...

THX Ultra 2 has always been my "sweet spot" of sound modes for movies. Since I started using the Height speakers I have been undecided. I am warming up to THX Cinema with Height but also have been using the plain PLIIz Height as well. That works generally well with DirecTV movies and shows. Game Modes have worked surprisingly well. I noticed a difference (for the better) when engaging them for sports and action games. And when I watch Curb Your Enthusiasm or Seinfeld I like Onkyo's TV Logic mode. We also like the THX Loudness Plus engaged and find it the most effective in our room. Dynamic EQ also works pretty good to.

Other stuff... Heat. I am sure someone will ask so I will just say the vents on the top of the 5507 do not start until near the back. Without having to push speakers the 5507 only gets warm. I still use an Antec Component Cooler because it doesn't need any days off.

Audyssey MultEQ XT... When doing it I suggest making sure you do all the sitting positions it offers. The more info the better. I have always been impressed with how it figures out each room and just how accurate it calculates. I am impressed with the quality of these mics to. Calibrating each Subwoofer separately was also a plus. I also have to give them kudos on their new DSX sound. I really like it for sports (using the speaker in the Height position above the Fronts). It has really opened my ears when watching the games. This year's Superbowl will easily be the most impressive (at least at kickoff).

Analog and HDMI Sound... I used my Pioneer 09FD to do analog with the 5507.Two channel sound was awesome so for you 2 channel fans, you will not be disappointed. And using the Pioneer's 7.1 outs also proved to be astounding. The 5507 allows for tweaking so you can pick the sound mode of our choice if you choose to. The Pioneer 09FD has 2 HDMI outs. You can send one into the 5507 and then send the other to your display or you can use the analog outs and send a HDMI out straight to your display. The 5507 will pass 36 bit upconverted color so no worries there but I a fan of sending the image straight to the display (no detours) for optimal results. I suggest trying both (HDMI and analog sound). Each set up may yeild different results. And of course different Blu ray players will also play a factor. I will say there is a reason analog sound has still made into our higher end products today.

Firmware Updating... Couldn't be easier. I use Netgear XAV101s for my Blu ray players and Receiver/pre-pros. I have never had an issue finding the Net. I included a few pics of the process below.

A few other things... You also get SiriusXM satellite radio. USB input for flash drive (audio). I also like it because my USB light plugs into it and it works! Not to mention regular terrestrial radio (remind me what that is again). And I almost forgot you get AV Lip sync adjusting and X.V. Color enabling. Might come in handy if you connect a Sony camcorder... And yes there are 3 12 volt trigger outs.

I know I barely scratched the surface with what this pre-pro can do. I look forward to adding more info and participating in Owner and prospected Owner discussions. The 5507 is very flexible and easy to set up (check out the sharp GUI in the pics below, even the Volume indicator looks crisp and classy)... Simply put the Onkyo PR-SC5507P is the best pre-pro available today. With its vast amount of features (top notch scaling with superior adjusting) and options (Height and DSX sound to name a couple) you would be hard pressed to find better. And that goes for pre-pros that cost three times as much. Maybe one day when they get with the Height speaker program but until then the 5507P is the only game (and movie) in town...


I would like to thank everyone for reading and for their support. If you are looking for a good trusted source send me a PM.

I would also like to announce this will most likely be my last Review of 2009 and look forward to next year. It's been a fun year!

Equipment Used:

Onkyo PR-SC5507P
DVDO DUO VP (for comparison)
B&K 200.7 AMP
Niles SI 275 2 channel AMP
Pioneer 09FD Blu ray player
DirecTV HR21 Pro and HR23 HD DVR
Sony VPL VW85 Projector
Carada Masquerade Masking System
Vutec SilverStar 120.5" Screen
Harmony 1100 Remote
Pinnacle Speakers
BD600 Center
SuperK 555 x 4
KLCR
BD500 OW x 2 for Heights
BD2000s x 2
JBL Arenas x 2
Ultrasonic Subwoofer
Digital Sub 600
MTX Lolitas x 4

Up Next: Possibly the Denon 4810... Stay tuned...
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post #2 of 869 Old 11-24-2009, 03:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Set Up Pics...
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post #3 of 869 Old 11-24-2009, 03:46 PM - Thread Starter
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More Set Up...
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post #4 of 869 Old 11-24-2009, 03:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Firmware Updating and Volume pics...
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post #5 of 869 Old 11-24-2009, 03:46 PM - Thread Starter
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A few scaling pics...
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post #6 of 869 Old 11-24-2009, 03:47 PM - Thread Starter
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480i to 1080p...

Last three are the Remote, Mic and another cool angle of the 5507...
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post #7 of 869 Old 11-25-2009, 06:43 AM
 
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The 5507 is basically just the 886 with a few worthless post processing functions tossed in.
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post #8 of 869 Old 11-25-2009, 07:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigZippyBongHits View Post

The 5507 is basically just the 886 with a few worthless post processing functions tossed in.

Come now, the 5507 has more HDMI ports and more speaker connection for which people have no room and no amps

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post #9 of 869 Old 11-25-2009, 09:07 AM
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What about the 32 bit vs 24 DACs in the 5507 vs the 886? Also, the 5507 is only a couple of hundred more then the 886, so why not?
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post #10 of 869 Old 11-25-2009, 10:38 AM
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how does the top of the line receiver TX-NR5007 compare to this processor? I got the receiver for less money than this processor, so it's like I got the 7ch amps for free. hope I didn't give up much sound quality wise.
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post #11 of 869 Old 11-25-2009, 04:36 PM
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FWIW, I do like reading joe's reviews. His review on the 807 was what got me excited abt DSX/IIz in the first place. Not many people take the time and effort to do something like this these days.

Was hoping he would do the 4810 review but luckily we had a number of guys stepping up to the plate like SeattleHT and rnweste
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post #12 of 869 Old 11-25-2009, 05:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigZippyBongHits View Post

The 5507 is basically just the 886 with a few worthless post processing functions tossed in.

also all the network/internet functions and dual subwoofer outputs. The 5507 also has DSX/PLIIx with front/wide speaker options, i don't think the 886 has USB either. For me, i would use pretty much all that stuff.

Quote:


how does the top of the line receiver TX-NR5007 compare to this processor?

i was told that they sound EXACTLY the same, including the 3007 and 1007.
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post #13 of 869 Old 11-25-2009, 06:26 PM
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"The 5507 is basically just the 886 with a few worthless post processing functions tossed in."

Troll alert

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post #14 of 869 Old 11-25-2009, 08:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woof Woof View Post

FWIW, I do like reading joe's reviews. His review on the 807 was what got me excited abt DSX/IIz in the first place. Not many people take the time and effort to do something like this these days.

Was hoping he would do the 4810 review but luckily we had a number of guys stepping up to the plate like SeattleHT and rnweste

I still might do one...

Thanks for your kind words...

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Quote:
Originally Posted by noah katz View Post

"The 5507 is basically just the 886 with a few worthless post processing functions tossed in."

Troll alert

Anyone who has owned both would laugh at that comment.

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i was told that they sound EXACTLY the same, including the 3007 and 1007.[/quote]

The receivers do have pretty much the same exact sound quality. The 5507 on the other hand using a terrific AMP.... More to come...

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could you guys knock it off please

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post #18 of 869 Old 11-26-2009, 09:19 AM - Thread Starter
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HAPPY TURKEY DAY

I will have my Review up tomorrow afternoon/early evening...


Thanks Mark.

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post #19 of 869 Old 11-26-2009, 10:07 AM
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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:http://www.avforums.com/forums/onkyo...ontroller.html

Onkyo PR-SC5507 9.2 Channel A/V Controller

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hi Dudes,

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.

Setup:-

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.



Sound Quality:-

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.

Operation:-

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.

Thanks

Steve



UPDATE #1 - 7/11/2009

Dynamic EQ:-

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.
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(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
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post #20 of 869 Old 11-27-2009, 01:46 PM
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when is that review coming? you're killin me!

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Quote:
Originally Posted by kitchen_space View Post

What about the 32 bit vs 24 DACs in the 5507 vs the 886? Also, the 5507 is only a couple of hundred more then the 886, so why not?

32 bit DACs, does not mean better sound resolution, this has been discussed many times over in this and many other forums. What looks great on paper does not necessarily mean better real world performance. Seriously.
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post #22 of 869 Old 11-27-2009, 02:31 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Woodhall View Post

also all the network/internet functions and dual subwoofer outputs. The 5507 also has DSX/PLIIx with front/wide speaker options, i don't think the 886 has USB either. For me, i would use pretty much all that stuff.



i was told that they sound EXACTLY the same, including the 3007 and 1007.

DSX and PLIIz are POST PROCESSING functions, both are IMO worthless. Id rather have some good user present functions on the EQ/xover settings instead. Dolby digital and DTS(the actual decoding formats) are what really matters. I have extensively heard DSX and PLIIz effects and am not impressed. Id rather spend the money on BETTER speakers, better placed speakers set up and EQ'd correctly with proper room treatments vs. adding a few more gimmicky satalite speakers to emulate a "phantom" soundfield that doesnt exist in the original audio recording. 99.99% of all movie soundtracks are still recorded in 5.1 sound. And it isnt going to change in the near future. You get a few 7.1 recorded tracks here and there, but they are rare still, and will be for the next few years.

As for the dual sub out, guess what? Its still a MONO output, its just split, nothing more. Don't need "dual outputs" to run more than one sub. I run 4 in my HT system myself, off a single sub out jack.
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post #23 of 869 Old 11-27-2009, 02:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joerod View Post

i was told that they sound EXACTLY the same, including the 3007 and 1007.

The receivers do have pretty much the same exact sound quality. The 5507 on the other hand using a terrific AMP.... More to come... [/quote]The 5507 is a pre/pro and does not have internal amplification, you talking about the 5007?
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post #24 of 869 Old 11-27-2009, 02:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigZippyBongHits View Post

As for the dual sub out, guess what? Its still a MONO output, its just split, nothing more. Don't need "dual outputs" to run more than one sub. I run 4 in my HT system myself, off a single sub out jack.

Aren't the dual subs individually measured by Audyssey so you get
individual distance settings, individual trim levels and individual room correction filters for each sub out?
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post #25 of 869 Old 11-27-2009, 03:17 PM
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i think yes on the first two, no sure about seperate filters
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post #26 of 869 Old 11-27-2009, 03:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickardl View Post

Aren't the dual subs individually measured by Audyssey so you get
individual distance settings, individual trim levels and individual room correction filters for each sub out?

I believe Audyssey does calibrate each sub individually. If it the 5507 does in fact have this function then dual sub outs would be an advantage. In the 5507 manual on page 90 if you select 2CH for the subwoofer setting you can calibrate each sub individually (distance and level).

Bill

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post #27 of 869 Old 11-27-2009, 04:10 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickardl View Post

Aren't the dual subs individually measured by Audyssey so you get
individual distance settings, individual trim levels and individual room correction filters for each sub out?

With a decent sub your going to get variable phase control(ie: distance setting),xover, level etc. anyway, so again, its pretty much useless unless your have some pretty basic bottom barrel subs.
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post #28 of 869 Old 11-27-2009, 04:15 PM
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I have about $4g in two subwoofers/amp. Since im using a proamp, don't have all those settings on the amp, so for me it is going to be very welcome.

Craig
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post #29 of 869 Old 11-27-2009, 04:58 PM
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I just added Irobots review from AV Forums: Really nice setup w/o inwall fronts speakers. nice read. Added a link to his HT pics and the original article link. See post 19 .
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post #30 of 869 Old 11-27-2009, 04:59 PM
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Re: 4810 review:
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Originally Posted by joerod View Post

I still might do one...

That be awesome, I'd love to see a comparison between the 4810 and this pre/pro. Right now I'm kinda sad the 5507 can't do dsx wide+height. But only somebody who's actually played with it can tell me if I should (be sad), how it compares. Plus I'm interested in how they compare for 2CH. Heck, if it wasn't for Joerod's enthusiasm about pliiz, I might just have gone for something like an Emotiva umc-1!
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