Originally Posted by Jim Hef
Is that a typo??? That doesn't bode well for that AVR!!!
It's not uncommon to see receivers drop off significantly in power with all channels driven, 20-20k.
Sony ES receivers have had this "problem" for many years*--they are very well built and can put relatively large amounts of power into 2 channels, but drop off severely in the all-channels-driven test. (Even today, a Sony DN1000 will test with more power all-channels-driven, than a DA5400ES which weighs probably double and will easily beat it in stereo mode.)
*The only exceptions to this for Sony in the past 6-7 years were the S-Master Pro Digital Drive receivers which didn't exhibit this problem, but only lasted a couple model years.
Though Sony has exhibited this across many ES models for some time, we know that all receivers are going to drop off to some degree in this test. There is no such thing as the "100W x 7" the manufacturers would lead people to believe. Well at least not for most receivers, especially those below the $2000 mark. The fact that the Onkyo drops down to about 30W per channel does seem low looking at the number, but it's not all that surprising. As BobL pointed out above as well, there have been some high level Denons that have exhibited similar behaviour in this test.
However, in the real world (where you aren't listening to sine waves and pushing every channel hard at the same time, all the time, throughout the entire frequency range), the lower power into 7 channels becomes less of a concern. This really is of much more importance than the relative torture test a receiver gets on the bench. If you aren't running into volume/power/distortion/clipping issues when playing back multi-channel material at usual listening levels, you shouldn't really care that a given receiver can do "only" 30-40W in such a test.