Appreciable difference between Onkyo 606 & Stronger amp/processor or AVR? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 64 Old 06-15-2010, 02:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello all,

I currently use a system of the following 5.1 system:

Speakers: AV123 RSC850 x 4 (front and rear), AV123 RSC200 x 1 (center)
Sub: eD A7S.450
Receiver: Onkyo 606
Tv: 50'' Sony 1080i LCD

With a 900$ sub and 4500$ worth of speakers (retail atleast!), I feel like I'm doing myself a disservice with such a run of the mill avr.

My sources are currently: PS3 (blu ray) [HDMI], Uverse [HDMI], Computer Video [HDMI], Computer digital audio [SPDIF Optical], USB DAC/Stereo Preamp [Analog], (future) Turntable [analog].

If I was getting the upgrade bug, clearly I think the places to spend my money would be either my receiver or my tv... but I would like to see 3D technology innovate a bit more before I hop on that train. Is the same true for AVRs, or should I consider getting some more power for my speakers? Would I even be able to tell a discernible difference? At what price point does the value really show up these days? Brands / Units I should look at or be wary of?

Thank you for any suggestions.
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post #2 of 64 Old 06-15-2010, 03:05 PM - Thread Starter
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I am considering an Emotiva XPA-5 + a receiver with preouts.

Thoughts?
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post #3 of 64 Old 06-15-2010, 03:20 PM
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Yes, excellent idea. An external amp will entirely change what you hear from those speakers. You will be amazed.

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post #4 of 64 Old 06-15-2010, 03:21 PM
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I have yet to be amazed by adding an amp. But the XPA seems to be a good deal.

"But this one goes up to 11"
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post #5 of 64 Old 06-15-2010, 03:36 PM
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IMO, the Onkyo 606 is seriously underpowered for the OP's speakers. I agree that at lower volumes the improvement will be negligible, but again, IMO, at or near reference volumes a quality high-powered amp will dramatically improve the dynamics and soundstage of his speakers.

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post #6 of 64 Old 06-15-2010, 03:40 PM
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And yes, I concede that "amazed" might be a little overdramatic, but I do think he'll very much like the improvement

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post #7 of 64 Old 06-15-2010, 03:52 PM - Thread Starter
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It looks like I can pick up a Onkyo 707 (which has the preouts) for a decent deal on ebay... total upgrade cost of around 1000-1100. Then I could go back and resell my 606 for maybe 125?

For ~1000$ worth of upgrade, is this the smart play? I get great sound now, but I tend to think thats more speakers, subwoofer and source than my processor/amp.
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post #8 of 64 Old 06-15-2010, 04:04 PM
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Hello,
Going from an Entry Level AVR to a high powered 5 Channel Amplifier would make a fairly large change. It is somewhat mitigated by the fact there is a very high quality Subwoofer in the equation in the mix.

By handling all frequencies below 80 Hz, the strain on the Onkyo is greatly reduced. Same will be true if adding an XPA-5 where it will have more headroom by not having to reproduce the low frequencies.

If planning to go the route described, I would give a serious look at the Onkyo TX-SR707 from Accessories4less for 449 (899 MSRP) It would give the necessary Preamp Outputs, THX Processing, Audyssey MultEQ, and more.

If Internet Radio is important to you, the TX-NR807 is available for 549 (1100 MSRP) from AC4L as well. Also, the 807 gives you Ethernet Firmware Updates. However, I would probably go with the 707 and save the 100 Dollars.
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post #9 of 64 Old 06-15-2010, 04:17 PM
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The Onkyo NR1007 (great price!) or NR3007 would also drive those 5 rocket speakers with no problem - and won't need an external amp. Both come with Audyssey MultEQ XT - a better version than what is in the 707. The 'NR' designates a network ready receiver.

The newer NR708 also has networking. The 707 is a good option but doesn't have quite the feature set of the NR series AVRs. You might get by with the NR807 with no external amp.

That 606 is probably stressed!

When all else fails - RTFM!

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post #10 of 64 Old 06-15-2010, 04:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Audiodork View Post

Hello,
Going from an Entry Level AVR to a high powered 5 Channel Amplifier would make a fairly large change. It is somewhat mitigated by the fact there is a very high quality Subwoofer in the equation in the mix.

By handling all frequencies below 80 Hz, the strain on the Onkyo is greatly reduced. Same will be true if adding an XPA-5 where it will have more headroom by not having to reproduce the low frequencies.

If planning to go the route described, I would give a serious look at the Onkyo TX-SR707 from Accessories4less for 449 (899 MSRP) It would give the necessary Preamp Outputs, THX Processing, Audyssey MultEQ, and more.

If Internet Radio is important to you, the TX-NR807 is available for 549 (1100 MSRP) from AC4L as well. Also, the 807 gives you Ethernet Firmware Updates. However, I would probably go with the 707 and save the 100 Dollars.
Cheers,
AD


Thank you for the reply! I didn't know I could get a 707 retail for so cheap. That makes it pretty hard to pass up...
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post #11 of 64 Old 06-15-2010, 04:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knucklehead90 View Post

The Onkyo NR1007 (great price!) or NR3007 would also drive those 5 rocket speakers with no problem - and won't need an external amp. Both come with Audyssey MultEQ XT - a better version than what is in the 707. The 'NR' designates a network ready receiver.

The newer NR708 also has networking. The 707 is a good option but doesn't have quite the feature set of the NR series AVRs. You might get by with the NR807 with no external amp.

That 606 is probably stressed!

It gets very warm. I knew when I bought it that it would probably struggle and wasn't enough wattage... but I put this audio system together all at once, and couldn't afford a nicer receiver at the time.

I'll read up on the NR receivers to see if there is a benefit here trumps my alternatives.

I run Boxee on my computer and get many online video/audio feeds directly from there, so it may be moot - it may not. I'll check it out. Thanks for the reply.
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post #12 of 64 Old 06-15-2010, 05:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c10x View Post

Thank you for the reply! I didn't know I could get a 707 retail for so cheap. That makes it pretty hard to pass up...

It is a B-Stock which in this case means that it is refurbished. However, AC4L is an Authorized Dealer and every one I have seen looks brand new. The Factory Warranty is 1 Year instead of the usual 2 Years, but with that level of savings you can easily add an Aftermarket Warranty.
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post #13 of 64 Old 06-15-2010, 06:08 PM
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The more I think about it, I gave you advice based on MY experience in MY system with MY listening habits. In reality, depending on your listenening habits you may or may not gain a big benefit from an external amp. From now on I'm not going to answer these questions without first asking how the OP listens to their system. For instance, do you critically listen to your system, or is it just something you listen to casually while hanging with family and friends? Do you mostly listen to music or movie soundtracks? And what volume do you listen at when watching movies - reference levels? Have you noted any specific issues with your current AVR, such as harshness at higher volumes or poor soundstage or imaging?

It's quite possible your answer to these questions could change my advice. Perhaps you WON'T benefit from an external amp in your system.

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post #14 of 64 Old 06-16-2010, 05:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Gooddoc View Post

The more I think about it, I gave you advice based on MY experience in MY system with MY listening habits. In reality, depending on your listenening habits you may or may not gain a big benefit from an external amp. From now on I'm not going to answer these questions without first asking how the OP listens to their system. For instance, do you critically listen to your system, or is it just something you listen to casually while hanging with family and friends? Do you mostly listen to music or movie soundtracks? And what volume do you listen at when watching movies - reference levels? Have you noted any specific issues with your current AVR, such as harshness at higher volumes or poor soundstage or imaging?

It's quite possible your answer to these questions could change my advice. Perhaps you WON'T benefit from an external amp in your system.

Not quite sure what you mean by 'reference volume'. I listen to it about as loud as I can stand to be during blu ray movies... music is variable. I don't notice anything wrong with the sound... in fact I am very happy with it. But I was also very happy with my Sennheiser HD650 headphones before I got my FUBAR DAC, and then once I got it, I realized what I had been missing.
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post #15 of 64 Old 06-16-2010, 05:55 AM
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See, I'm glad I asked. If you're very happy with the sound, I can't understand why you would want to spend money to fix what's not broken. For instance, I added an amp to my system recently but I did it because I wasn't happy with what I was hearing.

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See, I'm glad I asked. If you're very happy with the sound, I can't understand why you would want to spend money to fix what's not broken.....

Because if he didn't, I'm not sure this forum would even exist.
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post #17 of 64 Old 06-16-2010, 07:12 AM
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My advice would be to go for the Onkyo 3307/5007 and forget the amp. Either og these will provide more than enough power and there are deals out there for these two models. If they are too expensive there is the lower cost cost AVR + Amp combo. The Onkyo 707/807 are good choices as would be the Denon 3310( although it is higher). But the 3007/5007 wouldallow for future expansion with speakers and even an amp if you should want to that. My feelings are that the 3007/5007 are the closest thing Onkyo makes to their 805/875/876 models that are still some of the best AVR's ever made recently. Sometimes the 876 can be had at accessories4less for a real bargain. You just have to check regularly and jump whenever one shows up. They can still be had new if you google them and would still be less expensive than a good AVR and amp combo. It does not need an added amp to perform its duties.
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post #18 of 64 Old 06-16-2010, 07:43 AM
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My feelings are that the 3007/5007 are the closest thing Onkyo makes to their 805/875/876 models that are still some of the best AVR's ever made recently. Sometimes the 876 can be had at accessories4less for a real bargain. You just have to check regularly and jump whenever one shows up. They can still be had new if you google them and would still be less expensive than a good AVR and amp combo. It does not need an added amp to perform its duties.

Oh please, the 875 is a boat anchor. Worst A/V purchase I've made in 40 years.
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post #19 of 64 Old 06-16-2010, 07:57 AM
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Oh please, the 875 is a boat anchor. Worst A/V purchase I've made in 40 years.

And what are you using now?
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post #20 of 64 Old 06-16-2010, 08:00 AM
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Oh please, the 875 is a boat anchor. Worst A/V purchase I've made in 40 years.

Hello,
Wow. I have not read that many people being unhappy with the 875. Let alone considering it a "boat anchor". I actually own a Boat Anchor myself that I have used as an SSP for several years and has been fantastic. What are your issues with the 875?
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post #21 of 64 Old 06-16-2010, 08:26 AM
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Hello,
Wow. I have not read that many people being unhappy with the 875. Let alone considering it a "boat anchor". I actually own a Boat Anchor myself that I have used as an SSP for several years and has been fantastic. What are your issues with the 875?
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I agree, I've been very happy with my 875. The only reason I might upgrade is for features that the 875 doesn't have, particularly Audyssey Dynamic Volume. I want that.

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post #22 of 64 Old 06-16-2010, 09:29 AM
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I agree, I've been very happy with my 875. The only reason I might upgrade is for features that the 875 doesn't have, particularly Audyssey Dynamic Volume. I want that.

Maybe he got a lemon or is just one of the Onkyo haters. However, they all make lemons and not all of us are fans of every brand. My 876 has also performed flawlessly since I got it. Would not at this time trade it for any of todays other models because it does everything I need and want plus things I'm not using. And that includes Denon,Marantz, H/K,NAD, or any of the many others I've read about or seen. I'm sure he has his reasons which are the typical ones (egg frier,space heater,caught fire,smokes, or many of the other numerous things written about them). But this is off topic for the OP, it however does not change my mind and recommendation about either of the ones I suggested.
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post #23 of 64 Old 06-16-2010, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by phantom52 View Post

Maybe he got a lemon or is just one of the Onkyo haters. However, they all make lemons and not all of us are fans of every brand. My 876 has also performed flawlessly since I got it. Would not at this time trade it for any of todays other models because it does everything I need and want plus things I'm not using. And that includes Denon,Marantz, H/K,NAD, or any of the many others I've read about or seen. I'm sure he has his reasons which are the typical ones (egg frier,space heater,caught fire,smokes, or many of the other numerous things written about them). But this is off topic for the OP, it however does not change my mind and recommendation about either of the ones I suggested.

Pio Elite SC-07. Difference in sound is night and day.
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post #24 of 64 Old 06-16-2010, 10:49 AM
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I'm glad you found something you like. What are the differences between the Onkyo and Pioneer?

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post #25 of 64 Old 06-16-2010, 10:58 AM
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i think the 807 or 1007 will do the trick. if you need 3D capability, it gets a little hairier.
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post #26 of 64 Old 06-16-2010, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by mrjktcvs View Post

Oh please, the 875 is a boat anchor. Worst A/V purchase I've made in 40 years.

I'm not the most experienced of AVS members and I don't want to start any fights in here...but as an almost electrical engineer converted to mechanical engineer I do build/modify amplifiers and would have to agree with this...

If you look at Onkyo/Yamaha, etc vs some other main stream manufacturers like harman kardon. Not only do they have overrated specs...but more importantly the internal components used are WAY cheap in comparison.

Pioneer is better than both but still not as good as Harman Audio. Integra (Onkyos "Lexus") has better components....but still...

Many people seem to enjoy them...I wouldn't go near one.



Separates are the way to go....I'm moving in that direction.

I would say Emotiva for the win...those things are tanks...

B&K makes good amps at reasonable prices (used) with INCREDIBLE build quality.

If you are on on budget, the onkyo you have could be used for processing with a larger amp...the brains of those are just fine...
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post #27 of 64 Old 06-16-2010, 11:09 AM
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Pio Elite SC-07. Difference in sound is night and day.

Too bad MCACC absolutely sucks and if the 875 is a boat anchor I would call MCACC a bottom dwelling Carp

The 875 is the 885 with an amp. The 885 is pretty damn good and I would bet anyone in a proper DBT they couldnt tell the difference in SQ with any other pre/pro in the price range.



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Pioneer is better than both but still not as good as Harman Audio. Integra (Onkyos "Lexus") has better components....but still...

Many people seem to enjoy them...I wouldn't go near one.

Prove it Your car analogy is pretty far off. You do realize the same components exist in the Integra vs the Oknyos.

HK is not better either. If you guys want to put $$$ up instead of subjective opinion Im ready and waiting for anyone to ACTUALLY PROVE any of their opinions

Pioneer is the lowest in terms of functionality and control. Give me Audyssey Pro and the rest is history.

Lets just say your opinion has ZERO data behind...stick to just enjoying and less opinion posts


Quote:


I would say Emotiva for the win...those things are tanks...

Never judge an amp by its weight. I have 15lb amps that blow the Emotivas away in specs

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post #28 of 64 Old 06-16-2010, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Ethenolas View Post

I'm not the most experienced of AVS members and I don't want to start any fights in here...but as an almost electrical engineer converted to mechanical engineer I do build/modify amplifiers and would have to agree with this...

If you look at Onkyo/Yamaha, etc vs some other main stream manufacturers like harman kardon. Not only do they have overrated specs...but more importantly the internal components used are WAY cheap in comparison.

Pioneer is better than both but still not as good as Harman Audio. Integra (Onkyos "Lexus") has better components....but still...

Many people seem to enjoy them...I wouldn't go near one.

It's ok to have your opinion of build quality, have at it. But the Onkyo specs are NOT overated. This amp has been very thoroughly benchtested and is an excellent performer as far as AVR's go. Can you point to a benchtest or review that supports your contention? Looking is not a great way to evaluate audio performance.

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post #29 of 64 Old 06-16-2010, 11:24 AM
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God...I was afraid of this.

Yes, penngray I know you hate the car analogy...and agree it is not the best but use it for simplification.

Yes, I do know Integra does some of the same parts...but the internal build quality seemed better on the one I owned...

And we have had our discussions on weight/proformance...

My claims are from my own experiences...I have owned an Integra 7.8, Onkyo 806, B&K AVR307, Harman Kardon 354 over the past few years and toyed around fixed a friends broken Pioneer VSX-8...something or other.

I have opened all of these and the quality and feel of the components seemed to match the sound pretty well....

I don't know what I need to prove...open them up for yourself. I don't care about a 15lb prodigy amplifyer...I want a 40lb transformer behind my speakers...the physics proves it will be more stable.
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post #30 of 64 Old 06-16-2010, 11:31 AM
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Benchtest them with instruments. That would contribute something useful.

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