Onkyo TX-NR3009 NEO:X Receiver Review - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 464 Old 09-25-2011, 07:20 AM - Thread Starter
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What better way to finish off this year's Receiver and Blu ray player Reviews? Talk about going out with a BANG for 2011! I was taking my sweet time with the 3009 and then the 809 showed up. I figured why not just lump them together since they work as a perfect team. Looking at the 809 (Blu ray player) I am impressed with its rather large size. It seems most Blu ray players released these days are about 2 inches tall and weigh about as much as a loaf of bread. Weighing in at 13.4 pounds does justify calling it heavy today. So besides its impressive build quality and size what else does the 809 have to offer? Well it is THX certified and comes with Dual HDMI outs. Also it sports Marvell's Qdeo scaling to 1080p! Those that are in the "know" realize this is one very impressive scaling chip! Streaming includes Netflix, VUDU, Blockbuster, Film Fresh and more. So how does the 809 perform?

Blu ray 2Ds as expected are excellent. I was impressed with the picture options available for tweaking the image. Besides the normal amount (brightness, sharpness, contrast etc.) they also have Black Level, Gamma, individual adjusting for Red, Blue and Green, Edge Enhancement and Qdeo True Color which is for 10 bit and 12 bit displays. This expands 8 bit to 10 or 12 by helping to eliminate contours while still preserving details. This is a fancy way of calling it upconverted color or "Deep Color" which seems to have slipped away behind 3D... Speaking of... There is a really cool little blue light on the front which lights up whenever you put in a Blu ray 3D disc. Now no matter what you can't forget why you are wearing the glasses! Serisouly though I do think it is a cool edition to the front. So far all Blu ray 3D titles and regular 2Ds have played without issue. I am using HDMI Main to my projector and the SUB to the 3009 for sound. You should be able to dial in the image as optimal as desired. The 809 can make titles look as good or better than the most expensive flagship models out there. SD DVDs which I spent a little bit of time on (popular demand) were also upscaled to 1080p brilliantly. Sure they did not look as good as Blu ray but they looked very close to HD. The Noise Reduction came in handy and did n help eliminate artificact while not hindering the image. So if you have to watch a SD DVD title (sometimes it is still not out on Blu ray or netflix) at least the 809 will make it tolerable.

Things I am not a fan of... As much as I praise Onkyo I also need to slap them. How can they release a "state of the art" Blu ray player at the end of 2011 without it being wireless? I know for many that is not a big deal but seriously that should have been an after thought. Also, who okayed the remote? It is as basic as a 100.00 generic brand's player! I would suggest using a Harmony 1100 or regular shaped universal remote. Load times even after enabling the Quick Start Mode are still on the slower side. I guess you can't get everything right. Of course with what they did get right the 809 is still a powerful unit that does deserve some good praises.

So with that I also should point out that it has USB and SD Card inputs. So compared to other players what does the 809 give you that you can't get else where? Really nothing. As much as I do like the image the hardcore Onkyo faithful will be the front runners in purchasing it. The 809 and 3009 look terrific in the same cabinet. The Panasonic 310 I just reviewed has many more options and can be found for under 200 most places. Onkyo should rethink their msrp on the 809. They describe it as a Classy player and they are correct. It sure does look Classy in my rack next to the 3009... Speaking of which...

The 3009 is NOW the best Receiver I have had to date in my set up. I am sick of typing that! The DTS: NEO X sound helps push it to that distinction. It also sports HQV's Vida for 1080p upconversion. How about also throwing in Audyssey MultiEQ XT32 which now puts any Receiver with it on the map! The 3009 is THX Ultra 2 Plus and ISF certified. There are 8 HDMI inputs (1 in front) and TWO OUTS which should be enough to get everything done and then some. The 3009 does 140W per channel and it is considered a 9.2 (two subs which are independently set up) Receiver. So how does it sound???

Starting with some newer movies... Thor and A Haunting In Salem were excellent. Noises are perfectly placed around the room. Many times I found myself looking around the room in amazement as the XT32 performed flawlessly. We put in The Lion King and the first two minutes of the movie were jaw and ear dropping! The 3009 is now making me want to play many older titles just for the pure ear candy. Voices are done so real like my dogs are on edge whenever I/we watch a movie. Our expression has always been "TV!" whenever they start to go crazy barking. Watching Dexter (our favorite show) is again rendered quite well. From the intro to times when he talks to himself. The sound has went to another level. I seriously do not expect another increase in performance like this for another two to three years. Sure we will get updated models with newer options and features but overall quality wise we should be set for a little while.

Sports... The NFL... Audyssey DSX has always been my sweet spot for the games. Now we are jumping back and forth between NEO X. I will update this Review when I finally declare a winner. We just love hearing the QB bark out signals and fans scream their heads off in the Height/Wide speakers. Caution though: we have now experienced several times when either a player or fan went on a rant cursing in those speakers. Trust me when I say it is very clear and distinct. As good as the sound is the upconverted 1080p image is excellent. Motion and overall detail were rendered well. The 3009 should be considered the best Video Processor in a Receiver ever. It is getting tougher and tougher to justify a good stand alone VP (video processor) these days. The 3009 is not helping their cause. I still like my DVDO DUO for test patterns and pushing 36 bit with PC Level (0 to 255) for my games. It makes me an eye candy extremist but the image just "pops" the way we love it to for sports. For real movie viewing I do not go through the DUO since my Blu ray player has Dual HDMI outs.

UPDATE: AUDYSSEY DSX STILL THE CHOICE FOR SPORTS!

Remote... If you have read my other Onkyo Receiver Takes and Reviews then you know what to expect. It is back lit and very nice. Feels great in your hand and the button layout is easy.

The GUI again like other recent pics I have posted is excellent and easy to navigate. With seperate audio and video sections you can't go wrong. The on screen guide makes it that much easier to set it up. The volume on screen though is a bit much. I liked the simple smaller white volume on screen from a couple years ago. This blue long stripe across the bottom can be distracting. Of course it may not bother most.

Other... Many always ask me about heat. I have not had an Onkyo Receiver shut down due to excessive heat. Ever! Of course I do believe in proper ventilation. I use Antec Component Coolers. If I didn't I would use something on those long marathon days of NFL games or Movie watching...

So the 3009 Onkyo says is on the "Cutting Edge" of High-End home theater. I agree. I also like how they state you will have an ovation-worthy performance every time. So far, so good!!!
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post #2 of 464 Old 09-25-2011, 07:20 AM - Thread Starter
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post #4 of 464 Old 09-25-2011, 07:21 AM - Thread Starter
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post #6 of 464 Old 09-25-2011, 07:50 AM
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Joerod,

Indeed, it's been a long while. But good to see you posting here!!!

Best regards,
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post #7 of 464 Old 09-25-2011, 12:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Joerod,

Indeed, it's been a long while. But good to see you posting here!!!

Best regards,
Michaelmorio

Thanks.

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You are very welcome!!!

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post #9 of 464 Old 09-27-2011, 02:41 AM
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bump
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post #10 of 464 Old 09-29-2011, 08:04 AM
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can't wait to see this review.
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post #11 of 464 Old 09-29-2011, 02:35 PM
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i want to see this review! this is the receiver i'm pretty sure i'm getting.
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post #12 of 464 Old 09-30-2011, 04:32 PM
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Very interested in your Neo:X vs Audyseey DSX comparisons.
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post #13 of 464 Old 10-01-2011, 05:28 PM
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This is a small point but for me it is annoying despite a workaround solution. One would think that onkyo designers would included a 12 volt DC trigger---to activate remote amplifiers etc etc--in such an expensive piece of equipment.
Yes, there are triggers in zone 2 and 3 but NONE in the main listening area. Interestingly the onkyo 885 i just sold had it. Yes I know you can just hook up to the zone 2 trigger output and press the zone button until the red light appears followed by pressing the source on/off button BUT so far creating a MACRO for this has not been entirely failsafe---anyway maybe there next pre/pro will have it
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post #14 of 464 Old 10-10-2011, 06:06 PM - Thread Starter
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I will have to ask the engineers about that one.

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post #15 of 464 Old 10-10-2011, 10:01 PM
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Also interested in the DSX vs. NEO comparison. Although I find it strange that Onkyo allows NEO to be 11.2 and DSX only has 9.2. Maybe we will have to wait for the Denon 4313 next year for a true comparison of the two technologies?
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post #16 of 464 Old 10-10-2011, 11:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juztfurfun View Post

This is a small point but for me it is annoying despite a workaround solution. One would think that onkyo designers would included a 12 volt DC trigger---to activate remote amplifiers etc etc--in such an expensive piece of equipment.
Yes, there are triggers in zone 2 and 3 but NONE in the main listening area. Interestingly the onkyo 885 i just sold had it. Yes I know you can just hook up to the zone 2 trigger output and press the zone button until the red light appears followed by pressing the source on/off button BUT so far creating a MACRO for this has not been entirely failsafe---anyway maybe there next pre/pro will have it

Onkyo has been doing this for a few years now. Strange indeed. At this level a trigger should default to zone 1 and they should be assignable. Has onkyo found a remote control button for hdmi 6 & 7? Those have been missing for a few years also.
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post #17 of 464 Old 10-10-2011, 11:40 PM
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Awesome review Joerod, I remember reading your now legendary 805 thread before buying my 805. That thread has over 22k posts. Anyways even before this review I bought a 3009 online and it should be arriving this week sometime. This review is making me even more excited, it looks like I made a good choice.

Joerod one question for you, since onkyo has now taken out the 12v outlet from the back of their newer receivers, what are you using to plug in your antec coolers? Do you have to turn them on manually?
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post #18 of 464 Old 10-10-2011, 11:42 PM
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Originally Posted by S_rangeBrew View Post

Although I find it strange that Onkyo allows NEO to be 11.2 and DSX only has 9.2.

All 11 at once?

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post #19 of 464 Old 10-11-2011, 02:46 AM
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Great review.

But how does it compare to 1009 soundvise?
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post #20 of 464 Old 10-11-2011, 05:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Awesome review Joerod, I remember reading your now legendary 805 thread before buying my 805. That thread has over 22k posts. Anyways even before this review I bought a 3009 online and it should be arriving this week sometime. This review is making me even more excited, it looks like I made a good choice.

Joerod one question for you, since onkyo has no taken out the 12v outlet from the back of their newer receivers, what are you using to plug in your antec coolers? Do you have to turn them one manually?

Funny thing is I still have a 805!

I do hve to manually turn on my Antec Coolers these days. If we have to sacrifice a couple little things for better sound I guess I won't complain too much. I have now made it sorta a ritual whenever I turn my rack on... Wait, that did not sound too good.

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post #21 of 464 Old 10-11-2011, 05:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Great review.

But how does it compare to 1009 soundvise?

The 1009 is very good. The XT32 however in the 3009 makes it stand out with your ears. The calibration is just more solid. There are some very small detail or subtle sounds you pick up on with the 3009. Of course if I never played with the 3009 I would have been completely happy with the 1009.

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Joerod, can you confirm whether or not they have eliminated Neural processing on the 3009, thanks.
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post #23 of 464 Old 10-11-2011, 02:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nismo604 View Post

Joerod, can you confirm whether or not they have eliminated Neural processing on the 3009, thanks.

I do not use it but I swear it is on it. I will confirm soon though.

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yes/no?

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Originally Posted by noah katz View Post

All 11 at once?


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post #25 of 464 Old 10-11-2011, 05:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nismo604 View Post

Joerod, can you confirm whether or not they have eliminated Neural processing on the 3009, thanks.

Take back what I said... Not seeing it scrolling thru all the modes...

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post #26 of 464 Old 10-11-2011, 06:16 PM
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Take back what I said... Not seeing it scrolling thru all the modes...


they giveth (NeoX) and they taketh away (neural), oh well not a deal breaker by any means but I still don't like that they take away features from us.
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post #27 of 464 Old 10-11-2011, 07:21 PM - Thread Starter
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I know. I will say you are the first Neural fan I have come across. Maybe we can request it in a firmware update.

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post #28 of 464 Old 10-11-2011, 08:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kikkenit2 View Post

Onkyo has been doing this for a few years now. Strange indeed. At this level a trigger should default to zone 1 and they should be assignable. Has onkyo found a remote control button for hdmi 6 & 7? Those have been missing for a few years also.

Their reasoning is that if the amplifiers are rated @ 140W per channel..
How much more power is needed.. It does have pre-outs so it still compatible..
If one does add a separate power amplifier, EZ enough to use a smart power strip...

Just my $0.02..
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post #29 of 464 Old 10-11-2011, 09:07 PM
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Quote:
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Their reasoning is that if the amplifiers are rated @ 140W per channel..
How much more power is needed.. It does have pre-outs so it still compatible..
If one does add a separate power amplifier, EZ enough to use a smart power strip... Just my $0.02..

Maybe unusual is a better word than strange. Yes a simple, cheap workaround is available.
Triggers sometimes control things besides amps and most are assignable in this price range.
Certainly minor nitpicking of an overall awesome receiver. Can I hear it near trabuco canyon?
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post #30 of 464 Old 10-11-2011, 09:35 PM
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Quote:
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they giveth (NeoX) and they taketh away (neural), oh well not a deal breaker by any means but I still don't like that they take away features from us.

From reviewing the graphic at the foot of the CES 2011 Home Theater Neo:X infosheet, it seems to me that Neo:X includes|replaces Neural functionality when upmixing source content originally 2.0 thru 5.1.

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