Well I bought my Onkyo cause I really the sound quality from the receiver I borrowed for a few months from a friend.
can't recall the number though, Older Onkyo with a gray band in the middle on the faceplate.
Certainly the amp was bigger (longer) and a lot heavier than my NR717
It packed a bit more punch in wattage and I'd say it probably sounded a little bit better than the one I have now.
Probably due to the fact that I didn't have to crank it up as high to achieve full bodied sound in my room.
But overall the sound quality is the same.
And I'm sure there was a nice price difference between the two models I'm talking about.
As for Auddysey, well I like the Dynamic EQ, love that it again delivers more full bodied sound at lower volumes and not too harsh at high levels..
Don't like the auddysey on though.. that messes up the sound big time.. since I use it for monitor and mixing purposes. My control room is treated and pretty decent. So I'm not sure if what it seems to be correcting is useful to me. And playback without Auddyssey on sounds way more natural in the high frequencies.
If I'm mixing I even put the dynamic eq off, as well I don't want any processing going on which changes my equalising and level decisions.
I don't know if I'd recommend the brand though, sure they are nice receiver packed with way too many options for a nice price.
They do deliver a nice sound, but the internet is filled with tales and complaints of all kinds of models failing or exhibiting problems. And sure like mine with the faulty chip thing.. well that can't be good for their reputation, but they indeed fixed it up nicely in record time so lots of kudos to them there.
So just make sure you search for a model with the least complaints or an already fixed up amp if you go for one of the problem models.
Yeah features/price wise they are probably hard to beat?
The sound is good and clear, certainly compared to other home system amps.. when my Onkyo was in for repair, I used a kenwood amp a 70's one and a late 90's one.. now the 70's one sounded fun, but both were incredibly muffled in the highs and muddy in the low mids compared to the Onkyo, so they are doing something right.
I used to run a Urei/JBL 6290 for the stereo, now that also gave me a lot of power and clear sound, but at 600w per channel into 4 ohm.. I could easily blow my speakers with that one.. I now use one channel of it to power my sub.
And the Onkyo is perfectly suited for my main speakers which gives me a safer feeling