I will attempt to update the initial post as relevant updates and news appear. If anyone has something they wish to add to the initial post, PM me...
I could not find a thread for this unit other than the "Carly Simon" thread (Anticipation.... (i know, bad pun)). But i may be the first here to receive the TX-NR905. I just got the unit tonite, and I can tell you it weighs a TON (well, 65 lbs boxed, actually). It's now 9:00PM and sorry to say it's way too late to set it up (I go to work at 3:30AM). If I am lucky, i will try to set it up tomorrow afternoon and will post some pics if possible (pics posted). To all the others who ordered and get theirs, good for you!!
My dealer said that Onkyo is completely out of the 905s as the initial production run was completely sold out. That's all for now....NINTH UPDATE IMPORTANT NOTICE (posted 02/24/12)....
Owners of the Onkyo TX-NR905... Many of you remember that there was a infamous issue called the DTS HD Master bomb that appeared a few years ago. A firmware update supposedly fixed that.
Unfortunately the release of the Star Wars Blu-Ray disc proved that to be wrong. Skipping to chapter 16 on Star Wars: A New Hope would result in an extremely loud explosion on your speakers because of a decoding program issue on the DTS DSP decoding chip in September 2011.
Onkyo has finally released a firmware update for the 905. Owners must contact Onkyo for the update disc. They will not post the fix online as apparently I was the only one reporting the issue so they will be handling the updates on a case by case basis.
They can be reached at 1-800-229-1687 option #3.
See this link
for more info...Eighth Update!! (April 11, 2008)
Onkyo has released the DSP updates for the 905. You can access them from here
Note the following!! The DSP update is a SOFTWARE update for the DSP and is done via CD. The update for the FIRMWARE is done via the RS232 port...
1. You must register the receiver before you can download the file to update the DSP. You can register it here
2. You are allowed to download the file ONLY ONCE so don't screw up.
3. This software update is only for the DSP, it does not update the firmware to 1.08.Seventh Update!! (April 7,2008)
Gurkey was nice enough to combine the firmware and DSP thread info here
.Sixth Update!! (March 30, 2008)
As some of you may know, Onkyo's x05 series of receivers appear to have issues when decoding DTS HD Master bitstreamed signals. On certain DTS HD Master encoded Blu-Ray discs (notably Fox's "The Fly") a significant "pop" can be heard during playback. The "pop" is loud enough to damage your speakers (Kris Deering, noted online reviewer reported that his center channel and right front speakers were damaged by the "pop". You can see an example of the "pop" here
The receiver's three TI DSP chips need to be upgraded in order to fix this problem. While Onkyo USA has not released any software updates as of April 1, 2008, it appears that some enterprising users have been flashing their DSPs with the European updates with no ill effects. Note that the updates are currently NOT confirmed to be compatible with the U.S. products. Users have confirmed that it DOES remedy the DTS issue. (NOTE: The software update for the DSP was released by Onkyo on April 11. See top of page!!)
The latest firmware for the x05 receivers is version 1.08 as of April 1. You can read more here
The instructions on how to update the DSPs can be found here
.addendum: I updated the firmware to 1.08 and also upgraded the DSPs with the European version with no ill effects. Note that my unit had firmware 1.01 initially. I was able to update the unit to v1.05 a few months ago (thanks JoeRod). Although the instructions to flash the DSPs say that the unit should shutdown when completed, it appears that everyone who updated the DSP ended up with the receiver hanging after the third DSP is flashed. Turning the unit off after ten minutes seems to be the norm for this hangup.Fifth Update!!
Finally setup the 905... here is what I noticed...
1. The dreaded popping sound is still there. When starting DVDs, there is some static coming from the speakers (in fact, the manual warns you of this... it says there may be some noise when stopping, starting or skipping chapters when playing back movies) To be really frank tho, the popping sound is not that loud. It actually sounds like some muted staticy sound. a bit irritating but not a deal breaker for me. It is somewhat surprising tho (update, page 132 states this occurs on DTS soundtracks)(The popping sound also occurs after i insert a DVD into my player).
2. The Reon upscaling seems to be okay, not as good as my Denon 3930CI, but better than other receivers I have seen. There are picture options to adjust macro blocking, edge enhancement, noise and type of source (video, film or auto)(I could not find any reference of picture options in the manual). I noticed it is best to set the unit to pass thru if you have a player that can upscale. I set the PS3 to 480P but the text on the info screen is noticeably softer. I have not really played too many DVDs on it yet but it APPEARS to me that the Reon does not appear as sharp as the PS3. Will verify with more testing. Note that the manual states it is best to use upscaling in the source device if possible iso using it in the receiver. My testing seems to support this unless the upscaling in the source unit is really poor.
Update on video processing. The receiver is quite close to my Denon 3930CI DVD player in upscaling standard DVDs. The Denon however has added features which the Onkyo lacks (not surprising as the Denon has the more advanced HQV Realta processor. After playing several DVDs, my impression is still the same. I feel the PS3 is a tad sharper than the Reon, but the PS3 shows a bit more MPEG artifacts than the Onkyo. On a clean DVD, both look amazingly smooth and good, but the PS3 shows more noise on bad transfers. Oddly enough, the Onkyo seems to fail the "jaggies" HQV Benchmark test (it passes the rest). Don't know if it is because the PS3 is feeding 480P iso 480i but I suspect that may be the cause.Another update on the video processing. Enabling the Reon processor appears to alter the black levels on the receiver. Updating the firmware to v1.05 or later is supposed to fix this problem.
3. The menus are better than previous Onkyo's but not as nifty as the Sony XMB on their ES receivers. In fact, the Onkyo OSD seems rather basic when the colors are not taken into account. The menu system is very simple, but the Onkyo is a very flexible receiver. Some menu items can be a bit sparse on info so setting up the unit can be a bit puzzling. If I can take a decent picture of the OSD in my theater, i will post it later.(Pictures have been posted on page 5)
4. After having the Audyssey calibrate the sound, I must say I am really impressed with the audio. Played the remastered Fifth Element Blu-Ray and the audio is greatly improved from the SuperBit DVD with a lot more detail (played back the BR with Dolby True-HD). Due to the greater dynamic range, I find that True-HD is too soft on quiet moments while playing the movie and gets too loud in explosive scenes. The volume control goes from about a -60dB to 0(?? not sure, can't turn up pass -12 as it gets too loud at night). I find that on loud passages, I turn the volume to about -20. At soft areas, i crank it up to -13. This was unlike an earlier Onkyo (969 v2) which the volume was 0- whatever, I usually set the volume to 55-60 (I noticed that on page 106, the volume display can be changed back. the range is -81.5 to +18dB or 0.5 to 99.5).
The calibration mike cable is between 15-20 ft. I do not know how they coiled it but it took me about 15 minutes to untangle the thing. The coil is rather small and the end with the mike is wrapped around the inside of the coil. The problem I had was that the coil opening was too small for the mike to pass thru.
Note that you must set the audio on the PS3 to Linear PCM, NOT bitstream to get the discrete surround to playback correctly with HDMI (this is contrary to what the manual says on page 42, I don't know why I cannot get discrete surround with bitstream thru HDMI). Also, setting the PS3 to detect HDMI audio to auto did not work. It gave some message that the output device is not capable of receiving audio or something to that nature. i had to manually configure the HDMI audio on the PS3.
Couple of irritating things, only ONE subwoofer output. Also, to me, the subwoofer output sounds like it was about 5dB too low in volume. There was absolutely no bass when calibrated. It could be from the ambient sound from my a/c was too loud. Will try to recalibrate later with the a/c off. calibration takes a while, expect at least 20 minutes and another few minutes to save the info. Calibration takes a few minutes per position. It can calibrate up to eight positions (minimum three) so you can figure on how long that takes. (Recalibrated the audio. It seems pretty accurate. Six positions took about 20-25 minutes).
The Onkyo sounds solid. The audio is well balanced, not as sterile as my old Denon, a bit more warm and more open. My older Denon was rated at 110wpc and the Onkyo is rated at 140wpc. Technically, 30 more watts should not make much of a difference but my old Denon definitely ran out of steam driving 4 ohm speakers. The unit would easily clip at moderate loud volumes. The Onkyo can get quite a bit louder than the Denon, probably because of the beefier power supply.
Worse, the display shows MULTI-CHANNEL out no matter what discrete format it has... Dolby Digital, True HD or DTS... they all show MULTI-CHANNEL on the display. If not for the PS3 info screen, I would have no idea what it was playing (I now see that on page 77, you can display the input signal, will need to test this out)(OK, this does not work, it still shows multichannel when pressing the display button twice)
5. The HDMI signal seems to lose some sharpness. It appears that the HDMI output loses some sharpness when going thru the receiver. It looked to me that the picture looked better going directly to the projector (a Marantz VP12S3, btw which is 1280x720P, I cannot test 1080P upscaling since the projector cannot handle that signal).
6. Have enough cables for setup. I could only hook up one HDMI input since I was short cables... forgot about them... DOH!
I will add more later....
7. The speaker banana posts seem to be mounted on a rather flimsy board. The outer most zone binding post was bent out of position when I was unpacking the unit. I was able to straighten it out easily but it felt like the post was mounted on a piece of tin.
8. The remote control is not great in layout. But it is a LOT better than my previous Denon in terms of ease of use. And finally, this remote has a button on the side to turn on backlighting. (Hooray!!! All the buttons are lit!!!)
9. the HDMI inputs are labeled backwards. This threw me off. The inputs are labeled 4,3,2,1 from left to right. I could not get a picture for awhile until I noticed this. it should have been labeled 1,2,3,4..... The optical ports have little doors to cover the opening. the doors do not remove like normal optical plugs do. so don't go ripping them off.
Some of the jacks in the back are not labeled input or output so keep the manual handy.
10. the OSD can only output to HDMI or the other displays, but not both at once. you have to pre-configure the output first using the front panel button if you are only using HDMI for your display. see page 54. You can only output to one HDMI port at a time.
11. the late night function (volume compression) only works with Dolby Digital formats, not DTS)
Popping open the lid shows that the toroidal transformer sits in the middle of the front of the unit, mounted vertically. Two other iron-core transformers sit outside of the unit. The heat sinks and power transistors are in the middle and the primary circuitry in the back, with the Reon video board sitting on the top back right.
As you can see, the power transformers are massive!! no wonder this thing weighs a ton. I really doubt the Denon 4308CI/3808CI has transformers the same size. My older Denon receiver 3802 transformer seems inadequate compared to this.
This receiver weighs 15 lbs more than the new Denon 3808 and i think it is in the power supplies. larger power supplies means the unit should have better reserves for peaks. Anyone considering the Denon should really look at the new Onkyos first.Important notice!!!!
The 905 gets extremely hot!!! so hot, you cannot leave your hand on the top cover too long. Surprisingly, the heat is not coming from where I expected it to. The heat is centered over the circuit board area (the back third) of the chassis, not from the power transistors. I know the HQV processors get extremely hot as my Denon DVD-3930CI gets very hot over the video processor and requires adequate ventilation or the board fails. My guess the Onkyo needs a LOT of space around it too. Definitely do NOT put this puppy in tight spaces!!!
If you have any questions... ask... no questions about the radio section please, I don't listen to the radio (Hawaii has crappy stations other than PBS).
You can find internal pictures of the Onkyo here