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I had thought about getting a new AV Receiver for a long, long time. I'd had several down through the years... mostly Onkyo's of various stripes. My then current receiver in my main living room...
Extremely Flexible. Torroidal Power. Relatively Easy to Set Up. Powered Zone 2 for ALL Inputs!
Heavy as all get out. Does NOT have the most popular streaming channels. Still have to have a WiFi Dongle to Connect to the Net or Home Network
I had thought about getting a new AV Receiver for a long, long time. I'd had several down through the years... mostly Onkyo's of various stripes. My then current receiver in my main living room system was the venerable Onkyo TX-NR905 that I'd bought used off the Bay almost 7 years ago. It was a "beast" but it gave great sound, particularly in 2-Channel mode. I live in a 1934 Sears Kit House. I've not the room for a HT Room AND a dedicated 2 Channel Room so my AV receiver has to do double duty. The 905 did all I asked of it but was limited in HDMI inputs, and did not support sound return and video streaming. There were ways I could've gotten around that via other devices ie. a new Blu-Ray player or Roku... I was pondering which way to go when I spied a "new in box" Onkyo 5010 on the Bay for way less than two grand. After emailing the owner I determined it was a legit offering and bought it. Here's my review:
My Main System:
Onkyo TX-NR5010 Receiver
Oppo BDP-83 Blu Ray
Time Warner Cable HiDef DVR and Cable Box
Yamaha 5 Disc CD Player (forget the model)
ADS 1290 Mains
Ohm Walsh 2's as Rears/Sides
Boston Acoustics Center
The Venerable HSU VTF-3 MK1.front firing 12-inch Sub recently upgraded with a VTF-3 MK4 amplifier
Ancient Klipsch speakers in the kitchen for Zone 2
First Impressions: Heavy, heavy and way heavy... BUT the 905 was no skinny mini. The box had a couple of rips BUT the receiver arrived undamaged.
Box Contents: All there... power cord, remote etc... Well packaged and in their respective places.
Manual: Non existent... but it did contain a CD. I had to print out the manual at work and put it in a loose leaf binder for easy reading and access.
Installation: I use a wooden furniture-like AV cabinet I was worried about the height and depth of this monster but it had the same basic dimensions of the 905. I'd already taken off the rear of the enclosure so wiring was a cinch. I run a 5.1 system... I know, I know... a 5010 is massive "overkill" for my needs and a 3010 or even lower model would've done just as well but the price was right AND I wanted the extra head room for clean, 2-channel music play back. The back was/is well laid out and standard banana plugs work fine.
Set Up: This was more problematic than I'd expected the GUI has been completely revamped since the days when my 906 was a flagship. However a simple step by step reading of the manual got me where I wanted to go. I blew a tweeter in my 1290's using Audessy so I calibrate by hand using my trusty Digital Rat Shack SPL meter, a tape measurer and camera stand. In less than 15 minutes I had the sound about where I wanted it. In all the years I've been doing this calibration doesn't seem to change.
Movie Playback: As you'd expect from Onkyo's current flagship, movie viewing and sound were superb. It handled everything I through at it like a champ and the house rumbled nicely while using "Master And Commander" as a test disk.
Music Playback: In 2 channel mode the Onkyo really shows it's stripes. I don't have separates or a dedicated 2 channel system but I do scratch this itch at friends homes so I know how good a real deal stereo can sound. The receiver in 2 channel is good, it won't make you forget your Macintosh Amps or other high end gear but it gives you a great approximation. Separation and soundstage were excellent and everything from Classical to RnB sounded good if not great.
Streaming: This is the only area I was disappointed in. I expected Netflix and other premium streaming channels and did NOT get them, not even Hulu! Pandora and many other services were there for music but none for video. But, the music services sounded great and so did music streamed from my computer Hard Drive. I'm down one firmware update so perhaps more services have been added.
Overall Score: In the end I give the Onkyo a 4.5 out of 5. The lack of a dedicated internal WiFi connection coupled with weak streaming offerings keep this from being a perfect score. Not for the weak of wallet nor weak of back but you get what you pay for.