(Posted 01/12/2013. Please note: I am sad to report that I no longer own the Onkyo TX-NR906. While I loved the receiver, it no longer could meet my needs. I must admit that the Onkyo was one of many that suffered the maladies of many; bad HDMI boards, DTS HD Master "bombs" and very hot running. I have gone on to a new Pioneer SC-67 Elite Class D receiver.
In some respects, the Pioneer outperforms the Onkyo, in others the Onkyo is better. The Pioneer sounds a LOT cleaner (the Onkyo sounds course or grainier) but the Onkyo sounds more powerful with greater power reserves. The Onkyo has a far better remote control (I used a Logitech Harmony One anyway). The Pioneer MCCAC gives a far better and more accurate surround sound effect than the Onkyo's Audyssey. The Pioneer has some really nice features that improves the sound quality of compressed audio files plus it supports Apple's AirPlay. The Pioneer''s multi-zone capability is better than the Onkyo, has dual subwoofer outputs and finally, the Pioneer has nine channels of amplification. All this made me decide it was time to upgrade and move on.
Thank you for your support and I hope that all of you have many years of future enjoyment with your receivers.)
Yippee!!! My Onkyo TX-NR906 is here!!! My dealer said it is in and I can pick it up tonight... I will be setting it up this weekend and will post pictures in this thread when I can... If any of you have any questions about the receiver, I will try to answer them. As with my TX-NR905 thread, I will try to post any important factoids in this, the first post... Do not expect anything until late Saturday or sometime Sunday while I take out the TX-NR905 from the system and put in the TX-NR906 in.
The Onkyo TX-NR906 looks exactly like the TX-NR905... I cannot really see any differences between the two other than the stickers on the front are different. The internals also look identical... but the DSPs are different... Oh yeah... the unit is now made in Malaysia, not Japan like my 905 was...
The firmware shows:
Firmware 1.00 08703A
I did not notice any difference when switching HDMI sources (it's not any faster) but so far I did notice that the amps do not "thump" the speakers like the 905 did with the PS3. I will try to see if the Reon processor has any black or white level issues later and report again when possible.
To answer some questions...
There is a new Zoom mode which allows one to fill the entire screen when watching an non-anamorphic widescreen DVD. This works rather nicely, except that the zoom mode is fixed that way until you reset it back to full which returns you to a normal image. Watching an anamorphic DVD with the zoom enabled will zoom into the image as well. To me, this alone makes the 906 a worthwhile upgrade... i was sick of watching non-anamorphic movies with a black box all around... unfortunately, watching them zoomed in now shows how badly they were mastered... edge enhancement raised its ugly head a lot in those early DVDs.
I was also asked if the Onkyo zooms a 4:3 image to 16:9 automatically like the 905 (I don't remember having this problem with my 905), it does not have this problem.
The new EQ modes, Dynamic Volume etc., allows you to compress the dynamic range so that softer passages are louder and that the louder passages are softer, do you do not have to worry about having too loud stuff going on audiowise. When enabled to high compression mode, the sound is notably compressed to the point where any action scenes seem muted. The normal dynamic compressed mode is a better option where the compression is not as heavy handed. Please note that enabling dynamic volume seems to kill the bass output a bit....
The auto-calibration for the Audyssey EQ is still painfully slow, taking about 30+ minutes to do an six seat calibration. Although some reviews reported that the Audyssey in the 905 was inaccurate in judging distances with speakers, I did not experience that problem with either the 905 or 906.
The Reon processor seems to be better behaved than the 905. The Reon on the 905 upscaled rather poorly imho. The Reon in the 906 is an improvement over that. The scaling is as good as I have ever seen. Inputting a 480P signal thru the HDMI comes out very nicely, as good as the Sony PlayStation 3, maybe a bit better. Watching "Transformers" on Blu-Ray and on the standard DVD was close enough where I did not notice the SD-DVD as being that much of a downgrade over the Blu-Ray. I did not notice any issues when switching the Reon off or on like the early 905s where it altered the black levels to a considerable degree.
The HDMI switching is painfully slow... It took an average of 10-12 seconds to switch between my Sony DVP-NS975 HDMI upscaling DVD player and the Sony Playstation 3. I understand some people were saying that on the 905 the image would appear before the audio would lock in... well, the 906 is reversed... you will hear the audio first for a couple of seconds before the video image appears.
The audio in the 906 is identical to the 905... I could not discern any issues or differences between the 906 or the 905. I would like to mention that while the 905/906 has very good audio compared to a Denon AVR-3806 (which sounded very flat) or a Sony STR-DA5300ES (which sounded very weak), it still does not quite come up to dedicated amps... I noticed that connecting my speakers using a Marantz SA-8260 SACD/CD player and a Marantz PM7200 integrated amplifier had better soundstaging, the depth was better and the detail was better with more focus than with the Onkyo connected to the same Marantz SA-8260 player. Still, the Onkyo easily outperformed both the Sony and Denon with better impact and dynamics. The Denon did sound a bit smoother on the top end over the Onkyo, but still not enough to compensate over the other Onkyo advantages.
Most of you will want to know if the 906 is a worthwhile upgrade over the 905... If you want the Reon processor looking better or need the upscaling feature, then yes. Watching upscaled video in the 905 was bad enough where i always had the source upscale to 1080P. Now the 906 is good enough where i can just leave the HDMI to 1080P in the receiver. Otherwise, the dynamic volume and zoom modes are really the only improvements I can see. If you have no need for them, stick with the 905.. especially as they would probably dropping that price down with the 906 now out. After thinking about the 906, I would not have really reconsidered buying it if i had not needed another receiver in the house. Hope this answer everyone's questions.
The attached photos are of the unit itself...
The Onkyo suffered from the dreaded DTS HD Master bomb a few years ago... A DSP firmware update seemed to resolve the issue. Unfortunately, the recent release of the Star Wars & the Tree of Life Blu-Rays showed that the update was not perfect as these discs had the same DTS HD Master bomb issue as before. The Star Wars disc was released in September 2011. It is now February 2012 and Onkyo sent me a firmware CD. Although they denied there was an issue, the latest disc does show different filenames for the DSPS...
The previous firmware update had the title: 08919A...08605C... 08506A... and was 872kB in size
This current one has the filename 12116A... 08605C... 08506A.. the disc is a CDA disc and shows only 44 bytes in size.
I applied this firmware update and it seemed to fix the DTS HD Master bomb issue. Unfortunately, the format of the CD prevents anyone from copying the update or uploading it. You will have to contact Onkyo to resolve this issue.
Edited by Jon S - 4/19/13 at 10:18am