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Onkyo A-5VL Stereo Amp - Page 2

post #31 of 60
Hi Veda, thanks for your comments.

In fact my intention is to use it with some digital audio player, eg. pc, logitech squezeebox or something similar, and now I am strongly considering that Onkyo A-5VL for many good reasons.

BTW, congrats for your systems, looks awesome!
post #32 of 60
If that's the case then the A-5VL is perfect for your application. For $550-600 it's a decent deal if you look at it as a whole package. Though those looking for tube or sweet british sound beware and look elsewhere.

The other strong contender to the Onkyo is the Pioneer SX-A9-J. It has USB input, sounds similar but with more air, and is of a similar size as well. I was gonna get this one but it's more expensive and I'm biased towards class d.
post #33 of 60
Yep, that Pioneer looks interesting as well, but I have some difficulty to find it here in Brazil, then I must go with Onkyo anyway.

Thanks again!
post #34 of 60
Btw, the prices seem to have dropped. It's only $525 shipped at that big auction site... function-wise it still can't beat the all purpose TX-L55 which I got for $350 brand new. Tonight I'm gonna do the direct comparison between the two using my Newform floorstanders. If the A-5VL wins then it goes to my PC system and the other goes to the office for background music duty.
post #35 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Veda View Post

The C-S5VL CD/SACD player looks interesting as well, I guess I'll hold off my purchase of the Arcam CD17 until I get a chance to compare them both.

I own the Arcam CD17, in the price range I have not been able to beat it. I don't want to get into a debate about CD players but let me know if I may share my experience.

Kirk
post #36 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by K Shep View Post

I own the Arcam CD17, in the price range I have not been able to beat it. I don't want to get into a debate about CD players but let me know if I may share my experience.Kirk

The CD17 is very good indeed but the only CD player that I can truly say is better instead of just sounding different, is the Cary CDP-1 with the BB 1792 DAC. Unfortunately that DAC is only available on very pricey players. I just don't like paying such a sum for a component that I know is going to break down within 3 years or so and without real support (where I'm at anyway).
post #37 of 60
It seems that the A-5VL is shorter in depth by about 2 inches or so but is way heavier than the TX-L55. At 10.2kg it's close to the A9555's 13kg! Here's the setup ready for comparo:





post #38 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Veda View Post

The CD17 is very good indeed but the only CD player that I can truly say is better instead of just sounding different, is the Cary CDP-1 with the BB 1792 DAC. Unfortunately that DAC is only available on very pricey players. I just don't like paying such a sum for a component that I know is going to break down within 3 years or so and without real support (where I'm at anyway).

The BB 1792 is also in the V-DAC, which I thought sounded noticeably worse than the analog out of my $90 Denon 1940ci. So I returned the V-DAC. I recently acquired the C-SVL5, and much prefer it to the 1940ci.
post #39 of 60
Yeap, noticed I'm keeping the good old DV-SP504 on my Cary setup? It's because the character matches better than the others. The C-SVL5 would be a perfect upgrade but again Onkyo CD players aren't known for lasting too long around here. And I'm not willing to shell down $600 for a player.
post #40 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Veda View Post

Yeap, noticed I'm keeping the good old DV-SP504 on my Cary setup? It's because the character matches better than the others. The C-SVL5 would be a perfect upgrade but again Onkyo CD players aren't known for lasting too long around here. And I'm not willing to shell down $600 for a player.

I got the C-SVL5 from Vann's for only $350 with free shipping. I haven't heard about any reliability issues with Onkyo CD players. Where did you hear this?
post #41 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Veda View Post

The CD17 is very good indeed but the only CD player that I can truly say is better instead of just sounding different, is the Cary CDP-1 with the BB 1792 DAC. Unfortunately that DAC is only available on very pricey players. I just don't like paying such a sum for a component that I know is going to break down within 3 years or so and without real support (where I'm at anyway).

Cary makes great equipment. My friend has a great connection to Cary equipment and he had the 306 Pro in his home for an audition, I was next in line to receive the unit but I brought home an Ayre DAC instead. I was at a cross roads two months ago...upgrade my CDP or go to a computer front end. The computer front end won out and I could not be happier.

Kirk
post #42 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by cacophony777 View Post

I got the C-SVL5 from Vann's for only $350 with free shipping. I haven't heard about any reliability issues with Onkyo CD players. Where did you hear this?

It's now $495 at Vann's. First hand experience with the local distributor. I've also had 2 of their DVD and CD players having problems with reading discs after only a few months.
post #43 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Veda View Post

It's now $495 at Vann's. First hand experience with the local distributor. I've also had 2 of their DVD and CD players having problems with reading discs after only a few months.

If you add it to your cart the price goes down...
post #44 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by K Shep View Post

The computer front end won out and I could not be happier.

Ultimately the computer setup is ideal in today's world but I would need a Squeezbox or some kind of FLAC streamer so I won't have to hear the computer fan in the room. Plus there's no remote. There's also an issue with SACD layer playback.
post #45 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by cacophony777 View Post

If you add it to your cart the price goes down...

Ahh didn't notice it. Too bad they don't give discounts for the A9555. Not that I can order from US anyway as I'm in Asia and shipping is problematic. Even to Australia I still have 1 item at their customs waiting clearance. Oh well, I'll just have to wait until I go to US next year. Btw, have you guys tried it with the A-5VL?
post #46 of 60
Just an update, I finally moved the TX-L55 to the Focal setup at the office which is noticable upgrade from the Panny SA-XR57. The A-5VL trounced the TX-L55 in detail and pristine clean presentation.
post #47 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Veda View Post

Ultimately the computer setup is ideal in today's world but I would need a Squeezbox or some kind of FLAC streamer so I won't have to hear the computer fan in the room. Plus there's no remote. There's also an issue with SACD layer playback.

My Mac Mini doesn't have a fan. If you rip an SACD and your DAC has the ability to play Hi-Rez files you shouldn't have an issue with the SACD layer. In my system I utilize an iPhone with the free "remote" application as the remote control. Here are photos of my computer setup. If you are not an Apple guy Squeezbox Duet is a solution with their LCD remote.

Kirk
LL
LL
post #48 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by K Shep View Post

My Mac Mini doesn't have a fan. If you rip an SACD and your DAC has the ability to play Hi-Rez files you shouldn't have an issue with the SACD layer.

Kirk

where did you find a mac mini without a fan? I thought they had fans. Is overheating a problem? Maybe the fan is just quiet?
And how do you rip the sacd layer? I didn't think that was possible.

Thanks
post #49 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by dknightd View Post

where did you find a mac mini without a fan? I thought they had fans. Is overheating a problem? Maybe the fan is just quiet?
And how do you rip the sacd layer? I didn't think that was possible.

Thanks

The only time my Mac Mini sounds up is when I am ripping a CD. I copied this from a website I was directed to by my buddy that works for Apple.

The Mac Mini has a fanless external 85W switch-mode power supply, about half the size of the Mac itself, moving a major source of heat out of the metal chassis. Combined with the G4 processor's relatively low clock speed, this was presumably key to Apple's thermal design. Having less heat to dissipate means that, while the Mac Mini does have a small cooling fan, it rarely spins up to a high speed. Performing normal office work it is inaudible. The only noise coming out of the Mac Mini is the quiet hum of the hard disk, and even that can spin down automatically when the system is completely idle.

You are correct it is impossible to rip the SACD layer. You can rip DVD-A discs using DVD Audio Explorer, but DVD-A is now virtually extinct as a format.

Thats 2 points I posted incorrectly. My apologies.

Kirk
post #50 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Veda View Post

Just an update, I finally moved the TX-L55 to the Focal setup at the office which is noticable upgrade from the Panny SA-XR57. The A-5VL trounced the TX-L55 in detail and pristine clean presentation.

Great! Now I would like to know how this Onkyo sounds comparing with some cheap integrated amps joined with some good and cheap external dac, eg: the Cambridge 340a with the zero dac. Any thoughts?
post #51 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodrigues_Brazil View Post

Great! Now I would like to know how this Onkyo sounds comparing with some cheap integrated amps joined with some good and cheap external dac, eg: the Cambridge 340a with the zero dac. Any thoughts?

The question isn't if it's better, rather which DAC chip's sound do you like? When you talk about DAC's, it's all a matter of taste. Amps on the other hand depending on the design, can be accurate or less accurate. In the case of Onkyo's class d, accuracy above all.
post #52 of 60
Maybe not much to add since my earlier posts about the A-5VL, except to agree that, yes, it is best suited for situations requiring digital input with <40 [understated] watts required. I very much like the extreme digital accuracy of its DAC and amplification. When combined with a digital input, its accuracy does make it "un-smooth" but, personally, I don't want my amplifier smoothing off the edges. It is "cold and analytical," if not a "beast", though, so not for you "warm" types. I just listened to Goldfrapp's "Strict Machine" in lossless format from my iPhone through the Wadia transport (bypassing the iPhone DAC) into the coaxial digital input in the A-5VL using the on-board DAC and I can assure everyone that portable digital media input has never sounded so good. The opening digital drum "thwaps" will knock you back with their unparalled crispness. It's something else.
post #53 of 60
Eric, I've recently ran into a few problems with PC digital coax out to the unit. The amp works with 2 out of 3 of my PC's. I need to check and do further analysis on what is different on the PC that works but all should be using the same SB X-Fi Xtreme Audio. But I need to reverify whether the model is exactly the same. This is a problem since I'd like to move the amp to the office which has the PC that doesn't work. Anyway the problem is the signal lock light won't light up so practically no signal getting into the DAC. Not a cable problem since I've exchanged them a few times.
post #54 of 60
Update: Problem isolated to 2 SB X-FI Xtreme Audio cards which would not regardless of what I did, output spdif to the A-5VL but works fine with other receivers. Changed PCs, reinstalled drivers, nothing works.
post #55 of 60
Have you tried both, optical and coaxial?
or perhaps that is not possible with your sound card?
post #56 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Veda View Post

nothing works

Still no solution?
post #57 of 60
Nope, only the coax. The amp would work with all DVD and CD players but only with 1 of the Soundblasters. Same drivers and all. I wonder if they have a different chip batch. Those non-working soundcards would work with the Onkyo TX-L55 class-d receiver which is really odd.
post #58 of 60
My wife got this amp (refurbished) for her desktop and it has a slight, but noticeable, transformer buzz. It happens without any speakers or source plugged in, and even when plugged into a conditioned power source. Is this normal/unavoidable or should I exchange it for another one? My Onkyo receiver doesn't have this problem.
post #59 of 60
Try this from HD for ~$1 just to check if you have a ground loop issue:
Cheater plug
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyxle View Post

My wife got this amp (refurbished) for her desktop and it has a slight, but noticeable, transformer buzz. It happens without any speakers or source plugged in, and even when plugged into a conditioned power source. Is this normal/unavoidable or should I exchange it for another one? My Onkyo receiver doesn't have this problem.
post #60 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Veda View Post

Nope, only the coax. The amp would work with all DVD and CD players but only with 1 of the Soundblasters. Same drivers and all. I wonder if they have a different chip batch. Those non-working soundcards would work with the Onkyo TX-L55 class-d receiver which is really odd.

What stops you from getting a Toslink cable and giving optical a try?
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