Originally Posted by schmeelik
I finally decided to upgrade my vintage 110w/rms 2ch pioneer amp and 170w/rms speaker (each has 3" tweeter, 5" mid and 2x12" sub) system to a home theater system.
I loved this system, at half volume it was very loud but the highs were still very crisp and clean and the bass was very tight. (I could feel these 4 subs shake the house, small items on my coffee would even move)
I finally decided to purchase the polk monitor 70's, cs2 center and monitor 40's for the rear. After breaking them in running them with my old amp, the monitor 70's sounded great for music, the highs were clean even the bass was good but as expected the low end was gone. These polks can go loud as I was used to without getting distorted or harsh, (I could see the excursion on the drivers and I was afraid I might damage them with the amp at just over half volume)
I then decided to buy the Onkyo 708 which had the same power rating as my old amp. I was immediately disappointed with the sound quality and volume level, I played with all the settings (intellivolume, adjusted db levels etc.) for a week. After running audyssey it was much worse as it lowered all the levels. In pure, direct, and 2 channel stereo mode I had the volume almost to max and sound was incredibly harsh, distorted, a lot of hissing and very uncomfortable to listen to. It sounded like my friends cheap $200.00 HTIB system! I then returned the 708 for the beefier and higher power rated 808. The sound and volume level is better but is still nowhere near as clean and loud as my old amp. If I was to compare the two amps. if my old amp is rated 110w/ch the Onkyo 808 should be at about 40-50w/ch. I have read through a lot of forums and tried every possible adjustment and I can't get this Onkyo to play music at higher volume levels as I though it should for a receiver at this price range of $1200.00. One of the main reason I bought this receiver is for the high power rating for music. Do all AVR receivers these days have poor amp sections? or is there something I am still missing here? Should I have bought a receiver in $500.0 range with pre-outs and buy external amps like an Emotiva to get the clarity and volume as my old amp?
I thought the same at first when I received the 808. Try this if you like it, it makes a world of differance...
1) Turn the receiver & TV on
2) On the Onkyo remote press "home"
3) Press "enter" on the remote where the audio is highlighted
4) Arrow down to "dynamic EQ" and turn on
5) Arrow back and then down to "dynamic volume" & arrow right to "light".
** I am assuming you ran the Audyssey already?
You may have to get into set up and adjust/tweek the DB's as I had to on the system as well.