Originally Posted by brennan77
Hi everyone. First time caller. Long time listener.
I'm recently moving into a new home and am constructing a fairly run of the mill budget minded home theater. I've got a Panasonic 55in ST50 that just arrived, along with a set of Energy Take Classics. We use a PS3 and WDLive for Netflix, Vudu, and streaming mkv's to the living room.
I've previously used an Onkyo TX506 for my receiver needs. I never minded that it didn't pass HDMI audio, but I've run into a road block with running extra audio cables and the wife wants something that will be easier to operate in terms of changing settings, etc. So it's time to get a better receiver.
I have always admired the price/performance of onkyo so I am likely to stick with that brand. But I want something with full HDMI functionality, a quality amp to drive the Energy's, and a reasonable price tag.
Will the RC360 fit the bill for my purposes? Is there something better in a similar price range? Thanks in advance for any comments.
I just got an RC360 about 10 ten days ago, and I think I've enough experience with it now to give you a useful assessment. My requirements are pretty much like yours. I appreciate quality audio, but don't consider myself enough of an "audiophile" to buy audiophile quality gear. I always consider bang for the buck first, and believe for my needs once you get beyond the top "consumer quality" gear there are rapidly diminishing returns for additional dollars spent.
I also have a WDTV Live. The Onkyo remote unfortunately does not include coding for the WDTV (at least as far as I can determine), which is too bad as it's a well designed remote and if you use HDMI for all your audio and video signals and the RC360 for all your switching, I think it would be simple enough for my wife to use and probably yours too. But since it does not have WDTV setup codes and is not a learning remote I must also use a Harmony for the wife; which works well for her, except when she doesn't keep it pointed at the gear long enough to switch everything off completely, causing the remote to think something is off, when its actually on. Too bad Harmony does not utilize discrete
off and on commands, but instead only toggles
power states based on it's own recollection. I'm not as big a fan of Harmony as some, because they also don't do a great job of recreating all the buttons of complex equipment like receivers, so I've never been able to put away all my other remotes, but Harmony does seem to have a better solution than anybody else for the price.
Anyway, as far as performance of the RC360, I am a happy enough camper, with only two concerns. First though, the big positive is the audio quality, and multiple useful surround modes coupled with the Audyssey 2EQ, which completely meet my needs. The 2EQ does a really nice job of correcting frequency response for my room and speakers. Though I did have to experiment with the calibration microphone placement a bit and ran the calibration 3 times before I felt it was optimal. Be aware that the 2EQ does not equalize the sub-woofer channel (it does calibrate the sub's overall volume, just does not fine tune the frequency response curve), so some people feel it's worth the additional money to go up to the RC370 with MultEQ which completely eqs the sub. That might be true if you rely on your sub-woofer for nearly all of your bass. But in my case I have three-way front speakers with 10" woofers in addition to a 10" ported powered sub-woofer. Audysssey sets the crossover at 60Hz for the fronts / sub-woofer and equalizes down to that freq. The sub-woofer is handling from 60Hz down to possibly 15Hz at best, and I don't feel the lack of perfectly optimized equalization for that range is much of a drawback. Someone with audiophile tendencies and relying on a better sub-woofer for a wider frequency range might though.
The other concern is heat. I'd read that this receiver sometimes runs hot for some owners, so I made more space for it in my cabinet. I had my previous Pioneer VSX912 and my Motorola cable DVR in the same opening in the cabinet with a shelf in between, and both the front and back wide open. But the cable box already ran hotter than I liked, so I moved it to a separate higher opening in the cabinet, and freed up the entire larger opening for the RC360, with about 5" of clearance above the receiver. I also fabricated a back panel of foam core board to cover the rear of the opening above the receiver's connections and installed a 120mm computer fan there to exhaust the hot air. The fan is connected to a PC fan controller with temperature sensors.
To start I set the fan at about 1,000 RPM, roughly 80% of it's top speed and set the temperature alarm at 32°C. (The sensor is hanging about two inches above the center of the top of the receiver.) Nearly all of the time this works fine, the temperature readout usually ranges from about 24 to 28° C, depending on how loud the receiver is playing. But, sure enough, the receiver sometimes heats up considerably for no apparent reason; so far it has only been when it is not
playing loud. When it does this the temperature hits 33°C and I turn my exhaust fan up to full speed when the alarm sounds. After a minute or two I hear a relay click inside the receiver and the temperature rapidly drops back to the normal range. I don't know if this click is an internal cooling fan being engaged or some portion of the electronics being disengaged. In any event, the air temperature above the receiver drops surprisingly quickly. Now I am going to experiment with my exhaust fan at full speed for a while and see if this syndrome still occurs.
To sum up my assessment: This receiver provides fine quality audio at a value price, although it's Audyssey calibration is not as full featured as some might prefer and you'd be advised to be cautious to keep it well ventilated, as it's heat management is a bit mysterious.