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Replacing an Onkyo TX-SR805 - TX-NR818 or Something Else?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
So my trusty 805 seems to be cooked after 5+ years of ownership. I'm still exploring options to repair it, but in the meantime, I'm in the market for a new receiver.

It seems difficult to find a suitable replacement for $800 or less that can boast as powerful of an amp section while still maintaining features.

Here is what is important to me:

1) Lossless Blu-Ray surround sound performance

2) Clean, powerful music quality

3) General broadcast TV sound quality

4) Video upscaling (way at the bottom)

I require at least 3 HDMI inputs, which should be pretty easy to get nowadays.

My speaker setup is a 5.1 (upper mid-range Polks and 10" powered Outlaw sub), with no plans on changing them any time soon.

The 818 has caught my eye as something that might be of comparable sound quality/features while offering a much improved Audyssey implementation.

For those who have owned or spent time listening to both, what are your thoughts?

Or are there other, better alternatives to the 818 based on my requirements? Keep in mind my budget of $800.

Thanks!
post #2 of 18
Personally, I wouldn't be considering Onkyo. Failure after five plus years, is not that good in my opinion. The Denon X4000, looks like a keeper to me.
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
That AVR is ~$1200, and thus, way out of my budget.

I don't disagree that I got pretty poor life out of my receiver. In its defense, when the TV is on, it's on, 100% of the time. Still, I am very open to other options as I still would have expected a much longer life.

I'm not brand loyal, but the 805 was king of performance/features/price when I bought it, so I'm looking to retain if not upgrade on all of that.
post #4 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by tbird8450 View Post

That AVR is ~$1200, and thus, way out of my budget.

I don't disagree that I got pretty poor life out of my receiver. In its defense, when the TV is on, it's on, 100% of the time. Still, I am very open to other options as I still would have expected a much longer life.

I'm not brand loyal, but the 805 was king of performance/features/price when I bought it, so I'm looking to retain if not upgrade on all of that.

Why not give the guys here at the AVS Store a call? Tell them what you want in your AVR for that price range and you can probably get what you need for less than you think. Still too many problems with Onkyo for my liking.
post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
Maybe I'll give them a shot, thanks.

Is there anyone here who has owned/heard both the 805 and 818 and could comment about their comparative sound quality?

I've read comments saying that the 805's amp section is beefier (most of these seem older, though. Maybe pre-release speculation?), while many others say that the 818 sounds better, particularly for music...with and without Audyssey. What's the real scoop?
post #6 of 18
post #7 of 18
I just bought an 805. I bought it because I hear nothing but great reviews and because the amp is a BEAST!!! I got it used from someone on Ebay for $225.
The reason I took the plunge was because of the price and seller only used it on Saturdays for his dedicated home theater and seller mentioned it was hard to differentiate his from a new one.
Had I bought it from someone else it would have scratches, dents or even refurbished and would have to pay over $300 for one used.
To me the 805 is an upgrade from my Denon AVR 1611.
post #8 of 18
IMO the best-sounding AVR you can get for under $800 is the Harman-Kardon AVR 3650.

Harman-Kardon has better amplifiers and power supplies than the competition IMO, and sounds better as a result.

Its list of features is amazing, and it has 6 HDMi inputs.

I very much doubt if there is any feature that isn't there...lol.

I personally cannot stand to listen to the bright harsh amplifiers that are in current Onkyo, Pioneer, and Yamaha AVRs.

Play a violin or soprano voice through those things and it sounds like a chainsaw to me; awful distortion.

I can't understand how anyone can listen to that.
Edited by commsysman - 12/5/13 at 7:54am
post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

IMO the best-sounding AVR you can get for under $800 is the Harman-Kardon AVR 3650.

Harman-Kardon has better amplifiers and power supplies than the competition IMO, and sounds better as a result.

Its list of features is amazing, and it has 6 HDMi inputs.

I very much doubt if there is any feature that isn't there...lol.

I personally cannot stand to listen to the bright harsh amplifiers that are in current Onkyo, Pioneer, and Yamaha AVRs.

Play a violin or soprano voice through those things and it sounds like a chainsaw to me; awful distortion.

I can't understand how anyone can listen to that.

I wouldn't say brands other than Harmon sound bright. Speakers play a big role in that department.
post #10 of 18
Lol isnt the current harman line all low powered switch mode amps? Thats the one brand i would run away from, in addition to sony
post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by astrallite View Post

Lol isnt the current harman line all low powered switch mode amps? Thats the one brand i would run away from, in addition to sony

http://www.audioholics.com/how-to-shop/best-midrange-receiver-2013

"Harman Kardon AVR-3700
In our last go-round, we found the HK AVR-1710 to be a winner on paper, though we were hesitant to recommend it due to its switch mode power supply. This time around with the AVR-3700, things aren’t quite as favorable. To be fair, the Harman mostly hits the right marks with a relatively high amount of rated power (125W x2), 7.2 pre-outs, built in WiFi connectivity, and 4K upscaling. Conversely, it lacks MHL support and is a little light on legacy connections relative to the Onkyo and Yamaha. Beyond that, you’re still stuck with the switch mode power supply, and unlike with the AVR-1710, there’s no slim form factor here to help make up for it."
post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrhooper1963 View Post

Personally, I wouldn't be considering Onkyo. Failure after five plus years, is not that good in my opinion . . .

 

I've had an Onkyo 805 practically since the day it was first introduced in the USA, it is still performing perfectly and I have no desire to retire it.  When I bought it I had no idea how good the timing was, the 805 and its bigger brethren were among the earliest that included essentially all the listening modes that are still current today (DD+, Master Audio, TrueHD, etc. etc.) and so avoid obsolescence.

 

I consider it virtually bulletproof EXCEPT that it runs very warm . . . all right, hot.  I imagine when the OP says "cooked" that is probably exactly what happened.  I added a small cooling fan to mine and smooth sailing ever after; I think the designers should have included that from the get-go.  Their higher-power models from that period run even hotter.

post #13 of 18
Is it safe to run the 805 without an external fan?
post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by asere View Post

Is it safe to run the 805 without an external fan?

 

If it is essentially in the open, sitting on a table or on a non-enclosed shelf, sure, it should be OK.

 

If in an equipment rack or an enclosed cabinet, I would not be 100% comfortable about its longevity or that of other components in there with it.  Needs lots of air space at the sides and especially the top.  It was when I first "racked" mine that I really didn't like what was going on.

 

No rocket science going on here, locate it the way you most want it and keep checking how hot the case feels.  If that is scary, try something else.  Of course, for goodness sake, don't ever stack another piece right on top of it!

 

Obviously all of this is just one person's opinion, no warranties expressed or implied!!

post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by tbird8450 View Post

Maybe I'll give them a shot, thanks.

Is there anyone here who has owned/heard both the 805 and 818 and could comment about their comparative sound quality?

I've read comments saying that the 805's amp section is beefier (most of these seem older, though. Maybe pre-release speculation?), while many others say that the 818 sounds better, particularly for music...with and without Audyssey. What's the real scoop?

Since the thread was revived...

OP, look at the weight differences between the Select and Ultra certified Onkyos (ignoring the 806, which probably should have been Select2 instead of U2). The difference is in the power supply and heat sinking. And mostly, that difference will only show up in sustained high power output or if you have speakers with difficult impedance loads. If you don't drive the receiver into clipping, they'll sound the same...ignoring differences between Audyssey implementations. For a given speaker, you need to double the power for a 3dB increase in output and coincidentally, 3dB is the smallest difference the average human can reliably detect between complex audio under laboratory conditions. I couldn't easily find a benchmark test of the 818, but the 828 should be the same or very similar. Into 4 ohms, the 828 tested at 110x5@8ohms where the 805 did 162x5@8ohms...both at .1% distortion. 7 channel testing was similar at 78 vs. 120 wpc. IOW, the maximum output difference using the same set of speakers would be in the 1dB range. But, the 805 could probably maintain its output much longer before going into protection. Note, all channels driven is not a condition that happens on real world content..

And if you're still shopping, remember Onkyo has their own refurb outlet (ShopOnkyo.com) along with accessories4less being an Onkyo certified refurb vendor. The above mentioned x4000 can be had for ~$900 as a refurb while the Onkyo 1010 (THX U2) is listed for $1050 when in stock.

-Brent
post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Badouri View Post

http://www.audioholics.com/how-to-shop/best-midrange-receiver-2013

"Harman Kardon AVR-3700
In our last go-round, we found the HK AVR-1710 to be a winner on paper, though we were hesitant to recommend it due to its switch mode power supply. This time around with the AVR-3700, things aren’t quite as favorable. To be fair, the Harman mostly hits the right marks with a relatively high amount of rated power (125W x2), 7.2 pre-outs, built in WiFi connectivity, and 4K upscaling. Conversely, it lacks MHL support and is a little light on legacy connections relative to the Onkyo and Yamaha. Beyond that, you’re still stuck with the switch mode power supply, and unlike with the AVR-1710, there’s no slim form factor here to help make up for it."

Lol 125W x 2 is garbage, even my receiver can do 215W x 2.
post #17 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by riverwolf View Post

Since the thread was revived...

OP, look at the weight differences between the Select and Ultra certified Onkyos (ignoring the 806, which probably should have been Select2 instead of U2). The difference is in the power supply and heat sinking. And mostly, that difference will only show up in sustained high power output or if you have speakers with difficult impedance loads. If you don't drive the receiver into clipping, they'll sound the same...ignoring differences between Audyssey implementations. For a given speaker, you need to double the power for a 3dB increase in output and coincidentally, 3dB is the smallest difference the average human can reliably detect between complex audio under laboratory conditions. I couldn't easily find a benchmark test of the 818, but the 828 should be the same or very similar. Into 4 ohms, the 828 tested at 110x5@8ohms where the 805 did 162x5@8ohms...both at .1% distortion. 7 channel testing was similar at 78 vs. 120 wpc. IOW, the maximum output difference using the same set of speakers would be in the 1dB range. But, the 805 could probably maintain its output much longer before going into protection. Note, all channels driven is not a condition that happens on real world content..

And if you're still shopping, remember Onkyo has their own refurb outlet (ShopOnkyo.com) along with accessories4less being an Onkyo certified refurb vendor. The above mentioned x4000 can be had for ~$900 as a refurb while the Onkyo 1010 (THX U2) is listed for $1050 when in stock.

-Brent

The weight of the 818 and 828 lines up pretty closely with the 705 IIRC.
post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by astrallite View Post

The weight of the 818 and 828 lines up pretty closely with the 705 IIRC.

My memory recalls the same. The THX Ultra2 models tend to run 10-15 pounds heavier than the Select2 models. That was the first clue that something was amiss with the 806's U2 rating...it was 14# lighter than the 805.

-Brent
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