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Onkyo TX-LR552 Owners Thread...  

post #1 of 179
Thread Starter 
Well... You know the drill :)


...
post #2 of 179
I piked one of these up for cheap at CC and its still in the box. The plan is to replace my Logitech Z5500 speakers and hook up my PC to this or perhaps just use it in the bedroom but I am lazy plus I need a set of speakers. I will post my results on this receiver and I have owned the DPR1005 so I will make a few comments on that and a lowlife Sony STR598.
post #3 of 179
Thread Starter 
Thanks for posting apodaca.

I managed to get this for a bargain too :) So i'm still playing around with it. I'm really stoked, I mean for it's price you can not go wrong. Ha ha... it's like getting a bargain switcher on steroids (with remote). And WHOOAH!!! Component upconversion too!

I will be posting my experience soon.
post #4 of 179
if you are near a local frys b&m, you can get it for 99.
post #5 of 179
Got one too from Fry's. Couldn't resist. I actually picked it up when it was $150. Went back there two weeks later to adjust it to $99 :). If you register it online with Onkyo, that will give you $15 Onkyo coupon towards any purchase from Onkyo direct.
post #6 of 179
I had one for about 20 days that I picked up (open box) from CC last Thanksgiving.

Pros:
- Very easy to set up. The test tones are stationary instead of moving about every 2 secs.
- Versatile I/O. I liked being able to assign any input to any mode (TV, DVD, etc.) button, instead of hardwired configurations. Can easily be done without a remote too.
- Seemed to have a more robust power supply and inductor coils than the Panny. Perhaps a better grade of electronic components.
- Upconversion (although I didn't have need/time to put it thru it's paces)

Cons:
- Spring clips (all too common to this form factor)
- 5% THD. I thought solo acoustic passages sounded "fuzzy" at moderate volumes. A/B it yourself and let me know what you think. But this was the point I couldn't get past for what's supposed to be a "clean" digital amp. Noise floor was quite high at moderate volumes... it was easily measurable on a SPL meter. I suspect it uses a hybrid feedback design.
- It was advertised on Onkyo's website (at the time) as having OSD, but it doesn't.
- Only 3 digital inputs vs. 4 on many of it's competitors.
- Significantly lower power rating than it's competitors.
- Ran rather hot. More so than other digital amps.

Conclusion: For $100 it's a steal. At $250, you can do better. $350-399.... sucker! ;)
I suspect that since Fry's and other places are blowing them out, that a updated model is in the wings.... CEDIA announcement soon?

Cheers,
JnC
post #7 of 179
Thread Starter 
Welcome JnC,

I had read your posts regarding the lr552. And thanks for the pix of its guts. I wanted to compare it myself with other digital and analog AVRs and I guess now I can without regrets and lighter wallet.

It is still under test but I just can't help myself so I popped the cover this afternoon to take a look inside :). I will post soon of my findings.

Regarding the THD and noise floor. I find this amp to be quiet as well like the Panny. You can only hear a very slight hiss on the last 5 level of volume to max (0-80) and even then you can barely hear it without putting your ear directly to the speaker.

The 5% THD is typical and in fact quite low for ALL CHANNEL driven digital spec. I guess Onkyo is not that marketing savvy. But then again we wouldn't get it for this price if it was marketed right. In comparison to the Panny, its THD rating is for EACH CHANNEL driven. Apples to apples comparison would put this specs about the same.

Just like the Panny, I was quite taken by its detail and accuracy and you were right about its warmness. Again further review will be posted. So I was really excited about comparing a TI amp against a Tripath (my XR55 is currently dismantled :) ) and was carefully noting (mentally) all its quality (sound wise) last night along with the pros and cons. Until I popped the cover this afternoon to take a look around and lo and behold... SURPRISE!!!

Again, further info and review will be posted... :)
post #8 of 179
GED,

Great observation regarding all channels vs. each channel. Makes sense.

If you're assembling an inexpensive digital amp comparison, you might want to try to put a JVC RX-F10 in the mix. It has a rather enthusiastic following on audiocircle.

Regards,
JnC
post #9 of 179
Oh BTW GED, what speakers are you using?

Being the cheapskate I am, I have Infinity Primus all around... 6.5" up front, 5.25" center and surround, 12" sub.
post #10 of 179
JnC, regarding the heat issue with TX-LR552, I actually find it to run cooler than the JVC RX-F10 and the JVC RX-D201. I returned the RX-F10 because it was running so hot and I thought something was wrong with it -- it was the last one available at the store and it was a floor demo. After that I picked up the RX-D201, which ran even hotter, and felt really cheaply built. I ended up returning it too, mainly because both my wife and I couldn't stand the sound quality -- way too harsh on high end and way too boomy on the bottom end.
post #11 of 179
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JnC
GED,

Great observation regarding all channels vs. each channel. Makes sense.

If you're assembling an inexpensive digital amp comparison, you might want to try to put a JVC RX-F10 in the mix. It has a rather enthusiastic following on audiocircle.

Regards,
JnC
I'm telling ya' I almost got tempted to get the JVC RX-D201 for it was on sale too the same time with the Onkyo for about a buck twenty. But I had to draw the line somewhere.

I haven't been reading much about the JVC but I was glad a good source told me that the display is the second unit, the first one smoked for no reason. That gave me the extra nudge to say no.
post #12 of 179
bitpoh: Yeah, I've heard the same thing regarding the hybrid JVC's and heat. I think the F10 has several slabs of plastic meant to route air from the cooling fan. If this has been displaced by shipping/handling it may be even less efficient. The purepath digital Panny's model line orginally had fans but they were absent in the more recent models.

GED: Despite the accolades attributed to the F10, I've yet to hear from one satisfied owner of the 201 series. I wonder if JVC has encountered design/production issues with the new series, hence the continuing delays of the other upscale models. Anyhoo, let us know what you find out about the innards of the 552.

Regards,
JnC
post #13 of 179
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JnC
GED: Despite the accolades attributed to the F10, I've yet to hear from one satisfied owner of the 201 series. I wonder if JVC has encountered design/production issues with the new series, hence the continuing delays of the other upscale models. Anyhoo, let us know what you find out about the innards of the 552.
Yeah I don't know much about the JVCs. I do know that the other upscale models look very promising... HDMI among other things. Aren't they out yet? I thought they where last time I checked their webside.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JnC
Oh BTW GED, what speakers are you using?
Being the cheapskate I am, I have Infinity Primus all around... 6.5" up front, 5.25" center and surround, 12" sub.
I have quite a few rooms of HT. Mix match of hi-fi, mid-fi, pre/pro and dyi (dang!)
I have yanked my pre/pro (except karaoke :)) for a simplier setup and to gain some real estate and replaced a few 12" monsters with the Onkyo SKS-HT240.
post #14 of 179
I bought one of these at Circuit City the other day. I stopped by there first to see if they would do the 110% price match with Fry's. The CC lady said she had to call Fry's first to make sure it was in stock. She waited a while on the phone but no one picked up, so she just gave it to me for the discounted price, $90 plus tax! Right after, I stopped by Fry's to buy an optical cable. I checked to see if they had any of the LR552s in stock. They didn't! Fry's poor telephone customer service actually worked for me for once!

I hooked the Onkyo up to my computer. The set up was more or less straight forward. Right now it's just hooked up to a pair of B&W bookshelfs and the subout to a 10 in Polk subwoofer. I'm sad that in "direct" mode the subout is turned off, but I suppose the receiver has to do some processing to send low frequencies to the subout and that wouldn't really be "direct?" By the way, the Onkyo replaced a Rotel integrated stereo amp which was getting its sound through a USB audio processor. There is definitely more sparkle and clarity with the Onkyo digital amp. Like someone else said in another thread, it sounds very transparent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenEarDrums
The 5% THD is typical and in fact quite low for ALL CHANNEL driven digital spec. I guess Onkyo is not that marketing savvy. But then again we wouldn't get it for this price if it was marketed right. In comparison to the Panny, its THD rating is for EACH CHANNEL driven. Apples to apples comparison would put this specs about the same.
This THD issue I read about had me a little worried. Some people suggested that Onkyo measures the THD differently; sounded reasonable to me. But when I looked at Onkyo's other receivers, they were all in the 0.08%-0.1% range. So does this mean they measured just the LR552 differently? Is a digital amp just different? I do hear a hiss in the background, but no worse than the Rotel.

Oh yeah, this is my first post! Woohoo!
post #15 of 179
Welcome onboard McRib! With regards to THD issues, if I remember correctly, the THD readings for digital receivers (in the case of Onkyo, the only digital receiver they currently have is the LR522) cannot be compared in the same light as the THD readings for analog receivers (all the other Onkyo receivers). I don't understand the technical details of it, but I am sure there are plenty of people on this board who are more than qualified to give you the explanation.

As far as the background hiss goes, I concur with your finding. I hear the same hiss coming out from JVC RX-F10 and JVC RX-201 when I was testing them out. Sometimes I wonder if people tend to look for the "obvious", i.e. they see a THD rating of 5% and they automatically try to listen for any possible hiss, which of course they then found it. As for the JVC digital receivers, they have a much lower THD rating so people don't purposely hunt for the hiss, and so they never complain about it even though the same hiss is there. I wonder. . .
post #16 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by bitpoh
As far as the background hiss goes, I concur with your finding. I hear the same hiss coming out from JVC RX-F10 and JVC RX-201 when I was testing them out. Sometimes I wonder if people tend to look for the "obvious", i.e. they see a THD rating of 5% and they automatically try to listen for any possible hiss, which of course they then found it. As for the JVC digital receivers, they have a much lower THD rating so people don't purposely hunt for the hiss, and so they never complain about it even though the same hiss is there. I wonder. . .
I have both the JVC RX-F10 and Panasonic SA-XR45. The JVC states that it has a lower THD then the Panasonic, yet I can hear the hiss quite clearly at moderate listening levels on both analogue and digital sources when not playing anything. The Panasonic is dead silent on digital sources, while on analogue sources you begin to hear a slight hiss at around -10 on the volume. So is buying amps based on manufacture THD ratings really worth it? They can be misquoted like the manufacture power ratings.
post #17 of 179
This whole THD thing has gotten me confused. I originally thought THD was something else completely. I thought it was a measurement of how inaccurate the sound was, like hearing changes in pitch when playing a test tone. I didn't know it had anything to do with background hiss, until I started reading about the Onkyo. I thought hiss was measured by its Signal to Noise Ratio.
post #18 of 179
Where do you guys find the $100 price? Only CC / Fry's B&M? Any other stores? Thanks
post #19 of 179
Thread Starter 
Sorry people, been a bit busy so I've been popping in and out.

Ok, ok I'll spare you the surprise. I have always thought that the LR552 was using the Tripath chip. Confirmed mainly by research and threads (here and others) as well as Tripath's web site (as they name Onkyo as one of their customers). But finally opening this baby up I did not find any Tripath chip in it. I was hoping to find athe Tripaths on the power stage since JnC's pix were only showing the topside of the power chips. Instead what I found are IRF530N IC's. Interesting as it may, it is by International Rectifier (carried by Phillips) and this IC is a Hexfet Power Mosfet. Most interesting is the AKM chip codec. This is the audio heart of the LR552 and what would be the TI's TAS5182 on the Panny.

This gets very interesting as it unfolds. I am gathering more info for those of you who are interested. I will post more soon.

I will also post my comments on its performance. But this I can tell you, detail wise I would rate this with the Panny. I do like its warmness (a lot) in comparison. Power, there is plenty. Features, I love the upconversion and it passes HDTV w/ no problem. It even made a crappy DVD players component out a bit better. Few complaints like you can't dim the blue ring but at least it can be turned off and you can't adjust the speaker level without hearing the test tone. That sucks since I like to adjust my subs by remote. But more to be checked and posted so check back soon.
post #20 of 179
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HitoZen
Where do you guys find the $100 price? Only CC / Fry's B&M? Any other stores? Thanks

CC is twice that, Fry's I bet will have it on sale again. Check ecost from time to time.
post #21 of 179
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by McRib
This whole THD thing has gotten me confused. I originally thought THD was something else completely. I thought it was a measurement of how inaccurate the sound was, like hearing changes in pitch when playing a test tone. I didn't know it had anything to do with background hiss, until I started reading about the Onkyo. I thought hiss was measured by its Signal to Noise Ratio.

Welcome McRib, The HISS or noise floor is the sum of all noise that the amp generate including THD, power supply noise, crosstalk etc. Many people associate this hiss with THD is used as one basis of amp's quality. But mainly it goes with the gain, the higher the stress the higher the THD gets. It is a complicated matter used by many manufacturer to exagerate their specs. But an amp with lower THD does not nescessarily mean lower hiss.
post #22 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenEarDrums
Sorry people, been a bit busy so I've been popping in and out.


I will also post my comments on its performance. But this I can tell you, detail wise I would rate this with the Panny. I do like its warmness (a lot) in comparison. Power, there is plenty.

Thanks

I have low hiss coming from fronts, center and surrounds connected to this unit , when I increase volume during movie watching hiss goes up as well and I think now it is a bit anoying since I know its there and trying to listen for it. Do you have any hiss coming from your speakers? The hiss is there as soon as Onkyo is turned on and speakers initialized, its low and I have to put my ear to the speaker , but its there.
Thank you.
post #23 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenEarDrums
Sorry people, been a bit busy so I've been popping in and out.

Few complaints like you can't dim the blue ring but at least it can be turned off and you can't adjust the speaker level without hearing the test tone. That sucks since I like to adjust my subs by remote. But more to be checked and posted so check back soon.

Page 42-43 in manual states that you can use "CH SEL" button and level "up" "down" for each individual speaker. I do not hear "test tone" ajusting this way.

It's the HISS I hear from every speaker, that I can't "ajust" , what a dissapointment.
post #24 of 179
MarvC, what kind of receiver did you have before hooking up the LR552? Does it have the same HISS? Also, can you hear the hiss from your listening position during normal use?
post #25 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by bitpoh
MarvC, what kind of receiver did you have before hooking up the LR552? Does it have the same HISS? Also, can you hear the hiss from your listening position during normal use?


I had Panasonic "sa-he200" and it did have the same hiss wich is not a problem untill, like you said in one of you post's above, you read about it here, than put you ear to the speakers and realize its there, from that moment on it becomes a problem . Surrounds are the ones that only 3-4 feet away and that is where I can hear hiss during play or so I think. "Surround Back" for some reason has less hiss than the other speakers. 5.1 speakers are AR HC5 and the surround back is Panasonic speaker. I thought since Onkyo "digital" the hiss would not be present.

Someone on Panasonic xr55 thread claimed that the hiss is totally absent on that unit, if I had a chance to verify that it is indeed true I would switch to xr55.
post #26 of 179
MarvC, if you decide to try out the XR55 please let us know what you find out. But yeah, if you can't get over the hiss then it's gonna be hard. It's just like the two fine horizontal lines (shadow) on Aperture Grille (Trinitron type) monitors. Most people don't notice them until they are told about it, and then after that some of them can no longer live with Aperture Grille monitors.
post #27 of 179
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarvC
Page 42-43 in manual states that you can use "CH SEL" button and level "up" "down" for each individual speaker. I do not hear "test tone" ajusting this way.

It's the HISS I hear from every speaker, that I can't "ajust" , what a dissapointment.
You're right. I've only done it once and I must have pressed the TEST TONE button with it.

Regarding the hiss, I only hear it (very faint) from volume level 76-max. Your speakers are more efficient than what I'm using so it will be more apparent. I did hook it up to a very efficient DCM (99dB) speakers and it is more apparent 68-max.
But it is still less hiss than my Yamaha analog (0.04% THD but a bit more power).

Even with my less efficient speakers, I listen between the range of 48-57 with 53 being the magic number.

Try isolating some ather culprit. Disconnect all your inputs and test it again to see if that lessens the hiss, If not power can also contribute to the noise. You said that it hasn't bothered you before and it seems that you are just conscious about it. If that is the case, you'll forget about it in time.

Regarding the Panny, it is quiet all the way to the max (thanks to its special circuitry) but it is not imune to external noise.

What level do you set your volume?
post #28 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarvC
Someone on Panasonic xr55 thread claimed that the hiss is totally absent on that unit, if I had a chance to verify that it is indeed true I would switch to xr55.
No hiss from my XR55. The 55 will cure the hiss problem only if it's receiver related. That would not be my first inclination.

David
post #29 of 179
Thread Starter 
PS. The SPL meter can not even detect any change on the less efficient speakers even at MAX. I can hear it at maybe about a foot away but definitely less than 50dB. I did not measure the SPL on my DCM speaker.
post #30 of 179
So, should I bother waiting for the LR552 considering I live in NY and who knows when ecost will sell it for $99? Did it ever sell for $99 @ ecost?

Or should I just take the plunge for XR-55?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenEarDrums
CC is twice that, Fry's I bet will have it on sale again. Check ecost from time to time.
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