Well, I've had my 805 for about 4 hours now. UPS had me worried, but did finally come through. J&R had it double boxed and it is a monster. I noticed the outside of the box was crunched in a little and I said the the UPS guy, "I hope it hasn't been jostled around too much" and he replied, "I babied it in the corner of my truck all day". So I felt reassured. I opened the box and J&R had it packed with two air pillows, one of which had deflated....still the box looked OK. I opened the undamaged Onkyo box to a pristine 805.
As I made my rack ready yesterday, installing was a matter of pulling out the old receiver, and popping in the 805. Hooking up the surround speakers took the longest amount of time because they don't have bananas on them (but that will change tomorrow when UPS delivers my Monoprice cables...including the 20' HDMI I will use from the AVR to the TV).
I hooked up all 7 speakers and my sub. I went straight into the amp with the sub cable and bypassed my Richter Scale which I have been using to EQ the sub. I felt I won't be needing it with the onboard graphic sub EQ and/or Audyssey (more later).
I plugged my Oppo 981HD SD DVD player into HDMI 1 and whalla....no more cables! Then I hooked up the SPDIF COAX from the TV output to the 805....this is for my antenna feed sound. Last (tonight) was my VCR (I only hooked it up to see what would happen to a 480i signal) with an Svideo cable. I couldn't hook up the Moto PVR due to lack of a third HDMI cable. I have no component sources to use (well, I could hook up the PVR with component, but why? I'll just wait for the HDMI cable tomorrow.) to test that input. Sometime this weekend I'll hook up my turntable, but I'm going to "go thru it" and give her a tune up before I hook her up. I can't wait to use it through the 805, as I had been using one of those cheap realistic (or something) MM preamps.
So I fired everything up. I followed the manuals recommendations with regard to what settings to get to first. I adjusted the OSD output to 16
but I don't think it changed. Looks like its in 4:3 to me. I'll fiddle with that some more.
There are two manual included. One is real thick containing French and Spanish. The other thinner manual is the English one. There are a few other "add on" instructions included, but I must admit, I just glanced at them at first to make sure it wasn't anything real drastic. Now I can say that one is regarding a Panasonic EZ sync TV (doesn't apply to me), another basically says that if you are upconverting your video from composite or Svideo to component and the PQ looks like crap, don't upconvert it. The last one has some changes to the manual which are actually kind of signficant, and I'll scan it and try to post it, but honestly I haven't checked to see if these changes are in the downloadable manual online. Most of them are regarding crossover frequencies.
I should point out that this unit is huge and heavy, but I did get it to fit in the rack even though it sticks out the front a little (hangs over the edge I should say). Next, I grabbed my mic stand (I am in a band in my spare time), taped (yes, taped...scotch, that is) the included little mic to the mic boom, and got ready to do the Audyssey set up. My wife was cooking and trying to be quiet, and although I didn't get any errors, I didn't think conditions were optimum, so I only measured 3 of the 8 available positions. I was surprised to here the "test tone" that Audyssey produces. I expected some type of pink noise, but no; it was a weird sounding sweep with a beeping quality. Only for a few seconds on each speaker. Finally after 3 measurements (the minimum you are allowed to make) I got the option to "calculate". Well, this took much longer than I anticipated, lasting almost a full 5 minutes....now, this is after the "testing" and the receiver just says "Calculating". I was almost about to abort (if I could figure out how) thinking the thing had "locked up" or something, when lo and behold it finished. I reviewed the settings before saving.
It did a real good job of figuring out what was there. It did set my Klipsch Forte's to 150hz crossover point and my Klipsch center speaker at 60hz. I thought that was strange, but I left it alone. The distances and the levels were damn spot on...they have this down to a science! I would love to "see" what the Audyssey does to the EQ, but there is no way to do this. If you change the EQ settings from "Audyssey" to "manual", your Audyssey settings will go out the window (as I gather from the manual....I didn't try it, yet). My subwoofer sounded awesome and it was set at 80hz.
Another odd thing Audyssey did was set all my levels at -12, -10, -9 etc. I'm thinking, man, am I losing alot of headroom? Why didn't it just have one at zero and then kind of adjust around that? HMMMMM, more investigation is required here. Since the levels were spot on as verified by my trusty RS SPL meter, I left em where they were.
I popped in a "Demo" DVD I downloaded from AVS forum (I forgot which forum...I think it might be the "Speaker calibration forum", or something to that effect). Avery good disc that has a variety of explosions, LFE and surround clips from various movies in DD 5.1. My Oppo was set to "HDMI audio out=Auto" and Audio output to "RAW" (vice LPCM). The 805 was rocking the house. My wife came in from the kitchen and said, ................TURN IT DOWN!" (You thought it was gonna be something like "Honey, that sounds so much better than the last receiver you had....I'm so glad you spent all that money on it"......didn't you?). Anyhow, I was in heaven. I stuck in We Were Soldiers which says on the box Dolby Digital EX to see what the little input and output indicators would do. HMMMMM, no surround back channel. Odd.......So I grabbed my Top Gun Special Edition (still a very cool movie and if you think you're too cool to admit that, shame on you) which has a "DTS 6.1" soundtrack and WHALLA! The little SB indicator came on! So, I was like, "Great, everything is working like it's supposed to be". (Except that "We Were Soldiers" thing....maybe it's because it is not a "true" SB channel, the receiver doesn't really "see" that channel? Hmmmmmm)
We got "Invincible" from Netflix today. So dinner was ready, we were all set...."Honey come sit down and watch the flick". OK. I had the volume at 0db (on the "relative" setting (it's what I'm used to) for that "cinema" sound. Well, the wife thought it was a little loud but didn't complain too much, especially after I explained to her about the whole 85db standard in theaters and this is the exact volume they are played at and blah, blah, blah....she bought it.
Awesome surround. Wow. I've been playing this game for 20 odd years and was blown away. My little setup could hardly be called a "theater" (well, it can't....it's my living room), but man, it sounded sweet. I always wanted to try THX Ultra2 Cinema, and after cruising through a few surround modes, I kept it there. It was getting 5.1 in but outputting 7.1. Sounded awesome. Nuff said.
After the movie I popped in a SVHS tape of "Stargate" and....it looked like crap. It was coming into the TV at 480p and I had to change the format on the TV to "Expand" which works for SD signals on my TV. So I decided to hit the "Forbidden Menu" to check out how 720p might look and....it still looked like crap. Not only that, but when receiving an HD signal, my Mits limits the type of "format" you can use, and "expand" is not one of them, so I could only look at the picture with bars on all 4 sides. Not gonna work. Went back and changed it to the default "Auto" mode and back to 480p and BAM! I can expand it to fill the screen (and people aren't stretched) and the PQ is no worse than 720p. I can live with that. What did I expect from VHS anyway?
Now, I have this thing on the second to top shelf in my rack, with plenty of air circulating around. Nothing on top of it. I'll tell you, this thing gets HOT. I mean hot enough to almost burn your hand in certain spots on the top if you try to keep it there. I'm not worried, but if you intend to put ANYTHING on top of this, think again. I may do as someone else did here, and put a little computer fan on top or something......or not.
I don't have any TrueHD or DTS MA to test. Wish I did....I don't. The HDMI pass through doesn't alter my PQ at all, and the upconversion from SVHS is a bonus. The THX surround modes work great and the available surround modes for any given source are plentyful and usable. (I want to check out my favorite mono movie, "Casablanca" in Mono mode to see how that works....manual says it adds reverb to all the channels except the center. Should be cool.)
I did, BTW, set my DVD players output to LPCM to see what would happen, and sure enough, the display said Multichannel PCM. I thought the RAW signal sounded better. I switched it back to RAW.
I do intend to do a thorough testing of the EQ and frequency response in the coming week. I'll need time to do that. My intent is to do measurements with REW and then EQ everything manually for flat response and compare the two (Audyssey and manual modes) on graph and by my ears. I gotta say though, I like this THX Ultra2 Cinema at 0db! Who needs a theater! Again, I've been playing with this stuff for 20 years, and just yesterday I removed a stack of EQs (with RT analyzers), power amps, phono preamp and umpteen cables. This box replaces all that and does it very gracefully.
I'd be happy to answer any questions, but I'm probably not going to reconfigure my set up to do so. I don't have a PS3 or XBox nor an HD or BD player (yet). If you've read this far, you're sick! But I had to give back to the forum that has given me so much info. And I'm not done.............