Denon X4000 vs Onkyo 929/1010 for large greatroom? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 7 Old 01-12-2014, 02:17 PM - Thread Starter
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So I'm looking to replace my Onkyo 876 in my greatroom (20x30', 14' vaulted ceilings and opens up to the dining AND kitchen). Currently have a 7.1 setup with Aperion 6T's/6C (6ohm) up front and 5B's running surround rear/side duty and a HSU ULS-15 rounds it out.

The 876 works fine (my 3rd Onkyo), but it only has 4 HDMI ports which is no longer enough and I'm constantly annoyed that digital sources (HDMI/optical) can't be routed to Zone2 (which I play through a whole house controller/amp) because analog out from my Tivo isn't sync'd to the HDMI and you get a noticeable out-of-sync problem between the 7.1 & speakers in the kitchen so my wife is always turning down the 7.1 when she's cooking so she can hear the game which drives me nuts. Maybe some day I'll add a 2nd sub and possibly a pair of 5B's front high, but who knows if I ever will- I've been running this setup since late 2009. Last time I researched this, front wide was much better then front high, but I don't really have a way to do wides in my room, so I figure a 2nd sub would be a much better investment.

So far I've been going back and forth between the Denon X4000 and Onkyo 929 / 1010.

Obviously, Denon quality historically has been much better then Onkyo, but I've never had a problem. The biggest concern I have is the 125W from the X4000 may not be up to driving the 6T's/6C up front in such a large room. A big reason I originally went with the 876 was the 140W/Ultra2 certification and it's done quite well for my needs. The X4000 weighs only about 27lbs vs the +50 of my 876 so I'm a bit worried that it's 125W is a bit optimistic. Also 6 HDMI inputs is really the absolute minimum I need. 7+ would be better. I don't care about multi-HDMI out. One nice thing the Denon has is can send digital optical sources to Zone2 while the Onkyo's only can do HDMI, but realistically everything I care about sending to Zone2/3 is either network based (Pandora/XM Radio) or HDMI so it's not that big of a deal.

So I think that leaves it between the 929 and 1010. Basically, either 9.2 or 7.2 and slightly higher output/ch. I don't care about wifi/bluetooth since my AV closet is wired for ethernet. I figure I'll be much more likely to add a 2nd sub then the front high channel, so no real reason not to get the cheaper 1010 other then perhaps getting a lemon. The money I save can get me an AppleTV to add AirPlay. Not sure if the HDMI board problems have been fixed in the xx10 series? I've got pretty good cooling in my AV closet so maybe that helps. All things being equal, I figure the 1010 is probably the way to go since chances of me going to a 9.2 setup are pretty slim.

I suppose I could get a X4000 + 3 channel amp (say an XPA-3) and have the best of all worlds, but that's a lot more $$$. At some point though, if I keep upgrading receivers every 5 years then maybe it's a lot cheaper in the long run? Still though, not like I'm going to find Auddysey EQ32/SubEQ in a $800 receiver, so how much money can I actually save? Is there some killer feature in the X4000 that I missed that might be useful?
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post #2 of 7 Old 01-12-2014, 06:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Ugh, so just found out the 929/1010 drop the main zone down to 2.0 when you enable Zone2/Zone3 to use the same HDMI audio source. I guess that means the sub even is disabled? WTF? I swear it's 2014 and (ok, so the 1010 is 2012 technology) but damn, why is this so hard? Are DAC's that expensive that they can't use a separate DAC for Zone2? mad.gif

I guess it's not a deal breaker, but it's always kinda cool/immersive when watching the big game and you hear the crowd noise all around you.
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post #3 of 7 Old 01-12-2014, 10:29 PM
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Considering you're from my old hometown, I'll try to help out. I saw a comparson of the X4000, the 929 and the Marantz SR7008. As for wattage ratings the x4000 was a little lower than it's rating and the 929 and the SR7008 were a little higher. Also the latter two have 2 more powered outputs and 2 more preouts and they were both considerably heavier, for what that's worth.

Before I bought my 929 I considered the above plus Onkyo's xx10 series. The xx10 series seemed a little dated although they have more substantial power supplies.

I thought the 929 compared more favorably with the SR7008 than the X4000. But they each have Sub EQ HT. If you have two subs that can be somewhat mitigated with deft handling, check the 929 forum.

I know the 929 has a cooler running HDMI board, just not sure when they made this change. If I was them, I'd be bragging about it.

You might be a little confused about zone 2/3. I think if you're running 9 channels in main, when you want to turn on 2 channels in zone 2 then you're limited to 7 in the main zone and so on. I'll soon be tying in my other zones and have more anecdotal information for you.

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post #4 of 7 Old 01-12-2014, 11:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply Patrick.

Sorry, are you saying the 929 has SubEQ? My understanding from the Onkyo forums was that only the xx10 series and Denon X4000 have it:

http://forums.onkyousa.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=2281&sid=1fee7fa6ac482fb7b34fe06df23d78dc

The 1010 is slightly beefier and probably slightly better audio quality then the 929, but not like my great room is acoustically good enough where I'd probably notice. I figured if I ever upgraded to 2 subs, the SubEQ would be useful and the 1010 can be had for about $100 cheaper then the 929 right now which was the real selling points for me. The biggest nock against the xx10 series is probably the HDMI board over heating issue since I don't think that has the newer board design like the 929 is supposed to have. I'm hoping since my 876 has been great (knock on wood) that means my cooling is good enough for the 1010 as well.

As for Zone 2, I have a whole house audio controller & amp dedicated for my other zones so no need to steal channels from the AVR. What I do today is run RCA cables from the Tivo/etc to the whole house controller because my 876 won't output digital signals on the Zone2/3 line-level outs. The end result of this is an audio sync issue because the two sets of speakers (main zone on the 876 and kitchen zone off the whole house audio) are off by a few milliseconds which creates a noticeable echo effect. I'm assuming this problem is caused by the DAC's in the Tivo vs AVR.

What I'd like to do is run Zone2 line-level outs from the receiver to the whole house audio controller and let the AVR do all the ADC decoding which should keep the two zones in sync. The 929 and 1010 will apparently decode digital signals from HDMI sources and send that out Zone2/3 with the caveat that if you select the same HDMI input as the main zone, the main zone gets downgraded to 2.0 stereo.

I wonder if I could use an HDMI splitter and then select different HDMI inputs for the Main & Zone2 to get around that, but my guess is that won't work because there's only one HDMI negotiation and I won't get both 2.0 and 5.1 from the Tivo. Unless of course the Onkyo will internally convert it appropriately once they're on different HDMI ports? Honestly, it's only really a problem when my wife is cooking in the kitchen off the great room and it's not a big deal running in All Stereo Mode for brief periods, but it's still a bit annoying. Probably would be worth spending $50 at Monoprice to find out though I guess!
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post #5 of 7 Old 01-13-2014, 09:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Well just ordered the 1010 via OneCall. Called them up and they knocked off a few hundred dollars off the price. Can't wait to give it a try!
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post #6 of 7 Old 12-06-2014, 07:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by synfinatic View Post
Well just ordered the 1010 via OneCall. Called them up and they knocked off a few hundred dollars off the price. Can't wait to give it a try!
So what is the verdict? I have been looking at those (3) models as well. I ended up buying the x4000 in October but always feel maybe should have went with something else even though the Denon does not disappoint.
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post #7 of 7 Old 12-06-2014, 10:32 PM - Thread Starter
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So overall, pretty happy. The additional HDMI are a godsend and it doesn't have any problems driving my speakers. The newer Audyssey seems to deal with the acoustic challenges of my great room a lot better then my 876 did which is 95% of our listening.

I've tried a variety of syncing solutions for Z2 and I've pretty much given up on that working. My wife now just mutes the 7.1 setup and turns on the whole house audio when she's cooking or whatever... not ideal, but at this price point there doesn't seem to be a good solution.

The only "issue" I'd bring up is that there seems to be some strange HDMI resync?? thing going on with my Panasonic plasma which causes the TV to very occasionally (0-1 times a day) display which input is currently selected. It doesn't blank the screen, just throws up the OSD overlay. Not really sure what the cause is, but I'm assuming it's the receiver causing it since it didn't happen before. It's not close enough to be annoying for me to worry about it (and I'm pretty OCD when it comes to things like this).

At this point I'd most likely buy another Onkyo when it came time to upgrade.
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Denon Avr X4000 7 2 Channel Home Theater Receiver , Onkyo Tx Nr929 9 2 Channel Network A V Receiver , Onkyo Tx Nr1010 Network A V Receiver , Onkyo Tx Sr876 Receiver

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