Originally Posted by crutzulee
I just bought this amp a little while ago to replace a 10 year old Sony that served me well.
I was not really looking to upgrade as I did not think that the new immersive sound formats would be much of an upgrade over the 7.1 system I had. At this price point, I thought what the heck..
I have been over the moon surprised! I believe the on board setup procedure has brought out the absolute best sound that my compliment of Paradigm monitor series has ever produced! I was able to easily find a pair of monitor 3 series on kijiji to match the 4 I already had as surround channels. These with the monitor 7s I use upfront make a very nice 7.1.2 setup in my small HT.
I have been having a blast going through my back catalogue if titles checking out the various native immersive tracks as well as seeing what upmixing sounds like..
I also just upgraded to this unexpectedly. My expensive Denon 4311ci (RIP) suddenly lost all of it's channels and I needed to replace it. The cool thing about Atmos is that it uses the same speaker locations, (down to the angle!) that Audyssey DSX does, so I was able to reuse my ceiling mounted front height speakers (they are at 45deg) as the Atmos front ceiling speakers. My surround rear speakers were mounted up pretty high in the back, so I was able to use them as the rear Atmos speakers without moving them. The only speakers I might move in the future are my side surround speakers, which are at 90degrees right now and high on the wall. They should probably be moved lower and back to the correct angle for a 5.1 setup.
Anyway, even though I've gone from 11.2 to 5.1.4, this is NO WAY a "downgrade" thanks to Atmos. In all honesty, Audyssey DSX was a glorified reverb setting and it often sounded like it. Atmos is the real deal. Audyssey calibration on the Denon was good, and had actual dual-sub outputs, but I honestly like the sound this cheap Onkyo makes better. I'm using a pair of giant Infinite Baffle subwoofers that can go down below 10Hz and this thing had them moving the couch across the floor like a earthquake had hit the house. The rest of the speakers are various Ascend SEs and a Klipsh THX center. All sound great and nicely matched and seamless.
Anyway, for $500 at my local Best Buy, this thing is a ridiculous value.
A couple of things that perplexed me, being new to Onkyo and Atmos, that may help others:
During the setup, you can choose between Atmos Heights or Atmos Ceiling locations for your overhead speakers. After much digging through the official Atmos white papers, this is simply a difference in the ANGLE of the speakers, not the type of speaker. (despite the onscreen graphics) Either selection has the same output range, unlike the "Atmos-enabled" bouncy speakers. "Ceiling" simply means the receiver expects the speaker to be at around a 45 degree angle from the main listening position. "Height" is expected to be at a much lower 25 degree angle. So choose accordingly. I picked "height" at first because that's what Audyessy DSX called my 45 degree mounted speakers on the Denon and they look like the ones in the Onkyo setup interface. WRONG. I *wish* Onkyo (and other receiver manufactures) would actually list all the angles during the setup instead of meaningless descriptions like "height" and "ceiling".... but I digress.
The other setting that confused me during setup was the "THX subwoofer" setting. I'm not sure if this makes any difference, but I found it means your subwoofer can go down to 20Hz per the THX spec. Mine easily does this, so I turned it on. I left the THX boundary effect setting off, since my couch is not near a wall and the calibration did a great job with the subs anyway.
It's been almost 10 years since I changed my home theater and this little thing has been a lot of fun. It's utterly simplistic compared to the old Denon, but it honestly does everything I need and sounds better.