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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've only got a $250 budget for a reciever and I've come down to two choices:


Onkyo 503

or

Panasonic xr55


I like how the Onkyo have more features than the Panasonic. But then I also like how the Panasonic is digital, whereas the Onkyo is not.


Since the Panasonic is digital does it mean it will sound better than the Onkyo? I would like to get the reciever that sounds the best.


If any of you own one of these recievers would you give me your opinion on how they sound? I would prefer a reciever that is either neutral or warm. I do not have the option of buying both of these and trying them out.


Thanks
 

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Quote:
I would prefer a reciever that is either neutral or warm.
Then, why are your choices so limited? You might want to toss some other considerations into the mix. Used or refurbs from H/K might fit your budget.
 

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I own an Onkyo stereo receiver (8011) and the new Panny 55. I would not characterize the 55 as warm. If that's your main criteria, you might be better off with the Onkyo. I'm really liking the 55 but warm it ain't. I like wje's suggestion also. A refurb might get you what you're looking for.


David
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I don't think I'll be comfortable getting a refurbed reciever because of reliability issues. The reciever doesn't neccessarily have to be warm. As long as it isn't bright its fine. I am just wondering what you guys think is the better reciever out of the two i mentioned.
 

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Pho, Refurbished receivers don't always equate to issues with reliability. Also, many of them feature the same length of warranty as the units that are sold new.


I don't really characterize H/K's sound as warm. I find it more neutral. Also, Pioneer receivers (their Elite) models I have not found to be bright. This might have one considering the 1015 from Pioneer on the option list, too. However, when it comes to music, H/K can do a bit better job of separation. Then again, it all depends on your uses for the receiver.


I also wouldn't overlook used gear. A receiver that cost $750 a few years back could be had for $200 or so nowadays.
 

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Sorry to bump an old thread, but i'm trying to decide between these same two receivers. The XR55 is a little cheaper ($230) than the SR503 ($270) and I like the fact that the XR55 is digital and seems to be getting a lot of good reviews. Onkyo seems more like a quality name brand and has a few more features. Any input?


I will just be using cheap speakers left over from my HTIB for the time being.
 

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Chief,


I was debating the same thing and decided to get the Onkyo from eCost (price is the same as you can get the XR55). I went that route because I used to own a 502 and really liked that receiver, and I wanted the extra features over the Panasonic. I don't doubt the abilities of digital amplification, but I'd like to hear it for myself before buying and that means one of the two local big box stores would have to start carrying them in-store.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jvgillow
Chief,


I was debating the same thing and decided to get the Onkyo from eCost (price is the same as you can get the XR55). I went that route because I used to own a 502 and really liked that receiver, and I wanted the extra features over the Panasonic. I don't doubt the abilities of digital amplification, but I'd like to hear it for myself before buying and that means one of the two local big box stores would have to start carrying them in-store.
Just curious, what are the "extra features" that the Onkyo offers over the Panny?
 

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Crossover down to 60 Hz instead of 80 Hz.

3 optical inputs versus 2 optical inputs


To give panasonic due credit, the 503 doesn't allow bi-amplifying like the XR55 does. The 503 does allow 5.1 main room + 2 channel secondary room simultaenously though.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pho
I like how the Onkyo have more features than the Panasonic. But then I also like how the Panasonic is digital, whereas the Onkyo is not.


Since the Panasonic is digital does it mean it will sound better than the Onkyo? I would like to get the reciever that sounds the best.
Isn't there a Circuit City in your town? They carry both the Panny and the Onkyo, just put both on your credit card, take them home and return the one you like less. God bless America and no-hassle refund policies! :p


In pure SQ there is just no comparison. For just HT the Onkyo would do ok as would most receivers (other than Sony, heh) but for music the Panny would leave it in the dust. It's a neutral rather than "warm" receiver...not sure how I'd describe the Onkyo. I had an Onkyo 601 which had a very hollow, dead sound for music, so I upgraded to a Marantz 5400, big improvement in dynamics. A few months later I added some NAD separates, which blew the Marantz into another solar system. Now that I have the xr55, the NAD is in my bedroom system and the Marantz is headed to eBay.


Do a little reading up on the Panny, you'll see similar experiences from people giving up much more expensive analog gear for it:

http://forum.ecoustics.com/bbs/messages/1/160136.html

http://forum.ascendacoustics.com/sho...1&page=1&pp=10

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=530504

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=417894


A few caveats---very minor IMHO at this pricepoint: no pre-outs (would negate the whole point of a digital amp after all), subwoofer crossover only down to 80Hz, no room speaker EQ, primitive remote, no digital outputs, no OSD (onscreen display). Also may not be the best choice if you have lousy, overly bright speakers.


Just as some folks still prefer LPs to CDs and tubes to solid state, you might decide to stick with an analog receiver, I'll make no guarantees. But it's definitely worth hearing it to make up your own mind, in any case...it’s a whole different animal!
 

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Does the Panny have component video switching like the Onkyo? The Panny also lacks Dolby ProLogic IIx, correct?


I'm learning towards the Onkyo because of the secondary speakers option. My 5.1 setup will not be out most of the time(7 month old), just when I'm watching movies on the front PJ. It will be nice to leave a set of two speakers out for basic flat panel watching and listening to music while cooking/cleaning.


I plan to get a set of Athena Micra 6 speakers with stands. How do they pair with these receivers?


Anyone have a recommendation on a pair of secondary speakers?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsb
Does the Panny have component video switching like the Onkyo? The Panny also lacks Dolby ProLogic IIx, correct?


I'm learning towards the Onkyo because of the secondary speakers option. My 5.1 setup will not be out most of the time(7 month old), just when I'm watching movies on the front PJ. It will be nice to leave a set of two speakers out for basic flat panel watching and listening to music while cooking/cleaning.


I plan to get a set of Athena Micra 6 speakers with stands. How do they pair with these receivers?


Anyone have a recommendation on a pair of secondary speakers?
component video switching...dunno, that's not a feature I have ever had any interest in, since the only things I have hooked up to my TV is a DVD and VCR...never watch TV if I can help it.


It does have DPL IIx...hardly ever use it, personally.


And it does have an A/B speaker option, in fact it allows you to use the extra B speaker outputs for bi-amping. This I do plan on using for music (the bi-amping capability is not available when using surround sound).


The Athena Micra system is probably the best in its price range, though like all HTIBs you will be stuck with a very crappy subwoofer. The only reason I would ever buy sats is if I ABSOLUTELY had to, e.g. for spousal/girlfriend reasons...no way will you ever get the same SQ from sats that even you'll get from even small bookshelves.


Instead if I were you I'd look at the Athena AS-B1s ($100/pair) and AS-C1 center ($100) that audioadvisor.com carries...you could get 2 pairs of the B1s plus the C1 for $300, same price as the Micra and then add either a Hsu STF-2 ($320 B-stock, hsuresearch.com) or if budget's really tight a Dayton 12" sub ($145 shipped, partsexpress.com). Unlike the Micras, you will definitely be able to listen to music with the B-1s without wrinkling your nose. :D
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsb
Does the Panny have component video switching like the Onkyo? The Panny also lacks Dolby ProLogic IIx, correct?
tsb, here

http://www.panasonic.ca/english/audi...ers/saxr55.asp
  • 100W x 7, Component Home Theatre Receiver
  • Dolby Digital EX, Dolby Pro Logic Ilx,

    dts ES 7.1 Surround Sound Decoders
  • Multi Channel Multi Drive: Bi-Amp Operation with Auto Switching
  • Multi Re-Master for Higher Quality Audio Reproduction
  • Binding Post Terminals for all Speakers
  • 4-Digital Inputs: 2-optical / 2-coaxial
  • DVD-Audio Ready Discrete 6-Channel Input
  • 480i, 480P, 720P, 1080i Component Video Switching
  • Composite & S-Video Switching


is there any 7.1 receiver without Dolby ProLogic IIx ??
 

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The CC near me doesn't carry it. I was there yesterday and I was specifically looking for it, too...


I almost picked up an open box HK AVR235, but the 240s are starting to surface, and I'm not really sure what the differences are...
 

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Originally Posted by GoldenEarDrums
LOL


Good one SC... good one. How about a 7.1 receiver with a 5.1 setup. :D



...
heh. Panny doesn't help themselves, though - the US website had it as a 6.1 PLII receiver, pathetic cut-n-paste from older spec.
 

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Originally Posted by DonoMan
The CC near me doesn't carry it. I was there yesterday and I was specifically looking for it, too...
Dono,


I haven't seen it at any CC stores as well. I ordered my XR55 from CC over the phone. Used the AAA CC 10% off coupon emailed to me via the AAA website to get the price down a bit more. I missed the old CC sale price but got the rep to pricematch Ritz Camera.
 

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Originally Posted by edster922
Instead if I were you I'd look at the Athena AS-B1s ($100/pair) and AS-C1 center ($100) that audioadvisor.com carries...you could get 2 pairs of the B1s plus the C1 for $300, same price as the Micra and then add either a Hsu STF-2 ($320 B-stock, hsuresearch.com) or if budget's really tight a Dayton 12" sub ($145 shipped, partsexpress.com). Unlike the Micras, you will definitely be able to listen to music with the B-1s without wrinkling your nose. :D
Can these be mounted on stands? I really need all speakers mounted on stands for my setup. Wall mounting is out of the question and there are no shelves or tables anywhere near where they will be placed.


I want to spend about 1K for my receiver and speakers at most. I may just get whichever receiver is cheaper at my local stores since both seem to have everything I need/want.


Any other options for speakers given my requirements?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by SiriuslyCold
heh. Panny doesn't help themselves, though - the US website had it as a 6.1 PLII receiver, pathetic cut-n-paste from older spec.
Yeah, the page I wan looking at didn't mention component switching or PLIIx.
 
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