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Which to buy

  • Onkyo TX-NR626

    Votes: 2 33.3%
  • Sony STR-DN1050

    Votes: 2 33.3%
  • Denon AVR-S900W

    Votes: 2 33.3%
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I hate to do the same thing I see on the other forums I am member of, but I am truly confused on which AVR receiver to buy... the problem is that even I don't know what I want anymore. So I need help picking.

Backstory: I have an old Onkyo HT-S5100 kit, worked great and keeps working great except for the "*seperate audio connection required" Inderectly, this also means I do not get TrueHD or DTS-MA, etc... . It has been 6 years on that little kit and I am looking to upgrade the receiver with something more modern. Things I am looking for:

- Zone 2 for outdoor 2ch stereo sound on the deck, Zone 2 needs to be able to do get all sources from Zone 1 (same source playing in both Zones , or Zone 1 off altogether), or independently from Zone 1, from the following sources phone/LAN, FM Radio,
- Network so I can stream audio to it via LAN/Internet
- Wi-fi connected (so I can control with smartphone when I am in Zone 2)
- Future proof with HDMI 2.0 pass through (4:4:4 4K/5K @60Hz) at pass through must have , including HDCP repeater support (nice to have for uncompressed audio formats in future), up-sampling nice to have but not really necessary
- ARC is nice to have
- iOS (AirPlay) nice to have, but not necessary, both smartphones at home are Android (for now, who knows in future)

My plan started off pretty straightforward, I was just going to run out to the local electronics store, and substitute the old cookie cutter Onkyo, with a new one, keeping the speakers (8ohm) and powered sub (they might not be the greatest, but they are more than sufficient for me and the levels I listen at), Enter the Onkyo TX-NR626, at $399 it seemed like a slam dunk, but I quickly read a bunch of angry reviews saying the unit blows in 2 years right outside of warranty period.

So, I moved on, next came up the newly introduced Sony STR-DN1050, seems feature packed at $549, including Zone 2 HDMI (not sure how I would ever use that, but hey maybe one day and outdoor TV is in the cards - really that is all I can think of), on specs though the Sony is showing a THD of 0.09% and is not DLNA certified for Pictures, no biggie I have tons of ways to get my photos hooked up. I am not sure how good the Sony DCAC is compared to the Audyssey....

So then I started looking at Denon, what a confusion I got in that line up.... I am still not 100% clear on the difference between the X line and the S line, but all I know is that I can find S line in several retailers nearby, so here comes the Denon AVR-S900W... I am fully aware that this somehow compares to the X2100W, but unless someone can give me a more tangible difference than "high channel" for hanging speakers up, I am not gonna bother finding where I can buy the X line.

So here it is, between these 3, which do you feel is the best: Onkyo TX-NR626 or Sony STR-DN1050, Denon AVR-S900W ? If you feel like recommending some other model or brand, please make sure to highlight whatever gross oversight I made in in my choices above such that I should disregard all three, otherwise, I spent a lot of time and energy reading up on various models and looking up specs that I am going cross eyed. And I have little energy left to spend researching a whole new model.
 

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For the same money, you would get a much better version of Audyssey with this:
http://www.amazon.com/Denon-AVR-X30...3?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1411501682&sr=1-3
I don't see specific mention of HDMI 2.0, but the specs @ Denon do mention 3D pass-through, etc.
It's easy to drive yourself crazy, especially here, where there are many differing and strong opinions.
I have a Pioneer, myself, but I won't confuse the issue even further.
I'm sure you'll be happy with any of the choices, though I understand wanting to make the "best" one.
Good luck.
Michael
 

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Hello blue_cheese;


This is Onkyo USA and its Product Support department and upon reviewing the specifications you seek: you should look into the TX-NR 636 receiver instead of the TX-NR 626 receiver. Contrary to popular folklore- we are actively assisting customers having issues with their units and found many are not current model owners & are upset because they were never offered the support we are exhibiting now. As your HT-R560 has been functional and faithful; we have taken the necessary strides to ensure our previous issues will be repeat themselves. Onkyo has also shown to stand by our products, thru recent accounts, so you should expect this level of quality and assistance from us as a company. The only issue is that the TX-NR 636 doesn't pervade HDMI via ZONE 2- this is found on the TX-NR 838 and higher models. We just wanted to provide our 2 cents; knowing there will be many others with different views and we can definitely respect these opinions. We hope to read that you purchased a new Onkyo receiver and thank you still for your patronage and interest in Onkyo and our products/ services.
 

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Let us know what you end up with. I'm considering those listed as well (636 vs 626), AND the Yamaha A840 and Denon x4000. Tough decision!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Thanks LastButNotLeast and Onkyo Support,

Some minor progress, but still undecided...

Sony is officially been struk off the list, and the Denon has been changed to the one that LastButNotLeast suggested X3000, at that price point it does seem better.

I reviewed the Onkyo "issues" in more detail and it does appear to be older models, I guess the newer models 626 and 636 are newer than the affected audio loss/network connection and probably too new to have any longevity issues identified in general, but more detailed searches are trending to the x0x lines having the issues. The local AV sales guy was pushing the in store extended warranty (of course he was) to deal with 'common HDMI board issues' and the Dolby Atmos of the 636 (of course he was), but I am still attracted to the SR626 over the newer SR636, the thing is this is going in family room for regular TV watching, not a home theater set up, so I am not sure about the Atmos feature, and I for some probably unnecessarily prejudiced reason am gravitating to the audyssey of the older model. I am getting all the features I want but at a much lower price point.

One question, I am not sure on the answer to since I am still vetting through the manuals on how I would wire this out conceptually to achieve my goal. On my current old receiver, I just use speaker set B as the Zone 2, I do not have the ability to listen from different sources obviously, but what is worse I can't change the audio source/volume without walking over to the room where the receiver is and pointing a remote at it... hence the ask for network/WiFi. I would change between 1 room with 7.1, 1 room in 5.1 + 1 room in 2.0, or 1 room in 2.0 as needed accordingly just by toggling speaker set A, A+B, and B respectively.

Can either of these receivers be similarly as follows without needing additional hardware (ie Zone 2 pre-amp or a speaker selector switch), without having to re-wire every time I switch between one of the 4 uses below or without having to re-configure and re-tune the speaker assignment in the AVR (ie selectable via remote like the A, B, A+B front. ), As stated, I am interested in a second set of speakers outside for the deck with consideration for the following 3 scenarios where Zone 1 is family room and Zone 2 is backyard:

- (Neglectful parent's mode) : Zone 1 is going in 5.1 (rear two speakers ) while kids are watching Video, while Zone 2 is going from a different audio source (can be limited to network, or FM)
- (Party mode :) ): Zone 1 is going in 5.1 while Zone 2 is going in 2.0, both zones playing from same source, which can be ANY of the connected source
- (Kids asleep, parents watching TV mode): Zone 1 going in 7.1, Zone 2 is all off
- (Having dinner outside mode): Zone 1 is off, Zone 2 is going from *ALL* available audio sources....

It appears that on the Denon there are no Zone 2 (dedicated) powered connectors and I have to permanently give up the surround back L and R in wiring, or wire in a selector switch, or just use the pre-amp outputs and a dedicated amp for the outdoor speakers (that last one is a little pricy given how little I care about the sound quality when outside)...

Seems like on the Onkyo NR 626, Zone 2 seems to have limited sources, reading the manual I am a bit confused under what conditions the limitations are in effect, seems like if I want different inputs between Zone1 and Zone 2 there is some Limitation on what Zone 2 can get, but In the case where Zone 1 is NOT going, or If I want both Zone 1 and Zone 2 to be going, can I get all sources on Zone 2...

Can anyone confirm/clarify how this would work?
 

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I recently bought the Onkyo 636 and it doesn't play nicely with my Rogers NextBox 3 (Cisco 9865HD) PVR. Even with the deep colour mode turned off, I get intermittent white horizontal lines on channels like HGTV and A&E (and with today's firmware update, I'm getting black dropouts and shifting). If I hook the PVR to the TV directly, I get none of those issues. My previous Denon AVR-1713 didn't give me these problems.

I got the 636 on a price beat for $525 + tax but I'm willing to pay the extra $25 for the Denon.

*EDIT* I was going to pick up the Denon 900, but walked out with a Marantz NR1605 instead. Extra year's warranty over the 900 and a "nicer looking" receiver made the difference once the sales guy said he could knock $100 off the price Still a little more than I'd wanted to pay but it's QUITE nice. I've read a lot of people saying good things (and not so good things -- receiver lock up, for instance) about the receiver so I thought I'd give this a shot. Still having some issues with not all my directories getting noticed via DLNA.
 
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