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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Though it's been accused of being a mere "flagship receiver's amp section inside its own chassis," Onkyo's gorgeous PA-MC5501 nine-channel power amp never really gets any attention on boards like this...is it because it's so expensive? Or that it seems to be a bit of an "overrated" (by the manufacturer) piece of gear?




I mean, visually, this thing is a stunner with its blocky all-aluminum, no-nonsense faceplate -- like the one they put on its Integra kissing cousin -- and would be the common sense mate to the company's pre/pro...but in my quest for seeking out a new power amp to upgrade my 605 AVR to, I have been eyeballing this Onkyo amp...it seems, though, on paper at least that the specs are a bit "iffy" as they're rated into one channel driven most of the time and, at other times, into 6 ohms exclusively...this amp would be powering a pair of Polk RTi12s as mains, a CSi30 center and some SpeakerCraft in-ceiling surrounds, and I wanted to know if anyone thinks this is a viable alternative to, say, an Emotiva or if it's more like a flagship Onkyo AVR without the processing inside...


What say you?
 
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I too would like to see some more reviews. I was thinking on getting this and the per amp they look nice and I would rather these then the yamaha
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by TK-713  /t/1523535/onkyos-monster-pa-mc5501-how-come-no-one-really-talks-about-it#post_24509581


I too would like to see some more reviews. I was thinking on getting this and the per amp they look nice and I would rather these then the yamaha

I agree, TK; and yeah, it seems like Yamaha is in direct competition with Onkyo in certain categories -- when Onkyo put out their power stereo amp with the throwback VU meters, Yamaha introduced an integrated amp with the meters...the same with the home theater components it seems...


I just don't know what to make of this Onkyo amp -- I love this company's stuff, and would be estatic to have a power amp of theirs, but the specs are a bit iffy and have me concerned...I think this thing is rated 140 watts into 8 ohms, and I was looking for a bit more power than that for my Polk RTi12 mains, and then there's the issue of whether this thing is a good value in that it looks like an Onkyo flagship receiver but without the processing/preamp section...
 

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For the MC5501 list price, you could do an Emotiva XPA3 (street price) for the front LCR and an Onkyo 1010 (street price) for the processing and surrounds. I don't know the street price for the MC5501 so that may change the value proposition somewhat.


I would like to see that amp discussed more also but I suspect that less than 3% of avsforum posters use dedicated pre pro/amp combos and, of that number, most either want more wpc or spend more than 1800 on a new-in-box amp.


The MC5501 is the onkyo 3010/5010 amp section, as I understand it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Davecraze  /t/1523535/onkyos-monster-pa-mc5501-how-come-no-one-really-talks-about-it#post_24509829


For the MC5501 list price, you could do an Emotiva XPA3 (street price) for the front LCR and an Onkyo 1010 (street price) for the processing and surrounds. I don't know the street price for the MC5501 so that may change the value proposition somewhat.


I would like to see that amp discussed more also but I suspect that less than 3% of avsforum posters use dedicated pre pro/amp combos and, of that number, most either want more wpc or spend more than 1800 on a new-in-box amp.


The MC5501 is the onkyo 3010/5010 amp section, as I understand it.

Thank you for your response, Dave -- I appreciate it, and agree with just about everything you said.


I believe that your first suggestion of doing the Emotiva XPA3 to power the front soundstage would be more logical -- and is that Onkyo 1010 an AVR? If so, and that's what you meant about "the processing and surrounds," then it's probably the better way to go...though, how much power does the Emotiva put out (rated)?


And I suspected this amp is really the company's upper-tiered AVR without the processing section; is the 3010/5010 the best receivers they currently make? I'm gonna check their site just to be sure...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Addendum:


Seems like the 5010 is their new flagship:

http://www.onkyousa.com/Products/model.php?m=TX-NR5010&class=Receiver&source=prodClass


Though I gotta say...this company has gotten so confusing with their product line and the way in which they present their models on the website; they're not in any particular price order, so the flagship model isn't on top of the page, where you'd expect it to be, and models are just sprinkled in throughout...really frustrating to look at...


Also -- I noticed that their AVR lineup, in the bottom rung area, has been taken over by these "HT-RC" models, while the previous "TX-SR" designations have been replaced by "NR" (for networking duties)...what is the deal with these HT-RC receivers? Aren't they just annexes of sorts to the HTiB receivers that come in a package? And whatever happened to the logical progression of Onkyo's uber-popular "600" series AVRs? The last I recall that kept to this tradition was the TX-NR609....but which models have replaced the 609 since its debut?
 

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What's the difference between PA-MC5501 & the previous model PA-MC5500? There's an increase in weight.
Is there any know bug/defect with Onkyo's power amp? Their AVRs are plugged with HDMI bug, but I'm not sure of other Onkyo product.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
What's the difference between PA-MC5501 & the previous model PA-MC5500? There's an increase in weight.
Is there any know bug/defect with Onkyo's power amp? Their AVRs are plugged with HDMI bug, but I'm not sure of other Onkyo product.

Hey Sky,


Interesting question about any known defects with Onkyo's power amps; I haven't read or heard anything about 'em so there are probably no widespread issues -- of course, like you pointed out, their receivers have had issues with HDMI boards and such, but I don't think there's ever been problems with regard to amplifier sections (though there are debatable "issues" with their receivers' heat output which plagued many models such as my own TX-SR605, though I've experienced no shutdown headaches of any kind)...


Still, the question remains...as gorgeous as these Onkyo amps look, are they better buys than, say, an Emotiva? The general consensus has been that these power amps are merely Onkyo's flagship receivers without the preamps and tuners and that they're not offering anything really special performance wise, but I gotta say...they sure do look sexy...:eek:
 

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What's the difference between PA-MC5501 & the previous model PA-MC5500? There's an increase in weight.
Is there any know bug/defect with Onkyo's power amp? Their AVRs are plugged with HDMI bug, but I'm not sure of other Onkyo product.
Answer to an old question: Just the looks apparently.


I am waiting for a PR-MC5501 bought second hand. I will be using it to power the surrounds and 4 ceiling speakers.
 

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Real power output from that PA-MC5501 is probably pretty low, compared to rated. Also look a the design. Single, small toridial, and just two capacitors for all 9 channels, and a lot of empty space

http://cdn.audioaffair.co.uk/media/...a-mc5501-9-channel-power-amplifier-inside.jpg

22kuf for all 9 channels. My amps have more than that, for just one channel lol

Power output is for ONE channel driven haha. Power consumption is around 1kW so it might be around 100W, which is fine. But need real bench tests.

Price seems allright at £2200
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'm surprised Onkyo doesn't take this product more seriously; I mean, obviously, the amp is meant to compete with the Emotivas and Outlaws of the world, and yet the specs are fraught with somewhat misleading numbers that you have to look closely at to see what is being referred to (as mentioned above)...it is a real head-scratcher that Onkyo wouldn't put a lot of muscle behind these amps without wasted chassis space being that they're clearly meant to be for a buyer looking beyond receivers to perhaps power a pretty decently-sized dedicated room.
 

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4 onkyo m-282's would easly outperform this amp. With 100w X 2 @ 8ohms 20Hz-20Khz 125w @ 6ohms. This would give you 100w X 8 all channels driven. The 5500/5501 only has 300w to share with all channels. Another plus is if one amp fails you only have to pull one and your system is still going. These amps can still be found new as cheap as $150.00ea that's $600.00 vs. $2000.00.

Or look on Ebay for m-501's then you get bouncy meters!

Just my .02 cents if ya want Onkyo power.
 

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Been using this for a while now and now issues yet. As mentioned earlier it Powers only 4 surrounds and 4 ceiling speakers so it has an easy job. It Works well but I'm glad I have 2 other amps powering fronts + centers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Been using this for a while now and now issues yet. As mentioned earlier it Powers only 4 surrounds and 4 ceiling speakers so it has an easy job. It Works well but I'm glad I have 2 other amps powering fronts + centers.

Just out of curiosity, Gurba -- why do you say "I'm glad I have two other amps powering the fronts and centers"?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Because the LCRs need a lot of Power to shine. :)

And the Onkyo amp can't power them sufficiently? I find that difficult to imagine; seems the Onkyo would bit a bit overkill to power just surrounds...
 

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And the Onkyo amp can't power them sufficiently? I find that difficult to imagine; seems the Onkyo would bit a bit overkill to power just surrounds...
I use a NAD 208 for the fronts and an XTZ Class AP100 on the centers. These are much more powerful than the Onkyo. I've been concidering selling the XTZ and use the Onkyo for the centers but still I need the NAD for the fronts since i run 7.1.4 but havent tried the Onkyo on the centers yet. They run in Paralell so the load is 4ohms and even though the Onkyo is rated at 4ohms the XTZ has more Power.
 

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I use the 5501 for surround/ back and 4 presence channels on Yam Z11. Fronts and center powered by Parasound A31. The Onkyo works Great with B&W CM9/5 surrounds and KEF 3005 Sattelites for presence. As Gurba wrote fronts needs power, but Onkyo for surround/effect channels are enough. Fronts/center are Revel F/C 208.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I use the 5501 for surround/ back and 4 presence channels on Yam Z11. Fronts and center powered by Parasound A31. The Onkyo works Great with B&W CM9/5 surrounds and KEF 3005 Sattelites for presence. As Gurba wrote fronts needs power, but Onkyo for surround/effect channels are enough. Fronts/center are Revel F/C 208.
But why would the Onk "be enough" for powering just surround and effect channels? This thing seems like it would be capable of so much more...
 
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