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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, I'm new to midrange home theater but putting together a system for my family room. I've been researching receivers for about a week and am torn between the YAMAHA AVENTAGE RX-A820 vs the Onkyo TX-NR616. The Yamaha is on sale for $500 and you can get a refurbed Onkyo at $310 or new at about $360. They both seem to have such similar stats I just don't know which way to go. One has Audyssey and the other has YPAO Multi point and neither have wireless built in as the 2013 models do but the onkyo dongle is 20 dollars. I know the Onkyo has had mixed reviews but it seems that was a firmware issue that has mostly been addressed. The Yamaha has decent reviews. I plan to do a 5.1 system in the family room with something along the lines of the Energy Take or the Blackstone 1600 and use the power from the other two chanels to power the second zone so want the 7.2 system to pull that off. Is there another $500 AVR I should consider that I'm just missing? I keep thinking that if I have this for several years like I did with my current 2004 Phillips system, I won't miss spending a bit more money. You know how when you buy something and in the long run you wished you spent the extra money. I keep thinking of the over the top deal the Pioneer SC1522k is at $600 but I don't have a costco membership only sams club and if my wife found out I spend $600 she'd have a fit. So any AVR suggestions, advice or opinions are appreciated.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkust  /t/1471171/yamaha-aventage-rx-a820-vs-onkyo-tx-nr616-or-other-suggestions#post_23275047


Hi all, I'm new to midrange home theater but putting together a system for my family room. I've been researching receivers for about a week and am torn between the YAMAHA AVENTAGE RX-A820 vs the Onkyo TX-NR616. The Yamaha is on sale for $500 and you can get a refurbed Onkyo at $310 or new at about $360. They both seem to have such similar stats I just don't know which way to go. One has Audyssey and the other has YPAO Multi point and neither have wireless built in as the 2013 models do but the onkyo dongle is 20 dollars. I know the Onkyo has had mixed reviews but it seems that was a firmware issue that has mostly been addressed. The Yamaha has decent reviews. I plan to do a 5.1 system in the family room with something along the lines of the Energy Take or the Blackstone 1600 and use the power from the other two chanels to power the second zone so want the 7.2 system to pull that off. Is there another $500 AVR I should consider that I'm just missing? I keep thinking that if I have this for several years like I did with my current 2004 Phillips system, I won't miss spending a bit more money. You know how when you buy something and in the long run you wished you spent the extra money. I keep thinking of the over the top deal the Pioneer SC1522k is at $600 but I don't have a costco membership only sams club and if my wife found out I spend $600 she'd have a fit. So any AVR suggestions, advice or opinions are appreciated.

Yamaha. My 616 lasted 2 full weeks - thought i'd be one of the lucky ones but nope...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

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Originally Posted by RastaManMax  /t/1471171/yamaha-aventage-rx-a820-vs-onkyo-tx-nr616-or-other-suggestions#post_23275082


Yamaha. My 616 lasted 2 full weeks - thought i'd be one of the lucky ones but nope...
Isn't that sad? I know that if I selected the 616 that I'd hope to be one of the luck ones. What problems did you have with your 616?
 

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Originally Posted by m61376  /t/1471171/yamaha-aventage-rx-a820-vs-onkyo-tx-nr616-or-other-suggestions#post_23278295


How would you compare that to the Pioneer Elite VSX60, in the same price range?

I would say thats another good option!! looks like a solid reciever for the money.
 

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I have used and or are still using each model and I think it comes down to features. If you believe receivers sound different (some can't) I find the Onkyo has more presence best described as a little more thump. The Yamaha sounds more dynamic such as the surrounds are much more alive. Neither is better they are simply different. I prefer the Yamaha in my dedicated room where all of the speakers come alive and I can appreciate their directionality. In the den (using 2.0) I prefer the Onkyo where the presence helps anchor the sound and gives it increased depth.

 

I like how Onkyo handles their Internet streaming and find it much nicer than Denon/Marantz. I haven't streamed on the Yamaha RX-A820 since it's in my dedicated room. In there I use Dialogue Lift which trumps other features as my center is mounted below the screen and in the past on occasion I would find myself staring at it.

 

I would throw out EQ methods as overall I think it's impossible to predict which one you will prefer. Some are more advanced, others offer tweaking afterwards... there are simply too many unknowns to let it guide you. If you want bang for the buck Fry's has the TX-NR616 for $360 and it's very hard to beat. The TX-NR515 is $299 and I couldn't tell any difference using each in my den for a few weeks. Grab the $299 guy unless you can find a feature that's worth the difference...
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by m61376  /t/1471171/yamaha-aventage-rx-a820-vs-onkyo-tx-nr616-or-other-suggestions#post_23279417


Do you think the Pioneer Elite for ~450 or the Yamaha RX-A820, which is on sale this week for $500, would be a better bet?

I think the rx-a820 for 499.00 is alot of reciever for the money...not to mention 3yr warranty! Read Charles post as he seems to have alot of experience with different reciever.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Just to finish this off, I ended up with a WAF issue so ordered the 616 plus got the wifi dongle. The upshot of course is I got it dirt cheap and of the three total service centers in a several state radius, one is just up the street from me. It has everything I need and want for a first midrange system except apparently reliability. My wife hates, hates, hates, technology and spending a single dollar on anything is the same as burning it. She thinks the sound from the tv itself is more than enough. Anyway we'll see about the 616 when it arrives.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Just a quick update for anybody searching on the NR616...I've been using the 616 for 5 or so days now. Everything is working as I'd expect but I still need to test more features. The key as I understand is to update the firmware first without attaching anything but the tv which is what I did. The firmware version on mine was one version old but still ended in 4000. The firmware update took about 2 minutes total from a usb. I expected it would take a lot longer as many have mentioned. The only issue I had was getting the audio return channel to work properly from my tv. It's a brand new tv and the manual for it doesn't even mention ARC so you are left to figure out what to do to use it. ARC is only stamped next to one of the HDMI ports. Of course you just turn CEC functionality on, and enable control of the AVR from the tv remote. I didn't realize it takes a soft reset to finish off setting ARC up on the tv/receiver. After the soft reset (unplugging for 5 minutes) the ARC signal was processed by the receiver. Of course you have to figure that out yourself. I'm crossing my fingers every day though. For a first midlevel avr, this one is almost too good to be true given how little it cost. I plan a whole house/three zone audio set up as soon as my wife stops complaining about all the time it took to set this one up. I had to run all the wires and cables to the next room through the walls and floors into a built-in cabinet+ cat5e and do a bit of drywall cutting and repair for the 5.1 setup to get them on the walls. I had also got the wifi dongle and it works exactly as good as I had hoped. Make sure you press the USB(B) button first before inserting the dongle. I skipped that step the first time and while the unit connects to my wireless network it wouldn't connect to any of the internet services. After doing it the correct way, it works good.


The main lessons I learned are: Do nothing until you update the firmware and as unlikely as it sounds, the soft reset does work.
 
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