• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). There are daily reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

Onkyo TX-RZ50 Review (Home Theater AVR)

Rate this product:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 89 33.7%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 102 38.6%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 52 19.7%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 21 8.0%

  • Total voters
    264

Flak

Senior Member
Industry Insider
Joined
Nov 18, 2018
Messages
328
Likes
454
If all we wanted was short term power...
I confess that short-term power is what I'm interested in because of the nature of the content that is not steady-state,
it seems to me that in actual use an old school oscilloscope can be an audiophile's best friend :)
 

peng

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
May 12, 2019
Messages
3,523
Likes
3,115
It appears the amps are not high current output. Anything low Fr or impedance and the amp goes to clipping and maybe protection/limiting kicks in.
index.php

index.php

index.php

High current, for AVRs and amps are/should be used in relative term. So relative to comparable AVRs from SU, Yamaha, Arcam and others, it does not seem this Onkyo's PSU/Amp would be considered less current capable based on it being class AB, weight, and power consumption.

1645025862932.png



Also, since the measurements show 136 W into 8 ohms, it should be able to do 68 W into 4 ohm at the minimum.
The fact that it got limited at only 40 W, that is not a matter of current capacity but to do with bug in the protection scheme, or if it is by design, it was factory set to be overly aggressive.
 

Keened

Senior Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Nov 2, 2021
Messages
306
Likes
195
To be fair - the amps seem to meet their specifications and be quite powerful in terms of transient/dynamic/peak response.

They have howeer instituted some sort of protection circuits which seem to kick in way too early - particularly during stress testing.
I guess for me it's how noisy they are AND being current limited. Amp technology has come very far in the past decade and it's disappointing to not see it reflected here.

But you're right, bad is probably too strong of a word. Adequate to industry standard is probably a better descriptor. They are trying to hit specific targets for certification purposes and they did so within the envelope of acceptable behavior for 99% of usage. It would have been nice if they threw in a good class-D for the LR pair (see: PA5 cleaning up the result so dramatically) but they didn't stop the end user from doing so.

Would love to see a PR70 for the same price (even in the same case) where they drop the amps entirely, have dual independent sub-outs, and maybe clean up the pre-outs a bit.
 

ryanmh1

Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2019
Messages
93
Likes
113
The big take away from this should be:

This is a very reasonably priced/equipped pre-pro
  • [snip]
It just happens to be in a big box with bad amps.

Could it be better? Yeah. Should it be better? Maybe. But it's more or less going toe-to-toe with pre-pros 2-10x its price so...

All good takeaways. A lot of people want champagne on a beer budget. 11 channels of .0005% THD+N DACs with 9 channels of amps that will crank out 150/250wpc all day at .0004% THD+N isn't going to happen for $1400. And if you can live with only 9 channels of processing, you get down to about a grand and still get Dirac. Wouldn't work for me since I'm running a full 7.4, but it would work for most. Denon has no competing products at this point when looking at dynamic power for the same pricing. To get the same dynamic power, you need to step up to the x4 series for over $2k.

The only real "flaw" is that the limiter does not appear to self-reset. But that's only a problem if it's triggered in the first place. We know the Integra DRX-4.3 does the same thing, which means we also know the sister model TX-RZ840 likely also does it. That's a lot of additional units in the field, with no complaints I could find. And there would be complaints about losing close to 10db (i.e. HALF) of your volume. You don't turn a 170W amp into a 20W amp and not have that noticed. Yeah, maybe it would happen with 7 full range 4 ohm speakers hooked up running no crossover settings. But who is using a $1400 receiver to drive that, anyway? A separate amp is part of the price of admission at that level.
 

peng

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
May 12, 2019
Messages
3,523
Likes
3,115
And there would be complaints about losing close to 10db (i.e. HALF) of your volume. You don't turn a 170W amp into a 20W amp and not have that noticed. Yeah, maybe it would happen with 7 full range 4 ohm speakers hooked up running no crossover settings. But who is using a $1400 receiver to drive that, anyway? A separate amp is part of the price of admission at that level.

I am not so sure but obviously you could be right. I do remember someone (a Denon user iirc) mentioned he use Eco on all the time and never noticed any loss of power. Also Gene found that with Eco set to on the SR8015's output was limited quite a bit.

Gene's comments:
As I've stated numerous times in prior reviews of receivers that offer an "Eco" mode, NEVER use "Eco On" if you're planning on using the internal amplifiers. "Eco On" neutered the power of the SR8012 to a mere 30 watts/ch and that was with just 1CH driven! "Eco Auto" vs. disable produced similar power output results so I would safely recommend using "Eco Auto" if you want to be a little more energy efficient and cut down operational heat without losing output power.

Same idea with the impedance setting set to 4 ohms, yet people also reported they prefer the 4 ohm setting for their 4 ohm speakers, better sound, so they claimed..

My point is that, you and I may have no trouble sensing the loss of power due to power limiting, but I think many users may not, because of their listening habits, speakers, rooms and other reasons.
 

Dougey_Jones

Active Member
Forum Donor
Joined
May 27, 2020
Messages
274
Likes
169
I'd love to know how many of the 6 who gave a golfing panther are owners of the RZ50.
Name a more capable AVR or Pre-Pro for the price.. Most of the people on here are using all external amplification, so the problem Amir encountered is a nonevent.
 
Last edited:

SimpleTheater

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Jun 6, 2019
Messages
854
Likes
1,637
Location
Woodstock, NY
Name a more capable AVR or Pre-Pro for the price.. Most of the people on here are using all external amplification, so the problem Amir encountered is a nonevent.
Denon X3700H. I prefer Audyssey over DIRAC.

But that's about it. Amazing how much crap is out in the 9.2 AVR category in, especially under $2k.
 

Sprint

Senior Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Sep 19, 2019
Messages
433
Likes
258
Name a more capable AVR or Pre-Pro for the price.. Most of the people on here are using all external amplification, so the problem Amir encountered is a nonevent.
I would add Yamaha CX-A5200 (measured well as reported by Audioholics here) under 2500 Euros. 64 bit YPAO does a good job until 30HZ. Below that use a miniDSP if needed or use manual PEQ. I do not use Room correction of Yamaha as I use GLM in my Genelecs which needs a XLR. Super happy with sound for both movies and music.
 

nashmoss77

New Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2022
Messages
3
Likes
3
The prepro case for the RZ50 is certainly very strong. PrePros are generally far more expensive, and the cheaper ones from Emotiva etc leave a lot to be desired. Using the RZ50 as a $1400 prepro makes a lot of sense - given you get Dirac for free and all the lates bells/whistles such as 8k.
Also makes resale a lot easier than a dedicated prepro. I would've certainly considered the 7100 if it had preouts.

Pairing it with something like a Monolith power amp, one can get a solid system for around $3000.
 

Dougey_Jones

Active Member
Forum Donor
Joined
May 27, 2020
Messages
274
Likes
169
I would add Yamaha CX-A5200 (measured well as reported by Audioholics here) under 2500 Euros. 64 bit YPAO does a good job until 30HZ. Below that use a miniDSP if needed or use manual PEQ. I do not use Room correction of Yamaha as I use GLM in my Genelecs which needs a XLR. Super happy with sound for both movies and music.
I love everything Yamaha makes, Electronics, Motorcycles, Instruments, etc, but I can't stand YPAO.

Your setup sounds awesome.
 

Dougey_Jones

Active Member
Forum Donor
Joined
May 27, 2020
Messages
274
Likes
169
The prepro case for the RZ50 is certainly very strong. PrePros are generally far more expensive, and the cheaper ones from Emotiva etc leave a lot to be desired. Using the RZ50 as a $1400 prepro makes a lot of sense - given you get Dirac for free and all the lates bells/whistles such as 8k.
Also makes resale a lot easier than a dedicated prepro. I would've certainly considered the 7100 if it had preouts.

Pairing it with something like a Monolith power amp, one can get a solid system for around $3000.
Or troll OfferUp and Facebook Marketplace and get 7-channels of great amplification for $500'ish and have a very solid system for $2,000. Both of those marketplaces are inundated with mid-2000's era Parasound, Rotel and other mid to hi-fi multi-channel amps for reasonable prices.
 

MASKINEN

Member
Joined
May 24, 2020
Messages
56
Likes
37
Location
Sweden
Denon X3700H. I prefer Audyssey over DIRAC.

But that's about it. Amazing how much crap is out in the 9.2 AVR category in, especially under $2k.

Why do you prefer Audyssey over Dirac?
 

Sprint

Senior Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Sep 19, 2019
Messages
433
Likes
258
I love everything Yamaha makes, Electronics, Motorcycles, Instruments, etc, but I can't stand YPAO.

Your setup sounds awesome.
I fully understand. It seems YPAO in lower end models were of a different level quality wise. But I hear from others that 5200 has 64 bit R.S.C which does a good job till 30HZ though personally I haven't tried because GLM takes me to a different level. However I need to admit, that DIRAC via miniDSP for my SVS subs does an excellent job.

On the other hand the ESS Sabre Pro DAC in 5200 along with the XLR feeding Genelecs has converted my living room to a place better than the nearby cinema hall :). Earlier I used to have Yamaha RX-V775 - a lower end non-aventage model. The CX-A5200 (especially with XLR connections) takes me to a different planet sound wise - instrument separation being the highlight.
 

Dj7675

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 12, 2019
Messages
1,840
Likes
2,254
I fully understand. It seems YPAO in lower end models were of a different level quality wise. But I hear from others that 5200 has 64 bit R.S.C which does a good job till 30HZ though personally I haven't tried because GLM takes me to a different level. However I need to admit, that DIRAC via miniDSP for my SVS subs does an excellent job.

On the other hand the ESS Sabre Pro DAC in 5200 along with the XLR feeding Genelecs has converted my living room to a place better than the nearby cinema hall :). Earlier I used to have Yamaha RX-V775 - a lower end non-aventage model. The CX-A5200 (especially with XLR connections) takes me to a different planet sound wise - instrument separation being the highlight.
Not sure if you saw the xlr issue or not on the 5200 or not.
 

dlaloum

Major Contributor
Joined
Oct 4, 2021
Messages
1,821
Likes
1,260
I always liked the build and sound quality of the Yammies... but my search for a decent RoomEQ has taken me elsewhere... Audyssey up till now (unsatisfyingly) - and now I am keen to try Dirac.
 

Dj7675

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 12, 2019
Messages
1,840
Likes
2,254
I always liked the build and sound quality of the Yammies... but my search for a decent RoomEQ has taken me elsewhere... Audyssey up till now (unsatisfyingly) - and now I am keen to try Dirac.
Or, quite possibly, you may not like full range, automated eq (EQing to a room curve). I don’t think I will ever purchase a processor without the ability to to manual EQ again. For me right now it is Dirac DLBC below 300-500hz and fixing speaker issues with a few filters above that range.
You would have good company…
 

Sprint

Senior Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Sep 19, 2019
Messages
433
Likes
258
Not sure if you saw the xlr issue or not on the 5200 or not.
Yes I did see but as Gene has mentioned - it is not audible and clearly recommends to not consider this -23dB distortion as the one to reduce sonic clarity.

I have driven the front LR channels to high levels and atleast I am unable to hear any sign of distortion. I do not even know if Yamaha has rectified it as I just purchased it 2 weeks ago. On the other hand, I have to admit I do not even know how distorted sound sounds like :). I know how a damaged speakers produces a distorted sound but I have never heard or experienced a distortion produced by a AVP.

Here is what Gene says "While 23dB sounds like a really big number, it's important to note that the overall distortion level is still quite low for the CX-A5200 model and below the threshold of audibility in my testing. While I'm not happy about this result, as it certainly is NOT State-of-the-Art (SOTA), it never diminished my enjoyment of this product even during my critical listening sessions."
 
Top Bottom