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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

hmt

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You don't hear any advantage of the ESS DAC though. YPAO with RCS is still crap as is does not correct well in the Bass region.
 

Sprint

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You don't hear any advantage of the ESS DAC though. YPAO with RCS is still crap as is does not correct well in the Bass region.
That's a million dollar debate if one hears any difference in DACs :) and it is my personal experience that ESS sounds different to my ears when I compared it with Cirrus Logic. Again it is my personal experience. Is it a placebo effect or mind play? I do not know :).

Fully agree YPAO in the bass region is crap and that's why I myself have a miniDSP with DIRAC. But other than that Yamaha is superior in the sound quality and build quality. I can only say for me, the sound is very engaging be it music or movies.
 

hmt

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My point is that the 23 db higher distortion on the XLR outs dominates in case of the 5200. When you don't hear it, you also don't hear differences bn DACs. :) SINAD of the 5200 is 73 db. That's not very good but probably still inaudible.
 

Rottmannash

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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.
don't think you'll be disappointed.
 

Dougey_Jones

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Mid 90’s or better SINAD is fine for me, mid 70’s is unacceptable at the price point we’re discussing.
 

SimpleTheater

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Why do you prefer Audyssey over Dirac?
Maybe “prefer” isn’t an accurate wording choice. The implementation of Audyssey via the Denon and the phone app gives an amazing amount of control once completed to fine tune based on REW values taken after the fact. So does Yamaha’s parametric EQ. I haven’t used the NAD, Adcom or Onkyo but the two former appear to have had implementation difficulties. Additionally, from watching DIRAC videos, it appears you can send preferred target curves to your device, but as anyone knows the target isn’t exactly what you’ll get, so editing the results are paramount, yet the videos I’ve seen don’t seem to allow it. This could just be terrible directions on those two products DIRAC implementation but I’ve stayed far away from their products exactly because of what appears to be the inability to minutely adjust the final DIRAC EQ.

If this is a DIRAC issue and manufacturers are forced to implement it this way, then I will say I prefer Audyssey and YPAO to DIRAC. If it’s the manufacturers implementation then I await a better implementation. If it’s terrible marketing on their websites and YouTube videos that don’t show these final calibration options, then I’ll also stay away from these manufacturers because for me a product encompasses everything, and customer service, instructions, return policies are all part of my purchase decision. If they suck at writing instructions they probably suck at creating firmware updates, as I’ve been burned by Anthem in the past and watched the horror stories of the Adcom users.
 

dlaloum

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Maybe “prefer” isn’t an accurate wording choice. The implementation of Audyssey via the Denon and the phone app gives an amazing amount of control once completed to fine tune based on REW values taken after the fact. So does Yamaha’s parametric EQ. I haven’t used the NAD, Adcom or Onkyo but the two former appear to have had implementation difficulties. Additionally, from watching DIRAC videos, it appears you can send preferred target curves to your device, but as anyone knows the target isn’t exactly what you’ll get, so editing the results are paramount, yet the videos I’ve seen don’t seem to allow it. This could just be terrible directions on those two products DIRAC implementation but I’ve stayed far away from their products exactly because of what appears to be the inability to minutely adjust the final DIRAC EQ.

If this is a DIRAC issue and manufacturers are forced to implement it this way, then I will say I prefer Audyssey and YPAO to DIRAC. If it’s the manufacturers implementation then I await a better implementation. If it’s terrible marketing on their websites and YouTube videos that don’t show these final calibration options, then I’ll also stay away from these manufacturers because for me a product encompasses everything, and customer service, instructions, return policies are all part of my purchase decision. If they suck at writing instructions they probably suck at creating firmware updates, as I’ve been burned by Anthem in the past and watched the horror stories of the Adcom users.
First proviso - I have yet to get my long awaited, pre-ordered Dirac capable AVR...

My impression is that editting the Target curve on the mobile phone apps for Dirac is... difficult... crude?

But that fine control over the target is available (I believe) on the PC App... (which is a no cost alternative way of editting the Target Curve)

Given that the DIRAC system is based on an averaging and weighting of your measured responses - if you want to specifically control the response via the target curve, you would simply use a single MLP measurement - thereby getting rid of any averaging - and allowing you much more direct control over the EQ.

On the other hand, you are disabling some of DIRAC's core abilities by doing so....

I'm sure someone with more experience will chime in - if not I suggest asking on one of the DIRAC threads.
 

Miker 1102

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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.
There is probably more crap above 2k. I would take a 3700 over multiple products that are double the cost.
 

GalZohar

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Maybe “prefer” isn’t an accurate wording choice. The implementation of Audyssey via the Denon and the phone app gives an amazing amount of control once completed to fine tune based on REW values taken after the fact. So does Yamaha’s parametric EQ. I haven’t used the NAD, Adcom or Onkyo but the two former appear to have had implementation difficulties. Additionally, from watching DIRAC videos, it appears you can send preferred target curves to your device, but as anyone knows the target isn’t exactly what you’ll get, so editing the results are paramount, yet the videos I’ve seen don’t seem to allow it. This could just be terrible directions on those two products DIRAC implementation but I’ve stayed far away from their products exactly because of what appears to be the inability to minutely adjust the final DIRAC EQ.

Audyssey also doesn't let you tweak much beyond just changing the target curve, which may or may not give you want. I don't think it's any different to Dirac and Arc in that respect, and the main difference is the interface for changing the target curve.
That said, what else do you need? If after setting a target curve something was not corrected, it is probably because the algorithm decided it isn't beneficial to try to correct it. Do we really want to mess with these kinds of things? And again it seems to be common to all 3 systems.
 

Miker 1102

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Audyssey also doesn't let you tweak much beyond just changing the target curve, which may or may not give you want. I don't think it's any different to Dirac and Arc in that respect, and the main difference is the interface for changing the target curve.
That said, what else do you need? If after setting a target curve something was not corrected, it is probably because the algorithm decided it isn't beneficial to try to correct it. Do we really want to mess with these kinds of things? And again it seems to be common to all 3 systems.
The new windows app does let you tweak more. You also can adjust the frequency range ..which for my room makes all the difference. I keep it under 500hz or less. Makes music sound good.
 

GalZohar

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The new windows app does let you tweak more. You also can adjust the frequency range ..which for my room makes all the difference. I keep it under 500hz or less. Makes music sound good.

I've been doing that with the 20$ phone app. Don't see the point spending 200$ just for that. There are other benefits for the PC app (and whether you will use them is questionable), but this isn't one of them.
 

dlaloum

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The new windows app does let you tweak more. You also can adjust the frequency range ..which for my room makes all the difference. I keep it under 500hz or less. Makes music sound good.
In Dirac this is called the "curtain" - but yes it has the same ability
 

Sprint

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Mid 90’s or better SINAD is fine for me, mid 70’s is unacceptable at the price point we’re discussing.

Fully agree better SINAD is preferable. But there is no AVP that ticks all the boxes for me and still sound amazing. I selected my AVP based on price, reliability and more important how does it sound. Am I enjoying the sound and do I want this sound for the next 10 years? My requirement was I wanted to have XLR outputs as it was a recommendation by Genelec reps. Though experts here recommended Denon 3700 with RCA XLR pre outs, Genelec proposed pure XLR as AVP with XLR has better options with "EU Schucko Plugs" My budget was 2500 Euros max. I had 4 options Anthem AVM60, Yamaha 5200, Marantz 7706 and IOTAVX AVX17.

Anthem did not measure well and so it dropped directly. I first wanted to go for IOTA as it was 1900 Euros and later get into all digital solutions. But this has some HDMI issues and tweaking Bass without using EQ was not optimal. So I tested Yamaha as I got it 200 euros cheaper at 2300 euros. The sound in straight mode was much better in Yamaha.

At the end, I went for Yamaha after reading Gene's review. I felt that if I hear this distortion then I will go for a RCA pre outs for front LR. It should still be ok as my cables are less than 3 meters for front LR.

I then tested both RCA and XLR outs for front LR. I did not hear any distortion on XLR and the sound was subjectively better with XLR than RCA pre outs.

At the end, I am happy with my decision.
 

SimpleTheater

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Audyssey also doesn't let you tweak much beyond just changing the target curve, which may or may not give you want. I don't think it's any different to Dirac and Arc in that respect, and the main difference is the interface for changing the target curve.
That said, what else do you need? If after setting a target curve something was not corrected, it is probably because the algorithm decided it isn't beneficial to try to correct it. Do we really want to mess with these kinds of things? And again it seems to be common to all 3 systems.
Having had an Anthem/ARC, unless it has changed, you are correct. However, Yamaha let’s you get into the weeds and manually fine tune the result. With ARC I looked at their target curve and measured with REW before and after. While better after, it wasn’t close to the target curve - I mean “not even close”. Obviously I haven’t tested DIRAC, but because rooms are so different I doubt any system matches the intended curve, so why not build in a parametric EQ to allow changes. Yamaha does, so even though YPAO isn’t great, I can make it great.
 

hmt

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Why do you think that a limited PEQ can match your target in a room better than a automatic approach with much higher resolution correction that does spatial averaging?
 

peng

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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."

You probably can say the same if that 23 dB difference is 33 dB. Many people just can't tell the difference between 0.001% and 0.5 or even 1 % THD. I just don't find it unacceptable for a >$2,000 AVP to have that kind of anomaly and would not do anything about it when Gene reported it to them. My concern is, what else could be wrong with it. Amir just measured a Carver amp a lot of people raved about how good they sounded, yet it has very high distortions than any AVRs measured here on ASR. So clearly high THD amps can sound good to a lot of people for sure, but if I buy amps that have the lowest THD, then I know all else being equal (IMD, SNR, DF, FR etc.) my amp will be closer to a straight wire with gain. If I want to spice things up, then I can do it myself with EQ, intentional harmonics etc.. I would buy the CX-A5300 if Yamaha fixes that issue. Again, not about sound quality but a matter of principle, and to avoid having to wonder if something else may be wrong, or not knowing the cause of that issue, would it get worse over time.
 

peng

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Having had an Anthem/ARC, unless it has changed, you are correct. However, Yamaha let’s you get into the weeds and manually fine tune the result. With ARC I looked at their target curve and measured with REW before and after. While better after, it wasn’t close to the target curve - I mean “not even close”. Obviously I haven’t tested DIRAC, but because rooms are so different I doubt any system matches the intended curve, so why not build in a parametric EQ to allow changes. Yamaha does, so even though YPAO isn’t great, I can make it great.

Same with Dirac's PC beta version, Audyssey actually did better for me, except DL's impulse response looked a little better. I will soon find out if DL3 is worth buying. I hope it is easy to setup so I can take full advantage of the very short trial window. When I beta test it, it was a frustrating exercise because most of time was spent on figure things out.
 

peng

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Why do you prefer Audyssey over Dirac?

I don't know about others, for me Audyssey is easy to tweak and it has SubEQ HT that time aligns two subs. Onkyo's DL version apparent cannot do that, and I am not what else it cannot do as DL has more than one version.
 

SimpleTheater

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Why do you think that a limited PEQ can match your target in a room better than a automatic approach with much higher resolution correction that does spatial averaging?
Because I start with the automatic PEQ and then run REW to see the current result. YPAO seems to subdue the bass response under 500 hz, but does a very good job over 500 hz. My Yamaha has a copy option, so I just take the YPAO measurement, copy it, and adjust the bass region until my REW results match my target curve.
 
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