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Onkyo TX-RZ50 Review (Home Theater AVR)

Rate this product:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 86 35.5%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 97 40.1%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 45 18.6%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 14 5.8%

  • Total voters
    242

Chromatischism

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I think Dirac intentionally tries to tone match the speakers by default - whereas Audyssey assumes a tonal match as a starting point - so a tonal match can be achieved with Audyssey via the apps - but it doesn't happen on its own by default (or perhaps audyssey merely puts less effort into tonal matching?).

(this is an non scientific, pure guess, based on my experiences with both Audyssey and Dirac on Onkyo/Integra AVR's)
Both programs work with speaker pairs to the same target curve.

Screenshot_20220703-122215.png
 
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Fwiler

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It would become unreachable via Dirac Live, or unresponsive at times in general and did not play nice with a Lenovo docking station. Also the websetup had something not working correctly which involved having to do a full reset twice. Oh, and sometimes the volume would just turn itself all the way down and it wasn't the remote doing it so...idk.

Most of this stuff probably is/will be fixed, but I decided the capital expenditure would be better reallocated to other equipment since I have a fairly small room for a full atmos setup. If I really needed the capabilities it has, I would have kept it.



Eh, on one hand, I agree with you. On the other hand, after having waded through the HDMI specs and some of the licensing requirements I can see why they are what they are.
Lenovo dock? From experience of deploying 100's of Lenovo docks (because I had to), they are the most unreliable pile of junk out there. Issues from the initial docks that locked in from underneath, to the usb-c, to the thunderbolt docks. Everything from power irregularities, sound output, hdmi issues to various monitors, etc. Remove that from your setup, as it's a major weak link. Because the docks require another set of drivers for each component inside, you're dealing with another crappy software layer manipulating the signal. The power going to these is another issue that causes major interference.
 
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minus3dB

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I think especially for AVR reviews, there are so many other important features that just looking at it's pure audio performance through measurements will not tell you the whole story. ASR is great for providing those measurements, but you need to balance them with all the other features provided, and also to what extent some measurements are even audible in normal use.

In an AVR, reliable video performance, good HDMI ports, good codec support, good RoomEQ software will be much more important considerations to me than the ultimate audio performance (to be fair though, I have a dedicated 2ch setup that offers close to that ultimate performance with a >110db SINAD DAC, and a >100db SINAD amp, so really don't care as much for ultimate audio performance for movies).

I'd have no qualms about buying a RZ50. And in fact, I almost came close to pulling the trigger as I want to replace my Yamaha, but am at this point waiting for a RZ70/RZ90 instead (I can live with the Yamaha a while longer).

I'll cosign this. There's a very narrow focus on performance in the reviews here and I'm glad there is because that's hard to find elsewhere. The market for AVRs is not centered around demanding engineers seeking to eek out the last 5% of performance in SINAD when many decent ones can minimize harmonic distortion and noise to one part per 10k. I've always asked myself: which would I be more likely to notice - 10-15 dB swings in bass response in a room due to room modes or the difference between one part per 10k and one part per million in harmonic distortion? Similar question relating to quality of recording in terms of mastering, mixing, production, etc., versus SINAD differences. Yet another question relative to the listener's audiogram where most people over 20 can have significant hearing loss. These sorts of things are acknowledged in the reviews here with statements to the effect of, "it's a shame that _____ suffers because the designer didn't pay enough attention to _____, but it doesn't matter because thankfully it's inaudible."

Things that would weigh more heavily in my attraction to an AVR would include:
- CODECs
- Room EQ
- Bass management/EQ of multiple subs
- Can it interoperate with stream from a 3rd party music player software/host or is it limited to streaming from NAS or USB drive?
- The ability to upmix 2.0 or 5.1 source material
- UX/UI with AVR's embedded streaming functionality with streaming services
- Stability of HDMI interfaces and firmware in general
- Ability to mix/match pre-outs and speaker outs
- Presets for multiple EQ target curves
- Automated switching of CODECs/modes based on incoming bitstream
- Ability to disconnect unused PA channels
- Quality of OSD
- Quality of web control interface
- Quality of front panel display
- Thermal management
- Peak output if I'm going to use any of the PA channels for anything other than the top layer

At that point I might consider differences between 85 and 100+ dB SINAD, whether there's differences in picoseconds of jitter measured, or whether there's differences in linearity down to -100 dB.

I suppose nirvana would be a 16 ch pre-pro with SOTM signal processing with all of the functionality and characteristics listed above that can revert to an ultra clean 2.x CH. mode when desired. The RZ-50 appears to be an economical compromise for those wanting one box that can do 7.1.4 with near-top of the market room EQ. I'm anxious to see what the models above it look like when they're introduced.
 

Pdalton

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I need some clarification advice.

I sold my previous home, including the Onkyo TX-NR656 & the 7.1 speakers I installed there. Now I've purchased a different home & bought new Klipsch "RP" series speakers for it (including 4 ceiling units for Atmos), all of which are spec'd as "8 ohms compatible".

Room issues here prevent having "side surround" units, so this will be a 5.1.4 system for movies, etc., but I'll also be listening to music in stereo via my turntable .


I've been really happy with the several Onkyo receivers I've owned over the last 30+years, so I've been eager to buy one of the Onkyo TX-RZ50 units when again available.

After reading the very technical (at least to me) review at the beginning of this discussion, as well as many (though not all) of the comments here, I THINK that's still a good decision because none of my new speakers is rated at 4 ohms.

On the other hand, I don't pretend to fully understand all of the technical details mentioned and I'm honestly not sure about the difference between 4 ohm, 8 ohm, & "8 ohm compatible" speakers.

So I'd appreciate others' thoughts on this choice.
Thanks
 

dlaloum

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I need some clarification advice.

I sold my previous home, including the Onkyo TX-NR656 & the 7.1 speakers I installed there. Now I've purchased a different home & bought new Klipsch "RP" series speakers for it (including 4 ceiling units for Atmos), all of which are spec'd as "8 ohms compatible".

Room issues here prevent having "side surround" units, so this will be a 5.1.4 system for movies, etc., but I'll also be listening to music in stereo via my turntable .


I've been really happy with the several Onkyo receivers I've owned over the last 30+years, so I've been eager to buy one of the Onkyo TX-RZ50 units when again available.

After reading the very technical (at least to me) review at the beginning of this discussion, as well as many (though not all) of the comments here, I THINK that's still a good decision because none of my new speakers is rated at 4 ohms.

On the other hand, I don't pretend to fully understand all of the technical details mentioned and I'm honestly not sure about the difference between 4 ohm, 8 ohm, & "8 ohm compatible" speakers.

So I'd appreciate others' thoughts on this choice.
Thanks
Klipsch and Onkyo are now owned by the same company (Voxx)

The AVR's are tested with Klipsch speakers, and included dedicated "Klipsch" speaker setups in the configuration software.

You won't have an issue with that combination.

Looking at it more technically, the Klipsch designs are typically "easy" loads that don't drop down low in their impedance at crossover points (rarely lower than 6 ohm) - and they are also very efficient (high SPL output per W input).

So yes, they are extremely likely to "play nice" together!!
 

hlevinson

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I need some clarification advice.

I sold my previous home, including the Onkyo TX-NR656 & the 7.1 speakers I installed there. Now I've purchased a different home & bought new Klipsch "RP" series speakers for it (including 4 ceiling units for Atmos), all of which are spec'd as "8 ohms compatible".

Room issues here prevent having "side surround" units, so this will be a 5.1.4 system for movies, etc., but I'll also be listening to music in stereo via my turntable .


I've been really happy with the several Onkyo receivers I've owned over the last 30+years, so I've been eager to buy one of the Onkyo TX-RZ50 units when again available.

After reading the very technical (at least to me) review at the beginning of this discussion, as well as many (though not all) of the comments here, I THINK that's still a good decision because none of my new speakers is rated at 4 ohms.

On the other hand, I don't pretend to fully understand all of the technical details mentioned and I'm honestly not sure about the difference between 4 ohm, 8 ohm, & "8 ohm compatible" speakers.

So I'd appreciate others' thoughts on this choice.
Thanks
Impedance is one of those things most people don't understand and as a result don't know what it means. Impedance is a measurement of resistance. Impedance is often cited as a single number which is different than reality. See attached pic of a recent Klipsch product. Impedance varies based on the frequency. In the attached pic it shows 3 different areas where the impedance drops below 6 ohms and one area below 4 ohms. So these are not "easy to drive" as people often state.

In general you can pair any amp with any speaker and get decent results. However, when running a lower impedance you need to be aware that there are instances that can be an issue:

- Running them at higher volumes
- Running them for extended periods (Such as a whole movie)
- Both of the above combined

These examples create more extreme conditions for the amp to work against. This causes a build up of heat which is the enemy of electronics. This may cause a sudden issue where an amp shuts down or goes into protection mode or may cause longer term wear on the amp causing it it die early.
 

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dlaloum

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OK I should check before I shoot my mouth off!! that RP600M is NOT an easy speaker to drive - it drops to 3 ohm in the woofer crossover zone...

On the other hand here is the impedance chart for the RP800F (floorstander):

Klipsch RP8000F.jpg


This is what I was expecting to see - sure there are ups and downs, but it bottoms out at just over 5ohm .... not too bad especially given that the speaker is high efficiency (98db SPL/wm )

Whereas the RP600M bookshelf speaker - from the same series... bottoms out at 3 ohm... which may indeed cause issues. When I say issues, my own Gallo speakers have around 3 ohm at the same point ... woofer crossover - my experience was that the amp in my Integra DRX 3.4 (siblink of the Onkyo NR7100) started to sound confused - the soundstage collapsed, and detail was hard to discern .... - when I used the Pre-Out into amps more suited to a difficult speaker - it cleaned right up and sounded the way it should... - so it didn't go into protection mode as per the testing that Amir did, but it certainly did not sound its best!

Clearly it pays to investigate the actual detail specifications of the speakers you are planning on getting!

To make things more difficult - these types of charts are seldom publicised by the speaker manufacturer - you usually find them in technical review articles... and of course not all modes are reviewed.

The chart I posted here is from: https://www.audioholics.com/tower-speaker-reviews/klipsch-rp-8000f

Additionally - surround and height speakers are usually less demanding than the mains... so I run the F/C/R on external amps, and the other speakers from the AVR - taking the main load off the amp, leaves a lot more current to drive the rest of the speakers - which it seems to do just fine!
 

dlaloum

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Here is another hard to drive recent Klipsch speaker R-41M

Klipsch R-41M Booksehlf Speaker Impedance and Phase Audio Measurements.png


Down to 2 ohm in the bass - this will drive most amps into their "trouble zone"! - you would want something with serious current capability.

Looks like quite a few of this Klipsch series would be more demanding than I thought...
 

hmt

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One not to be taken here: the Speakers sensitivity will be nowhere near 98 db 1w 1m when measured correctly.
 

Pdalton

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Wow! Thanks for all the detailed info!

However, seeing all the model-specific references makes me think I should identify the specific Klipsch's I'm using:

Front L&R - RP-8000F x 2
Center - RP450C
Rear Surrounds - R5800-WII x 2 (in-wall)
Atmos - CDT-5800-CII x 4 (in-ceiling)

Does that make any difference?

Also, I noticed dialoum's comment about using external amps for the Front LCR units. How necessary might that really be? Adding additional amps wasn't "in my plan" at all, but & - if needed - might have to wait a bit until I finish financially "digesting" a while.
 

Pdalton

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Oops! Forgot to mention the R12SW sub, but maybe it doesn't matter much for this as it's self-powered.
 

starfly

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Oops! Forgot to mention the R12SW sub, but maybe it doesn't matter much for this as it's self-powered.
Yes, a sub won't matter as those have their own built-in amps (which you'd hope are well matched to the driver :) )
 

dlaloum

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Wow! Thanks for all the detailed info!

However, seeing all the model-specific references makes me think I should identify the specific Klipsch's I'm using:

Front L&R - RP-8000F x 2
Center - RP450C
Rear Surrounds - R5800-WII x 2 (in-wall)
Atmos - CDT-5800-CII x 4 (in-ceiling)

Does that make any difference?

Also, I noticed dialoum's comment about using external amps for the Front LCR units. How necessary might that really be? Adding additional amps wasn't "in my plan" at all, but & - if needed - might have to wait a bit until I finish financially "digesting" a while.
There's no simple cheap answer.... the simple answer is play safe and get external amps.... but it's not cheap.

Basically the issue is that the AVR's are current constrained - the power supply is 850W... so there's your limit

Quite a few typical stereo power amps have their based power supply at 850W or more... for only 2 channels

So, we know that we are to some degree current constrained.

Now let's look at the speakers - the RP8000F is a relatively easy load... , all the others are unknown, as we don't have test results for them! - the R5800 specs are "8 ohm compatible" - that term "compatible" is always a danger sign... same for the ceiling speakers "8 ohm compatible".

It's worth keeping in mind that the load on the Surround/Height speakers is typically an order of magnitude less than the load on the mains (L/C/R) ...

Perhaps the best advice would be to provide enough space in your setup, so you can add amps should they be needed.... Install it with the AVR, and try it out.

If you can get a loan (or have a spare...) power amp, you can try driving some of the speakers via seperate amps - and see whether it makes an audible difference.
In my own setup, where the Front L/R are the most difficult speakers in the system, putting them on a seperate power amp, cleaned up and improved the sound markedly... I later also put the center on an external amp - but that didn't make any obvious difference. The key is, once you have "enough" any additional will not get used...

It isn't an easy decision.... but external amps need not cost an arm and a leg... I purchased a pair of used Crown XLS2500's for $250 each about 10 years ago... they can be found cheaply on the used market in the US (especially the pro/pa/band markets). I also have vintage Quad 606 amps, made in the late 80's that still work wonderfully (and are a great sounding amp) - you can find these and similar bargains out there.... and at their used prices, you can try them, and if you don't like the result, move them on for minimal cost.
 

Chromatischism

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Now let's look at the speakers - the RP8000F is a relatively easy load... , all the others are unknown, as we don't have test results for them! - the R5800 specs are "8 ohm compatible" - that term "compatible" is always a danger sign... same for the ceiling speakers "8 ohm compatible".
Here's the impedance vs phase for the RP-8000F II:

Klipsch%20RP-8000F%20II%20Impedance.png
 

SDMatt

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A question about order of operation: I have 3 subwoofers that I want to connect to my Onkyo TX-RZ50 using a MiniDSP 2x4HD. Should I run DIRAC 1st and then make adjustments in the MiniDSP using REW? Or should I make all my subwoofer adjustments in the MiniDSP using REW 1st then run DIRAC? Does order of operation matter?
 

Galz

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A question about order of operation: I have 3 subwoofers that I want to connect to my Onkyo TX-RZ50 using a MiniDSP 2x4HD. Should I run DIRAC 1st and then make adjustments in the MiniDSP using REW? Or should I make all my subwoofer adjustments in the MiniDSP using REW 1st then run DIRAC? Does order of operation matter?

Of course it matters. Dirac will see your minidsp as a single sub and will measure and calibrate accordingly.
If you want to make adjustments to a different target curve than what Dirac does, you'll have to do it after.
The best way, though, is probably to run MSO first just for minimum seat to seat variation mode, which will do its best to make Dirac's work as easy as possible, then let Dirac do the rest and adjust speakers+subwoofer to the desired target curve. If you don't use MSO or something else that effectively generates individual subwoofer filters in such a configuration, then just use the minidsp for delays for optimal summation between the subwoofers, then let Dirac EQ the subs as a single sub.
In any case, filters you should assume that Dirac is the one to handle filters that are applied to all subwoofers rather than the minidsp, unless you can prove otherwise.

Keep in mind that if you boost in the minidsp, Dirac won't know that the minidsp applied a boost, and may apply an additional boost, which may result in excessive and undesirable total boosting. That can happen also if you run Dirac first and then generate additional filters for the minidsp with extra boosting. I'm guessing either way it's safest to avoid any boosts in the minidsp in any case when there's an automatic EQ system in the chain as well.

Although this discussion should probably be in its own thread, as this isn't a question specific to the RZ50.
 

luigy39

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I purchased this unit for its Dirac capabilities. I have an external integrated amp (215 watts per channel) with home theater bypass for the stereo channels, and a 200 watts amp for the center channel. I'm really happy enjoying the Onkyo TX-RZ50 this way, it sounds amazing with movies, then I use my integrated for music listening, Welcome to Paradise.;)
 

Descartes

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Too bad the review by Amir was not better, but thank you so much for pointing out all the flaws!
I was looking forward to this receiver with DIRAC Live! Maybe Denon will announce their new receivers with DIRAC at CEDIA 2023 and will have fixed all the HDMi problems that they have been having with the PS5!
 
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