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Onkyo TX-RZ50 Review (Home Theater AVR)

Rate this product:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 88 34.5%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 101 39.6%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 46 18.0%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 20 7.8%

  • Total voters
    255

dlaloum

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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.;)
Do you find much of a difference between the RZ50 as Pre and the Integrated as Pre?

I have found the Integra 3.4 to be an excellent pre - running my front L/C/R amps much like you - but I have not endeavoured to compare it to a seperate stereo preamp (or integrated)...
 

luigy39

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Do you find much of a difference between the RZ50 as Pre and the Integrated as Pre?

I have found the Integra 3.4 to be an excellent pre - running my front L/C/R amps much like you - but I have not endeavoured to compare it to a seperate stereo preamp (or integrated)...
I guess you are a asking about music listening in stereo? Yes, there is a significant difference, and that is using the Onkyo's pre section being amplified by the integrated amp, I imagine the difference would be greater if I were to compare the onkyo with its own amplification, even though, I think that would be an unfair comparison as I have the Kinki Studio EX-M1+ powering the Anthony Gallo reference 3.5 speakers that need a lot of power, and the Kinki that has been reviewed very favorably for its price.

I am a 50/50 music and movies kind of person, I think I have found a balance that works for me, but there is no doubt that for critical music listening you need, at least, a good integrated.
 

dlaloum

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I guess you are a asking about music listening in stereo? Yes, there is a significant difference, and that is using the Onkyo's pre section being amplified by the integrated amp, I imagine the difference would be greater if I were to compare the onkyo with its own amplification, even though, I think that would be an unfair comparison as I have the Kinki Studio EX-M1+ powering the Anthony Gallo reference 3.5 speakers that need a lot of power, and the Kinki that has been reviewed very favorably for its price.

I am a 50/50 music and movies kind of person, I think I have found a balance that works for me, but there is no doubt that for critical music listening you need, at least, a good integrated.
I too run a set of Gallo Reference speakers in my case they are 3.2's (with Reference AV center)

I have ended up running them with Crown XLS2500's ... as Anthony Gallo used to demo them with the Spectron Musician (500W @ 8ohm, doubling into 4 ohm and again into 2 ohm) - the Crowns were the nearest thing I could find without taking out a mortgage!

One thing I noted fairly quickly after getting the new AVR, was a dramatic improvement in Music (as well as movies... but I use Music for my critical testing!) , once Dirac was activated... better imaging, soundstage, and much improved clarity of detail (a bit of the proverbial "veil lifting").

I had previously had a flagship AVR with Audyssey XT32 (2013 vintage Integra DTR70.4) - with which the system definitely sounded better with the DRC turned off... but with the Integra/Onkyo, I find that is not the case - the setup definitely sounds better with Dirac turned on.

I also found that the old and new AVR's sounded identical, in raw stereo mode (ie no EQ/DRC) as long as there was sufficient power... (ie: running with external power amps) - so in preamp terms the current generation seems good (to me).

You don't find that Dirac brings benefits to Stereo music? (that was the core reason I wanted Dirac, having heard it doing some magic in a couple of audio shows...)
 

luigy39

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To be 100% honest with you, my reasoning behind buying the Onkyo was for purely for movies, I would have to give music a try with Dirac engaged.
 

DrStranger

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Question to you RZ50 owners. Does it get hot or can you push it / run for a while and it wont get hot, like people describing Denon/Marants? Or is it much cooler. I think this will be the one to get for me, if I ever can get my hands on one, for a fair and correct/normal price...:)
 

dlaloum

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Question to you RZ50 owners. Does it get hot or can you push it / run for a while and it wont get hot, like people describing Denon/Marants? Or is it much cooler. I think this will be the one to get for me, if I ever can get my hands on one, for a fair and correct/normal price...:)
No, it does not get hot... runs surprisingly cool.

But still, make sure it has room to breathe!
 

dlaloum

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There is a firmware update available... increases the max delay from 20ms to 50ms (for those for whom that was an issue) - and a couple of other minor issues... (none of which impacted me...)

Just updated my Integra 3.4, took a few minutes, and its done, no issues no problems.
 

SubSolar

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I'm guessing based on this test I would benefit from running external amps for my LCR which are Theos and Stage? I have the TZ-RX50 powering them now. I don’t listen that loud so I don’t necessarily need more power but wondering if the speakers that can dip under 1 ohm will overtax and shorten the lifespan of the receiver. I’m using all 11 channels for 7.1.4, the other speakers are non-electrostatic MartinLogan speakers. Would I possibly notice any audible difference also with external amps? Was looking at Crown XLS, Emotiva, Purifi, etc.
 

peng

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I'm guessing based on this test I would benefit from running external amps for my LCR which are Theos and Stage? I have the TZ-RX50 powering them now. I don’t listen that loud so I don’t necessarily need more power but wondering if the speakers that can dip under 1 ohm will overtax and shorten the lifespan of the receiver. I’m using all 11 channels for 7.1.4, the other speakers are non-electrostatic MartinLogan speakers. Would I possibly notice any audible difference also with external amps? Was looking at Crown XLS, Emotiva, Purifi, etc.

Do you have the impedance vs freq curve? Dip below 1 ohm is interesting but how bad that is would depend on at what freq. and the duration of the dip too.
 

dlaloum

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I'm guessing based on this test I would benefit from running external amps for my LCR which are Theos and Stage? I have the TZ-RX50 powering them now. I don’t listen that loud so I don’t necessarily need more power but wondering if the speakers that can dip under 1 ohm will overtax and shorten the lifespan of the receiver. I’m using all 11 channels for 7.1.4, the other speakers are non-electrostatic MartinLogan speakers. Would I possibly notice any audible difference also with external amps? Was looking at Crown XLS, Emotiva, Purifi, etc.
Yes - if you have the ML ESL's with the 1ohm dip - you will see noticeable improvement in clarity, soundstaging, imaging from running something with serious current for the Fronts.

This was immediately obvious with my Integra 3.4 driving my Gallo 3.2's (3ohm woofer, 1.6 ohm tweeter) - even at very moderate volume, they sounded congested... when I put the Crown XLS2500 in the setup, driving the L/R (not even the center - which is similar in profile) - it cleaned up right away - the AVR then had enough current to handle the center and the surrounds.

If you have the 1 ohm ML's - you should definitely look at a high current external power amp for them.
 

dlaloum

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Hard to find an impedance graph for the Theos - but looking at relative, Aerius, Sequel, etc... they all tend to drop down below 2 ohm on the highs...

And they all have a reputation for mating well with power amps that have huge current outputs... a number of people have used the Crown XLS2500 with success with the ML's... [email protected] and totally stable at 1 ohm... most amps just give up at that kind of low impedance level!
 

SubSolar

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@dlaloum
Hard to find an impedance graph for the Theos - but looking at relative, Aerius, Sequel, etc... they all tend to drop down below 2 ohm on the highs...

And they all have a reputation for mating well with power amps that have huge current outputs... a number of people have used the Crown XLS2500 with success with the ML's... [email protected] and totally stable at 1 ohm... most amps just give up at that kind of low impedance level!
Thanks. Would I even need a 2502 if I never listen that loud? Would a 1502 or even 1002 work just as well at moderate volume levels?
 

dlaloum

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@dlaloum

Thanks. Would I even need a 2502 if I never listen that loud? Would a 1502 or even 1002 work just as well at moderate volume levels?
Yes - a 1502 would probably be ample.... I would not choose the 1002 simply because the most basic model has lower specs for noise and THD... from the 1500 upwards they all have the same specs other than power/current.
 

SubSolar

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Yes - a 1502 would probably be ample.... I would not choose the 1002 simply because the most basic model has lower specs for noise and THD... from the 1500 upwards they all have the same specs other than power/current.
Sounds good. Would you recommend setting it to .775Vrms, the gain at max and regular RCA cables with the TX-RZ50? I'm going to be using Dirac.
 

dlaloum

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Sounds good. Would you recommend setting it to .775Vrms, the gain at max and regular RCA cables with the TX-RZ50? I'm going to be using Dirac.
I use the earlier 2500, not 2502, with 1.4v sensitivity, and it works fine.

Not sure whether there is any gain one way or the other.
 

chashint

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amirm wrote ..... "Anyway, I can't recommend the Onkyo TX-RZ50. If they fix the power handling issue, they may then get a marginal recommendation from me.

Hello everyone.
In regard to the power issue that Amirm discovered, has Onkyo addressed this in any way?
Has anyone experienced any issues that can be attributed to this?
Best regards,
Charlie
 

dlaloum

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amirm wrote ..... "Anyway, I can't recommend the Onkyo TX-RZ50. If they fix the power handling issue, they may then get a marginal recommendation from me.

Hello everyone.
In regard to the power issue that Amirm discovered, has Onkyo addressed this in any way?
Has anyone experienced any issues that can be attributed to this?
Best regards,
Charlie
It's a "nanny" circuit...

From Amir's perspective, one that is overly sensitive.

In actual use, by users in their home, you can search through the various forums, you just don't see problems reported of the kind Amir experienced during testing. - Basically the test pushes the AVR beyond what its designers made the "safe" limit...

People who run these AVR's with more "normal" speakers (ie: 6ohm to 8ohm, with reasonable efficiency... SPL/wm) have not experienced issues with them.

If you read through the details of the tests and the subsequent discussion - the RZ50 actually ranks pretty well, and is highly competitive with its main competitor the Denon X3700.

"Nanny circuit" issues during tests have come up before, and are not uncommon with Denon, Marantz, Yamaha, etc... - they don't actually indicate a problem, they indicate a protective design feature which clashes with a reviewers "stress test".

You need to decide whether it is a protection which will interfere with your use case, and therefore something you should consider seriously (very rare!) - or something which should be taken with a "pinch of salt".
Those of us who have inefficient or hard to drive (low impedance... 2ohm or below) speakers, already know that we will need external amps, and look at the AVR as primarily a pre-pro (for the front channels in any case) - and as a prepro, the RZ50 ranks quite highly among AVR's (check out its SINAD and Voltage output before clipping).

The tests provide raw data for your consideration, the associated comments are a subjective response by the individual reviewer - which may or may not agree / align with your needs.
 

valerianf

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I am waiting for the RZ70 or RZ90.
I do not want to get an amp that could be in protection mode (5W) without any warning about that.
I already have a Yamaha RX-A700 that is far less powerful than my old RX-V1200.
For $×××× I do want a powerful amplification.
 
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