• 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: 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

peng

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
May 12, 2019
Messages
3,221
Likes
2,855
I have had it 6+ months now and I am really enjoying my Onkyo TX-RZ50. No third party adapter needed to enjoy 4K/120 content. No need to wait and pay extra for a DIRAC upgrade. Everything works exactly as advertised. I rip all my music on to an SSD in a lossless uncompressed format and plug the SSD into my Onkyo TX-RZ50’s usb input on the back. Instant music server! Every song from every album I own all accessible at the touch of the remote. Music sounds great. Movies sound great. DIRAC is easy to setup. Totally satisfied with my purchase.

Does it has a preamp mode?
 

SDMatt

Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2022
Messages
8
Likes
23
Does it has a preamp mode?
Does it have a feature that disables the internal amplification? Pretty sure no. Would it make an audible difference if it did? I have no idea. I am not an audio engineer. I am just an enthusiast that knows what sounds good to my ears. I am using my Onkyo TX-RZ50 as a preamp paired with a D-Sonic external power amp and it sounds great. No discernible noise floor and plenty of headroom. I would recommend this configuration to anyone.
 
  • Like
Reactions: BJL

dlaloum

Major Contributor
Joined
Oct 4, 2021
Messages
1,590
Likes
1,097
Does it has a preamp mode?
Does it need a preamp mode?

P.S. no it does not have a preamp mode - preamp outputs are always active, and so are the power amp outputs. But if no speakers are connected, there is no load
 

amper42

Major Contributor
Joined
Dec 21, 2020
Messages
1,307
Likes
1,749
No, it doesn't. Hooked up to my 3 ch Purifi with the RZ50 powering only the Atmos fronts it sounds great to me.
How warm does the RZ50 get after playing a 90 minute action movie with external amps? Can you leave your hand on top for 60 sec without pain?
 

peng

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
May 12, 2019
Messages
3,221
Likes
2,855
Does it need a preamp mode?

P.S. no it does not have a preamp mode - preamp outputs are always active, and so are the power amp outputs. But if no speakers are connected, there is no load

We already know even if there is no load, when the power amp clips, it could still have negative effects on the preamp output as shown in the test results on both ASR's bench and Audioholics/Gene's bench. Though in this case, based on ASR's test, the RZ50 clearly wasn't affected as much by the power amp clipping induced higher distortions. Marantz was successful in this too as shown in the test results of the SR8015.

Obviously the newer Denon/Marantz won't have to make any changes in this regard because of their new feature that allows the power amps to be assigned to pre out on individual channel basis. Regardless of the power amp clipping influence issue, preamp mode is still good in terms of generating less heat.
 

dlaloum

Major Contributor
Joined
Oct 4, 2021
Messages
1,590
Likes
1,097
How warm does the RZ50 get after playing a 90 minute action movie with external amps? Can you leave your hand on top for 60 sec without pain?
Cool Calm and Collected...

It is NOT like previous generations - most of the heat was generated by the HDMI and DSP processors, not the amps, and that meant that it was running HOT almost all the time - and that the long term lifetime of the AVR's was heavily compromised.

ON the current generation, there is a slightly warm-ish patch right above a heatsink on the HDMI board

The internal fans do come on periodically - but are never audible. (I can tell they are on, by checking the status on the Web interface...) I have only seen the fan turn onto low... briefly.. then turn off.

Due to a history of previous AVR's burning up - I still position the current model carefully to ensure excellent free air access (25cm space above, open space to all sides/front/rear) - but it is possible that I am being paranoid. (for good reason, both of my last AVR's failed due to heat within 5 years, and outside of warranty)

The temperature of this generation augurs well for long life.
 

GabrielPhoto

Active Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2020
Messages
209
Likes
109
As someone coming from Denon receivers...I am a bit confused about the RZ50....specifically the Dirac and bass...does it NOT calibrate your subs at all? Or is it limited to a certain frequency vs what Denon does currently?
 

BJL

Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2022
Messages
44
Likes
32
Dirac does calibrate the sub, but only one sub. The Pioneer/Onkyo have two sub outputs but it is the same signal to both, so Dirac will treat it as a single sub.
 

GabrielPhoto

Active Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2020
Messages
209
Likes
109
Dirac does calibrate the sub, but only one sub. The Pioneer/Onkyo have two sub outputs but it is the same signal to both, so Dirac will treat it as a single sub.
So why the whole thing about the RZ50 having a more limited dirac without DLBC etc?
 

BJL

Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2022
Messages
44
Likes
32
DBLC is for multiple subwoofers. But since the Pioneer/Onkyo AVR's do not provide hardware support for multiple subs, this is irrelevant and would not be possible to implement.

There is a slight deficiency in the Dirac implementation, at least for the LX-505, which is easily corrected. Dirac takes the softest speaker as a reference point, and then attenuates louder speakers to match the levels (such as when you might have high and low efficiency speakers in a 7.1.4 system). The Pioneer (and perhaps Onkyo) reverses this, boosting the levels of the low efficiency speakers to match the high efficiency (louder) speakers. This is easily corrected using the remote app by reducing the levels of all speakers simultaneously until the softest speaker is set at zero dB. I opened at ticket at Dirac on this subject and tech support there agreed with my solution. Dirac tech told me that the OEM (i.e. Pioneer) AVR was making this change, not the Dirac software.
 

Dj7675

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 12, 2019
Messages
1,762
Likes
2,122
DBLC is for multiple subwoofers. But since the Pioneer/Onkyo AVR's do not provide hardware support for multiple subs, this is irrelevant and would not be possible to implement.

There is a slight deficiency in the Dirac implementation, at least for the LX-505, which is easily corrected. Dirac takes the softest speaker as a reference point, and then attenuates louder speakers to match the levels (such as when you might have high and low efficiency speakers in a 7.1.4 system). The Pioneer (and perhaps Onkyo) reverses this, boosting the levels of the low efficiency speakers to match the high efficiency (louder) speakers. This is easily corrected using the remote app by reducing the levels of all speakers simultaneously until the softest speaker is set at zero dB. I opened at ticket at Dirac on this subject and tech support there agreed with my solution. Dirac tech told me that the OEM (i.e. Pioneer) AVR was making this change, not the Dirac software.
I do believe that DLBC can actually be used with a single sub. DLBC, in addition to finding the best response for meassured area also concerns itself with integration with the mains integration so there is a smooth transition between the sub(s)/mains. It does work very well with multiple subs (I use it with 4) but my understanding is that it can be used with 1 as well.
 

BJL

Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2022
Messages
44
Likes
32
I do believe that DLBC can actually be used with a single sub. DLBC, in addition to finding the best response for meassured area also concerns itself with integration with the mains integration so there is a smooth transition between the sub(s)/mains. It does work very well with multiple subs (I use it with 4) but my understanding is that it can be used with 1 as well.
Yes, I'm sorry, you are correct, I got mixed with the market lingo. Per the Dirac website:

"Dirac Live Bass Control Single Subwoofer adds automatic calibration and filter adjustments for a single subwoofer towards the full-range speakers it supports."

And this in fact is exactly what Dirac does on the Pioneer, and I presume the Onkyo when using Dirac version 3.x - it sets the level of the sub, makes filter adjustments, inserts a timing correction (if needed), and corrects the frequency response per the target curve.

I think the confusion here is the marketing term "DLBC" - this capacity is a part of the Dirac desktop application. Of course, I have never calibrated my system using the internal Dirac software, perhaps one needs to use the Mac or PC desktop application to get all the benefits of Dirac on these AVRs. But it definitely calibrates the sub, and to my ears, does so perfectly, even with a complex set up using all available speakers (11 plus sub).
 

Dj7675

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 12, 2019
Messages
1,762
Likes
2,122
Yes, I'm sorry, you are correct, I got mixed with the market lingo. Per the Dirac website:

"Dirac Live Bass Control Single Subwoofer adds automatic calibration and filter adjustments for a single subwoofer towards the full-range speakers it supports."

And this in fact is exactly what Dirac does on the Pioneer, and I presume the Onkyo when using Dirac version 3.x - it sets the level of the sub, makes filter adjustments, inserts a timing correction (if needed), and corrects the frequency response per the target curve.

I think the confusion here is the marketing term "DLBC" - this capacity is a part of the Dirac desktop application. Of course, I have never calibrated my system using the internal Dirac software, perhaps one needs to use the Mac or PC desktop application to get all the benefits of Dirac on these AVRs. But it definitely calibrates the sub, and to my ears, does so perfectly, even with a complex set up using all available speakers (11 plus sub).
The pioneer and Onkyo don’t have DLBC. So it will correct the subwoofer channel (create filters etc) but will not take into account improving seat to seat variation or blend it with the main speakers (At least that is my understanding)
 

BJL

Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2022
Messages
44
Likes
32
The pioneer and Onkyo don’t have DLBC. So it will correct the subwoofer channel (create filters etc) but will not take into account improving seat to seat variation or blend it with the main speakers (At least that is my understanding)
Yes I can confirm this. I opened Dirac, connected, opened a project and checked, it doesn't give the DLBC options. I read through the DLBC manual (at their website), the advantage with DLBC is that it sets optimal cross-over points to better integrate the sub, and gives some additional control over the subwoofer level. I never thought about this because I have all speakers set for full range, and only use the sub for the dedicated .1 (LFE) channel, thus this wouldn't give me any particular advantage. I do see that if someone used satellite speakers with a limited lower bass capacity, this could be useful.
 

Galz

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2021
Messages
408
Likes
182
For single subwoofer that only plays LFE there is supposed to be no benefit for DLBC. It applies to subwoofer integration with the mains as well as other subwoofers, and does things that cannot be done with straight-forward per-channel EQ (ignoring other channels when calculating filters for specific channel, which is what regular Dirac and Audyssey do).
 

buz

Active Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Dec 17, 2020
Messages
238
Likes
211
Dumb question, I want to quick and dirty get dirac running on 3.1 (while I wait for stands to go 5.2 at which point I will do dirac properly) .

Do I just run dirac with sub (SB1000) volume dial at middle position or do I need to decide on small vs large speakers and crossover for my kef R3/R2c ?
 

BJL

Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2022
Messages
44
Likes
32
Dumb question, I want to quick and dirty get dirac running on 3.1 (while I wait for stands to go 5.2 at which point I will do dirac properly) .

Do I just run dirac with sub (SB1000) volume dial at middle position or do I need to decide on small vs large speakers and crossover for my kef R3/R2c ?
This is how I do it. When you do the measurements, Dirac will have you set the levels of the speakers from the desktop applications by producing a white noise, and then adjusting the individual speaker level. When you get to the sub, set the levels on the desktop app for the sub to match, then adjust the volume on the sub until you get a level matching your other speakers (I usually try for about 37dB, this will depend a lot on how noisy or quiet your room is). Then I usually back down the sub a bit because Dirac doesn't take into consideration the limited frequency response of the sub when setting levels. After you take the measurements, Dirac will set the relative levels and timing between the speakers.

Dirac ignores the small speaker, large speaker setting on your AVR when it takes the measurements and designs the filters. This is the DLBC issue discussed above in this thread. After you have the measurements and have settled on the filter design, you can decide for yourself what cross-over to use. But they don't figure into the measurements and calculations that Dirac is performing, so far as I know, maybe someone can correct me if I am mistaken. Check the manual and Dirac knowledge base/FAQs on this.

There is a manual on the Dirac website along with a couple of videos that are very helpful. Also, by the way, the current version of Dirac is 3.3x, which is better than 3.1 that you mention.
 
  • Like
Reactions: buz

buz

Active Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Dec 17, 2020
Messages
238
Likes
211
Thanks for the pointers.

FWIW, 3.1 was referring to LCR.sub, not dirac version ;)
 
Top Bottom