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Use Onkyo TX-NR906 as a power amp: Good or bad idea?

EWL5

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If it was me, I'd use a logitech harmony universal remote (sadly discontinued) which could control them both via IR.
I have the Harmony SMART remote and despite losing the small remote that came w/the purchase, I am able to use phones running on iOS as remotes w/the included hub just fine via the app.
 

techsamurai

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If it was me, I'd use a logitech harmony universal remote (sadly discontinued) which could control them both via IR.
Yeah my Harmony 700s are dying... I asked Logitech to make at least 1-2 models - they just went crazy...
 
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Robert-Hifi

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Yesterday the Denon arrived and installed it last night.
Lots of settings and features to play with.

The Denon doesn't has the build quality (look and feel) of the TX-NR906.
The frontplate is aluminium, but it not as fine brushed as the Onkyo, which gives it a more plastic look.
And the remote is more like something you would expect from a mediaplayer or settopbox.

First impressions of the sound quality were not that great without Auddyssey.
After running Auddyssey it improved a lot, but the bass still needs some more fine-tuning.
I have to get the Audyssey MultEQ Editor app to tailor it more to my liking.

One thing I'm really missing is Dolby Pro Logic ll Music and the Center Width option.
Dolby Surround and DTS Neural:X are a serious step back in my opinion.
The Center spread option of Dolby Surround is not the same as the Center Width option of DPL II.

Other things that stood out at first were the loud relay clicks when switching certain sound formats and the volume level goes up/down way faster if you hold that volume button on the remote.
 

techsamurai

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Yesterday the Denon arrived and installed it last night.
Lots of settings and features to play with.

The Denon doesn't has the build quality (look and feel) of the TX-NR906.
The frontplate is aluminium, but it not as fine brushed as the Onkyo, which gives it a more plastic look.
And the remote is more like something you would expect from a mediaplayer or settopbox.

First impressions of the sound quality were not that great without Auddyssey.
After running Auddyssey it improved a lot, but the bass still needs some more fine-tuning.
I have to get the Audyssey MultEQ Editor app to tailor it more to my liking.

One thing I'm really missing is Dolby Pro Logic ll Music and the Center Width option.
Dolby Surround and DTS Neural:X are a serious step back in my opinion.
The Center spread option of Dolby Surround is not the same as the Center Width option of DPL II.

Other things that stood out at first were the loud relay clicks when switching certain sound formats and the volume level goes up/down way faster if you hold that volume button on the remote.
Wow, you didn't waste any time! :)
 

peng

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Yesterday the Denon arrived and installed it last night.
Lots of settings and features to play with.

The Denon doesn't has the build quality (look and feel) of the TX-NR906.
The frontplate is aluminium, but it not as fine brushed as the Onkyo, which gives it a more plastic look.
And the remote is more like something you would expect from a mediaplayer or settopbox.

First impressions of the sound quality were not that great without Auddyssey.
After running Auddyssey it improved a lot, but the bass still needs some more fine-tuning.
I have to get the Audyssey MultEQ Editor app to tailor it more to my liking.

One thing I'm really missing is Dolby Pro Logic ll Music and the Center Width option.
Dolby Surround and DTS Neural:X are a serious step back in my opinion.
The Center spread option of Dolby Surround is not the same as the Center Width option of DPL II.

Other things that stood out at first were the loud relay clicks when switching certain sound formats and the volume level goes up/down way faster if you hold that volume button on the remote.

The 906 was a flagship, the 4800 is 2 notches below flagship. Sound quality is subjective, and unfortunately you can't get your preferred DPLII anymore.

You will find the MultEQ app useful for sure. The $20 app is worth it.
 

techsamurai

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The 906 was a flagship, the 4800 is 2 notches below flagship. Sound quality is subjective, and unfortunately you can't get your preferred DPLII anymore.

You will find the MultEQ app useful for sure. The $20 app is worth it.

I was looking at that yesterday. The AH1 is the top but the 8500 and 6700H have 1 HDMI 2.1 and no Dirac Live so they're old gen.

Wouldn't that make the 4800 the 2nd from the top.

Hasn't the 4000 series always been the 2nd from the top with the 5000 series being the AH1 or 8500 equivalent?

Granted the 4800H is just under 30lbs which is on the light side especially in its class - it should have weighed 32-33 lbs which is exactly what the 6700H and Cinema 40 weigh so they did cut some stuff out. They could have put a small 3lb dumbbell wrapped in norez under all the boards to beef it up - and even called it the new high acoustic dampener - no one would have known :)
 

peng

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I was looking at that yesterday. The AH1 is the top but the 8500 and 6700H have 1 HDMI 2.1 and no Dirac Live so they're old gen.

Wouldn't that make the 4800 the 2nd from the top.

Hasn't the 4000 series always been the 2nd from the top with the 5000 series being the AH1 or 8500 equivalent?

Granted the 4800H is just under 30lbs which is on the light side especially in its class - it should have weighed 32-33 lbs which is exactly what the 6700H and Cinema 40 weigh so they did cut some stuff out. They could have put a small 3lb dumbbell wrapped in norez under all the boards to beef it up - and even called it the new high acoustic dampener - no one would have known :)
No, because there is the 6800.

At 30 lbs, weight is not always a good guideline. Better designed heatsinks and transformers are lighter than poorly designed ones. Larger enclosure also add weights, so the Marantz Cinema 40 is heavier than the 4800, but not electricall different or better.
 

EWL5

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I was looking at that yesterday. The AH1 is the top but the 8500 and 6700H have 1 HDMI 2.1 and no Dirac Live so they're old gen.

Wouldn't that make the 4800 the 2nd from the top.

Hasn't the 4000 series always been the 2nd from the top with the 5000 series being the AH1 or 8500 equivalent?

Granted the 4800H is just under 30lbs which is on the light side especially in its class - it should have weighed 32-33 lbs which is exactly what the 6700H and Cinema 40 weigh so they did cut some stuff out. They could have put a small 3lb dumbbell wrapped in norez under all the boards to beef it up - and even called it the new high acoustic dampener - no one would have known :)
You would have made the perfect Lexicon customer!

 
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Robert-Hifi

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Wow, you didn't waste any time! :)
Well, I didn't have much choice since the HDMI board completely failed on the Onkyo just the day before.

The 906 was a flagship, the 4800 is 2 notches below flagship. Sound quality is subjective, and unfortunately you can't get your preferred DPLII anymore.

You will find the MultEQ app useful for sure. The $20 app is worth it.
I don't consider the AVC-X4800H two notches below the flagship, because the A1H is a stand-alone A/V amplifier and falls in it's own "endgame" category.
Funny thing is that in Europe and on the European Denon website the A1H is labeled as A/V amplifier, not a A/V receiver (as AVC-A1H).
But on the Denon USA website, it's the AVR-A1H and labeled as an receiver.

I bough the Onkyo TX-NR906 for 1750 euro (MSRP was 2000 euro) in 2008.
Since then, prices gradually exploded in the past 15 years for TOTL AVR's.

Nowadays you get less for your money in terms of build quality and certain components.
1) No more massive toroidal transformer
2) No more gold-plated RCA connections
3) No more high-quality binding posts

The Onkyo probably has a better aluminium frontplate (look and feel) and a remote the looks better and has a better layout.
The Denon remote has the colored Sound Mode buttons placed too far down to hold it conveniently while pushing one of those buttons.
And the volume control on the Denon is too sensitive for my taste, it's not gradually increasing or decreasing.

I know it's just small things I complain about and it's not always sound quality related.
Maybe it's just something to get used to, but it annoys me a bit.

That brings me to the question: is the Onkyo TX-RZ70 worth almost 1300 euro more while having the same shortcomings as the Denon I just mentioned above.
Even if you factor in the Dirac Full Bandwidth license for the Denon there's still a 900 euro price grap.

So, verdict is not out yet. Maybe I'll still get the Onkyo TX-RZ70 before the 60-days return period is over to compare it with the Denon.

I was looking at that yesterday. The AH1 is the top but the 8500 and 6700H have 1 HDMI 2.1 and no Dirac Live so they're old gen.

Wouldn't that make the 4800 the 2nd from the top.

Hasn't the 4000 series always been the 2nd from the top with the 5000 series being the AH1 or 8500 equivalent?

Granted the 4800H is just under 30lbs which is on the light side especially in its class - it should have weighed 32-33 lbs which is exactly what the 6700H and Cinema 40 weigh so they did cut some stuff out. They could have put a small 3lb dumbbell wrapped in norez under all the boards to beef it up - and even called it the new high acoustic dampener - no one would have known :)
Remember their line-up isn't complete until the AVC-X6800H is released.
 

peng

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Toroidal transformers can also be found on low end amps (I have 2), EI core ones can be found on high end ones too. It is a fact that all else being equal, toroids could be made to weight less and have less leakage flux but to assume it is always better, is a persistent myth, seemingly only among audiophlies.

The fact is, they both have pros and cons, the flagship Denon AVC/AVR has been using EI cores for a long time, though they did use them on the earlier midels such as the 5800 series and the 5308.
 

techsamurai

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You would have made the perfect Lexicon customer!

Lol, they left the dumbbell out...:) A chassis within a chassis...
 

peng

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Lol, they left the dumbbell out...:) A chassis within a chassis...
My Marantz SM7 also has a copper billet type handle on a small cover han that hides a couple of controls.

Its all tricks to add weight, though if done outside, those things often enhanced the look too.
 

peng

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Smart choice, I'm curious to hear what you think. I wish I could get a Denon 4800H for $1,650 with a 5 year warranty.

Are you still going to use the 906 as an amp or try it with and without?

If I can't get Dirac Live to work magic on the RZ50, I'll be returning it. Over 15-20 years, I have realized that the most important thing in an AVR is how it handles music because music is actually everything in movies, games, shows, and stereo. Dialogue clarity for the center is #2 and almost as important as music but subtitles can remedy it whereas nothing can make a score sound musical and grab you. Then come room acoustics, tonal accuracy, 3-dimensionality, dynamics, bass etc. Many people place bass at the top which is hilarious.

I'm thinking of the following options:

Cinema 70 $1,200 with the 8002 as an amp handling 5+2 channels (bi-amp) - cheapest solution - I'd be stuck with Audyssey MultEq which is what I have now but also keep all kinds of old connections (of course, I would need to connect the speakers to the 8002)
Sony STR-AZ5000ES For $2,100, I get Sony's Trinnov-like spatial audio and decent stereo
Cinema 40 For $3,500 and no toroidal, it had better match my old 8002 in music

I may have seen a Denon 3800h for $1,000. Maybe I should add that to the list of options with the 8002 powering all speakers. That would buy me Audyssey XT which is so close to the best Audyssey version XT32 that REW measurements are practically identical.

However, the more I think about this, the small Cinema 70 as a pre/pro is almost the easiest solution and I can stack it vertically in my BDI cabinet making life so much easier.
The 70 looks great but you pay a lot for that. The plain looking 3800 is a much better value, even if you ignore DL. DL is so tweakable compared to Audyssey's app, hard to resist getting it.
 

techsamurai

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The 70 looks great but you pay a lot for that. The plain looking 3800 is a much better value, even if you ignore DL. DL is so tweakable compared to Audyssey's app, hard to resist getting it.
Yeah, but the 3800h won't fit on the shelf above the 8002 which will make connecting a snap. Otherwise, I have to think hard about where I'm going to place the 3800h and may need to move it to the other side of the cabinet and get longer interconnects but it's an option. Maybe I'll buy both the Cinema 70 and Denon 3800H and compare them.

It also seems to have a good pre-amplifier according to this review - is the 3800h as good of a pre/pro?


PRE-AMP MODE

Now we come to one of the real treats with this compact AV receiver. Because a receiver in this segment having a full set of Pre-out for 7 channels, plus two subwoofers is quite unusual - you usually have to go up in price to get this.

But Marantz has taken this one big step further. In the setup menu, you have the option to configure whether the respective effect stages should be switched off, and this can be configured individually for paired channel sets. That is for front, center, surround and surround back / height channels. The advantage of this is not only that you may save power, you also get a cleaner signal via pre-out by setting these channels to "Pre-out Only". Marantz claims that with the power amplifiers activated, you can only get a signal up to 1.8 volts from the pre-out terminals before distortion increases noticeably if you use the "Speaker + Pre Out" mode, meaning that the power stages are activated.

This property is therefore of very high importance for those who wish to use the CINEMA 70s as a pure preamplifier and processor, or as a combination where the built-in amplifiers are only used for some channels, while e.g. the front channels are run as Pre-out only , with external power amplifiers.

About DL, I couldn't get proper measurements with Dirac Live on the RZ50 with my UMIK-1 - it gives me exclamation marks and crossovers of 150hz and 0ms distances. I could definitely tell improvements between no Room EQ, DL with the onboard mic (3 positions) and my exclamation-laden DL measurements that I exported. In the end, I had no clue what percentage of DL I managed to get in my 17 position calibration - was it 80%, 90%, or 20%? I cannot be the only one that's run into this issue and had no faith in the final results even though they were improved.
 

techsamurai

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My Marantz SM7 also has a copper billet type handle on a small cover han that hides a couple of controls.

Its all tricks to add weight, though if done outside, those things often enhanced the look too.

That's a beauty! When was it made and what color do you have?
 

peng

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That's a beauty! When was it made and what color do you have?
Gold, my brother bought it in around 1976-7 iirc, with the matching pre is the SC-7. He gave me the pair when he upgraded to some sound bar stuff yea4s ago.
 

techsamurai

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Gold, my brother bought it in around 1976-7 iirc, with the matching pre is the SC-7. He gave me the pair when he upgraded to some sound bar stuff yea4s ago.

The gold looks even better - how do they sound compared to new gear?
 

peng

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The gold looks even better - how do they sound compared to new gear?
Almost exactly the same, that's before I had them measured. Measurements did show they ahould sound the same as my 3 or 4 other amps, preamps. I like them better, for the meters, but prefer the silent transformer of the Hypex and Purifi amps.
 

techsamurai

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Almost exactly the same, that's before I had them measured. Measurements did show they ahould sound the same as my 3 or 4 other amps, preamps. I like them better, for the meters, but prefer the silent transformer of the Hypex and Purifi amps.

That's impressive that they are half a century old and still sound good.

Have you ever owned or heard Sansui?
 
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