Disappointed with the current round of AV units

Posted by: MatManhasgone

Disappointed with the current round of AV units - 01/26/16 08:33 PM

I know that I am not in the market for a new AV receiver or pre-amp at the current time, but thought it might be interesting to see what is listed as new by the major retailers. I can understand the desire of Atmos in the theater in expanding the sound field to give better coverage and the ability to break out from the matrix speaker model to address individual speakers for better sound placement.

The fun part to this is how to bring that sort of sound back into your home.

Looking at the Pioneer line, there is just one new Atmos ready seems to be a 7.1 unit. Seems rather strange that they would put out a unit with support for so few speakers. How they call this Atmos is beyond me in it's just standard Dolby Digital with 7 speakers. Sound wise it should not be any different to any 7.1 unit before it.

Yamaha doesn't do much better, but at least their receiver does support DTS-X. Again with a 7.1 system it hardly seems worth it. I had high hopes for their CX-5100 pre-amp but they killed off the most important speaker option, the front wide channel. That was the biggest part of Atmos to kill the sound dead zone between the front and surround speakers when panning. In older DD or DTS they rely on a phantom speaker fill that spot and it just bakes a sound blur that really looses the effect.

So we are left with Marantz and Dennon. At least both of these units do offer a 9.2 receiver. The Marantz scores bonus points in their 9.2 receiver supports 11.2 pre-out capability. I don't really want to drive my main speakers from an underpowered receiver but the surrounds don't take that much power so it's kind of nice to hopefully be able to pre-out the Fronts & Center that do all the real lifting and just have the lower powered surrounds running from a receiver. Now it would have been more nice if they could pre-out a 13.2. They also support the needed Front Wide option. Yet sadly not a hint of word about DTS-X

Dennon on the other hand has got the DTS-X at least mentioned as a ready feature so I guess that would be a firmware thing. it too says it has 11.2 on the pre-out so it looks like this one is the only option going right now.
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: Disappointed with the current round of AV units - 01/26/16 08:50 PM

Yeah, I have been looking at receivers for a while just to track the Atmos/DTS:X progress in receivers for about a year and it is disappointing. I mean, the general consensus is that 7.1.4 is ideal for any room that can do it, and the biggest limiter in the room is if you have 2 rear surrounds (7.1 vs. 5.1) and if your seats are at least a couple of feet from the back wall.

So what do we get? Mainly 5.1.2 receivers for under $1000, 5.1.4 or 7.1.2 for under a couple of grand, and to get a 7.1.4 system (without needed a separate amp) it is even more.

Then there is DTS:X... The receivers out there that came with the "free upgrade" to DTS:X (first update to hit in 2 days) have a few limits due to the hardware specs that the manufacturers were given and what the codec is actually requiring. One of these that is making a lot of people frustrated at AVS is no support for "wide" speakers, so no 9.1.2 option, which some experts say is superior to even 7.1.4 for most people.

Top it off that most receiver manufacturers dropped Audyssey for their own auto-setup/room correction software, and most of those aren't very good in comparison.

So yeah, I'm not impressed either.
Posted by: casey01

Re: Disappointed with the current round of AV units - 01/27/16 11:59 AM

Actually as some who has owned a few Yamaha pieces over the years(currently a 11.2 CX-A5000 pre-pro)for the record, Yamaha never had a "front wide" speaker option nor the Audyssey room correction system in any of their models. It has always consisted of elevated front and where possible rear "presence" speakers and their own YPAO room set-up system. In their latest line-up the top two models, the 2050 is 9.2 and the 3050 is 9.2 with the option to go to 11.2 IF the owner wishes to add an external amp. The CX-A5100 is fully 11.2, however, being a pre-pro it, of course, requires external amplification for all channels.

In the case of the above models, while implementing the DTS and forthcoming DTX formats, Yamaha just chose to go the route of using the existing presence speakers and with the front presence in particular giving the owner the option of elevating them over one`s head. I am somewhat surprised though that other than Denon, no one else has chosen to offer the "Auro" option which, after hearing a couple of demos, I was quite impressed. Since they, in particular, have developed it with music in mind as well, their system leans towards a total envelopment experience as opposed to primarily directional cues.

Owning a Marantz and Onkyo in previous years, for my particular option choices, I ultimately gravitated back to the Yamaha because compared to similar models of other mainstream manufacturers, they were a little better value, their "Aventage" line in particular, has a better warranty and I always preferred their DSP and in particular, the full parameter adjustable movie sound fields that none of the others even had in their feature set.
Posted by: Stilljoe

Re: Disappointed with the current round of AV units - 01/27/16 07:55 PM

Pioneer Canada's website only lists one SC-9x receiver - the SC-91. In fact there are three in the range above that (95, 97, and 99) which all appear to be 9.2 channels, and all will apparently get an upgrade for DTS-X. They are shown on the US site, and are available at Canadian dealers. Why not on the Canadian site? I guess they have too many of last year's in stock.
I'm pondering the SC-95 myself. It could do 7.1.2 or 5.1.4 without external amplification, or I could use my existing receiver as an additional amp and do 7.1.4 - if I can afford the speakers and if I decide the room is big enough.
Posted by: MatManhasgone

Re: Disappointed with the current round of AV units - 01/27/16 08:31 PM

I honestly fail to understand why so many people are fixated with putting more speakers overhead with Atmos.

Atmos from what I have understood is the ability to define sound as objects and better correlate the location of sound inside the theater space. They did that by being able to address more speakers. So your surround side and rear speakers now are not just one big mass, but a whole string on individually addressed speakers that can be used to better pinpoint the sound. Yes they have given overhead sound now, but that is only a small part of what Atmos offers.

Give yourself a scene where a car is coming up a street and races past you on your left hand side. With the older 5.1 and 7.1 the sound would start in the center channel and move to left front speaker, then part of this mass of sound that is somewhere behind you. With Atmos as they can address more than 3 (or 4) speaker sets, the pan of sound will be far more realistic as it can move now through a potential 15+ speakers progressing down the side of the cinema wall giving you the feeling as if there is an actual car driving past you.

But to do that you need a whole bunch of speakers. In that example, ZERO of the ceiling speakers will get used. Perhaps a scene with a space ship shooting overhead, or in a jungle with sounds directly overhead, but the perception of that can be closely generated by side speakers as your ears aren't really good at perceiving overhead sound as they are at sounds on the same plane as they are.

So in our home, why would you need 4 speakers overhead to make sound that your perception is hard to determine where its coming from, and skimp on placing speakers where your hearing is the most accurate? I would want my speakers to best match what the capability of the cinema is and use those 4 extra speakers to put 2 more speakers on the sides, an extra one behind me and give just 1 speaker to overhead. But the systems are not really designed to accomodate that.
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: Disappointed with the current round of AV units - 01/27/16 09:00 PM

I had an Atmos receiver (Onkyo 646 I believe) for about a week while my receiver was being repaired. I can tell you this, even playing back Atmos audio with a regular 7.1 speaker configuration (nothing overhead) and the improvement in sound vs. the non-Atmos soundtrack... No overhead speakers required.

I also agree that it is important to focus on your "bed" layer speakers (traditional 5.1 or 7.1 speakers) first. These WILL product a majority of all audio even with Atmos.

With that said, I still could tell that I was missing something by not having overhead speakers. The space still felt like it was somewhat "flat" (my best way to describe it). I am confident after hearing A/B demos of 7.1.4 vs 7.1 material demos at CEDIA 2014, plus the CEDIA 2015 demos, and with my own experience with a 7.1 playing Atmos sound, that I want/need overhead speakers. Even though they may only be used 5-10% of the time, there is a noticable improvement. Heck, I was just reading something in one of my latest Sound and Vision magazines and another thing online about the top 10 technologies to look forward to in 2016 (NOT a home theater article, but list of ALL tech) and they both talked about Atmos being huge for 2016. S&V said something that I heard elsewhere before too. Dolby Atmos is to movie audio what DD5.1 was when it came out and you could send audio signals to all 5 channels and subwoofer separately. This isn't a gimmick or fad like curved TVs, this is an actual significant improvement in the audio presented.

But again, you really need to have something decent for your primary 5.x or 7.x first like Matt said above and good placement of those speakers is really important as well to proper sound imaging.
Posted by: Stilljoe

Re: Disappointed with the current round of AV units - 01/27/16 11:31 PM

I can see Matt's point, to a point. How many speakers do we really need? Hell, I thought the stereo hooked up to a 4 head VCR and a 20" TV was amazing.
But right now I'm watching Ender's Game in 1080p on a screen almost as wide as the room, with 7.1 courtesy of Axiom and SVS. It can get better than this? Bring it on.
What I hear about Atmos is pretty much what Nick says. Some people aren't impressed. More are. Some say it's the biggest advance since surround. I think I'll find out.

Getting off topic here... My gallery is out of date. Delete the TV and add a Sony VPL HW40ES projector and a 108" fixed screen. I still need room treatment... but I'm not in a rush, it sounds pretty fine. I hope this works: Gallery entry

Back on topic. The new Pioneer receivers have a new version of MCACC - at least a lot newer than my 2008 version. By all reports it's significantly better than the earlier, and I already liked that as much as Audyssey. Class D amps; I know there are different opinions, and different implementations, but (ahem) Axiom uses them...
Posted by: MatManhasgone

Re: Disappointed with the current round of AV units - 01/28/16 08:09 AM

Originally Posted By Stilljoe
Class D amps; I know there are different opinions, and different implementations, but (ahem) Axiom uses them...


I think the biggest issue that, at least I have with them owning a 2013 Pioneer Elite receiver that brags at 120w, is the method they use to come up with those numbers. Now on the latest versions they also give a number for the total number of watts possible for the unit, but start to divide that out to all the channels and it will fall short. I understand that as surround speakers really don't need huge watt numbers if set to small and not played loud. Yet, it seems the receivers are not really designed well to work with Axioms (or anyones) 4ohm speakers. I doubt that there is anything near doubling down from 8ohm to 4ohm. The manual on my receiver says it is 4ohm compatible but I wonder.

There is the blind listening side that people hear what they thing they should. Well, when I got my first Axiom speakers I hooked them up to an old 60watt amp and was blown away at how they sounded. After listening to them for a bit, I figured it would be worth while plugging the speakers into the newer (and at the time I thought better) Pioneer SC amp. The sound dynamics diminished even though it's on paper a higher rated amp. I saw the same thing on my LFR's when I went from a high quality 250w amp to a lower powered 120w amp. There just is not the physical real current in the amp to drive the speakers.

Not to say that Pioneer or Class D amps are bad. I just think the design and power supply inside and it's ability to deliver current needs to be there if you are trying to drive a demanding speaker.
Posted by: Jeff_in_the_D

Re: Disappointed with the current round of AV units - 01/28/16 08:42 PM

Is there a receiver or preamp available that supports 9.2.4?
I have currently a typical 7.2 set up and would like to add front wide and 4 ceiling speakers for Atmos/DTS:X.
Looking online I have found only 9.2.2, 7.2.4. It seems you must give up a pair of surrounds or ceiling speakers in order to use front wides. My preference is a preamp and adding an additional amp
rather than going with an all in one receiver.
thanks, Jeff
Posted by: MatManhasgone

Re: Disappointed with the current round of AV units - 01/29/16 08:38 AM

As I have said many times here, I feel that the surrounds are FAR more important to me that multiple speakers overhead.

As for the pre-amp vs receiver. The issue that I have is in part the marketing force/perception and supply/demand and what that seems to do with price.

I have bought a used pre-amp, that I don't believe was totally worn out. Yet I don't think that I could tell any difference between the sound that I got out of it and the sound that I got out of a receiver acting as a pre-amp. Yet the cost of the unit new is more than double (almost tripple) the cost of a similar spec receiver.

Some believe that a pre-amp must sound better as they cost a whole lot so they have better parts inside of them and so they must make better sound. I can't say if the parts are better, nor if these better parts give any ounce of better sound.

I will agree that most receivers don't have adequate power to drive the front and center speakers. That is why I will not buy a receiver unless it has pre-out connectors.

I use to believe that XLR was for some reason far better than RCA. Now I have realized that over the short distance of the cross connect, it doesn't make a lick of difference. Some of the biggest and more expensive names in equipment use RCA and get rave reviews. So why do I need to pay extra money to get XLR if it gives me no benefit.

On the flip side, a receiver that has pre-outs probably has more than enough power inside once you offload the front/center channels to drive the surround speakers with more than enough precision, dynamics and clarity that I don't need to spend money to buy yet another amp for them.

I have saved money buying a receiver over a pre-amp and then save more money not needing additional amps for surrounds. That leaves me more money in my pocket to either buy a better amp for the main channels that need it, or better speakers for those channels.

If money was not object then sure you can buy the most expensive of everything. But money is an object and inside a reasonable budget I believe I can get more better sound out of a receiver and better other components than getting a pre-amp and having to buy lesser components to get the same dollar price tag.
Posted by: casey01

Re: Disappointed with the current round of AV units - 01/29/16 02:47 PM

Pretty much all of you what you stated is spot on to the realty of the subject. I mentioned in an earlier thread that a couple of years ago when Yamaha announced for the first time in years, they were going to offer a top line Pre-Pro(CX-A5000), I decided to buy it instead of an AVR only because I already had in place two outboard multi-channel amps that I used in conjunction with a previous Yamaha AVR that I was using as a pre-amp. I got the Pre-Pro for roughly the same price as their top of the line AVR. It does have a few extra features, i.e. some extra DSP soundfields, balanced XLR outputs(that I don't use) and what they described as a little better DACs on all the channels and it does offer full 11.2 capability.

The CX-A5000 sounds great, however, if someone asked me other than the few extra features, does it sound better than an upper echelon AVR used as a pre-amp output to outboard amps? I can't honestly say there is any audible difference and as far as any difference in voltage output(which some question about AVRs when used in this capacity), regardless, volume levels were similarly matched between the two.

If I was to do it again in the future, my recommendation would be to anyone whom already had the outboard amps on their rack, but, still wanted most of the the features, channels and sound quality of the separate, purchase the AVR in the upper echelon of the manufacturer of your choice using it as a pre-pro and based on my practical experience, sound quality will be as good as any separates.
Posted by: SBrown

Re: Disappointed with the current round of AV units - 01/29/16 10:04 PM

Hey Casey, sounds like you know what's in the know. I always like reading your posts, they are informative.

My Onkyo PR-SC5508 just started the HDMI problems that alot of Onkyos are having and I want to get something different. Had enough Onkyo grief to last my lifetime.

I would like another prepro because I have all the XLR cables and music is before movies for us. Do you know if Yamaha is coming out with any new prepros and I noticed that the CX-A5000 does not have XLR outs for the subs. I guess all there really is are Denon and Marantze and Yamaha in my price range.
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: Disappointed with the current round of AV units - 01/29/16 10:25 PM

Originally Posted By Strider53
Is there a receiver or preamp available that supports 9.2.4?
I have currently a typical 7.2 set up and would like to add front wide and 4 ceiling speakers for Atmos/DTS:X.
Looking online I have found only 9.2.2, 7.2.4. It seems you must give up a pair of surrounds or ceiling speakers in order to use front wides. My preference is a preamp and adding an additional amp
rather than going with an all in one receiver.
thanks, Jeff

Not in anything affordable. I mean you can jump into something like a Trinnov, but that is serious $$$. Now, maybe someone has a 13 speaker receiver or pre/pro out there to do 9.2.4, but nobody seems to have good suggestions for something somewhat affordable. Here is a discussion elsewhere about it...
"Best Way to Atmos 9.2.4?"

I think that the appeal of a pre/pro and amps vs. a receiver is that once you invest in the amps, you can more economically upgrade the processing, usually. But you still need to make that amp investment.

Hey Matt, what do you have against immersive audio and overhead speakers? SOOOO many people, consumers/professionals/enthusiast/etc really love Atmos and now DTS:X is getting rave reviews after finally hitting homes yesterday. Now, if you are just saying "make sure that your main 5.1/7.1/9.1 setup is good first" then that makes complete sense, but it just seems like you think that Atmos and DTS:X are snake-oil or a fad like curved screens based off of your posts which is why I ask.
Posted by: SBrown

Re: Disappointed with the current round of AV units - 01/30/16 01:21 AM

I think I found my answer looking around the Yamaha site. The CX-A5100 looks like the ticket.
Posted by: casey01

Re: Disappointed with the current round of AV units - 01/30/16 02:44 PM

Originally Posted By SBrown
I think I found my answer looking around the Yamaha site. The CX-A5100 looks like the ticket.


I was going to suggest that, however, you beat me to the punch. Other than Dolby Atmos and the forthcoming DTX upgrade, not much difference from the 5000 and in my case I am not going to spend a boatload of money on a new 5100 for just those few extras, that is, of course, unless someone is interested in buying my 5000 and give me a good price, otherwise with my pre-pro,amps,speaker,sub set-up is about as good as it gets. I just purchased a new LG 4K monitor, so I think I am going to devote my next HT purchase on a new UHD player.

I am waiting, though, since I have had great experience with Oppo players I am going to wait until their new models come available(whenever that is, no rush).
Posted by: MatManhasgone

Re: Disappointed with the current round of AV units - 01/30/16 04:05 PM

Originally Posted By nickbuol


Hey Matt, what do you have against immersive audio and overhead speakers? SOOOO many people, consumers/professionals/enthusiast/etc really love Atmos and now DTS:X is getting rave reviews after finally hitting homes yesterday. Now, if you are just saying "make sure that your main 5.1/7.1/9.1 setup is good first" then that makes complete sense, but it just seems like you think that Atmos and DTS:X are snake-oil or a fad like curved screens based off of your posts which is why I ask.


You have heard me all wrong. I personally don't see Atmos or DTS-X as being exclusively being about overhead speakers. That is the common thought with many that unless you have overhead then you don't have atmos.

If you take the time to really read the Dolby white page about Atmos, you would see that it's more about how the sound can be addressed inside the cinema with each speaker rather than having just a large array mass of speakers that act has a single channel that you have really no control over.

Once you can swallow that part, then Atmos makes perfect sense for everything. Now, I in my own way don't personally see a need for overhead speakers as much as I see a greater need for more speakers around you. I feel that in more movies and shows that I watch I would get a far better rendition of the movie from 11.2.0 atmos sound that I would from having 7.2.4 sound.

That is just my take and I mentally feel that more accurate sound on the horizontal plane will trump having less accurate but gaining a vertical plane as well.
Posted by: AAAA

Re: Disappointed with the current round of AV units - 01/30/16 10:18 PM

What I would like to see is fully assignable floating amp channels in AVRs. If I am limited to 7 or 9 channels of onboard amplification, and must add external amps, I would prefer to use the onboard power for height channels and outboard amps for driving LCRs. I think the only way to do this currently is with a full seperate system -current gen Marantz 8802 with external amps or the like. Anyone have experience with this?

I am not thrilled with the prospect of using my current expensive power amps for mere height channels. frown Its starting to look like my time with AVRs is coming to an end with my eventual immersive upgrade.
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: Disappointed with the current round of AV units - 01/30/16 10:37 PM

Originally Posted By oakvillematt
Originally Posted By nickbuol


Hey Matt, what do you have against immersive audio and overhead speakers? SOOOO many people, consumers/professionals/enthusiast/etc really love Atmos and now DTS:X is getting rave reviews after finally hitting homes yesterday. Now, if you are just saying "make sure that your main 5.1/7.1/9.1 setup is good first" then that makes complete sense, but it just seems like you think that Atmos and DTS:X are snake-oil or a fad like curved screens based off of your posts which is why I ask.


You have heard me all wrong. I personally don't see Atmos or DTS-X as being exclusively being about overhead speakers. That is the common thought with many that unless you have overhead then you don't have atmos.

If you take the time to really read the Dolby white page about Atmos, you would see that it's more about how the sound can be addressed inside the cinema with each speaker rather than having just a large array mass of speakers that act has a single channel that you have really no control over.

Once you can swallow that part, then Atmos makes perfect sense for everything. Now, I in my own way don't personally see a need for overhead speakers as much as I see a greater need for more speakers around you. I feel that in more movies and shows that I watch I would get a far better rendition of the movie from 11.2.0 atmos sound that I would from having 7.2.4 sound.

That is just my take and I mentally feel that more accurate sound on the horizontal plane will trump having less accurate but gaining a vertical plane as well.


Ah, I see what you are saying. I experienced a nice sound improvement when I borrowed an Atmos capable receiver for a few days while my current receiver was off for repairs. I even posted on here a couple of times in a couple of different threads that even without overhead speakers, there was a noticeable improvement with sound imaging around the listening space with Atmos compared to the non-Atmos track... All without overhead speakers.

With that said, I am also probably one of the most versed people in Atmos specifications on these forums. I've read/heard almost every Dolby tech bulletin, white paper, layout spec, as well as industry guru insights to "real world" installation, best bang-for-your-buck installation tips, etc... Also, after experiencing Atmos both in a single linear plane (7.1),several full spec installations (7.1.4), and even a few that took it beyond that ($$$$ 9.1.4, 9.1.6, and 11.1.6), I can still tell you that while there is a great audio improvement going to Atmos even without overhead speakers, there is still a lot of the experience that is missing without the overheads. They do more than just provide sound from above, but allow multiple sounds to come from multiple "layers" in the room at the same time (2 distinct sounding airplanes flying at different heights and distances, but both sweeping from the front to the side to the back, and you can actually hear them as coming from different space inside the room.

With that said, I do think that an "ideal" for a room already with a 7.1 setup would be a 9.1.4 or possibly 9.1.6 configuration with the extra x.x.2 being similar to front heights, so possibly also considered to be 11.1.4 vs. calling it 9.1.6...

There is still more data coming out of the primary sound plane that is what we all use for 5.x, 7.x, 9.x than the amount of sound coming from overhead speakers. I believe that you are saying the same (and I think that I agree about that previously in this thread as well).

Thanks for your clarification on what you meant. I am still waiting for the time when Sony get the technology to "beam" audio signals straight into your brain... Sure, that may seem a little like Jim Carrey's rendition of 'the Joker' in Batman Forever, but Sony has held a patent on the idea for a number of years now. Beam the audio right into our brains, and we will no longer need a dozen or so speakers.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: Disappointed with the current round of AV units - 01/31/16 01:25 AM

Nick you have it exactly right.
The more speakers, the more immersive surround sound will be.
Overhead speakers very much add to that surround effect because sound is not localized to an exact point but rather extrapolated by our ears from various sources/echoes to determine a source point. Sound is a change in air pressure and air exists all AROUND our heads (the animated gif is a good example of how sound pressure moves and yet may not move).
http://www.indiana.edu/~emusic/etext/acoustics/chapter1_sound.shtml

Although the concept of Atmos adds a bit more of a minimal sound effect with ceiling speakers, it still fills in a very important perspective to which our ears (or any animals' ears) are attuned (i.e. sound reflections).

The best example is trying to find that airplane in the sky out in the backyard. It sounds like it is coming from the west but because of the distance from our ears, the echoes off so many surfaces, it could be coming slightly more from the east.
This type of effect can only be attained by adding more speakers in a HT setting.
I suppose future Atmos derivatives could try adding speakers to the floor as well but the ceiling seems to be the most obvious place to start.

I'm onboard the idea though that the number of speakers being introduced as some new "standard" for HT is getting stupid.
Most people i know still don't have a decent 3.1 setup.
Even some people i know who have a 5.1 system have no idea what Atmos is (when asked).
Posted by: SBrown

Re: Disappointed with the current round of AV units - 01/31/16 12:18 PM

Well, I went and ordered the Yamaha CX-A5100 yesterday and cost me about a months wage but very happy with the decision. I had a Yamaha disk changer years ago and it was built like a tank, so I will probably get another one just to play my CDs and leave the Oppo for movie duty. Oh, and thanks Casey for opening my eyes to this prepro.
Posted by: SBrown

Re: Disappointed with the current round of AV units - 02/25/16 06:50 PM

Really liking the Yamaha prepro, and it sounds alot different than the Onkyo does in a good way. I also like the fact that it has a free app that I can use on my iphone to control it and it's actually easier than the remote.

Onkyo wouldn't fix my 5508 because I bought it from an unauthorized online dealer and the hdmi board was the culprit because the speaker lights wouldn't come on, on the display. So no sound and you would have to turn it on and off twenty or more times before it would work.

I looked online for a fix and found one that I tried and it fixed it. You take the HDMI board out and bake it in the oven at 350F for ten minutes with everything wrapped in foil except the DSP chip you leave open to the elements. I had nothing to lose and it works like new again. Whoohoo I guess it melts the solder under the chip.

So now it's my bedroom unit and hopefully no more problems with it.
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: Disappointed with the current round of AV units - 02/25/16 07:02 PM

Yeah, you can be upset with Onkyo for having bad solder connections, but you really can't be upset because you made a purchase from someplace that wasn't an authorized reseller... I don't know of any A/V company that would honor that warranty.

Then again, I might be reading too much into your message.

With that (defending of Onkyo) said, I will probably be going with another brand as well next time around.
Posted by: SBrown

Re: Disappointed with the current round of AV units - 02/25/16 09:11 PM

I got suckered in, because they said they were a reseller and I also wrote to Onkyo and they confirmed he was. He wasn't!!

They have alot of problems, then to pair up with Pioneer. That says it all right there.
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: Disappointed with the current round of AV units - 02/26/16 12:40 AM

Yeah. My Onkyo does really well for me, but I did have to send it in for repairs (which WAS lightening fast, but still...)

Looking at possibly making the big jump to Anthem's top receiver, but I am still trying to figure out what I want to do about overhead speakers for Atmos and DTS:X. I figured out a way to know where to put in-ceiling speakers to miss my hat channel and ceiling joists, but 1) I still am not sure that I want to put 4 holes into my ceiling that I put the most time/effort/money into soundproofing, 2) I can't angle the speakers the magical "30 degrees" as recommended. I played around with putting on-wall M3s ON the ceiling, but I think that in order to get the right angle, they would be hanging down too far to look nice.... But that is another topic for another thread. I just don't want to invest into a nice receiver if I can't take advantage of Atmos because I don't know what I want to do for speakers... Receiver technology is more dynamic (better products for less money as time moves along) than speakers that stay relatively the same tech and same price (or higher) over time.
Posted by: MatManhasgone

Re: Disappointed with the current round of AV units - 02/26/16 07:26 AM

Originally Posted By nickbuol
Yeah, you can be upset with Onkyo for having bad solder connections, but you really can't be upset because you made a purchase from someplace that wasn't an authorized reseller... I don't know of any A/V company that would honor that warranty.

Then again, I might be reading too much into your message.

With that (defending of Onkyo) said, I will probably be going with another brand as well next time around.


I have yet to figure out that stance. Onkyo made a receiver that had defective workmanship. It's not that the product broke due to mishandling or abuse. Also it's not as if the AV was a blackmarket fake. Why should Onkyo not be held responsible to repair the unit? To say it was purchased from a grey market supplier, is bunk as Onkyo sold the unit to someone and made a profit (but perhaps not as much as they would have liked). How the end user got the unit should not limit them to the expectation of the unit being built correctly.

It is like the Grey Market for a camera. I have a Canon camera that is manufactured in Japan. I bought my camera in the USA as at the time the CAD was worth more than the USD but the camera was selling for less in the USA. The warranty offered in both counties are identical as are the cameras, but Canon Canada wants a higher markup as they feel service in Canada cost more. It's nothing more than greed. The grey market definition is utter BS!
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: Disappointed with the current round of AV units - 02/26/16 09:45 AM

I don't disagree with you, just saying that this is how every A/V company operates, and not that Onkyo is unique in their stance.
Posted by: MatManhasgone

Re: Disappointed with the current round of AV units - 02/26/16 08:35 PM

If you say that you can't be upset at a company for their stance on looking after their products, then you are by virtue agreeing with that stance.

If you had said something like, it's unfortunate that Onkyo doesn't support their customers who purchased... then that would be something different

It's not like Axiom takes a stance like that. I am sure that someone who purchased one a speak from someone off kijiji would get the same high level of support if something went wrong with the speakers. if it's in the warranty period, they would take care of them. Even out of warranty they wouldn't just give them the shaft.
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: Disappointed with the current round of AV units - 02/27/16 12:56 AM

Wow. I feel like you are just trying to pick a fight.

Let me try to be clear...

Onkyo is loosing me as a customer because of their failed board issue.

Onkyo treats their customers just like most other A/V companies that have "authorized resellers" and if you don't buy from one of those authorized resellers or aren't the original owner, then the warranty doesn't apply to you. Yes it sucks, but it isn't like Onkyo is the only one doing this. You should be upset with this whole practice in the A/V industry with almost all of those companies.... I know that I am. (That also makes me mad at Onkyo for them being a part of this practice.)

My point: Be mad at them for the product issue, but be mad at the whole A/V industry, not just Onkyo, because a purchase was made from a known non-authorized reseller and they followed their company policy of not accepting the product under warranty.

Heck, I just had to have a multi-thousand dollar furnace installed today. When they left, I was told that the warranty is X,Y,Z, but it is not transferable so if you sell the house, the warranty is void. OK. So no transfer of warranty. If I bought my Onkyo receiver, and then before even opening it turned around and sold it on eBay, that buyer could fill out the warranty card, but without a proof of purchase from where *I* got it from, the warranty wouldn't be valid. That would be like trying to "transfer" the warranty since I was technically the original owner.

Or, just go to their website, and they clearly state it:
Onkyo Warranty
That link states:

ONKYO USA Corporation Limited Consumer Warranty

PLEASE RETAIN YOUR ORIGINAL BILL OF SALE AS YOU WILL NEED TO PRESENT IT SHOULD YOU REQUIRE SERVICE UNDER THIS WARRANTY.

Onkyo USA Corporation (hereinafter referred to as Onkyo) hereby warrants all Onkyo products PURCHASED DIRECTLY FROM ONKYO OR AN ONKYO AUTHORIZED DEALER, in accordance with the following terms and conditions:


WARNING: IF YOU PURCHASE AN ONKYO PRODUCT FROM AN UNAUTHORIZED INTERNET DEALER, YOUR ONKYO WARRANTY WILL NOT BE VALID. Click here to view a list of UNAUTHORIZED RESELLERS.

Again, it TOTALLY sucks. I bought a DVD player back when DVD players were first coming out. I paid something like $300 for it, but that was $50 less than anywhere else. It was Pioneer branded, brand new, unopened, but I knew that it wasn't from an authorized reseller. I rolled the dice knowing that I wouldn't have a warranty, and about 9 months into ownership of the DVD player, it just quit for no reason. I didn't do anything to the player, never had a power surge or outage, the player stayed connected and in place without moving. It simply just stopped working for no reason what-so-ever. I knew that I was screwed, but I tried to get it repaired/replaced under warranty. No luck. No receipt from an authorized reseller, so I was out of luck. I ended up replacing it with a different DVD player that cost me about $200 that had a better picture options, and a valid warranty.

I learned my lesson and just don't roll the dice on non-authorized stuff any more. It just isn't worth the risk.

Now I know that my example isn't the same necessarily since Onkyo has had this board soldering problem blow up in their face for a long time. And I agree that this should be treated more like a recall on a car. The car manufacturers don't say "sorry, you didn't buy your car from a dealership" or anything like that, they just pay to have the recalled item fixed, regardless of how you bought the vehicle. I think that is how all good business should be run, but that isn't the world we live in.

So be mad that Onkyo went cheap at some point and had bad soldering on their products, and be mad that the whole A/V industry seems to have this "if you didn't buy it from an authorized-reseller, whom we can control their selling price and control our market value" approach. That last part isn't just an Onkyo issue, but it is a lot bigger than that.
Posted by: SBrown

Re: Disappointed with the current round of AV units - 02/27/16 10:51 AM

Here is another one for you. Onkyo said I could qualify for the trade-in program, then when I went to do that they said I couldn't because I am Canadian. What???

So now they said I would qualify for a rebate and I told them to stuff it because I will never support their products again.EVER
Posted by: casey01

Re: Disappointed with the current round of AV units - 02/27/16 01:21 PM

Originally Posted By SBrown
Here is another one for you. Onkyo said I could qualify for the trade-in program, then when I went to do that they said I couldn't because I am Canadian. What???

So now they said I would qualify for a rebate and I told them to stuff it because I will never support their products again.EVER


Actually, when it comes to Onkyo, you just recently found out something that I found out a number of years ago. Aside from Onkyo USA themselves, even if you tried to purchase an Onkyo AVR from an "authorized" American reseller, you would have determined that Onkyo will not allow sales to anyone outside of the lower 48 and it doesn't matter who the reseller is, they all have the same restriction. I determined this originally from "Accessories For Less" and the contact told me that if they attempted to sell it to me, they would lose their dealer ability to sell Onkyo Products.

The trouble is, even now Denon and to some extent, Yamaha are jumping on this same bandwagon. Obviously, a clear indication that they wish to protect their International distributors.

It seems the only option would be that if one was close to the border and have a U.S. address an individual could have it delivered there then somehow arrange to pay whatever duties and taxes would be forthcoming and when you add it all up, especially now with the difference in the dollar, would it even be worth it? The other issue is the warranty, whereby, if you had problems and wanted to take it locally, Onkyo Canada wouldn't honor it.
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: Disappointed with the current round of AV units - 02/27/16 04:54 PM

Originally Posted By SBrown
Here is another one for you. Onkyo said I could qualify for the trade-in program, then when I went to do that they said I couldn't because I am Canadian. What???

So now they said I would qualify for a rebate and I told them to stuff it because I will never support their products again.EVER


Well, I guess being Canadian doesn't have all of the perks I thought it did...

Again, sucky... Sorry man..
Posted by: SBrown

Re: Disappointed with the current round of AV units - 02/27/16 05:24 PM

I don't agree with that Casey because it's like telling someone that they can't buy something from where they want to.

If they want to sell more units, then people should be allowed to buy something on sale or discounted after all it is North America and the Canada, USA thing is a bunch of bull. But, what ever.

Places like B&H Photo & Video, sell to Canadians(all over the world) and they honor the warranty of their products. Onkyo being a Japanese Co. , I thought they would know about Honor. But.. I am over it, only because I fixed it myself.
Posted by: casey01

Re: Disappointed with the current round of AV units - 02/27/16 08:38 PM

Originally Posted By SBrown
I don't agree with that Casey because it's like telling someone that they can't buy something from where they want to.

If they want to sell more units, then people should be allowed to buy something on sale or discounted after all it is North America and the Canada, USA thing is a bunch of bull. But, what ever.

Places like B&H Photo & Video, sell to Canadians(all over the world) and they honor the warranty of their products. Onkyo being a Japanese Co. , I thought they would know about Honor. But.. I am over it, only because I fixed it myself.


I am with you on this one, however, once this happened to me, there ultimately was a silver lining to all of it. Back about a year and a half ago or so I was looking for a new AVR, however, when Yamaha introduced their new Pre-pro at the time(CX-A5000), I decided to look in to buying one and see how good a price I could achieve. Luckily enough, there is a number of Yamaha dealers relatively close by and they are pretty competitive especially for a higher end product like this one in Yamaha's line.

When all was said and done, I ended up buying one from a local retailer at a price level that was pretty competitive with anything I found in the U.S. and that wasn't even taking in to account any exchange difference and all the other extra charges that go with it. Sometimes it is just a matter of doing a little homework and checking around.


If it is new, I buy locally, unless it happens to be something I cannot purchase here, the U.S. is not even a consideration.
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: Disappointed with the current round of AV units - 02/27/16 11:04 PM

So I am really getting close to jumping to Anthem for my next receiver. I can get a killer deal (I tipped off JBG from here about the deal, and he is getting his on Wednesday) through an authorized reseller that is also an installer... More specifically, he runs an "Authorized Installer" company that is listed right on the Anthem web site (and is from Canada too).

Anyway, he is offering some Anthem receivers at a good discount if you are a part of a particular Facebook group, or referred to by someone in the Facebook group (which is why I referred JBG). The discount is pretty much what he charges people that he does installation services for.

So Anthem has a promotion right now where if you buy an Anthem MRX 720, 1120, or AVM 60 and you get either a Paradigm PW AMP or PW 800 (Paradigm's version of the AxiomAir).

So I ask this "authorized reseller" about that deal. Even though the requirements on Anthem's website only state that you have to buy from someone that they recognize as an authorized reseller (or installer) then you get your choice... Valid in both the U.S. and Canada. Sounds good, right? Nope... He said that he just was alerted to the Anthem offer 2 days ago, but Anthem says that the reseller MUST sell the product at "full retail price" as they are cutting profits from the resellers to cover about 50% of the cost of the "free" stuff.

So even meeting the only guidelines right on their website does not mean that it actually applies to every purchase.

Now, while I thought that the PW 800 would be awesome (comes with ARC room correction too) as I could give it to my daughter for her wedding since they have wanted something like that for a wedding gift, but I would rather take my $1300 discount instead.

Not sure what my point is with this. Just that even when a manufacturer makes a statement of an offer, and if you actually go with an authorized reseller, it doesn't mean that it applied to you.
Posted by: casey01

Re: Disappointed with the current round of AV units - 02/28/16 02:14 PM

Just wondering, since the deal applies to any dealer in the U.S. or Canada, why not just go to the closest authorized retail outlet in your vicinity? The idea of a having to access a face book page and all the other stuff, seems a little fishy to me. If I were you, before I made the commitment here, just for clarification, I would probably call Anthem/Pardigm H.O. in Mississauga, Ontario.

Installers generally don't have showrooms and because they don't have the space, don't keep stock on hand anyway, so, on each occasion, they would have to order it from the company.
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: Disappointed with the current round of AV units - 02/28/16 07:33 PM

Any dealer store will charge full retail. This installer is selling Anthem gear to non-install clients every week and they are posting about it. He is still listed on Anthem's website, and when I asked Anthem about it (via email) they said that the online list was "current."

JBG from here ordered from him and should have his new Anthem on Wednesday. That should be somewhat telling as to the reliability of the seller.

Also, the big reason why it is such a good deal for me is due to the USD to CAD exchange rate...
Posted by: JBG

Re: Disappointed with the current round of AV units - 02/28/16 08:28 PM

Perhaps if I'am lucky I should get it tomorrow... (it's already in montreal...) I say take the plunge, my only dilemma with this is if the amp if powerful enough for my tastes for my mains ... I have an emotive xpa-5 waiting to be plugged with it.. IMHO it a damm good deal there Nick.. i've gotten a tracking number and the transaction has been so far been very good, fast & courteous communications... more on this when I actually get the package..

also Nick you must perhaps factor in duties & customs... you have to look into that...
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: Disappointed with the current round of AV units - 02/28/16 10:54 PM

Yeah, for me it is about $120 USD for shipping and about $132 USD for "duties."... Even with that factored in, is is just a hair more than $1000 off of MSRP. John, shoot me a PM and let me know what you paid up their in Canada, and I will compare it to what he is saying my US price would be.
Posted by: JBG

Re: Disappointed with the current round of AV units - 02/29/16 05:27 PM

Just received my mrx1120 today, first thoughts; is this a great machine.. the setup menu much more flexible than the mrx500 I had.. can save a few different speaker setups for each device... I just love this receiver. sound processing is very good so is the video section... very happy with this purchase.

the mrx1120 really shows how atmos is a game changer (and that is what my wife says)
Posted by: CV

Re: Disappointed with the current round of AV units - 04/02/16 02:38 PM

Not that I have the money right now or in the foreseeable future, but maybe I'll have to go Anthem with my next unit. My Onkyo (TX-NR828) is on the way out in the same way as my previous Onkyo (TX-NR708). The audio won't come on for a while. As it stands, I'll let something play, and play, and play, and eventually something will start coming through, but there's no knowing how long it will take. This is the same thing that started happening with my previous one before it finally gave up completely and wouldn't ever play. I'm not actually sure on the warranty status. I was looking for price and Prime shipping at the time, and it was a third-party seller on Amazon.com. I guess we'll see what happens. I'm less-than-thrilled that I'm having the same issue on a different generation of unit. I wanted to wait until better Atmos/DTS:X options were out there, but if I can't get this repaired without spending some bucks, I'll have to find a way into a new receiver.
Posted by: SBrown

Re: Disappointed with the current round of AV units - 04/02/16 03:03 PM

This is what I did to fix my Onkyo prepro, you should try it CV because it's super easy.

Just google Onkyo fix, there is a video showing you how to bake your HDMI card in the oven. True story,it works.

https://youtu.be/WVEcGYlcztA
Posted by: MatManhasgone

Re: Disappointed with the current round of AV units - 04/02/16 04:39 PM

I have had my share of different brands of systems from Harman, Pioneer, Yamaha, Marantz, Integra. I guess they have all had their own particular sound. I have been told by too many people that you have to get an external amp to get the full potential out of your speakers. After spending too much money or more to point time trying, I have concluded that the statement is not all together true.

Back some 18 years now I purchased a Nakamichi AV1 receiver and was blown away by how much better it sounded to me. Put it down to how well built the unit was. I replaced that unit with a pretty good Yamaha but lost something in the sound. Insert many other units after and a slippey slope down hill it seems. Now that I have an Anthem, and that open clear feeling sound is back, I think it's now not really the quality of the build but the design and how the sound in processed inside.

Lets face it, a receiver (and pre-amp for that matter) has a job of taking in a signal and doing more than just controlling volume, but also pitch, treble, bass, signal voltage, alignment. All this then sent to the amp and out to our speakers. Every company has their way of doing this and produces a sound. If I change my receiver and nothing else, and can clearly to me hear a different sound out of my speakers, then how could I not conclude that the receiver is changing the sound. if everything else is constant.

Now having owned the Anthem AVM-60, I will revise my statement that started this thread. I am still a bit disappointed that more units don't support the 9.2.x Atmos format, but understand now that where the encoding of movies that are getting released, I can understand that this speaker layout would not probably take advantage of it. Looking at some of the technology advancements that are taking place, one can hope that the trickle down effect will help out some of the lower level components out there.

Having spent quite a bit of time in a number of the big box stores, i get to make two conclusions. The sales people are being fed a canned line to repeat to the customers that misses the whole point of what Atmos and DTS-X is all about. And luckily many of the customers who are buying the equipment have a brain and do their own research into the topic and actually know far more than most of the sales people on the floor. That I am glad to see.

I can't say the Anthem pre-amp will be the last processor I buy, but I know if it stays working then there will be very little reason to replace it unless another component fails and requires a change to make it work. I have found my sound nirvana now.
Posted by: Gr8_White_North

Re: Disappointed with the current round of AV units - 04/02/16 08:36 PM

CV check out THIS thread it would seem you may well be eligible.

Richard
Posted by: CV

Re: Disappointed with the current round of AV units - 04/02/16 09:26 PM

Originally Posted By SBrown
This is what I did to fix my Onkyo prepro, you should try it CV because it's super easy.

Just google Onkyo fix, there is a video showing you how to bake your HDMI card in the oven. True story,it works.

https://youtu.be/WVEcGYlcztA


If it comes to that, I think I'll have my cousin try. He's much braver with these kinds of fixes.
Posted by: CV

Re: Disappointed with the current round of AV units - 04/02/16 09:27 PM

Originally Posted By Socketman
CV check out THIS thread it would seem you may well be eligible.


I went to the Onkyo page and entered my unit's serial number, but it says the unit with that serial number doesn't need the update. Hopefully Onkyo emails back soon. If I permanently lose the audio, I'll call them.
Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: Disappointed with the current round of AV units - 04/05/16 08:52 PM

Doesn't Marantz make a 9.2 Atmos unit?

I use an external amp for front LR speakers... an Integra M504. Most AVRs run out of gas all channels driven.
Posted by: CV

Re: Disappointed with the current round of AV units - 05/08/16 03:32 AM

The audio portion did seem to die completely, so right now I'm just using the receiver as a video switcher, and I'm using the analog audio outputs from my PC's motherboard to the Axiom amps. The sound is fine enough for now, so at least I don't have to be in a giant rush to get a new unit. But I'll have to start budgeting to ensure it happens at some point. I haven't tried to watch a Blu-ray on my PC for quite a while, and never without bitstreamed audio, so we'll see how that works.