I spent the last two hours doing seutp and testing with the new Onkyo 804.

First tests were music and SD-DVD's played back from my Toshiba A2 HD-DVD player hooked up via the optical connection. Flawless performance. I had to move my SW's input level from the 11:00 position to the 12:00 position. That is pretty minor compared to the Onkyo 604 I bought two weeks ago. I had the input up to 2:00 and the receiver's input bumped up as well. There is a conspiracy going around that not all receivers are boosting the .1 channel by the required 10db. Maybe that was the problem? OTOH, music CD's which don't have a .1 LFE channel also had low LFE's. I think I had a defective 604. I supposed it could have been setup related but I got my 804 setup without even opening the manual so I doubt that was it.

After the music CD and several important sections in Batman Begins, I played the Dolby Digital trailes from DVD Spectacular. The are all only 30 seconds long and easy to repeat. Played back over the optical connection alll frequencies including LFE's appeared to sound at least as good as the two HK receiver I am used to listening to.

Next up was going to the HDMI connection. I popped the HD version of Batman Begins in the A2 with Dolby True HD as the audio track. I had the HDMI setting set to Auto and the Optical setting set to Bitstream. I have heard this last part is crucial but I have not done a comparison between the two settings. My favorite scenes are at the 19:00 minute mark when Bruce it being trained by Liam Neeson. When Bruce breaks through the ice there is a nice LFE hit that sounded fantastic. Other scenes demoed are evertime Dr. Crane went into Scarecrow mode; very cool sound effects there. I also watched the fight scene when Batman captures Falconi. All in all audio was full and rich but to be honest, I don't notice much of an advantage over regular 5.1. That may be becuase my hearing isn't the best or it may be I need someone to point out where I should notice the difference.

All in all I am pleased with this purchase. I would rather have spend $450 on the 604 but for some reason, that unit didn't perform for me so I am happy with the upgrade knowing I now have system that sounds like I want it to.

One glitch. I was playing back an iTunes burned audio CD in the A2 and it either skipped or the audio dropped out for half a second. I played that portion back again and the audio dropped out a second time. The receiver was set to 76 which is louder than I like so I dropped it down to the mid 50's and then played back that same portion of the song. The problem disappeared. I then turned the volume up to a near deafening 80 and the problem still did not reapppear. I'll check that CD for scratches but won't get too worked up about it. If it happens again I'll post back.

I only have a 5.1 setup so I can't do any 6.1 or 7.1 testing for anybody. But if there are any tests anyone wants me to perform, let me know.


Edited by GregM (01/10/07 09:18 PM)