michaelb

Which AVR shall replace my Onkyo TX-SR606?

9 posts in this topic

I'm fairly happy with the 606, although it looks fugly it does everything I want and I'm quite happy with its sonic qualities.

The reason it needs to be replaced is it is slowly dying. It is failing to 'see' its inputs. I have to wait ages for it to "warm up" and permit current to pass through the inputs. Some days it simply can't 'see' the Blu-ray input at all. Googling around I see this is a common problem and needs the whole HDMI board replaced - at vast expense. Needless to say the effing thing is only just out of warranty :(

Given that history I'm not so keen on another Onkyo. :nup:

We hardly ever watch movies, even less so action movies, and have no need for wall-shaking explosions and special effects. What I do like is playing the FreeSat tuner through the Receiver and hearing a decent sound quality, especially on the HD channels. My front speakers are Spendor S5es and the rears are KEF eggs. I don't bother with the KEF sub anymore as I find the Spendors give enough bass for my tastes. I have no interest in 7.1, 7.2 nor pointless 9.1. Neither have I any interest in 3D.

I look at what is for sale in AVRs and am completely bamboozled. Should I just spent two hundred squids on a basic one like http://superfi.co.uk/p-3546-pioneer-vsx421-home-cinema-receiver.aspx or up the budget and get something better? Do you really hear an improvement if you drop £800?

Any suggestions welcome.

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Yes, I've thought of that before but my stereo amp is a Class A valve jobby and never mind the cost of replacing valves I'd be worried about the house burning down if it was on most of the day (radio) and all evening (tv watching).

I wouldn't say I have no interest in surround, it does add to the ambience of HD broadcasts and it is excellent when watching Grands Prix - although the Sky deal will scupper my enjoyment of that this year :(

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Arcam AVR300/350 - buy used for £300-£400ish - great sound quality and very decent indeed on stereo for a receiver.

My first receiver was also an Onkyo and the jump in quality to the AVR350 was very large indeed.

Use AVR350 preouts to dedicated stereo amp if you want more from stereo in future...

Connect optical/coax from freesat and your DVD player and jobs a goodun.

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And the answer is: Pioneer VSX-LX52

Why? Because I had been looking at a couple of Pioneers on the 'Net and happened to drop into my local Superfi to talk about headphones when I saw an LX52 on their bargain shelf for £350. Not a model I was familiar with so I went home and Googled it and saw it had a decent spec. It's only missing the current models' iPad remote facility and 3D pass through - neither of which interest me. So a £1,000 receiver for £350 - thank you.

I am very impressed with the sound. Miles better than the Onkyo it replaces, almost knocking on the door of being Hi-Fi. They've paid particular attention to voice reproduction and it shows, the spoken word is beautifully clear and not fatiguing to listen to. I haven't even bothered hooking up the sub yet as it is producing plenty enough bass from my Spendors for my taste.

The remote is infuriatingly fiddly and it was a pain to set up. The auto calibration software kept telling me my centre speaker was phased wrongly. I kept checking it, and it was right. Eventually I reversed it to see and it told me it was wrong again. So I put it back the right way and finally it was happy.

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Good choice - I had a 606 that did this and got it repaired under the extended warranty and moved it on. Apprantely, the 806 and models in the newer ranges have the same issues too.

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