New Receiver or add an amp to my existing receiver?

Discussion in 'Home Theater and Stereo' started by Zak, Feb 25, 2016.

  1. Zak

    Zak Active Member

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    Pretty much since I bought my Onkyo TX-SR805 (refurb unit I got for a great deal through Onkyo's website 8 or so years ago) I have not been that happy with it. Everything seems very flat & lifeless. Does not matter if it's music or movies & does not seem to matter which speakers. I've run a host of speakers with them, whether the MTM's that Pete Mazz built, my Totem Rainmakers or Paradigm Atoms.

    I don't have a ton to spend on HT these days but wanted to see what you experts would recommend. Should I replace the receiver entirely and go with a new unit OR just keep it as a processor/surround amp and buy and amp for my fronts and possibly center as well? I know Totems in general like a good amount of power & high current which I will be using as my mains now. Budget is around $500. Don't need 7.2 or anything special as my living room will only allow for a 5.1 setup. No where to put 7 speakers.

    It's been a LONG time since i've shopped audio equipment. I'm more leaning towards a good amp and keeping the Onkyo for processing. What would be some good amps (I'm perfectly fine with used) to look for?
     
  2. Mike B

    Mike B Well-Known Member Donor Top Poster

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  3. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Well-Known Member Top Poster

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    The Onik 805 is a tank that puts out a lot of power on its own so I don't think you are going to see much difference adding an external amp unless it is a tube amp.

    If you really want to change the sound and you aren't going to change speakers I'd look at the room and or your source material. How flexible is the room layout in terms of moving seating or speakers? What is your subwoofer and how seemlessly does it blend in?
     
  4. CJ

    CJ Bronze Member Admin Top Poster

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    I'd disagree based on personal experience. If you don't see yourself eventually moving to separates, buy a new AVR. Consider one of the more boutique brands. I think you'll be more pleased with the sound.
     
  5. Mike B

    Mike B Well-Known Member Donor Top Poster

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    Yes, I can't recommend Onkyo either, just don't sound good.

    I would go boutique too, but $500 ain't gonna do it.
     
  6. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Well-Known Member Top Poster

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    I wasn't suggesting that he couldn't improve upon the Onik as he obviously can but I don't believe adding an external amplifier is the solution as IMO the issue is with the Oniks processing not the amplifier section.
     
  7. Zak

    Zak Active Member

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    The room layout is pretty much set as far as front stage is concerned and speakers are not in ideal locations as they are inside of a huge built in that I made a few years ago. i've been tweaking the Onkyo for the past few days and have it sounding a little better but just does not have that punch and depth i'm trying to get back that I had in the early 2000's when I had seperates. I believe I had an Audio refinement preamp and Maranatz mono blocks with Paradigm Studio 20's all around with Pete's DIY sub. Damn that system sounded great.

    By boutique brands which are you talking about? And as I said, i'm not opposed to used and don't really need the latest and greatest, just want great sound again.
     
  8. Mike B

    Mike B Well-Known Member Donor Top Poster

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    Anthem, Arcam, Cambridge, NAD
     
  9. CJ

    CJ Bronze Member Admin Top Poster

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    I experienced a significant improvement by adding an amp to my Onkyo TX-NR818. However, I wouldn't have gone that route had it not been a stepping stone to separates.

    By boutique, I mean NAD, Rotel, Cambridge, Arcam, etc.
     
  10. Zak

    Zak Active Member

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    I have a local dealer that sells both NAD & Totem. Might need to take a run over and give a listen to that combo. I've always been a big NAD fan.
     
  11. Mike B

    Mike B Well-Known Member Donor Top Poster

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    That low end NAD is only $600, I'm surprised.
     
  12. CJ

    CJ Bronze Member Admin Top Poster

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    I think the Cambridge Azur line is not terribly expensive either.
     
  13. JeffC

    JeffC Well-Known Member Donor

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    I'm willing to rehome all the onkyo gear in this thread. That's what a great guy I am. :D
     
  14. Zak

    Zak Active Member

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    You are one hell of a guy Jeff! For a small rehoming fee you can have it. :)
     
  15. JeffC

    JeffC Well-Known Member Donor

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    I'll pay shipping

    Sent from my LG-V496 using Tapatalk
     
  16. Zak

    Zak Active Member

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    This thing is huge, shipping will be at least $200. :)
     
  17. Zak

    Zak Active Member

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    I'll trade you for a LS engine..............
     
  18. Zak

    Zak Active Member

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    Reading reviews, the NAD T 784V2 and the Marantz NR1606 look quite good in my budget.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 25, 2016
  19. JeffC

    JeffC Well-Known Member Donor

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    If I had a LS engine, I wouldn't even be here. :)
     
  20. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Well-Known Member Top Poster

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    Can you post a picture of your front end? I'm concerned that the speakers in an entertainment center is a large part of the issue.

    CJ your recent amp switch to drive Golden speakers is a lot different than a 805 driving totems.
     

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