Anything better than Onkyo 818 for the money ?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by diablo, Jul 30, 2012.

Tags:
  1. diablo

    diablo
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2004
    Messages:
    686
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Location:
    Fylde Coast, England
    Ratings:
    +85
    My Onkyo 608 is out of action due to my Beresford speaker switch connecting it to another amplifier (can't blame the Onkyo for that I suppose). I may be able to fix both of them, but anyway . . .

    . . . I was previously thinking of upgrading the AV amp, not that the 608 did a bad job at all - was very good really, especially considering the price.

    I'd like one which has pre-outs for all channels so that rules out all the lesser models than the 818 I think.

    My basic needs are for pre-outs for all channels, Dolby Pro Logic IIz (front high), ARC and the ability to handle 4 ohm speakers as well as my 608 did.

    I've looked at quite a few including the Anthem models - which seemed good at first but maybe not for 4 ohms.

    Any other suggestions? I think my price limit is somewhere around £1500 as I don't really use my cinema system very often really, so don't want to go silly. :D
     
  2. PSM1

    PSM1
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2008
    Messages:
    26,285
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Ratings:
    +5,443
    There are some good deals at the moment on the Yamaha Advantage range (A810/A1010) so these would be worth a look.
     
  3. diablo

    diablo
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2004
    Messages:
    686
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Location:
    Fylde Coast, England
    Ratings:
    +85
    Thanks for the suggestion, yes these seem to do 4 ohms well according to what I've looked at and the 2010 has better upscaling and still £900. Hmmmm ?
     
  4. Andrew K

    Andrew K
    Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2004
    Messages:
    3,392
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Ratings:
    +608
    Cheaper still if you are ok with titanium and the A3010 is £999 in titanium in the AVForums Home Cinema Bargains and Discount Codes section which is a significant performance level above the 818
     
  5. diablo

    diablo
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2004
    Messages:
    686
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Location:
    Fylde Coast, England
    Ratings:
    +85
    Dammit they don't seem to do IIz for my front high speakers.
     
  6. Andrew K

    Andrew K
    Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2004
    Messages:
    3,392
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Ratings:
    +608
    They have their own presence processing instead
     
  7. the_dude2

    the_dude2
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2008
    Messages:
    2,196
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    117
    Location:
    Romford, Essex
    Ratings:
    +1,038
    Why do you think the Anthems are not good for 4ohm speakers? They are going to have a ton more power than your 608.
     
  8. diablo

    diablo
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2004
    Messages:
    686
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Location:
    Fylde Coast, England
    Ratings:
    +85
    I got the impression from a couple of reviews that they didn't like 4 ohms, though it seems they will do it. So the Anthems are back on the list again.

    Though they are pretty ugly. :laugh:

    I'm half liking the idea of 9 channels now though. :)
     
  9. the_dude2

    the_dude2
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2008
    Messages:
    2,196
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    117
    Location:
    Romford, Essex
    Ratings:
    +1,038
    Do you have the links for those reviews, im curious to read them as i would really be surprised if it struggled.

    I thought it was a horrible looking beast when i first saw a picture of them, but in the flesh i think they are ok. You soon stop looking at them when you hear them though, i have a 300 and had compared it to an 818. I thought the 300 had more low end bite, and a bigger and more exciting soundstage. And ARC really did work wonders for the MK MX250 in my room, it now sounds great. It was a boomy beast before.

    You definitely have to hear one before discounting them.
     
  10. diablo

    diablo
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2004
    Messages:
    686
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Location:
    Fylde Coast, England
    Ratings:
    +85
    Well I've lost most of them now, but here is one I still have open -
    AVR for 4-Ohm Speakers | Home Theater

    Seems to be totally wrong as apparently they can even handle 2 ohm speakers from another thread I read.

    I usually look at the 'Home Theater' mag pages for some measured figures on amps though the ones for Anthems seem the wrong way round somehow. :confused:

    Anthem MRX 300 A/V Receiver HT Labs Measures | Home Theater

    Seven channels driven continuously into 8-ohm loads:
    0.1% distortion at 56.3 watts
    1% distortion at 70.9 watts

    Anthem MRX 700 A/V Receiver HT Labs Measures | Home Theater

    Seven channels driven continuously into 8-ohm loads:
    0.1% distortion at 43.9 watts
    1% distortion at 52.6 watts

    So maybe I shouldn't trust them too much. :)

    Actually the looks don't matter too much as it will be out of sight at the rear of the room.

    Though I quite like the idea of getting a 9 channel Pioneer SC-LX56 to replace both the Onkyo and the 2nd room Harmon Kardon stereo (RF remote). Though as a class D thing I'd like to hear it first (good reviews or not). :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2012
  11. the_dude2

    the_dude2
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2008
    Messages:
    2,196
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    117
    Location:
    Romford, Essex
    Ratings:
    +1,038
    yes i remember looking at the Home Theatre reviews and they did get some of the figures wrong, i cannot remember where i read this though, but it has generally been mentioned in nearly all owners threads for Anthems IIRC.

    What speakers are you actually using, and have you kept the setting to 6ohm on your 608 rather than 4ohm? As all this does is limit the amount of power available to the speakers, kinda ironically.

    Well, an Anthem cant match the 9 channels of the pioneer, so definitely hear them both. But i love the sound of mine, it finally feels like i actually have a home cinema sound rather than just surround sound, if you know what i mean.
     
  12. diablo

    diablo
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2004
    Messages:
    686
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Location:
    Fylde Coast, England
    Ratings:
    +85
    The front row are XTZ 99.26 which I upgraded to Mk II a few months ago - that reduces the impedance to around 4 ohms seemingly. I don't think I changed the setting from 6 in the Onkyo. I wondered if it would struggle with the increased load but it seemed to manage - never even got too hot !

    Though I thought something a bit heftier was called for really.

    I'm in the sticks here (in hifi terms anyway) so not sure if demos will be very easy to arrange. Oh well I'm in no great rush.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2012
  13. diablo

    diablo
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2004
    Messages:
    686
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Location:
    Fylde Coast, England
    Ratings:
    +85
    Keep thinking of getting an Anthem, sounds ideal for films and TV etc. if all the testimonials (with ex-Arcam owners amongst them) are to be believed.

    Though I did once buy a set of Goldring headphones after reading a long thread where they got heaps of praise from top-of-the-line Senheisser owners. They when they arrived they sounded crap compared to my mid-range Sennheissers. :) So I learned not to take what I read on forums as being right !

    The main trouble is I sometimes like to listen to music in the cinema room and I very much like a 'warm' sound for that. For normal music listening in the living room I use an 10 year old set of Castle Conway III speakers which have a nice warm sound. It seems there is no option to adjust higher mid-bass and low midrange up by 3 or 5 dB, either by changing the ARC settings or by manual means. Or am I wrong?

    I could do that with the Onkyo, no probs.

    Hmm, dunno. :confused:
     
  14. markymiles

    markymiles
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2005
    Messages:
    6,137
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Caterham
    Ratings:
    +2,660
    I briefly had an 818, whilst impressive for movies I just didn't think it sounded very good with music. Just my opinion of course, those xtz surely deserve better.

    The anthem's seem to get good reviews for their musical abilities. I'm sure the anthem will manage power wise but it would appear the power supplys beeing beefy is a little bit of marketing they're nothing special.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2012
  15. hifix

    hifix
    Distinguished Member AVForums Sponsor

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2006
    Messages:
    12,284
    Products Owned:
    2
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Coventry, West Midlands
    Ratings:
    +2,432
    I know this isn't an alternative for the 818 directly, but you mention your budget is up to £1500. If you really want to get the best out of your system for music, I would look at the Audiolab 8200AP pre/processor and add a suitable power amplifier - even a £600 Rotel RMB1506 is likely to match most AV receiver's power capabilities. The big difference here though will be the Audiolab - 2-channel performance is excellent, and again, will outperform any AV receiver for music. It is more basic than your average AV receiver, but that is it's strenght - no video processing and superfluous features messing with the signal. I don't think I could go back to an AV receiver in a combined hi-fi/AV system again.
     
  16. diablo

    diablo
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2004
    Messages:
    686
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Location:
    Fylde Coast, England
    Ratings:
    +85
    A very good offer on the Pioneer LX-56 from Nintronics pulled me strongly for a while - seems about the most flexible AVR around for user adjustment and quite powerful. Though after reading the big threads about their predecessors it seemed that maybe the sound wasn't quite up to scratch and some reliability issues.

    So just ordered an Anthem MRX300 from Peter Tyson which should be here next week. I just want to turn it on and find that it works well really. If the music doesn't seem 'warm' enough in the cinema room I can always listen in the lounge instead. :) There's nobody else here so I can do what I damned well please. :laugh:
     
  17. diablo

    diablo
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2004
    Messages:
    686
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Location:
    Fylde Coast, England
    Ratings:
    +85
    Got my MRX300 today. Wired it up to the three speakers under the screen in the theatre room and with HDMI connections from a freeview HD box and to the TV in my lounge (they adjoin).

    I got sound from the system and played around with the setup a bit. When I actually went into the theatre room to check the sound I realised that only the left hand speaker was playing. The display on the receiver said it was trying to play 2.0 so obviously the centre wasn't operating anyway.

    The wiring and speakers are all fine, dc reading of 6.8 ohms from each. Did a factory reset but made no difference.

    Tried radio and blu-ray player as alternate inputs but still only one channel.

    Dammit, I'll have to ring up the supplier on Monday I think. :(

    On a plus point the one channel I did have sounded good though. :)
     
  18. hifix

    hifix
    Distinguished Member AVForums Sponsor

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2006
    Messages:
    12,284
    Products Owned:
    2
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Coventry, West Midlands
    Ratings:
    +2,432
    I believe that suppliers of Anthem receivers are supposed to install them...
     
  19. diablo

    diablo
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2004
    Messages:
    686
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Location:
    Fylde Coast, England
    Ratings:
    +85
    Thanks to the_dude2 for pointing me back to the Anthems. :smashin:

    I got a shiny new MRX500 to replace my 300 (I got a good deal on the 500) this morning, plugged in the speakers and got 7 x 100 watts straight away.

    Although I have hardly touched it yet apart from turning off the Dolby volume - and only just about to run the ARC setup, it sounds so much better than the Onkyo. Almost like my Quad II amps from years ago - nice warm tone. The XTZs have never sounded so good. I'll have to pop the lid later to make sure they haven't somehow managed to squeeze 7 pairs of KT66 valves in there. ;) :laugh:

    I am a happy chappie.
     
  20. Ideal AV

    Ideal AV
    Distinguished Member AVForums Sponsor

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2011
    Messages:
    11,151
    Products Owned:
    2
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Normanton
    Ratings:
    +6,455
    those were the days :rolleyes:
     
  21. diablo

    diablo
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2004
    Messages:
    686
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Location:
    Fylde Coast, England
    Ratings:
    +85
    Some people still like 'em to judge by the prices on Ebay.

    I still have a single Quad II amp in the loft. :)
     
  22. alexs2

    alexs2
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2002
    Messages:
    13,967
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Ratings:
    +1,672
    Hold onto it......the prices are still going up.
     
  23. the_dude2

    the_dude2
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2008
    Messages:
    2,196
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    117
    Location:
    Romford, Essex
    Ratings:
    +1,038
    HI Diablo

    Im really glad you are enjoying your Anthem. I love mine, its so involving. For the first time in my A/V hobby spanning 20 years and owning a really old Yammy with an external denon AC3 decoder, a Denon 3801, and an Onkyo 805 i finally feel like i have cinema sound in my room. And for not an obscene amount of cash too. Brilliant! :)
     

Share This Page

Loading...