Onkyo TX-NR509 - Zone 2 vs A/B configuration?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by alienvariety, Jan 10, 2012.

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  1. alienvariety

    alienvariety
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    Hi all, and thanks in advance for your advice. Here's the situation:

    In the past I had a SONY STR-DE597 and it worked great until it succumbed to the problem which seemingly plagued numerous units and retreated to a permanent state of PROTECT mode.

    I 'upgraded' to an ONKYO TX-NR509 AVR which had great reviews and appeared to be an ideal budget option (difficult times and all that...)

    However, I have instantly encountered what could be a deal-breaker problem for me:

    1) I have always had the receiver in my lounge, but I have speakers in both my lounge and kitchen - a standard two room set up.

    2) The Sony I was using before allowed me to listen to music EITHER in the lounge OR in the kitchen OR both at the same time. This was through an A/B speaker configuration whereby the speakers in the lounge were A, the kitchen B, and then I could listen in both rooms by selecting A+B. This was ideal.

    3) The Onkyo doesn't appear to have this option and I can't seem to find a way of replicating it with a workaround, even by splitting the surround sound. It was an oversight on my part not to check in advance because I assumed the option of multi-room (or at least dual room) A/B set up was fairly standard on receivers as I've been using this configuration for over a decade.

    4) The Onkyo does have a 'Zone 2' option, but the manual implies that it requires another amplifier to use 'Zone 2', and I've only just got this one!

    Basically, my question is this:

    Am I missing something, or is the Onkyo unable to, by design, implement a similar set up to that which I've used before? Can I configure the speakers to function as described in point 2 above?

    Thanks for your help.
     
  2. davepuma

    davepuma
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    I'm afraid you would have to move up to the 609 to get powered zone 2. I suppose you could install a speaker switch to switch between lounge and kitchen.
     
  3. alienvariety

    alienvariety
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    As far as I can tell the 609, at least on Amazon.co.uk appears to be £100 more expensive! Do you recommend an alternative model for roughly the same price as the 509 (ie. around £299) which would give me that opportunity?

    Alternatively, is a speaker switch a budget quick fix solution or am I just as well off returning and replacing the unit for something different?

    Many thanks.
     
  4. davepuma

    davepuma
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    Denon AVR-1912
     
  5. alienvariety

    alienvariety
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    Thanks. I'm just looking at that model. I'm still not seeing the A/B/A+B option though? It seems to have the same Zone 2 as Onkyo or is there a difference somehow?
     
  6. dante01

    dante01
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    The manufacturers have done away with the old A/B speaker switching on AV amps in return for second zones. This proves problematic because second zones invariably require additional power and this is usually sought from unused back speakers. This arrangement means that you cannot both have a second zone and a 7.1 setup. There's also the problem of only analogue or network sources being able to be played in additional zones, meaning that any component attached to your amp via digital would not play out in the second zone.


    I'd suggest you purchase a speaker switch and split/share the existing front speaker outputs. This is more akin to what you already know as A/B switching. Here is such a switch:
    QED SS20 2 Way Speaker Switch - Parallel - Speaker Switching Units - Audiovisual Online - Home Cinema and Hifi Specialists
     
  7. davepuma

    davepuma
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    Pioneer seem to still use Front A/B. The Pioneer VSX-821 might fit the bill. They allow you to select A, B or AB.
     
  8. alienvariety

    alienvariety
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    Thanks all, you've been a great help. I agree @dante01 - Zone 2's seem far inferior to the A/B config that was being used for absolute yonks. This seems to me like a case of "if it ain't broken..."

    I think because the Onkyo system itself (aside from this irritating inadequacy) is a brilliant piece of kit, I'm going to opt for the switch method, it seems like it'll just be a nice, comfy quick fix solution.

    Would this switch be ok though? It's only £15 instead of the £60 one linked above.

    Really appreciate all your help by the way.
     
  9. dante01

    dante01
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    That switch should be fine, but may not be as well made as the QED model and may not be made from as high a grade of materials?
     
  10. curitiba1982

    curitiba1982
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    you can get the 609 at a few places for 380 and here for 350
    Onkyo TX-NR609 Network AV Receiver - 7.2 Channel - Sight and Sound UK
     

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