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back to article Onkyo CS-545 combo mini hi-fi

For music fans who aren’t ready to let go of their CD collection comes the CS-545, a mini system from Japanese audio specialist Onkyo. Aside from the disc drive, there’s an integrated iPhone/iPod dock, stereo line input at the back, radio tuner with 30 presets each for FM and DAB and an alarm timer. You can plug in a USB memory …

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Harsh

Seems rather a harsh score, deducting 35% mainly because you don't like the remote control.

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FAIL

Or not...

If you continue to read the final paragraph beyond the second comma, you will find a load of other issues that the reviewer found to justify a score of 65%:

"However, it’s undermined by its remote control, potential issues with older iPods and digital radio sensitivity. Ignoring networking to rely on CD, MP3 and iPod makes it all seem a bit 2004. If your taste for the high-tech has moved on from when Dido, Maroon 5 and Norah Jones dominated the charts, then you should look elsewhere."

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Stop

Still seems harsh

So the issues are:

1. The reviewer doesn't like the remote control

2. There are "potential" issues with older iPods.

3. The digital radio reception may be iffy (although my Onkyo system has a similar aerial and sounds fine).

4. It isn't a media streamer. Note that it doesn't claim to be one though.

Still seems harsh to me.

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Anonymous Coward

Score

Dont know about the remote control but you should have deducted 50% for no FLAC support.

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Badgers

Na.

Without network functionality or a S/PDIF input £245 is a bit too over priced for my liking.

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Anonymous Coward

Disappointed !

I looked at one of these for my parents at Christmas, also the sony, denon and others, and was amazed at the lack of inputs on many of these. i.e none had optical/spdif something pretty basic single input on the more expensive brands, if you ask me, their just forgetting a whole section of market as not worth bothering with. If you remember LP's forget these things.

It would seem the entire micro market is aimed at the Ipod/iphone user and none of them will ever own a tv or turntable or even a another media player be it analogue or digital.

In the end I bought a Hitachi (Yeah I know its not the brand it used to be) but for 150 quid, it does everything this Onkyo does and it had inputs too for half the price. The sound was excellent and my mum was well happy !.

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Real Problem

The Onkyo CS-545's real problem is the Denon M38DAB can't see many of these getting sold.

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What's the alternative to CD?

So far CD seems, to me at least, to be the only lossless format widely available -- so anyone concerned that MP3 may not capture the whole track only has the one option.

Perhaps I'm wrong, but I still worry that a deliberately lossy CoDeC will miss something.

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Coat

I agree... but..

You've just invited a lot of hi-fi folk to complain that CD isn't lossless, it's sampled at 44.1KHz to recreate frequencies up to 22KHz (and lops off the higher, undetectable to the human ear frequencies, but those which can obviously harmonise with the audible frequencies). It's also got a bit depth of 16, which effectively limits the dynamic range to 96 dB. There will then be a mumbling about vinyl, an incomprehension of Nyquist–Shannon sampling theory, mutterings of not knowing you're born, a rustling of anoraks, followed by a swift down-voting of this post - possibly yours as well. Fortunately I've upvoted yours to try and cancel some of that out.

But I agree, as a digital format, CD seems to be the only generally available lossless format. Until FLAC is widely available (to buy as a digital source) it's the only consistent format. Hell, even if iTunes were to sell Apple Lossless tracks it would be a start.

Cheers :-)

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wow

I'm in awe. Your anorak must be sparkling with valves and whiskers.

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Happy

I've...

...upvoted both of you!

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Rip to Lossless and sell your CDs?

If you sell your CDs you should delete the ripped files.

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Wot, no optical?

To concur with the AC, I've just been looking for a new audio system in the sales - my TV's sound output is very much on the weedy side, and it'd be nice to have something I can hook my iPod Touch into, so I can have music on without having the TV screen on.

However, my TV only has optical out for audio and when wandering around Currys/Comet/etc, I didn't see a single MIDI system with an optical input. Surprisingly, most of the low-end surround-sound systems don't, either - they all seem to assume that you only want to amplify the volume for the DVD player which comes with them.

(one possible exception is the Curtis DVD6091 5.1 system, which Currys is punting out at £70: it has an optical jack on the back. But the manual claims it's an output, (IIRC) it doesn't have HDMI and I suspect the audio quality isn't going to be great at that price...)

In the end, I went for the Panasonic PT480: it has HDMI, an upscaling DVD player, an iPod dock and a USB port. It also supports the new ARC standard, which means that the HDMI cable can be used both ways, to transmit video and receive audio. Thereby reducing the number of cables at the back of the telly. And it's £150 from Amazon. Win all round :)

Admittedly, it's not yet turned up, so I may yet return muttering about configuration issues, dodgy remote controls and bad audio. C'est la vie...

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Happy

I still buy CDs

Its is often notably cheaper to buy a CD from Play/Amazon/etc than it is to download it. It gives you complete flexibility on how you encode it for playing on your personal player of choice. if you change player or you want to re-encode then you can do. It gives you proper cover art and something tangible for your money. As said, its lossless. I only buy downloads for things where its an impulse buy, novelty item or I only want one or two tracks off the album (the Plan B album for example, I only like one track off there).

I still have vinyl too! I'll keep my "record" collection until it is really utterly not viable to take up that much space in our house with it LOL.

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Is there a product at this price point that includes streaming as well?

I looked at xmas and couldn't find one with CD/MP3&WMA/ DAB/FM + streaming. There are still units out there that only support MP3, full stop. This one is flexible by comparison. I guess it's a straight shoot-out versus the aforementioned Denon D-M38 in practical terms for most folks, the Denon supports DAB+ as well, just in case that ever gets implemented here..

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Output 2x50W RMS; power consumption 36W?

Wow, you've got yourself a perpetual motion machine there. Definitely worth the money.

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FAIL

Marantz CR502 + Wharfedale Diamond 10.1's

Might cost a bit more, but an absolutely fanstastic stup...

Go get a demo at Richer Sounds....

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