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back to article Onkyo TX-NR609 AV network receiver

AV receivers have made a concerted effort to keep up with TVs, consoles, set-top boxes and disc players in recent years by incorporating an Ethernet port to play your digital music collection over a network as well as internet radio and extras like Last FM and Napster. Onkyo TX-NR609 Double bass player: Onkyo's TX-NR609 Onkyo …

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Anonymous Coward

Now all one needs is...

... speakers to go with it.

Any plans for a review of a suitable set - I've heard of a few that have remote rear surround speakers... only found one set as part of a system (KEF) that didn't seem great.

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Silver badge
Boffin

Q Acoustics 2000

I use a Q Acoustics 1000 set with my Onkyo 608, which were What Hi-Fi's best budget buy pretty much until the 2000 series replaced them.

The 2000 series can be bought as a 5.1 pack for around £500 - sub, centre speaker and four satellites. The satellites are small enough to use as rear surround if you fancy 7.1, so you can buy either an extra pair of satellites for around £110 or a pair of the floorstanding speakers (2020 or 2030, I forget which) for ~£160.

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Thumb Up

Zone 2 support

Do you know (or can you test) if Zone 2 works alongside bi-wiring/7.2 support? The picture of the rear connectors suggests as much... my Onkyo 607 will only run 5.1 alongside Zone2 :(

(actually nothing in the pic suggests biwiring is supported at all; something to check for in the manual?)

Either way; WANT!

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You can bi-amp the front speakers but, like the 607, it will only run in 5.1 if you have a powered Zone 2 as well.

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Oh. Not so good, then. In which case I will revoke the previous WANT! - it doesn't offer me the one thing I would actually upgrade my 607 for!

(tho if someone wanted to offer me a freebie)

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Speaker calibration

"unlike models lower in the range, it adds PC/console RGB video connectivity, the user-friendly Audyssey auto calibration, THX Select2 Plus certification and outputs for up to two subwoofers"

Just to clarify :

The NR579 *does* include Audyssey 2EQ setup for the speaker - it drops the THX certification, Audyssey DSX, VGA in and second sub-woofer output.

The NR509 model also includes Audyssey 2EQ setup for the speaker, but drops Audyssey DSX *and* Pro-Logic IIz (only really an issue if you have a speaker set-up for extra wide/high sound) as well as the other stuff dropped by the NR579.

The entry-level NR309 does have speaker calibration - as far as I understand it, it has none of the Audyssey features or network capabilities.

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"The entry-level NR309 does have speaker calibration"

s/does/doesn't/

Ooops.

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MJI
Silver badge

Looks nice pity about missing features

I thought DAB would be a definate now.

Also pity nothing for HiFi usage, we don't all have seperate systems, no support for a seperate recorder (Tape or MD), nor a turntable.

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I've got the further up, but older, 806. And while I get a Phono stage, it's not that hot. It's just not worth looking for them on A/V amps these days, as they're such minority requirements the money doesn't get thrown at them even when they are present.

You're much better off buying a separate Phono preamp, like the ones from NAD or Pro-Ject, and not worrying about internal phono stages at all.

As for recording, I can't remember the last time I recorded audio, rather than ripped it - the MiniDisc recorder got removed from the hi-fi stack on the last tidy up because it had been so long since it was turned on. But still, it's a pity.

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"Tape Loop"

On the subject of the recording loop, and this is just based on looking at the image of the rear of the device, I would assume the 'vcr/dvr' section replaces the more traditional 'tape loop' but would still work in the same way but with the option of video too.

Again this is just based on the image nothing else.

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Coat

Hmm

Have one, great device, well impressed, will even access your ipod through USB and play all your mp3s.

I then read the review and tried the remote control ipod app. Ok everything works. Its pretty funky, network comms with your device, full control of all aspects of the device, and no requirement for authentication! So ANYBODY can control ANYBODYs onkyo network attatched amp, what a fab idea at a party. Ok the device would have to BE network attatched and user would have to get some network access, but not being network attatched defeats the object of a network attatched device?, and people who want access to your network will generally get it.. Anyone want to be woken up at 1am by their amp at full volume?, repeatedly?.

Ok so fair do's, sometimes people forget security, onward to onkyos website to drop them an e-mail. If you are UK based you have to contact onkyo GMBH, no e-mail addresses listed, interational telephone call, snail mail, facebook or web form.

Their facebook app wants FULL access to your ENTIRE profile.

If you wish to use the e-mail forms to contact them feel free, They want your name, address, phone etc. All passed across a HTTP connection (no S for these guys).

So all in all great sound/video kit, lousy security. Lets see if their customer support can send me an e-mail address for their security officer after I supplied minimal information.

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WTF?

TWO subwoofers?

7.2? SEVEN speakers around your room, and TWO subwoofers?

God help us.

Why would you want two subwoofers?

Interesting that in the hi-fi world, even at the absolute top end, people are satisfied with two speakers. But put people in front of a screen, and suddenly you've got to have surround sound from all possible directions.

I'm going to patent my 7.3.2.1 system, with seven speakers around the room, three on the ceiling, two subwoofers and one extra subwoofer under the sofa.

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Silver badge

I'm afraid Billy Bremner beat you to it

Speakers on the ceiling, speakers on the door

Speakers on the dashboard, speakers on the floor

I'm surprised you haven't realised that having a visual cue alters how we interpret sounds. For instance, when a car drives past on screen and goes out of the left edge of the shot, we instinctively expect the sound to proceed from front left to rear left as in real life, the car would now be behind us.

Music alone doesn't have that issue; we expect it to come from a static point, which as an audience is generally in front of us. You're still wrong about the hi-fi world settling for two speakers, though; quadrophonic systems have been around forever, for the same reason as 5.1 and 7.2 sound systems exist in cinemas (and I'm glad you've never heard of 22.2) - immersion. Having speakers in front and behind puts you in the middle of the music.

As for why you want two subwoofers: I believe the explanation is that a bi-directional system generates the bass more evenly, providing a smoother effect. (Of course you can also crank them both up to full power and destroy your enemies, assuming you do not live on a geological fault line.)

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Bronze badge

Eh?

"when a car drives past on screen and goes out of the left edge of the shot, we instinctively expect the sound to proceed from front left to rear left as in real life, the car would now be behind us."

But the car ISN'T behind you. And never will be. You are looking through a static window onto a fake world but your brain is MORE than aware of that, because it can't move an inch without destroying its sense of visual perception of the scene, even with a 3D movie on a 3D TV. Having the sound go behind you just makes you jump and/or want to look around to follow the car. TV's, Cinemsa are nowhere near good enough to provide that sort of visual feedback so having audio feedback of that type is actually *wrong* and disorientating.

This is why I'm inclined to agree with the OP. Hell, I have a gaming laptop with 5.1 surround. All it means is that the game sounds are in the wrong place - if I turn my HEAD to follow a sound, it doesn't help me at all because I have to move the WINDOW into the world instead. Hence, why I have the Windows audio settings to see it as a 2-speaker system only - I get "louder" sound, positioning that I can make more use of, and much less processing time. Plus, a pair of headphones cost £20 instead of £100 because I only need two speakers and no fancy tricks. Even my copy of VLC is set to downmix surround into just two stereo channels.

And, again, 5.1 is more than sufficient if you *really* want that sort of thing (and I'd be inclined to ask why you can't just put a subwoofer in each of the 4 four speakers required - the quadrophonic sound you refer to - and have a "full" 4 rather than a "partial" four with other bits scattered around at random and not positional - which 7.2 actually makes worse). 7.2, in that respect, is no more realistic than a standard "2.0" - the bass is coming out of somewhere that bears little relation to what's on screen, and you've paid hundreds/thousands and ran cable all the way around the sofa just to make things more disorientating.

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NTSC support?

I've got an older TX-NR801 and it's quite annoying that it doesn't support NTSC for the OSD and video switching. Does this new kit support NTSC, or am I going to have to go back to Pioneer's Elite series?

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Dual subwoofers will indeed deliver more even bass throughout a room, but you need to be extremely careful where you place them relative to each other otherwise you can end up with the subs cancelling each other out at one or more frequencies, plus you'll get an extra 3dB of headroom :)

The thing I'm slightly puzzled about is how this receiver can deliver a claimed 160W of power to each speaker if the thing only consumes 610W from the mains?

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Optional title!!!

Probably 160W /peak/ to any of the speakers, but obviously not all of them at once.

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Silver badge
Boffin

In professional audio we call those 'China Watts'

They are often absolute maximum instantaneous power, which is a figure that tells you almost nothing at all about the amplifier.

In this case it looks like it's probably not full china wattage, but peak power.

Amplifiers should also never draw their max. rating because that would usually be clipping, thus trashing the whole system.

I am still amused by the fact that no hifi parts uses professional connectors, and few have any balanced connections.

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JB
Happy

1985 called...

...they want their stereo back. But hang on, what's all this 'streaming' wee-fee, stuff. :)

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Silver badge

VGA input

The VGA input is a definite plus. Finally the receiver makers arrived in reality

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Bronze badge

By DAB "external module", do you mean

...just any ordinary DAB tuner, with an audio output compatible with the inputs? Heigh ho.

If someone is making a DAB-compatible connect-to-USB-port receiver again, I might want just that part. DAB recording seems to be quite limited in availability, otherwise, if that's what you want to do. Many DAB stations are also available on Freeview (but in Scotland only part time), but recording Freeview radio is a bit hit and miss, too. I have two apparently identical discontinued Grundig devices, one of which makes recordings that only play (on Windows) in smplayer, one of which makes recordings that only play on the box itself.

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