Is ONKYO producing JUNK these days?

B

bmninada

Audioholic
Don't get me wrong and don't abuse me. Myself - I own an Onkyo. SR606 and 2 of my neighbors and few of my close friends all own Onkyo.
All (altogether 5) A/V receivers have been bought during the span of 3 years, starting end-of-2009 till now.
All have OUTSTANDING sound quality and host of features which for the price associated are difficult to match with competitors. All are built aesthetically very pleasing and looks solid.
Here's my issue. ALL of them (expect the last one, bought just 1 month back) started to fail. Here's the issues, all primarily centric to the digital input/output capabilities of the receiver - be it HDMI, optical, Co-Ax, OSD into TV via HDMI, upconversion, etc., etc.
All of them get very hot indeed.
I started my own research into this company. What I found is an astonishing amount of Better Business Bureau complaints in NJ, where the company is registered or has the authorized service center. Next, I searched the Internet and found MULTITUDE of forums which details out so many woeful situations consumers are facing and some has even ventured to give fix solutions like replace XX capacitor with YY, etc., etc.
Finally, I also found Onkyo's good name and brand is historical. They have been producing quality audio equipment for decades and thus it's carrying forward the high brand image. However, history is one thing - present tense is something else. Personally, I feel Onkyo has gone downhill in the last 4 to 5 years so much so that I know of 2 well known NY retailers (very big, very well known) who are thinking of pulling out of Onkyo A/V receivers considering the complaints they have to address via their extended warranty programs; which although outsourced the warranty companies are heavily complaining. As a last straw I met with almost the head honcho of the authorized service center here in NJ over a golf session and he was candid enough to admit the level of callousness he's seeing with repairs done by Onkyo factory. As an example he states of cases where a AV receiver is being opened for repair the 1st time and inside the HDMI daughter board doesn't even reflect the true design for that model or has *strange* capacitors soldered haphazardly all over, etc. etc. They have started to get about 3 Onkyo bulletins a day for problem fixes.

Any thoughts?
 
K

k_lewis

Junior Audioholic
What, we can't abuse you here?? you just took all the fun out of it (kidding).

Sounds to me like you got stuck with a lemon, unless it failed after 2 years or so- It happens, especially with low-to-mid-end electronics. Overall Onkyo is a very good brand and as you said, a heck of a bang for the buck in the sound quality department. Keep in mind, these larger companies all have their good models and their 'disposable' models. I think you'll be hard pressed to find complaints on their upper end Onkyo line or their flagship Integra line. I have owned 3 Thetas, 2 Anthems, 2 Arcams, 2 Pioneers (1 Elite),1 Sherwood (first pre-pro ever),1 Onkyo, 1 Meridian, and as of now, my 3rd Integra. Overall, the Integra never disappoints and usually they are on backorder. The Theta, which by the way cost $13k fully loaded and is hand built, gave me fits to no end quite regularly- Plus I couldn't even get it upgraded to HDMI since they kept dropping the ball on getting the add-in board produced. However it was quite an emotional experience when it was working, amazing sound like no other. I've stuck with the Integra as it sounds almost as good as the Theta, it is rock solid, and at such a ridiculous low price hard to pass up and not be very happy with it. I've had issues with all of the above brands at one time or another, and read about similar issues with the above brands at one time or another. I have had zero issues with any of the Integra processors beginning with the 9.8, 80.1 and latest 80.2. Great care is put into the manufacture of their high end line.

In the bedroom, I have an Onkyo 508 receiver which cost me $250 from Amazon. I have read numerous stories about the 50x and the 60x line having issues. But, this line of receivers are really considered 'inexpensive' entry-level products and if I get a year or two out of it then that's all I expect. They are not built for the long haul and you should not expect them to be.

My humble opinion, invest your next purchase in a top of the line Onkyo or preferably the Integra 80.2. You can pick one of them up for about $1800 pre-owned and $2300 new. Is it a lot of money? Well, not for what you get considering they sound as good or better, and have more features than, pre/pro's costing 3x as much. Plus, you won't be buying a new receiver every two years unless you want to. And if you call Integra for help you'll get to talk to a USA sr. tech.

Point being, no matter what brand, you'll get exactly what you pay for when it comes to receivers, amps, DVD/BD players and speakers and your expectations should be set accordingly. Of course, getting a turkey right out of the box or a few weeks after is a different story, and the return policy or mfr warranty should take care of that. Again, I'll stress that spending more on a higher line of product will pay for itself in the long run by avoiding much of these typical consumer-level issues. I've found this to ring true with every manufacturer that makes both high-end lines and consumer lines of products.

Hope this helps and my post is not meant to be harsh in any way- Just sharing my 10+ years of experiences with buying AV gear.
 
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mtrycrafts

mtrycrafts

Audioholic Slumlord
Don't get me wrong and don't abuse me. Myself - I own an Onkyo. SR606 and 2 of my neighbors and few of my close friends all own Onkyo.
All (altogether 5) A/V receivers have been bought during the span of 3 years, starting end-of-2009 till now.
All have OUTSTANDING sound quality and host of features which for the price associated are difficult to match with competitors. All are built aesthetically very pleasing and looks solid.
Here's my issue. ALL of them (expect the last one, bought just 1 month back) started to fail. Here's the issues, all primarily centric to the digital input/output capabilities of the receiver - be it HDMI, optical, Co-Ax, OSD into TV via HDMI, upconversion, etc., etc.
All of them get very hot indeed.
I started my own research into this company. What I found is an astonishing amount of Better Business Bureau complaints in NJ, where the company is registered or has the authorized service center. Next, I searched the Internet and found MULTITUDE of forums which details out so many woeful situations consumers are facing and some has even ventured to give fix solutions like replace XX capacitor with YY, etc., etc.
Finally, I also found Onkyo's good name and brand is historical. They have been producing quality audio equipment for decades and thus it's carrying forward the high brand image. However, history is one thing - present tense is something else. Personally, I feel Onkyo has gone downhill in the last 4 to 5 years so much so that I know of 2 well known NY retailers (very big, very well known) who are thinking of pulling out of Onkyo A/V receivers considering the complaints they have to address via their extended warranty programs; which although outsourced the warranty companies are heavily complaining. As a last straw I met with almost the head honcho of the authorized service center here in NJ over a golf session and he was candid enough to admit the level of callousness he's seeing with repairs done by Onkyo factory. As an example he states of cases where a AV receiver is being opened for repair the 1st time and inside the HDMI daughter board doesn't even reflect the true design for that model or has *strange* capacitors soldered haphazardly all over, etc. etc. They have started to get about 3 Onkyo bulletins a day for problem fixes.

Any thoughts?
Hard to say. All depends on the reliability of the stuff you found on line and the rate of failure.

I have 2 receivers, one and older on, the 939 that has and is serving me well and the newer one, the 705, for its preamp section for the lossless audio decoding.
So far, no issues.
 
B

bmninada

Audioholic
All - thanks for the responses. Integra and high-end Onkyo models having price tags of $1000+ to start with, I understand and respect. But here's my thoughts. A $400 receiver is not really *dirt* cheap. Additionally, there are other manufacturers producing receivers having similar prices. What I do observe however they tend to outlast Onkyo's in terms of how the receiver behaves. If you'll notice, this post of mine is after a gap of 2 to 3 days. So what did I do in-between? I took part a $399 D@#@n receiver and a $412 Onkyo receiver. Next, I compared the simple components like transformer, capacitors, resistance, etc. between the two. Using an extensive database and online lookup what I found is in almost 100%, the quality of components in the D@#@n are superior and pricier especially when it comes to to temperature tolerances, longevity, etc., etc. So obviously, the question which haunts me is how does the competitor maintain a similar price range? The answer is it offers less features, period. BUT WHATEVER IT DOES PROVIDE - WORKS. In Onkyo's case I'm seeing bunch of features and to make up for it, inferior internal components. Hell, even the cable connectors SUCK in Onkyo. This then gives rise to the next fundamental question - what is the QC/QA department of Onkyo doing? Are they letting them through? Of course they are, since at the point of testing, things do work. It's only a matter of time before things start to fail....In other words, from a corporate standards level, Onkyo has sacrificed quality for quantity (of features) and thus end up appealing more to end consumer.
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
All I know is to never buy any Refurbished Denon AVR or Pre-pro regardless of price, especially from eCost or Dakmart.:D
 
J

jostenmeat

Audioholic Spartan
All - thanks for the responses. Integra and high-end Onkyo models having price tags of $1000+ to start with, I understand and respect. But here's my thoughts. A $400 receiver is not really *dirt* cheap. Additionally, there are other manufacturers producing receivers having similar prices.
The countering view would be that it IS dirt cheap (hey $400 is a lot, but not for a receiver),since it's basically a computer with multiple processing chips, preamplifier, multichannel amplifier with a minimum of 7 amp channels, one or more (hopefully) large-ish power supply, FM/AM tuner, multimedia streaming device, oh geez I can't even keep up with what they're putting in there, Audyssey auto eq technology, algorithms for matrixing or lower volume dialogue intelligibility . . .

I remember M Code talking about this price point, and that a lot of brands are being built under the SAME ROOF. That they don't even make a profit at this price point, it's so brutally competitive. The whole point of even making a receiver at this price point is for market share, not profit!
 
Crescendo

Crescendo

Audioholic Intern
For some reason, Onkyo never had much of a big following in my area. I never actually owned any of the stuff myself, nor did anyone else I know that I can remember.

I don't remember seeing the brand much at the major chains either, and there was only one hi-fi shop I've ever been to that carried them, and it was mainly their higher-end line. The hi-fi mags I used to read seemed to shun the brand as well.

This was years ago, so things may have changed. But whenever I think of hi-fi gear or A/V equipment, Onkyo is certainly not the first thing that comes to mind.
 
dalumberjack

dalumberjack

Audioholic
Hi-Fi mags shun anything that isn't obscure and overpriced :p
HT magazine finally added a Onkyo to their "recommended" area in the back of the magazine. They listed the Onkyo 5008 under their "High-end" recievers to own.

Took them forever, but they finally dd.
 
F

FirstReflection

AV Rant Co-Host
Well, there's a lot to address here:

1) Onkyo does indeed have a reputation for receivers that get very hot, overheat, or start having functional problems with certain inputs or features.

2) Lots of consumers do not follow the instructions and place Onkyo receivers in setups where they do not have adequate "breathing room". I do not totally fault the users here because most other brands will still function in tight quarters without overheating. But the fact remains that lots of people place their receivers in enclosures or stack other components on top of the receiver. The Onkyo manuals are clear that they need a lot of free air around them for ventilation, and those instructions are often ignored.

3) Onkyo, being a brand that is widely available on the internet, is also one of the brands that is more prone to knock-offs. You can find a lot of "deals" online for fake Onkyo products, all of which are naturally crap! Folks who get suckered into these fake Onkyo receivers obviously won't help the brand in terms of name reputation.

4) Over the past several years, Onkyo has made an obvious and concerted effort to cram more features and inputs into a given price-point than any other receiver brand. It has proven to be an effective strategy. Prior to the x04 models, Onkyo was barely a blip on mass consumers' radars. They went from a, "never heard of 'em" brand to one of the leading receiver brands - especially in the lower and mid-level price brackets.

The trade-off has indeed been usage of lower-quality, less expensive parts in those popular lower and mid-priced receivers. And it's not the least bit surprising or difficult to understand. If you're going to offer more features and inputs than anybody else, but you're also going to undercut them in price, there's only one way to do it (while still making a profit),and that's to trim component and manufacturing costs.

Personally, I tend to recommend Denon receivers. They are not always the least expensive, but they tend to be very competitive in terms of having the newest inputs and features, and they are willing to price themselves just a little bit higher in order to use higher-quality components and in order to make sure that all of their features and inputs function the way that they should.

I give kudos to Onkyo for how aggressive they've been. If you're on a super-tight budget, you're unlikely to find more features and inputs for the same price with any other brand. But you DO get what you pay for and there's always a bit of that, "if it's too good to be true..." warning to keep in mind.

I would NOT say that Onkyo's receivers are "crap". But I would also not say that they are the best. They are a case where you can get a TON of features and inputs - more than with any other brand, really - for some of the lowest prices out there, while still getting good sound quality and attractive outer and GUI design. But there is no "free lunch". You also have to expect them to be a bit temperamental and you have to follow the instructions and give them LOTS of room to ventilate and circulate cool air.

I'll still recommend Onkyo products when it makes sense. And like other have said, once you get into Onkyo's higher-priced x008 receivers - which are just clones of their Integra brand receivers - the issues in overheating and performance pretty much go away with the obvious jump in price tag.

It's not ok for products to routinely break after only a year or two (or less). And frankly, manufacturers have to be aware that most consumers are stupid and never read instruction manuals, so things need to be over-built to compensate, not under-built and failure-prone. But Onkyo made the decision to compete, and compete hard. More features for less money. It's a winning strategy, but something's gotta give along the way.
 
M Code

M Code

Audioholic General
Good summary of important stuff..
However..
It is pertinent to allow enough ventilation space for the AVR..
An Onkyo sets their output stage bias on the high side as to minimize notch distortion..

At least 3-4 inches of free air space should be provided for the top cover & L/R sides ventilation.. If inadequate the AVR will destroy itself, as heat is most destructive to electronic gear.. This is especially crucial for the entry-level AVRs which have no overdesign in the heat sinking area due to their low cost, and as they tend to be pushed the hardest. Plus here the typical consumer reads the operation guide last rather than first.. They pull it out after it goes up in smoke, and/or shuts down prematurely.. :eek:

Just my $0.02... ;)
 
jeffsg4mac

jeffsg4mac

Republican Poster Boy
I bought a TX-NR8008 a few months back from Crutchfield and it has been flawless. I can't even get the thing to get more than luke warm. I got a so-called scratch and dent from them and when I got it home I could not find a mark on it. I have been very, very pleased with it so far.
 
P

petethekiller

Enthusiast
having owned 7 different onkyo receivers in the last 15 years, all but 1 are still in use. The one that failed was an refurbed unit bought from ecost.com, it was repaired and still is working like new at my brothers house (TXSR804) Like mentioned, that unit ran HOT!!!! It failed because I had it inside a closed cabinet. My new TXNR808, if by long and far the best receiver you can get for the money IMO. It runs a ton cooler that the 804 has tons of features and sounds much better overall over my TXsr 804 and my Denon 3808.

Onkyo makes a good product and seem to stand behind it.
 
B

bmninada

Audioholic
Absolutely, 100% correct. This is one of the best well articulated responses I've seen in these forums.

Well, there's a lot to address here:

1) Onkyo does indeed have a reputation for receivers that get very hot, overheat, or start having functional problems with certain inputs or features.

2) Lots of consumers do not follow the instructions and place Onkyo receivers in setups where they do not have adequate "breathing room". I do not totally fault the users here because most other brands will still function in tight quarters without overheating. But the fact remains that lots of people place their receivers in enclosures or stack other components on top of the receiver. The Onkyo manuals are clear that they need a lot of free air around them for ventilation, and those instructions are often ignored.

3) Onkyo, being a brand that is widely available on the internet, is also one of the brands that is more prone to knock-offs. You can find a lot of "deals" online for fake Onkyo products, all of which are naturally crap! Folks who get suckered into these fake Onkyo receivers obviously won't help the brand in terms of name reputation.

4) Over the past several years, Onkyo has made an obvious and concerted effort to cram more features and inputs into a given price-point than any other receiver brand. It has proven to be an effective strategy. Prior to the x04 models, Onkyo was barely a blip on mass consumers' radars. They went from a, "never heard of 'em" brand to one of the leading receiver brands - especially in the lower and mid-level price brackets.

The trade-off has indeed been usage of lower-quality, less expensive parts in those popular lower and mid-priced receivers. And it's not the least bit surprising or difficult to understand. If you're going to offer more features and inputs than anybody else, but you're also going to undercut them in price, there's only one way to do it (while still making a profit),and that's to trim component and manufacturing costs.

Personally, I tend to recommend Denon receivers. They are not always the least expensive, but they tend to be very competitive in terms of having the newest inputs and features, and they are willing to price themselves just a little bit higher in order to use higher-quality components and in order to make sure that all of their features and inputs function the way that they should.

I give kudos to Onkyo for how aggressive they've been. If you're on a super-tight budget, you're unlikely to find more features and inputs for the same price with any other brand. But you DO get what you pay for and there's always a bit of that, "if it's too good to be true..." warning to keep in mind.

I would NOT say that Onkyo's receivers are "crap". But I would also not say that they are the best. They are a case where you can get a TON of features and inputs - more than with any other brand, really - for some of the lowest prices out there, while still getting good sound quality and attractive outer and GUI design. But there is no "free lunch". You also have to expect them to be a bit temperamental and you have to follow the instructions and give them LOTS of room to ventilate and circulate cool air.

I'll still recommend Onkyo products when it makes sense. And like other have said, once you get into Onkyo's higher-priced x008 receivers - which are just clones of their Integra brand receivers - the issues in overheating and performance pretty much go away with the obvious jump in price tag.

It's not ok for products to routinely break after only a year or two (or less). And frankly, manufacturers have to be aware that most consumers are stupid and never read instruction manuals, so things need to be over-built to compensate, not under-built and failure-prone. But Onkyo made the decision to compete, and compete hard. More features for less money. It's a winning strategy, but something's gotta give along the way.
 
B

bmninada

Audioholic
NR808 is a good product, no doubt. However, in my view at that price range, I'll rather prefer to buy some other brand, than Onkyo. This is based on 2 reasoning. (a) I've come to understand this company's strategy is to cram features after features to win the attention of the consumer with little regard to whether the product will intend stand the test of time. Since it's prevalent across most of it's line-up and marketing or corporate strategies never tend to change based on the model # in question I would assume it'll be case even for NR808. As a proof in point, at that and slightly +/- $100 price range I find comparable products offering much less features so obviously somewhere something is being "cut" (b) I move back in time thru these forums to find (say) 2007 / 2008 models which at that point in time were similar to the lineup where today NR808 stands. Loo and behold, except for 1 or 2 models of Onkyo which are truly veretable (sorry - can't remember the number but I think it's from early 2000 series) these so called top of the line receivers have huge forum entries all approximately starting 2010 describing issue after issue. Which means after about 2 years of service. The lower end models start mal-functioning either almost immediately or within an year whereas the mid-level ones in around 2 to 3 years. Only when I go even higher range, i.e in today's market +$1500 - do I see a noticeable drop in issues. But using my statistical inferences at that price point, those who can easily afford, tend to be able to easily replace it and not complain or seek forums' advices and secondly # of units at that price range is much, much lower than # of units at entry/ mid level.
 
dalumberjack

dalumberjack

Audioholic
Just wanted to add I have had my onkyo 5007 for a couple of years now and it has been going strong. No issues at all. It is in a cabinet so during the summer when the house is warmer I have two 120mm fans on top of the unit that I kick on just to make sure it stays cool.

If I had AC in my house, heat probably wouldn't be a problem. Then I wouldn't have anything to complain about.
 
OmegaRED

OmegaRED

Audiophyte
I don't believe Onkyo's quality is inferior to any other manufacturer but I do worry about their support in North America. From what I've read it's inconsistent in America and in Canada it might as well not exist. I bought a NR-3008 and Onkyo doesn't even sell the 2 year extended warranty to Canadians and when I sent emails to them before they were ignored. I've owned 3 Onkyo receivers and none have had any issues but their track record makes me nervous as I spend more with each generation.
 
S

sharkman

Full Audioholic
NR808 is a good product, no doubt. However, in my view at that price range, I'll rather prefer to buy some other brand, than Onkyo. This is based on 2 reasoning. (a) I've come to understand this company's strategy is to cram features after features to win the attention of the consumer with little regard to whether the product will intend stand the test of time. Since it's prevalent across most of it's line-up and marketing or corporate strategies never tend to change based on the model # in question I would assume it'll be case even for NR808. As a proof in point, at that and slightly +/- $100 price range I find comparable products offering much less features so obviously somewhere something is being "cut" (b) I move back in time thru these forums to find (say) 2007 / 2008 models which at that point in time were similar to the lineup where today NR808 stands. Loo and behold, except for 1 or 2 models of Onkyo which are truly veretable (sorry - can't remember the number but I think it's from early 2000 series) these so called top of the line receivers have huge forum entries all approximately starting 2010 describing issue after issue. Which means after about 2 years of service. The lower end models start mal-functioning either almost immediately or within an year whereas the mid-level ones in around 2 to 3 years. Only when I go even higher range, i.e in today's market +$1500 - do I see a noticeable drop in issues. But using my statistical inferences at that price point, those who can easily afford, tend to be able to easily replace it and not complain or seek forums' advices and secondly # of units at that price range is much, much lower than # of units at entry/ mid level.
I'd like to sum up your experience if I may.

You have 2 neighbors and a few close friends plus yourself and you all have: 1) An Onkyo AVR 2) they've all broken down except one.

That's really amazing. You know 6 people that own Onkyo. Wow, I know of one person that does. Maybe I need to get out more. So anyway, then somehow you get an appointment to play a round of golf with the "almost head honcho" of the NY authorized service center. How long did you have to drop hints to get a round with this guy?(And you know 2 really big NY area retailers well enough to know they are thinking of dropping a brand - Onkyo. You must be a mover and shaker friend)

Then during the game, he opens up to you. About his business. I can hardly get my boss to open up about his golf game! You really must have a way with words!

Next in the 2 days between posts you decide to open up a $399 Denon and a $412 Onkyo. I was wondering, did you go out and buy these or did you already have them? Anyway, I'm an electrician, and part of my education was to study circuits to know what series and parallel circuits are and how they operate. Also different components like resistors and caps as well as transformers. You must be an electronics tech because on occasion I've tried to look up certain parts and it's hard enough to source parts, let alone find evidence online regarding 2 random parts found in a pair of receivers that authoritatively proves that one is junk and the other lasts much longer. I've opened up three receivers myself over time, and I remember that none of the transformers had a single number or size or rating on it at all. Maybe I should have stayed in school longer.

But I can understand how someone with your results would be sour on Onkyo. You mentioned finding a lot of complaints regarding Onkyo receivers on the web. You might try to find complaints on Yamaha or Pioneer or Denon. They're out there. Marantz too.

Just today I was in a local retailer as a customer had brought back a really big Onkyo AVR. I overhead the conversation and the customer was ticked because every time he turned off his Onkyo he lost all of his settings. You guessed it, he had changed his set up recently and when shutting off his system the AVR was getting 0 volts so it couldn't stay in standby.
 
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T

tonedeaf

Audioholic
I bought a TX-NR8008 a few months back from Crutchfield and it has been flawless. I can't even get the thing to get more than luke warm. I got a so-called scratch and dent from them and when I got it home I could not find a mark on it. I have been very, very pleased with it so far.
I purchased a TX-NR807 almost a year ago_Operation has also been flawless,except for one minor hiccupp.Once in awhile it loses its internet connection and has to be unplugged and replugged to regain the connection.
There is an update for the unit but I prefer not to execute it.It performs too well to risk an update.Strange things can happen over the net;)
Unit is on the bottom rack of the stand in my ever cool basement rec room.On a heat scale of 1 to 10,the unit never gets much past 3 or 4.
Purchased this unit new from New Egg for 500 and some change.Couldn't be more satisfied.
My one gripe is the amount of listening modes,by time I finally decide on one the movie or song is close to being done:eek:A way to select independent modes would be a nice feature instead of having to scroll through all the listening modes.
 
R

richandy

Audiophyte
As a former owner of 2 failed 3008, I have to question their product quality. It seems like the lower cost models with less features have fewer issues than the feature rich models. I have a HT-270, and never had a problems with it, and this was the same time I experienced so many issues with the 3008. I don't believe that a company can have a loyal customer based if their products will not serve their owners for many years. After my experiences with the 3008, I have repeatedly turned others away from them. It is one thing to pack all the latest features in a product, but all that gets defeated if it is not reliable.
 

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