Onkyo TX-NR828 Owners Thread - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #1 of 21 Old 01-11-14, 08:12 AM Thread Starter
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Onkyo TX-NR828 Owners Thread

Hello;

At the suggestion of Ellisr63, and because there is not presently an owners thread for the Onkyo TX-NR828, I am starting one. I do not know didly about reviewing receivers, but I can tell you what I have checked out and what I have connected up and if it worked. All the new techy stuff on this receiver is a bit beyond me, but if other owners chime in, and let us know what they tried, and how it worked, and exactly how they did it, maybe we can all learn something.

So, Welcome to the ONKYO TX-NR828 Owners Thread.

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post #2 of 21 Old 01-11-14, 08:58 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Onkyo TX-NR828 Owners Thread

I bought my Onkyo TX-NR828 a week ago, from Gibby's Electronics Supermarket with branches in both St Catharines and Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

It arrived in under 24 hours via UPS, and the box was in perfect condition, so I had no worries about physical condition. It took me under an hour to unpack it, and hook it up, but then, I had just done this the previous week with a Sony STR-DN1040. The Sony had great sound, lousy video, and lots of scary information about HDMI problems. To be honest, I was looking at the Onkyo's smaller brother, the 727, prior to buying the Sony, so it was a no brainer to jump back to Onkyo. The addition of a discounted price on the 828 allowed me to upgrade to it rather than the smaller one. I paid under $900 Cdn for the Onkyo TX-NR828. This kept me in the under a thousand bracket that a retired, fixed income, senior could spend.

Okay - review - Viking style.

I got out my axe and gave the receiver a couple of licks, and it did not die, so it must be tough.

Not really.

I have it set up in a 7.1 pattern, all Polk Audio, with four Monitor 70B series ii in the corners, two RTi A1 bookshelf units out to the sides, a CS2 series ii center set under the LG 58" Plazma and hidden away to one side a Polk Audio PSW 505 subwoofer. As the 828 does not have Audyssy EQ XT32, I could not use it. I used instead, what it does have, which is Audyssy MultiEQ. It allowed me to reference three points and took a long time. I have no idea if it is good or not, but after it was done, I was not happy with the sound. It had kept the subwoofer at too high a level and the center at too low, so I adjusted them to my taste. I did not buy this receiver for the Audyssy, as I almost always do not like the way any of them set up the speakers, and end up correcting them myself. Perhaps I have better hearing than most people, or perhaps I have worse hearing than most people. Suffice it to say, I have hearing, and it is individual to me. I listen to music occasionally, but mostly this setup is for movies. I am a movie freak. I remember nothing about who is in what or if the cinematography was good or bad. I watch a movie - enjoy it or not - and put it away on the shelf. If it was memorable (IE: Bladerunner, Avatar, Blade, Underworld) I watch it again, and probably some more. My favourite movie of all time is Mask, with the kid with the big head that looks lion like.

I have a Pioneer Bluray, a Sony PS3, a Panasonic DVR, an XBMC Midnight and a Satellite TV box hooked up to the HDMI inputs, and a Samsung 58" Plazma and a Panasonic projector with a 100" power screen hooked to the outputs. Every single one of these inputs/outputs operates as I would expect them to, flawlessly.

I have a Pioneer CD player, a Pioneer cassette player (yeah, I know) and a BIC Phono hooked up to the analog inputs. They also play their media flawlessly.

I have checked out the internet connection (wired) and have listened to music from my computer, and from TuneIn. As I have not opened accounts with any of the other online radio choices, I have not tried any others.

I am happy with the sound. The Sony was a bit crisper, but it made it sound a tad tinny to me. I replaced a NAD 753 when I did all this, and the NAD had a much warmer sound. Almost enough warmer to cut off the crispness of the highs all together. This receiver is in between the Sony and the NAD and just about perfect for me. The video processing is awesome. That is all I can say about it. I have no idea about upconverting, downconverting, sideconverting. That is all greek to me. I can look at my TV and my Projector display, and what I sees is what I gets and it is awesome. Everything is crisp and clear and the blacks are really black and everything looks like it is supposed to. Aside from the people being smaller than life, it looks like a stage play. I view my Plazma from eight feet away, and my Screen from 14 feet away. This is, for me, the right distance to totally immerse myself in what I am watching. I have rewatched Avatar, Bladerunner and Aeonflux, as well as watching some Netflix and a couple of AVI files through a thumbdrive in the PS3. Everything works as I would wish it to.

Well, if I think of anything more to add, and if I can still edit this by then, I will do so.

Now a couple of things others might help me with:

Firmware updates. I am not in favour of unnecessary firmware updates, perhaps because I have seen so many computer motherboards bricked by them. My opinion is - if the firmware update does not contain anything of particular interest to me, and if my receiver is operating correctly, leave it alone. If and when something needs fixing, or an update comes out to correct a problem I am noticing, that is soon enough to do one. Am I right or wrong here. Being really old school, I don't trust them to just fix. I suspect that they can also ruin.

Second thing is Volume. My NAD was a 130 watt per channel X5 and could pump out the volume. The Sony was a 165 watt per channel and it also pumped it out. Like I could get LOUD from these ones. The 828 on the other hand is not loud. I can take it to the max volume and still stay and listen. It is loud, but not LOUD. I find a comfortable level for my action movies is about 70. The max is 90. Am I missing something here? This is also supposed to be a 130 watt per channel unit.

Well thank you for allowing me to bounce this stuff. One other thing I should mention is that I am not an electronics guy, nor an audio or video guy. I am a millwright, and I build, fix, repair lots of things, including Harley Davidson motorcycles. All the true technical stuff is lost on me, but I am learning. Computers I am good with. That should let you know what level I am reviewing from.

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post #3 of 21 Old 01-11-14, 09:09 AM
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Re: Onkyo TX-NR828 Owners Thread

Hi, to touch on just a few things,
One: when running Audyessey did you put the mic on a tripod and place it at ear level about a foot from the headrest of your seats?
Two: the volume levels of today's receivers are not like old where at 50% they were at the loudest they would go without some distortion. Now most have a limit and work only within the acceptable range. The volume is usually rated in Decibels rather than percentage although that can be changed.
Three: don't read to much into the watts output as those numbers are usually far less than what is specifies. The 828 was bench tested to do
2 Channels Continuously Driven, 8 ohm loads 147 watts
2 Channels Continuously Driven, 4 ohm loads 204.4 watts
5 Channels Continuously Driven, 8 ohm loads 109.9 watts
So not so bad at all.
Fourth: yes, do the firmware updates as most of them Usually fix bugs or add features that were not included. As long as you follow the update procedure properly there should be no issues.

Home theater:
Onkyo 805, Yamaha YDP2006EQ, Samson Servo 600 amp
3 EV Sentry 500 monitors across the front, 4 Mission 762i's Surrounds, SVS PB13U sub, Panasonic BDT220, Harmony 1100, Nintendo WiiU
Panasonic PT-AE8000 on a 120" 2,35:1 fixed screen

Living room system:
Sherwood/Newcastle R972, Mission 765's, SVS SBS02's, A/D/S MS3u sub, Yamaha YDG2030EQ
Yamaha KX-393 Tape deck, CDC 805 CD changer, Panasonic BD60, Sony turntable PS-T20
Panasonic TC-P50ST60, HD-PVR & WDTV Live, Harmony 900

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post #4 of 21 Old 01-11-14, 10:33 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Onkyo TX-NR828 Owners Thread

Thank you Tony, for your quick response.

Quote:
tonyvdb wrote: View Post
Hi, to touch on just a few things,
One: when running Audyessey did you put the mic on a tripod and place it at ear level about a foot from the headrest of your seats?
Yes

Quote:
tonyvdb wrote: View Post
Two: the volume levels of today's receivers are not like old where at 50% they were at the loudest they would go without some distortion. Now most have a limit and work only within the acceptable range. The volume is usually rated in Decibels rather than percentage although that can be changed.
Would this then mean that I could safely run this at MAX without any danger of harming anything? Hmmm, yes, I guess it would mean exactly that. It would be impossible to harm either receiver or speakers at the level of volume I am getting at MAX.

Quote:
tonyvdb wrote: View Post
Three: don't read to much into the watts output as those numbers are usually far less than what is specifies. The 828 was bench tested to do
2 Channels Continuously Driven, 8 ohm loads 147 watts
2 Channels Continuously Driven, 4 ohm loads 204.4 watts
5 Channels Continuously Driven, 8 ohm loads 109.9 watts
So not so bad at all.
Yes, I knew this. The other two amps came within a small margin of this at 5 channels driven, also.

Quote:
tonyvdb wrote: View Post
Fourth: yes, do the firmware updates as most of them Usually fix bugs or add features that were not included. As long as you follow the update procedure properly there should be no issues.
Yes, and I still have no bugs that are evident and am not really interested in the features the updates have addressed. I am still leaning towards leaving the receiver alone unless Onkyo comes out with a "volume add" as part of the update description. Thank you again for your response. I shall certainly think about all that you have written, and my leanings may or may not change.

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post #5 of 21 Old 01-11-14, 10:52 AM
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Re: Onkyo TX-NR828 Owners Thread

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Viking wrote: View Post
Thank you Tony, for your quick response.
Would this then mean that I could safely run this at MAX without any danger of harming anything? Hmmm, yes, I guess it would mean exactly that. It would be impossible to harm either receiver or speakers at the level of volume I am getting at MAX.
In theory yes but remeber the receiver has no idea what you are playing and some music or movies have very wide dynamic level changes and can still damage if played to loud. And that all depends on your speakers as over driving them will also damage them.

Regarding Audyessey, I would re run it and make sure you do more than three positions. Move the mic forward about 2ft in front of where you sit as well and take a reading. Don't take any readings in seats that are in corners or to far out of the centre of the room as that just makes Audyessey compromise for that poor listening position and makes the others suffer.

Home theater:
Onkyo 805, Yamaha YDP2006EQ, Samson Servo 600 amp
3 EV Sentry 500 monitors across the front, 4 Mission 762i's Surrounds, SVS PB13U sub, Panasonic BDT220, Harmony 1100, Nintendo WiiU
Panasonic PT-AE8000 on a 120" 2,35:1 fixed screen

Living room system:
Sherwood/Newcastle R972, Mission 765's, SVS SBS02's, A/D/S MS3u sub, Yamaha YDG2030EQ
Yamaha KX-393 Tape deck, CDC 805 CD changer, Panasonic BD60, Sony turntable PS-T20
Panasonic TC-P50ST60, HD-PVR & WDTV Live, Harmony 900

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post #6 of 21 Old 01-11-14, 11:30 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Onkyo TX-NR828 Owners Thread

Okay, Tony. Will do. I only have three seating positions in the room, as I have home theater seating. That is why I only did three readings. I stepped out of the room while the readings were being taken so as to not interfere with the sound waves. I have no idea if this was necessary, but I did it anyway. I will redo them and take more readings. I had planned on repositioning my center, lifting it up off the floor to just beneath the TV, so I was going to have to try it again anyway. I did not find that Sony's version of this calibration was any better than Audyssey's, so I don't expect too much out of it. Like I mentioned above, my ears is my ears, and they may just hear things differently than other folks do.

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post #7 of 21 Old 01-11-14, 10:31 PM
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Question Re: Onkyo TX-NR828 Owners Thread

How does the 828 compare to the 818?? I chose the older model Onkyo Nr-818
I love my 818 so Id imagine Id love the 828, but how do I update firmware in 818??? Help anyone

I Like onkyo though so !!!Enjoy any owners of 828, or any 7,800,900 series

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post #8 of 21 Old 01-12-14, 10:07 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Onkyo TX-NR828 Owners Thread

From what I understand in researching these Onkyo products, the 818 is more similar to the 929 than to its replacement 828. The 828 does not have Audyssey MultiEQ XT32, whereas the 929 and the 818 both do. That, from what I gathered was the biggest reason 818 interested consumers bypass the 828 in favor of the 929.

There were apparently some other features of the 818 that were dropped or minimized on the 828. None of them meant that much to me, so I bought an 828. If I had been more interested in those functions and features, I could have gotten the 929, but it would have bust the bank in my case. Price versus functions and features and a discounted 828 were the reasons for my purchase of the 828. I had been aiming at a 727 prior to the discount.

Gains in the 828 over the 818

-Built-in WiFi and Bluetooth
-4K pass-through

What you lose:

-135 watt -> 130 watt
-Audyssey MultEQ XT32 -> Audyssey MultEQ
-9.2 channels pre-out -> 7.2 channels pre-out
-NO Differential DAC Mode for Front Channels
-NO Isolated Power-Amp and Pre-Amp Block
-18.3kg -> 15.0kg
-SNR (Line IHF-A): 110dB -> 106dB

The above gains and losses according to Onkyo spec sheets, but copied from a review of the TX-NR828 (I am not smart enough to figure this out myself)

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post #9 of 21 Old 01-12-14, 10:14 AM
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Re: Onkyo TX-NR828 Owners Thread

Of the features dropped going form multiEQ XT 32 down to just multi EQ is a big step down and worth every penny. If they had only gone down one step I would has said not a huge deal but two steps is a big difference.

Home theater:
Onkyo 805, Yamaha YDP2006EQ, Samson Servo 600 amp
3 EV Sentry 500 monitors across the front, 4 Mission 762i's Surrounds, SVS PB13U sub, Panasonic BDT220, Harmony 1100, Nintendo WiiU
Panasonic PT-AE8000 on a 120" 2,35:1 fixed screen

Living room system:
Sherwood/Newcastle R972, Mission 765's, SVS SBS02's, A/D/S MS3u sub, Yamaha YDG2030EQ
Yamaha KX-393 Tape deck, CDC 805 CD changer, Panasonic BD60, Sony turntable PS-T20
Panasonic TC-P50ST60, HD-PVR & WDTV Live, Harmony 900

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post #10 of 21 Old 01-14-14, 02:17 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Onkyo TX-NR828 Owners Thread

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Of the features dropped going form multiEQ XT 32 down to just multi EQ is a big step down and worth every penny. If they had only gone down one step I would has said not a huge deal but two steps is a big difference.
I must say I agree with you on this being a big step down, but the difference in what I paid for the 828 and what I would have had to pay for a 929 here was about $600. The 828 was discounted, but I could not find a 929 at less than full retail. I found one 818, and it was listed for more money than the 929 by another $400. I guess when the 828 came out, and lost the XT32 the 818 became more valuable round here.

I reran the Audyssey, Tony, as you suggested, and it went six rounds before it auto quit and calibrated. The results were better than the three rounds I allowed prior. It left the front, back and center at 40 HZ, the surrounds at 50 HZ and the subwoofer at 80 HZ. I adjusted the four corners and center to 60, put the surrounds to 80 and the sub to 120. This seems to have given me a much fuller sound than before, and sounds more akin to the NAD I had a couple receivers back. I also fixed my volume problem by switching volume select from Absolute to Relative. It now reads in dbs, and at 0db, it is as loud as I could want it. I did not go to the + side as 0 was loud enough. With an SPL meter, at 0, I am pushing 90 to 110 dbs one meter out from the corners, 88 to 106 dbs from the surrounds and the center and 89 to 108 from the sub. Measuring all 8 speakers was enough to leave my head ringing a little. There was no distortion at this level that I could tell, so I am a happy camper. Back to 32 dbs as a starting level for music, and will probably need to set to in the 20 db range for movies. You guys have been most helpful here. Thank you.

NOTE: Something struck me about five minutes after I posted this. I did these SPL readings using music. I should probably have used a tone, should I not? I shall do that tomorrow, giving my head time to stop ringing in the meantime, Hahahahaha.

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Last edited by Viking; 01-14-14 at 02:26 PM.
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