Forgive me for starting a thread and then becoming "mia"!!! I have an update that is going to go in a few different directions so please just keep reading.
First off, the original setup was Onkyo 818, emotiva xpa5, Polk monitor 70, cs2, and tsi200 (rears) ran 5.1 through dual spa xv15's.
I'm in no way shape or form an expert in anything home theater. However, I've been a mechanic for 15 years... and a very very good one at that. Point being, I get paid to "trouble shoot"... I am relentlless. If there is a problem, I MUST know what it is... and how it can be fixed.
I purchased the above components beginning if the year. I've had pretty much everything you can buy from the big box stores at one time or another.... and have finally been able to work myself into what I consider to be a fairly solid "midrange" kit.
Right off the bat, the 818 never sounded right, nothing I could do would fix this... no changing of settings, running subs hot, sub crawl, a million different xt32 calibrations, I mean NOTHING would make the lack of mid bass, and deep bass, or distorted highs away.
So I decided to add the xpa5 into the equation, hoping it would help with mid bass, and highs. As the monitor 70's have four 6.5" drivers in each tower, so mid bass shouldn't be a huge issue for them. However, even adding the xpa5 didn't really seem to help. Lots of harshness after raising the master volume above -10db... no midbass....
Ok ok, I thought.... maybe it was my dual psw 505's??? There were surely the weakest link. So I got the spa xv15's...2!!! Guess what?!?!? Stiiiiiiiillll sounded like !!!! I'm easily $reaching $4000 and nothing is helping...!!!!
Thank goodness I had contacted onkyo immediately, letting them know within 30 days... There was something NOT right with the reciever. Long story short - kind of... I had purchased it from NEW EGG killer deal $ last December. Unfortunately, I'd made the mistake of throwing away the box--- which gave NEW EGG an easy way to "fine print" me out of Wm swapping out the unit then. I decide to reach out to ONKYO... end up talking with Talla Garcia--- super sweet lady!!!--- don't get me wrong, this took months of emails back and forth... to finally get in touch with her, and convince her that the 818 was indeed defective. Once convinced, she kindly sent me a new box and packaging along with a prepaid label to return the unit. Result???? Faulty HDMI BOARD!!!!!!!!
They wanted to repair the unit per terms warranty, again, thankfully I had contacted them prior to the unit being 30 days old notifying them if the issue. Many more emails, and another one to Jack Cooper and boy did ONKYO step up to the plate and back up their product!!!!! They sent me a brand new 929 as a replacement! !!!!!!! I'm sure this almost never happens.... but in this case.... they went above and beyond!!! I can't thank Talla Garcia, Jack Cooper and Onkyo enough for truly taking the steps necessary to take care of me as a customer.!!!
immediately upon receiving the new 929 and making the appropriate connections. .... WOOOOOW IS ALL I CAN SAY!!!! I've had it nearly a month and haven't even thought about running the pre outs to the xpa5. Clean clear power to full reference in my small- but heavily treated theater room. No harshness, deeeeeeeeeeeep bass, full mids...... everything I was searching for!!!! Woooo hooooooo!!!!!!