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At this point Onkyo’s decision to remove Audyssey from its AV gear is old news; the initial shock has worn and the earth continues to spin. However, some enthusiasts and fans of the brand held hope that Onkyo had simply removed Audyssey from lower-end models, keeping the popular room correction suite secretly reserved for mid-summer high-end releases. Alas, this is not the case. The company recently released fine-print details for three new A/V heavy hitters, all devoid of Audyssey. It appears, for the time being, that Onkyo will push forward with its proprietary AccuEQ room calibration offering.

Of course, this may ultimately prove to be a moot point. Onkyo believes that AccuEQ produces a more natural sound through bypassing equalization of front and subwoofer channels. While there are certainly plenty of sub-EQ options available, it’s hard to ignore the popularity of Audyssey’s ability to offer sub-EQ out of the box (with MultEQ XT32). Nevertheless, this is what we have to work with and Onkyo’s AVR line-up for 2014 is incredibly competitive despite its Audyssey-less composition.




The new receivers (THX® Select2 Plus-certified 9.2-channel TX-NR1030 Network A/V Receiver and the 11.2-channel TX-NR3030 Network A/V Receiver) and preamplifier (THX® Ultra Plus-certified PR-SC5530 Network A/V Controller) arrive on the wave created by the announcement that Dolby Atmos is moving into the home environment. Not surprisingly, these new pieces of hardware are Atmos ready. Each features 32-bit DSP engines to decode, scale and calibrate signals for a full-on Atmos experience. They also support the latest HDMI specification and HDCP 2.2 copy protection, so you can be confident that they’ll be 4K/60Hz ready while being able to handle playback of future streamed and broadcast 4K material.

TX-NR3030 and TX-NR1030 Network A/V Receivers
The THX select2 certified TX-NR3030 sits at the top of Onkyo’s receiver offerings with 11.2 channels and 135 W of power output (8 Ohms, 2 channels driven). With the addition of Atmos capabilities, users will have the ability to augment 5.2, 7.2 and 9.2 configurations with the provided extra outputs for what will likely prove to be an audio cocooning experience. Wide Range Amplifier Technology (WRAT) comprised of a custom high-output transformer, caps, and low impendence copper bus-plates with separate processing and amplification blocks powers the heart of the NR3030. Audio processing is handled by seven two-channel 192 kHz/24-bit TI Burr-Brown DACs and two 32-bit DSP processors. It supports just about every hi-res and lossless audio format under the sun (from FLAC to WMA) while also supporting 5.6 MHz DSD and Dolby True HD formats, so the NR3030 has great sound covered. On the connectivity side, it features 8 HDMI inputs (one front panel with MHL), 3 HDMI outputs, a phono input, balanced 11.4 XLR pre-outs and 11.4 multichannel pre-outs, along with the other usual suspects, in addition to Wifi and Bluetooth support. On the output side, the NR3030 offers video upscaling (HD and UHD) on the back of Qdeo 4K upscaling technology.

The TX-NR3030 looks to be an extremely competitive high-end machine, worthy of its flagship badge, and is priced at $2399 (shipping in August 2014).

The NR1030 maybe slightly lower on the totem pole, but its spec sheet is delicious. It features 9.2 channels of output (135W, 8 Ohms, 2 channels driven) and otherwise reads very similar to the NR3030 (even possessing the same THX certification and excellent pre-out capabilities). The NR1030 carries a price tag of $1699.




PR-SC5530 Network A/V Controller
The THX Ultra2 Plus-certified PR-SC5530 Network A/V Controller replaces the PR-SC5509 as Onkyo’s preamplifier offering. Much like the above AVRs, it supports UHD material at 60 Hz with support for HDCP 2.2 and also offers Qdeo 4K video upscaling. It also features seven 32-bit TI Burr-Brown DACs, two 32-bit DSP processors, and a massive toroidal transformer with separate EI transformers. Users can opt for balanced or unbalanced 11.4 channel pre-outs. In many ways, the SC5530 mirrors the NR3030 and 1030 minus the inclusion of an onboard amplifier. Also shipping in August, the SC5530 has an MSRP of $2499.


Image Credits: Onkyo
 

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I for one dislike the fact that the "accuEQ" only touches the soround channels. I think there are very few gains by doing this as I would much prefer it if they EQed the front three channels and the sub and did nothing on the soround ch's. They already had a pure direct mode so this idea that it makes this a better solution is a bit strange.
Sigh, I guess Onkyo is off the list for my next receiver upgrade as the new Dolby Atomos processing is enough to kick start my interest in upgrading my faithful Onkyo 805
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I for one dislike the fact that the "accuEQ" only touches the soround channels. I think there are very few gains by doing this as I would much prefer it if they EQed the front three channels and the sub and did nothing on the soround ch's. They already had a pure direct mode so this idea that it makes this a better solution is a bit strange.
Sigh, I guess Onkyo is off the list for my next receiver upgrade as the new Dolby Atomos processing is enough to kick start my interest in upgrading my faithful Onkyo 805
Tony, I know you are a huge fan of Onkyo...and have had great results with the on-board Audyssey. It's definitely a tough one to wrap arms around. With all of the changes in technologies (HDMI 2.0, support of UHD...and now the inclusion of Dolby Atmos) it makes it nearly impossible to suggest looking at last year's gear. Perhaps AccuEQ will see future iterations that hit-on what you're looking for. It's going to be at least another year, though...
 

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I agree with Tony. With all the accolades that Audyssey, especially XT 32, has received in the last couple of years why remove it? I think it is more like Onkyo saving money than listening to it's customers. When they say they think it is smoother to just EQ the surrounds obviously they are not taking into account their customers opinion because if they were it would be obvious, to me anyway, that they wouldn't change to something that is unproven to their base. I will not be replacing my 809 with another Onkyo. I will be looking at Marantz again. Just my 2 cents.
 

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With all the accolades that Audyssey, especially XT 32, has received in the last couple of years why remove it?
In order to run both Atmos and Audyssey, they would have to double the number of DSP chips from 2 to 4. Denon bit the bullet and did exactly that. Onkyo kept their receivers at 2 chips, Audyssey had to go. So it came down to money, though not the Audyssey licensing fee as some had suspected.
 

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The first rounds of reviews on these receivers will be mighty interesting to read...
Agree, I'm going to be doing a lot of reading over the next few months.
 

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Like the majority opinion I to will be changing AVR brands when I upgrade. It's mind boggling to me why Onkyo would part with Audyssey? I would much rather see them save money by excluding THX certification and allocating those funds towards Audyssey retention or even including XT32 on lower level models as well as the upper end models. I personally think this will really hurt their bottom line and the recent troubles with HDMI boards doesn't help. Denon anyone?
 

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Like the majority opinion I to will be changing AVR brands when I upgrade. It's mind boggling to me why Onkyo would part with Audyssey? I would much rather see them save money by excluding THX certification and allocating those funds towards Audyssey retention or even including XT32 on lower level models as well as the upper end models. I personally think this will really hurt their bottom line and the recent troubles with HDMI boards doesn't help. Denon anyone?
I pretty much agree with all you guys too. Jbrax, I think skipping THX cert would be worthwhile if it meant keeping Audyssey, and maybe adding xt32 to lower tiered models(not sure how that would play with the new audyssey level system though). My 808 had a new board installed around Halloween. Despite my optimism, I'm still waiting for the other foot to drop. Since onkyo dumped audyssey, I've more seriously considered other brands, for when mine gives up the ghost. Denon? Looks great! Emotiva? ...always wanted separates! Maybe in a couple years, Ponkyoneer will have somethin. (Mcacc didn't work for me though)
Really interested to see this play out.
 

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I'll just continue to use and enjoy my 809 as long as it lasts. I've had zero problems with it so far and had Onkyo not dropped Audyssey I would have had no reservations about purchasing another AVR from them. As long as it's still available the next AVR I purchase will have XT32 so it does appear I'll be switching brands.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
It's interesting that one of the more common knocks on Pioneer's excellent MCACC suite has been the lack of sub EQ. This year, for the first time, Pioneer introduced sub EQ (limited, yes...but they are working in the right direction)...Onkyo is currently working through a deal to acquire a majority holding of Pioneer...and Onkyo's 2014 class dumps support of sub EQ.

I don't think anyone saw this coming...

:dontknow:
 

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At this point Onkyo’s decision to remove Audyssey from its AV gear is old news;
What? Not to me it wasn't! :eek:

I for one dislike the fact that the "accuEQ" only touches the soround channels. I think there are very few gains by doing this as I would much prefer it if they EQed the front three channels and the sub and did nothing on the soround ch's.
I totally agree, that seems like a strange place to focus. Changing only the surrounds seems to me more like an ambiance mode than actual room correction, since it leaves the main sources untouched. :scratch: I'm confused by this.
 

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I for one dislike the fact that the "accuEQ" only touches the soround channels.
According to the Onkyo website, they also EQ the centre channel. It is only the L/R channels and subwoofer output that are not EQ'd.

The way it does the surrounds is unfortunate, using one EQ curve for all 4 surround channels (must be based on averaging the surrounds). That leads me to believe they are not really interested in correcting peaks & dips in each channel as much as conforming the surrounds and centre to the uncorrected L/R speakers. More like using EQ for tonal consistency (timbre matching) than traditional room correction.
 

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In order to run both Atmos and Audyssey, they would have to double the number of DSP chips from 2 to 4. Denon bit the bullet and did exactly that. Onkyo kept their receivers at 2 chips, Audyssey had to go. So it came down to money, though not the Audyssey licensing fee as some had suspected.
I agree. In my first post I mentioned that for Onkyo it was the bottom line. I would rather they use more chips and charge more than to take away something that as far as I am concerned was one of their best options.
 

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I would rather they use more chips and charge more than to take away something that as far as I am concerned was one of their best options.
Agreed, it's not an either/or situation. I wouldn't want object-based audio of that audio was full of peaks & dips.

Still, after Audyssey being in the market for so many years, it feels strange to see them only have one major customer (D&M). How could they let this happen?
 

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Agreed, it's not an either/or situation. I wouldn't want object-based audio of that audio was full of peaks & dips.

Still, after Audyssey being in the market for so many years, it feels strange to see them only have one major customer (D&M). How could they let this happen?
Good point...!?
Maybe they were charging to much for the use of their algorithms....

Either way maybe I'll try the anthem..... I've been curious for a while

Eq-ing the surrounds is a Sony option... and they at least gave you 3 different Eq choices not 1
Onkyo must be using the money to buy Pioneer
 

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I pretty much agree with all you guys too. Jbrax, I think skipping THX cert would be worthwhile if it meant keeping Audyssey, and maybe adding xt32 to lower tiered models(not sure how that would play with the new audyssey level system though).
THX gets you pretty much nothing anymore that you can't get another way. THX-specific processing is largely duplicated by other means. THX certification used to be some sort of quality assurance, but one of the highest quality product lines (Denon) hasn't had a THX product in years.

The Onkyo decision is misguided, if guided at all. Apportioning DSP resources to Atmos over Audyssey? The facts are, very few will add Atmos speakers, or even know what it is. Audyssey benefits everyone, regardless of channel count. It's just dumb to take a giant step backwards and make room for something that's not even reality yet.

I'v'e set up Yamaha, Sony, Pioneer and several flavors of Audyssey. None come close to the current X32 version of Audyssey, and some (Sony) are a total joke.
 

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THX gets you pretty much nothing anymore that you can't get another way. THX-specific processing is largely duplicated by other means. THX certification used to be some sort of quality assurance, but one of the highest quality product lines (Denon) hasn't had a THX product in years.
THX is still meaningful. Onkyo has always done much better in bench tests and particularly the Ultra 2 certification is not easy to achieve. Onkyo has had it's HDMI board issues but their amp section has always been the cream of the crop.
 
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