Geekzone: technology news, blogs, forums
Welcome Guest.
You haven't logged in yet. If you don't have an account you can register now.

394 posts

Ultimate Geek

Topic # 43140 18-Oct-2009 14:51
Send private message

Hey team,

I'm on a budget here and I'm looking at my options for a decent home theater amp that will take my hdmi from my ps3 and deliever some good sound and picture. I'll also be unsing it with apple airtunes also to stream music with just requires a optical connection...

I'm told to go with an Onkyo but thats just what the salesmen tellls me. I know you pay for what you get. I've got a set of older wharefedales.. 8ohms at 150watts they go pretty well, plus a center and some rears at 100wat . So only wanting 5.1.

I dont know alot about home audio so I thought what better place to ask?


Toys:  iphone 4s; PS3 good times.  13inch macbook pro.   ipad 3. ï£¿ 27inch imac.   airport express & time machine. raspberry-pi running xbmc and a gopro try hard.

T: jptocker@twitter

Create new topic
1771 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 116

  Reply # 264850 18-Oct-2009 16:18
Send private message

Onkyo vs Marantz is like Nvidia vs ATI. Each has benefits.

I got a Marantz SR5002 for more than $800 new from Soundline a few years ago (in chch) but got offered several VERY high end second hand amps for nice prices as they were leftovers after upgrades others had done before me. The only reason i didn't buy any of them was due to certain requirements, but you might have found them perfect.

Before going into Noelleeming or similar and being told which amp will give them the highest commission or whatever they get, ring around a few audio installers near you and see if they have any gear lying around and then figure out if it will work for you.

Could save you a LOT of money if it pans out nicely.

Now that i think of it though, are there many amps out there that will do hdmi passthrough for anywhere near $800? I'm a bit ignorant on prices for these things right now.

792 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 78

  Reply # 264958 19-Oct-2009 07:41
Send private message

You could get hold of HiFi Online through Eastern Hi Fi, they have some very good pricing for new runout and ex demo receivers. I paid $720 for a brand new Onkyo TX-SR705 that came in it's original box with a Harvey Norman price sticker on it for $2399, with a full warranty.


1464 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 41


  Reply # 264963 19-Oct-2009 08:13
Send private message

I purchasd an Onkyo TX-SR507 when it was released about 3 months ago. I think retail at that stage was $899, I got mine for $820. It has 4 hdmi inputs and decodes the latest HD sound formats. I have my PS3 running in via hdmi and will soon have mysky as well.

I think the main thing between this model and the next one up was a powered second zone which I didn't want.

2260 posts

Uber Geek


  Reply # 264965 19-Oct-2009 08:20
Send private message

I purchased the Onkyo SR-576B for $499 on special, but that was when the recession wasa about to take over and I managed to find harveys having a massive stock clearance.

You could probably find a nice Yamaha 5.1 channel amp fro around the $600 mark or a Onkyo

Or yeah Eastern Hifi and Pauls Audio in CHCH have really good deals :) They usually have Denon gear ex clearance/demo models for round 600-800

I have moved across the ditch.  Now residing in Melbourne as a VOIP/Video Technical Trainer/Engineer. 

3031 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 417


  Reply # 264972 19-Oct-2009 08:43
Send private message

Be aware that Onkyos run quite hot. I was surprised just how much heat my 606 puts out. Not a problem if your installation is open air, but may be if there isn't much breathing space. Certainly part of the audition process for me these days is to run my hand over the top of the piece of AV equipment to see how much heat it is producing, and how efficiently it is carrying it away.
If you are going for run out models just be careful you don't get something without the appropriate decoding formats (I know the PS3 does the decoding but it might not be the only source connected) and enough hdmi inputs (I would suggest at least 3) to future proof a bit.
With the Yen at 67 and the USD at .75 at the moment there should be some good deals on this year's models.
I don't believe you can go too far wrong with any of the mainstream brands Yamaha, Onkyo, Denon, Pioneer or dare I say it the Sony ES range.

Areas of Geek interest: Home Theatre, HTPC, Android Tablets & Phones, iProducts.

1393 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 159

  Reply # 264996 19-Oct-2009 10:15
Send private message

JB Hifi have a 5.1 Onkyo on sale for $499. 3 x HDMI inputs and 1 HDMI output. Sorry chucked the catalog out otherwise would provide more specs. Look very good value IMO

6503 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 520


  Reply # 264999 19-Oct-2009 10:34
Send private message

The key here, as has been mentioned above, is that you pay less if the receiver can't internally decode the new HD audio/Bluray soundtracks. If you have a PS3 then this can decode these tracks for you and spit out raw LPCM.

So, it you're gonna go to the trouble of getting a new receiver, make sure it can at least receive LPCM signals over hdmi. That way you're sorted, but screwed if you ever use a different source which can't decode these soundtracks itself like the PS3 can.

The Onkyo 576 can accept LPCM. The 606 can accept LPCM as well plus it can decode these HD sound formats itself.

2260 posts

Uber Geek


  Reply # 265013 19-Oct-2009 11:32
Send private message

That was one of the factors when choosing mine, I actually have a 5.1 Yamaha at first, but it wasn't decoding the PS3 properly. Took it back, got the Onkyo, plus the 7.1 makes it perfect for Bi-amping the fronts :)

The Onkyo 5.1 is here:
Looks like a nice budget amp, I'm sure if you were able to wait for the Boxing day sales though, you could get something a lot nicer.

The model is the TX SR-307, it only supports HDMI passthrough/switching, but that's fine for most purposes

I have moved across the ditch.  Now residing in Melbourne as a VOIP/Video Technical Trainer/Engineer. 

1568 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 480


  Reply # 265022 19-Oct-2009 11:56
Send private message

Only problem with the TX SR-307 is if you want lossless audio from a bluray player/PS3. Optical/co-ax can't handle the bandwidth and the SR-307 doesn't support audio over HDMI.

6503 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 520


  Reply # 265029 19-Oct-2009 12:32
Send private message

Yes you can only get the bluray HD audio formats via hdmi, full stop. You therefore need a receiver that is capable of accepting audio over hdmi.

Then it's on to decide if you want a receiver that can decode this HD audio itself, or you're happy to get one that can't and pair it with a PS3 or similar that can do the decoding and pass the 'unzipped' LPCM info on to the receiver to play.

Create new topic

Twitter »

Follow us to receive Twitter updates when new discussions are posted in our forums:

Follow us to receive Twitter updates when news items and blogs are posted in our frontpage:

Follow us to receive Twitter updates when tech item prices are listed in our price comparison site:

News »

Air New Zealand experiments with blockchain technology
Posted 23-Nov-2017 15:39

Symantec selects Amazon Web Services to deliver cloud security
Posted 23-Nov-2017 10:40

New Zealand Ministry of Education chooses Unisys for cloud-based education resourcing management system
Posted 22-Nov-2017 22:00

Business analytics software powers profits for NZ wine producers
Posted 22-Nov-2017 21:52

Pyrios strikes up alliance with Microsoft integrator UC Logiq
Posted 22-Nov-2017 21:51

The New Zealand IT services ecosystem - it's all digital down here
Posted 22-Nov-2017 21:49

Volvo to supply tens of thousands of autonomous drive compatible cars to Uber
Posted 22-Nov-2017 21:46

From small to medium and beyond: Navigating the ERP battlefield
Posted 21-Nov-2017 21:12

Business owners: ERP software selection starts (and finishes) with you
Posted 21-Nov-2017 21:11

Why I'm not an early adopter
Posted 21-Nov-2017 10:39

Netatmo launches smart home products in New Zealand
Posted 20-Nov-2017 20:06

Huawei Mate 10: Punchy, long battery life, artificial intelligence
Posted 20-Nov-2017 16:30

Propel launch Disney Star Wars Laser Battle Drones
Posted 19-Nov-2017 21:26

UFB killer app: Speed
Posted 17-Nov-2017 17:01

The case for RSS — MacSparky
Posted 13-Nov-2017 14:35

Geekzone Live »

Try automatic live updates from Geekzone directly in your browser, without refreshing the page, with Geekzone Live now.

Are you subscribed to our RSS feed? You can download the latest headlines and summaries from our stories directly to your computer or smartphone by using a feed reader.

Alternatively, you can receive a daily email with Geekzone updates.