Sony STR-DA1200ES or Onkyo TXSR605?

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I am now really torn between buying either one of the above receivers. I had been waiting ages for the head to head review, but I am still undecided and I would appreciate any help anyone can offer me with my choice. The Onkyo seem to have all the latest features that are needed to be future proof for a few years, but reading the group test review I wonder if the stereo sound is a little ‘weak’ compared with the Sony. I must say one of the main attractions of the 605 seem to be the HDMI 1.3 connections, which sound great for when Blue Ray and High Definition players become affordable to a peasant like me. But I can buy the Sony for around £100 pound less than the Onkyo. I also think the Onkyo is a bit ugly, but at the end of the day it is the sound that matters! My main use for the receiver would be as a stereo amp at the present, with a few DVD’s played through my Phillips HDMI DVD player. I am also looking at buying some Tannoy Mercury F1 Custom speakers as my front speakers, using my Jamo Compact 700 as rears and buying a centre and subwoofer when my budget allows. I am set on buying either one of these amps, but which one? Thanks again for your help Peter
 
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Anonymous

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Well, the 605 is the one that'll handle hi-def sound formats and that is a MAJOR reason to choose it. It's also a 7 channel model and they allow you two use the 2 back channels to bi-amp the front pair of speakers if you only intend to use it as a 5.1 amp. This will drive your stereo pair more cleanly than with just two standard amp channels. So I'd say the Onkyo would be my choice.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Will

Thanks for the reply.

It does seem like the 605 is the way to go, it has taken me months to decide on what receiver to buy within my price range. I had just decided on the Sony STR-DA1200ES, and then the Onkyo comes along!

Is bi-amping the same as bi wiring?

I will try and have a listen to both models before I make my choice, but it looks the Onkyo is the favourite.

Thanks again

Peter
 
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Anonymous

Guest
No. Bi-wiring is just using an extra set of speaker cables for the treble and another for the bass all running off the same single pair of speaker terminals on your amp. So that's one amp channel as usual. It's a totally incendury subject to bring up on this forum. If you can hear a difference then you go for it, but just watch what happens if you ask the forum whether you're hearing things or not!

Bi-amping is totally different. Bi nature of it's name! It's two amps instead of one to drive each speaker. You use one amp to drive the treble and one to drive the bass. This is different from bi-wiring in that it is two different amps and not just one. It can bring better control of your speaker and reduce interference between drivers. It's also generally more expensive to do. You need a spare amp channel in the first place for each speaker.

Some amps like the Onkyo 605 upwards lets you do this with the flick of a switch and that's helpful because it's splitting the pre amp signal to the second amp for you, saving you having to wire up the amps differently.

You'll need to use bi-wire speaker cable non the less
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I'm a total noobie trying to get my head around this bi-amping thing, so please excuse the really basic/fundamental question! There are two connectors at the back of a speaker, right? A red one and a black one. Is one of these for the treble and the other for the base? Is that how you can separate the input into the speaker?

Again, I apologise - and feel free to simply tell me to go out and buy HiFi for Dummies if you like!
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Will

The Bi- amping sounds like a great idea for better stereo sound. I am hoping that Tannoy Mercury F1 custom speakers at the front will give me a decent sound on my 'sad' budget. The only thing I am worried about now is whether the 605 would be too powerful for these speakers, but I am hoping that you could only damage the speakers at a very volume.

I take it bi-wire speaker cable is more expensive?

Thanks again for the advice

Peter
 
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Anonymous

Guest
No, if you have only two binding posts on the back of your speakers you cannot bi-wire or bi-amp. They are positive and negative terminals. To bi-wire or bi-amp you need two pairs of binding posts on the back of your speakers and a removable metal bar that would have bound both positives together and another to bind both negatives together.

No peterpickles, the stronger the amp the more easily it drives the speakers. A powerful amp will allow you to play music louder and more cleanly giving less likelyhood that you'll harm your speakers not more. Of course you can overdo it but you speakers will always warn you if you are by distorting. If you hear distortion, turn the volume down abit. You'd need to be very loud to hear it though.

Bi-amping and bi-wiring do not risk harming your speakers. The same power as before is actually available to bass and treble, just without risk of causing interference to each other when bi-amping. I know this sounds odd, but each frequency range of drivers only draws what it needs from the signal from the amp, so you don't get "more" power exactly, just cleaner, less interfered with power when bi-amping.

As to bi-wiring, it's more ephemeral what difference it makes.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Will

Thanks for the info, you have cleared up a few confusing issues for me.

I am definitely sold on the Onkyo TXSR605 now. But I wonder if a pair of Diamond 8.2SE's which I can understand can be bi-wired, would be almost as good as the Tannoy Mercury F1 custom if they are bi-amped? I am asking this because these speakers well within my budget, and seem to have been well reviewed in the past.

Thanks again for your time

Peter
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Peter, bi-amping only makes a small improvement to the sound. It really only creates better separation, it doesn't change the speaker fundamentally. You must go for the best speaker you can afford, that may well mean one that can only be mono-wired. That's ok and one day you may wish to add a power amp to improve the front pair if the Onkyo will allow it. The 705 does and I must say I'd stretch to it if I could as it's more future proof with that sort of upgrade path in mind.

So don't scrimp on your speakers and don't expect miracles from bi-amping, start with the best kit you can get and go from there. (I'd say that to quantify this a bit, you're looking at a 5 - 8% improvement with bi-amping. Weigh that against the overall sound from your choice of speakers and decide if it's really worth it)
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I'm thinking of the Onkyo 705 with B&W 600 series speakers (685s front and 686s rear). This is about the limit of my budget, so I'd like to think I'm getting value for money. Will these speaker work well the 705, and are there any other speakers I should be considering for that money?
 

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