I'm trying to decide on a new (to me anyways) receiver.

I've narrowed it down to these two:

About the only big deal I see bwtween them in their feature set is the 805 has better video flexibility & the HDMI 1.3 thingy. THEIR POWER RATING IS ABOUT EQUAL AND ALL i WOULD NEED.

The HDMI 1.3 does seem attractive for multi ch. high res audio playback via a single wire bundle, BUT not having heard anything through one, I'm skeptical on it's performance level and would think the Marantz the more musical of the pair... albeit the need for RCA cables for SACD.

The onkyo is also cheaper.

Any other thoughts or experiences here on support or performance, would be super and greatly appreciated.
Right off the top, and this is just my opinion, Marantz products are sold in the higher end audiophile type stores where Onkyo is sold in the Circuit Cities and other mass market stores. When it comes to high end audio, I would be skeptical of any products sold in mass market store chains. If a higher end audio store is selling Marantz, there has to be a good reason for it. I'm sure Onkyo is a fine product and many folks love it. Just keep where they are sold in mind. On the Marantz website, there is an SR8002 and SR7002. I don't see an 8001. Are you purchasing this brand new? I believe the 8001 was replaced when their new line of A-V receivers hit the market back in Sep '07.

Another consideration is power. Is the Onkyo unit providing 130 watts RMS all channels driven into 8 ohms 20hz to 20khz? I looked at the specs of the Onkyo 805 and they seem to be somewhat ambiguous. I know for a fact that Marantz derates their power when in surround sound. They guarantee 70% of the rated power into 8 ohms 20hz-20khz when driving more than 2 channels (5.1, 7.1, etc). I spoke with them directly over the phone recently. I just wish they would state that in writing in their literature. Power output is an entire topic unto itself. You shouldn't purchase one reveiver over another simply because it puts out more wattage/channel. You may not need it depending on your room size, speakers being driven, how loud you listen, etc.

Features and functions of course are important too but it looks like you did your homework on that and they are comparable. It really then comes down to which manufacturer do YOU believe uses superior parts and internal components and simply manufactures a better product? It also comes down to listening to each one and going with the one that turns you on the most. It's all about the SOUND !!

Personally, I'd stick with Marantz. They also offer a 3 year warranty. Hope this helps.
Thanks for the timely and thoughtful reply.

yes, both receivers are previous models. Accordingly both are quite well discounted. The Marantz is the more costly of the two.

the power thing I don't suspect as an issue being as both are over 100wpc. The Marantz statement of 70% power being driven into more than two ch is surprising to me and a bit unsettleing.

I'm inclined to think in terms of HT application first, and musical performance secondarily... as I have a fair to middling 2 ch system for those audio only ocassions.

Perhaps my querry here wasn't too clear... I should have asked perhaps, is the Marantz 8001 solidly a better performer all around than the Onkyo choice?

but that premise is too, too, subjective I think.

In the HT areana I'm far easier to please as well. My rusty, dusty Sony 444 es AV unit has served me very, very well indeed and now is in it's eighth year of trouble free operation... but is far behind the pack in current technological gains. hence My desire for a more up to date unit supportive of the higher res video and audio formats now available.

My understanding just now is the Marantz falls short of the Onkyo in the video area, but likely surpasses the Onkyo in pure musical benefit...

...and there's the rub. Video is not my real pursuit... only the technology for it's implementation.

I guess the real deal here for me is IF the marantz was hands down, way ahead, no contest, better flat out in the audio area, I'd pay the extra and buy it.

If the Marantz is only slightly better there, or subjectively better there, I'd opt for the Onkyo and be done and done.

the only other worrisome thought is the Marantz uses negative feedback in it's amplification.... a methodology I'm not thrilled with personally.

Ergonomics and support are also big considerations for me.
Actually, selling/buying AV receivers is a lot like it is with cars - each model has it's own qualities, features, and options. You chose according to your needs, likes, and wants.
I would qualify you as to your speakers you have chosen - and you should chose speakers before the power source, yes! If you do it the other way around, it's really backwards.
So, since I don't know your speakers, room, lifestyle, acoustics, listening habits, etc, it's hard to recommend the best choice for you.
Also, how are you connecting your source(s) to your receiver? Do you need direct analog inputs? Or are you only needing digital connection for your sources? This all matters, and some choices will be better than others, depending.
In many cases, I would often chose a lesser priced receiver, and then use the extra money I saved to add an EXPONENTIALLY BETTER MULTI-CHANNEL AMPLIFIER TO THE MIX!!! - as long at the receiver level offered the features I wanted. And now, you can get HDMI 1.3, Dolby HD/DTS Master, video upscaling,
If it were me (and I don't totally know your connection/ source needs), I KNOW FOR A FACT, that you'd get much better overall sound from your digital sources (likely DVD, HD-DVD, Satalite box, music server/Ipod, etc), if you bought a more modestly price receiver, at $1k or under, and then used the other money left over to invest in a better outboard amp!! The amps in ANY RECEIVER are usually compromised pretty well in terms of quality and current delivery!
Basically, sound quality differential between (all things equal and considered) a $3k receiver by itself, and a $1k receiver (or less, often) with a good 3, 5, or 7 channel amplifier connected to the system (instead of using the amps in the receiver) is HUGE!!!!! Basically, the dynamic potential, and overall sonic refinement of a better outboard amp in the system, FAR OVERCOMES any fancy features benefits a larger receiver has! So consider.
I personally WOULD NOT buy a $2k receiver, EVER!!! If I had to use a receiver in my system (and I would rather use a pre/pro if possible), I would use a lower price point, but otherwise good sounding unit (considering digital connections, likely), add an amp, and be WAY AHEAD OF THE GAME!
You see, in the end, it's ALL ABOUT SOUND quality and picture quality for your AV experience! (at least in terms of gear as a factor). Anything else is down on the totem pole, IMO.
That all said, I would say a receiver is good enough in mid-fi applications, by themselves, when you drive very efficient speakers (like horns), or speakers with active woofers, at the least). There are few exceptions, depending on variables, IMO. Still, receivers are on the weak side in terms of power delivery, dynamics, overall sound quality, refinement, etc. So consider your variables. If you rock, play loud, run speakers as "full range", etc, you'll need more power. And even if you run small monitors as "small/80hz", you'll find that dynamics are far superior from a dedicated amp.
If however you deem a receiver is all you want or need, I would keep speaker choices limited, run them as "small", regardless, and look to connect things digitally! If you need direct analog inputs for pure sources, you will find you have no EQ in the circuit, which is very helpful for making the system/room balance!
To answer your question, I would lean toward the more expensive Marantz's over any Onkyo personally. Don't care for Onkyo's sound, myself.
If you avoid amps that employ negative feedback, your remaining choices will be quite scant, and none will be mainstream.
I would not buy a receiver that does not have HDMI 1.3. The 1.3 has both video and audio advantages.

The serious AV/HT geeks hang out on the AVSforum site. Go there and search the archives. You will likely find lots of information about both of these receviers as they were both very popular high-end models.

As I recall, the AVSforum group is pretty keen on the Onkyos. I think there are also many proponents of that Marantz unit on the site. I don't think you could go wrong with either.

I don't personally have any experience with the Marantz line, so take my comments with that in mind. I have owned HT receivers from Sony, Sony ES, Pioneer, Pioneer Elite, Denon and B&K. My current Onkyo SR-TX703 is by far the easiest to setup and use. It also sounds as good as any of the other HT receivers I've used in my modest HT system (I'm primarily a 2-channel guy too). If I were suggesting an HT receiver for a casual HT enthusiest, I would feel very comfortable suggesting the Onkyos.

The only suggestion I would make is to consider your entire HT setup before deciding on a receiver. Many of the current receivers (I don't know about the one generation old models you are considering) provide video upconversion which will allow you to connect a single HDMI cable from the receiver to TV. The receiver will upconvert any video signal (Composite, Component, S-Video, HDMI), convert it to digital and output it over the single HDMI cable to the TV. This could be a great feature that simplifies your ease of use and cuts down on cable cost.

Good luck in your search and ENJOY!

I hang at AVS a lot and the word on the 805 is,it runs hot and has some noise issues. This is early on,whereas the discs and some players aren't standard I'm sticking with my older Marantz and use the analog outs on the player and straight to the display for the video. There are so many inconsistencies within the formats;some in the audio some in the video.--this refers to some players don't output all the audio formats over hdmi and my 1080p projector doesn't do frame for frame conversion. SO,I say do all the homework and make sure your player and display do all the new format is capable of before you leap into your new reciever.
Between those two (and for your intended use), I'd go with the Onkyo. That said, I would step it up one level in the Onkyo line, and get the Onkyo TX-SR875. The SR875 has even higher video quality than the Onkyo 805.

I did setup a system for someone a few months back using an Onkyo 805 that he had picked up at Circuit City...I thought it a nice Receiver for his system.

No worry about the power thing, IMO...The Onkyo has THX Ultra2 certification...a step above the Marantz, which has THX Select2 certification.

I have the 805 and like it a lot. To my knowledge the 805 is a current model, but it's true that you can find them discounted. Previous to the 805 I used a Rotel 1066 processor with a Rotel 1075 amp and, honestly, I don't miss the Rotel at all. The Onkyo is a piece of cake to set up and the functionality is great. I have three HDMI cables running into the Onkyo and one out to my display, so that's 4 cables instead of the 25 or so I had in my prior setup. The unit does run a little hot, so you'll need a few inches clearance overhead. I will point out that I use the Onkyo almost exclusively for HT duties, so I can't honestly comment on its music only abilities. The Marantz and Denon receivers historically have a better reputation for their DAC quality, but the Onkyo is definitely comparable for a lot less money. As mentioned, go over to AVS forums and you should find plenty of info.
The biggest difference between the two is that the Onkyo 805 will decode Dolby Digital HD, DTS HD Master and uncompressed PCM. The 805 also has digital room correction eq wich many believe is a huge improvement in sound especially for mid-fi.

Marantz has a better reputation for sound quality mainly due to their reference series. I would bet the difference in sound would would quite small in their mid-fi gear. I am not sure about the 8001 but the 8002 does have an oversized power supply wich could be benificial for hard to drive speakers or while driving 5 to 7 speakers at high levels.

I would get the Onkyo with an external amp.

Thanks folks... thanks a lot.

I must be a numbers geek when I’m in any way doubtful on a project… that said, the Onkyo 805 supports more digital source material than does the Marantz 8001.

Onkyo does 1.3A HDMI….. the Marantz is but 1.2 HDMI… a minor deal at best as the difference is the replay of DSD & video upsampling non protected (encrypted), I think, via HDMI.

I do find it sort of funny that I’m worried about the video processing and/or up sampling… I sure can’t see it. haha

Can’t swing the TX SR875’s additional $600. i’ve other plans.

Between the MARANTZ & ONKYO… the price diff is about $160.00, the Marantz being the higher of the two.

The overall use will be quite intermittent and very, very seldom… perhaps 2hr – 6hr per week. Maybe more during the NFL season.

The express use will be for video applications. Movies. Some TV music specials. Austin city Limits, jazz channel, Crossroads, PBS, etc. The ultimate display will be a projector…down the road and surely a 1080P capable one. Now it will be a 720P/1080I 61” RP.

I’ll attain speakers with 90db or higher. Likely additional Silverlines though for rears only I’d think, and run a ghost center ch. So as to not muck up the landscape. Geography is at a premium hereabouts.

No additional amp will be purchased, if I can avoid it.

A sub will be employed.

Sources will be an Oppo HD DVD multi format player and an HD cable box… and maybe video tape.

Connections will be via HDMI as much as possible.

I’ve heard of the heat thing on the Onkyo… though not the noise issues.

I also agree with another poster here, that Marantz’s mid fi line up isn’t a hands down way ahead safe and clear bet. It/they are just another one in the mix.

As I’ve related here… I’ve been very happy with my Sony 444es AV 110wpc 5.1 gizmo for going on 8 years now. (with longer rear spkr wire runs however, higher eff speakers and heavier wire is required).

I’m thinking either of these two here are a nice step up from the es receiver. BTW the Sony ain’t the coolest running unit either.

Maybe I ought to just get the one that weighs the most.
I saw the Onkyo 805 at J&R Music World on sale at $799...no tax, and free shipping.

The system I setup a few months back, (mentioned above)...had Onkyo 805, Oppo digital sacd/dvd audio/video player, Sanyo projector, NHT Classic 3's and 2's for speakers, Hsu subwoofer...it sounded (and looked) very nice.


Thanks much.... What you did is about what I'll be doing too... but different speakers & sub.
And, to add to the fray...I love my 805. Oppo 970HD, HD-RPTV, Hsu sub, VSA fronts, assorted amps. I only use it for video processing and it works perfectly. There is a one second delay in decoding a video source. Usually not noticable, but when watching a bowl game my OTA HD signal would occeasionally cut out (I live 50 miles from the transmitters) and each time it came back, the Onkyo took a second to present the audio. Frustrating, but as I understand it only the ultra expensive processors are quicker. For my purposes, the Onkyo is perfect. BTW, I do not use in internal amps, and it doesn't get very hot in my rack. $799, free shipping and 30 day return from J&R, where I got mine. Have fun and enjoy!
805 owners... the only in depth review I could find on either the 805 or 875 said they were bright up top... is that your experience?

They also mentioned the video delay not catching immediately and/or the consequent lag of audio via the HDMI path.

...and given the above, the Marantz becomes more attractive... hmm.
I haven't noticed any brightness or video delay (I'm not really sure what you're referencing in regard to video delay). The only audio lag I have noticed is when watching a TV show that is broadcast in Dolby 5.1. Most commercials are not broadcast in Dolby 5.1, but rather have 2 channel audio. The 805 has a momentary lag while switching from Dolby 5.1 to two channel audio (PLII in my case). The lag is probably 1 second or so. Frankly, I hardly even notice it as i don't pay close attention to commercials, but it is a big deal to some. I'm also not sure how seamless other AVR's handle the switch, so if this is a bothersome issue for you should probably audition before buying. Otherwise, I don't have any audio lag issues either with TV or other sources. Some have reported lip sync issues, but the 805 does allow you to compensate for that if it shows up. Sync issues can usually be blamed on the broadcast source - TNT-HD for example was notorious for lip sync issues for a while, but it mostly been resolved. I haven't had any sync issues while watching dvd, blu-ray, etc.
yes... it was the audio that did lag behind the video. sorry.

I had similar issues with an Anthem processor as well when switching to 'analog' channels from the digital ones, but not with the sony 444es receiver. both were using the same source too. In fact the Anthem was to blame in the end. Though it would only happen with certain types of cable/satelite boxes.

however it might not be an altogether terrible thing. naturally the caveat for me is I'm not hearing/seeing that behavior listed in reviews of other HT receivers.

with disc playback I'd think it a very minor issue indeed. Changing channels or sources though, well... Perhaps that'll disappear in '09 when all is, ah, uh, digital by decree.
I'll put in my plug for the Marantz. I'm not familiar with latter day Onkyo but heard their stuff in the early 90s and wasn't too impressed with it.

I bought a Denon and a Marantz sr-8000 in the late 90s. No question the Marantz was better than the Denon in every way. Sound, ergonomics, functionality. You don't notice all these things until you own and use them both. I still have the Marantz. It's not hooked up right now but it was solid as a rock for 10 years. Every time the TV came on it came on and nary a problem. The reason I compare these is maybe you have some experience with Denon and can use that as a point of reference.

One thing that people always talk about is the HDMI level in the recievers. Can you not connect directly to your TV? I have a DVD and the cable box and connect directy. Makes things a lot simpler on hookup.

Thank you for your thoughts.

Yes a direct connection is possible and I've done that in the past... though via that path lip sync issues arise sometimes.

Another concern is on the audio side, naturally. In the HD/BLUE ray discs, and likely to come, satellite and fiber optic cable providers there is the HD audio facet that is transmitted via the 1.3A HDMI interface using HD or BR discs. I find that very attractive.

This audio content, as I read it, is completely uncompressed information and possessive of remarkable presentations. Just think about the first time you heard 24/96 content on a nice DVD/audio setup... or better still, the higher res 24/192 (DVDA) & 32/105 (SACD), being the audio side of the movie, as good or better and in multi channel. That level of audio reproduction made even meager sounding systems sound pretty good.

I agree also I didn't care for Onkyo's sound either nearly 20 years ago. Nor have I heard a properly set up Denon receiver. the only Denon I heard was a 100wpc receiver driving a pair of Legacy Focus 20/20s. I wasn't impressed at all, and that was just 4 years ago.

As pedantic as I can be sometimes, I tend to overthing things. I am fast getting the impression however, that what I want overall is not to be had 100% in either of these two units...

I guess always when budgetary limits are in play, compromise, somewhere or somehow, is the rule.

I think I need to up the ante, or be OK with those features I find most attractive in either of these two units presently, and for the near future.
Both are great buys. Anyone who bought these even a few months back (at much higher price), is going to take a bath in $$$ loss when they sell. Two used Marantz 8001's were listed the last time I looked, both...asking well above what you can now buy a new unit for. I didn't see any used Onkyo 805's...I'm sure it would be the same thing though.

Those sellers can only hope for buyers that don't research much.


"Those sellers can only hope for buyers that don't research much."

Is there such a being currently using a personal confuser and buying upper end gear?

There’s a colloquialism I used to hear a lot, “If ya snooze, ya lose.”

Well I lost $100 by not getting off the dime earlier, though I did still save a little.

I bought the Onkyo SR 805B.

Thanks for the input everyone. I sincerely appreciate it. Consumer support and technology won out this go ‘round, sorry ‘bout that Marantz.

…geeezzz now I need wall mounted maple surrounds and a lot of speaker wire! Sheesh.

Oh, and a nice sub.
Congratulations. Please let us know how you like it. I hope to get the Onkyo 805 or Marantz sr8002 and would apreciate you oppinion.

Have fun!


Thank you. I usually follow up on my posts with some closure of sorts... it's only right I think to do so as other's have spent their time to assist me... and still others are curious too.

Check back in a couple of weeks and I will have something here on it.

Now I'm off for rears and a sub...

First thoughts ONKYO TX SR805...

I should have purchased an extended warranty. The OEM warranty will LIKELY expire before I figure out how to turn it on, and surely by the time I finish reading the owners manual.

One day everything will have MAC IDs. receivers will automatically see what's plugged into what, and users/owners will only have to select which device to use, press play, and perhaps, adjust the volume.
I thought the Onkyo was a fairly easy setup?...I did use the on-screen setup though, and not the Onkyo front panel.....I only glanced through the manual to get it up and running, fine tuned latter.

Room correction started as soon as the MIC was plugged in.

You're probably right on. I'm slowed a bit more than most with ancilliary challenges.

I got the radio to work last night and I'm quite pleased with the initial results in fact.

I'm not doing the Auto setup until my rear speakers show up later this week... AND I get stands, speaker wire, and decide on which sub (s). In the interim, whatever it's set itself to now is fine by me.

Does the thing stay on all the time? ...or in Standby?

The unit's remaining powered up bothers me some.

What power cord do you use with your's?

A dozen days later and greater insights abound. I do like it's sonic signature overall, and the tuner. Once I'm better versed with it perhaps I'll feel less awkward and begin to actually enjoy it. For now, it's like going back to school, re-learning a new receiver speak and terminologies.

My disappointment lays solely in the fact the second zone's useage relies upon those sources connected via RCA only. My present understanding is none of the digital decoding is output to either of the two remote zones. only the tuner output is allowed without the supplement of extra cabling. that's a real drag.

Further, there is scant little direct alteration of things without the implementation and use of the various menus... and it does possess many. Even minor tone adjustements are prerequisite of menus.

True, some menus are immediately accessible, and thus truncate the lengthy navigation sometimes necessary for making changes, but some greater auto functionality would seem in order. the defaults also can be managed and changed to suit preffs. I should think the main title information on the disc would be naturally selected initially by the receiver, and options, if available would then be listed or presented to the user so further choices might then be made if required. Rather than checking the menus to see other currently available formats for audio replay manually.

Overall, it's a work I'd not intended upon, though now faced with the task of organizing and choosing preffs, once done I believe all will be well.

After all, it's just for watching movies primarily, and a scant bit of TV now and then... For me, 2 ch remains the focus completley.

I sincerely, and do mean sincerely appreciate any and all efforts of those posters who shared their thoughts here.

thank you.

Once in a while one needs to stop... and take a look at what enterprize they are getting into... and just how deeply they want to follow the rabbit into the hole.

I said I'd not add amps to a receiver... I did. I said it's just for watching movies as this event wasn't going to be exploded into some other worldly high dollar event... it has or is becoming just that.. albeit, on a medium sort of high end level.


Anyhow, the Onkyo is run in on at least it's stereo preamp/proc outputs... and HDMI inputs. The HDMI inputs are a real eyeopening experience too... trying a few types revealed no major differences, so get in cheap there is my notion.

I do like the TX SR805's sound... I do not like it's menu oriented structure, but once aprised of it, the operation is pretty easy. The Set up is the biggest deal, and past that, it preforms very well indeed. Suprisingly so in fact.

It does have more finesse than my old stand by Sony 444es, but not the bass impact. Adding outborad amps is also a reallly big plus.. I'm presently sold on Odyseey for that solution. Together they are very pleasing, and most entertaining on a very high level.

I also found the ONkyo support team to be, by and large, most helpful... once you find someone there with a bit of experience of course.

Overall, for the under a grand price tag, not only can I not kick, I'm pretty happy.
i'll go against the grain a bit. I used to own a Denon 2801 powering a HT 5.1 system that ran a $4500 retail speaker set (Revels). I bought a dedicated 2 channel amp (NAD 218THX) and powered my mains....well, it didn't work. Sounded terrible to my ears. I replaced it with a Rotel amp that was less than half the price and...well, it was awesome!

What i'm saying...as much as you'd like to read reviews and guess, the real test is to 'hear' your options...period.

i know a separate amp should make a AVR sound better, but this you do not know. Be careful and go listen for yourself.
Well, you're a mite late to this party, but thanks for the thoughtful input. IT'S ALWAYS SAGE ADVICE TO 'TRY FIRST'... when one can.

I can see why the Rotel and Revel match was not a bad one. The rotel amps are more forgiving than are the Revels.

True that! Matching a 'whatever' amp to the receiver and speakers is a bit of a task, but not terribly difficult... or I got real lucky. both the choice on receiver and outboard amp (s0, has been made now.

With the Sonata IIIs inplace as mains, perhaps it's an easier task than with some other types of speakers. Personally, I've never been to enthralled with Revel speakers in any event.

The one main caveat to your spot on note is this... it's the "Going to hear" the ??? thing. One can at times, be very limited in that respect. More so when wanting to hear it in your own rig & home, for that matter.

hence we ask questions, get to know others here, ascertain their tastes and ideas as best we can, and make our best guess or choices.... or install a revolving turnstile and do the Audiogone "buy & Try" shuffle.

The Odyssey Stratos SE is quite an acceptable amp to me, for HT & music. to the point where I'd as soon forgoe installing a revolving door. Cabling played a big part in that integration too. In fact I'm leaning towards getting another Odyssey amp of sorts down the road. Which one or which type or if at all is the question now. I could as easily just trade up with this one as I bought it newly built.

The jury's still out on that last bit.
hahaa...good post... the "buy & try" shuffle is exactly what i plan to do... at least for some time.

Heck, i'm 3 Cape Cods into this post and will roll with it. The Revels were spot on in the demo room 2000) with Theta amps pushing them. When i had them home and let loose with...ohhh, a $1000 AVR they still sounded 3x better than the Polk RT3000p speakers.

At this point, as my income increases...i'm upgrading my audio gear. Not much for video my man!
"Not much for video my man!"

uh... me neither. hence the receiver, DIY screen, and 720P LCD FP.... Having the Sonata IIIs already though put me onto the path of outfitting the rest of the ch's with 'same same' speakers though. To be safe-er, adding the 2 ch amp gives versatility, and aids the HT rec... and I could use the SS amp for the rears, and my tube monos for the fronts for further WPC assistance, though I feel cohesiveness will suffer some.

Good luck on the upgrade mill.