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#31770 - 02/10/08 07:51 PM RR 2150 Vs. Onkyo TX SV515 pro Let the games begin !
Sweet Spot Offline

Registered: 09/12/03
Posts: 204
Loc: NY, NY
It's been AGES, since the time I said I wanted to do a head to head with these two receivers, and believe it or not, I finally JUST got around to bringing the Onkyo into the living room, and have positioned it next to the 2150.

The Onkyo has the disadvantage of having a totally broken off treble pot (from the inside), and I'm not sure of where it was positioned at the time of its demise, but with the bass positioned at neutral, it (the bass) is a tad overpowering and so I turn it down to around 10 o'clock, and it sounds fine.

The Onkyo also has this button named "selective tone" and what the manual says about it is:


"Switching on this button lights up the indicator and creates a clear reproduction quality of the ultra low frequencies and high frequencies. (Not effective for the rear speakers and multi source signal.
Not quite sure of what that means exactly, and if it was meant for movie audio reproduction or music. I'm guessing the latter, since why wouldn't it just be a feature that was automatically on all the time ?

I listened to a couple of songs from the Gypsy Kings and a few songs from In Rainbows on both receivers, and I have to say, from the little bit of time I spent, the Onkyo seems to be far from a slouch in the music dept. It's got plenty of power at even loud volumes, and the stereo separation seemed to be quite decent to boot.

The bass might be a bit more sloppy and less musical (if you will) than the 2150, but I'm going to have to ask my wife to help me out with this tomorrow, and A/B the receivers for me, whilst I close my eyes and she switches cables and such.

The Onkyo also has a phono input on the back, but it doesn't specify what type of cart should be used, so I'm a bit reluctant to try it... probably will though. Anyway, this is just the beginning. I wouldn't call what I did tonight a serious analysis. I'd call it breaking the ice and getting ready for a real comparison.

I'll say this though: More than ever, I certainly believe that the speakers are the most vital link in any audio chain. My Energy C3's are easily powered by both of these receivers, but I suppose that the real test would be to hook them up to speakers which were a lot less efficient and power hungry. At this point, I'm really looking forward to getting a much better pair of speakers, and using the Onkyo in a place such as a basement, office or even bedroom if it's big enough, and then putting the 2150 in the living room, until I get a dedicated pre/amp etc..

#31771 - 02/10/08 08:08 PM Re: RR 2150 Vs. Onkyo TX SV515 pro Let the games begin !
JimP Offline

Registered: 10/31/06
Posts: 42
Loc: Cushing, Maine
I will be curious to see where the dust settles on this one. smile Speakers can make a huge difference in the way a receiver sounds. I would be interested to see how the phono sections compare.

RR2150, Oppo 970HD, B&W 802 Series 3 Matrix

#31772 - 02/10/08 09:38 PM Re: RR 2150 Vs. Onkyo TX SV515 pro Let the games begin !
Sweet Spot Offline

Registered: 09/12/03
Posts: 204
Loc: NY, NY
You and me both Jim. I bought the Onkyo oh so very long ago. I'd say close to about 13 years ago, or more ? Looking it up on Google, yields really good reviews from everything I've seen, and there was even one fella HERE who said
Good luck with which ever you decide on. I had an Onkyo TX-SV515 and just loved it. When it came time to replace it was a hard choice between a new Onkyo and the Outlaw. I tried the Outlaw because of the service and support I read about and was not disappointed.
That was back in January 2002 in a Outlaw 1050 thread.

I wouldn't be surprised if I actually liked the Onkyo considering how much hell I put it through with crappy speakers over the years, while actually sounding halfway decent enough for me to not chuck it out a window ! The difference between what I was using it with compared to the Energy C3's is drastic, to say the least !

I just hope my wife doesn't have a heart attack when she realizes that it actually sounds pretty damned good ! smile The one thing that the Onkyo is FAR better at over the 2150 straight off the bat though.. is the remote volume control. Lately, the sensitivity has been bugging me on it.

I actually lost (well, my ex gf threw it out) the Onkyo remote control, but I was able to program my Time Warner digital cable box remote to turn it on and off, as well as control the volume, and it works a charm. I also have to say that the Onkyo is built like a brick S_house ! I've really put it through the courses over the years, having banged it about and with moving so many times.. And the only thing that's wrong with it is a broken treble pot. I'd love to get it fixed.

Anyway, yeah... The phono stage. We'll have to see about that one. And also, it doesn't have a sub out, so a powered sub is out of the question if I ever wanted one. I think the real comparison here, is best served using both of them with very efficient speakers in a true stereo budget setup. Because I doubt that the Onkyo would survive in a match with the 2150 and some thirsty speakers.

The Onkyo has plenty of inputs and outs as well, so I always hooked up my iPod or other DAP's to it:


We shall see...


EDIT: That pic is of a pro II series, not mine. Identical except for the sub out I guess, and probably the addition of more surround features I'm guessing.

#31773 - 02/10/08 09:57 PM Re: RR 2150 Vs. Onkyo TX SV515 pro Let the games begin !
psyprof1 Offline

Registered: 09/10/05
Posts: 440
Loc: Santa Barbara, CA
Sweet Spot, you can be absolutely sure the Onkyo's phono input is for moving magnet cartridges, though HIGH output moving coil cartridges would probably drive it too, with the volume control turned up a tad farther. NObody has made, and I bet nobody ever will make, a receiver, or for that matter a preamp or integrated amp, with a phono input for low-output MC cartridges only.

#31774 - 02/11/08 01:25 PM Re: RR 2150 Vs. Onkyo TX SV515 pro Let the games begin !
Sweet Spot Offline

Registered: 09/12/03
Posts: 204
Loc: NY, NY
Test one conducted just this afternoon at 12:30

Using a burned (CDA) copy of both In Rainbows and its Disc 2 counterpart, my NAD 521BEE and Outlaw 2150, my wife sat blindfolded (though she knew which receiver she was hearing first because she knows the distinct sound of how the powering on of the Outlaw sounds... and said it didn't matter to her because she's not biased in the least and has musician's ears and all that crap)

I played a few tracks, and she said ok, enough...switch.

On went the Onkyo, and after only about one minute through the first track she had first heard through the 2150, she said " Ok..Ok... I don't need to hear anything more !" I was actually pretty surprised to be honest. Though, she was sitting in the best listening position compared to me, and her hearing is definitely better than mine so..

With a smile on her face, she said that it was hard for her to describe in terms that I would understand, because she knows I like to use a lot of stupid technical terms for how things sound, so she started to get out her pastels and paper and said she'd draw a picture of what she wanted to say.. I replied that I'd ask if what I was going to say fit the bill..

More detail ? Better spatial imaging ? Immediately she realized that she could now relate to those terms and proceeded to tell me that with the Outlaw, she could better place where each instrument was coming from up until it reached her ears, whereas with the Onkyo, things were more mushed in together, and there was no real beginning or ending to the notes or instruments.

To be honest, I felt slightly the same way, but apparently not nearly as set on the point as she was. Guess my 2 years of age on her are a discredit to my ears ? But yeah, I could tell that the imaging on the Outlaw is certainly more distinct and the bass is more natural sounding, as opposed to a bit of the bloat that the Onkyo showed in comparison. But..not that bad.

Now... there's something else I have to note, and feel that it's rather crucial to this test. During the Onkyo's time, I didn't use the "selective tone" feature at all. Left it flat, and even had to tone down the bass a bit because it was pretty heavy and wanted to match the Outlaw's bass response as best I could.

Why I think this is important is because I now have my Rega P2 hooked up to the Outlaw's phono section, and ya know what ? It's nice. However, it's "nice" when I put the selective tone feature into effect. With it off, everything is dull, flat and lifeless. With it on, there's life and it really does drastically increase the lower and upper frequency response to give the sound a more full and lush quality.

So now, when she gets home, I'm going to ask her to sit down once again, and test some music with the Selective tone feature enabled, just to see if that has any impact on her previous opinion.

Gotta say though, I feel that both these receivers make a damned great budget package, especially with the turntable. I could relegate the Onkyo to the current set up I have, and definitely see it going to my kid (should I ever have one) and having the 2150 serving as a second budget system, and using better speakers.

Now, I just need a decent sized house for 3 separate systems. smile Nah.. but I really like the idea that the Onkyo can handle a MM phono cart quite well. More tests later.



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