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Onkyo TX-NR636 Zwart Review

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loekf2 12 mei 2014, laatste update op 18 juni 2016, 87 views

Onkyo TX-NR636 Zwart

Geluidskwaliteit Score: 5
Gebruiksgemak Score: 5
Featureset Score: 4
Bouwkwaliteit Score: 4
Prijs Score: 4
Design Score: 4

Eindoordeel

Score: 4
It's basically still the same housing as the 609. Build quality is ok-ish. Except that the volume knob is a bit more plastic than my old 609. Further, I still don't like that the power lead/cable
is connected directly to the power supply internally (so no connector + cable as most other manufacturers of HiFi equipment are doing). And why is the power connector not grounded ?

- I don't like the placement of the HDMI connectors directly above the speaker connectors. It's a pain to connect the wires. I have to get my hands on some crocodile clips in the future.

- Setup is a "breeze". I'm not an expert in room correction (equalization), but from what I remember Audessey used high pitched tones (~10 KHz ?) during setup. AudioEQ works differently. It
first asks for your speaker setup. I'm a bit confused (still) about the terms height or back speakers. I assumed with my 5.1 setup I have back speakers. It then asks you place the mic at
the listening position and fires off some noise (so no tone) into each speaker and plays a sound into the sub-woofer. Even if you have a 5.1 setup it still tries to play sounds as if you've
a 7.2 setup. The process is then repeated at a much louder volume (position = 50 ??? vs. 25 during the first check). It then calculates and shows you the cut off frequencies. I can look
them up in you're interested. Still I got the feeling it did a better job for my sub-woofer than the 609. For my old setup, the woofer was sometimes clipping, now things sounds much better.
Have to try e.g. Star Wars Return of the Jedi tonight, specially the opening sequence, which has some nice deep bass sounds.

- The 636 does sound not much differently from my old 609. I get the feeling it's "louder" than the 609 and perhaps a bit fatter. For my 609, you had to use a volume setting > 35-40 to get some real volume into my living room.

- Don't like the remote. The setup button shows you the current input mapping. This is confusing. You have to press the home button to get into the setup.

- HDMI CEC settings look the same as my 609. Maybe tonight I'll have ARC another try with my Philips TV. Currently I use digital coax in for audio. Didn't see (as it should) lipsync issues.

- Onkyo still has no auto configuration for analog radio channels apparently. Still took me 30 minutes to program all 40 channels manually.

- No HDMI connection issues with my HTPC (AMD APU) and my PS4. Also no issues with deep color support, which has been added to firmware 1.70 of the PS4. Some people have to explicitly switch it off on the PS4 side
to get a picture. My TV is a Philips 42PFL5038 from 2013.

- Start up (switching on) feels slower than my 609. It's in the order of a few secs more.

- I still hate that you have to explicitly go to an input in order to force HDMI via the setup menu into bypass and disable upscaling, sharpening etc. Post-processing
is for me a no-go these days and would have preferred if Onkyo had a generic option to switch it off on all HDMI inputs. Looks like that for the game input, all
processing is switched off by default as it should. Looks like Onkyo offers a quick menu, but missed that.

- I watched some TV material (incl. the new 24 series) via my HTPC and Netflix. I would rank the 636 definitely better than my 609 in terms of sound quality. It's hard to explain, but the
dynamics for 2.0 stereo material upmixed to 5.1 sound very good. Very crisp and deep. I couldn't get Netflix on my AppleTV to spit out DD, but that seems to be a recent Netflix
bug on AppleTV (gen 3 ?).

- Tried the beginning of Starwars EP3 (with the space battle) and Transformers 2 (with TrueHD track) and it sounds really good . Happy with the bass sounds.

- The 636 is not yet in the Logitech Harmony database. You have to add commands yourself with the original remote.

Ok, another attempt with the AccuEQ calibration.

Turned the cross over frequency of the Phonar sub all the way up to 140 Hz.

AccuEQ set the cross overs of my satellite speakers are at 80 Hz, 100 Hz and 150 Hz if I'm not mistaken (front, center and surround).

After some tweaking the level calibration for the sub is now at 0 dB. It was at -6 dB when I started.

There's definitely signal coming to the sub now. Maybe my cross over for the sub is too high now, but there's no booming or clipping.
Appearently experts recommend to set the cross over below 100 Hz or even below 80 Hz.

EDIT: re-did calibration and now my sub has its cross over at 100 Hz. Sounds ok to me.

For some reason (maybe makes no sense), it looks like the cross over frequencies for the speakers are dependent on the volume setting
of my sub. I'm not an expert in room correction equalization. I'm only puzzled why the surround left and surround right had different volume
settings (surround right +2 dB) while the speakers are in a similar position (angle, distance) versus the center of my couch (and the measurement mic)

The distances as determined by AccuEQ look ok to me.

I played Transformers Dark Of the Moon and Star Wars EP3 again and the low tones / bass sound ok to me.

Sub + 4dB

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