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Thread: Onkyo TX-NR708 - bad news!

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    700 Club - QQ All Star dr. simple's Avatar
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    Default Onkyo TX-NR708 - bad news!

    If you found this thread because you are searching for information on the Onkyo TX-NR708, I have copied below the review I posted on Amazon.com, just in case you either didn't read it there or overlooked it there.

    I'm posting this so you don't have the same experience I'm having.

    "Unfortunately for me and many others who purchased the Onkyo TX-NR708, the bad reviews weren't around in 2010. I, like many others, purchased mine in the last quarter of 2010, and the bad reviews started popping up in April 2011. At first I thought, "Mine lasted more than 4 months, so maybe there are just lemons out there and mine isn't one of them." Wrong - mine took 5 months to go crazy.

    I've never seen anything quite like it... At first, while playing an SACD hybrid from the local library, the Onkyo switched from DSD mode to PLII Music. I thought that perhaps the disc was scratched in a way that made the SACD layer unplayable, so the player somehow automatically switched to the CD layer (I don't even know if players are capable of making this kind of adjustment). So I threw in an SACD that I knew had no scratches, and suddenly the Onkyo went "listening mode crazy". It just started scrolling through the modes uncontrollably. I had to wait for a momentary pause to either turn off the Onkyo or go to setup mode, but once in setup mode the uncontrollable scrolling began again.

    I consulted the manual and did a factory reset, but this made no difference. So today I'm off to the closest service center - 60 miles away - and wondering what recourse I have. Do I keep bringing this thing in for service every 5 months, or just cut my losses and buy a different unit? Is a class action suit in the works? "
    "You gotta always remember, the name of the game is 'What does it sound like?' That's always the end result - I don't care if you got 90 tracks. What does it sound like, baby?" - Ray Charles

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    400 Club - QQ All Star spenceo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Onkyo TX-NR708 - bad news!

    Oh No!! That really sucks!! I hope the trip to the service center works out well. They have to know by now what is causing the problem, question is, will the do anything about it?

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    Banned² cupboy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Onkyo TX-NR708 - bad news!

    Probably they'll just replace it with a refurbished unit. That's about all they'll do nowadays. Labor is too overpriced.

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    Default Re: Onkyo TX-NR708 - bad news!

    I had a Kenwood Sovereign VR-5090 THX receiver and about a year after the warranty died, it stopped recognizing Dolby Digital titles - it would switch to DTS. And if you played a DTS disc, it would switch to MPEG-2 audio. If you played MPEG-2, it would switch to HDCD. From investigating, it seems like some of the Analog Devices SHARC DSP chips had some kind of problem that caused it to happen. While it was refusing to decode, it still decoded linear PCM inputs into Pro-Logic II or DTS Neo:6. Finally, it stopped passing any signal - not even the external discrete inputs worked. There was no reset or anything I could do to fix it and Kenwood said the repair would be over $800. I only paid $900 for the unit when it was new. So, to the junk bin it went since I couldn't even use it as a stand-alone amp.

    My partners dad gave me a Denon AVR-3808 that uses the Dual Core SHARC chip - I hope it doesn't flake out on me sometime in the future like the Kenwood.

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    Default Re: Onkyo TX-NR708 - bad news!

    I had an Onkyo HD DVD player in need of warranty service, Onkyo had me take it to an authorized service center. I did and they held it for a month or two then informed me Onkyo wanted me to deal with Onkyo directly and to come pick it up which I did but I got an exchange timely from Onkyo after that. I am pretty sure your trip will be a waste of time and nothing will be repaired at the service center but if it is under warranty, you should get a refurbished receiver as exchange. Whether or not it will be any good is a matter of good luck or bad luck.

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    Default Re: Onkyo TX-NR708 - bad news!

    Well, as it turns out, I called Dennis Mabry before leaving to see if he wanted to ride along. He told me that sometimes it's just static build-up and that if I unplug it for 24 hours it might "fix itself". By the time I called him, it had been unplugged overnight, so I plugged it in and turned it on before driving to the service center. I put it on Pure Audio mode and went out to pick up some lunch, and when I returned... it was still on Pure Audio.

    So, to make a long story short, it's fine now. I felt a little silly for not having tried that, but I guess 8 years in still makes me new at this audio stuff! I debated about whether to take it in anyway and finally called the place to see what they thought. The guy there told me that the guy who works on Onkyo stuff wouldn't be back for 2 weeks anyway, so I saved myself a trip.

    I guess this could, and will, happen again, and hopefully this trick will continue to work.

    On a side note, since I tore everything out and put it all back today, I thought I'd pull out my old Sony DAT just for fun. It's a novelty at best, but it's fun. I'm listening to a promo DAT of Jellyfish's "Spilt Milk" (my all-time favorite album). Weird that a promo like this even exists! I was hoping it might be at 48kHz, but it's only 44.1.
    "You gotta always remember, the name of the game is 'What does it sound like?' That's always the end result - I don't care if you got 90 tracks. What does it sound like, baby?" - Ray Charles

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    Default Re: Onkyo TX-NR708 - bad news!

    Dr. Simple, THX for sharing this. I hope all the troubles with your Onkyo will never come back. [Smeagol growling]

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    Default Re: Onkyo TX-NR708 - bad news!

    Quote Originally Posted by dr. simple View Post
    I guess this could, and will, happen again...
    Probably a good bet.
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    Banned² cupboy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Onkyo TX-NR708 - bad news!

    Quote Originally Posted by dr. simple View Post
    Well, as it turns out, I called Dennis Mabry before leaving to see if he wanted to ride along. He told me that sometimes it's just static build-up and that if I unplug it for 24 hours it might "fix itself". ....
    That's interesting. I have a Tascam reel to reel that has a similar problem, and it's cured by touching a metal fan that's in the room. That creates a static spark and the Tascam fixes itself.

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    Default Re: Onkyo TX-NR708 - bad news!

    damn. it seems like tribal shamans can start new business adventure in the field of repair of
    modern high end electronic gears by the means of tambourine and ritual dance.

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    Default Re: Onkyo TX-NR708 - bad news!

    Quote Originally Posted by 0tto View Post
    damn. it seems like tribal shamans can start new business adventure in the field of repair of
    modern high end electronic gears by the means of tambourine and ritual dance.
    I was thinking that Ben Franklin would find all this hi-tech stuff pretty simple!
    "You gotta always remember, the name of the game is 'What does it sound like?' That's always the end result - I don't care if you got 90 tracks. What does it sound like, baby?" - Ray Charles

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    Default Re: Onkyo TX-NR708 - bad news!

    New electronics remind me more of computers than the simple hardware that they used to be. By that I mean that they sometimes have little glitches that might, or might not, be a sign of real problems. It used to be that if some piece of equipment did something unexpected you knew something was wrong and that was that. Now, most of the time you just reboot your receiver or disc player and it's back to normal. I hope your Onkyo sorts itself out.

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    Default Re: Onkyo TX-NR708 - bad news!

    Quote Originally Posted by BananaSlug View Post
    New electronics remind me more of computers than the simple hardware that they used to be. By that I mean that they sometimes have little glitches that might, or might not, be a sign of real problems. It used to be that if some piece of equipment did something unexpected you knew something was wrong and that was that. Now, most of the time you just reboot your receiver or disc player and it's back to normal. I hope your Onkyo sorts itself out.
    This was my thinking as well. I can't recall which piece of equipment it was exactly, maybe it was a CRT TV or a CD changer. Anyway, at one time I had a problem with a processor going crazy and I was told by a technician that static charges can build up in electronics gear causing things to go awry. His advice was to unplug the power supply long enough to let the capacitors drain, thus letting it reboot. I now do this with all equipment before taking the next step for repair. While I'm NOT an electronics expert, I do have a fair amount of user end experience. That being said I could be way off when it comes to his receiver problem. I like the comment about the tambourine and ritual dance. Now that's funny!


    I advised Paul that if it happened once, there's a good chance it will happen again. While the unit is still under warrantee and it sounds like Onkyo is aware of this problem. I would wait the two weeks, monitor for glitches, then take it in and have it checked. It won't cost anything, except time and gas money (ouch). Better to have it looked at now while Onkyo is willing to resolve the issue than to wait a couple years and have to toss the entire unit.

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    Default Re: Onkyo TX-NR708 - bad news!

    Quote Originally Posted by DennisMabry View Post
    I advised Paul that if it happened once, there's a good chance it will happen again. While the unit is still under warrantee and it sounds like Onkyo is aware of this problem. I would wait the two weeks, monitor for glitches, then take it in and have it checked. It won't cost anything, except time and gas money (ouch). Better to have it looked at now while Onkyo is willing to resolve the issue than to wait a couple years and have to toss the entire unit.
    Yeah, considering the severity and prevalence of the problem I agree. I wonder if Onkyo would give owners credit and let them trade up if they have a better receiver with better reliability?

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    Default Re: Onkyo TX-NR708 - bad news!

    I must say that one really neat thing has come from this initially troubling experience.

    Resetting to the factory and unplugging for several hours forced me to re-do all of my settings, which included letting Audyssey do its room correction. When it was finished, I noticed that Audyssey Dynamic EQ was set to the "on" position. I had never used Dynamic EQ previously because I was skeptical, but this time I decided to give it a try. Man, what a difference!!!

    I've never been happy with the bass my system produces until now. Buying Ascend Acoustics speakers helped a lot, and I had many examples of the Ascends demonstrating that they were perfectly capable of producing nice, tight bass, but there were still a number of titles for which the bass was unsatisfactory - "In Abstentia", for example. I always blamed it on the mix, but now after gaining an understanding of Audyssey Dynamic EQ and the problem it corrects, I realize that neither my speakers nor the mix were to blame. I couldn't be happier with the sound of my system now!
    "You gotta always remember, the name of the game is 'What does it sound like?' That's always the end result - I don't care if you got 90 tracks. What does it sound like, baby?" - Ray Charles

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    Default Re: Onkyo TX-NR708 - bad news!

    Dr. Simple:

    I have an INTEGRA universal DVD player that periodically will go into "brain lock" where no function will work via the remote control or panel buttons - including the power button. The only fix is to unplug the unit and let is set for a while then plug it back in. This "fixes" whatever was causing the problem and the unit works fine for months until the problem reoccurs. Go figure.

    Justin

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    Default Re: Onkyo TX-NR708 - bad news!

    Resetting microprocessors can be your best entertainment value.

    That's terrific! I know that once I did the Denon Audyssey setup, my system sounded noticably better and I stick with it!
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    Default Re: Onkyo TX-NR708 - bad news!

    Do your Onkyo receivers have the Audyssey Dynamic EQ and Dynamic Volume? If so, do you find them useful? Denon offers a firmware upgrade for my receiver to add both Dynamic Volume and EQ, but I can't decide if they are worth the $100 upgrade price. I use the 'night' mode (that's in addition to the DTS/Dolby dynamic range compression feature) that can be applied even to analog sources in the Denon, but wonder how much better/different and useful the new Audyssey features are.

    Should I do the feature upgrade? It also adds Sirius radio to replace the XM that's built in, but I have no interest in satellite radio - I have an HD tuner I use instead and the Denon has internet radio streaming to boot.

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    Default Re: Onkyo TX-NR708 - bad news!

    Quote Originally Posted by Disclord View Post
    Do your Onkyo receivers have the Audyssey Dynamic EQ and Dynamic Volume? If so, do you find them useful? Denon offers a firmware upgrade for my receiver to add both Dynamic Volume and EQ, but I can't decide if they are worth the $100 upgrade price. I use the 'night' mode (that's in addition to the DTS/Dolby dynamic range compression feature) that can be applied even to analog sources in the Denon, but wonder how much better/different and useful the new Audyssey features are.

    Should I do the feature upgrade? It also adds Sirius radio to replace the XM that's built in, but I have no interest in satellite radio - I have an HD tuner I use instead and the Denon has internet radio streaming to boot.
    I have the Onkyo SR606 with the Audyssey Dynamic EQ and Dynamic Volume features. I used the Audsyssey for the initial set-up then made the necessary "manual" tweaks. IIRC, the Dymamic Volume feature allows you to add up to 12 dB to each components output. Both features are convenient but I'm not necessarily sure that the upgrade is worth the $100 - you can accomplish the same results "manually"

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    Default Re: Onkyo TX-NR708 - bad news!

    I don't claim to know much about it, but from what I've read about Audyssey Dynamic EQ, it's not something you can accomplish manually, because it makes subtle adjustments in real time. If you can find a friend or a store to demo it, you should check it out. I can tell you that now, after "discovering" it as a result of my need to reset my AVR, I'd easily pay $100 to have it.

    Here's the thing about Dynamic EQ: It's based on the fact that the intended mix can only be heard at "reference" level. Now, if you always play your music at reference level, you'll always get the intended mix and you'll never need Dynamic EQ. As you lower the volume, the equalization changes, and Dynamic EQ makes compensating adjustments across all frequencies to maintain the original curve.

    On my Onkyo, there are at least 4 basic functions of Audyssey: MultEQ Room Correction, Dynamic EQ, Dynamic Volume, and DSX. The room correction was a no-brainer for me - I let it do its thing, and found that everything sounded better. I never gave Dynamic EQ a chance because the Onkyo won't decode DTS 96/24 when Dynamic EQ is on (I have no idea why, and it makes no sense). However, after resetting and finding that the default position was "on", I now find it indispensable. (FWIW, I now set my blu-ray to PCM out, and I can get DTS 96/24 with Dynamic EQ on.)

    Regarding Dynamic Volume and DSX functions - just the thought of "dynamic volume" makes me think of compression so I haven't even given it a chance. DSX is for creating 7.1 mixes using either front wide, front high, or surround back speakers. Since I'm old fashioned and only have 5 speakers and a sub, I've never used DSX.

    If you ask me, Dynamic EQ is the bomb. As QQ member Omega4 would say, it's cracking. My system has never sounded so good.
    "You gotta always remember, the name of the game is 'What does it sound like?' That's always the end result - I don't care if you got 90 tracks. What does it sound like, baby?" - Ray Charles

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    Default Re: Onkyo TX-NR708 - bad news!

    From what I understand, reading posts on AVS Forum and the Denon 3808 instruction manual addendum, the Audyssey Dynamic Volume is just that - you set the volume to the level you want and it then compresses/limits/expands as necessary to keep that level you set - sort of the thing that Dolby originally intended with Dialog Normalization, but they never really got it to work right or mastering engineers to set the correct dial norm values (and they still are often not set right or consistently)

    BTW, it's bizzare to see many DTS encoded titles on DVD and Blu-ray sporting Dial Norm values now - in fact, until I was given the Denon 3808, I didn't even know DTS had implemented Dialog Normalization. I so associate Dial Norm with Dolby AC-3, and DTS used to screech about how unnecessary it was, that it just seems strange to see DTS Dial Norm -4 on the display

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    Default Re: Onkyo TX-NR708 - bad news!

    Yeah, really, I have no interest in volume normalizing. I'm sure there are some people who really like it, but I just don't have a use for it. The Dynamic EQ, though, has made all the difference in my listening.
    "You gotta always remember, the name of the game is 'What does it sound like?' That's always the end result - I don't care if you got 90 tracks. What does it sound like, baby?" - Ray Charles

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    Default Re: Onkyo TX-NR708 - bad news!

    Quote Originally Posted by cupboy View Post
    Probably they'll just replace it with a refurbished unit. That's about all they'll do nowadays. Labor is too overpriced.
    I have a TX-NR906 that developed a well-known problem with the HDMI circuitry. Foolishly, I'd bought an extended warranty from Fry's, but by the time I needed to take advantage of it, they no longer sold anything as good. Fortunately, it was still under the Onkyo warranty, so I drove it 120 miles (Sacramento -> Mountain View) to the repair shop.

    The tech told me they'd start with a firmware upgrade and, if that didn't work, they'd replace the entire HDMI board, but it would take weeks to get one.

    True to their word, about a month later the repaired unit showed up via UPS (Onkyo's warranty covers one-way shipping) and has been working fine for the last three or so months.

    Of course, it's now relegated to the bedroom...being unable to learn my lesson, I bought a new TX-NR5008 before temporarily parting with the TX-NR906.

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    Default Re: Onkyo TX-NR708 - bad news!

    The Dynamic EQ is what I've really wondered about - especially considering it changes the surround levels and everything depending on the volume you've set - I do a lot of late-night listening and it seems like the D-EQ would come in very handy. I have no interest in the Sirius satellite radio or the HDMI CEC control additions, so a hundred bucks seems a high price to pay to get D-EQ, the one thing I really want.

    I think Audyssey is one of the most amazing technologies ever added to receivers - I worked as a projectionist and tech assistant, for both 35mm and large format IMAX theaters, for over 10 years and am well acquainted with theater alignment and what can be done with the various EQ in the cinema processors, as well as room treatments and THX requirements, etc... and the speaker matching and final sound quality that Audyssey creates after its measurements is simply amazing - it's like I've installed the most perfectly matched high-end speakers in a perfectly treated room. I've never heard the same model of theater speakers match as well as Audyssey achieves. Of course, Audyssey was originally designed for aligning and matching the speakers and room in IMAX theaters; to be more precise, that's what the multi-million dollar research project started out as. So to say I'm a fan of Audyssey is an understatement.

    But, it seems as if I'll skip the Denon D-EQ and D-Volume upgrade for now.

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    Default Re: Onkyo TX-NR708 - bad news!

    I bought the TX-NR905 when it first came out, and had to have it replaced twice, right out of the box. The first time there was no audio output at all. It seems that the unit thought that there were headphones plugged in (the little headphone icon always stayed on), so back the unit went. The second time, the audio output only lasted for five minutes and cut out. I was actually able to replicate this on the phone with the Onkyo tech. Of course Onkyo wanted me to drive to the next state (150 miles) to have it fixed. No thanks, so back that unit went. Fortunately, the third unit has been working fine for the last couple years. (Although you could easily cook a steak on top of it if you wanted. It gets HOT.)

    I give thanks to the folks at Crutchfield, who's great support got me through these problems with no hassle. (But it seems that they stopped carrying this unit soon after.)

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