I tested the video scaling with my cable TV feed. The internal scaling of the Onkyo was quite good, far better than my Panasonic plasma's processor. While watching TV, I did find one thing a bit annoying. When the Onkyo locks onto a digital signal, it makes a fairly loud and clearly audible click. This noise occurred a bit too frequently for my liking during television viewing. I understand it happening sometimes, and really I might be too picky here, but it occurred even when the show switched to a commercial, or when you used the DVR to fast-forward or pause a show for more than a few seconds. While it didn't detract from my viewing, it was just a tad bothersome to have this clicking noise. Switching between channels was quicker than with older models, but video lagged for about two seconds when switching between channels with different HD resolutions.
For some two-channel music, I spun up Robin Trower's Bridge of Sighs (Capitol) on my Marantz turntable through a Dynavector P75 MkII phono stage, as it uses a low output moving coil cartridge and the Onkyo only accepts the much higher output of a moving magnet cartridge. From the start of "Day of the Eagle," I was hooked. The guitar licks were lively and dynamic, with solid bass depth and smooth vocals. The eerie stereo effect of "Bridge of Sighs" was wonderful and filled the room. I sat back and listened to the entire album, both sides, and enjoyed it immensely. The Onkyo can really output some sound, even with the front singly amplified. I am sure that I could have pushed a bit more out of the system had I bridged the front amplifiers, providing more power.
Using my Oppo player and the 9.2 speaker set-up. I cued up Jennifer's Body (Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment). The movie is weak at best, but the Onkyo did a great job with the surround effects. Bass was full and solid, with voices that were clearly portrayed. During the attack scenes, dynamics were powerful and energetic. Switching the DTS HD Master Audio track to add height to the front channels created a more spacious soundstage most of the time. I did find the Audyssey DSX added a more natural feel to the enhancements and generally preferred it on movies and for TV viewing to the Dolby Pro Logic IIz. Unlike previous Onkyo receivers, the TX-NR5007 ran much cooler than its predecessors. After the movie, the case was warm, but not hot.
Competition and Comparison
If you are interested in comparing Onkyo's TX-NR5007 against its competition, you should read our reviews for the Sherwood Newcastle R-972 AV receiver and the NAD T785 AV receiver.� You can also find more information by visiting our AV Receiver section or our Onkyo brand page.
The initial version of firmware my receiver came with wouldn't allow the unit to produce any audio until the speakers were set up, either manually or with Audyssey, and this led even an experienced reviewer to get frustrated and step away from the project. A new version of firmware solved this issue, but the fact that I walked away from it the first day makes me wonder how many people will have this difficulty, and how many have already returned the unit as defective because of this. I hope Onkyo makes sure all the currently shipping units have the new firmware to prevent this.
The way Onkyo implemented the Audyssey room correction was also unusual. I searched for the set-up in the menus to no avail and had to resort to the manual to figure out how to perform the calibration. When I did initially complete my sampling, unplugging the microphone reset the entire thing and I had to start from scratch. This was annoying and a bit time-consuming, but as most people only use the auto set-up once, it is a minor gripe in the ownership of the piece.
When locking onto a digital signal, the receiver makes a fairly loud clicking noise, which can occur even when television shows transition into commercials. While it locks onto digital signals quickly, the ever-present clicking can be annoying. The only other thing to pick on with this unit is its lack of support for XM Radio and Mac users, as the receiver will only network with PCs.
The new Onkyo TX-NR5007 is a wonderful-sounding receiver with more features and connectivity than anyone could ever need. The nine channels of amplification are customizable to power a full 9.2 system in one room, or a 5.1 system for the main theater and two other zones. The extra channels can even be used to bi-amplify or bridge the front speakers for better two-channel performance or add additional front height and width channels for an enhanced surround field.
You won't have to worry about the Onkyo being outdated any time soon with its eight HDMI inputs and the ability to decode all the new lossless codecs of Blu-ray and implement the latest in surround sound enhancements with Dolby Pro Logic IIz and Audyssey DSX, as well as their Multi EQ XT room correction system. I really fault this receiver in the set-up department, but once that is over, it performs extremely well. It has its issues when it comes to locking onto a digital signal, which produces an audible popping noise, but housing the TX-NR5007 in a cabinet or away from the primary viewing space will combat the issue.
Sonically, the Onkyo TX-NR5007 is exceptional, with plenty of power and a seamless sound from the treble down to the bass that is detailed, natural and controlled. I would put this unit up against any other manufacturer's top of the line receiver and expect it to be on par if not better in many regards.
Onkyo did raise the price for their top of the line offering by $400 with this new TX NR5007 unit, but they added plenty of features and surround enhancements, as well as two more channels of amplification. Though a bit more expensive, I still think this is one of the best bang-for-the-buck receivers in the high-end receiver market today.