45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
on November 23, 2013
I decided to take the jump back from home theater to go for superior 2-channel audio when I found I was listening to more music than firing up the surround sound. I replaced an Onkyo 5.1 receiver and upgraded my Polk R300 front channels to a pair of Polk Monitor 60 series II, kept the Polk sub, and hooked up digital from sat and blu-ray..kept the analog input from my Onkyo single disc cd. I thought my Onk receiver did a nice job with straight audio...but this amp is the real deal. I'm an old dog audio salesman from the '70s, when Phase Linear, Marantz, etc ruled the world with the huge discrete amps...this little guy, especially at the price, reminds me of the sound from that golden age of audio. If you want straight up stereo, don't want to spend 4 digit money, and are filling up an average size room, go for it. You wont be sorry..it's taken every genre of music I could throw at it and sings crystal clear.
Update...have had the amp for 10 months now, couldn't be more pleased! Blown away by the quality and clarity of sound, no matter the genre. In 40 years, probably the best all around amp I have ever owned(and I've owned a LOT of them!) Can you beat it? Sure, get in the 4 digit money range, but for an average sized room with good speakers...for the price, and for the quality, you can't go wrong!
30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on August 31, 2013
I bought this amp to compare with my yamaha a-s500. They are both great. A feature i really like on the onkyo 9050 that i was initially skeptical of is the phase matching bass button. i call it the bass magic button. It brings to life all the lower frequencies without sounding bloated. On the yamaha i really like the variable loudness knob. The onkyo runs a lot hotter than the yamaha. Overall the sounds of these amps matched with there cd players make it tough to pick which is better. the onkyo 9050 and 7030 cd player run significantly cheaper right now. Either way they are solid choices. The important thing to note is that integrated amps crush hometheater receivers that i have heard. So buy one.
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on December 31, 2013
I bought this amp through Amazon for around $350. It replaced a NAD integrated amp.
I am old-school when it comes to audio, as I grew up buying my first gear in the 70's. This was the golden age (to hear some tell it) of audio, when an amp had a decent transformer, quality discrete components and a reasonable amount of hand assembly and inspection. Well those days are long gone and not likely to come back. But here and there there are still vestiges of old school thinking around, if in lesser form. This amp is one of them. I was also considering the Yamaha A-S500BL which also gets good reviews except for the fit and finish. I ended up getting the Onkyo because it has good digital input options and the fit and finish appeared to be better, other things seeming on par.
I am very satisfied with this purchase. The unit looks great and the knobs and finish are sturdy. Even small details like the pluggable power cord and sturdy speaker bindings make a difference. The audio quality is very good. Plenty of power for my needs. I currently use it mainly with a Mac Mini via an M-Audio firewire interface, with Aperion Audio speakers and subwoofer. I usually run it in "direct mode", but sometimes I use the "phase matching bass" feature which does a very similar (and better, IMO) job for the "loudness" control one usually finds. One reviewer said the unit runs hotter than the Yamaha, but in my use so far the top only gets slightly warm as I would expect with any amplifier.
At this price point there are not many choices for decent amps out there. Basically you have Onkyo, Yamaha and Marrantz. Pick one.
38 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on May 29, 2013
I purchased this product to replace an ADCOM GTP-500II/GFA-555 pre/amp combo. My housekeeper moved one of my B&W speakers and shorted one of the channels on the GFA-555. The repair would be over $300, so I decided to downsize a bit and go for a modern integrated amp.
First, the bad: I cannot understand why the gorgeous silver version of this unit is not available to US customers. It is a knockout! That being said, the stenciled markings on the faceplate are difficult to read on my black unit, and there is no LED indicator on the volume knob! Also, there is no way to select the inputs directly via the faceplate or the remote - you need to press the input button on the remote or twist the input knob on the faceplate repeatedly until you get to the desired input.
Now, the good: The build quality is excellent. The aluminum faceplate and volume knob look great and feel good to the touch. The ergonomics are just about perfect, with the controls very easy to use. The amplifier section sounds crisp (almost thin), with plenty of top end sparkle. Bass is clean and driving at all volume levels. There is no compression as the volume knob is turned past the 12:00 o'clock position as I have heard in many (even high-end) receivers and integrated.
The built-in DAC is very good sounding and very convenient for connecting a TV and other digital sources. It is not warm by any extent, but neither is it harsh. Still, I preferred the sound of my Sony SACD player using the analog inputs over the amp's DAC. Sound is fantastic when connecting a PC's SPD/IF output to the amp's DAC. Definitely and improvement over using the sound card's analog outputs.
The only real disappointment is the phono stage. With my Luxman turntable and Audio Technica ML440 cart the sound is thin and the level is quite low. The dynamics that I once heard with my ADCOM pre's phono stage are gone. I can hear a lot more surface noise now. I will surely be investing in an outboard phono stage and bypassing the Onkyo's.
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on April 20, 2013
Very pleased that I made the switch from the Cambridge 651A, as this unit's 24 bit Wolfson makes streaming Tidal a no-brainer. The remote is terrible, however you should be using a master one anyway.
Have detected transformer noise when not plugged into a power conditioning strip. The subwoofer LFE out does not have an adjustable crossover setting and Onkyo does not publish what the crossover frequency is. Channel separation is not 100% accurate, as detected by setting the balance entirely to one side and still hearing sound in the "off" channel. Stereo imagery is moderate at best.
PM bass is an improvement over traditional Loudness, hi grade build quality, impedence switch is useful for parallel speaker configuration, male vocals sound very realistic without the common bloated bass many other units produce, treble detail is excellent. The move away from traditional source labels future-proofs the design and allows greater configuration freedom.
If your needs are reliability and simplicity without breaking the bank, you cannot go wrong with this integrated amp. If you're looking for a more premium sound, look for a unit with a dual mono-block preamp section, a toroidal transformer power supply, and a class A or AB amplifier section.
I'm looking into some offerings from NAD, however their traditional input labels are a deal breaker for me. I do not own a single CD or vinyl, so I do not want those labels on my amp (along with other legacy mediums such as DVD). Also, 7 segment displays are an eye sore in the HD era we are in, so a lack of one is another necessity. This unit fits all my prerequisites minus the dual mono and toroidal.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on December 19, 2014
I bought this piece to serve as the main hub for my stereo system consisting of a Technics turntable, Onkyo CD player as well as the audio from my TV and Xbox One, all output to a set of Fluance SX-6 bookshelf speakers. The A-9050 makes every single piece of equipment connected to it sing. Video games and movies sound wonderful, everything can be heard and nothing is overpowered by anything else. What really took me by surprise though was when I threw my copy of Portisheads Live at Roseland NYC DVD in. I was working on some homework and just wanted some background noise...I didn't get anything done. It sounded like I was in the ballroom with everyone else. I can't recommend this amp enough, especially for a bedroom or small room setup. It doesn't have 5.1 but I've never seen the appeal if you have a great stereo setup. Records sound absolutely great through this setup too. I was a bit worried because one of the other reviewers had said it sounded a bit bright but everything's crystal clear IMO. The speakers I have might have something to do with that, they're pretty warm without sounding muddy. Regardless, if you're looking for something simple that will sound great with literally anything you can throw at it, look no further.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
I sure do miss the glory days of hi-fi, when high quality stereo receivers, preamplifiers, amplifiers, and true speaker systems ruled the day! Now everything is miniaturized and portable, with sound quality often suffering bigtime. Sure MP3 files, iPODs, iPADs, and PC's (with their small speakers) are convenient ways to get (download) and carry music around with you, but you're missing out on palpable bass, a natural soundstage, and musical detail when you listen to most pairs of compromised headphones or PC speakers, sadly typical of most music listening done today. Do yourselves a big favor- if you truly love music and you wish to listen to music in all it's grandness and glory, get a good integrated amplifier (or separates- preamp and amp combo), and a great set of speakers to hook up your digital files player or PC to. Your ears will thank you! Contrary to belief, you really don't have to spend a fortune if you know what to look for. Knowledge is power, and equates to savings too. The great thing about this integrated amp is that it already has an excellent built-in Wolfson DAC, and Onkyo is a respected name in audio going back decades. I just helped my neighbor (college student) select his very first stereo system with conventional speakers, and I suggested this integrated amp. He also wanted a pair of good bookshelf speakers, and he ended up with JBL ES30's. His budget was $700, which was met (including RCA to mini-plug stereo cable and a short run of thick speaker wire). We were both floored when we listened to some of his higher-res digital files through the Onkyo and JBL's! He said, and I quote: "I can now hear nuances i've never heard before, and I can now feel my music! I never knew my iPOD could sound so great!" 'Nuff said!
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on February 12, 2014
I had to return my borrowed tx 8050 to friend so I figured I would try an integrated amp. I also orderd the marantz pm 6004 for comparison. I'm playing them through my Klipsch KLF 20 speakers which have dual 10" woofers. I had to run a sub with the 8050 because it didn't have the bass punch I was looking for with the large woofers. I figure many of you shopping for the Onkyo may also be considering the Marantz in this price range.
I must have switched back and forth between these two amps 100 times and most of the diffences to me are subtle. I think the Marantz has a little more three dimisional soundstage and maybe a touch more fullness in the midrange. The Onkyo with its phase matching bass button makes it sound like there is a sub in the room without muddying up the detail. The Marantz's bass is perhaps a hair more detailed but the Onkyo packs more punch than the Marantz even with the Marant's loudness on. The phase matching bass boosts the bass at 80hz which really adds weight (not muddiness) to the kick drums. Of course you mileage may vary depending on your speakers. The bass control knob on the Marantz is at 50hz + or _ 10db where as the Onkyo's dial is at 100hz +_ 14db. This makes for a slightly cleaner bass sound with the Marantz when using the dials only. As far as power, I can't really tell a difference. Neither unit is lacking when driving my efficient speakers (98db) to uncomfortable levels. The Onkyo odes sem to have a bit more power and itis rated accordingly. With Marantz, I was able to send it to protect muting mode several times playing music at aound 93-95db with peaks around 102db. With the Onkyo I was able to hit 96-97db with peaks around 105db and really couldn't stand to go any louder. The phase matching bass in Onkyo however is the difference maker. While I am talking about sublties with most of the sonic comparisons, one characteristic really stands out, the bass in Onkyo is much more powerful with the phase matching bass button. If you listen to a wide variety of music including electronic, rap or other bass heavy material, have towers and don't want to fool with a sub take the Onkyo over the Marantz. If your speakers are less than 93-93db efficiency and like to listen loud the Marantz won't hang with the Onkyo. The Marantz however plays crystal clear and clean untill the moment it gives up and shuts down. If you are a nearfield critical listener the Marantz may have a slight edge. They are both great bang for the buck units.
With a high enough budget I would snag the Marantz pm8004 in a heartbeat because of its tri tone controls and from what I read it has a bit weightier bass than the 6004 and a darker tone which would be great for my speakers. But then we're talking twice the money so that's neither here nor there.
I have always bought Onkyo products and tend to gravitate toward them for some reason, and they've never dissappointed.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on October 23, 2013
Having always liked Onkyo sound, preferring it along with Denon over Sony and Marantz... I wasn't surprised I liked this amplifier. However, the difference between it and my previous Onkyo amp was immediately evident. To my [untrained] ears, this amp's clarity and brilliance compares to those of 3-4X its price. In direct mode (without equalization, etc.) amateur ears ought to be able to hear clear differences in depth, range. This comes without any of the empty hollow flatness of Bose's sound. With equalization and other processing on the amplifier provides a fatter warm sound, without being skewed like Sony's amps or Beats by Dr. Dre processing.
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on October 4, 2013
Replaced a Sony A/R with very noticeable improvement in audio to the same speakers (to my older ears). I was actually surprised at the sound quality difference. Sensible audio controls (the Sony required digging through menus to get around presets). Only minor complaint compared to the unit replaced would be that the input selects cannot be labeled (digital inputs and analogue have differently colored LEDs, but otherwise you have to remember which input is for what). Highly recommend if you're in the market for a pure amplifier for analog and digital sources.