Top positive review
71 of 71 people found this helpful
Great Value, easy setup, heat NOT an issue
on December 5, 2010
I purchased this system on Black Friday, and noticed shortly after that it was "under review" by Amazon. Several of the other reviews state that the unit overheats and malfunctions if the vent is blocked, and were considering that to be a defect. This system could very well be a popular first home theater receiver/amp, so for those of you who aren't familiar with these kinds of things, think of it this way- the main unit is a video/audio processor packaged in a metal box which ALSO contains the parts that power the center, fronts, and surround speakers. The speakers don't have power plugs, they're powered directly by that unit. In other words, imagine placing a 20-pound power supply in a metal box with your laptop. Get the idea? There's a reason it ships with a warning label which clearly states DO NOT BLOCK THE VENT. I have no doubt that shoehorning it into one of those cubbyhole-style stands or placing a shelf directly above it will cause problems.
All that being said, I have my receiver on the bottom shelf of my TV stand with a good 8" above it before the next shelf, and the stand is open on the sides and back (glass shelves with wooden legs on the corners). I've run the unit for hours at a time with no problems whatsoever. Maybe I'm just lucky, or maybe it's the fact that there's sufficient airflow. Either way, it works.
And it works really well. I'm not sure how the setup could be difficult, all of the ports on the receiver are clearly marked and the remote uses the same labels (the "Game" HDMI port and "Game" optical audio port are controlled by the "Game" buttons on the unit itself and the remote). The various audio modes are well described and the Audyssey setup is easy too (and highly recommended, it makes a difference). The subwoofer is huge, which is good or bad depending on your situation. I'm in a third floor apartment, so turning the knob to anything beyond 3 (out of 10) is inappropriately loud. On the other hand, in a "man cave" or home theater you can really crank the thing up and feel the soundtrack in your chest. For comparison, the subwoofer is slightly taller and a few inches wider than my Antec 900 computer case.
A few additional notes: as another reviewer stated, the Atlantic stands that are listed at the bottom of this page DO NOT directly attach to the speakers. The speakers have a wall-mount bracket towards the top of the back, but nothing on the lower-back or bottom. I just used the included double-sided tape and the speakers aren't going anywhere. If you have kids or rowdy pets you might want to look into another solution.
Also, Onkyo is kind enough to ship some speaker wire with the system, but it's super thin. Upgrading to some 14-gauge wire is a good idea, at the very least for the rear surrounds. You could probably get away with using the thin stuff for the front three, but you can get a spool of 100' 14-gauge wire for under $40. Also, don't bother with banana clips; you can't use them on the speaker end, and they don't seem to make a good connection on the receiver end. Just wire everything directly- it's quick, easy, and reliable.
For the price you'd be hard pressed to find a better system.