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on March 16, 2003
The TX-8511 Onkyo Stereo Receiver is an affordable, efficient way to upgrade the quality of your sound system. This receiver even made my old set of speakers sound great. I recommend this receiver for people who just want the basics for their sound system. For me, it was important to have a phono input, because I listen to records. The TX-8511 has the phono input as well as inputs for anything else you might want to hook up (e.g., CD players, multiple tape decks, etc.). It is also really quiet, with no buzz or hum whatsoever. It is clean, lean, and mean. The 100 watts per channel is more than sufficient to raise the roof, if you feel the need.
Besides its excellent performance, I also appreciated how easy it was to set up. The instructions were clear and written with simplicity, and everything is labeled clearly on the receiver itself. It only took a few minutes to get everything working. This is such a great unit that I hope that Onkyo doesn't do something ill-advised like discontinue it.
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on June 20, 2002
If you are in the neighborhood for a new stereo receiver, but are not really looking for the extra expenses and features of a "home theater" receiver, than look no farther than the Onkyo TX-8511. This has got to be the best receiver I have ever owned. I bought it back in early 2000, and thus far, it has never let me down. Truly, it is a highly dependable rock-solid receiver. The sound quality is amazingly crystal clear with no distortion. Pull it out of the box, hook it up, and be prepared to hear your music in a whole new way. Also, with an FM sensitivity of 11.2 dBf, you'll be able to tune into your favorite radio stations easily with minimal interference.
It has 4 inputs (including a phono input for turntables that do not have a built in phono preamp) and 2 video inputs (which can be used for other uses too -- as I said, this is not a home theater receiver so it does not have the "home theater" features like Dolby Digital).
It also has some really nice features with it like:
*30 AM/FM presets plus the ability to "name" those presets up to 8 characters. (Example: instead of seeing "94.9 FM" on the display, you could program in the call letters of the radio station, or something else.)
*Direct access tuning (from unit's front panel only)
*Motorized volume control
*Telephone-style alphanumeric keypad on the unit's front panel
*Tape 2 Monitor loop for connecting either a 2nd tape player or a graphic equalizer
*4 speaker channels, so that you can run two sets of speakers (A, B, or A and B)
*Two switched power outlets on back (This works great for audio components that do not have an on/off button on their remotes)
*Impedance selector for setting up 4 or 8 Ohm speakers
*Analog volume, bass, treble, and balance controls (I like this better than the digital controls because it is alot easier to fine tune the sound.)
No other stereo receiver has managed to stand the test of time quite like this one. It may be a bit more pricy than some other standard stereo receivers, but it is well worth it! If you buy it, you will NOT be disappointed.
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on February 4, 2004
Looking for a great sounding two-channel stereo receiver at a reasonable price?

I did a lot of research on receivers prior to deciding to go with the Onkyo TX8511. I found that the ratings all over the web for this unit were very good for a basic stereo receiver, I do agree. Features I wanted in a unit was, multi-zone, 2-channel stereo, phono hookup. It had to be a basic stereo system with good quality stereo sound. I decided to purchase the unit a few day's ago at Circuit City on 2/2/04 based on reviews, I paired it up with my newly purchased Bose Acoustimass 5 speakers. I rushed home excited to here the unit for the first time only to find myself disappointed, at first. The sound from the unit was harsh and lacked base response. I decided to run a burn-in on the unit, thinking it needed a break-in period as many new components do. I loaded up the CD deck with 6 CD's, set it to loop and let it run at half volume for roughly 50 hours with the speakers switched off. WOW what a difference, I'm glad I gave the unit a chance and time to burn-in, the sound amazes me each time I listen. The Bose are still in there break-in phase the sound just keeps getting better each time. The receiver drives good crisp highs and more then ample bass response, a few tweaks to the speaker arrange and viola awesome sound system. I have been overly impressed with the sound from this receiver in all aspects. I do notice a low hiss occasionally when playing CD's in my collection; I believe it is due to poor replication/recordings that have been digitally re-mastered. The FM tuner is weak; I live in the suburbs, which contributes to the week signals received. Though my Pioneer CX770 tuner and amp that I swapped out for the Onkyo TX8511 had no problem-receiving signals. The Onkyo TX-8511 is a good solid unit; paired up with the right components I believe there is no better unit for the price. Other comparable units I considered where Denon, Harmon Kardon and Yamaha which where priced towards the $500 dollar range, I wont compare apples to oranges. I give Onkyo credit for blowing all other competition away within the $300 price range.
Other units: Pioneer CX770 tuner and amp that was replaced with the TX8511. A Sony Home Theater, which is wonderful for deep sound while viewing DVD's. Technics and Onkyo that are roughly 20 years old also exhibit signal strength issues in my area too, which I would expect from units that old.
Strengths
Great fullness & precision of sound
Neutral low distortion
Ease of use
Build quality
Weaknesses
Spring-clip speaker connections
Weak FM reception
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on September 23, 2002
Despite the current fad for multi-channel audio/video recivers, most people still listen to music with just two speakers and, therefor, only need a two-channel stereo receiver. The Onkyo TX-8511 is a very good stereo receiver with plenty of power -- 100 watts per channel -- good performance specs, and all the features you really need. It's also quite reasonably priced. No matter how much you may be impressed with the cool concept of a multi-channel "home theater" system, if your budget or available space dictate just two speakers why not stick with a good stereo receiver? And this is a very good stereo receiver for the price.
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on May 11, 2005
I researched my receiver purchase for a 2X system with phono input and almost bought the Harmon Kardon, but got advice from friends that Onkyo was far more reliable. Although the lack of a subwoofer output necessitates more speaker cable, I am very happy the purchase. The overall sound quality and usability of this unit exceeds my expectations for the price. It is very heavy and solid and looks much better than the web photos indicate. Plenty of power and deserves speakers three times the price of the receiver.
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on September 16, 2006
I had put off transcribing my extensive vinyl collection to cd for a variety of reasons. But, a couple of months ago I decided to go ahead and start the project. I still had and was very happy with my mid seventies two channel system consisting of a HK730 Receiver, Akai GXC750D Cassette Deck, Dual 1246 Turntable and Wharfedale W90D speakers. I didn't have a CD recorder and I had been dissatisfied with the results of running my source into the sound card of my computer. So, I started researching products and found that there wasn't a whole lot to choose from in the moderately priced range. What I ultimately settled on was a Sony RCD W500C recorder, Polk Audio RTi4 Compact Bookshelf speakers and an Onkyo TX 8511 Receiver/Amp. I could not be more pleased with the outcome. The Polk Audio RTi4's are near perfect for the relatively small room I have them in and the Sony CD recorder does it's job well, accepts analog as well as digital sources and produces excellent archival copies of the original vinyls. The Onkyo TX8511 was the biggest surprise though. It turned out to be a solidly built, clean sounding and powerful unit that delivers more quality and punch for the dollar than I would have expected. My criteria for a receiver/amp when I began my research was a unit that could produce a clean 50 to 100 watts rms into 8 Ohms, had dedicated tape and phono inputs and line outputs, a reasonably good tuner section, two channels, A/B speaker connections and not much else. The Onkyo delivered all that and more. I've never been an audiophile, and I'm not into surround sound or the bells and whistles that go with todays state of the art equipment. But, I did read a lot of comments and reviews about all the potential candidates for my little system and the one recurring complaint I read about the TX 8511 concerned their cheesy speaker connections. Get over it you guys, there's nothing wrong with them. You just need to be smarter than the connection. Either make sure your speaker lead ends are sufficiently long and tightly twisted before you insert them into the clamps or tin the ends first with solder. If I did have a complaint, it would be the lack of a subwoofer connection, but I can live without it.
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on December 10, 2005
I previously owned Pioneer and Yamaha surround AV receiver at twice the price of the Onkyo TX-8511. Neither came close to the spacious and clear sound I get through the Onkyo. Since I primarily listen through headphones, I had no real use for multi channel monsters with all the fixings. I just wanted something to listen to my CD's and my DVD movies and I got plenty of bang for the buck with Onkyo. Easy hookup and fabulous sound. It's true this is an older model, but I bought it brand new at a bargain price. I'm only sorry I didn't return to the basics sooner. Thank you Onkyo!
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on March 18, 2005
This receiver has been great! Wonderful sound quality, a phono input and plenty of power. Tuner works great. The button for tape deck on front says "Tape" as opposed to the usual "tape monitor" which my wife never understood. (It also has a tape monitor feature on tape2). Highly recommended. The only drawbacks: the display lighting is sickly green and doesn't look nice. Also, this receiver should have a loudness button. Other that those small points, I love it! (Sounds especially nice with my little Polk R15's). Overall, I give it 5 stars!
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on January 31, 2006
this Onkyo pales in comparison. It is servicable and clean sounding but unfortunately has a tinny, sharp sound. Not much in the way of warmth or depth, even after messing with the bass and treble controls. BUT for the $ ( as my 15 yr old Nakamichi died, despite 2 trips to the repair shop) it is worth it. The customer service from One Call ( where I bought mine via Amazon) is top notch, I had concerns ( no sound came out , intermittant problem, seems to be OK now) and they were very helpful and willing to take return. I decided to keep it, as the price was so wonderful and the sound, as I said, is decent and clear, but I plan to save up and eventually get a receiver that plays with more warmth and depth. This is perfectly fine to tide me over. I would recommend it, just know that there is a sharp, mechanical tinge to the sound.
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on February 10, 2005
We live in a world where most people have no idea what 2 channel is let alone a tape monitor and phono input (what the hecks that for? Alvin) Well if you're a stereo nut who despises things such as ipod and multi channel surround sound crap then i got a winner for ya here son. This here Onkyo harkens back to the dark days of yore when stereo meant something and having a place to plug in your Thorens Turntable meant something too. The powers there and it's pretty close to whats advertised(100 Wattts per channel @ 8 OHMS). The sound is clear and crisp and even better when using an EQ(THD 0.08%). The thing is easy to use, simple and to the point as a reciever should be and lo and behold only A & B speaker outputs.....Thank god. the only drawback is the brushed black metal facing which as is usually the case smudges with things like skin grease etc. so keep your hands clean and while your at it pick up a turntable to blast those LPS and BURN YOUR DAMN ipod's already, there's nothing cool about an ipod and they don't look good sitting on a stereo rack in your living room.
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