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Onkyo A-5VL Integrated Stereo Amplifier

3.6 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews
| 9 answered questions

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  • 40 W/Ch at 8 Ohms, 1 kHz, 2 Channels Driven, FTC
  • Burr-Brown (PCM1796) 192 kHz/24-Bit D/A Converters
  • 2 Digital Inputs (Optical and Coaxial)
  • Bi-Amping Capability
  • Compatible with RI (Remote Interactive) Dock for the iPod

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Product Description

Beneath the A-5VL’s slim and elegant exterior lies a surprising amount of amplification muscle. You might wonder how Onkyo managed to incorporate the functionality of a pre- and power amp into such a slender integrated package. The key is the A-5VL’s extremely energy-efficient design. Because it produces much less heat than a typical amplifier, the A-5VL requires only a small heat sink. This leaves ample space for a range of precision-crafted audiophile-grade parts, such as specially audio-tuned capacitors and thick, low-impedance copper bus plates. The A-5VL employs Onkyo’s exclusive VLSC™ technology to ensure a smooth, pulse noise-free signal during conversion from digital to analog. You’ll enjoy precise and faithful reproduction of any audio source, whether it’s a CD, a tuner, or a turntable. As the A-5VL is also compatible with Onkyo’s optional RI (remote interactive) Docks for the iPod, you also have the convenience of controlling playback of your iPod via the amplifier’s remote controller.

Product Information

Product Dimensions 13.4 x 17.1 x 3.1 inches
Item Weight 22.5 pounds
Shipping Weight 26.3 pounds
Manufacturer Onkyo
ASIN B002C73WR2
Shipping Advisory This item must be shipped separately from other items in your order. Additional shipping charges will not apply.
Item model number A-5VL
Customer Reviews
3.6 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #571 in Electronics > Home Audio & Theater > Home Theater Systems > Receivers & Amplifiers > Amplifiers
#2,447 in Electronics > Home Audio & Theater > Stereo System Components
Date first available at Amazon.com June 19, 2009

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Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

I purchased this amplifier because I wanted something better than even a high-end iPod dock (such as the Bowers & Wilkins Zepplin.) I wanted to use my iPod (actually iPhone 3GS) as the source for a small and mid-priced, but high-end audio system and I didn't want to sacrifice music quality or convenience. I also wanted something smaller than a full receiver that wouldn't stick out in my den/library that could accept a digital audio signal, which is almost impossible to find in a mini system, but this has it.

So here's what I did: I purchased the Wadia 170i Transport ($399) which is the only product on the market which can bypass the iPod/iPhone's internal digital audio converter and output a true digital audio output via a digital coaxial cable (it officially only support iPods, but my iPhone works fine). I plugged this digital coax cable output (included with the Wadia) into the Onkyo A-5VL ($599) and added a high quality pair of bookshelf speakers (Boston Acoustics for $600 a pair). So, it is a total of $1,600 for the whole system, but it is more flexible and MUCH, MUCH higher quality and better sounding than a B&W Zepplin or mini system and even cooler in its low profile, audiophile system approach.

When I play a recording from my iPhone (Apple lossless format is best) on this system, the sound is AMAZING and rivals even much higher priced and much larger systems. The sound is effortless and pure (especially with direct bypass of tone controls) and can be played very loudly without losing quality or becoming harsh. I listened to some songs I had listened to many, many times, on my existing mini system (and high end car system) and I heard many instruments in the background that I never noticed before, which is another true testament to high quality amplification.
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Verified Purchase
Pros: Build quality, power, functionality (build in DAC)
Cons: Usability, sound quality

I had the A-5VL for about two weeks before returning it. I give the A-5VL 5 stars for features. It is a relatively powerful integrated amp WITH a high quality DAC. Better quality than the DAC in your typical A/V receiver, and WAAAY better than the DAC in your computer or ipod. There are simply no other hi-fi integrated amps at this price point (or anywhere near it) that have built in DACs. From that perspective, it's a great value.

The build quality is very solid. It is a heavy unit, and feels sturdy when you handle it. The knobs move smoothly with no play.

My problem with the unit is two-fold: usability and sound.

The amp has a remote, but it literally only does one thing: controls volume. The input selector is not motorized, so the remote cannot change inputs, and the unit has no standby mode, so the remote cannot turn the unit on and off. This was pretty frustrating to me.

The main reason I returned the unit is the sound. It was too harsh for my taste. Highs were shrill, and caused listening fatigue after extended listening. Mids sounded compressed and lacked detail. I know not everyone is a fan of "warm" sound, but this was far on the other end of the spectrum. Still, I suspect it's a taste thing, and some people may like it.

For reference, my speakers are Definitive Technology Studio Monitor 350's, and my source was a computer playing CDs and lossless compressed audio via an optical connection. Since I returned the unit I have purchased a Musichall A15.2 integrated amp and 25.3 DAC. The sound is MUCH more to my liking. Warm, but not too warm, extreme amounts of detail in the mids and highs, and GREAT presence in vocals, keys, and guitar.
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Verified Purchase
*ASSAULT AND BATTERY*

I have mixed feelings about this unit. I bought it as an Amazon Warehouse Deals open box and I'm sure it was fine when it left their warehouse. But it was packed with almost comedic negligence. It was just sitting on the very bottom of a large corrugate box with some brown paper tossed on top, and as a result it arrived beaten up. The front left foot had broken off due to in-transit trauma and was loose in the container. The volume pot and integrated motor drive was pushed into the unit and rattling around free inside the amp, and of course the volume knob was running loose in the shipper. Also, the speaker posts on the back were slightly pushed in. Whoever packed this box should be taken off the line and retrained or possibly given a job in a completely different field. It's hard for me think up an excuse for work this heedless.

*REDMEPTION*

A lot of people would have shipped it straight back, and perhaps I should have, because this first encounter with the thing might have colored my opinion of it. However, it was open box and the only one at a great price, so I decided to see if I could work with it. I opened up the case and put the volume pot back where it belongs and pushed the speaker posts back out. And I stuck the foot back on. I'll glue it there if I keep the unit. So now it looks like new, except for the foot, but only I know about this.

None of this is the fault of the unit itself; I mention it as a caveat for anyone looking to buy open box from Amazon Warehouse Deals.

*SECOND FIRST IMPRESSIONS*

The unit itself is very heavy for its size and immensely solid feeling. Inside its clean and well laid out, but the aforementioned volume pot is held in place with bent clips rather than screws.
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