Top positive review
Why did I waste all those years and dollars on A/V receivers?
Reviewed in the United States on November 8, 2017
This is my first proper amplifier. I read the reviews that said the sound was cleaner than the owners' previous A/V receivers. I had a hard time imagining that, even with my humble entry-level Sonys I've had since the 90s.
To be real about it, the sound was nice and clear on the Sony AVRs with the Volume knob turned up to about 1/3 or so. Above that, it was always distorted, and I always blamed my affordable speakers. (Bose 201, Bose Interaudio 4000) Then, I picked up a nice set of the large Klipsch bookshelf speakers, with the 8" woofers. They're rated to handle MUCH more power than my old Sony AVR could put out. But still, I got distortion when turned up past 1/3 volume. I installed a powered 100 W Sony subwoofer. Bass was helped a lot, but everything still distorted past 1/3 volume.
By comparison, this Onkyo doesn't distort anywhere on the dial. Granted, the volume doesn't go up in a linear fashion as the dial is turned, but I'll take that over distortion any day!
The Phase Matched Bass button is just what is called for, for quiet listening. It boosts the bass just a bit, without going over the top. I was cross-shopping this amp vs. the similarly-priced Yamahas with their conventional Loudness dials, and wondered if I'd miss the adjustability of a variable Loudness control. I don't. Another reason I like this over the Yamahas is that this one is UL Listed. That guarantees a certain minimum level of internal component quality. (transformers, line voltage components, PCB materials, connectors, etc.) Lastly, this gives more Watts/Dollar.
Some reviewers have complained that we can't see what input is selected without getting really close. That's true, but let's face it. Most of us are going to use 1 or 2 inputs almost exclusively, so there's no guesswork, really.
I'm sure the Yamaha would have satisfied too, but I'm glad I went with this one. The old Sony AVR is now upstairs on TV duty, with the old Bose 201s and Sony subwoofer. The Onkyo is in my basement lair, with the Klipsch speakers and a proper CD player and turntable hooked up, for when I want to do some "serious" listening. No sub is needed, unless I want to start listening to hip-hop or something. (not bloody likely!)
Buy this with no worries. If you're not sure you need this much power, I wouldn't hesitate to get the A-9010 and save a few bucks.