Onkyo Upgrades Entry-Level Home Theater Receiver With 6.1 Surround Capability

Onkyo USA has upgraded its budget home theater oriented TX-SR501 audio/video receiver ($300 US) by increasing the number of built-in 65-Watt amplifiers from five to six.

Onkyo has also added Dolby Digital EX and DTS-ES 6.1-channel surround processing, to take advantage of the sixth amp channel and provide a center-rear signal.

Another new feature of interest in home theater applications is HDTV-capable component video switching.

The revised Onkyo TX-SR501 is already shipping, available in both black and new silver finish.

Onkyo’s upgraded TX-SR-501 makes an ideal entry-level home theater control center, though it lacks multichannel audio inputs to handle DVD-Audio or SACD multichannel sources

With the addition of the center-back surround channel, the Onkyo TX-SR501 can fully exploit the Dolby Digital EX and DTS-ES soundtracks available on many modern DVD video discs. Sound effects can arrive at the listener’s ears from the front, sides, and, now, from directly behind the listener’s head. The receiver also includes Dolby Pro Logic II and DTS Neo:6 processing, which can derive 5.1 and 6.1 multichannel sound from two-channel sources.

The TX-SR501 also boasts 50 MHz component video switching, allowing the receiver to switch high definition video signals without degrading video quality. There are two component video inputs and one output, four A/V composite inputs and two outputs with alternate S-Video connections, plus front panel A/V composite and S-video inputs for convenient connection of portable devices.

The receiver has three assignable digital audio inputs with one coaxial and two optical connectors, RCA line-level connections for a CD player and audio recorder, and a subwoofer preamplifier output.

There are dual banana-plug-compatible multi-way speaker binding posts for all main channels with color-coding for simplified wiring, and front channel “B” terminals for a second set of stereo speakers.

The Onkyo TX-SR501 includes six internal power amplifier channels with high-current, low-impedance discrete output devices, to deliver a continuous power output of 65 Watts per channel into 8-ohm loads, and 80 Watts into 6 ohms.

Onkyo has incorporated several new refinements in the TX-SR501, including a new, more massive high current power supply (H.C.P.S.) transformer, an absolute ground plate (to eliminate ground hum), and heavy-duty bus bars to diminish fluctuations in electrical potential for reduced noise.

Onkyo’s WRAT (Wide Range Amplifier Technology) gives the power stage a linear frequency response from 10 Hz to 100 kHz, well beyond the frequency limitations of the most demanding audio sources, such as SACD and DVD-Audio.

The dot-matrix fluorescent front panel display makes setup and operation of the receiver easy and fast, including variable speaker configuration and distance settings for simple optimization of any speaker arrangement. With the new adjustable crossover on the subwoofer pre-out channel, the LFE channel signal can be cutoff at 60, 80, 100, 120 or 150 Hz, for seamless integration of any satellite and subwoofer combination.

The receiver’s high quality AM/FM tuner section has 30 random presets, and FM automatic scan tuning. The included preprogrammed remote control makes system integration and control simple and convenient.

Onkyo USA Web Site

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