Onkyo TX-L5 A/V Receivers

TX-L5

Onkyo TX-L5 A/V Receiver

User Reviews (3)

Showing 1-3 of 3  
Mike   Casual Listener [Mar 21, 2003]
Strength:

The price!! Sleek, low, minimalist design

Weakness:

no (good) options to speak of

As a college student, the price (~$140USD) and slim design of the unit was definitely key in this purchase. Bought for use as a 2.1 setup with a pair of Klipsch KSB 1.1s for music primarily. I listen in very close proximity to the speakers (room is small), and sound is tight and clear. Perhaps a little bright due to my speakers. The 22 watt rating doesn't faze me, as I only ever listen at moderate volume. Functions on the unit are severly limited. Basically it just has a volume knob, input switcher, two acoustic control settings (dinky bass/treble booster), and some DSP settings (TV, Movie, classical, orchestral, etc) that I'll never use. No tone (bass/treble) controls was probably the most alarming thing, even knowing the kind of minimalist product I was getting. I was merely looking for something functional, as well as AV switch for my video gaming systems. Have also hooked it up to the Santa Cruz sound card via digital jack on my computer for gaming purposes. Headphone jack on the front is also routinely used and convenient. Works perfectly. Great value for college students like myself.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
h1pst3r   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 03, 2002]
Strength:

Looks, integrated system functionality from two components, PRICE, really nice sound for the power. Feels very well built and the number of I/O is excellent for a unit of this size. With a set of Energy 5.2 speakers this sytem would rock a small room with theatre and music. For $400 though, this is a wonderful system just a bit underpowered for us and I'm now itching for 6.1. The AV-L5 was originally $800 and reviewed well at that. You get a lot for the money at this price...hence my high value rating. The system sounds great with my Boston Acoustics System 8000.

Weakness:

Missing some quality and features for a unit in this market. You can get alot more features and higher quality DACS in something like the JVC 8020 (likely next buy), and then buy a separate DVD player that meets whatever needs you have instead of being shoe-horned with the combo... With that said the AV-L5 is still half the cost of fairly inexpensive components. Is progressive, DVD-Audio, DTS-ES, DD-EX, and 100 watts per channel worth twice the price. Only you can answer that. For me I think I will spend the money and buy the black bricks I was hoping to avoid.

After my Denon AVR1400 (dolby pro-logic)recently bit the dust, I was anxious to upgrade to a DD/DTS reciever. The Denon was a typical home theatre "black brick" and so I was anxious to check out some of the more sleek designs now emerging in home theatre systems. After dismissing many HTIB systems for one of many reasons, and wanting to keep my Boston Acoustics System 8000 speakers for a bit longer, I found the Onkyo AV-L5 combo (which consists of two separate components, the TX-L5 receiver unit and the DV-L5 dvd unit). It was good looking (silver metal face, 7cm high) and from a decent manufacturer. It did DD and DTS, read MP3, and had good i/o. The downside was the 22watts per channel and no support for 6.1 sound. I decided to give it a try since it was $399 for both units and the orginal price was $400 each. Cutting to the chase, there are definitely nice features to this unit, and the aesthetic is sleek, but overall a few issues bothered me to the point where they're going back in exchange for more robust components. In the AV-L5's defense the look is quite nice in comparison to the theatre bricks that dominate the marketplace. They are full width components (drag!) but are only about 3 1/8" high and share an identical finish in silver aluminum. The yellow selection lights are discrete, the knobs are metal and substantial and the dot-matrix display is clear. The single line display is frustrating in it's lack of functionality, but very sleek and clean...basically an analogy for the unit itself. With the inter-connect cable from Onkyo the units switch on/off and dim in synch. The receiver switches to the correct theatre mode automatically based on the disk selection and the units are *very* quite while operating....very nice. Overall the sound is very good...but small. The DVD picture is good, though not progressive. Our space is loft-like and where we watch movies is one large 600sqft room with 10 foot ceilings, the front of which is where the TV is. While the actual listening area is relatively small, the room itself is large and so the amp has to basically fill the room in order to fill the "listening area". The sound is underpowered...clean though, and nice and if the amp was even 40-50 watts/ch I would almost keep it except for...the negatives. The 22 watts per channel of the TX-L5 just isn't enough to push powerful, room-filling sound to the satellites without distorting (note: the Boston sats never distorted at high volume when being driven by the 50w/ch Denon). AND MORE... The unit supports neither DTS-ES nor DD-EX (6.1 sound formats). No progressive video output No rear pre-outs, or component video switching. No tone controls or EQ of any kind other than two "Acoustic control" modes which are: 1. bass boost, and 2. bass and treble boost. The DVD player sometimes has trouble "auto" detecting MP3s and the DVD player doesn't support SACD, DVD-Audio or HDCD. The fact that they used cheap plastic buttons for the smaller function buttons doesn't help the sell as it detracts from the overall feeling of quality. So you have this great looking, 7cm-high, flat silver face with two very nice knobs... and a row of crappy little round chickets...huh? This is an *amazing* system for a beginning home theatre. It's really easy to just make work well and anyone can enjoy a great experience wth about three pushes of a button. It definitely looks nice and the orange backlighting on some of the main buttons is almost elegant. As is the simple and clear display, volume, and function knob. The decision to buy this should be based more on what you don't get (or care to get) than what you do get. You DON'T get 6.1, progressive scan, SACD, DVD-Audio, lots of power, Component switching or an intelligent remote. But you do get a high quality home theatre that looks great for a small-ish space and works very well for the price of a crappy shelf system or HTIB.

Similar Products Used: Denon AVR 1400
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
paul_b   Audio Enthusiast [Jul 04, 2002]
Strength:

Very good sound. Great looks

Weakness:

Lack of bass and treble controls A bit on the expensive side (in Europe)

I have to confess that I first looked at the TX-L5 (and the DV-L5 DVD player) because of its looks. It is one of the few receivers that combines quality, features and looks in a low profile shape. The unit is only 7cm high! I was surprised at the quality of the sound as soon as I heard it. Allthough it is only specced at 22W/channel it actually has a very tight and powerfull sound while remaining very transparent at the same time. My speakers never sounded this good! I can hear details in my CDs that I never heard before. At the moment I am only using it in a stereo setup, but I can't wait to get some proper surround speakers and try it out in a proper 5.1 configuration There was one thing that really surprised me though: There is NO tonecontrol :-( Just something called 'accoustic control' which is a sort of loudness, but no bass and treble controls. It doesn't really need tonecontrol because the sound is extremely good as it is, but I would still prefer to have the possibility to adjust the tone in case the source material doesn't sound quite right. I paid EUR 650 in the Netherlands which I find quite expensive. And that was an extremely good deal with a internet merchant. Most shops around here carry it for around EUR 875. That is crazy considering it retails for around $400 in the US! But then again, this sort of stuff does tend to be a lot cheaper in the States.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Showing 1-3 of 3  

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