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Onkyo M-5000R Power Amplifier First Look

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Onkyo M-5000R Power Amplifier

Onkyo M-5000R Power Amplifier

Summary

  • Product Name: M-5000R Power Amplifier
  • Manufacturer: Onkyo
  • Review Date: January 06, 2011 01:40
  • MSRP: $2499
  • First Impression: Gotta Have It!
  • Buy Now
  • AWRAT (Advanced Wide Range Amplifier Technology)
  • DIDRC (Dynamic Intermodulation Distortion Reduction Circuitry)
  • Quad Push-Pull Amplification Design with Three-Stage Inverted Darlington Circuitry
  • Symmetrical Layout of L/R Channels
  • Two Massive Toroidal Transformers with Sub Transformer
  • Four Large 27,000 μF Capacitors
  • Separate Anti-Vibration Aluminum Panels for Top, Front, and Sides
  • New Circuit Board Construction to Reduce Vibration
  • BTL (Bridged Transless) Capability
  • Balanced XLR Input for Monaural Amplification in BTL Mode
  • Gold-Plated, Machined Solid Brass RCA Inputs
  • Gold-Plated Large Speaker Posts
  • 12 V Trigger Input and Output
  • Extra-Large Fast-Response Peak Watt Meters
  • Power Output: 170 W/Ch at 4 Ohms, 1 kHz, 1%, 2 Channels Driven, IEC
  • Frequency Response: 10 Hz–100 kHz/0 dB, -1 dB (1 W)
  • S/N Ratio: 110 dB (RCA, IHF-A)
  • WHD: 435 x 187.5 x 432.5 mm
  • Weight: 23.5 kg

*note - we grabbed these specs from the Asia/Oceania site so they may be different than the US version

Executive Overview

Here's a hint for you Onkyo, if you want us pay any attention to the rest of the gear you are announcing, make sure you you don't put out a great big amp with big analogue power meters on the front at the same time. Literally, Elle McPherson could walk in the room and we'd tell her to get out of the way so we could better see the amp. That's how passionate we are on the subject.

Onkyo has been in the business of audio for a very long time and recently they've made a name for themselves shoehorning every feature that'll fit into the lowest priced receiver then can. We can't count the number of times in the last few years we've seen a new feature hit the market and we've said to ourselves, "Well, that won't be affordable for at least three more years." Without a doubt, the next year Onkyo has got it into a receiver at a price point we never would have thought possible.

But that doesn't mean they've lost their passion for high end audio. This year at CES they are unveiling their new M-5000R power amplifier, a 52 pound beast that promises to make grown men weep. Well, grown audioholic men.

The Onkyo M-5000R is just about as big as a receiver at 17" x 7.5" x 17". It sports such technologies as Dynamic Intermodulation Distortion Reduction Circuitry (DIDRC) to counteract unwanted high-frequency interference. This eliminates clock pulses and other forms of distortion at frequencies that are above human hearing. According to Onkyo, these distortions can generate “beat interference,” which in turn affects the character or atmosphere of the original sound. Also, the M-5000R features audiophile-grade parts—such as massive toroidal transformers and gold-plated terminals—along with a new circuit board construction and separate chassis panels, to eliminate unwanted vibrations.

At its heart, the M-5000R is built on the advanced AWRAT amplification design proprietary to Onkyo. AWRAT (Advanced Wide Range Amplifier Technology) comprises DIDRC technology along with a low NFB design, closed ground-loop circuits, and high instantaneous-current capability. While the 8-ohm FTC rating is a conservative 80 watts, the amplifier's remarkable current capabilities allow it to drive even the most demanding complex-impedance loudspeakers to high levels, with a dynamic power rating of over 450 watts into 1 ohm. To minimize errors in stereophonic playback, the M-5000R uses a perfectly symmetrical alignment of power devices for the left and right channels.

m-5000r-rear

Power efficiency on the M-5000R is optimized by three-stage inverted Darlington circuitry and a new Quad Push-Pull amplification design that incorporates two extra transistors for each channel. Meanwhile, twin toroidal transformers and four 27,000 µF capacitors work to stabilize the power supply and current, respectively. A high-grade XLR input opens up the possibility of doubling power output via a BTL (bridged transless) set-up.

So, what does all this mean? Well, it means the M-5000R is built to not only provide clean amplification but also incredible amounts of power into difficult to drive loads for short periods of time. This means if you have a speaker that can dip into low impedances, you don't have to worry about your amp smoking and catching on fire. 

The XLR input allows you to run the M-5000R as a monoblock (the two channels are bridged for you). No word on the power measurements in BTL mode but it is sure it be impressive. One thing that we don't quite understand is why there isn't XLR inputs for stereo mode. As it is, you either connect by RCA for stereo or by XLR for mono/bridged. On the back you'll also find the normal on/standby mode switch, a 12 volt trigger, and a removable power cord. 

Oh yeah, and Onkyo released a preamp and a CD transport to go with these but we don't really care because they don't have analogue power meters on the front.

Fine, we'll cover them too.

The P-3000R Preamplifier accepts both analog and digital sources, with connectivity options including AES/EBU digital connectors and a USB input for PC audio. A high-quality 32-bit Burr-Brown DAC is provided for each stereo channel, to optimize audio performance. Meanwhile, PLL (phase locked loop) technology minimizes the effect of clock jitter, and bi-amping capability provides greater flexibility for audiophile applications. The real missing link here? XLR outputs so that you can connect to of the M-5000R amps in bridged mode. Instead, you are forced to either use a different processor or RCA inputs. A very strange omission indeed.

P-3000R_front     p-3000r_rear

The C-7000R CD player employs a thermally regulated, high-precision clock with a state-of-the-art crystal oscillator. To further reduce potential interference, the player can be operated in analog-only or digital-only mode. Furthermore, analog and digital circuitry are physically separated and employ independent transformers: a massive toroidal transformer for analog, and an EI transformer for digital. The audiophile build-quality of the C-7000R is epitomized by a silent disc mechanism, a solid die-cast aluminum tray, and AES/EBU digital outputs.

ok11_c7000_angled     c-7000r_rear

All three models will be available through select Onkyo dealers in January , with manufacturer's suggested retail prices of $1,699 for the P-3000R pre-amplifier, $2,499 for the M-5000R power amplifier, and $1,499 for the C-7000R CD player. So if you decide to run the full system with two bridged amps - well you can't since the processor has no XLR outputs. Instead you are forced to use the RCAs and use just one o the M-5000Rs in stereo mode. Still you're looking at just a few dollars shy of $5700. Now that's a bit pricey. Is it worth it? Well, if you have the speakers and room to justify it, maybe. Onkyo sure has put a lot of tech in there to convince you that you are getting something for all that cash.

Conclusion

Do we need the M-5000R amplifier? Probably not. Do we want one? Oh yeah, you bet. While $2500 a pop isn't chump change, in the world of high end amplifiers, it isn't too bad. And considering the price of the amps they are obvious borrowing a few styling cues from (cough McIntosh cough), they are a positive steal. If you are going to charge a bunch for your high end gear, you should shove them full of high end parts and technology. It seems that Onkyo has once again done that. The P-3000R Preamp has everything a budding audiophile could want except XLR outputs and the C-7000R CD player has all the bells and whistles. What's most exciting about these sorts of products is not that we ever expect to own them but how they show that Onkyo is pushing their technological know-how. And knowing Onkyo, it'll only be a few years before we start seeing all of this in their receivers. And those are something we can afford.

About the author:
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As Associate Editor at Audioholics, Tom promises to the best of his ability to give each review the same amount of attention, consideration, and thoughtfulness as possible and keep his writings free from undue bias and preconceptions. Any indication, either internally or from another, that bias has entered into his review will be immediately investigated. Substantiation of mistakes or bias will be immediately corrected regardless of personal stake, feelings, or ego.

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Recent Forum Posts:

bnobre69 posts on November 17, 2019 15:17
KEW, post: 1350542, member: 41838
One thing to double check is often bridging restricts the impedance you can use the amp with.
Check the specs. If the amp is rated for both 4 and 8 ohms, but the rating for bridged operation only speaks of 8 ohms, I would be cautious. Usually the manual will provide such cautions in the section on bridging the amp (or their might be a caution printed on the back of the unit).
I think it reads 200watts at 4ohm bridged, but i will look for it better and then say something

Enviado do meu VOG-L29 através do Tapatalk
bnobre69 posts on November 17, 2019 15:16
everettT, post: 1350529, member: 78951
You can use xlr to rca to accomplish what you need. Without looking up the output spec, I'd assume there would be no problem.

What speakers do you have
Hi there Everett, i have a pair of tannoy dc10t.

Enviado do meu VOG-L29 através do Tapatalk
KEW posts on November 17, 2019 13:50
One thing to double check is often bridging restricts the impedance you can use the amp with.
Check the specs. If the amp is rated for both 4 and 8 ohms, but the rating for bridged operation only speaks of 8 ohms, I would be cautious. Usually the manual will provide such cautions in the section on bridging the amp (or their might be a caution printed on the back of the unit).
everettT posts on November 17, 2019 13:23
bnobre69, post: 1350521, member: 90031
I have an oportunity to buy another one and that would fullfill my needs..the literature say that you could drive mono troght xlr but the pre p3000r doesn't have xlr outs… It has two pairs of rca outs? Can i convert rca trough xlr? Is it a good solution?
You can use xlr to rca to accomplish what you need. Without looking up the output spec, I'd assume there would be no problem.

What speakers do you have
bnobre69 posts on November 17, 2019 12:41
everettT, post: 1350509, member: 78951
What does the literature say?
XLR mono “Bridge” input enables unit to be run in mono at 180 watts x 1 into 8 ohms

I'd just buy better amp with more power if it were me.

I have an oportunity to buy another one and that would fullfill my needs..the literature say that you could drive mono troght xlr but the pre p3000r doesn't have xlr outs… It has two pairs of rca outs? Can i convert rca trough xlr? Is it a good solution?
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