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Onkyo M-5010 Stereo Amplifier Preview

The Onkyo M-5010 Stereo Amplifier

The Onkyo M-5010 Stereo Amplifier


  • Product Name: M-5010 Stereo Amplifer
  • Manufacturer: Onkyo
  • Review Date: July 12, 2013 08:45
  • MSRP: $349 (Street Price: $249)
  • First Impression: Pretty Cool
  • Buy Now
  • Power Output: 8 ohm: 75 W/Ch (1 kHz, 0.08%, 2 Channels Driven, FTC)
  •                      4 ohm: 65 W/Ch (1 kHz, 0.08%, 2 Channels Driven, FTC)
  • Damping Factor: 60 (Front, 1 kHz, 8 Ohms)
  • Input Sensitivity and Impedance: 870 mV/20 k-Ohms (Unbalanced)
  • Rated RCA Output Level and Impedance: 0.87 V/270 Ohms (Line Out)
  • Frequency Response: 10 Hz– - 100 kHz /+0 dB, -3 dB
  • Signal-to-Noise Ratio: 110 dB (Line, IHF-A)
  • Speaker Impedance: 4 Ohms–-16 Ohms
  • Power Supply AC: 120 V~, 60 Hz
  • Power Consumption: 160 W
  • No-Sound Power Consumption: 45 W
  • Standby Power Consumption: 0.4 W
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 17 1/8" x 5 1/2" x 12 1/4" (435 x 139 x 311 mm)
  • Weight: 17.6 lbs. (8.0 kg)


Executive Overview

Onkyo is a company well known for delivering feature packed receivers at relatively low prices; they aren't necessarily a company most think of when looking at external amplifiers. Enter the M-5010. Priced at a reasonably affordable $349 and rated to deliver 75W into an 8 ohm load (1kHz, 0.08% THD, both channels driven), Onkyo is ostensibly delivering a respectable, if not world-beating stereo amp. How does the M-5010 stand up to a little scrutiny from the Audioholics? Read on to find out.

Hello Beautiful?

If nothing else, the M-5010 isn't a bad looking amplifier; it's not going to get the juices flowing like a McIntosh or Classe, but the brushed aluminum front plate adorned with a simple blue LED and power button aren't likely to offend anyone. Flipping to a rear view of the Onkyo, you'll find a fairly basic set of connections: standard RCA jacks for line input and output (the outputs allow for daisy chaining), 12V trigger input and output, and an ordinary set of binding posts which appear to offer adequate spacing. The M-5010 does also offer an input level knob which presumably offers a modicum of volume adjustment, though it'd be nice to see the ability to adjust volume for each channel independently. There's no audio jewelry here, but the connectivity options should be adequate to get the job done and lend some utility for multi-zone operation.

Rear View Onkyo M-5010

View of the Onkyo M-5010's rear panel; in a few words, bland but functional.

As suggested by the 75W rated output into 8 ohms, the M-5010 isn't exactly a power house; Emotiva can sleep soundly knowing their XPR-2 isn't in eminent danger of being outperformed by an Onkyo. Still, 75W is sufficient to deliver respectable listening levels assuming moderately sensitive loudspeakers and a room that wouldn't be mistaken for an auditorium. Unfortunately, the picture does get a bit worse when looking at the 4 ohm rating as power output declines to 65W (1kHz, 0.08% THD, both channels driven). For those keeping track, the decline in voltage going from 75W @ 8 ohms to 65W @ 4 ohms would correspond to a drop of ~3.5dB, which we would deem significant. Suffice it to say, this isn't an amplifier that we would highly recommend using with 4 ohm speakers at reference levels.

As far as some other performance related facts and figures, Onkyo claims an input sensitivity of 870mV (corresponding to a voltage gain of 29dB) and an input impedance of 20 k-Ohms, which shouldn't be particularly troublesome for practically any preamplifier to drive to full power. Frequency response should be more than adequate, rated at 10Hz-100kHz +0, -3dB, and the rated signal to noise ratio doesn't reveal anything amiss at 110dB. Damping factor is specified as 60 into 8 ohms which is adequate if not extraordinary; however, it is notable that this figure is only defined at 1kHz as opposed to a more useful range like 10Hz-400Hz like some Outlaw amplifiers.


Suffice it to say, Onkyo isn't targeting equipment like the Emotiva UPA-200 with their M-5010 amplifier. This isn't a big bad power amplifier made to supplement weak-kneed receivers. While power isn't exactly the M-5010's forte, particularly into 4 ohm loads, it does come equipped with some potentially handy features that could be of use in multi-zone audio. That's really where we feel the M-5010 is a good fit. Many of the $500 receivers that used to have powered zone 2 outputs are dropping to only pre-outs. Considering that the M-5010 has a street price of only $249, can be daisy chained to other amps, is 4ohm stable (could hook up 4 8ohm speakers), and has a volume control and 12v trigger, we think it would be a great companion to an AVR lacking amplified zone 2 outputs. In the past, for $250 a consumer could just buy a stereo receiver if their main AVR didn't support zone 2, but with the advanced network features built into modern AVRs (control via a mobile app and access to music through various streaming services and DLNA), an external amp makes more sense.

Considering the modest MSRP of $349 and real world price of $249, this Onkyo could well find a home in many audio racks driving whole-home setups where it would be in its element.

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About the author:

Steve Munz is a “different” addition to Audioholics’ stable of contributors in that he is neither an engineer like Gene, nor has he worked in the industry like Cliff. In fact, Steve’s day job is network administration and accounting.

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Recent Forum Posts:

rgrizzzz posts on August 06, 2013 09:17
I did a bit more digging here on the forums, and wound up with a Sherbourn PA 12-45 for $250. It looks like they've been bought out by Emotiva, and are really clearing out their stock. This gives me some head room if I ever want to put some sound outside, which there's a good chance of.

PA 12-45 12-Channel Amplifier | Sherbourn Technologies
rgrizzzz posts on August 05, 2013 11:50
I'm looking at this amp to pair with an Onkyo TX-SR508 to do multi-room audio. I'm pretty new to multi-room setups and could use some help. I'm leaning towards this amp due to price and what I think it can do. I have a 5.1 speaker configuration in the living room powered by the receiver. I added speakers to the ceiling of the kitchen, living room and dining room of our new house. I need to power those 3 pairs and I'm not sure what the best way to do it is. The receiver has a Zone 2 set of speaker outputs. Should I connect one set of the speakers here? Then, connect the other two sets to the M9010? I have to daisy chain the speakers to do this. I need/should use banana plugs, right? The review sort of mentions that if I want to connect 4 speakers, I need to keep the amp set to 8 ohms for daisy chaining. I was under the impression that 4 was the better setting. Will all this work the way I'm planning? I don't think I need a ton of power for the kitchen, dining and living rooms. I just want to play music there.

If this isn't the best idea, I'd also consider the Onkyo A-5VL for about $100 more. Thoughts there for my use?

There's also a chance that I might move the Onkyo to another room with my big TV and leverage an old Sony 5.1 Dolby Digital receiver. Does either amp make a better choice in this scenario. The Sony has a B/Zone 2 speaker output as well.

anamorphic96 posts on July 12, 2013 14:03
This is the same amp section thats in the A-9050 as well. The amp specs make me wonder why Onkyo does not release full bandwidth specs. They do on the TX-8050. Which seems to outperform the A-9050 at a much lower price.
Cliff_is posts on July 12, 2013 11:15
fmw, post: 977031
I didn't read the review but I will comment on the introduction. Why would an amp be appropriate for multi zone use and not for a “big” stereo system. Wouldn't one want good performance from a second zone system? What makes 75 watts per channel inappropriate for a “big” stereo system. Wouldn't that depend on the speakers, room size, sound pressure levels? My “big” stereo system performs beautifully on 40 watts per channel.

Because for about the same price you could get the 125wpc UPA-200. But the UPA-200 doesn't have have the volume control or line level outputs that make the M-5010 nice for multi-zone applications.

It's not that it wouldn't work fine, but there are better options and the focus of the design obviously is for multi-zone use.

Also, read the preview, you will see that we comment on the size of the room in relation to the power.
fmw posts on July 12, 2013 11:04
I didn't read the review but I will comment on the introduction. Why would an amp be appropriate for multi zone use and not for a “big” stereo system. Wouldn't one want good performance from a second zone system? What makes 75 watts per channel inappropriate for a “big” stereo system. Wouldn't that depend on the speakers, room size, sound pressure levels? My “big” stereo system performs beautifully on 40 watts per channel.
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