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Old 06-15-2011, 01:45 AM   #1
Islandcapture Islandcapture is offline
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Default HT-S9400THX finally arrives!

This is Onkyo's latest HTIB system. This will be my first home theater after 10 years. This is so new, I couldn't find a review for it. I chose it because, it's on the top end of my budget, it's THX which I've had good experience before, matched speakers that looks solid on paper/picture, it plays Pandora, etc.

First impression (I haven't connected it yet):

Huge box! I expected it to come in separate boxes but it came in one humongous box which I had trouble moving (requires at least three people IMO) so I ended up opening it and transporting the pieces individually.

Because I have to be at work, all I can do is read the manuals. Everything looks good except for one thing... Zone 2.

Zone 2 is also one of my deciding factor. I thought I could have another set of stereo speakers in another room. Yup, it does work that way but... Big BUT... I have to use the system as a 5.1 instead of 7.1! Not an option. And I just bought a pair of Polk Audio speakers for that zone 2! Have to return the speakers or sell it somehow.

I have an embarrassing confession -- I underestimated the size of the speakers. You see, I would rather be over than under and this unit is significantly oversized for the room. Get ready for this... A 10x12 bedroom! Probably smaller.

I did consider other receiver/speakers (not HTIB) but none fits my requirements. Either they have limited features (receiver) or beyond my budget (speakers).

This unit has an MSRP of $1,099 but I got it for only $799 with free shipping. I think that's a good deal. B&H has it for $100 more with $130 shipping.

That's it for now. I'll continue unpacking tonight and maybe start thinking of the placements. It won't be easy. I did consider putting it in a larger room but it'll be tedious to move things around and I doubt my wife will agree moving the new 3D TV out of the bedroom.
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Old 06-15-2011, 03:18 AM   #2
Bodyslide Bodyslide is online now
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Damn that is a Beast...

There is also a firmware update avail for it....

http://www.us.onkyo.com/model.cfm?m=...ss=Systems&p=d
PSN:Bodyslide
Receiver:Onkyo TX-NR616
Fronts:(2) Pioneer SP-FS52-LR
Center:Pioneer SP-C22
Rears:(2) Pioneer SP-BS22-LR
Sub:BIC America F12
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Old 06-15-2011, 03:24 AM   #3
Almadacr Almadacr is offline
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One thing is bothering me why in a room 10X12 or less , you want a 7.1
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Old 06-15-2011, 04:39 AM   #4
Islandcapture Islandcapture is offline
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The 7.1 wasn't by choice. That was the only option. It wasn't really a big deal because I could either not use the two extra speakers or eventually transfer the system to a bigger room.

The deal breaker was when Newegg sold it much lower price than I anticipated with free shipping. I just lost it and clicked buy. :P I couldn't find a similarly specced system from other brands for that price.
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Old 06-15-2011, 05:29 AM   #5
Islandcapture Islandcapture is offline
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Okay there are so many hurdles in this small room that I decided to transfer the Audio/video to the living room. This means rearranging 85% of the furniture and wall fixtures but the electronics will look better there. The 7.1 will be perfect.

I'll post my experience and an amateur view review of the unit for those interested.

I still have to kinda convince my wife but I think I feel strongly about this.
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Old 06-15-2011, 08:52 PM   #6
Islandcapture Islandcapture is offline
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Update: I tried rearranging stuff in the living room and install the audio/video there but I ran into a bigger problem... The viewing distance is too far for the 46" (>10') so back to the bedroom.

The HTIB isn't as large as I though in the bedroom. The 7.1 might be overkill but it does work. If I have it, might as well use it. The only problem is the 12" sub although I found a good enough space for it under a desk.

Fired up the system for the first time this morning using the included speaker wires. I think the reason why companies include puny 22awg wires is for quick testing only which I was able to do while I figure out the placement and wait for the 16awg wires I ordered from Monoprice.

With no adjustments whatsoever, the sound is pretty good. I tried watching different types of movies, TV, and Pandora. Jazz sounded so good! I finally enjoyed watching Black Hawk Down. I was tempted to watch the entire movie but I had to resist or else I won't be able to finish other stuff. Watching movies is for cuddling with my wife on the weekends (TMI!)

I'm back at work but as soon as I get home (which is about midnight), I'll start rearranging the bedroom. If it works out, the biggest work will be about remounting the heavy TV and wall mount. (thanks to my understanding wife for helping me with this)

I ordered a gigabit network switch from Newegg (arrived today) since my network connections just doubled. It'll take time to reorganize the wires but it'll be worth the effort.
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Old 06-16-2011, 12:36 AM   #7
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If you do not mind me asking, does your receiver overheat? I am concerned with the overheating which I am thinking of buying Onkyo HT-S7300 but that one has overheating and was wondering if the HT-S9400THX has fixed the overheating?
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Old 06-16-2011, 04:26 AM   #8
Islandcapture Islandcapture is offline
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I only had this for a few days. I left it on and playing for a few hours (half a day) and the receiver is warm (pretty normal - it's an amplifier) but never overheated or shut down. It doesn't have a fan so heat doesn't dissipate. I think as long as I don't cover the vents on top (no stacking), it'll be fine.
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Old 06-16-2011, 04:34 AM   #9
Islandcapture Islandcapture is offline
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I decided to install the system in the 10x12 bedroom but I had to move the TV to another location for a more ideal setup. Remounting that heavy wall mount was tedious but worth it.

Here is a photo with the front/center speakers mounted. I'm still waiting for the speaker wires and Ethernet cables I ordered from Monoprice.

The Polk Audio bookshelf speakers also arrived today. I'm using it for zone 2 for the other room. Newegg rocks!
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Old 06-16-2011, 06:30 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Islandcapture View Post


I decided to install the system in the 10x12 bedroom but I had to move the TV to another location for a more ideal setup. Remounting that heavy wall mount was tedious but worth it.

Here is a photo with the front/center speakers mounted. I'm still waiting for the speaker wires and Ethernet cables I ordered from Monoprice.

The Polk Audio bookshelf speakers also arrived today. I'm using it for zone 2 for the other room. Newegg rocks!
Nice setup, it would distract me from watching the movie since the speakers is so close to the TV
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Old 06-16-2011, 07:16 AM   #11
Zombienietzsche Zombienietzsche is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Islandcapture View Post


I decided to install the system in the 10x12 bedroom but I had to move the TV to another location for a more ideal setup. Remounting that heavy wall mount was tedious but worth it.

Here is a photo with the front/center speakers mounted. I'm still waiting for the speaker wires and Ethernet cables I ordered from Monoprice.

The Polk Audio bookshelf speakers also arrived today. I'm using it for zone 2 for the other room. Newegg rocks!
I dont know if there is enough distance between the Left and Right speakers for proper channel separation. They should be at least 6' apart.
Setup:
Sony 46EX710
Denon 3311CI
Klipsch Reference RF-82II's, RC-62II
Sony Playstation 3 (Fat)
Xbox 360 (Halo 3 Edition)
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Old 06-16-2011, 11:27 AM   #12
Islandcapture Islandcapture is offline
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The speakers have black grills. I just took them off for the photo.

You know the saying "beggars can't be choosers". This is the only way I can mount them so separation is the least of my worries.

I'm learning from it. I'm used to having a lot of space in my parent's house when I was younger but now that my wife and I live in a small basement apartment, I am presented with a lot of challenges. I can't wait to have our own house in a few years.

I appreciate all your feedback.
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Old 06-16-2011, 12:14 PM   #13
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I hope you are enjoying it! Pretty good for sound is not good enough, how about excellent?
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Old 06-16-2011, 10:12 PM   #14
Islandcapture Islandcapture is offline
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I can't enjoy it yet, I'm always at work! Lol! I finally hooked it up again and fired it up. I used the included wires for now.

I do like it. It has enough of the separation to satisfy me for what it is. Too early to really give a review so I'll wait until I watch a few movies. So far listening to jazz on Pandora is the best for me.

My uncle came to see my setup and was blown away with the sound, 2D and 3D performance. He loves how I can pull the thin 46" TV forward and angle it.
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Old 06-16-2011, 10:31 PM   #15
Islandcapture Islandcapture is offline
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I upgraded the firmware today with a hitch. It failed midway on my first attempt! I was doing it through ethernet. I really thought it was toast. Tried it again and it failed once more. No sound was coming out. I decided to use the USB. Downloaded and unzipped file from my MacBook Pro to USB. It worked! Whew!



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Old 06-18-2011, 08:54 AM   #16
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I bought the Onkyo S5400 at the end of last month, loving it. My room is much larger than yours and my 10" subwoofer is so powerful I had to put the dial on the back of the sub at around 1/4th setting otherwise I fear the walls will crack. I wonder what you have the dial set at on your 12" sub?
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Old 06-18-2011, 09:52 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LetoAtreides82 View Post
I bought the Onkyo S5400 at the end of last month, loving it. My room is much larger than yours and my 10" subwoofer is so powerful I had to put the dial on the back of the sub at around 1/4th setting otherwise I fear the walls will crack. I wonder what you have the dial set at on your 12" sub?
Hi, since I have a THX system, there is a certain level it has to be at (I think about 1/3 marked THX) and I just leave it there. I did calibrate the system using the Audeyssy mic and it actually lowered the sub by a few db. I could have used an 8" sub but the system came with a 12". I actually had a hard time looking for a place for it at first but worked out fine eventually.
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Old 06-19-2011, 11:05 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Islandcapture View Post
Hi, since I have a THX system, there is a certain level it has to be at (I think about 1/3 marked THX) and I just leave it there. I did calibrate the system using the Audeyssy mic and it actually lowered the sub by a few db. I could have used an 8" sub but the system came with a 12". I actually had a hard time looking for a place for it at first but worked out fine eventually.
How warm does the Onkyo receiver run?

I'm wanting to get the S7400 but alot of people are claiming that the receivers overheat fairly quickly...
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Old 06-20-2011, 07:04 PM   #19
Islandcapture Islandcapture is offline
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Hi, after watching Blu-rays at THX volume and listening to music at mid to high volumes all day, the Onkyo receiver ran warm as expected but not to the point where it would fail or injure the user. It doesn't have a fan so it will run warm to touch. I think as long as you don't put anything on top (stacking) to cover the vents or keep it properly ventilated, I'm sure it will be fine.
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Old 06-25-2011, 12:00 AM   #20
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What model is your receiver?
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