Onkyo 'rediscovers' stereo components

Today at CES 2011, Onkyo will unveil a new series of audiophile-grade stereo components.

Steve Guttenberg
Ex-movie theater projectionist Steve Guttenberg has also worked as a high-end audio salesman, and as a record producer. Steve currently reviews audio products for CNET and works as a freelance writer for Stereophile.
Steve Guttenberg
2 min read
The Onkyo P-3000R preamplifier (middle), M-5000R power amplifier (front), and C-7000R CD player (rear). Onkyo

Onkyo may be best-known for its receivers and home theater-in-a-box systems, but the company planted deep roots in audiophile-grade hi-fi in the 1970s. As I recall, Onkyo had more street cred among audiophiles than Sony or Pioneer in the days before home theater ruled the roost.

Today at CES in Las Vegas Onkyo will debut a new range of elite stereo hi-fi components, with a style reminiscent of the company's classic models of the 1980s. All three components--the P-3000R preamplifier, M-5000R power amplifier, and C-7000R CD player--incorporate Onkyo's new Dynamic Intermodulation Distortion Reduction Circuitry (DIDRC), that is said to reduce noise by improving linearity and reducing distortion in the super high-frequency range, resulting in audio playback that is more faithful to the original source.

The P-3000R preamp accepts both analog and digital sources. A high-quality 32-bit Burr-Brown digital-to-analog converter is provided for each stereo channel to optimize audio performance. The M-5000R power amplifier's large analog meters evoke the look of Onkyo's classic M-405 amp from the 1980s. While the 8-ohm FTC power rating is a conservative 80 watts, the amplifier's ample current output should allow it to drive even the most demanding loudspeakers to high levels. Eighty watts may not seem like much, but the M-5000R can deliver over 450 watts into 1 ohm speaker loads. A high-grade XLR input offers the possibility of doubling power output with a second amp.

Rounding out the new lineup, the C-7000R CD Player features a thermally regulated, high-precision clock with a state-of-the-art crystal oscillator. The player's analog and digital circuitry are physically separated and employ independent transformers for the analog and digital circuitry.

All three models will be available through select Onkyo dealers this month, 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.

Onkyo and most other receiver manufacturers still make stereo receivers; Onkyo models start with the $249 TX-8255 receiver.