Onkyo TX 890, replace or upgrade? PROBLEM SOLVED!
FINAL UPDATE : Although, I ended up fixing my Onkyo TX-890, I am buying a new integrated amp. The "fix" is not reliable. Read the whole post if you are having rebooting problems with your receiver.
I have the Onkyo TX-890 stereo receiver that I bought in 1991 which served me well all these years. They are driving a pair of KLH tower speakers, which I have had since 1995. I admit its not the best system out there, but it produces "ok" sound.
An unexpected problem developed recently. When I press Speaker A or B buttons to engage the speakers, the unit just re-boots repeatedly. Turns off, then turns on again, repeat every 2 seconds. This happens even without any speakers connected (no load). I had a tech look at the unit, and they told me a whole bank of resisters are blown, at $10 / resister, my repair would come to $250, on top of the $65 diagnosis fee. And even after that, they could not guarantee the receiver would work again.
The Onkyo was a good receiver, at 125 WPC and 0.02% THD, produced good clean sound, though I was looking at going all out for the solid state Mcintosh 6300 integrated amp and a pair of Martin Logan Ethos speakers. At nearly 10K USD, this is akin to dumping the Toyota for a Ferrari. But OMG the sound is unbelievable.
But as I was pondering this, I noticed my Onkyo TX-890 has jumpers when removed enable you to use your own AMP or PRE AMP. So now I am thinking since it appears the amplifier is damaged, I could just buy an amplifier using my existing Onkyo Preamp, which I think is still good. (I'll need to confirm no damage was done to the pre-amp portion of the receiver).
I could be content with this solution, it should be cheaper, but wondering if it makes sense to actually pursue this option. Has anyone done something like this before and been happy with the results?
UPDATE: I confirmed my pre -amp is working fine. I am getting the Onkyo M282 Amp. There is more power than my the current specs, though the THD is a bit higher. This puts me exactly where I left off, not a significant upgrade, but a transparent solution.
2nd UPDATE: I ended up fixing my Onkyo! Since I am unsure how or why the problem got resolved, I am documenting all steps. Since last night, I have been listening through the headphone jack. After turning off the receiver, out of curiosity, I decided to pull the preamp and amp jumpers. I didn't realize there would be no sound, so I re-jumpered them and the headphones started working again.
Then as a matter of testing, I decided to engage the speakers without load. At this point, the receiver would normally have gone into re-boot mode. But the receiver stayed on! No re-booting. So I wired the speakers up again, then the whole system is back!!! I can only guess something in the computer control system was re-set when I pulled the preamp/amp jumpers.
Now I have to wonder about that "bank of blown resistors" in the repair shop's diagnosis. I cancelled my order for the M282 amp. Hopefully this helps someone out there, as this problem and solution are not documented anywhere. This 22 year old receiver continues to perform! Amazing.
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