|Onkyo TX-DS989 Version2 Receiver|
|Home Theater AV Receivers AV Receivers|
|Written by Richard Elen|
|Friday, 01 November 2002|
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One point that should be made is that the Onkyo has a rear-mounted fan. It’s quite a large one (and thus able to go round slower and more quietly); it is carefully controlled so that it is not overly noisy; it only comes on when needed. However, you may notice it if you’ve been playing Pantera at 120dB for two hours and then decide to put your feet up and listen to The Chiller Cabinet on ClassicFM (only from classicfm.com for those outside the U.K.). Even so, the fan is not disturbing. In a warmer climate (i.e., summer in Southern California), it probably comes on a bit more often than in other locales, but if you are listening at any reasonable level, it will be drowned out. I would like to have seen a more elegant font for the onscreen display, but the font used here is no worse than many others. While the remote is one of the best I have seen supplied with a receiver, it could have benefited from an on-board library.
The list price of the Onkyo TX-DSTX-DS989 is $3,500, and you should expect serious quality performance from a receiver at this price point. And you get it: the feature set on this unit is simply enormous, and it is particularly well-endowed in the digital audio input area, which is exactly what you need in a modern system. The ability to associate component and digital inputs with almost any input adds significantly to the unit’s versatility, and the future-ready 7.1 capability, while you may not use it all the time immediately, is there when required. And talking of future-ready, being able to upgrade the unit to the latest specs is really cool.
The unit meets all the current highest-level requirements, such as THX Ultra2, for receiver performance, and it deserves its certification. In addition, you get (with Version2 firmware, now standard in this unit) the very latest surround decoding technology, too. The amplifier offers plenty of power and exceptional fidelity; it can handle two zones including IR remote capability. There isn’t too much more you can ask for in an A/V receiver. I am truly impressed.