short onkyo m501 amp review

phoneisbusy Posts: 867
edited January 2005 in Electronics
Finally found some time to hook the Onkyo to the main rig now that the holiday season is winding down.

I have the m501 hooked up to my RT12's and found that there's a definite improvement. The notes seems sharper and less muddled. The bass is tighter but where I notice the differences most in piano music. The notes seem to linger and sound more airy and not so compressed.

The music now seems more forward whereas the Pioneer Elite (vsx-41) seemed to present it more meekly. Some CD's sound a bit harsher now (my wife has John Denver in the cd player) but some sound wonderful (Rankin Sisters - Do You Hear Christmas cd).

The rt12's do seem happier to have more power driving them though. The mid's have always been good but I'm finding the highs have more of a presence.

I noticed that the amp needed a few minutes to warm up after power up though. After power up, the sound is thin and strained. After a minute the music starts warming up and filling in. I may just decide to leave it on all the time.

Not the most professional review but there you go. Nice upgrade to the rig at a nice price. TroyD was great to deal with.


Time is the best teacher. Unfortunately it kills all its students.
Post edited by phoneisbusy on


  • ohskigod
    ohskigod Posts: 6,485
    edited January 2005
    good review. the m-501 was my first seperate amp. i ran a 2 channel system along with the P-301 preamp. my M-501 still powers my 2 center channel speakers in my home theater system. I just dont have the heart to dump this amp. a solid performer, and the perfect amp on the used market to get into seperates on the cheap.
    2 Channel -
    Ci Audio Passive Pre. Jolida CD player. CAL Sigma DAC, Outlaw m200 monoblock (x2). Polk R200 (my god these things are wonderful!)
  • dorokusai
    dorokusai Posts: 25,500
    edited January 2005
    Rock on Dave, stop BS'n and turn it up!
    CTC BBQ Amplifier, Sonic Frontiers Line3 Pre-Amplifier and Wadia 581 SACD player. Speakers? Always changing but for now, Mission Argonauts I picked up for $50 bucks, mint.
  • dragon1952
    dragon1952 Posts: 4,754
    edited January 2005
    A very cool looking amp too. I was hesitant about selling mine but you can only have so much stuff. :(
    2 channel - PS Audio Stellar S300 amp, PS Audio DirectStream DAC, audio optimized NUC7i5 running Windows 10 Pro/JRiver MC24/Fidelizer Plus 8.7, Matrix X-SPDIF 2 USB interface, Blackbird SSD dock with 500 GB Samsung 860 EVO, Tom Tutay modded EE Minimax preamp, Furman Elite 15 Pfi power conditioner, Martin Logan Electromotion ESL speakers, Rythmik F12SE subwoofer, Morrow Audio SP5 speaker cables, Gabriel Gold Reflection V2 IC's, VH Audio power cords, Revelation Audio Prophecy HDMI/I2S cable, iFi Gemini 3 USB cable.
    Computer - Windows 7/JRiver, Topping D10 DAC, Fostex PMO.4n monitors