Onkyo M504.....buy or pass?

EvrythngmattersEvrythngmatters Posts: 204
edited December 2011 in Electronics
I have the opportunity to pick up an Onkyo M504 in near mint condition. I have no real need for this other than the desire to hook it up and watch the meters dance. Once my meter trance has worn off though, is this a keeper? I have read about it and it does not seem like a bad amp. Any thoughts either way? Thanks.
Everything matters. That is all.
Money cannot buy happiness, but it sure can buy a bad **** boat to pull up along side it though.
Post edited by Evrythngmatters on

Comments

  • PhasewolfPhasewolf Posts: 514
    edited November 2011
    How much coin do they want for it? My friend has 2 of them and likes them but they tend too want 300 to 400 hundred for a nice one. If your talking about less then that you can flip it if you decide not too keep it.
    Absolute corruption empowers absolutely.

    Lg 55LW5600 TV
    Onkyo PR-SC 5508
    Legacy Audio Focus SE
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    Polk F/X500i Rears
    Parasound HCA-3500
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    Behringer iNUKE NU6000DSP
    Pair of CraigSUB SS-18.1
  • cnhcnh Posts: 13,310
    edited November 2011
    Someone here runs those in his system...but I can't remember who it is at the moment. It's a decent amp, you might like it.

    I run its matching pre-amp (the Onkyo/Integra P-304) with my Adcom GFA-555 and I'm pretty happy with it! Has a really "nice" phono section as well! This period of Onkyo separates had a pretty "good" build quality, and who doesn't love those meters?

    If you can get it for a good price! Why not?

    cnh
    Currently orbiting Bowie's Blackstar.!

    Polk Lsi-7s, Def Tech 8" sub, HK 3490, HK HD 990 (CDP/DAC), AKG Q701s
    [sig. changed on a monthly basis as I rotate in and out of my stash]
  • ibewbrotheribewbrother Posts: 186
    edited November 2011
    +2 cnh. The M-504 was made when Onkyo was at it's best...in my opinion...and I run a NR-807 now. If reasonable price I say get it. And those meters are pretty all lit up and dancing in a dark room.
    "Making life enjoyable through expensive electronics." BillD

    Pioneer Elite SC-57
    M70 series 2 mains
    CS2 center
    M40 surround
    M30 front height
    SVS PB 12 NSD

    Carver TFM-45 (mains)
    Carver A753x (center, surround)

    320GB PS3, 42" Panasonic G10,

    M60's as a Zone 2 off of the Pioneer in the living room

    R.I.P. Onkyo TX-NR807
  • halo71halo71 Posts: 4,478
    edited November 2011
    I run an M504 and love it. Very solid, durable amplifier IMO.
    --Gary--
    Onkyo Integra M504, Bottlehead Foreplay III, Denon SACD, Thiel CS2.3, NHT VT-2, Infinity RSIIIa, SDA1C and a few dozen other speakers around the house I change in and out.
  • EvrythngmattersEvrythngmatters Posts: 204
    edited November 2011
    I can pick up the amp for $300.00. I saw the audiogon bb value,what some have sold for and it seems like $300.00-$450.00 is what you'll pay depending on condition. I'll make up my mind by this afternoon. Once I see it though I think that will make up my mind totally. Some much audio, so little time.
    Everything matters. That is all.
    Money cannot buy happiness, but it sure can buy a bad **** boat to pull up along side it though.
  • EvrythngmattersEvrythngmatters Posts: 204
    edited November 2011
    Well, I picked up this amp and it was in the condition as described. The sides are shiny beautiful like they should be and to top it all off the binding posts have been upgraded to accept banana plugs since the old ones did not. Will be hooking it up in a few days when I have time. Only had time to demo long enough to test it out. Yahoo!!
    Everything matters. That is all.
    Money cannot buy happiness, but it sure can buy a bad **** boat to pull up along side it though.
  • EvrythngmattersEvrythngmatters Posts: 204
    edited November 2011
    When it rains it pours. I just bought a 2nd 504 and the matching Integra P3099 preamp. What a day!! Double yahoo!!
    Everything matters. That is all.
    Money cannot buy happiness, but it sure can buy a bad **** boat to pull up along side it though.
  • cnhcnh Posts: 13,310
    edited November 2011
    You mean P-309 right? TOTL, early 80s if I'm not mistaken!

    http://audio-database.com/ONKYO/amp/integrap-309-e.html

    Tell us what you think when you have them up and running!

    cnh
    Currently orbiting Bowie's Blackstar.!

    Polk Lsi-7s, Def Tech 8" sub, HK 3490, HK HD 990 (CDP/DAC), AKG Q701s
    [sig. changed on a monthly basis as I rotate in and out of my stash]
  • EvrythngmattersEvrythngmatters Posts: 204
    edited November 2011
    cnh wrote: »
    You mean P-309 right? TOTL, early 80s if I'm not mistaken!

    http://audio-database.com/ONKYO/amp/integrap-309-e.html

    Tell us what you think when you have them up and running!

    cnh

    Actually it is the P-3099. The extra 9 is to show that this model has a 120/240 selector on the back which this one does. I have the preamp hooked up now in place of the Nikko. No opinions yet except that when the different inputs light up they remind me of older Yamaha gear. I cannot believe though that this preamp is even wider than the amp. Amp will be hooked up in a couple days though. The second M504 is as pretty as the first but it is all stock. Only bummer though is on the button you push to power on the unit (preamp) it is missing the clear piece you push. No big deal though, I will just buy another.
    Everything matters. That is all.
    Money cannot buy happiness, but it sure can buy a bad **** boat to pull up along side it though.
  • EvrythngmattersEvrythngmatters Posts: 204
    edited November 2011
    The same guy had a pair of Apogee Stage speakers as well. I would not buy them though. I would have to buy his Krell to power those bad boys. He showed me a pic of them and they were very cool. He only wanted $500.00 but I have no room for those. Maybe if I added an addition on to my home I could fit em in somewhere,lol.
    Everything matters. That is all.
    Money cannot buy happiness, but it sure can buy a bad **** boat to pull up along side it though.
  • EvrythngmattersEvrythngmatters Posts: 204
    edited November 2011
    So far so good. No critical listening yet but listening as I research this pre a little more. Seems like this preamp came with a special cable to hook it up to the M509 amp. I was reading a little about it but it was translated from Japanese and the translation was kinda jumbled up. Also, from what I have read the preamp is also able to do 5w Class A. I thought a pre was for control and the amp for power? Can someone that knows what I am talking about please explain?
    Everything matters. That is all.
    Money cannot buy happiness, but it sure can buy a bad **** boat to pull up along side it though.
  • cnhcnh Posts: 13,310
    edited November 2011
    Yeah, I don't get that myself but maybe someone can elaborate. That is a pretty "bad" translation of the Japanese...but I find English translations of Japanese and Chinese usually leave something to be desired. I can translate some Chinese with some facility but even I defer to my wife who is a "native" speaker of the language and was an English major.

    cnh
    Currently orbiting Bowie's Blackstar.!

    Polk Lsi-7s, Def Tech 8" sub, HK 3490, HK HD 990 (CDP/DAC), AKG Q701s
    [sig. changed on a monthly basis as I rotate in and out of my stash]
  • heiney9heiney9 Posts: 24,137
    edited November 2011
    Also, from what I have read the preamp is also able to do 5w Class A. I thought a pre was for control and the amp for power? Can someone that knows what I am talking about please explain?

    Most decent to excellent pre's run in class A because it's negligable power and it sounds better. Without the context I'm afraid I can't help explain the "5W Class A". A typical pre-amp biased in class A (again this is very common) runs less than a watt and that wattage rating really doesn't mean anything without some context.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30 | EE Avant Pre | EE Mini Max Plus DAC | MIT Shotgun S3 | MIT Z P/C's | updated SDA 1C| SQ Box Touch/Welbourne Labs P/S- Tubes add soul!
  • EvrythngmattersEvrythngmatters Posts: 204
    edited November 2011
    heiney9 wrote: »
    Most decent to excellent pre's run in class A because it's negligable power and it sounds better. Without the context I'm afraid I can't help explain the "5W Class A". A typical pre-amp biased in class A (again this is very common) runs less than a watt and that wattage rating really doesn't mean anything without some context.

    H9
    Here is a translation of what i am talking about.

    The gain up of equalizer amplifier is aimed at so that man-month type to MC type can respond to all the cartridges, without Onkyo using head amplifier and a step amplifier transformer taking advantage of the property of the super servo scheme developed uniquely.
    Let three units of MC head amplifier, an equalizer, and a buffer collectively be the simple equalizer amplifier of 1 stage scheme,The large-current first class amplifier which is equal to output 5W class power amplifier is adopted, and the NF-CR splitting type equalization is realized in one step without buffer amplifier.
    In the first rank differential-amplifier part, the heat joint treatment of two a super-low-noise and High Gm FET is carried out in an aluminum case, and visitor thermal noise is suppressed with the thermal balance modification. Moreover, a differential part is made the Para interconnection and the improvement in S/N is aimed at by lowering an impedance. In order that this differential amplifier may stop a mirror feedback capacity, it was made the cascode interconnection and has aimed at the expansion of the frequency characteristic.
    Moreover, big nakedness gain was secured by the 2nd step differential amplifier and the differential amplifier with the 3rd step current mirror, and the stability and the constant distortion are realized by using a partial feedback according it to a skillful pole setups.
    Everything matters. That is all.
    Money cannot buy happiness, but it sure can buy a bad **** boat to pull up along side it though.
  • heiney9heiney9 Posts: 24,137
    edited November 2011
    It has to do with Moving Coil phono amplification. And it says it's equal to 5W Class amplifier.

    I wouldn't put too much into that translation as it's pretty silly to understand.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30 | EE Avant Pre | EE Mini Max Plus DAC | MIT Shotgun S3 | MIT Z P/C's | updated SDA 1C| SQ Box Touch/Welbourne Labs P/S- Tubes add soul!
  • EvrythngmattersEvrythngmatters Posts: 204
    edited November 2011
    Thanks for the clarification. Just when I think I am understanding this hobby stuff like this comes along and messes me all up,lol. Now I am looking at a Pioneer Spec1 pre and Spec4 amp. The guy also has a Pioneer SR303,SG9800 EQ,F-7 tuner for sale. Looked them up on Ebay and now I am in awe at how much this old gear goes for. If the guy can get a ride to me I'm probably going to buy it. All for $250.00-$300.00. Audio gear always comes in waves to me like this. Nothing worth a crap then all of a sudden everything under the sun comes in.
    Everything matters. That is all.
    Money cannot buy happiness, but it sure can buy a bad **** boat to pull up along side it though.
  • heiney9heiney9 Posts: 24,137
    edited November 2011
    IMO the Pioneer Spec stuff is highly overrated. There is a price for nostalgia and people are willing to pay it. I must disclose I am not really a vintage gear guy. I was sort of when I started this hobby way back when, but the much of the modern stuff is so much better. Not always but mostly. EQ are complete dreck the Pio tuna is nice but FM died for me in the 80's.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30 | EE Avant Pre | EE Mini Max Plus DAC | MIT Shotgun S3 | MIT Z P/C's | updated SDA 1C| SQ Box Touch/Welbourne Labs P/S- Tubes add soul!
  • EvrythngmattersEvrythngmatters Posts: 204
    edited November 2011
    heiney9 wrote: »
    IMO the Pioneer Spec stuff is highly overrated. There is a price for nostalgia and people are willing to pay it. I must disclose I am not really a vintage gear guy. I was sort of when I started this hobby way back when, but the much of the modern stuff is so much better. Not always but mostly. EQ are complete dreck the Pio tuna is nice but FM died for me in the 80's.

    H9

    I just finished talking with him on the phone and either tomorrow or Friday he will be bringing them in. Nice enough sounding guy. Hopefully everything is as described. The Pioneer gear is not my cup of tea but still looks cool though. I am going to keep the Integra Pre and one of the 504 amps. Just to cool to pass up. Plus the pre sounds amazing so far. As you know I was just really getting into tubes and still will be but now I have to sell a few coins to pay for all this gear. I may just redo the whole frickin 2 channel for no other reason than to try out some new stuff. I think I may start with the Integra gear,ADS speakers,and Thorens Td-160 tt. may be a good match but I wont know till its all hooked up and I've listened to the 10 or so albums I am very familiar with.
    Everything matters. That is all.
    Money cannot buy happiness, but it sure can buy a bad **** boat to pull up along side it though.
  • EvrythngmattersEvrythngmatters Posts: 204
    edited December 2011
    Here is a couple pics of the Pioneer preamp. I cleaned the preamp up before pics, I picked up the amp as well but it needs a little tlc before pics.
    Everything matters. That is all.
    Money cannot buy happiness, but it sure can buy a bad **** boat to pull up along side it though.
  • EvrythngmattersEvrythngmatters Posts: 204
    edited December 2011
    Well, after having the M504 for a while I have to say I am considering trading it for a pair of Acoustic Research AR-90 speakers. That ought to tell you how much I liked the amp. The meters are cool but the coolness factor wore off pretty darn quick. I have never heard the AR90's but was told that thay are a laid back speaker like ADS.....almost. Whatever that means. Hmmmm, what do you all think, keep the amp or trade it for the speakers?
    Everything matters. That is all.
    Money cannot buy happiness, but it sure can buy a bad **** boat to pull up along side it though.
  • halo71halo71 Posts: 4,478
    edited December 2011
    What do you not like about the M504?
    --Gary--
    Onkyo Integra M504, Bottlehead Foreplay III, Denon SACD, Thiel CS2.3, NHT VT-2, Infinity RSIIIa, SDA1C and a few dozen other speakers around the house I change in and out.
  • EvrythngmattersEvrythngmatters Posts: 204
    edited December 2011
    halo71 wrote: »
    What do you not like about the M504?
    The bass is not as defined or quick as I like. Seems a little sloppy. The overall pace of the music seems a little on the slow side for me. A lush nice sounding amp that looks cool but at the end of the day I want more. Coming off having Classe and Pass Labs in the system I think you will understand why I am saying this. The Classe is mine but the Pass Labs is a friends of mine. He upgraded and now the Pass Labs sits in a closet so I figured I would try it out for a little while. I like meters as you can tell,lol.

    Now maybe if I had access to the cable that goes between a few of the Integra amps and preamps that improve the overall musical presentation my opinion may change, but since the cables are beyond rare to find I will cross that bridge when I come to it.
    Everything matters. That is all.
    Money cannot buy happiness, but it sure can buy a bad **** boat to pull up along side it though.
  • cnhcnh Posts: 13,310
    edited December 2011
    That makes sense though hardly a fair comparison as Classe and Pass amps are in "another" price bracket!

    What speakers were you running with that Onkyo? Actually, to tell you the truth, I find the Onkyo P-304 to be a fairly good match for my Adcom GFA-555--the two balance each other out. The Onkyo 'softens' the 555 a little but the 555 still puts out fairly deep tight controlled bass?

    Have fun!

    cnh
    Currently orbiting Bowie's Blackstar.!

    Polk Lsi-7s, Def Tech 8" sub, HK 3490, HK HD 990 (CDP/DAC), AKG Q701s
    [sig. changed on a monthly basis as I rotate in and out of my stash]
  • EvrythngmattersEvrythngmatters Posts: 204
    edited December 2011
    cnh wrote: »
    What speakers were you running with that Onkyo? Actually, to tell you the truth, I find the Onkyo P-304 to be a fairly good match for my Adcom GFA-555--the two balance each other out. The Onkyo 'softens' the 555 a little but the 555 still puts out fairly deep tight controlled bass?

    Have fun!

    cnh

    Never heard the 304 but I do have the P-3099 which is a great preamp although a tad dark overall in its presentation imo. The dark part I have figured out goes away with brighter speakers like Paradigms. Heck, just changing the ic or speaker cables changes the sound. As far as speakers I have had various ones hooked up. First was some ADS, then some Maggies, some old school JBL,Thiel,and Paradigm. Nothing high end by any means but good enough for the 504 amp.
    Everything matters. That is all.
    Money cannot buy happiness, but it sure can buy a bad **** boat to pull up along side it though.
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