Onkyo PR-RZ5100 Surround Processor

The Onkyo PR-RZ5100 offers both balanced XLR outputs on all 13 channels or RCA. After hearing "induced" noise while using RCA I decided to try XLR and was pleasantly surprised with a totally quite noise floor especially between tracks during playback.

I ran Onkyo system’s room/speaker-correction EQ and the resulting calibration settings were rather interesting. For example, Onkyo exhibits strange to me final gain settings.

LF -12db
C -14db
RF -12db
S  -15db

Why would everything be in the minus? Why not:

LF  0db
C -2db
RF 0db
S -3db

As to why the gains might be calibrated in the minus the answer probably has to do with THX specifications. THX Reference Levels specifies that your subwoofer peaks are 115dB while the rest of your speakers will peak at 105dB. The average program level will be 85dB. For various reasons, reference level is generally too loud for a home environment. Most people listen 10-20dB below that.

Obviously, the more sensitive your speakers the less gain. After zeroing in the gains I'm certain the THX specifications are now met at a lower volume setting on the Onkyo Volume control. I'll have to purchase an SPL meter to measure the overall volume level but the Onkyo calibrated the THX specification at 82% volume on the knob. Now the overall volume level is perceived at a much lower volume knob setting around 70%.

Lastly, in case you're curious the Onkyo PR-RZ5100 is driving an Emotiva DR3 in my setup. I decided to include a parts list of what I used to connect the Onkyo and will do so whenever making future posts on equipment.

GLS Audio XLR-M to XLR-F Patch Snake Cables - 3ft Colors - 6 Pack 6P3

GLS Audio 6ft Patch Cable Cords - XLR Male to XLR Female Color Cables - 6' Balanced Snake Cord - 6 Pack

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