rbilsbor wrote:I doubt anyone can hear the difference between .8% and .9% THD, correct?
Looking into this a bit more, I may have misjudged the Sony based upon the limited specs on the Amazon page.
If you believe the Crutchfield page for the Sony ( http://www.crutchfield.com/S-L9jsVTAhtLJ/p_158STDN840/Sony-STR-DN840.html#details-tab ) the specs for the two units are, indeed, similar. (The most meaningful basis for comparison is the full range stereo output into 6 Ohms which is 95W for both units at 0.07% and 0.09% THD for the Onkyo and Sony, respectively -- and I agree that this is not a meaningful difference.)
And Sony does ship a room mic for tuning to your space:
Advanced Digital Cinema Auto Calibration - Quick Speaker Set Up
Ensure you get the best sound experience from your A/V receiver and speakers. This advanced version offers auto phase matching. Simply place the included microphone where you will be seated and settings are automatically optimized based on the distance, delays and placement of your speakers.
Sony has been behind the competition in this area; from the description of this function it appears to deal with delays and phase only as opposed to a frequency EQ. If you are happy with your speakers and room response it may not be a big deal for you.
I'm open to getting the Onkyo and just using their (fairly poorly reviewed) mobile apps for music streaming, at least it's Wi-Fi and not Bluetooth -- but I have a hard time convincing myself given 3/4 comments here seem to be about HDMI unreliability! I wonder if the new 2013 models have different/better HDMI boards...
It's worth noting that one of the 4 Amazon reviews for the Sony also mentions HDMI board problems. Perhaps the Onkyo rep who seems to be lurking around can comment if this unit has improvements in this area.
In general if this is a much higher quality unit, that would be good to know. I have an old Onkyo that has faired fine for the last 5 years, and have never used a Sony.
Again I will take back what I said about this being "much" better. I will admit to an anti-Sony bias, but I think if the auto-setup and eq is important to you the Audessey system in the Onkyo is considered state of the art; if this is not an issue for you I would feel comfortable with whichever one has the inputs, decoders, and feature set you want.