I had a cheap Walmart Samsung surround sound that I purchased 3 years ago and from past experience being a home theatre installer for circuit city I knew this Onkyo would have far better sound. I was sadly mistaken. The speakers handle far more power than my Samsung unit but the receivers built in equalizer settings leave much to be desired. There's literally no mid-range from the satellite speakers. Factory settings have the center speaker over powering the left and right. You must decrease the center and raise the sound from both front. Even once you get a even balance which for me ended up being -2 center, +6 left/right, +3 sub, +0 surround, there's no mid's. Don't get me wrong the sound is crisp but all you have is highs and lows.
If my Samsung didn't have special speaker hookups I'd trash the Onkyo receiver and use the Samsung with Onkyo speakers. Sadly this would leave me without the second optical audio which is a big reason I purchased this.
I plan to mess with settings a bit more to see if I can find a suitable adjustment, if not o guess I'll attempt to just sell the receiver for something else.
Doesn't seem to be defective, it just lacks the sound quality my Samsung has. If you hadn't heard the difference before and after then you'd probably not know you're missing anything.