Great sound is half the battle

You understand that proper rendition of a movie maker's masterfully constructed soundtrack makes the difference between a powerful home theater experience and a couple of hours spent merely watching TV.

If you've tried a home theater receiver or two and still aren't completely satisfied, then maybe you're ready to graduate to Onkyo's flagship PR-SC5508 preamp/processor and the companion PA-MC5500 9-channel power amplifier.

Have a large room and a really big screen? You'll love 9.2-channel surround sound. With nine speakers and two powered subwoofers, you'll hear and feel Blu-ray soundtracks in all their glory.

Say you're watching a battle scene. With 5.1-channel sound you hear the mortar rounds exploding closer and closer to the soldier in the foxhole. You may even hear one sail over his head. With 9.2-channel sound, you are the soldier in the foxhole. The audio grabs you and pulls you into the action. Think of it as 3D for your ears.

Speaking of 3D, you get a state-of-the-art video engine, too

The Silicon Optix Reon-VX HQVT video processing chip inside the PR-SC5508 provides cutting-edge video scaling and deinterlacing capabilities - including digital upconversion of all your video sources to an HDMI signal with up to 1080p resolution.

Eight HDMI inputs accommodate 3D video, and two HDMI outputs let you feed two different high-resolution displays simultaneously.

ISF (Imaging Science Foundation) video calibration gives you sharp focus and accurate color balance from all of your video sources. An ISF-certified technician can adjust the brightness, hue, contrast, saturation, and gamma levels on all video inputs, to ensure a consistently excellent picture. ISF calibration can also improve energy savings in TVs and projectors by up to 50 percent.

Digital music options

A modern preamp/processor wouldn't be complete without A/V networking capabilities, and the PR-SC5508 has an impressive suite of digital music options. Browse your PC-based music collection, explore Internet radio, or access your favorite online music service. Rhapsody™, Pandora®, Napster®, Mediafly™, and Slacker are all here. Connect your iPod® or iPhone® through the receiver's front USB port. You'll get control, charging and even album art using USB alone (video requires the optional UP-A1 dock).

Product Highlights:

    Processing:
    • THX® Ultra2 listening modes for optimized surround sound at any listening level
    • ISF video calibration
    • Dolby® TrueHD, DTS-HD™ Master Audio, Dolby® Digital Plus, DTS-HD™ High Resolution Audio, THX Surround EX®, Dolby® Digital EX, DTS-ES™ and DTS Neo:6 decoding
    • Dolby Pro Logic® IIz expands the soundstage's vertical dimension (requires an additional pair of "height" speakers)
    • analog-to-HDMI video upconversion (up to 1080p) with HQV Reon-VX video processing
    • Audyssey DSX processing for enhanced surround sound height and width effects using additional front speakers
    • Audyssey Laboratories' MultEQ® XT32 eight-point auto setup and room calibration system (microphone included)
    • Audyssey Dynamic EQ for fuller sound at lower listening levels
    • Audyssey Dynamic Volume mode keeps listening levels steady to avoid overly loud peaks such as on TV commercials
    Digital music options:
    • streams music from your PC and the Internet, including Pandora, Napster, Slacker, Rhapsody, and vTuner Internet radio (broadband connection required)
    • plays music stored on MP3 players and flash drives via USB inputs
    • HD Radio ready (requires optional Onkyo UP-HT1 tuner)
    • SIRIUS satellite radio capable (requires SIRIUS subscription and optional SiriusConnect™ home tuner kit)
    • iPod®/iPhone® integration (video playback requires optional Onkyo UP-A1 dock)
    • DLNA certified to ensure optimal compatibility with other network-enabled equipment
    Multi-room audio/video:
    • three-zone audio output
    • composite video output for 2nd room
    • only analog sources can be played in the 2nd and 3rd rooms
    Audio performance features:
    • 192kHz/32-bit Burr-Brown digital-to-analog converters for all channels
    • direct mode and pure audio mode switch off unnecessary circuitry to provide cleaner sound
    • Music Optimizer function enhances the sound quality of compressed music files
    • back surround channels re-assignable for bi-amping front left and right speakers
    • detachable power cord
    Connections:
    • 1080p-compatible HDMI switching: 8 in, 2 out (including 1 front-panel input)
    • HDMI version 1.4a with support for Deep Color, x.v.Color, lip-sync, 1080/24p video, 7.1 uncompressed 24/96 audio, DVD-Audio, SACD, and HDMI-CEC with compatible video sources and TVs
    • component video switching (3 in, 2 out)
    • digital audio inputs: 4 optical (including 1 front panel), 3 coaxial
    • front- and rear-panel USB inputs for audio playback from USB flash drives, hard disk drives, and portable MP3 music players
    • 5 audio/video inputs, including:
      • 1 front-panel input with composite video
      • 4 rear-panel inputs with composite and S-video
    • 4 audio-only inputs (including phono)
    • 7.1-channel analog audio preamp input
    • 9.2-channel analog audio preamp output (RCA and balanced XLR)
    • Ethernet port for music streaming from a PC network
    • RS-232 port for automated control systems
    General features:
    • on-screen display for easy setup and operation
    • 40 AM/FM/SIRIUS presets
    • learning/multibrand remote
    • 17-1/8"W x 7-7/8"H x 19-5/16"D
    • weight: 30.9 lbs.
    • warranty: 2 years
    • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

    Hands-on research

    What's in the box?

    Download owner's manual

    • Black Preamp/Surround Processor
    • 68" AC power cord
    • Wireless remote control (RC-773M)
    • 2 "AA" batteries
    • ACM1H Audyssey setup microphone (18' cable attached terminated with a 3.5mm mono mini-jack)
    • AM loop antenna
    • FM wire antenna (with push-on "F" connector)
    • Instruction Manual
    • Using SIRIUS Satellite Radio booklet (English/ French/ Spanish)
    • Using Internet Radio booklet (English/ French/ Spanish)
    • Remote control code guide
    • Software notice
    • Product registration/Warranty information
    • iPod dock/HD Radio module information
    • RIHD-compatibility note
    • Auto Power Down note
    • SIRIUS brochure

    Product Research

    Audio Features
    Video Features
    Tuner Functions
    USB/iPod Connectivity
    Network Ready
    Remote Control

    Audio Features

    Preamp/Processor: Delegating the amplification duties to a separate component allows the Onkyo PR-SC5508 A/V Surround Preamplifier to keep a healthy distance between noise-inducing high voltage/high current circuits in the amplifier and sensitive low-level circuits in the preamp. This means that the radio frequency and electromagnetic interferences that are found in most A/V receivers don't exist in the preamp, or are reduced by several orders of magnitude. The result is less distortion and less signal degradation in general.

    Note: The Onkyo PR-SC5508 A/V Surround Preamplifier does not feature a built-in amplifier and requires a separate power amplifier such as the Onkyo PA-MC5500 nine-channel power amplifier (item number 580PAM5500, sold separately).

    Preamp Outputs: There are RCA and XLR line level outputs for each of the 9.2 main zone channels; front left, front right, center, surround left, surround right, surround back left, surround back right, front high/wide left, front high/wide right, subwoofer 1, and subwoofer 2. Zone 2 and Zone 3 both have 2.1 channel RCA outputs; left, right, and subwoofer. A menu setting allows the output of both front high and front wide channels, in which case there is no surround back output. The surround back outputs can also be re-assigned to act as front channel bi-amp outputs.

    XLR Input: The XLR (balanced) input can be assigned to the BD/DVD, VCR/DVR, CBL/SAT, Game, PC, Aux, Tape, TV/CD, or Phono input button.

    Multi-room Capability: The PR-SC5508 has preamp outputs for three zones; 9.2 channel surround with video in the main listening room, 2.1 channel (stereo plus subwoofer) with component video and composite video in Zone 2, and 2.1 channel audio only in Zone 3. The source for each zone is independently selectable, allowing you to enjoy different sources in each room. The output level of the Zone 2 and Zone 3 outputs can be fixed or variable, so they can be connected to an amplifier, receiver, or powered speakers equipped with or without volume control. Only analog sources can be played in Zone 2 and Zone 3 and the Zone 2 video output is not converted (only composite video sources are available through the composite video output and only component video sources are available through the component video output).

    ARC (Audio Return Channel): ARC allows audio to be sent from your compatible HDTV to the preamp through the same HDMI cable already being used to send audio and video to your HDTV. This eliminates the need for extra cables connected to your television. The ARC function is only available through the main HDMI monitor output.

    Digital-to-Analog Converters (DACs): To decode and playback high-resolution recordings, this preamp is equipped with Burr-Brown 192kHz/32-bit DACs for all channels.

    Vector Linear Shaping Circuitry (VLSC): Conventional D/A conversion methods reduce digital pulse noise at the conversion stage but can't remove it completely. VLSC (Vector Linear Shaping Circuitry) employs a unique D/A conversion circuit to overcome this problem. Data is converted between sampling points and these points are joined with analog vectors in real-time to produce a smooth output wave form. The result is a virtually noiseless, smooth analog signal based on the digital source to bring out even the most subtle of nuances in your music, movie soundtracks and even MP3s.

    Audyssey: This preamp is equipped with an automatic setup and room equalization function, to achieve the ideal sound field for your room. The Audyssey MultEQ XT32 function is designed to optimize the sound quality at each listening position in the room. The included microphone is used to measure test tones at each listening position. This measured data is then analyzed using a program to improve acoustic characteristics in the listening area. For best results multiple positions should be measured (up to 8), including a main position. The main position is given more weight in the calculations.

    Audyssey Settings:

    • MultEQ XT32: The MultEQ XT32 function automatically determines the number of speakers and optimizes the crossover points, output levels, delay times, and equalization of all speakers based on speaker frequency response, speaker location, and room acoustics measurements.
    • Dynamic EQ: Audio engineers mix music and movie soundtracks at reference levels much louder than typical home listening levels. At lower volumes the human ear perceives sound differently; voices change, bass dissipates, and the surround effect becomes less enveloping. Dynamic EQ adjusts the frequency response curve based on volume to maintain consistent bass output, octave-to-octave balance, and surround impact, resulting in rich sound at any volume.
    • Dynamic Volume: Dynamic Volume addresses the issue of commercials that are too loud and movie soundtracks with vast differences between soft and loud passages; the results are more intelligible dialogue, loud passages maintain impact, and soft whispers are clearly heard. When the volume level changes, Dynamic EQ also adjusts the frequency response to maintain sound quality.

    Speaker Distance: The distance from your listening position to each speaker can also be set manually; each channel is set individually from 0.2 to 30 feet in 0.2-foot increments (this includes left and right Front Wide channels, left and right Front High channels, and two discrete subwoofer settings).

    Speaker Levels: You can also manually adjust the level of each channel output from -12dB to +12dB in 0.5dB increments; -15dB to +12dB for the subwoofers.

    THX Loudness Plus: A consequence of turning the volume below Reference Level is that certain sound elements can be lost or perceived differently by the listener. THX Loudness Plus compensates for the tonal and spatial shifts that occur when the volume is reduced by intelligently adjusting ambient surround channel levels and frequency response. This enables users to experience the true impact of soundtracks regardless of the volume setting. THX Loudness Plus is automatically applied when listening in any THX listening mode.

    Dolby Volume: Dolby Volume is an intelligent volume control system that improves audio frequency response and corrects volume differences between sources or types of content.

    Half Mode: Dolby Volume can be set to apply bass and treble attenuation to the audio when the system gain exceeds reference level (very loud). This enables a more perceptually flat listening experience as human ears are more sensitive to bass and treble at higher levels.

    Double Bass: You can increase the bass output by activating the Double Bass function; this feeds both the LFE and left and right channel bass output to the subwoofer. Double Bass can be set only when the subwoofer is set to On and the front speakers are set to full range.

    Crossover: The PR-SC5508 has a built-in crossover for the speaker system that can be set manually. The crossover points are set separately for the front, center, surround, surround back, front wide, front high, and subwoofer channels. The sub crossover options are 80, 90, 100, 110, and 120 Hz. The other channels can be set to Full Range, 40, 45, 50, 55, 60, 70, 80 (THX), 90, 100, 110, 120, 130, 150, or 200 Hz. All but the main speakers can also be turned off.

    LFE Level: You can set the level of the LFE channel individually for Dolby Digital, DTS, multi-channel PCM, Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio, and DSD sources. The level can be set to -infinity, -20 dB, -10 dB or 0 dB.

    Equalizer: Using the preamp's built-in electronic 7-band equalizer you can manually adjust the tone of each channel; the bands are centered at 63, 160, 400, 1000, 2500, 6300 and 16000 Hz and are adjustable from -6 dB to +6 dB in 1 dB increments. The subwoofers are also adjustable from -6 dB to +6 dB in 1 dB increments at 25, 40, 63, 100, and 160 Hz.

    THX Ultra2 Plus Certified: THX surround technology was founded by George Lucas. THX utilizes stringent standards that ensure movies are reproduced in movie theaters and home theaters just as the director intended. The PR-SC5508 offers the following THX surround modes:

    • Neural THX: Neural Surround employs psychoacoustic frequency domain processing, which delivers a more detailed sound stage, superior channel separation, and localization of audio elements; Neural Surround can be combined with THX Cinema, Music, and Games to expand 2-channel sources to 5.1 or 7.1 channels; XM Satellite Radio uses Neural THX encoding on select channels for decoding to 5.1 or 7.1-channel for playback (XMHD)
    • THX Cinema: carefully optimizes the tonal and spatial characteristics of the soundtrack for reproduction in the smaller home-theater environment
    • THX Music: designed for use with music (typically mastered at higher levels than movie soundtracks), THX Loudness Plus also configured for music
    • THX Games: designed for spatially accurate playback of game audio (mixed for a smaller environment than movies)
    • THX Ultra2 Cinema: expands 5.1-channel sources for 7.1-channel playback by analyzing the composition of the surround source and optimizing the ambient and directional sounds to produce the surround back channel output
    • THX Ultra2 Music: expands 5.1-channel sources for 7.1-channel music playback
    • THX Ultra2 Games: expands 5.1-channel sources for 7.1-channel game audio playback
    • THX Surround EX: expands 5.1-channel sources for 6.1/7.1-channel playback, especially suited to Dolby Digital EX sources

    Listening Modes: This preamp incorporates powerful and accurate 32-bit DSP processors and a wide variety of listening modes to bring you maximum enjoyment from your audio and video software. The listening modes include:

    • Pure Audio: the display and analog video circuitry are turned off, minimizing possible noise sources for high-fidelity reproduction
    • Direct: audio from the input source is output directly with minimal processing
    • Stereo: sound is output from the front left and right speakers and subwoofer
    • Mono: monaural sound is output from your choice of speaker combinations
    • Multi-channel: use with multi-channel PCM inputs
    • Dolby Pro Logic II: expands any 2-channel source to 5.1 channels (includes PLII Movie, PLII Music, and PLII Game)
    • Dolby Pro Logic IIx: expands any 2-channel source to 7.1 channels (includes PLIIx Movie, PLIIx Music, and PLIIx Game)
    • Dolby Pro Logic IIz Height: designed to improve the accuracy of the front stage when Front High speakers are used
    • Dolby Digital: decodes Dolby Digital soundtracks
    • Audyssey Dynamic Surround Expansion (DSX): adds Front Wide and/or Front High speakers to improve the front stage and applies Surround Envelopment Processing to enhance the blend between the front and surround channels, Audyssey DSX can be combined with Dolby Pro Logic II, Dolby Pro Logic IIx, DTS Neo:6, and Dolby EX
    • Dolby Digital EX: decodes Dolby Digital EX or expands 5.1-channel Dolby Digital sources to 6.1 or 7.1-channels
    • Dolby Digital Plus: multi-channel audio format that supports up to 7.1 channels with 48 kHz sampling rate
    • TrueHD: delivers exceptional sound that is bit-for-bit identical to the studio master, up to 7.1 channels at 48/96 kHz or up to 5.1 channels at 192 kHz
    • DTS: decodes DTS soundtracks
    • DTS 96/24: decodes high resolution DTS 96/24 soundtracks
    • DTS-ES Discrete: decodes DTS ES soundtracks with additional discrete information
    • DTS-ES Matrix: decodes DTS ES soundtracks with additional matrix information
    • DTS Neo:6 Cinema: expands any 2-channel soundtrack to 6.1 or 7.1-channels
    • DTS Neo:6 Music: expands any 2-channel music source to 6.1 or 7.1-channels
    • DTS-HD High Resolution: multi-channel format supporting up to 7.1 channels with 96 kHz sampling rate
    • DTS-HD Master Audio: offers up to 7.1 discrete channels of digital audio with 48/96 kHz, up to 5.1 channels with 192 kHz sampling rate
    • DTS Express: supports up to 5.1 channels and a lower sampling rate of 48kHz, often used for interactive or commentary audio on HD-DVD and Blu-ray discs
    • Neural Digital Music: specifically designed to enhance playback of compressed digital music; MP3, internet streams, etc
    • DSD: used with SACDs that feature multi-channel audio
    • Onkyo Original DSP Modes:
      • Orchestra: for classical or operatic music
      • Unplugged: for acoustic instruments, vocals, and jazz
      • Studio-Mix: suitable for rock or pop
      • TV Logic: adds realistic acoustics to TV shows
      • Game-RPG: use when playing Role Playing Games
      • Game-Action: use when playing action games
      • Game-Rock: use when playing rock music games
      • Game-Sports: use when playing sports games
      • All Ch Stereo: ideal for background music
      • Full Mono: all speakers output the same sound in mono
      • Theater-Dimensional (T-D): enjoy virtual surround with two or three speakers (you can set the virtual surround imaging to Narrow or Wide)

    Note: You can assign a default listening mode to each input that will be selected automatically when you select the source.

    Dolby Pro Logic II & IIx Music Modes: While listening in the Dolby Pro Logic II or IIx Music format, there are three further enhancements you can adjust:

    • Panorama: broadens the front stereo image to the surround speakers to provide a wraparound effect, especially effective when there is limited output from the surround channels, panorama can be turned on/off in the menu
    • Dimension: allows you to move the sound field forward or backward
    • Center Width: allows you to adjust the width of the center channel

    PL IIz Height Gain: The gain applied to the Front High speakers (when using PL IIz) is adjustable; Low, Medium, or High.

    Center Image: In the DTS Neo:6 Music mode, the Center Image feature adjusts the output of the left and right channels relative to the center channel, allowing you to make the center channel more or less dominant as needed. This improves the image of the center channel, especially when the listener is off-center.

    Re-Equalization Circuitry: Re-EQ (re-equalization) corrects a soundtrack with high frequency response that's too harsh, compensating for the fact that sound mixed for large, plush theaters may sound too bright when played back through speakers in the home environment. This can be turned On or Off.

    Bass and Treble: You can adjust the bass and treble separately for the front, center, surround, Zone2, and Zone3 speakers. Bass is also adjustable for the sub output. You can boost or cut low-frequency (50 Hz) bass output from -10 to +10 dB in 2 dB steps. You can boost or cut high-frequency (20kHz) treble output from -10 to +10 dB in 2 dB steps.

    Late Night Feature: The Late Night feature limits the dynamic range of Dolby Digital recordings, making easier to find a volume that ensures the quiet sounds are not too quiet and the loud sounds are not too loud for night time listening. This allows you to comfortably listen without the need to constantly adjust the volume to keep from waking family/neighbors. The choices are Off, Low, and High for Dolby Digital and Dolby Digital Plus sources; Auto, Off, and On for Dolby TrueHD sources.

    Note: This feature only works with Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, and Dolby TrueHD encoded software and the depth of the feature will vary based on the individual software package.

    IntelliVolume: The IntelliVolume setup function allows you set a volume correction value for each source, to prevent large jumps in volume when switching from one source to another. This feature eliminates the inconvenience of manually adjusting the volume control each time you switch from a source with a weak signal to a source with a strong signal and vice versa.

    Volume Setup: The preamp volume can be configured in the following ways:

    • Volume Display: how the volume is displayed can be set to Absolute (Min, 0.5 to 99.5, Max) or Relative (-infinity, -81.5 dB to +18 dB)
    • Muting Level: choose how much the volume is attenuated when muted; -infinity (no sound) or -50 dB to -10 dB in 10 dB steps
    • Maximum Volume: prevent the volume from accidentally being turned too high by setting a maximum level
    • Power On Volume: specify the volume when the preamp is turned on; choose Last (the same level that was used when the preamp was turned off), Minimum, or set any specific volume level (can't exceed the maximum volume set above)
    • Headphones Level: set the headphone volume relative to the main volume, choose a level between -12dB and +12dB

    Digital Inputs: The PR-SC5508 has six assignable rear panel digital audio inputs (3 optical/3 coaxial) allowing you to specify which input source is connected to which digital input jack; each can be assigned to the BD/DVD, VCR/DVR, CBL/SAT, Game, PC, Tape, TV/CD, Phono, or Port input. The front panel optical digital input is fixed as the Aux source.

    Multi-Channel Input: The preamp is equipped with one set of 8-channel RCA type inputs for use with an outboard 5.1 or 7.1 channel decoder; there are inputs for left front, right front, center, left surround, right surround, surround back left, surround back right, and subwoofer. The multi-channel input can be assigned to the BD/DVD, VCR/DVR, CBL/SAT, Game, PC, Aux, Tape, TV/CD, or Phono input.

    Sleep Function: From the remote, you can set the unit to automatically turn off after a specific time; from 10 minutes to 90 minutes in 10-minute increments.

    Video Features

    On-Screen Display (OSD): An OSD can be displayed on your television for easy system setup. The cursor and enter buttons on the remote make display navigation and setting adjustment simple and convenient. The setup OSD is passed through all the monitor outputs (composite video, S-video, component video, and HDMI). You can choose from several languages for the preamp's on-screen display menu: English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Swedish, or Chinese.

    HDMI Switching: The PR-SC5508 has eight HDMI version 1.4a inputs (7 rear/1 front) and two HDMI version 1.4a outputs for connecting Blu-ray Disc players, HDTV set-top boxes, and other video components through the preamp to your TV or projector. Any of the rear panel input jacks can be assigned to the BD/DVD, VCR/DVR, CBL/SAT, Game, PC, Tape, TV/CD, Phono, or Port input (the front panel HDMI input is fixed as Aux). Both outputs can be active simultaneously and will pass digital audio and video. The HDMI ports are compatible with DVI, so TVs and other displays with a DVI input can be connected using an HDMI-to-DVI adapter cable, along with audio cables (if desired). The preamp uses HDCP (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection), so only HDCP-compatible components can display the picture. The HDMI inputs accept 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, and 1080p signals and the analog video inputs (composite video, S-video, and component video) are converted to HDMI for transfer to the TV.

    Notes: The 2 HDMI outputs display the same video signal and can be used simultaneously.

    Video Conversion and Scaling: The HDMI output can be scaled to 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p, or 1080p/24; or the resolution can be set to Through (no scaling), Auto (resolutions not supported by the display are automatically converted), or Source (resolution set for each source individually). The PR-SC5508 utilizes HQV Reon-VX technology to convert interlaced video signals to progressive scan signals. The HQV Reon-VX chip supports standard definition and high definition de-interlacing, 1080p reconstruction of film sources, filtering of jaggies and artifacts, and the reduction of random, mosquito, and block (codec) noise. HQV Reon-VX also enables color region enhancement and the rendering of more than one billion colors. The Onkyo PR-SC5508 will convert incoming analog composite video, S-video, and component video signals to HDMI so you can connect all your video sources through the preamp and then to your TV via a single HDMI cable. The preamp can also convert composite video and S-video signal to component if your television does not feature an HDMI input.

    Component Video Switching: In addition to composite and S-Video switching, this unit can switch between high resolution component video sources. There are three component video inputs (each of which can be assigned to the BD/DVD, VCR/DVR, CBL/SAT, Game, PC, Aux, Tape, TV/CD, Phono, or Port input) and one component video monitor output. The component video inputs and outputs have a bandwidth of 5 Hz to 100 MHz.

    3D-Compatible: The PR-SC5508's HDMI v.1.4a connections will accept 3D video from your 3D Blu-ray player and output the video signal in 3D to your 3D-ready HDTV.

    x.v.Color: The preamp supports x.v.Color, offering a wider color range than the current broadcast standard. For the x.v.Color feature to be useful, the entire video production chain must be compatible (camera-editing-format-player-display).

    Deep Color: The Onkyo preamp also supports Deep Color which allows increased color depth of video signals passing through HDMI. Without Deep Color, the number of colors expressed by 1 pixel is 24 bits (16,777,216 colors). Using Deep Color, the number of colors expressed by 1 pixel is 36 bits. Since the gradation of the depth of a color can be expressed more finely with more bits, continuous color changes can be more smoothly displayed. For the Deep Color feature to be useful, the entire video production chain must be compatible (camera-editing-format-player-display).

    Note: x.v.Color and Deep Color technology are supported only when the source, HDMI cable, media (original recording), and HDTV all support those features.

    Auto Lip Sync: The Lip Sync function can automatically synchronize HDMI audio and video that has gotten out of sync due to the complex digital video processing being performed. With HDMI Lip Sync, the audio delay required to synchronize the audio and video is calculated and applied automatically by the preamp. If additional delay is needed, the audio can be manually adjusted from 0-250ms, in 5ms increments.

    ISF Mode: The preamp has been designed to incorporate setup and calibration standards established by the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF). The ISF has developed industry-recognized standards for optimal video performance and has implemented a training program for technicians and installers to use these standards to obtain optimal picture quality from the preamp. Accordingly, Onkyo recommends that setup and calibration be performed by an ISF Certified installation technician.

    Name Edit: You can enter a custom name for each input (other than Tuner) and AM/FM radio preset for easy identification; up to 10 characters.

    Lock Setup: This feature protects all the programmed settings by locking the setup menus.

    Display Dimmer: The display illumination includes the green alphanumeric display and a blue ring around the volume knob. You can dim the display as follows: Normal and Volume light on, Normal and Volume light off, Dim and Volume light off, and Dimmer and Volume light off.

    Tuner Functions

    AM/FM Tuner: With the built-in tuner you can enjoy AM and FM radio stations. You can store your favorite stations as presets for quick selection; store a combination of up to 40 of your favorite FM/AM radio stations.

    HD Radio Ready: The Onkyo UP-HT1 HD Radio Module (item number 580UPHT1, sold separately) sends high-quality digital AM/FM audio via a single proprietary cable to the Onkyo preamp's Universal Port. The same cable powers the tuner unit, saving on cable clutter. The tuner features 40 presets for FM and AM stations. A rear-panel Universal Port input gives you the option of daisy chaining a second compatible device, such as the UP-A1 Onkyo Dock for the iPod.

    Sirius Satellite Radio Ready: The PR-SC5508 can be connected to the optional SiriusConnect Home Tuner kit (item number 607SCH1, sold separately) or SiriusConnect Home Tuner Receiver (item number 220SCH2P, sold separately), which allows you to receive Sirius Satellite Radio through the preamp. You can search Sirius radio stations by Channel, Category or Direct Tuning. You can also choose to display the following Sirius information on the preamp's display - Channel Name, Channel Number, Category Name, Artist Name or Song Title. You can store a combination of 40 of your favorite Sirius, AM, and FM radio stations.

    USB/iPod Connectivity

    USB Ports: The preamp's front and rear panel USB inputs will play music files stored on hard disc drives (AC adapter recommended to supply power), flash drives, and MP3 players that fit the USB mass storage device class (iPods are not compatible with the rear USB port). MP3, WMA, WMA Lossless, WAV, AAC, FLAC, Ogg Vorbis, and LPCM file formats are compatible. USB devices formatted with the FAT16 or FAT32 files system are supported; each folder may contain up to 20,000 music files and folders may be nested up to 16 levels deep. If the storage device has been partitioned, each section is treaded as a separate device.

    iPod Compatibility: Using a USB to iPod Dock cable plugged into the front panel USB port, music can be played directly from an iPod. The iPod is controlled by the preamp's remote and text, album art, and elapsed time are displayed on the connected video monitor. Video and still photos (as well as music) can be played from an iPod using an optional UP-A1 iPod dock. Using the dock cable to connect directly, iPod compatibility is as follows (as of December 2010):

    iPod/iPhone Model Generation Media Type Control Display Charge
    Audio Video Out Remote Control iPod Song Info Track Info
    dock-connector 3rd N N N N N N N
    click-wheel 4th N N N N N N N
    mini 1st N N N N N N N
    2nd N N N N N N N
    video 5th Y N Y N Y Y Y
    classic 80GB Y N Y Y Y Y Y
    120GB Y N Y Y Y Y Y
    160GB Y N Y Y Y Y Y
    nano 1st Y N Y N Y Y Y
    2nd Y N Y Y Y Y Y
    3rd Y N Y Y Y Y Y
    4th Y N Y Y Y Y Y
    5th Y N Y Y Y Y Y
    6th Y N Y Y Y Y Y
    touch 1st Y N Y Y Y Y Y
    2nd Y N Y Y Y Y Y
    3rd Y N Y Y Y Y Y
    4th Y N Y Y Y Y Y
    iPhone 2G Y N Y Y Y Y Y
    3G Y N Y Y Y Y Y
    3GS Y N Y Y Y Y Y
    4 Y N Y Y Y Y Y

    Note: Apple iPod/iPhone software updates may change functionality results. If you download a newer software version, you may need to reset the device and your iPod/iPhone to regain functionality. If this doesn't work, you may need to revert to the older software version or wait until an newer software update is available.

    Network Ready

    Network-Ready: The Onkyo PR-SC5508 preamp is network-ready, which means you can connect it to your home network with a standard Ethernet cable and enjoy the music files stored on your computer or media server. If your network is connected to the Internet (broadband), you can also enjoy Internet radio.

    Ethernet Connection (LAN): Connecting the A/V preamp's Ethernet (RJ-45) port to a 100Base-TX switched Ethernet network is recommended for best results. Use a shielded CAT-5 Ethernet cable to connect the preamp to your home network.

    Note: Although it is possible to play music on a computer that is connected to the network wirelessly, playback may be unreliable; a wired connect is recommended.

    Internet Radio: The Onkyo PR-SC5508 offers the full vTuner Internet Radio Service when connected to your home network so you can access Internet Radio stations worldwide. Once connected to the Internet, you can search for and play Internet radio stations and podcasts at any time. To enhance your Internet radio experience, the onkyo.vtuner.com/ portal is available as an easy way to browse stations, set up/organize your favorites, add your own stations, and get help. You can preset up to 40 Internet radio stations for easy recall; already programmed in the favorites list are vTuner, Pandora, Rhapsody, SIRIUS Internet Radio, Slacker, Mediafly, and Napster.

    Note: To receive Internet radio, your Ethernet network must have Internet access. Internet URLs in the following formats are supported: PLS, M3U, and podcast (RSS). However, depending on the type of data or audio format used by the Internet radio station, you may not be able to listen to some stations.

    Media Server Playback: You can play music files stored on your computer or media server (the PR-SC5508 is DLNA certified). MP3, WMA, WMA Lossless, WAV, AAC, FLAC, Ogg Vorbis, and LPCM file formats are compatible. Each folder on the server may contain up to 20,000 music files, and folders may be nested up to 16 levels deep.

    Media Server Requirements: The preamp can play digital music files stored on a computer or media server using the following technologies:

    • Windows Media Player 11
    • Windows Media Connect 2.0
    • DLNA-Compatible Media Server

    Remote Control

    Multi-brand/Learning Remote: The supplied wireless remote is a multi-brand/learning remote. The remote is pre-programmed to operate Onkyo components. Additionally the remote has codes to operate other popular brands of equipment, including BD and DVD players, CD players and recorders, TVs, VCRs, cable boxes, MD recorders/players, and satellite receivers. Also, the remote is programmable and can learn between 70 and 90 commands (depending on the amount of memory used by the specific commands) from infrared remotes of other components.

    Macros: There are three Activities buttons; each can be programmed to perform a sequence of up to 32 commands by pressing just one button.

    RIHD (Remote Interactivity Over HDMI): RIHD synchronizes compatible displays and components for integrated control via HDMI connection and use of the preamp's remote control. RIHD is currently compatible with other Onkyo and Integra RIHD compatible units along with select Panasonic, Toshiba, and Sharp TVs and BD/DVD players (these BD/DVD players are only compatible when used with the same brand TV). The more generic HDMI-CEC standard also provides interoperability with various components from other manufacturers.

    IR Input/Output: The two 3.5mm IR input jacks allow you to control the preamp without line-of-sight access using an optional IR remote control system and locating the remote sensor in sight. The 3.5mm IR output jack allows you to send the control signals to additional components.

    RI Remote Control Jack: The 3.5mm RI (Remote Interactive) remote control jack allows you to connect this preamp to other compatible Onkyo components.

    12 Volt Triggers: The three 3.5mm mini-jack outputs can be connected to the 12-volt trigger inputs on other components to turn them on (generally amplifiers powering speakers in the main room, Zone2, and Zome3). The conditions under which each trigger is energized is programmable.

    RS-232 Port: The PR-SC5508 has an RS-232 port for connection to external control systems from companies such as AMX or Crestron.

    Our Product Research Team

    At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

    Onkyo PR-SC5508 Reviews

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    Onkyo PR-SC5508

    Written By Robert, Queens, New York on Monday, July 30, 2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This pre/pro has some very useful features for audio that support a subperb listening experience, for example, the audyssey multeq xt 32 acoustic room correction system. It does a great job, especially to midigate low end room mode interferrence, enabling accurate bass perception. Also, if your room ihas a low ambient noise level, the pr-sc5508 plays digital audio files from usb thumb drives, eliminating the need to have a rotating playback machine operating. No matter how high the quality of the transport drive, in a very quiet room you can hear it spinning. My pr-sc5508 feeds a tannoy ellipse 10 idp active dual concentric monitor and a bag end infrasub 18 pro on each side and the music sounds wonderful.

    Treble disappoints

    Written By var360, Gainesville, FL on Monday, June 13, 2011

    I agree with the review by JAS, that this processor is a disappointment musically. I am using high end amps and high end speakers, but can't get satisfactory treble. I get sibilance on many vocal tracks where I shouldn't both on the letter S and T. This unit has all kinds of bells and whistles, but I feels it lost track of the basics ... The sound. As a result I consider it the weak link in my system. I have run the Audessy feature several times and that did not help. Maybe it's me, but I can't fix it other than to damp down the higher frequency bands with the manual equalizer that is built in, but then I am clobbering all the treble it seems.

    Exceeded my expectations

    Written By Callen, Chula Vista, CA on Sunday, May 01, 2011

    This replaced my Lexicon MC-12 which had died after 5 years. Overall I am extremely satisfied with the PR-SC5508 and the sound quality is much better than I had expected (I didn't think it would even come close to the Lexicon MC-12 but I was pleasantly surprised). I would definitely recommend this product to anyone.



    Don't make this mistake!

    Written By JeffR, Selma, OR on Thursday, April 21, 2011

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    The installatoin was straight forward once you figure out how the menu system setup works. I connected with XLR cables to a B&K Reference 200.7 power amp. I was anxious to hear this thing so I powered up and gave it a whirl. Horrible!! No sound stage, poor volume.

    Went to dinner disappointed. Came back and ran the Audessey MultEQ XT32. WOW!!!! Volume and soundstage better in my room than ever.

    Fired up Avatar and went to the first scene in the jungle. The level of detail is just amazing. I am hearing insect buzzing, leaf rustling and lots of small details. VERY good sound floor. The chase scene is more engaging and bursting with energy. Need to rewatch now. The 65" Panasonic VT25 picture never looked better!

    Tried a couple of tracts on SACD, Dire Straits and Audiofile Vocals. Best guitar and piano ever out of my Vienna Acoustic Mozart Grand speakers. Female vocals have taken on a more nuanced and detailed quality that adds a more realistic presence to the performance.

    This is an excellent peice of equipment on both the HT and 2 channel realms. Just don't make the mistake of not running the Audyssey EQ process before you listen. If things change I'll update this as needed.

    Cructhfield did their typical fine job of getting the product to me. Open box was pristene perfect.

    Low End Sound w/ High End Features

    Written By JAS, San Jose, CA on Monday, March 21, 2011

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Even after running this equipment in, the sound from this preamp is bass weighted, lacking midrange, and with a harsh high frequency. My previous (cheaper) unit had much better sound. The sound is unacceptable for music, however, it is acceptable for movies. I've purchased a two channel pre-amp for music and will not be using this preamp except for movies.

    Get everything you’ll need to enjoy your new Onkyo PR-SC5508

    Protect your investment from power surges and interference.
    Simplify your life and limit clutter with one remote control that can take care of all of your components.
    Superior cables help deliver superior sound.
    Transfer the digital audio and video from your compatible sources to your new preamp.
    Get better reception than the supplied antennas can provide. Separate antennas required for standard and HDRadio reception.
    Get the most natural sounding bass possible with a superior subwoofer cable.
    Transfer the digital audio signal to your new preamp.
    Get the best picture that your non-HDMI-compatible sources can deliver.
    Connect your composite-video-capable components.
    Connect your digital sources to your new preamp.
    Have your new equipment installed by qualified professionals.
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