On the performance of the beautiful Chick Corea composition “Children’s Song 16,” the song’s deceptively simple rhythmic theme is fi rst stated by the vibraphone, then picked up and reinforced by the piano and acoustic bass. Later, the piano and vibes drop away, allowing the main theme to be carried by the harp with a gentle touch of bass. Even though the ranges of the vibraphone, piano, and harp overlap, I never had any doubt as to which instruments were carrying the theme at any given moment. The SR705 effortlessly distinguished between the ringing, chime-like voice of the vibraphone, the penetrating attack and deeper sustain of the piano, and the luminous bloom of the harp. It’s exactly this sort of natural, almost offhand clarity and purity that really sets the Onkyo apart from competing receivers.
At $899, Onkyo’s TX-SR705 receiver is a bona fi de bargain, providing a nearly ideal combination of cutting-edge technologies, features that make a meaningful difference for listeners, and—most important—sophisticated sound. No other AVR I’ve heard does more for less.