Onkyo’s TX-DS989 is the World’s First Receiver with 7.1-Channel THX Surround EX and a “Future-Proof” Upgradeable Processor

 Tuesday, May 30, 2000  
Onkyo�s TX-DS989 is the World�s First Receiver with 7.1-Channel THX Surround EX and a “Future-Proof” Upgradeable Processor
Onkyo has introduced the world�s first receiver with 7.1-channel THX Surround EX, seven built-in 130-watt amplifiers, and a groundbreaking open architecture design that won�t become obsolete the instant someone announces another new format for digital audio. This technology will allow owners of the new Onkyo TX-DS989 to easily upgrade their processors to accommodate future digital audio formats.

When a new format, such as the soon-to-be-released DVD Audio standard, is introduced, Onkyo will create a software application that will allow the TX-DS989 to correctly process the new format. The upgrade can then be loaded into the receiver�s built-in flash memory via an RS-232 data port. These updates will cover more than just decoding standards. Other likely upgrades will include new DSP algorithms, and software for a planned IEEE-1394 interface.

“This is the world�s first truly �future-proof� receiver, and the first seven-channel THX Surround EX receiver,” says Mark Friedman, Onkyo�s senior vice president. “Thanks to its open architecture design, it can handle any digital audio format on the market today, and it can be upgraded to handle the formats of tomorrow.”

In addition to this remarkable upgrade capability, the Onkyo�s TS-DX989 is the first receiver to include LucasFilm�s new THX Surround EX format with 7.1 channels of dedicated digital audio backed by 130 watts of power for each of the seven channels. This new format builds on Dolby Digital Surround EX by using left and right back surround speakers instead of just a single rear speaker to supplement the side surround speakers. Listeners will now be able to enjoy a fully-integrated 360-degree soundstage, and even sounds overhead. In addition, the Onkyo TS-DX989 has dual “point-one” line-level subwoofer outputs for the optimum reproduction of low-frequency sound effects.

The Onkyo TS-DS989 has just about every feature and capability a surround enthusiast could imagine. With processing for DTS, Dolby Digital, and MPEG digital audio, it can deliver outstanding sound from any source. It has 192 kHz/24-bit DACs that provide a system bandwidth of 96 kHz and a potential dynamic range approaching 120 dB for all seven channels.

The TS-DX989 has extremely capable preamplifier and amplifier stages. Each of the seven channels is FTC rated at 130 watts per channel into 8 ohms and 160 watts into 6 ohms from 20 to 20,000 Hz with less than 0.05-percent distortion. The power amplifier section uses Onkyo�s WRAT Wide Range Amplifier Technology to achieve a bandwidth at rated power of 5 to 100,000 Hz+1, -3 dB. WRAT virtually eliminates the adverse affects of counter-electromotive force with a low-negative-feedback-topology and the use of very high tolerance parts in critical sessions.

When it comes to connectivity, the Onkyo TS-DS989 has every input and output the enthusiast could need. These include nine digital inputs, three optical, five coaxial, and one RF for LaserDisc. The optical and coaxial inputs can be assigned to any of six video and three audio sources. Each video input has coaxial and S-Video connectors and there are three assignable component video inputs. Other connections include a phono input, a 7.1-channel analog input for external processors, an RS-232 upgrade and communications port, and provisions for adding an IEEE 1394 connection once the industry standard is ratified. There are also outputs for seven speakers, two line-level subwoofer outputs, tape loops for two video and two audio recorders, one component video, two composite video, plus dual zone audio and video, and connectors for AM and FM antennas.

For the surround theater enthusiast or the custom installer, the Onkyo TX-DS989 offers exceptional convenience. The rear panel RS-232 port provides complete integration with media controllers like Panja, AMX, Phast, Creston, and others. The receiver is also dual zone audio and video capable, with full infrared control capabilities and optional remote eyes. The TX-DS989 has an easy-to-read backlit learning remote control with an LCD display and it can learn up to 16 macro functions. The remote control can operate any other Onkyo component and be trained to control products from other manufacturers.

The TX-DS989 features a heavy-gauge anti-resonant steel chassis and aircraft-grade brushed aluminum front panel. A motorized front-panel door slides down to reveal less-used controls. The unit carries a price of $3200.

For more information, contact Onkyo at 201-825-7950.

Surround Professional Magazine