The A-9050 amp feels solidly built and looks handsome in its black or metallic colored versions.
There are plenty of inputs. We find two coaxial digital inputs and an optical input sitting at the back, and among those we find four analog line inputs and a phono input. This gives you the best of two worlds and a lot of options.
Digital signals are decoded by a Wolfson DAC with 24 bit/192 kHz resolution. The input signal does not allow a higher sampling frequency than 96 kHz. This is however significantly higher than the CD format (44.1kHz) and can sound better when playing high definition recordings.
Onkyo amplifies the signal using Darlington Circuitry, which means that bipolar transistors are connected so that the current amplified by a transistor is then amplified by the next. In the Onkyo A-9050 this is done in three steps. Additionally there is a circuit that compensates for electrical imperfections in the speakers, which, in theory, should result in a better sound with speakers that have uneven impedance.
A-9050 has a button labeled Phase Matching Bass. It really doesn´t have very much to do with the phase as it is more of a loudness button. After trying it, we left it alone and un-pressed. We preferred to use the Direct function that disables the tone controls, resulting in a cleaner and more transparent sound.
The Onkyo amp has good weight in the bass frequencies, evident both when playing singer/songwriter and heavier rock/metal. Bass guitars sound big and full-bodied and kick drums feels heavy with good attack. There is a lot of energy in the harmonics as well, and a sharp focus on cymbals.
What is missing is some resolution. The midrange is not quite as nuanced as we´d like, which deprives stringed instruments of structure and makes vocals feel a little thin. You don´t need to play violently loud for long periods before listening fatigue sets in, unfortunately.
Onkyo A-9050's biggest advantage is that it has both the fundamental tones as well as the harmonics in order when playing high and low volumes, and it can play really loud with good weight in the bass. But we would have liked better resolution. The analog inputs provide an opportunity to get even better sound by using a better DAC.
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|8 ohms||2 x 75 W/Ch|
|4 ohms||2 x 65 W/Ch|
|WRAT (Wide Range Amplifier Technology)||✓|
|DIDRC (Dynamic Intermodulation Distortion Reductio||✓|
|Three-Stage Inverted Darlington Circuitry||✓|
|192 kHz/24-Bit HD Audio Playback via Coaxial||-|
|Tone control (Bass, Treble, Balance)||✓|
|Wolfson® 192 kHz/24-Bit DACs||✓|
|Two Large 10,000 microfarad Capacitors||✓|
|3 Digital Audio Inputs (1 Optical and 2 Coaxial)||✓|
|5 Analog Audio Inputs and 1 Output||✓|
|Customized, Gold-Plated, Banana Plug-Compatible||✓|
|Machined, Gold-Plated RCA and Phono Terminals||-|
|Power Output||75 W/Ch (8 Ohms, 1 kHz, 0.08% THD, 2 Channels Driven, FTC)|
|Total Harmonic Distortion + Noise||0.08% (1 kHz, 1 W Output)|
|Damping Factor||60 (1 kHz, 8 ohms)|
|Line||175 mV/33 k-ohms|
|Phono MM||4.8 mV/47 k-ohms|
|Rec out||175 mV/2.2 k-ohms|
|Phono Overload||100 mV (MM, 1 kHz, 0.5%)|
|Frequency Response||10 Hz100 kHz/+1 dB, -3 dB (Line 1)|
|Bass||±14 dB, 100 Hz|
|Treble||±14 dB, 10 kHz|
|PM Bass||+8 dB, 80 Hz|
|Signal-to-Noise Ratio||110 dB (Line, IHF-A) 80dB (Phono, MM, IHF-A)|
|Speaker Impedance||4 ohms16 ohms (A or B), 8 ohms16 ohms (A + B)|
|Power Supply||AC 120 V, 60 Hz|
|Power Consumption||160 W|
|Standby Power Consumption||0.2 W|
|Dimensions (W x H x D)||17 1/8" x 5 1/2" x 13" (435 x 139 x 330.3 mm)|
|Weight||18.1 lbs. (8.2 kg)|
Power cord (5.9 ft/1.8 m)