ONKYO P-303 or SONY TA-E86B?

Discussion in 'Vintage Gear - Top Performers' started by Audio Moon, Mar 8, 2017.

  1. Audio Moon

    Audio Moon New Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Croatia
    Hello everyone - greetings from Croatia!

    After years of occasional visiting, a moment ago I decided to register here. So this is my very first post. :)
    I seek opinion from the knowledgeable ones.

    Which preamp to buy: ONKYO P-303 or SONY TA-E86B?

    Both have the same price, same age, similar (great) condition.

    I heard Onkyo and I think it sounds fantastic. I very much like its appearance. I never heard Sony, some say that it sounds similar to Onkyo, posibly better, and I like Sony's appearance even more.

    The power amp is Hitachi HMA-6500, the speakers are Sonus faber Toy Tower, the source is CD player SimAudio Moon CD5.3 RS. Type of music: everything.

    THANKS in advance!
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2017
  2. Blue Shadow

    Blue Shadow I gotta get me a new title

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    Audio Moon likes this.
  3. Audio Moon

    Audio Moon New Member

    Messages:
    38
    Location:
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    Thanks. I'll read it now, although I may have saw some of it in a past, because overall there is so little around the web about one of the best preamps ever. P-303 is in my system right now so I know just how great it is. I borrowed it from my brother, who uses Acoustic Research EB-101 and a digital (computer) audio files. He bought P-303 a month ago, listening to my advice, after I did a research. I was very surprised to find out that it actually sounds much better than my brand new expensive preamp. So I decided to buy another P-303 for myself. That still might happen very soon, IF Sony TA-E86B will sound inferior to P-303. Because yesterday I ordered Sony, I expect to have it in 2 days. So the question / topic of this thread is somewhat obsolete now...
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2017
  4. Blue Shadow

    Blue Shadow I gotta get me a new title

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    Not at all. we just have the answer coming from the originator of the thread. Please post back as to which you like and why. And I'm guess this will not includ any phono comparison.
     
  5. Audio Moon

    Audio Moon New Member

    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    Croatia
    Sure I will, soon we'll have the truth. I'm still reading what theophile wrote exactly 10 years ago in that thread. I don't own a turntable, I collect CDs for 23 years. Everything which theophile said about P-303 I could say too; just swap his writings about phono MC testing - with my CD player into the tape input instead.
     
  6. Audio Moon

    Audio Moon New Member

    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    Croatia
    I'm finding that there's more life to be found in the vintage arena.It seems that I'm making enemies by daring to speak out about the lack of talent in the new product arena.
    Some don't want to hear that their expensive new plaything,much lauded by the high-end salesmen,I mean journalists,is actually the naked emperor exposed.


    - theophile, 2007 :thumbsup:
    Onkyo Preamp P-303 may be as good as EW 700C
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2017
  7. Audio Moon

    Audio Moon New Member

    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    Croatia
    ONKYO P-303 and SONY TA-E86B sound identical.
    :music:
    Sony has much better build quality. To me, both are gorgeous, but Sony looks better, more interesting, more original. Onkyo's volume knob is sheer awesomeness. Sony's volume knob feels and looks even better, although an expert says that Onkyo's volume knob inside is somewhat superior to Sony's. Onkyo has fixed power cord, while Sony has the modern-type power socket - which I prefer. From pics around the web, it seems that version of this Sony for N. America has fixed powercord, while European version has socket. Not counting phono inputs (I don't need those), Onkyo has 2 inputs (tape, tuner), while Sony has 3 inputs (tape, tuner, aux). All other knobs/buttons on Onkyo give nice feeling when used - but knobs/buttons on Sony give perfect feeling.

    So, with Sony I got the same sound I heard with Onkyo, closest to perfection yet, but everything else (look, touch and feel) even better with Sony.

    So I'm like
    :jump:
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2017 at 5:53 PM
  8. Blue Shadow

    Blue Shadow I gotta get me a new title

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    Thanks for the review. Glad you have a couple nice units that seem to be the ones to get.
     
  9. theophile

    theophile Pheasant Plucker. Subscriber

    Since I wrote those words 10 years ago I've gone in some very very different directions system-wise. What my current linestage has in common with the P-303 is circuit simplicity. However The Truth probably takes this simplicity to it's farthest conclusion unless one invests in a potentiometer with input and output jacks.

    Trying to push one's software(the recordings) to their limits has led me into areas theoretical and practical that I hadn't anticipated. A great system is built upon an excellent Source component. Extracting the fullness of that excellence, enables all that follows in the system chain to break the shackles that have held them back. I'd wager that more than 90% of those with great amps and great speakers set up in great rooms have never heard close to the full extent of what their great downstream components can stretch to because their Source component either can't take the rest of the system there, or it could if only they or anyone else knew how to get the best out of that great Source component.

    Despite some magical components having been made over the last 50 years and some excellent systems having been assembled, I feel that we are still relatively in the dark about system optimisation. The best most of us ever hear in our lifetimes is very, very good, and we are awestruck by that standard. There is much more to be revealed in the software, in the recordings. The revelations come when superb Sources are allowed to spread their wings. Dissatisfaction I feel can usually be slated back to the Source component. Either what it is, or if that is superb, how it is being utilised.
     
  10. Audio Moon

    Audio Moon New Member

    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    Croatia
    Hey theophile!
    I'm very happy with my source component, and here's also the much talked about Onkyo:
    05.jpg
    I agree that the SOURCE component is very, very important, but in my huge experience, even more (the most) important for the overall sound is the quality of mastering / remastering of the album. Different (re)mastering (for better of worse) will (in most cases) bring bigger change in the sound that we hear at our homes, than changing of any (or all) components, yet alone cables, racks, connectors, spikes and all the tweaks of this world and out of this world. That's why I often get many (or all) editions / releases of the same album, and then keep only the best one. That's how I can achieve an amazing sound with less money than some rich audiophiles with very expensive gear, who unfortunately buy shitty (re)masters, unaware of better (usually older) editions.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017 at 11:00 AM

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