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Have Real Aluminum Volume Knobs Gone the Way of the T-Rex?

gibbsy

Moderator
Does it really matter. How often do you actually touch any of the dials on a receiver or amp. It's the crappy plastic remotes that customers should complain about as they take 99.9% of the burden. That doesn't even mention those tech savvy people who use things like the Harmony remote.

When not in use, with the exception of my Denon SACD player and headphone amp, everything else is out of sight in a solid wood cabinet when not in use. Personally whether it's plastic or aluminium has never bothered me as long as the audio is top notch.
 

IntelliVolume

Active Member
The higher tier Denon models use the exact same plastic dials as you'd find on their entry level models.
That's disheartening; I'll assume it's the same for the Onkyo RZ's.
 

IntelliVolume

Active Member
Does it really matter.
It does to me.

How often do you actually touch any of the dials on a receiver or amp.
I actually touch these buttons/knobs quite often -- I know how that sounded -- such as when I'm up at my hi-fi rack in the two channel system changing a record and I realize the volume is too high/too low (so I adjust it by bending over to rotate the volume knob) or when I'm in the home theatre room and I am adjusting the level of volume before loading a disc.

I just appreciate tactile-feeling, solid buttons and knobs on A/V gear, and always have/will. That's the only reason I was asking.

It's the crappy plastic remotes that customers should complain about as they take 99.9% of the burden. That doesn't even mention those tech savvy people who use things like the Harmony remote.
I agree about the remotes; most of them are absolute garbage. As a matter of fact, beyond the plastic build quality of the deck itself, one of the reasons I returned the Panasonic 820 4K BD player when I first bought it was because of its ridiculously cheap, non-backlit remote...in comparison, the remote that shipped with my Cambridge CXUHD disc player looks and feels like a million bucks in the hand, complete with a brushed aluminum-esque finish that really screams "class."

Too bad the ergonomics of the remote are for absolute sh*te; the essential PLAY and PAUSE buttons are so haphazardly and illogically positioned in a semi-circle arrangement that it's almost a crime against humanity.

When not in use, with the exception of my Denon SACD player and headphone amp, everything else is out of sight in a solid wood cabinet when not in use. Personally whether it's plastic or aluminium has never bothered me as long as the audio is top notch.
Okay, but that's you -- others have different likes/priorities/preferences, no? :D
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Okay, but that's you -- others have different likes/priorities/preferences, no? :D
That's fair comment. I'm not that tactile it's how they sound that's important to me. However I do admit that the tray in the Denon 2500 SACD player is something beautiful to behold, that however is there to make audio reproduction better and if the choice of the bean crunchers had to make a choice of spending on an aluminium knob or spending on a higher degree of engineering within the unit then surely that's where the money should be spent.
 

IntelliVolume

Active Member
That's fair comment. I'm not that tactile it's how they sound that's important to me.
Oh, don't get me wrong...I appreciate a unit that sounds good as well, and agree that in the end that's what matters (though I do take exception at certain times...such as when I spent over $500 U.S. for the Panasonic model 820 4K Blu-ray player and it greeted me as a tiny plastic toy that I felt like I was going to break just by touching the tray open/close button on top; I mean, for that kind of money, the player shouldn't be 100-percent plastic and half the size of a "standard" component).

However I do admit that the tray in the Denon 2500 SACD player is something beautiful to behold
That's the stuff I'm talkin' about -- the way a disc tray slides in/out, the silent whirr of a well-made piece of gear, etc. One of the first things I noticed when I replaced the Panasonic 820 4K disc player with the Cambridge CXUHD was the way the Cambridge's disc tray was like a Rolls-Royce compared to the Panasonic's cheaply-made variant that seemed as if it was going to break right off with too much use...

Still -- there is something to be said about gear being made internally well, as even with all its "superior build" nonsense and the physical appearance of the player itself, my CXUHD has been exhibiting nasty "ticking" noises when playing regular DVDs, and it's driving me crazy...especially given what I paid for this thing and how it was supposed to be built so much better than the plastic-esque decks...:facepalm::facepalm::facepalm::suicide::suicide::suicide:

that however is there to make audio reproduction better and if the choice of the bean crunchers had to make a choice of spending on an aluminium knob or spending on a higher degree of engineering within the unit then surely that's where the money should be spent.
I get you on this; I was merely expressing my desire to pick equipment that boasted such "upscale" touches. It's quite disappointing -- although I suppose not entirely surprising -- to learn that the Denon and Onkyo AVRs don't come with aluminum volume controllers...regardless of price point.
 
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Bobby86

Member
The higher tier Denon models use the exact same plastic dials as you'd find on their entry level models.
It's quite disappointing -- although I suppose not entirely surprising -- to learn that the Denon and Onkyo AVRs don't come with aluminum volume controllers...regardless of price point.
I can confirm my Denon AVC-X8500H still has aluminium knobs, so it should for it being a flagship product but my 15 years old mid-range avr the Onkyo SR702 had the same if not better quality materials for a quarter of the price, it's a shame that what is considered a " premium quality" product today doesn't feel like a premium product at all for the cost, it's a case of "they just don't make them like they used to", I believe Marantz's sister model the AV8805 13.2 processor may have a mixture of plastic knobs & aluminium faceplate, I believe Marantz's SR8012 flagship avr has plastic knobs as well.
 

John7

Well-known Member
My Pioneer receiver has 2x nice 55mm aluminum knobs...……….not that I ever use them!
 

IntelliVolume

Active Member
I can confirm my Denon AVC-X8500H still has aluminium knobs, so it should for it being a flagship product but my 15 years old mid-range avr the Onkyo SR702 had the same if not better quality materials for a quarter of the price, it's a shame that what is considered a " premium quality" product today doesn't feel like a premium product at all for the cost, it's a case of "they just don't make them like they used to", I believe Marantz's sister model the AV8805 13.2 processor may have a mixture of plastic knobs & aluminium faceplate, I believe Marantz's SR8012 flagship avr has plastic knobs as well.
Thank you Bobby, and good to hear from you again (I'll respond to your PM in a bit).

Are you sure the Marantz AVRs have plastic knobs? That's disheartening; they seem like they would be metal based on the images...
 

IntelliVolume

Active Member
My Pioneer receiver has 2x nice 55mm aluminum knobs...……….not that I ever use them!
How old is that Pioneer?
 

John7

Well-known Member
It's the SC-LX701. I bought it about 2 years ago. You can still buy it but it's soon to be replaced by a new model, the SC-LX704 which I believe, still retains the same "look and feel" but with up to date features (HDMI 2.2 amongst others). There's also a SC-LX 904, a flagship model that replaces the SC-LX 901.

 

IntelliVolume

Active Member
It's the SC-LX701. I bought it about 2 years ago. You can still buy it but it's soon to be replaced by a new model, the SC-LX704 which I believe, still retains the same "look and feel" but with up to date features (HDMI 2.2 amongst others). There's also a SC-LX 904, a flagship model that replaces the SC-LX 901.

Here's the real kicker: Pioneer is now owned by Onkyo, and it's almost as if the "Pionkyo" (what some enthusiasts are calling it) corporation is setting up the Pioneer line as the more "premium" of offerings (almost irrespective of the fact that there's already a "premium" RZ Series line from Onkyo) -- yet, still, through all of this, the Pioneer knobs seem to be made of metal while the Onkyo products continue to wear cheap plastic bits. :suicide::suicide::suicide:
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Here's the real kicker: Pioneer is now owned by Onkyo, and it's almost as if the "Pionkyo" (what some enthusiasts are calling it) corporation is setting up the Pioneer line as the more "premium" of offerings (almost irrespective of the fact that there's already a "premium" RZ Series line from Onkyo) -- yet, still, through all of this, the Pioneer knobs seem to be made of metal while the Onkyo products continue to wear cheap plastic bits. :suicide::suicide::suicide:
I've got a Pioneer LX500 4K player. The finish and build quality is second to none. Obviously no large knobs as it's a player and doesn't need them.
 

IntelliVolume

Active Member
I've got a Pioneer LX500 4K player. The finish and build quality is second to none. Obviously no large knobs as it's a player and doesn't need them.
I know about that player's build quality; indeed, that thing's a proverbial tank and is a good replacement choice for those who missed out on the Oppo 203s and 205s (my Cambridge CXUHD was supposed to be a good "premium" alternative as well). If I didn't already buy the CXUHD I would have considered the Pioneer (the Panasonic 9000 seems a bit overkill for most average needs, but is another premium option).

But the primary factor I was looking to focus on in this thread were aluminum volume control knobs on A/V receivers...
 

John7

Well-known Member
Well, unlike my previous Onkyo(s), the Pioneer’s HDMI board has never failed or flipped out!

I also like the fact that it has direct drive digital amplifiers which means lower running costs (mine is powered up every time the tv is on). The build quality and feature set are great (for me) as well.
 

Bobby86

Member
I believe Marantz's sister model the AV8805 13.2 processor may have a mixture of plastic knobs & aluminium faceplate, I believe Marantz's SR8012 flagship avr has plastic knobs as well.
Are you sure the Marantz AVRs have plastic knobs? That's disheartening; they seem like they would be metal based on the images...
I'm actually mistaken I got confused the knobs are most likely aluminium unless someone can confirm otherwise, according to this German review of the Marantz SR8012, XXL-TEST: Marantz 11.2-Kanal-AV-Netzwerk-Receiver SR8012 - stimmiges Gesamtkunstwerk mit hochwertigem Aufbau? the front side panels of the fascia are plastic whereas the Denon X8500H I own employs an all metal construction but I can't confirm if the lesser Denon models are the same in regards to their rotary dial knobs but they probably are plastic.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
The Marantz models employ plastic due to the distinctive front panel design associated with Marantz models.

Marantz-SR6013-silver_h6fv-ul.jpg


It would add considerablr cost to the receivers and or Marantz hardware if they were to emply aluminium for the entire front of the units. The left and right ends of the front fascia are particularly hard to manufacturer if using metal as opposed to plastic.
 

IntelliVolume

Active Member
The Marantz models employ plastic due to the distinctive front panel design associated with Marantz models.

View attachment 1230294

It would add considerablr cost to the receivers and or Marantz hardware if they were to emply aluminium for the entire front of the units. The left and right ends of the front fascia are particularly hard to manufacturer if using metal as opposed to plastic.
Are those KNOBS plastic, though? I'm not referring to the faceplates of these units -- which, IMO, should always be brushed aluminum-finished -- but rather those large circular volume controllers off to the right of the front panel...

The Marantz knobs are PLASTIC? They really look like metal...
 

IntelliVolume

Active Member
Well, unlike my previous Onkyo(s), the Pioneer’s HDMI board has never failed or flipped out!

I also like the fact that it has direct drive digital amplifiers which means lower running costs (mine is powered up every time the tv is on). The build quality and feature set are great (for me) as well.
Fair enough; and I wasn't trying to say that because they're one company now that the Pioneers are junk...actually, my point was that, to the contrary, Onkyo seems to be driving the Pioneer line towards a more premium status, even perhaps above its own RZ Series. As a longtime Onkyo fan, this is a bit disheartening, as it means even their premium AVRs from that line aren't getting premium build quality.
 

IntelliVolume

Active Member
I'm actually mistaken I got confused the knobs are most likely aluminium unless someone can confirm otherwise, according to this German review of the Marantz SR8012, XXL-TEST: Marantz 11.2-Kanal-AV-Netzwerk-Receiver SR8012 - stimmiges Gesamtkunstwerk mit hochwertigem Aufbau? the front side panels of the fascia are plastic whereas the Denon X8500H I own employs an all metal construction but I can't confirm if the lesser Denon models are the same in regards to their rotary dial knobs but they probably are plastic.
Bobby,

Did you ever get my PM?
 

IntelliVolume

Active Member
Yes I did, thanks for letting me know in regards to your current situation with Cambridge Audio, are you interested in upgrading your AVR that is 4K compliant?

Are you keen on sticking with Onkyo again?
No thoughts on what I detailed with regard to the other forum? If so, please PM them to me...
 

milano j

Active Member
l have the new Pioneer LX704...in silver this time around had a black lx901 previously and the input/volume dial/knob on it is plastic but it looks and feels like metal which is vitally important to me...and the only way you can tell the difference is the solid aluminium facia is cooler to the touch when its not in use than dials/knob...tis the same on the interior of my car....you can which is real aluminium and what faux just by the tempreture

Point being theirs Cheap plastic and quality plastics and Denon receiver knobs/dials are cheap tat l actually sent one back because of this
 

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