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Transcendental Performance from Flagship Power Amplifier
Rather than simply offering raw power, the PA-MC5501 is engineered to deliver superior dynamic response and outstanding
signal purity. Onkyo’s highly efficient push-pull amplification and WRAT suite work to minimize interference, stabilize the
voltage, and boost the current across the unit’s electrical system. Components such as the toroidal transformer, large
capacitors, and heavy-duty transistors are all designed to handle very high loads. Audiophile-grade parts—such as gold-plated
speaker posts and XLR inputs—are used throughout. The result? Instantaneous response to signal gains, extremely low levels of
distortion through the dynamic range, and the sort warmth and clarity only a top-shelf analog amplifier can provide. Paired with
a matching Onkyo pre-pro unit, the PA-MC5501’s nine channels and bi-amping capability offer extraordinary set-up flexibility to
bring you the ultimate in THX ® Ultra2 ™-certified surround sound.
• 220 W/Ch at 6 Ω, 1 kHz, 1 %, 1 Channel Driven, IEC
• THX® Ultra2™ Certified
• WRAT (Wide Range Amplifier Technology)
• Push-Pull Amplification Design with Three-Stage Inverted
Darlington Circuitry to Remove Distortion
• All Discrete Output Stage Circuitry
• Massive Toroidal Transformer
• Two Large, Customized, 22,000 μF Capacitors for Effective
Power Supply
• Audio-Tuned Reference Capacitors for Each Channel
• Large, Custom-Designed Power Transistors to Drive High
• Low-Impedance Copper Bus Plates for Perfect Ground
• High-Current, Low-Impedance Circuit Boards with Thick
Copper Foil (70 μm)
• Separate Anti-Vibration Panels
• Flat, High-Rigidity, Anti-Resonant Chassis
• Gold-Plated XLR Inputs
• Machined Solid Brass RCA Inputs
• Gold-Plated, Color-Coded, Banana Plug-Compatible,
Transparent Speaker Posts
• Multi-Zone Capability (up to Zone 3)*
• Bi-Amping Capability*
• 12 V Trigger Input
• Auto Standby Function
• Aluminum Front Panel
*Depending on A/V Controller
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WRAT (Wide Range Amplifier Technology)
All-Analog Circuitry Unaffected by Digital Noise
The PA-MC5501 employs proprietary Onkyo technologies
to ensure optimal audio performance.
A standard integrated A/V receiver has the dual task of
both processing and amplifying audio signals, and is
therefore susceptible to noise interference from digital
circuitry. As a dedicated power amp with all-analog circuitry,
the PA-MC5501 suffers no such interference. When
partnered with a high-quality pre-pro, such as Onkyo’s
PR-SC5509, the PA-MC5501 offers all the benefits of pure
analog amplification: a warm, musical, and full-bodied sound.
Benefit 1: Uncommonly Low Negative-Feedback Design—
Get cleaner sounds on program peaks
Although negative feedback (NFB) is a cheap way to reduce noise
at lower frequencies, there is a price to pay in terms of audio
quality: NFB can severely inhibit an amplifier’s ability both to
respond to large signal gains (for example, in a fortissimo passage)
and to produce sound at high frequencies. That’s why the
PA-MC5501 has a low-NFB design with audiophile-grade, closetolerance components at critical points in the signal path. This
design allows it to achieve a frequency response out to 100 kHz for
high-resolution formats such as DVD-Audio and Super Audio CD, as
well as for regular CDs, DVDs, and other music sources.
Benefit 2: Closed Ground-Loop Circuits—Enjoy greater maximum
volume without distortion
If an amplifier’s ground potential (voltage) fluctuates during
playback, noise is likely to result. In an open-loop circuit design,
where all circuits are connected to the power supply via a single
loop (as on many amplifiers), the noise is compounded. To avoid this,
the PA-MC5501 employs a sophisticated closed-circuit design in
which each circuit has a separate link to the power supply—this
helps to cancel individual circuit noise and keep the ground
potential free of distortion.
Benefit 3: HICC (High Instantaneous-Current Capability)—
Experience audio with greater dynamics
When an amplifier outputs an audio signal, the connected speakers
accumulate energy, reflex, and send energy back to the amplifier.
The amplifier must then immediately cancel the speakers’ reflex
energy and instantaneously send out the next signal. The same high
current required to achieve this is also necessary to handle speaker
impedance fluctuations, which can force an amplifier to provide four
to six times its usual current load. The PA-MC5501’s instantaneous
current capability ensures that audio output is not affected by
power limitations.
HICC (High Instantaneous-Current Capability)
In order to handle high levels of instantaneous current, the
PA-MC5501 incorporates several key design features.
(1) Push-Pull Amplification Design with Three-Stage Inverted
Darlington Circuitry
Found only in high-end amplifiers, this ultra-sensitive circuitry reduces
distortion by maintaining voltage stability and enhancing transient
(2) Improved Board Design
The PA-MC5501 features an improved board design with short
signal pathways to reduce electromagnetic interference. The board is
also designed to optimize power delivery to the speaker drivers.
(3) Symmetrical Layout
The amplifier design also incorporates a symmetrical alignment of
power devices for each channel. With channels built to be identical
in terms of electrical, structural, heat-generating, weight, and
electromagnetic characteristics, errors in stereophonic playback are
THX® Ultra2™ Certified
When a home cinema component receives THX
certification, it is your guarantee that it will accurately
present movies the way they were mixed by the filmmaker
in the studio. In the case of THX Ultra2 certification—the
ultimate benchmark for home audio performance—a
power amplifier must offer high-quality, high-output
performance for multi-channel playback in large rooms.
Among the strict criteria that THX uses for judging the
quality of a power amplifier are measurements of
continuous power output, distortion levels, and heat
Audiophile Design and Components for
High-Power Performance
Like any Onkyo amplifier, the PA-MC5501 is designed to
deliver ample power to your speakers, regardless of
fluctuations in impedance. What makes the PA-MC5501
our top power amp, though, is the extra attention to parts
and construction. A massive toroidal transformer; two
22,000 µF capacitors; large, custom-designed transistors;
circuit boards with 70 µm thick copper foil; and lowimpedance copper bus plates all work in concert to
enhance the power and fidelity of your audio sources.
Housed in a highly rigid, anti-resonant steel-plate chassis,
the PA-MC5501 also sports audiophile-grade connections:
gold-plated XLR inputs; machine-tooled solid brass RCA
inputs; and gold-plated, banana plug-compatible speaker
posts. From input to output, signal purity is maintained at
every stage.
Amplifier Section
Power Output
Front L/R
220 W/Ch
(6 Ω, 1 kHz, 1%, 1 channel driven, IEC)
220 W
(6 Ω, 1 kHz, 1%, 1 channel driven, IEC)
220 W/Ch
Surround L/R
(6 Ω, 1 kHz, 1%, 1 channel driven, IEC)
220 W/Ch
Surround Back L/R
(6 Ω, 1 kHz, 1%, 1 channel driven, IEC)
Front Wide L/R or Front High L/R
220 W/Ch
(6 Ω, 1 kHz, 1%, 1 channel driven, IEC)
Dynamic Power
400 W (3 Ω, Front)
300 W (4 Ω, Front)
180 W (8 Ω, Front)
THD (Total Harmonic Distortion)
0.05% (20 Hz–20 kHz, Rated power)
Damping Factor
60 (Front, 1 kHz, 8 Ω)
Input Sensitivity and Impedance
1 V/47 kΩ (Balanced)
2 V/22 kΩ (Unbalanced)
5 Hz–100 kHz/+1 dB, -3 dB
Frequency Response
Signal-to-Noise Ratio
110 dB (Unbalanced, IHF-A)
Speaker Impedance
4 Ω–16 Ω or 6 Ω–16 Ω
Power Supply
AC 220–240 V~, 50/60 Hz
Power Consumption
1,050 W
Standby Power Consumption
0.3 W
Dimensions (W x H x D) 435 x 198.5 x 446.5 mm
22.2 kg
Dimensions (W x H x D) 610 x 337 x 592 mm
26.0 kg
Supplied Accessories
• Power cord (Plug type depends on region)
• Mono mini-plug cable for 12 V trigger terminals
• Speaker cable labels • Instruction manual
Discrete Output Stage Circuitry to Inhibit Audio
The current that drives loudspeakers is delivered by
transistors in the output stage circuitry. Although adding
more transistors to the output stage increases the outputcurrent capability, these extra transistors put added strain
on the power supply and generate more heat. When the
output stage is required to deliver more power than it is
capable of, the top and bottom parts of the waveform are
flattened or “clipped”. This clipping causes noticeable
distortion, even if it occurs only infrequently. The PAMC5501’s circuit design keeps the transistors separate at
the output stage, which means that audio signals are kept
free of clipping. Also, with less heat generated, the longevity
of the output stage circuitry is enhanced, ensuring that the
component stands the test of time.
Due to a policy of continuous product improvement, Onkyo reserves the right to change specifications and appearance without notice. THX Ultra2 is a trademark of THX Ltd. THX may be registered in some jurisdictions. WRAT is a trademark of Onkyo Corporation. All other
trademarks and registered trademarks are the property of their respective holders.
NPR No. 11N103 09/11
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