Any thoughts on Sony ES?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Micah Wells, Oct 21, 2003.

  1. Micah Wells

    Micah Wells Agent

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am building a new home, (as well as my home theater) and have been reviewing everything from speakers to recievers. I spoke to a dealer in Dallas the other day that recommended the Sony ES line, model STR-DA1000ES priced at $600. I have seen that many of you do not like the Sony line of equipment, but the dealer told me that the ES line is completely different form the normal Sony line. Any thoughts here? I am also looking at the Kenwood 7070.
     
  2. gregD

    gregD Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2003
    Messages:
    420
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sounds a little like you're dealer is eager to get you in a spending mood... the ES line is a step up from the normal Sony line, particularly in terms of build quality and better components... but it's not an obvious dramatic difference.

    Sony makes decent gear, but shop around... especially with a new dedicated HT room, you owe it to yourself to research and audition as thoroughly as you can before spending... take into account your listening (and viewing) preferences, the nature of the room, and devise a budget... search this forum to see what other enthusiasts think of various gear.

    A little solid information will keep you from being steered into wrong choices by an eager salesperson.
     
  3. JackS

    JackS Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2002
    Messages:
    634
    Likes Received:
    0
    The Sony ES line is a good place to start. Use the 1000ES as your base standard and look at receivers within $100 bucks MSRP (up or down). If you find a receiver that you like the sound of or maybe a specific feature better, that should be your choice. A big part of buying and owning this stuff is beleiving that you have truly made a wise decision, thus avoiding any and all regrets. Good luck.
     
  4. Ron.T

    Ron.T Agent

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2003
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    0
    Here is a good site if you are looking for info on Sony and Sony ES gear. http://www.agoraquest.com/forum.php. They are pro Sony there, but there is some good info there. I just bought a new receiver. I finally got the Sony DA2ES. I basically got it because it did what I wanted it to do and I got it for $350.00 which was a pretty good price. So far I have been very happy with it. I know that there are better and more powerful receivers out there, but for the $$, this one was right. Sony ES gear also has a 5 year warranty. This is nice to have. This is what I have in my system.

    Sony DA2ES
    NHT Super Zero
    NHT SW2P with MA-1A Amp
    NHT SuperCenter
    Sony CDP-X222ES
    Sony TC-K650ES
    Panasonic DVD-RV31
    JVC HR-5700U
    Samsung TXM3281HF

    Good luck. Listen to a lot and make your selection on your needs and what sounds good TO YOU.

    Ron
     
  5. Ernest Yee

    Ernest Yee Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2003
    Messages:
    539
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've heard the new digital amps below the 3000ES are lacking in power. I mean, I think the AVD-S50(0)ES / AVD-C70(0)ES has the same digital drive as the 3000 and it incorporates the DVD/SACD player and has all the internal digital conversion within the unit. You might want to consider that instead if you're going with the Sony.

    Or if you want to go with a traditional power supply, last year's Sony DA4,5,7ES are all highly regarded (If you're still leaning towards the Sony ES line).
     
  6. Micah Wells

    Micah Wells Agent

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0
    If I am correct, the ES doesn't step to a digital amp until the 2000. I have heard the same about the digital amps lacking power. I have also read good things about the H+K 225. It's only rated at 55 watts, but I saw someone say that this is a true rating, whereas others are rated at 100 wats, but only produce 40-45 watts. Any thoughts on this?

    Also, what do you think about the Kenwood 7070? It is THX certified, and in my price range.
     
  7. Richard_B

    Richard_B Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2003
    Messages:
    137
    Likes Received:
    0
    This is a hard price range because there are so many good choices. The Sony ES is not bad in my opinion. You may want to look at the Sony DA4ES as Ernest suggested, I am sure you can find it in your price range.
    The new Yamaha RX-V1400 and last years Pioneer Elite VSX-45TX would both be on my list as they both have the microphone setup feature to help calibrate your system. I am not sure about the Kenwood you listed but the two I mentioned above are also THX certified.
     
  8. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2002
    Messages:
    4,791
    Likes Received:
    1
    I would take the Sony ES over the kenwood. Ignore the fact that the kenwood(or much else) is THX certified. I've used the 6070, which was also THX certified, and my marantz 5300 walks all over it. Also, I am not at all convinced at the quality of the digital amps in the new ES line. I heard their flagship receiver with digial amps playing through the new dynaudio contour series, and was most dissappointed. They make some solid units, i'd look around though, at competing units from hk, marantz, denon, pioneer elite, rotel, yamaha, outlaw, integra, etc etc.
     
  9. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 1999
    Messages:
    11,571
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    NorCal
    Real Name:
    John
    I heard the same thing about the 5000ES powering Wilson Watt Puppies at a local audio show = Results not impressive (did not hear them myself).

    I have a friend with the 3ES, and I feel it is more than adequate, so I would agree with Ernest, but add the 3ES to your list (basically the same amp section as the 4ES). 3, 4, 5 and 7ES would be good choices.

    I also agree strongly with Chris Wiggles however, that you will be best served by, at the very least, auditioning gear from as many of the manufacturers he listed in your price range.
     
  10. Ernest Yee

    Ernest Yee Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2003
    Messages:
    539
    Likes Received:
    0
    Micah - Don't be fooled by the THX Certification - it really doesn't mean all too much because many receivers / amps that do not have this certification can create sounds that surpass units that do have the cert.
     
  11. Shiu

    Shiu Second Unit

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2003
    Messages:
    447
    Likes Received:
    0
    If you read the S&V review on the Sony 4ES you will find that their lab tests show that its one and two channel power maximum output exceeded the specified 110W per channel. S&V did not test its 5,6,7 channel output while driven simultaneously. It is quite possible that if, say 5 channels are driven simultaneously, the 4ES maximum power output at 20-20,000 hz at the specified THD would drop significantly to the 40 to 70W per channel mark. I would think that the 4ES power output rating is limited mostly by the power supply. As for the amplifiers, all 7 of them are rated for 110W. In real life applications, it would be rare to encounter souce materials that drive all 5, 6, or 7 channels simultaneously to their rated level. So I think it is important to appreciate the 4ES's strong (110W each) amplifiers and it is not hard to forgive its weaker power supply that cannot support the same level of its two channel rated output when all channels are driven simultaneously. A similarly priced (or slightly higher) HK model such as the AVR525, would give you the "true" output as specified, with all 7 channels driven simultaneously. I would guess that the HK equivalent model (the 525) has a much stronger power supply than the 4ES does, but it does not mean that it has stronger amplifiers. In terms of sound quality, I listened to both the AVR225 and the 525. They both sounded great, but the 4ES sounds good to me too. From the features stand point, the 4ES and the AVR525 are comparable to each other. I have no doubt most people around here would recommend the HK over the Sony. I think you should listen to both before making your decision. If you end up going with the Sony, I think the 4ES is a better buy than the 1000ES.
     
  12. ChrisLazarko

    ChrisLazarko Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2003
    Messages:
    867
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well I personally don't like the Sony line of reciever at all. I would recommend a Harman/Kardon reciever and I wouldn't look any other way until you make a step up to seperates.

    H/K includes a great quality amp on ALL of there models, there power ratings are true and are not just the amount of power delivered a 1KHz like some other recievers although most in the $600 price range aren't judged that way.

    For $600 you should be able to find the H/K AVR-525 reciever which is the second down from the flagship and is a very nice piece. It deliver something like 80W per channel (not sure but I believe it is 80W), and it 7.1

    It also includes something other recievers don't, Logic7. Logic7 is HK's own version of Dolby Pro Logic II and DTS:NEO6. I believe it is much better than both of them and not to mention it makes it up to a 7.1 signal instead of 5.1 or 6.1 like with DTS and Dolby.

    Take a look at the HK, it is a very nice piece, not to mention they are some of the best looking. It also includes some of the most features you will find at that price range. Good luck and happy hunting.
     
  13. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 1999
    Messages:
    11,571
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    NorCal
    Real Name:
    John
     
  14. terence

    terence Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2002
    Messages:
    985
    Likes Received:
    0
    HI Micah,

    I own a 4ES great piece serves me well and my HT/2ch system. If you can still find one to demo, check it out and you don't like it keep looking. I can't speak on the new units have not heard them yet. I have read mixed reviews about the new line but i like to hear them for myself and have my own opinion.

    The best advice that keeps coming up is, research, listen and find features that suit your needs. It all comes down to your ears and preference.

    -Do not buy for your friends, buy for what you like.

    -Do not buy because a dealer is pushing you in that direction, make up your own mind on a product.

    -Do not buy because it's the hottest piece on the forums, listen first before jump on the bandwagon.

    and last

    - Buy for YOU & YOU only because you will be the one who has to live with the product! There is no perfect piece of gear, we all have gear that we wish that had or could perform certain features. It's about compromise and tailoring the gear as close to your taste as possible, to best suit your needs. Good luck, have fun![​IMG]
     
  15. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2002
    Messages:
    4,007
    Likes Received:
    0
    I own a 2ES and a 4ES and they are both excellent AVRs. Good build quality, flexible processing, ample power. The remote controls are often pointed to as a weakness, but I don't use them so I can't comment. The 2 can be had for under $400 and the 4 for under $700, but both are becoming harder and harder to find, particularly the 4. For what it's worth, I can't report a substantial difference between the 2 and the 4 in terms of performance.

    I've tinkered with the 1000ES (solid-state) and the 2000ES (digital amp), and I prefer the 1000ES as a potential successor to the 2ES. Performance-wise, the 1000 is comparable to the 2 and the 4, to my ears. If you decide to go the route of the 1000ES, you can likely do better than the price you were quoted.

    In terms of overall quality, I think the ES line stacks right up against offerings from the other major brands with similar feature-sets.
     
  16. JamesCB

    JamesCB Second Unit

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2003
    Messages:
    440
    Likes Received:
    0
    SonyES is to Sony
    as
    Integra is to Onkyo

    Generally better construction and electronics.

    (ES stands for "Elevated Standard")
     
  17. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2000
    Messages:
    4,684
    Likes Received:
    25
    Location:
    Knocksville, TN
    Real Name:
    Rachael Bellomy
    I got a Sony AVD-50ES with the digital amps and sent that piece of junk right back. It distorted in a strange way playing 2 of 3 stereo SACD's I tried. The remote was mearde, the interface with the reciever section was poor. The one I got had a defective S-video monitor jack that was too crooked to accept a cable. I did not like the sound of the digital amps. To me it was very different sounding, metalic comes to mind. Then there was the distortion on the SACD's.

    I like Sony source components but haven't owned a head unit of their's since the early 90's, TAE1000ES pre... The AVD-50 was a real disappointment. Micah, don't even consider the AVD's! I'd be wary about Sony's digital amps...they sounds weird's to's me's after my first listen.
     
  18. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2002
    Messages:
    4,007
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  19. Dave Moritz

    Dave Moritz Producer
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2001
    Messages:
    5,312
    Likes Received:
    444
    Location:
    California
    Real Name:
    Dave Moritz
    I would agree with the statement on Kenwood that dont be fooled by the THX cert. Yamaha is not THX certified and it will kick but over the Kenwood. There are some good models out there in your price point. You just need to decide on what features you need and then listen to them and decide on what fits you best? Yamaha, Denon, Marantz, NAD are good choices. IMHO though I personally can not recomend the Sony ES reciever as I personally feel the amplifier sections to be on the week side. Also at that price point I am not sure they are HD ready? I vaugely remember hearing that the 4ES had something buggy about it so I stayed away from it. I however love the Sony ES DVD and SACD player as they rock! I agree that the ES line is a definate improvement over standard Sony. Let us know how things work out for you and I hope you get something that works out great for you and something that is trouble free. Good Luck [​IMG]
     
  20. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 1997
    Messages:
    7,061
    Likes Received:
    0
    As others have noted, Sony ES is their "higher" end line. That said, it doesn't necessarily mean that just because the "ES" label is attached to a product that it is necessarily the best option out there in a particular equipment category. You have to do your homework and there have been some good suggestions here.

    If I was given the choice of a "regular" SONY component or a similar one from their ES line I probably would always choose the ES product for the reasons already stated in this thread. However, the name "SONY" doesn't necessarily mean it's the best brand for just any equipment. This has to be evaluated on a case by case basis.

    To give you one example (perhaps a little dated, but it illustrates my point.) When DVD players came out it was almost automatic that a SONY DVD player was synonymous with quality. However, with LD players of a decade ago "Pioneer" was the brand. A SONY LD player was not regarded as highly. And, in those days, SONY made great monitors, but less desireable receivers. Like I said, you have to consider the equipment category you are looking at.

    Things may have changed over the years (and I'm not trying to insult any SONY owners - in fact I own a lot of SONY stuff - just check out my HT site) so do your homework. The final judge for all this is, of course, your eyes and ears. Make sure you don't buy anything blindly.

    Good luck.
     

Share This Page