Deciding on new A/V Receiver: help.

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Dennis LM, Apr 9, 2003.

  1. Dennis LM

    Dennis LM Extra

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    I am looking at purchasing a new A/V Receiver as a first step to move into the Digital Age. High on the list are the Sony STR-DA4ES, Denon AVR-8302, Denon AVR-1082, and Marantz SR5300. The sales persons at Tweeter have been pushing the Denon 1082 and it looks nice, but steer me away from the Sony (won't even help me listen to it [​IMG] ).

    I don't have the surround speakers yet, but will move in that direction as soon as funds allow. Budget for receiver $500-650.

    I just want some more reliable input on the choices out there, whether mentioned above or something else you really have found to work.

    QUESTIONS I HAVE:
    1)I have concerns over Denon's warranty and post-purchase customer service. How is Sony's service (I know their ES line has 5 year warranties)
    2) Must you buy Sony's at authorized dealers to get the valid warranty (as is the case with Denon)?
    3) Does the 4ES really have separate channel volume AND tone controls (and how do you access it)?
    4) What is the link and download I have read about that some 4ES's need for a decoding problem?
    see following link;
    Sony 4ES problem with decoding DTS-ES

    That's enough for now. Thanks in advance for the help.
     
  2. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    Dennis

    You seem to be heading in the direction of Sony. If you are open to other suggestions, try the Kenwood VR6070, THX, 6 channels of amp. Closing out but try Vann's, authorized for everything they sell. $400.

    Artie
     
  3. Dale Ridgeway

    Dale Ridgeway Stunt Coordinator

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    for around 50 extra bucks over your budget, you could get the AVR525. Quite a nice reciever with triple X-over and bass management for dvd-a or sacd. (sure wish my avr8000 had it). Such a feature could save you a couple hundred dollars down the line eliminating the need for an ICBM if you get into the new high rez. formats.
     
  4. JimPeitersen

    JimPeitersen Second Unit

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    How about the new Pioneer VSX-D912K?
     
  5. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    The 4ES is a great unit, and I have no reservations recommending it. I bought mine from an authorized dealer (J&R) in New York, and set it up in my 2nd home in another state. There is a upscale hifi shop there that is an authorized ES repair center, and they will honor Sony's 5-year ES warranty as long as I have a receipt from an authorized dealer (like J&R). So "Sony's service" is a non-issue for me.

    Not sure about the decoding problems. Haven't experienced any.

    The channel levels and tone controls are accessed through a menu system; not much help, but I'm not certain what you're asking.

    Just get one. You won't regret it. It's the best price/performance combo out there right now in my opinion.
     
  6. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    In my opinion, sound-wise, the 4ES eats the 912/811 for breakfast.
     
  7. Alf S

    Alf S Cinematographer
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  8. Kevin Alexander

    Kevin Alexander Screenwriter

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  9. Kevin Alexander

    Kevin Alexander Screenwriter

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    Double post...sorry.
     
  10. Dennis LM

    Dennis LM Extra

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    You folks have provided some excellent and helpful input.

    Of all the additional suggestions so far, the Harmon Kardon AVR525 has been the most interesting and appealing. I like the features and the wide range of decoding formats in the preliminary review of the product. What stands out in the first glance is the lower wattage. Also of concern is my budget.

    In my research on the 4ES, I am having a hard time discerning if it has 7 discreet amps for 7 discreet channels. It looks like it has 6 and synthesizes 2 rear center channels. If that’s true wouldn’t that affect the 2nd room stereo pair (a feature I’m highly interested in)?

    Dale, I am not aware of what an ICBM is in HT jargon. It sounds like a warfare term to me. [​IMG]

    Thanks again for the great input. Keep it coming.
     
  11. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    I have stacked the 4ES (mine) against a 811S (neighbor's) when she was shopping for her AVR, and there was a substantial difference, particularly in 2-channel music.

    There are many fans of the 811S on this board--fine. I think it's nothing special. It's feature-rich but performance-poor, in my opinion.
     
  12. Vin

    Vin Supporting Actor

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  13. ChadLB

    ChadLB Screenwriter

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  14. Vincent_S

    Vincent_S Second Unit

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    ChadLB, exactly what I was thinking.
     
  15. MikeMcGrew

    MikeMcGrew Stunt Coordinator

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    Angelo, I am curious as to your experience with "authorized" Sony dealers. I have made more than one phone call on more than one occasion to Sony customer service and every time they tell me that I only need a receipt within acceptable time parameters to get service from an authorized Sony service center on ES models. They do not, according to these phone calls, recognize "authorized" dealers above other dealers when it comes to purchase of an ES receiver. As long as all serial numbers are intact, an authorized service center will service an ES receiver under warranty providing the problem is one recognized by the warranty itself and within the five year warranty period. I also called my local Sony service center to see if this was the case and they verified that it was. I do not yet own the DA4ES but will be making the purchase within the next few days. Warranty issues are one of my chief concerns when choosing this receiver over the Denon 2803. I like the sounds of both but the tweakability and support of the Sony has won me over. Good luck Dennis. My advice, take your time and do your homework. I have changed my mind several times now but am pretty confident that I will go with Sony now. Have fun. MM
     
  16. RobWil

    RobWil Supporting Actor

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    From harmankardon.com....RE: AVR525
    "This Harman Kardon product is among the first A/V receivers available with a Triple Crossover Bass
    Management System. The triple crossover allows you to set different crossover settings for the front
    left/right, front center and surround channels, making it possible to mix different brands or models of
    speakers in the same system, while maintaining smooth transition of low-frequency (bass) sounds
    from the main speakers to the subwoofer. In addition to the three main-channel crossover settings, a
    separate setting is provided to tailor the output of the AVR to precisely match your subwoofer."

    RE: "There are many fans of the 811S on this board--fine. I think it's nothing special. It's feature-rich but performance-poor, in my opinion."

    Kind of like the Kenwood 6070?
     
  17. ChadLB

    ChadLB Screenwriter

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    Again the kenwood 6070 is not Kenwoods High end. You need to compare apples to apples....get with it people.
     
  18. Kevin Alexander

    Kevin Alexander Screenwriter

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    ChadLB and Vincent_S, Go back and read posts 6,7, and 8 of this thread. Post #7 says:
     
  19. Dennis LM

    Dennis LM Extra

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    I went ahead and purchased the STR-DA4ES and will let you know how it goes. My next question will end up being on speakers. But that's for another thread.

    Thanks so much for all your valuable input.
     
  20. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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