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Sony ES receivers go downhill

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16 replies to this topic

#1 of 17 OFFLINE   Bobpaul



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Posted January 11 2003 - 09:33 AM


I am an owner of the Sony STR-V555ES receiver. The unit overheats frequently and shut down, the volume control was slowly dying (remote could not control it). I sent it back for repair to the asinine Sony service center people in PA who promptly "fixed" it. The bill optimistically stated "unit reset, troubles solved" Posted Image)))))))) Right? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

It started doing the same the day i got it back. The volume control died in a few more days.

I got cured of SONYphilia for a long time but couldn't justify spending $1300 again. So i got a Sherbourn 5/1500A ($900 floor sample) amp and fans for the receiver from pcpowercooling.com (i run them off an old cell phone transformer below nominal voltage for longevity). That solved the shutoffs FO'EVA Posted Image and boy what a sweet sound on the amp.

Now what about the volume control? This morning i got tired of Sony and gutted the beast on my own terms. A multimeter quickly determined that the problem was a dead 3V motor. So i scratched my head and looked around and low and behold there is a 3V motor on the remote control truck i use to tease my dog (or used to, his teeth could crush anything). Anyway, had to cut the rotor shaft to fit the reduction gear, and improvise a bit to fit it into the gear and solder it into the motherboard. Two hours of work and voila... it works! And getting inside the receiver also revealed the shortcuts Sony takes these days. Wiring runs unprotected over metal surfaces, missing screws, on one side someone just glued the protective pad that was supposed to isolate sharp metal edges from the plastic front to the chassis, yuk!

Necessity is the best teacher. SONY GO BANKRUPT PLEASE!
Isn't it a shame when you are a big company and lure consumers with bells and whistles without checking quality? If i get another preamp or receiver it will be from a reputable company.

Thanks for reading guys. This is also my first post here and i want to thank you all for the information on this site.

Sorry, had to vent my frustration some place. Feel free to scold me Posted Image


#2 of 17 OFFLINE   AaronJB


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Posted January 11 2003 - 10:08 AM

I thought your post was fascinating. I always enjoy when someone opens up one of these machines and discusses the good (or, in this case, the bad) that they find.
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#3 of 17 OFFLINE   Chu Gai

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Posted January 11 2003 - 10:54 AM

really an interesting story. makes me wish when places do reviews they'd gut the inside of the unit too and commment on the innards.

#4 of 17 OFFLINE   Mark Austin

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Posted January 11 2003 - 11:17 AM

Sounds a little troll-ish to me.

#5 of 17 OFFLINE   FrankJo



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Posted January 11 2003 - 11:59 AM

Is this the model before the STR-VA555ES?

#6 of 17 OFFLINE   Bryan Williams

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Posted January 11 2003 - 12:30 PM

I agree with the troll-ish statement. Why would someone go to this much trouble to "fix" it himself when it would be under warranty (5 Years in the USA, 3 Years in Canada). Doesn't add up to me... I had one of these and it was quite a good receiver. I now have the DA5ES and am even more happy with it. I only changed for the 6.1, PLII and Dolby EX/DTS ES capability. Regards

#7 of 17 OFFLINE   Josh Wolfman

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Posted January 11 2003 - 12:35 PM

With my 5 year warranty, I would force Sony to fix it right. I don't know why you would give up after one shop obviously did not fix it properly. Your post sounds a little fishy to me.
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#8 of 17 OFFLINE   Bobpaul



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Posted January 11 2003 - 01:44 PM

I sent it away to Sony as there are no shops around where i live. This was a Sony Company mail-in center in Bristol, Pennsylvania. I had to get a repair authorization number from the Sony site and it cost me $45 to ship. Spare you cynicisms for elsewhere, Brian and Mark. This is a place to exchange ideas and learn. AND OF COURSE I FIXED MY RECEIVER IF THE COMPANY'S SUPPORT IS WORTHLESS. Am i right audiophiles? Bob

#9 of 17 OFFLINE   LanceJ



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Posted January 11 2003 - 05:39 PM

It wasn't a trolling post to me. Simply sounds like someone relating a bad experience, possibly as a service to potential Sony purchasers. Generally, service these days--on any product--is an iffy proposition. So many techs have no sense of pride in their work and could care less if a customer's product isn't 100% repaired the first time: "Who cares, right? He's got a warranty--let'em just bring it back." In light of this depressing trend, if one posseses the knowledge to do some repairs himself, why not? I used to sell HT equipment for three years, and among the brands we sold--JVC, Technics, Sony, & Pioneer--in my experience Sony was THE worst built & least reliable. End of story. I have no dark "ulterior motives" by saying this either. Our most reliable brand? Technics. And in my opinion best built too--clean circuit board layout & very few jumper wires/ribbon cables. I currently own a Technics SA-DA8 receiver, Technics SL-PG4 single-disc CD player (made in Germany!), Panasonic dvd player & Panasonic VHS deck (VHS will be 6 years old this May: used every day--I'm a MST3K fan :b--works perfectly & no repairs so far). Panasonic is Technics' parent company. Speakers are by Boston Acoustics. And if my tax refund is good enough this year a black Technics SL-1200 turntable will become part of my system. Other brands I consider buying are Yamaha, Pioneer, Rotel & Arcam. LJ

#10 of 17 OFFLINE   SvenS


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Posted January 11 2003 - 06:11 PM

So, because ONE repair facility screwed up, ALL Sony products suck and you now are holding a receiver that has NO warranty as you voided it by messing with it yourself! AMAZING!

#11 of 17 OFFLINE   Jagan Seshadri

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Posted January 11 2003 - 06:32 PM

Sony ain't what it used to be. Now old 70's vintage Marantz gear...that stuff was beyond military spec! Beautiful insides. Just beautiful.

Places that still care about layout and manufacturing quality are places like McIntosh. Expensive, but bulletproof.

For pictures of the insides of some audio gear, check out


#12 of 17 OFFLINE   JackS


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Posted January 11 2003 - 06:53 PM

After 25 years of buying gobs of this stuff, my conclusion is that all ES gear is very nice and fairly priced. Pay more if you like, but be careful.

#13 of 17 OFFLINE   Zack_R


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Posted January 12 2003 - 03:23 AM

I like my stuff to work as much as the next guy, but in this day and age is there a big advantage in spending more money to build a HT receiver (generally speaking) that will last more than 10 years. Would you rather have the 6.1 DTS, Dolby Digital, PLII for $300 bucks or continue using the state-of-the-art HT reciever built 10 years ago that would not have DTS, Dolby Digital (not real sure when this was available), DPL II, LFE channel etc? The one thing that the the State-of-the-Art receiver may have is better amps. But what good are those amps if you can't play the formats as intended? The cheapest (and I'm assuming less build quality)equipment is lasting longer than the formats. If the formats level off then quality (machines longevity) will become more important, IMO.

#14 of 17 OFFLINE   Jack Briggs

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Posted January 12 2003 - 04:49 AM

Bobpaul: Please take up any issues you have concerning other members with a moderator in private, not on the boards (it's the way we run this place). As for wishing Sony into bankruptcy and then slamming all the company's products based on your one experience, that is what some might consider trolling. And we know nothing about how the receiver was used or stored (maybe you were cranking the thing really hard or running speakers that present a difficult load or the unit was in a tight space and not able to ventilate properly or all the above). JB

#15 of 17 OFFLINE   DonJ


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Posted January 12 2003 - 08:39 AM

Jagan thanks for the link it was real informative, I have a HK AVR320 and it has a picture of the Euro spec AVR 4000. I've always been temped to take it apart to see what's inside but no need now hence they are the same model. But there were some surprises also, I liked the way the HK is sectioned off to keep one section from interfering another but I was not fond of the way they zipped tied the wires to the chassis from one section to another. Then I looked in my AVR320 it was the same of course. Then looking at the Onkyo I thought it was a disorganized mess, wires everywhere I expected a lot more from them. The Nad looked very, nice organized and the massive heat sink in the middle it quite good looking. The Pioneer also looked good, it was a little cluttered but organized.
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#16 of 17 OFFLINE   Shane Martin

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Posted January 12 2003 - 08:48 AM

Sony's Lower end line stuff DE/DB I would believe his post completely but if it was an true ES piece, then I'm still a little irked by the fact you avoided their service which is covered under the 5 year agreement of the ES warranty. IIRC the Model V555es is basically a DB series overseas.

#17 of 17 OFFLINE   Craig_Kg


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Posted January 12 2003 - 10:37 AM

no the V555ES is ES down here. The DA1ES and DA2ES are DB (QS) down here. It sounds like most of the problems with the innards were due to the repair facility. Maybe you could tell us who they were, bobpaul.
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