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differences in Sony ES line (da1es/2es/4es)


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40 replies to this topic

#1 of 41 Karl FS

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Posted February 07 2003 - 08:25 AM

hi.. I'm going to be replacing my old sony str-d790 that I've had for about 10 years. my main criteria for the new receiver is that it have dolby 5.1, be able to drive 4 ohm speakers, have fairly good sound quality, and also be solid enough to last longer than my previous receiver. I'm leaning towards the sony DA1ES because I've heard good things about the ES line and it has the 4 ohm capability that I want without all of the extra features that I don't need. there don't seem to be a lot of reviews on this receiver, but many people have good things to say about the 2es and 4es. my question is, what are the differences between the 1es, 2es, and 4es? does the 1es have the same level of sound quality as the higher models? it seems like it would, and that the higher prices of the 2es and 4es are a result of the added channels and features. any input would be appreciated... thanks.

#2 of 41 Karl FS

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Posted February 07 2003 - 01:25 PM

anyone?? well, I was also considering the denon 1603 or 1803, but they only support 6 ohm speakers. can anyone comment on the sound quality of one of those units compared to the DA1ES or DA2ES?

#3 of 41 Jose G

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Posted February 07 2003 - 01:48 PM

I've heard that the true ES line doesn't start until the 4ES, but I don't know if thats really fact or fiction. I do know, because I heard one, that I liked the sound on the 4ES and it has a great rep. many folks here love their 4ES.

#4 of 41 Karl FS

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Posted February 07 2003 - 02:06 PM

I wish I could afford the 4es, but it's a little out of my price range. can anyone verify that the 1es and 2es do or do not use different parts than the 4es?

#5 of 41 Alex Dydula

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Posted February 08 2003 - 01:45 AM

Go Here....

Its a nice place to look at the factory specs and other links that explain the technology of the ES SONY line of receivers...

http://www.oade.com/....es/index2.html

Alex

#6 of 41 DarrylM

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Posted February 08 2003 - 02:13 AM

Just to clarify, the Sony ES line isn't anymore capable of driving 4 ohm speakers than a comparable Denon, Onkyo, Marantz, etc. (And probably less capable in some instances.) Sony provides a current-limiting switch on the back to keep the unit from straining too much while driving 4 ohm speakers. However, this will not provide the same performance that a receiver or amplifier will that is actually rated to deliver power into 4 ohms. The power ratings of these amplifiers will often increase considerably when moving from 8 ohm to 4 ohm speakers. Recievers like the Onkyo are actually rated to drive 6 ohm speakers and have a UL listing to that effect.

The Sony 1ES and 2ES are really re-badged "DB" models, which are actually a step below the regular ES line. Originally, the 3ES was the lowest ES product in Sony's current lineup. When Sony introduced the new DB8XX and DB9XX versions, they labeled them as the 1ES and 2ES. This means that a) these models are not quite at the same level of quality as the 3+ ES models, and b) you now have a 5 year warranty on what was once the DB line.

#7 of 41 Brian_Tho

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Posted February 08 2003 - 03:12 AM

Darryl if the 1es and 2es are just rebadged how come they way in at 35lbs, and the db series was only 20 some pounds. I would think they would have improved on them to even consider them an es model.

#8 of 41 Brian_Tho

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Posted February 08 2003 - 03:18 AM

The STR-DB1080 only weighs 28 lbs.

The STR-DA2ES weighs 35 lbs.

#9 of 41 Brian_Tho

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Posted February 08 2003 - 03:21 AM

They look the same so you can rule out diff parts causing the weight difference. I think they are using a better amp, a true es amp in these models. I mean if they did upgrade the amp I wouldnt care if it looked like a DB model. The most important thing is the amp, then the features. I too am looking at this model. There are not alot of reviews on it. The uk version of the 2es is all I can find for a reference and it seems to get excellent write ups.

#10 of 41 DarrylM

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Posted February 08 2003 - 04:37 AM

Quote:
Darryl if the 1es and 2es are just rebadged how come they way in at 35lbs, and the db series was only 20 some pounds. I would think they would have improved on them to even consider them an es model.

First of all, the shipping weight of the DB 1070 (a model below the 1080, even) was 34 lbs. The shipping weight of the DA2 ES is also 34 lbs. Both are 110 W x 6. Coincidence? The DA4 ES, which I would consider a true ES piece, comes in at almost 52 lbs for the shipping weight; note the near 20-lb difference (and, no, a seventh channel is not going to make up that kind of difference). (Source: Crutchfield.)

Furthermore, the DB line has always had some distinct differences from the ES line. For example, DB model power ratings were always at 0.09% THD instead of the 0.05% used for ES models. DB models also had a flat, rectangular faceplate, while the ES chassis were recessed at the top. Both the 1 ES and 2 ES are rated at 0.09%, not 0.05%, and have the flat, DB-style chassis. Lastly, didn't you ever wonder why they no longer make any DB models in the US, but now offer a 1 ES and 2 ES that are virtually identical to the old DB format?!?

The fact is, Sony is attempting to capitalize on the perceived value of the "ES" tag. And, given your response, it seems to have worked.

PS
In all fairness, there was never a dramatic difference between the two lines. In my opinion, Sony marketed the DB line as kind of the "budget ES" line. Though I owned models from both lines, and wasn't particularly happy with either.

#11 of 41 Brian_Tho

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Posted February 08 2003 - 05:37 AM

My bad. Maybe your right but do you honestly think that they wouldnt use a better amp considering they have the es name on it. were the db series that bad. I mean are you telling me I would be better off with the str-de985 than the str-da2es. ?

#12 of 41 Brian_Tho

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Posted February 08 2003 - 05:50 AM

Another thing I have seen many posts saying that the 2es and 4es sound the same through seperate amps. I know cirrus logic makes the chips so and they are the same with the features turned off on certain receivers. What I am getting at maybe it is a db but maybe it got a better internal power section this year. If not later on I can get a better amp and use it as a pre/pro. Then it should rock. What about this idea. Am i wrong in my analogy

#13 of 41 DarrylM

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Posted February 08 2003 - 06:34 AM

Quote:
Maybe your right but do you honestly think that they wouldnt use a better amp considering they have the es name on it.

If they had employed a better amp section before adding the ES tag, they probably would have rated it at 0.05% THD, like the rest of the ES line, not at 0.09% THD, like the rest of the DB line.

Quote:
were the db series that bad. I mean are you telling me I would be better off with the str-de985 than the str-da2es.

Not at all. Like I said, the DB line was not "dramatically" different from the ES line, in my opinion. While I the ES line is superior to the DB line, the DB line (and the new 1/2 ES) is considerably better than the DE line, in my opinion. I would never recommend buying a Sony DE receiver when you can purchase a DB line for a bit more (which also had a better warranty).

The difference in quality is pretty obvious. The DB and ES models use a better chassis with alumnimum faceplates, aluminum heatsinks, larger power supplies, gold-plated connections, and so on. And now that they have abandoned the "DB" line and labeled them as lower ES models, you even get the benefit of the ES 5 year warranty -- which is tough to beat.

If you definitely want Sony, the DA4 ES would be my entry level recommendation if you can afford it. And, frankly, probably a better value than the DA7 ES. If you can't afford it, at least get the DA1 ES or DA2 ES; they also have pre-amp outputs, which will allow you to upgrade to a separate amp down the road.

#14 of 41 Brian_Tho

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Posted February 08 2003 - 06:46 AM

Another point then according to scientific data the human hear cannot hear below 1% of harmonic distortion. so whats the diff between .09 and .05

#15 of 41 Alex Dydula

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Posted February 08 2003 - 10:35 AM

Hi!

I never judged the quality and versatility for any piece of stereo stuff by the shipping weight alone??

I have had some hi end stuff that actually has a 'block' of what looks like cement inside that makes it feel really substantial!!

The 1 and 2 es weigh 35.2 lbs and the 4es weighs 44 lbs.

Go listen to them if you can find them in a store somewhere. Don't let all this .09 or .05 stuff get to you.

The SONY ES line has plenty of power to make you ears ache! and they are extermely versatile, as with good DENON's and Yamaha etc...

If you cant afford the 4es, then the 2es will do just fine, I would not get the 1es, why??

The 2es has 6.1 capabilites, the 1es does not
The 2es has both 5.1 and 6.1 multicahnnel outputs, the 1es only has 5.1

The 2es has:Sound Field Programs :
Cinema(7), Music(10) and Auto Format Decoding(1)

The 1es has:Sound Field Programs :
Cinema(4), Music(4) and Auto Format Decoding(1)

The 2es just has a few more options, and if you ever get the bug to add that 6th rear back speaker the 2es will be able to do this easily the 1es will not...

And the 2es has an awesome /blue; looking decode light!! (vanity, smile!!).

Best of Luck in your search.

Alex

#16 of 41 Brian_Tho

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Posted February 08 2003 - 11:12 AM

Good info Alex. I will be ordering one on monday. Do you know of a good place to order one, and a low price.

#17 of 41 Brian_Tho

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Posted February 08 2003 - 11:13 AM

STR-DA2ES I mean. I like the 4es but its out of my range and it really doesnt do anything better other than the amp. In the future I will use the preouts on the 2es going to a really good amp.

#18 of 41 DarrylM

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Posted February 08 2003 - 12:33 PM

Quote:
Another point then according to scientific data the human hear cannot hear below 1% of harmonic distortion. so whats the diff between .09 and .05

The higher THD rating indicates that the amp will begin to strain much more quickly and have less headroom. While the raw figure may not be too meaningful, the fact that at around 100 W of power output the DA2 ES already has twice as much distortion as the DA4 ES is relevant. And this is assuming that Sony has provided accurate measurements in the first place. At low to moderate listening levels, I agree that there will be little difference in performance between the two.

Quote:
I never judged the quality and versatility for any piece of stereo stuff by the shipping weight alone??

Weight is certainly indicative of quality, though not necessarily definitive. No-one is arguing that weight is the only criteria. Nevertheless, solid aluminum heat sinks, large EI or toroidal power supplies, anti-resonant faceplates and chassis, generous capacitors, and other "quality" parts all add a considerable amount of weight to the receiver.

Quote:
The 1 and 2 es weigh 35.2 lbs and the 4es weighs 44 lbs.

Where did you come up with your weights for the 1 ES and 2 ES? Crutchfield lists the shipping weight -- which includes accessories, packaging, batteries, remote, etc. -- at only 34 lbs.

Quote:
If you cant afford the 4es, then the 2es will do just fine, I would not get the 1es, why??

As for whether you want the 1 ES or 2 ES, I imagine your biggest consideration would be whether you plan to utilize a rear center surround channel now or in the future. Personally, I doubt that you will miss a few of Sony's more useless DSP modes. Though, if the costs are reasonably close, I'd pick up the 2 ES over the 1 ES, whether you plan to use a 5.1 system or not (for several reasons that have nothing to do with "under water scuba mode" or some other missing sound field Posted Image ).

#19 of 41 Jeremy Tebo

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Posted May 27 2003 - 09:52 AM

Also, I believe the DA2ES adds on-screen controls. I recently bought a DA1ES and love it, but if I had a little more scrill I would have gotten the DA2ES.

#20 of 41 Shiu

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Posted May 27 2003 - 12:33 PM

I posted several times before, I had the 1ES for almost a month before I returned it and got a 4ES for the added features. With my Polk Audio Sub/Sat system I did not notice a difference in sound quality between the 1 and the 4. The marginally and subjectively noticeable difference seemed to be in the surround channels. The dynamic range capability of the DA1ES was surprisingly good.

This is not to say that if I had better speakers (I do now), the difference would have been more noticeable. For someone who is on a budget and could make do with 5.1, I would recommend the 1ES without hesitation. The 2ES has the blue light but it also costs quite a bit more. Both units weigh only 14 kg, or 30.8 lbs. The 35.2 lbs is the shipping weight. The 4ES actually weights 21 kg or 46.2 lbs according to the manual. The shipping weight, according to the label on the box), is 24 kg or 52.8 lbs.


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