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Deciding on new A/V Receiver: help.


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21 replies to this topic

#1 of 22 OFFLINE   Dennis LM

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Posted April 09 2003 - 08:59 AM

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 Posted Image ).

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.
Dennis LM.

#2 of 22 OFFLINE   Arthur S

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Posted April 09 2003 - 12:13 PM

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 of 22 OFFLINE   Dale Ridgeway

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Posted April 10 2003 - 08:00 AM

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 of 22 OFFLINE   JimPeitersen

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Posted April 10 2003 - 08:38 AM

How about the new Pioneer VSX-D912K?

#5 of 22 OFFLINE   Angelo.M

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Posted April 10 2003 - 08:39 AM

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 of 22 OFFLINE   Angelo.M

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Posted April 10 2003 - 08:41 AM

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

#7 of 22 OFFLINE   Alf S

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Posted April 10 2003 - 09:15 AM

[quote] the 4ES eats the 912/811 for breakfast. [quote]

Just curious Angelo...have you put all of these receivers side by side with your system and proven this or are you just basing it on something else??

Posted Image
WOOSAH!.

 


#8 of 22 OFFLINE   Kevin Alexander

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Posted April 10 2003 - 09:59 AM

[quote] Just curious Angelo...have you put all of these receivers side by side with your system and proven this or are you just basing it on something else?? [quote]I have owned both the Pioneer 811 and the Sony DA5ES and Angelo is correct. The DA4ES will indeed eat the 912/811 for breakfast and its leftovers for lunch. If you put Sony's top-of-the-line ES receivers up against Pioneer's entry level line (which are no slouches in the entry level range), the Sony ES receiver has always and continue to be the superior sounding unit.
"What does God want with a Starship?" - Captain Kirk from Star Trek V: The Final Frontier.

"For the first few minutes of the film, I had accidently listened to the Dolby Digital track." - Ron Epstein (HTF)

#9 of 22 OFFLINE   Kevin Alexander

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Posted April 10 2003 - 10:00 AM

Double post...sorry.
"What does God want with a Starship?" - Captain Kirk from Star Trek V: The Final Frontier.

"For the first few minutes of the film, I had accidently listened to the Dolby Digital track." - Ron Epstein (HTF)

#10 of 22 OFFLINE   Dennis LM

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Posted April 11 2003 - 03:29 AM

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. Posted Image

Thanks again for the great input. Keep it coming.
Dennis LM.

#11 of 22 OFFLINE   Angelo.M

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Posted April 11 2003 - 06:12 AM

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 of 22 OFFLINE   Vin

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Posted April 11 2003 - 06:52 AM

[quote] I am not aware of what an ICBM is in HT jargon. It sounds like a warfare term to me. [quote]
Integrated Control Bass Management, from Outlaw Audio, was designed specifically for components such as SACD or DVD-A that don't offer a digital output for connection to A/V receivers (which typically don't provide bass management capability for analog connections).

Most SACD and DVD-A players offer very limited bass management, if any, which created a bit of a snafu for these new hi-rez multi-channel audio formats, hence the need for ICBM.

Vin

#13 of 22 OFFLINE   ChadLB

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Posted April 11 2003 - 06:55 AM

[quote] If you put Sony's top-of-the-line ES receivers up against Pioneer's entry level line (which are no slouches in the entry level range), the Sony ES receiver has always and continue to be the superior sounding unit. [quote]

The thing is you are comparing Sony High end(ES) against Non Pioneer High End. You should be comparing ES against Elite if you want to compare apples to apples.

#14 of 22 OFFLINE   Vincent_S

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Posted April 11 2003 - 08:20 AM

ChadLB, exactly what I was thinking.

#15 of 22 OFFLINE   MikeMcGrew

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Posted April 11 2003 - 04:12 PM

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 of 22 OFFLINE   RobWil

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Posted April 11 2003 - 04:51 PM

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?
that's my story and I'm stickin' to it!

#17 of 22 OFFLINE   ChadLB

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Posted April 12 2003 - 08:37 AM

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

#18 of 22 OFFLINE   Kevin Alexander

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Posted April 12 2003 - 09:42 AM

ChadLB and Vincent_S, Go back and read posts 6,7, and 8 of this thread. Post #7 says: [quote] Just curious Angelo...have you put all of these receivers side by side with your system and proven this or are you just basing it on something else?? [quote] The point of my post is that such a side by side comparison is not even necessary, and nothing needs to be "proven" because the "ES" unit will always win in a comparison w/ Pioneer's non-Elite line.
"What does God want with a Starship?" - Captain Kirk from Star Trek V: The Final Frontier.

"For the first few minutes of the film, I had accidently listened to the Dolby Digital track." - Ron Epstein (HTF)

#19 of 22 OFFLINE   Dennis LM

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Posted April 14 2003 - 01:07 AM

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.
Dennis LM.

#20 of 22 OFFLINE   Philip Hamm

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Posted April 14 2003 - 03:53 AM

[quote] 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 ). [quote]You need to talk to the manager or another salesman. I can't imagine why a salesman would do this unless either they get a better comission out of one product or they don't have one in stock and are anxious about making the sale "today!".
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