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HK and Sony ES receiver owners wanted!


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#1 of 10 EmetW

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Posted April 11 2003 - 04:00 PM

I am considering going with all HK stuff or all Sony ES stuff for my HT. I've been an avid Denon/Onkyo user for a few years, but it seems that their latest stuff just isn't all that its cracked up to be unless you buy their top $1k+ machines. I'm not really crazy about seven channel stuff as I don't think my room size would benefit from it nor do I like the idea of buying more speakers. So, I don't have much of a problem with buying an older Sony ES unit like an STR-DA50ES or a STR-DA333ES. I've been looking at a few HK receivers as well such as the 110, 120, 210, 220, 310, 320, 510, etc. (they don't seem to be much different from the new 'xx5 series other than price and I don't mind buying used).

SO, I would like to know if anyone out there has experience with both the ES and HK receivers and why you chose one over the other. No one around me carries both ES and HK in the same store so I have not been able to make an educated AB listening comparison yet so I would like some experienced thoughts from some of you gurus out there. Thanks!

#2 of 10 RobWil

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Posted April 11 2003 - 04:32 PM

I don't know anything about the Sony's but am somewhat familiar with the HK's. I own an older AVR 10 and AVR 25 and have recently auditioned the 320 and 520 in my home as well as listened to the 525 in a store. Certainly not an expert but I think you are correct in your assessment of the xx5's vs the xx0's. I also think you are wise to look used or demo/open box. Basically you can get the same thing for half price. I would recommend demo/open box/closeout vs used from private party as you usually can get full manufacturer's warranty. And at places like Circuit City you can take them home and try them for up to 30 days.
Having said that I was all set to take the HK 320 over the 520 just cause I couldn't notice any difference. Open box the 320 was $399 and the 520 was $499 and they both looked perfect. When I took the 520 back they had an Onkyo 797 open box for $619. I listened to the 525 vs the Onkyo SR800 in their listening room and like the Onkyo better and figured it had to be very similar to the 797. It had a couple nicks here and there so I talked them down to $569, and after comparing it at home against the HK 320 I liked the Onkyo much better again, both for movies and music.
Plus it's 6x100 and THX (FWIW) whereas the HK was only 5x55.
The Onkyo also has direct mode and the HK doesn't.
My opinion would be if you go HK, go with the xx0's and save alot of money. However, I would recommend the Onkyo 797 or 600/800, if you can get a deal, over the HK's.
Sorry I can't help you with the Sony's but based on what I've read I wouldn't personally be inclined to go that way.
that's my story and I'm stickin' to it!

#3 of 10 NickSP

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Posted April 11 2003 - 04:38 PM

If you are not crazy about 6.1/7.1 then I'd suggest you look into the Denon AVR-5700. That receiver IMHO is pretty close to quality seperates. I used to own a lot of Denon equipment but am now using a Sony 4ES as a prepro for HT and am very happy. If 6.1 was not important to me then I'd still go with the 5700, an awesome receiver.
Too much power is never an overkill!

#4 of 10 SvenS

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Posted April 11 2003 - 07:26 PM

Quote:
If 6.1 was not important to me then I'd still go with the 5700, an awesome receiver.
As long as you know it will cost at least 4 times as much! In my opinion to much to pay these dasy with the lack of some nice new features.

#5 of 10 Marcel_V

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Posted April 11 2003 - 08:40 PM

I have a 325 in a 15x12 room and I think 7.1 is better than 5.1 regardless of room size. Even my discs that arent specifically DD ex or DTS es sound better. Granted if you dont have the right layout for a proper 7.1 setup, then the question is moot to begin with. I got mine for 399 refurbed at onecall.com, looks brand new to me and works great.

I have read a fair share of reliability problems with the 320 and 520 regarding random shutdowns on this board. Havent seen posts regarding this as a problem with the new xx5 series though. Just something to consider if you get a older model HK.

#6 of 10 NickSP

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Posted April 12 2003 - 04:25 AM

Quote:
As long as you know it will cost at least 4 times as much! In my opinion to much to pay these dasy with the lack of some nice new features.

Hi Sven, I believe if you look around enough, you might be able to get the 5700 for around $700.
Too much power is never an overkill!

#7 of 10 EmetW

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Posted April 12 2003 - 07:23 AM

Thanks for the replies everyone.

The 5700 and 5600DTS are very nice receivers, but still more than I would like to spend. I would like to keep it less than $500-the 325 for $399 is a killer deal, especially considering I am 90 minutes south of Huppins HiFi, the retail division of OneCall. I will not be making my final decision until I am moved into my new home in August so for now I am planning on continuing auditions.

I am looking at an HK 210 right now on Ebay. Judging from its review record it is not nearly as badly plagued by reliability issues as the HK DVD-5 that I own right now (suffers from a bad IC turn on circuit so sometimes it turns on, sometimes it does not). I may just pick it up to have it in my house-if I like it I'll keep it. If I hate it, I'll sell it to my parents Posted Image I love the sound of HK, but if their reliability of older models is doubtful, I will splurge for a 325 this fall.

The only reason I don't want to go with an older ES receiver is their lack of 192khz/24bit processing that the HK's have, but all I gather from users here and info on the net is that the 192khz is overkill and that the Sony 24/32bit processing is actually quite good. Ack! What to do!

Thanks again for everyone's input!

#8 of 10 SvenS

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Posted April 12 2003 - 10:01 AM

Quote:
Hi Sven, I believe if you look around enough, you might be able to get the 5700 for around $700.
I'd love to know where a $3500 MSRP receiver is going for $700! I'm not saying your wrong but rather I know a lot of people who would grab this receiver at a mere $700.

#9 of 10 Angelo.M

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Posted April 13 2003 - 12:24 AM

Emet:

I own a Sony 4ES and have listened to an H/K 325 extensively and feel that, performance-wise, there is not a huge difference between the two. This business about H/K being 'musical' and Sony not is hogwash in my estimation. Anyway, the Sony is very flexible and far more feature-rich, and still the best price/performance unit in its class. Look carefully, and you'll find a great deal on it.


#10 of 10 DerrickW

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Posted April 14 2003 - 06:46 PM

I'll weigh in for the HK 520/525 and the Sony 4ES as good bang for the buck pieces, given the prices online. Personally, I'm in a similar boat looking for 5.1 and am leaning towards the HK520 cause of the good prices and main-ins and lack of fan compared to the 525. The main reason I originally wanted the Sony is to match my current Sony DVD and VHS sources, but in the end that isn't really important. If you get a chance, go listen to these in a store if you can, cause in the end your opinion is what really matters here.




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