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Sony STR-DE995 (7.1) Thoughts?


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#1 of 26 OFFLINE   AaronJB

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Posted June 22 2003 - 09:40 PM

STR-DE995

Relatively new receiever, but I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts on it or opinions on similar, recent Sony receievers in the price/feature range. Thank you.


7-Channel Power Rating : 100W Per Channel x 7 (8 Ohms 20 Hz-20kHz, THD 0.09%)
Stereo mode
S-Video Up-Conversion from Composite Video
A & B/A or B Speaker Switch for Stereo
32-Bit DSP with 13 Acoustic environments
Digital Cinema Sound system with Cinema Studio EX modes
2 Component Video Inputs/1 Output
Multi-Room Audio Output with Independent Source Selection (Via RCA Output)
Headphone Jack, Phono (mm), Analog Audio Input x 3; Output x 1, Optical Audio Input x 4, Coaxial Audio Input x 1, Optical Audio Output x 1, Subwoofer Pre-Out x 1, Composite Video Input x 5, Composite Video Output x 2, S-Video input x 4, S-Video Output x 1, AC Outlet (switched) x 2
Sony Remote Control
Size: Approximately 17" x 6.2" x 14.5"
Easy Setup - Expandable Menu System for Simplicity with On-screen display for Easy Set-Up (when TV is connected)
Aaron
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#2 of 26 OFFLINE   Mark Hedges

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Posted June 23 2003 - 12:46 AM

That model it is most easily compared with is the now discontinued 110W x 7 channel DA4ES. The DA4ES is pretty well thought of, and can be found for about $600 online.

You will find on this forum that just about everybody dislikes Sony DE equipment. Some people like Sony ES (myself included), but some people will break out charts and say that all Sony recievers are underpowered.

Personally I think the DE line provides good value, particularly at the bottom of the line. Considering price I think my DE485 reciever compares well to my DA4ES from a value perspective. However when you get to the more expensive DE models I think you are better off paying a little more for the ES line.

Mark

#3 of 26 OFFLINE   Chad Anson

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Posted June 23 2003 - 02:11 AM

I own a Sony DA4es, a Denon 3300, a cheap pioneer 5.1 receiver and a fried Sony DE receiver. Simply put, I will never own another Sony DE receiver. The DE sounded 'okay' (but definitely the worst of the bunch) until the amplifier circuitry died two weeks out of warranty. Turned out that enough folks had this problem as to suggest a design defect. However, my only recourse was to pay $150 to an authorized Sony repair center and get an additional 90-day warranty. No thanks. I bought the pioneer for $200 and was treated to better sound and a better remote.

#4 of 26 OFFLINE   Spencer J

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Posted June 23 2003 - 08:51 AM

Avoid Sony's DE line. It took me getting burned twice to learn.

#5 of 26 OFFLINE   Bob Kavanaugh

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Posted June 24 2003 - 06:02 AM

I upgraded from a STR-DE475 to a STR-DA2ES. The sonic improvement was absolutely unbeleivable. I had a permanent smile on my face for a week. Posted Image

Here is a thread I started on the subject.


My 2ES was only $420 and is a substantial jump from the DE line. Sure it's 6.1 vs 7.1 but I've yet to hear anything from that rear speaker that makes a difference.

#6 of 26 OFFLINE   Brian Dobbs

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Posted January 18 2004 - 03:38 AM

I'm curious, I have a 5.1 Sony DE model I bought a few years ago and I'm wondering why the DE series doesn't get many positive reviews? I've never had any major problems with it. I'm also curious what differentiates the ES series from the DE series?

#7 of 26 OFFLINE   ReggieW

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Posted January 18 2004 - 08:15 AM

Brian,

The ES (elevated standard) series Sony's are built to a higher quality standard than the DE line. In most mainstream stores (Circuit City, Best Buy, etc.), you'll notice that they don't carry Sony ES products. DAC's, power supplies, build quality, power ratings, etc, are all significantly improved over the Sony DE series receivers. So much so that even in a blind test listening to music on an average system, you should be able to tell the difference. Of course, you will pay for the ES quality, but this isn't really a fair comparison, as the DE Sony line was conceived as a budget line using inferior parts for the mass market (I believe that Sony DE series receivers are the best selling receivers in this country). MY mother has a DE receiver and it sounds really shrill, but she also has really bad speakers (KLH bookshelf's from Best Buy). The problem is that the more expensive DE series (which I believe go up to $700) Sony's really began to ask for a bit much when they are priced alongside the likes of the Denon 2803, Marantz 5300, HK 325, etc - all significantly better products than any Sony DE line receiver in terms of build and sound.


Hope this helps,

Reg
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#8 of 26 OFFLINE   Brian Dobbs

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Posted January 18 2004 - 08:37 AM

thanks for the info!

#9 of 26 OFFLINE   Shiu

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Posted January 18 2004 - 10:31 AM

I believe they (DE) did get positive reviews, albeit only by something like the consumer reports (or guides, I am not sure). They could make your system sounds better than most HT in the box, but that's about it. I think they can last for a long time if you don't push their power limit. For a few dollars more, the 1000ES is a better deal.

#10 of 26 OFFLINE   CalvinCarr

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Posted January 18 2004 - 11:39 PM

You can get the DE995 for about $380.00 if you look around enough. There is a store in Miami Brand Smart that sells them at that price. I bought a DE545 5 years ago open box and have never had a problem with it. I think for the price you can't beat them.

#11 of 26 OFFLINE   ReggieW

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Posted January 19 2004 - 12:08 AM

$380.00 will also get you a Denon 1804, HK 325, or a Marantz 5300 (if you look hard enough). I think you should seriously give these other receivers a spin. I guarantee you will more than likely prefer them to the Sony.

Reg
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#12 of 26 OFFLINE   RolandM

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Posted January 19 2004 - 08:11 PM

I would agree with most of the other posts here. There is a good lot of Sony gear in my house and I currently use a Sony STR-DA4ES receiver myself, so I'm not Sony bashing... Personally I wouldn't touch a DE series receiver with a 10ft pole! Really the quality that goes into making DE receivers is seriously lacking and I wouldn't trust one of them at all. This coming from both personal experience with the DE and a lot of horror stories of friends and those written on the internet.

Unfortunately, like Bose, I'd say "Friends don't let friends buy Sony DE receivers". They really aren't a good choice IMO.

If you want a Sony receiver I'd go DB/QS (depending on your region the DB models may be rebadged to ES--not sure about "Mars" lol) or DA/ES line or don't get a Sony receiver at all.

In that price range if you want a Sony, I'd say look really well for a DA1ES or DA2ES from last year's line or spend a bit more on this year's low ES models like the DA2000ES (aka DB2000 QS in some regions). Otherwise I'd go with some of the other brands listed--H/K, Denon, Yamaha, Onkyo, etc... Just my $0.02.

#13 of 26 OFFLINE   Nathan Stohler

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Posted January 21 2004 - 02:43 AM

This thread depresses me...I bought a Sony STR-DE885 about a year ago, without really doing a lot of research. I was mostly concerned with features, and this receiver does offer a lot of options that I like for fine-tuning (separate crossovers, level adjustments, etc.), so from a feature/usability angle, I couldn't be more satisfied.

However, I bought the receiver long before visiting a site like this, so I had no idea that a choice of receiver could make such a big difference in sound quality.

I have a modest system, and I rarely even approach reference level volume (power should be less of an issue), so would I benefit much from upgrading to an ES model or another brand? I would definitely consider upgrading in the future and using my Sony in another room, but I'm hesitant to upgrade now since I just bought the thing.

For what it's worth, these are my speakers:
Boston VR940 mains
Boston VR910 center
Boston CR65 surrounds
Boston PV500 sub

#14 of 26 OFFLINE   RolandM

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Posted January 21 2004 - 09:09 AM

Well I wouldn't worry too much Nathan... If the receiver is serving you fine and well right now then you don't really have to "jump ship" on the DE885 just because of the comments here.

At least the newer DEs like the DEx85s aren't as bad sound-quality wise as the first DE Dolby Digital receivers and the Pro-Logic only DEs that came immediately before them. Those ones (from the mid-late 90s) had really bad hiss/noise from the centre/rear channels--but I'm pretty sure they improved on that, right?

As for reliability, well, your DE885 may continue to serve you for a number of years without problems--it isn't that everyone of them breaks down (though unfortunatley I would say more than enough of them do). I've known at least one person with a DE that is still working fine after 3-4 years of pretty hard use, for example. (And surprisingly it has never gone into "protection" or shut down on him, even with it at high-levels for hours...)

As I said I wouldn't fret too much right now. If you ever feel the need to upgrade to more features or better sound quality then I'd suggest following the above advice to move to a better receiver. Similarly if your DE885 ever breaks down out-of-warranty, you might consider buying a differen brand or an ES-level receiver at that time.

For now, however, I'd just relax and enjoy the DE885 that seems to be serving you just fine right now Posted Image

#15 of 26 OFFLINE   Shiu

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Posted January 21 2004 - 01:12 PM

My brother has one of those Sony Prologic (not really sure might have been just stereo) one for more than 10 years and it is still kicking. Given the hugh number of DE receivers in use out there, it is easy to understand why there are many unhappy users. Going from DE to ES, you bound to get significant improvement in sound quality, but the DE885 could do reasonably well with movies in a smaller room.

#16 of 26 OFFLINE   Nathan Stohler

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Posted January 22 2004 - 01:20 AM

Thanks Roland and Shiu.

I guess ignorance is bliss, but I'll know better next time. I keep hearing the same brands mentioned (Denon, H/K, Sony-ES, etc.), so I'll know where to start looking if I ever upgrade. After using an old Technics Pro Logic receiver for 3+ years (that I bought from a friend for $100), I guess I was just anxious to have the 5.1 experience, which I have been very impressed with. However, the live-in girlfriend is not grasping the dynamic nature of movie soundtracks ("Turn it down, Nathan!......Turn it up, I can't hear the dialogue!").

By the way, Roland, I don't hear any hiss/noise in any of the speakers with the 885, which I did hear on my old Technics (from my mains).

#17 of 26 OFFLINE   keoni

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Posted January 22 2004 - 09:39 AM

Wow this sucks. I just unknowingly bought a STR-DE895 and thus far (last three weeks) It has performed fine. Hope the thing doesnt can on me.

#18 of 26 OFFLINE   John S

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Posted January 22 2004 - 09:46 AM

I know somebody that has one of these. It has worked well for quite sometime now. He agrees it is not the best sounding receiver, but he has it pair'd with bright efficient very forward speakers, and when I am over there watching movies and/or listening to music I hear no obvious difficiencies at all.

Enjoy your new receiever and sound processing power.

#19 of 26 OFFLINE   Shiu

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Posted January 22 2004 - 12:15 PM

Keoni, just don't push your DE receiver too hard, treat it like it is only rated for half of its specified power (say 70X2, or 35 to 40X6) rating it should last for a long time. I listened to them at the Sony Stores a few times. They sound reasonable playing 5.1 movies and are loaded with nice features. There must be good reasons why they sell so well.

#20 of 26 OFFLINE   keoni

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Posted January 22 2004 - 12:36 PM

I got it for only 270 so I guess I cant complain. Its a small room and shouldnt require to much power. If it does burn out screw it I will buy different receiver.