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New Sony ES digital receivers have high THD!


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43 replies to this topic

#1 of 44 Eric Lo

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Posted July 31 2003 - 04:07 PM

Check out the Sony Australia site. It seems like the new STR-DA5000ES has pretty high THD Posted Image

Surround Mode: 0.7% at 170W x 7, 8 ohm, 1kHz
Stereo Mode: 0.09% at 150W x 2, 8 ohm, 20-20kHz

http://www.sony.com.....0_HIFICOMP.pdf

For comparison purpose, here are the THDs of TAN-9000ES:

Surround Mode: 0.013% at 115W x 5, 8 ohm, 20-20kHz
Stereo Mode: 0.09% at 140W x 2, 8 ohm, 20-20kHz

-- Eric

#2 of 44 Oliver

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Posted July 31 2003 - 05:44 PM

So what?
This say just about 0 of the sound you can expect.
First of all the spec. are all different in an real digital amp, just like used in the 5000ES. They do sound different as well.
And: take a look at a tube amp. They really got bad spec. but do they sound fantastic?

#3 of 44 JackS

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Posted July 31 2003 - 06:34 PM

Like you, I would prefer to see lower THD numbers. I'm not exactly sure what it means in the real world when most of the experts say you can't hear anything below 1%. I personally take the THD rating as an indicator of overall amp quality so we'll have to wait and see what the pro reviewers have to say about this high number. Many recievers and amps in the 1960/70's had THD ratings around 1% and I don't recall any sound related issues because of this. To my mind this stuff sounded as good then as anything bieng produced today.I have seen the exact same THD rating for the Denon 4800 which doesn't seem to bother the fans of this receiver so it may turn out that it's really insignificant and just the nature of these new digital amps and receivers.

#4 of 44 AaronBatiuk

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Posted August 01 2003 - 01:14 AM

Carver used to make amplifiers with up to 2 or 3 % distortion, but they sounded very good (and yes they were solid state, not tubed). Their theory was that a low level of feedback resulted in a more musical sound, albiet with more distortion.

As for the Sony specs, I'd be curious to see what the distortion figures are at 150W instead of 170W.

#5 of 44 terence

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Posted August 01 2003 - 02:23 AM

Long as it is below 1% i don't think it's a big deal. Now you have to remember the new ES line are using digital amps instead of solid state. So this a whole new breed in it self, i think the industry should come out with a new testing standard for digital amps. The high distortion might not mean anything with these new ES's. I agree with JackS, I can't wait to see some pro reviews,real world numbers, and most important...........How do they sound?!
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#6 of 44 Jack Briggs

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Posted August 01 2003 - 04:04 AM

You are not going to hear harmonic distortion below 1 percent.

In the early 1970s, Stereo Review conducted controlled listening tests that, in some cases, seemed to demonstrate that THD levels of 1.5 percent or greater approached the threshold of audibility.

#7 of 44 Mike Mundt

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Posted August 01 2003 - 11:12 AM

did you look at the two ES models that are .05%????

STR-DA4ES
STR-DA7ES

im not sure why your lookin at the aust. site when we have a nice american site right here.

#8 of 44 Dmitry

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Posted August 01 2003 - 12:42 PM

Mike,

those are older models, they don't have digital amps. And AFAIK none of the american sites have published specs on the upcoming models Eric's refering to.

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#9 of 44 DarrylM

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Posted August 01 2003 - 04:15 PM

I've never heard a Sony that didn't have a high THD level, including their ES models. Most of them also had significant cross-talk. I doubt their new models are any different. Digital switching amps have their own limitations.

And there wouldn't be any reason to have separate standards for digital switching amps. THD is a measurement of sonic performance, and accurate sound is accurate sound, whether you got there with tube amps or digital switching amps or whatever.

#10 of 44 Seth_L

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Posted August 01 2003 - 06:56 PM

Ahh yes... Another bash Sony thread. We can't have too many of them. This is where people who haven't heard the gear in question bench race it based on numbers they don't understand. Posted Image

#11 of 44 DarrylM

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Posted August 01 2003 - 07:51 PM

Quote:
Ahh yes... Another bash Sony thread... This is where people who haven't heard the gear in question bench race it based on numbers they don't understand.

Ahh yes... Another Sony Fanboy... This is where people who became Sony junkies fifteen years ago because someone bought them a Walkman for their birthday step up to pimp a manufacturer whose commitment to quality and technology is displaced more and more every year by a commitment to lower production costs. Posted Image

Don't worry, I used to be one, too. I, personally, have owned 3 DE receivers, 2 DB receivers, and 2 ES receivers over the past eight years, before finally abandoning the line. Sony's products are becoming more and more feature-driven, in order to appeal to Joe Average, and less and less performance-driven.

post-scriptum,

And, yes, every Sony I owned had audible distortion and cross-talk. Though you can search other threads for a complete discussion, if you'd like.

#12 of 44 JackS

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Posted August 02 2003 - 03:23 AM

After retiring my reasonably high end two channel seperates four years ago, I bought an ES receiver as my first venture into HT. I wanted to keep it much simpler than I had in the past. In the last four years I've spent several K upgrading amps and speakers and plan to spend about 2 K more this year. The one piece that will continue in my present system is my 5ch. ES receiver. For me, there is no upgrade to any receiver of any brand beyond what I presently own. I think it comes down to sound value vs. money spent. There are many areas in a setup that can yield a significant improvement but the receiver is not one of them. I'll be keeping my ES for a few more years and in the meantime looking at other things to upgrade.

#13 of 44 Seth_L

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Posted August 02 2003 - 09:23 AM

Quote:
And, yes, every Sony I owned had audible distortion and cross-talk. Though you can search other threads for a complete discussion, if you'd like.
But that doesn't mean this one will have it. Considering the signals don't hit analog until the speaker wires it'd be pretty hard to get a lot of crosstalk.

If being a fanboy consists of waiting to hear something before condemning, then yes, I'm a fanboy.

#14 of 44 Chu Gai

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Posted August 02 2003 - 10:24 AM

Once you hit your 18th birthday, you become a fanman. Under what conditions did you get the cross-talk?

#15 of 44 DarrylM

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Posted August 02 2003 - 10:34 AM

Quote:
But that doesn't mean this one will have it. Considering the signals don't hit analog until the speaker wires it'd be pretty hard to get a lot of crosstalk.

I suspect that you would still get signal interference either way, even if it's not necessarily intelligible interference.

Also, I have yet to hear anything positive about the sound quality of digital switching amplifiers. While they often require smaller components and operate at lower temperatures, I have heard that many have poor bass response and that all of them have a harder time with higher frequencies because of the extremely high switching cycles required to reproduce them. (I assume that this is why digital switching amps are more common on subwoofers, since the frequencies involved are relatively low.)

Quote:
If being a fanboy consists of waiting to hear something before condemning, then yes, I'm a fanboy.

Actually, I would say that being a Sony Fanboy consists of making a deragatory reference to a "Sony bashing thread" after someone else has expressed some legitimate concerns about Sony products.

#16 of 44 terence

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Posted August 02 2003 - 11:52 AM

Quote:
Actually, I would say that being a Sony Fanboy consists of making a deragatory reference to a "Sony bashing thread"

Wow, and here you come swooping down to the rescue with. since i had a bad experience with all Sony gear that i have owned, let me share how much Sony audio gear sucks! You actually did exactly what he said Bash and then bash him in return by calling him a fanboy.

Quote:
after someone else has expressed some legitimate concerns about Sony products.


like what!?? Stated above long as THD is below 1% there is no concern. When threads like this pop up they are doomed from the start.
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#17 of 44 DarrylM

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Posted August 02 2003 - 12:49 PM

Quote:
Wow, and here you come swooping down to the rescue with. since i had a bad experience with all Sony gear that i have owned, let me share how much Sony audio gear sucks!

First of all, I never claimed that Sony gear sucks, nor did I say that I had a "bad experience" with it. I provided an observation of the performance of the several pieces of Sony gear I have owned and auditioned. I simply eventually grew dissatisfied with the overall performance of the Sony line.

But thank you for "swooping down to the rescue" with your assessment, however misguided, unfounded, and asinine it may be.

Quote:
You actually did exactly what he said Bash and then bash him in return by calling him a fanboy

Sorry, how exactly was my original post "bashing" Sony? Because I pointed out that the ones I've heard had some performance issues? If that is your idea of "bashing" a company, perhaps you are taking your relationship with Sony a bit too personally. Or perhaps you are simply suggesting that anyone who finds fault with a Sony product is not entitled to an opinion?

Quote:
like what!?? Stated above long as THD is below 1% there is no concern. When threads like this pop up they are doomed from the start

1. I wasn't debating anything about distortion. However, since you're expressing an interesting perspective on the subject, I'll add that Sony's THD rating applies to a certain power threshold, measured under specific conditions. As the impedance of the speaker decreases, the number of channels driven increases, and/or the volume level increases above reference, you can expect considerably more distortion. You seem to be asserting that a receiver with a THD rating of less than 1% will never sound distorted or clip?!? Wouldn't that be nice.
2. Even more bothersome to me than the distortion was the high noise floor. I heard audible hiss in the surround and center channel speakers in all of my Sonys, which was particularly noticeable during quiet passages.
3. There were several other performance aspects that also bothered me, including the cross-talk between inputs, which was bothersome moreso just because I knew it was there, and high operating temperatures, which actually caused protection mode shut-downs on one of my ES models.

But, if you like your Sony, more power to you. To each his own.

#18 of 44 Diallo B

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Posted August 02 2003 - 02:27 PM

Quote:
If being a fanboy consists of waiting to hear something before condemning, then yes, I'm a fanboy.


Although I do not consider myself a Sony Fanboy I am quite happy with my 4ES. I am also looking forward to auditioning a new 5000ES. As stated above, I am going to wait to hear the receiver before I pass judgement on it.

On another note, this thread was doomed from the beginning anyway. Look at the title:

New Sony ES digital receivers have high THD!

It reads like a newsflash or something. More tabloid journalism.

djb
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watch with your own eyes...
make your own decision.
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#19 of 44 Seth_L

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Posted August 02 2003 - 03:15 PM

Quote:
Also, I have yet to hear anything positive about the sound quality of digital switching amplifiers. While they often require smaller components and operate at lower temperatures, I have heard that many have poor bass response and that all of them have a harder time with higher frequencies because of the extremely high switching cycles required to reproduce them. (I assume that this is why digital switching amps are more common on subwoofers, since the frequencies involved are relatively low.)
Time to take your head out of the sand. There have been several critically acclaimed full range digital amps. They exist, you just don't know about them so you bash on Sony for going digital. Way to go!

These people seem duly impressed. http://www.audiocirc...opic.php?t=2297

Some more reading for you.
http://www.soundstag...ip/robert01.htm
http://www.hometheat....-6-4-2002.html
http://www.laaudiofi...om/sdex111.html
http://www.acoustic-...s_realitysa.htm
http://www.audioasyl....ges/21654.html

But what do all these people know in comparison to you? I guess I'll just ignore all the happy people and focus on your 5 year old opinion of the technology.

#20 of 44 DarrylM

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Posted August 02 2003 - 03:57 PM

Quote:
Time to take your head out of the sand. There have been several critically acclaimed full range digital amps. They exist, you just don't know about them so you bash on Sony for going digital.

Here we go again...

1. I didn't "bash" on Sony for going digital. You and terence obviously need to get a better grasp of the informal use of the infinitive "to bash." I simply expressed concern that digital amplifers, in general, already have some performance challenges. Several companies have been going in that direction, including Onkyo/Integra. And I certainly never said that there has never been a good digital amplifier.

2. You are undoubtedly aware that you posted links to a Bel Canto digital amplifier and a $10,000 TacT digital amplifier? When Sony makes a $10,000 ES receiver perhaps your comparison will have some relevance to this discussion. I doubt anyone would suggest that Sony plans to implement the same level of technical sophistication in a $900 receiver.

Hell, throw $10 grand at any technology, and I'm sure that you could make even a toaster sound good. Had you actually bothered to read the technical content, you would have noticed that it currently takes more money and design sophistication to overcome the challenges of digital switching amps. Now, if Sony is prepared to throw that kind of design sophistication into their new receivers, great. But, if I had to guess, they'll try to get by with the most cost-effective digital switching components.

3. By the way, thank you for posting those links. The technical discussion on digital amplifiers nicely elaborated the point I made early concerning their limitations. For your own edification, which you seem to be in short supply of, let me quote a passage from the VERY SAME REVIEW YOU JUST POSTED:

"Quite a few companies have made such products before [digital amps], but the problem associated with them has always been a sharply rising amount of distortion with rising frequency. That’s the reason that with only a few exceptions you don't find any designs in the audiophile arena. The biggest problems lie in sampling the signal and creating the different width pulses used to switch a steady voltage on the output. Most implementations have suffered from substantial levels of distortion created during this conversion."

Quote:
But what do all these people know in comparison to you

Hmm... "...sharply rising distortion with rising frequency."

And I said, "...have a harder time with higher frequencies..."

What do these people know? The same thing I tried to tell you earlier.

It's too bad that Internet message boards don't require some minimal reading comprehension skills before posting.


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