Compared the Sony 4ES to Denon 3803, Pioneer 45

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Brad Newton, Feb 19, 2003.

  1. Brad Newton

    Brad Newton Second Unit

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2001
    Messages:
    382
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    today at a local dealer. I went in and asked him to recommend a receiver. Immediately he pointed toward the Denon. He used Spiderman as a demo dvd (I asked to used Gladiator or any 6.1, but they did not have one). He chose Klipsch RF3, Klipsch center & the triangle shaped Klipsch rears (forgot the center & rear model #'s). It was only a 5.1 setup. The Denon sounded ok, then we switched to the Pioneer, it sounded ok, then we went to the Sony. Imediately BOTH of us noticed the more detailed surrond sound. We found several instances where the Sony detail was tremendously greater than the Denon & the Pioneer. We kept going back and forth using the same movie sequences. All of the receivers were set to "flat" (0) channel levels. I have no idea if this is the correct way to audition these units, but the sales person wasn't the most knowledgable. Each unit was set to auto decoding, with the surronds also set to auto decoding. The difference was very noticable in the surronds and even the center channel. Has any else found this to be true or is something wrong here? I thought that both the Denon and the Pioneer were supposed to be superior to the Sony in all aspects, especially in processing. [​IMG]
     
  2. BrianJ>Y

    BrianJ>Y Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2003
    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    A few people who have compared the sony to the same units you did have noted that the center channel sounds clearer and that the overall sound was more detailed(just as you say). Others have noted that the Pioneer sounds very similar to the 4es and it's very hard to distinguish between the two. From recent threads and opinions, it does seem like the denon is the least prefered of the 3 for HT... Whatever it may be, the sony is definitely a GREAT receiver.

    There could have been calibration issues at play since I suspect the difference between the 3 shouldn't be huge. But we all hear things differently, so there's no definite answer. However, I am glad you favored the sony since i'm most likely going to purchase it in the coming weeks, gives me more confidence in my purchase. Gonna try to demo it sometime this weekend against the same units you compared. I'll be sure to post my thoughts.

    -Brian
     
  3. Jacques C

    Jacques C Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2001
    Messages:
    84
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Small changes in volume can add up to large perceived changes in "sound quality". This is most likely what you experienced. Only an SPL meter calibration can get things on an even keel.

    Having said that I own a DA4ES and find that it lacks nothing in the processing category. Huge amounts of options and playback capabilities. Don't regret for a second that I bought it. The only negatives I can find are a skimpy manual (Only good one I have ever seen was for the Outlaw 1050) and a putrid remote. Putrid remotes are commonplace on receivers as well, though.

    Overall a great piece of equipment.
     
  4. Mark All

    Mark All Second Unit

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2002
    Messages:
    256
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hi Brad,
    The best I can think of to recommend is to buy a receiver based on its functions, ease of use, ergonomics, sufficient inputs, and appearance with the other equipment you have, try it in your house and return it for something else if you're not completely happy with it. It's really impossible to tell how a receiver will perform in your home system by listening to it in most showrooms. I agree with Jacques above. A good dealer demo really can only be done by a knowledgeable salesperson in a boutique type setting where he (or she?) swaps out receivers and adjusts the speaker level settings for each receiver. I initially started out with the 4ES and found it to not match my speakers very well. It was my first choice based on the criteria above. I returned it to the store after using it for a month to be sure I didn't like the sound, and went with the Denon 3803 instead.
     
  5. NickSP

    NickSP Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 8, 2001
    Messages:
    569
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  6. EdwinM

    EdwinM Extra

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2003
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    The Sony DA4es and the 5es are much better sounding overall than the others mentioned. I recently decided on the 5es... a monster when it comes to both music and HT.
     
  7. Alex Dydula

    Alex Dydula Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2002
    Messages:
    170
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hi!

    It does not amaze me that many people are finding what a great receiver the SONY STR-DA4ES really is...after 6 months of playing with it, finally learning all the functions and even learning how the remote works I am very, very pleased at its versatility and how it sounds or rather how it doesnt sound.

    There is a lot of great stuff out there, in all brands, but the SONY is no slouch and can stand up with most of the stuff out there.

    Its a price performer. but the end result is what YOU like and want. I have owned high end DENON and PS Audio, this receiver is a good as their counterparts.

    For $640 this is a 'steal!'

    Best of luck!
    Alex
     

Share This Page