Emergency Decision! Sony DA5ES or Denon 3802?!?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Brian Henchey, Aug 9, 2002.

  1. Brian Henchey

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    Not enough time to get into details, but if you had a choice between the DA5ES or the 3802 for the same price, which would you choose and why?

    I have a standard HT, 5.1 with upgrade path to 6.1 or 7.1.

    Thanks in advance,
    Brian
     
  2. Juan_R

    Juan_R Supporting Actor

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    I could have gotten the 3802 cheaper but here is why I went with the 5ES

    Higher component bandwith.
    two multichannel inputs, 5.1/7.1.
    more digital connections.
    EQ.
    X-over settings.

    The Denon is a very good receiver and I don't think you could go wrong either way. Good luck.
     
  3. Brian Henchey

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    Those are excellent points. I believe I'm going for the 5ES and will upgrade with a 2 channel amp later for 7.1. It was almost sealed the other way after I looked at the back panel on Crutchfield's site; it looked like all the digital inputs were frozen to specific master inputs (DVD, CD, etc.) After checking out the manual online (isn't the Internet wonderful?), I discovered that the poorly named "Audio Split" will allow you to assign optical and coax inputs to other master inputs. Terrible nomenclature...

    Juan, how are the virtual 6.1 surround processing modes with a 5.1 setup?
     
  4. Juan_R

    Juan_R Supporting Actor

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  5. Dave Moritz

    Dave Moritz Producer
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    IMHO I would take the Denon over the Sony any day of the week. The Denon overall is a much better peice than the Sony IMHO. The Sony to me has terible surround sound and I have never been a fan of Sony's recievers. I find there amp section to be lacking and the surround section to be lacking as well. There is also an issue of cheap componants in all non ES peices. I do not like Sony for the most part but when they do build a few really nice ES peices that I would gladly purchase. I am looking at a Sony ES SACD player for my HT but I would stay away from there receivers. The Denon is good, have you looked into Pioneer Elite at all? Lets us know how it went? Hope you stay away from Sony.
     
  6. Juan_R

    Juan_R Supporting Actor

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  7. SvenS

    SvenS Second Unit

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  8. Dave Moritz

    Dave Moritz Producer
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    Well I figured I would cover my bases SvenS just incase you did not see my reply in the other post. I have plenty of friends that have bought sony recievers and rack systems. Every one of them after some time was unhappy with there purchase. As far as my statement I stand by it 100%! In general as far as standard Sony product yes I am very critical of the junk they pump out! But your statement:

    Well it's quite obvious you have a dislike for Sony and your comments seem to reflect the fact that you have never heard the ES receivers and just care to slam something you no nothing about!

    I do lots of reading of articles and try and keep up on the newest models coming out. I also like to go to the local audio stores and listen to what companies a offering. I have listened to both Sony and Sony ES receivers! I have a friend who owns a Sony STR-DA5ES reciever it has prologic2, DTS-ES, DD-EX and has a supposed rating of aprox. 110 watts per/ch. I found after listening to this reciever for a combined listening time of 32 hours! I could not stand the reciever and would never buy it myself! So yes I have heard Sony recievers at friends homes and in the store. So yes I think I know something about it. Why are there a few that are in deniel in regards to how Sony can and does build some junk. Why do some people act like Sony can do no wrong and everything they make is gold! Like I said in my other post, this was not an attack against you. This was just my personal opinion and others may or may not agree. I have only had one model that I did not like only because I did not give it a fair chance. That was the Pioneer Elite 49TX and after going back in a spending some time listening and placing that model through its paces. It is now one of the recievers in the front running to replace my current HT reciever. I would still recomend the Denon over they Sony until Sony makes better recievers. This is peoples opinions lets not make this into a personal thing. Eveyone here in this forum is here because we have a common enjoyment in HT gear, movies and music. Lets keep it friendly in here. We may not alway agree but we also should be honest about our opinions.
     
  9. Kevin Alexander

    Kevin Alexander Screenwriter

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  10. ReggieW

    ReggieW Screenwriter

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    Dave,

    I think that the Sony ES receivers are DEFINITELY of high quality. It sounds as if you are describing Sony's DE receiver line, in which case, many here would be in agreement with you. We are talking about the ES line here, and feel that Brian had two very worthy receivers to choose between. I would have chosen the 3802, but only because I have had very positive results with Denon gear and love their sound. This does not mean the the Sony is bad or inferior, it is just as worthy, but it merely comes down to a matter of preference. Juan's reasons, for example, of choosing the 5es over the 3802 make sense whether you agree with them or not. It would not have been enough to sway me from Denon, but we all have different needs here when it comes to gear, and the Sony simply had everything the Denon had for the same or less price.

    Reg
     
  11. Gil D

    Gil D Supporting Actor

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    Brian,
    Don't listen to the Sony ES bashers.

    I have the Denon 3802 (great piece) but I just grabbed the DA5es to replace my V444es. Just browsed thru the DA5es and it is just loaded to the gills with features, and I prefer Sony's 2-way remote. I compared the Denon to the Sony in the store awhile back and with them both set to the same level I was hard pressed to tell them apart (I'll have to see how it plays out with my better speakers). But you can tweak the Sony endlessly and the Cinema Studio EX modes are excellent(IMO better than Harman Kardon's implementation of 5-chan Logic-7 bar Lexicon). Denon has the edge for bookshelf and sub for analog since it has a mixed analog Hi-pass & digital low pass LFE bass management feature. But the Sony has 2 external inputs for separate SACD and DVD-Audio and more digital ins.

    Gil
     
  12. flenn

    flenn Agent

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    You're telling me that you listened to a buddy's 5ES for 32 hours? What, do you live at the guys house?

    Look, I don't care how you arrived at your opinion. You probably bought some low end consumer grade Sony at some point and feel like you want to get even with the company for your poor decision. If you couldn't stand the sound of the 5ES, your buddy has it set up wrong, or has crap components in his system. The bottom line though, is that the 5ES is a solid quality rig that holds it's own (and then some) in it's class. It's packed with features that you can't get in any other receiver for ~$750. It sports leading edge sound processing/decoding, DACs and EQ/bass management as well as a quality amp.

    As for the point of this thread, the only reason to go with 3802 over the Sony, IMO, is for the 7th amp. Both receivers are of high quality and both should make you happy for a long time.
     
  13. Brett Miles

    Brett Miles Stunt Coordinator

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    I also went with the DA5ES for the exact same reasons as Juan_R. To those I would add that the Sony has a 5 year warranty vs. 2 years (?) on the Denon. This was before the 6ave. deal, though, which might have made my decesion harder. I haven't heard what the 5ES is going for now that some of the competitors are running out of stock (meaning more limited price matching). I didn't have the chance to listen to either before hand, but I figured that even if the Denon amps were better the Sony would make the better pre/pro (more features and inputs) when I'm able to add separate amplification. Judging by the performance of the 3ES in the HT mag review, I'm not even sure if the Denon amps are better after all. I don't really think you could go wrong either way!
     
  14. Juan_R

    Juan_R Supporting Actor

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    Brett,

    thanks for reminding me about the warranty. That was the other reason I went with the 5ES. I don't know about any other receiver in the market that offers such a warranty. I don't think the warranty would be as long if the ES was made with such cheap components as some say.
     
  15. Brian Henchey

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    Thanks for all the feedback, guys. I went with the 5ES and am incredibly satisfied. I have a DB940 in the family room, so it was nice to see a lot of the same tweaks, features and options carried over to the ES (only more so!). For those of you who have the receiver, I have one question: is the silver marking on the motorized volume dial supposed to light up (mine does not).

    Now I just need a pair of bipoles/dipoles for the surround back and a two-channel amp to run them and I will be all set. Oh, and furniture of course...
     
  16. Dave Moritz

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    Well I guess I will start off one at a time a try to sort through all this.
    Kevin: I do not think you even saw my previous post.
    "The Sony to me has terible surround sound and I have never been a fan of Sony's recievers. I find there amp section to be lacking and the surround section to be lacking as well. There is also an issue of cheap componants in all non ES peices."
    I do not put ES models in the same catagory as standard Sony gear. And like I have stated I have never personally purchased a Sony model for myself. I have spent alot of time listening to Sony ES and non ES receivers. So how do you figure I do not know what I am talking about. I would understand if I never listened to the units and had a stupid grudge towards Sony, but it is not the case beleive me. I have recomended a Sony ES peice to others. It does not happen very often but it happens. I recomended years ago to my Uncle a Sony ES cassette deck. I have recomended Sony ES DVD and SACD players. The main thing that honestly has kept me from picking a Sony ES reveiver is the over all surround sound. I just do not care for Sony's idea on how surround should sound. And yes I realize that there are alot of Sony people here that are happy with there Sony reveivers.
    ReggieW: My commment was aimed at non ES peices, I realize that Sony puts alot more effort and much better parts into there ES line. Unfortunatly there everyday standard line is pact with the cheapest components they can get there hands on. The one Sony feature I did really like was the built in digital EQ. I do not remember what model it was in but in the end. I did not care for the unit overall. The Sony ES line in general has a very nice build quality and many of there peices are very nice. IE Sony ES DVD, SACD, CD players and Sony 8mm camcorders rock. Although for there standard CD players I never saw them as being anything special with IMHO there being much better CD transports out there.
    flenn: I did not listen to it 32 hours straight but have been there for movies and to just kick back a bs while listening to music on many ocations. As far as the build quality of the ES that is not in question. I doubt very much that it sports the leading edge processing and decoding! That sounds like something a Sony salesperson told you in a demonstration. The units using the current cutting edge decoding/processors are the Denon, Pioneer Elite, Sunfire, Krell and a few others. Sony was big at one time and have since cheapend there product. There goal is to get the biggest slice of pie they can get in as many markets as they can. They do this by cutting production cost buying the cheapest components and building it as cheap as possible. That is why they have the ES line, where they use copper chassis, better components ect... If I hated Sony so much I would not even be concidering upgrading my Denon dual 20 bit cd player with a Sony ES SACD player. Hell even my Pioneer DV-525 dvd player has a possible Sony ES replacement, (Sony ES, Pioneer Elite or Marantz DVD player) I do know about the differences in the ES vs DE models ect... And just for the record I do not have any type of grudge with Sony. I just speak my mind regarding there products! And how would I get even with a company that make millions every year. To even make such a acusation is shows ignorance. One of the best SACD players I have heard to date is the Sony ES SCD-1. I have yet to hear the Marantz models and cant wait to hear them.
    And last but not least:
    Brian:
    Glad to hear about your choice and more importantly even though I would not have gone that route. It is a choice that you are happy with, that is the main thing and the only thing that matters. So kick back and enjoy your new purchase and relax to some cool movies once it is all calibrated and ready to rock[​IMG]
     
  17. flenn

    flenn Agent

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  18. RichardMA

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  19. Leo_P

    Leo_P Second Unit

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    I'd go with the Denon over the Sony. This is from a guy with a h/k AVR520, so take what I say with a grain of salt.[​IMG]
     
  20. Yogi

    Yogi Screenwriter

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    No matter how many features Sony gives I'll choose the Denon sound anyday. After all dont we all buy for sound first and features later? Or maybe its me.
     

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