Entry-level Sony receivers now include automatic calibration

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by LanceJ, Apr 24, 2006.

  1. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    For more basic HT/music surround systems, this feature should make deciding to buy a "real" HT system i.e. separate components an easier decision.

    I saw these at Best Buy recently:

    Sony STR-DG500 Only 200 bucks.

    And the DG600 and DG800 also had it (both also have XM capability).

    There was also a new Sony HTiB with the same system, but I can't remember the model#. Yamaha and JVC introduced a similar system on some of their better HTiBs last year.

    I read the section of the manual for the D.C.A.C. system and with the included mic it senses & sets speaker level and distance. The system even checks first to make sure room noise is low enough to take accurate readings.

    Even though the sales of home audio gear has severely decreased due to MP3s/portable audio players, for the people who want to buy components this feature makes two of the more confusing set-up procedures a lot easier.

    BTW: I thought Sony's advice for large/small speaker settings was quite interesting.......
     
  2. FeisalK

    FeisalK Screenwriter

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    apparently they are as poor as their DE cousins
     
  3. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    If anyone consistantly read my posts, they know I'm definitely no Sony fan boy but that reviewer seems like he never even tried to really figure out the receiver's operation. First of all one of those "pre-outs" is the subwoofer output. The other two - there are only three marked as preouts - are marked "surround left/right" but to be honest I'm not actually sure what these are supposed to be used for.

    Can't comment on the menu system since I didn't mess with that (last years DE models were O.K. to me, better than previous models actually).

    Remote? Same as above.

    FYI: You can't "upconvert" a composite input. A composite signal is simply one where all the various video signals are crammed together into one wire; normally these signals are then de-crammed [​IMG] by the TV i.e. separated into the various signals needed to form an image. In other words, quality is not added to the original signals.* AFAIK this feature is really only included so the user needs to only use one set of video cable(s) from the receiver to the TV, since not all components have the same type of video output jacks (a really useful feature for most systems).

    And he never mentions the auto set system at all, a very significant & modern feature on such a low-priced receiver which leads me to believe he is not familiar with modern A/V gear. And, I would have liked to see some mention of the receiver's sound & power output capabilities which were never mentioned.

    I'm not trying to needlessly pick on this guy, just show that I'm not sure he's comfortable with stuff like this.

    According to numerous reports, Sony's home audio electronics division is experiencing serious financial troubles** and I'm willing to give them the benefit of a doubt that (hopefully) they are trying to improve their gear, not make it worse.


    * all this combining and separating of signals introduces distortion, whatever component is doing it, which is why composite is the lowest quality video connection method (but to be perfectly accurate, 75ohm coax is THE worst method of conveying a video signal)

    ** other similar manufacturers are also seeing their profits take a nose dive
     
  4. FeisalK

    FeisalK Screenwriter

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    agreed, but if the easy-setup option is targeted at guys like these then the end result is miserable. i'd go to agoraquest for definitive views on Sony receivers
     
  5. KeithMoechnig

    KeithMoechnig Stunt Coordinator

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    I got a str-de995 last year because I got a good deal ($250 no tax) and think it's pretty decent, but my friend recently ordered that one dg with the built-in xm and it's horrible. The xm reception is terrible with it, but not with my sister's portable xm thing. The audio on this sounds like there's a film of grunge covering the dialogue and the lfe sounds really dark. Don't get a dg. DE from last year is fine, but not this year.
     
  6. DerekForeal

    DerekForeal Auditioning

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    I just got the Sony STR DG-500 a month and a bit ago. I also just picked up a pair of Mission M74's as my mains. I was content with that setup for now ( keep in mind, I'm a complete HT newb) until i went to the local AV shop and listened to my same speakers on some different recv'rs.

    Now all I wanna do is get rid of my new Sony and pick up something else. The difference was like day and night and for a very untrained ear like mine.... that just means there's a world of a difference.

    I listened to a couple of Yamaha's and was very impressed.

    Does anyone have any suggestions?
     
  7. steveBose

    steveBose Extra

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    What other systems offer self calibration? Thats a big feature i'm after.
     
  8. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Pretty much all of them these days. Sony would be the late comer to the market with this feature. When it comes to receivers, Sony's lower models wouldn't even have a shot at being on my list.
     
  9. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Another mid-fi/affordable receiver with auto calibration - one I would trust more than Sony's - that came out last year: Sherwood RD-8601. Even Sherwood's little $90 stereo receiver they sell at Circuit City feels nicer.

    The power ratings seem a bit inflated IMO (specs use 40Hz lower limit and a .9% THD; why do so many companies keep doing that? [​IMG] ) but I'll bet as a rough estimate it still has @65watts/channel and anyone with an old receiver with built-in power meters will tell you that 65W can power many speakers to very loud levels in (say) a 18 X 22 ft room. But the amount of non-glitzy features it has makes up for that which is probably where the money went.
     

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