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Fix older Sony ES or replace?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by DavidSuthers, Feb 8, 2004.

  1. DavidSuthers

    DavidSuthers Auditioning

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    I have a 5 1/2 year old Sony STR-DA80ES receiver that recently broke down. The problem is the front left and center chanels are very low volume and garbled. It is NOT in the power amp section as I checked it at the pre-outs. The estimate to fix it ($200) but haven't gotten the explanation of what exactly is wrong.

    My question is: should I go ahead and fix this older unit or buy an upgrade? My budget for an upgrade would be under $500. I've been looking at the closeouts on the HK AVR325.

    Thanks

    ps. I do not use the main amps on the Sony as I've got an Adcom GFA-545 power amp for the main speakers (FL & FR).
     
  2. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Preouts don't pass through the amplifier section, so that will not tell you much of anything. It is far more likely something in the amp section than anything else. IMO, that $200 will be better put towards something new.
     
  3. DavidSuthers

    DavidSuthers Auditioning

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    The problem is already noticeable at the pre-out stages so I know that it is NOT in the power amp stages. I am leaning more towards replacement since the amps would be an easier (more permanent) fix.
     
  4. iweiss

    iweiss Extra

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    I would replace it. I also have a DA80ES that has moved up from the theater to the bedroom. It was replaced by a Denon AVR-3803. Now when the 80ES dies I will move the 3803 to the bedroom and replace it with a 3805 (or whatever). One thing I love about the Sony is how easy it is to independently select audio and video and the fact that the Sony "remembers" the video source selected so I can listen to the tuner or CD with the video selection held.
     
  5. JohnSer

    JohnSer Stunt Coordinator

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    David,

    If you look inside of most modern receivers, and see all the boards, cables, and parts, you begin to wonder, how they could ever repair them, without causing other damage. But, maybe it is just a board replacement, and 90% of the cost is the board. I would try to get more details about the repair, what is bad and what specificly must they do, to repair it. Also hint that you are boardline in replacing with new. Maybe they will come down some.

    If you decide, to go new, try to go with the 525 over 325. Its output will closer match your Adcom. A 525 refurb, should be going less than $500. Check harmanAudio's Ebay store, to see. Might even be able to find a leftover, that is close to $500.
     
  6. DavidSuthers

    DavidSuthers Auditioning

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    Finally caught up with the tech at the service center. He said it was the surround driver IC's. I was told that they run pretty hot (so hot that they discolored the PCB) as they run all the time regardless of what you are listening to.

    I told him to go ahead and fix it. The cost is $180 minus the $35 minimum I already paid.

    I'm a little disappointed in Sony for not designing this unit with better cooling. My setup is about optimal for cooling so I pity anyone who put these in a small cabinet. The unit has always run a bit too hot for my tastes, even at low volume. Guess it's time to buy a fan.

    Thanks for the advice.
     

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