Harman Kardon vs. Sony ES

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Rick Westfall, Oct 23, 2003.

  1. Rick Westfall

    Rick Westfall Stunt Coordinator

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    Just when I thought I was done researching...my wheels fly off!

    The person that was unable to repair my H/K AVR65 (http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...hreadid=164269) decided to inform me that he wouldn't recommend another H/K. He suggested going with a top of the line DE Sony or an ES. Any thoughts on this? Honestly, I'm not sure if I would be able to tell a difference and the pricing I'll get from H/K will be hard to beat (not to mention the level of customer service I have received).

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Kiet

    Kiet Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi,
    I would definitely stay with H/k, you are very lucky to buy H/K products in US for a low price. In Australia, H/K is much more expensive than Sony ES, and I still think it is worth it. So if you can get it cheaper, I think H/k is better. I think that H/k quality control is better because my H/k receiver has no problem, and I can't be happier.
     
  3. Keith J

    Keith J Stunt Coordinator

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    HK is a great receiver I would go for it.
     
  4. Nathan Porteous

    Nathan Porteous Stunt Coordinator

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    here in canada hk is so over priced its stupid. Personally i like the es models, lots of tweaking and awsome performance.
    But if you like hk then dont switch stay with hk, but here in my area es would be a better pick in my books.
     
  5. Wayne Ernst

    Wayne Ernst Cinematographer

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  6. dale^g

    dale^g Stunt Coordinator

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    the HK amp section would STOMP any receiver sony can come up with. as far as pre-amp goes i'm not sure...but my HK does just fine.
     
  7. Rick Westfall

    Rick Westfall Stunt Coordinator

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    OK...you gave me the response I expected and am settled with. Thanks for the input.

    Rick
     
  8. Mark Hedges

    Mark Hedges Second Unit

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  9. Wayne Ernst

    Wayne Ernst Cinematographer

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  10. Wayne Ernst

    Wayne Ernst Cinematographer

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  11. terence

    terence Supporting Actor

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  12. Ron.T

    Ron.T Agent

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    I had an older HK AVR25. It was and is still is a great receiver. I just upgraded to a Sony DA2ES. I wanted the newer bells and whistles. So far I am very happy with my purchase. I looked at the HK's and they are very nice indeed. In my case, it came to the fact that I got the DA2 for $350, while the HK would have been more. All of my other audio gear is ES, so that drew me to DA2 also. I like the metal face on the ES gear as well as all black. The 5 year warranty is also nice. All that being said, If I would have gotten a chance to get the DA4 at a price I could afford, I would have loved to have gooten it. It is a very nice receiver!

    Ron
     
  13. ChrisLazarko

    ChrisLazarko Supporting Actor

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    Well Wayne I have been able to find the AVR-525 for about $525 actually since the new line-up from HK came out while the Sony STR-DA4ES for no less than $630.

    I think the HK amp for the 525 is on-par with the Sony but they both have different "sounds" to them. If he were to go a step up and get the HK AVR-7200 I don't think the Sony would have one chance against it, especially not with dual-processors that the HK has and the amount of amplification.
     
  14. Dave Moritz

    Dave Moritz Producer
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    Here is another thing you may want to concider Rick,

    H/K: Comes with high current amplifiers, clean preamp and Logic 7 surround processing.

    Sony DE Line: IMHO poor quality and week amplifiers

    Sony ES: Nice preamp section, but IMHO still suffers from a week amplifier section and does not compair to H/K's high current amplification.

    If it was a choice between a Sony ES CD or DVD and a H/K CD or DVD player. I would take the Sony ES hands down !

    As far as recievers go I would lean towards the H/K and if power output is not enough later down the road you can always add power amps. The same could be said about the Sony ES but out of the box the H/K IMHO packs more bang for the buck.
     
  15. Kiet

    Kiet Stunt Coordinator

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    I think when you start cranking the volume up with the sony ES line, then distortion becomes apparant. Which, I heard in the case of the Pioneer elite lines that are the same price as the H/K.
    But with H/K, the sound is still smooth, crisp and clear but it is extremely loud. I think I would treat the Sony to be a lower quality receiver than the H/K technologically. The logic 7 on the H/k is a wonderful features that sony doesn't have.
     
  16. Rick Westfall

    Rick Westfall Stunt Coordinator

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    Wow. Some very compelling arguments. I can get the H/K AVR330 for $440 (http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...hreadid=164269), so with all the points back and forth, I'm not sure if researching the Sony ES line is worth it. I probably wouldn't be able to hear much of a difference.

    Thanks!
     
  17. Shiu

    Shiu Second Unit

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    Rick, I think you are right, I suspect that unless you have some reasonably high end speakers and other audio components, it would be hard to hear the difference between the HK and Sony ES receivers. Recently I listened to an AVR525 system, using the same Polk Audio speakers that I have at home. To my surprise, I found the supposedly "warm" sounding HK receiver in the show room sounded pretty much the same as my supposedly "bright" sounding Sony 4ES at home.
     
  18. STLMIKE

    STLMIKE Stunt Coordinator

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    I think both would sound excellent -- I've got an HK 525 and a friend of mine has an 1-ES. I've got a better speaker set, so it's not an even match, but the ES does sound very good -- I'm sure one of the higher ES models would sound even better.

    I'm not a big fan of the HK remote -- I think Sony has them beat there. I've only had my HK for a year, so the jury's still out on long term reliability.
     
  19. Shiu

    Shiu Second Unit

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  20. Dave Moritz

    Dave Moritz Producer
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    Here is the problem for alot of recievers Shiu and that many of them do not put out what they say they will. Mainly the problem is caused by 5 to 7 channels being powerd by the same transformer. Most recievers really do not end up puting out indentical power out of every channel when driven under a heavy load at top power. This opinion is mainly geared towards the older sytle transformers. As the receivers using the newer toridal transformers are much better performaers IMHO. I agree with Kiet's statement that Sony recievers tend to distort when turned up as the H/K and some others do not. The H/K may not have as much rms power but makes up for it with more current to drive the speakers. You also have to wonder why Sony would not let them push the reciever? It simple Sony knew that the amplifiers would distort and clip giving away the fact that they are not to strong. In Sony regular line they use the cheapest parts they can get away with to make there product. At least the ES line uses much better parts and the build quality and performance is better than there standard line. There are many people who love there Sony ES recievers and some of us who dont really care for them. You just have to go with what you like and are happy with. But this happens to be my opinion and I am sure that there are many who would agree.
     

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