Help: I think my receiver sucks:

Kenneth Harden

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Today, I watched Return of the Kings. However, I made sure there was no background noise (computer, dishwasher, etc.) and I just sat and enjoyed.

However, I noticed a problem that is probably due to my cheap Sony Receiver.

When the background was quiet, and then dialoge came on, it seemed to be accompanied by some hiss and high-pitch tones (very quiet, and not like a mechanical falure). Or, when the dialouge started, it seemed that it was like a 'bad recording' with background noise as soon as it started. It was only on the center (not all three). The volume wasn't very loud. Also, there was a quite annoying noise floor just from the receiver (constant hiss)

Is this just a cheap receiver? These were very subtle things, so not a big problem, but I am very sensitive to these things. I am wondering if a better receiver (mmmm, Denon 2805...) would cure this?

Thanks!
 

Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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Impossible to say for sure, since you didn’t give us the model number. That said, yes it’s not unusual for bottom-of-the-line receivers to be a little noisy.

Regards,
Wayne A. Pflughaupt
 

Kenneth Harden

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STR-DE675

The '$300 slot' for Sony.

Again, I have grown into being ultra-critical, and I think I have hit a wall with this receiver.

I know cheap(er) speakers can sound good with a expensive amp, but a cheap amp with expensive speakers will never sound great.
 

Jimi C

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funny, that seems to be the exact opposite of what most people think. I have never heard anyone recommend that you spend more on your receiver than on speakers.
 

Kenneth Harden

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Jimi - I'm included!

However, if you think about it, a $200 receiver is just going to suck. If you have a really nice receiver (good sound, options, setup, in's/out's, etc.), you will be ahead of the curve.

There is a practical limit - a CHEAP receiver is going to harm a system, but pretty much any Denon will be fine with any speakers.
 

NickSo

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Wow, I had the same experience...

There was a period of time, where there was dialogue, i kept hearing a high pitched tone (like what you hear when a TV is on) whenever there was speech....

I don't think its your reciever, could be the way they mastered it... ALthough my reciever isnt that great, my speakers are decent.
 

Kenneth Harden

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NickSo: well, I don't think it was mastered that way! It has to be a cheap equiptment issue. Again, this is a very minor thing, but what sets apart a OK system from a great one.

You USED to? Did you upgrade gear and rid yourself of the issue?
 

Paul S

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I beg to highly disagree with the comment regarding speakers. Cheap speakers will NEVER sound good no matter what amp you are using. You can carve that into stone if you like.

An inexpensive receiver can sound VERY impressive with good speakers. The Sony amp mentioned above should sound excellent if it is operating correctly.
 

Shane Martin

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Is this hiss only on ROTK?

If so then we can probably go with the poor mastering excuse.
If not then we can move on me thinks.

If its multiple discs then have you tried other media on other players so perhaps do you have a normal cd player you can try cds on and see if the hiss is there too?

If so then I'd call it like it is. YES IMHO the 2805 would be a significant step up. The differences between my friends cheap DE and my ES(both Sony) were huge(to me).
 

Kenneth Harden

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Paul: by cheap speakers, I am thinking of something like the $1100 Polk sub/sat system with a $1000 receiver, compared to $3000 worth of speakers driven by a $200 Sony.

Shane: in general, I always have a signifigant noise floor at high volumes, just a constant hisssssssss when there is no sound. I have heard when people get a really good receiver or pre/amp rig, their noise floor just vanishes.
 

Shane Martin

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Some say a power conditioner can do that too but based on what equipment you own, I'd go with a new receiver if you plan on replacing it. I'm willing to lean towards your receiver being sucky..
 

Kenneth Harden

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Yeah, I think thats a given
- however, I have owned it for about 4 years, and it has not failed me once. For that, I cannot complain. I have gotten my money's worth, and it is time to move up to something bigger and better.
 

Matt_Smi

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I could not help but laugh at the title of this thread, I too own a cheap Sony DE-545 receiver that I paid $300 for over three years ago. And while I not noticed exactly what you are describing, I do notice a lot of hiss coming from my speakers when there is nothing (or very little) coming out of them, but you need to be pretty close to them to hear it. My receiver has also been pretty good to me, so I to feel like I have gotten my moneys worth out of it, but need to move up.
 

Kenneth Harden

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Exactly.

Figure, without it, I would still be using my old Aiwa to drive a pair of speakers!
 

Johnny_M

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best thing I ever did was sell my sony and buy a kenwood. kenwood may not be top of the line, but it beat the hell out of the sony I had, cannot remember the model # of the sony, but it was around 300 I beleive. I also have alot of problems with my sony wega tv.

is sony just over rated these days or what?


Johnny
 

NickSo

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FWIW, yes the noise was only in ROTK... and it wasn't really a HISS that i experienced, more like a high-pitched whine (almost exactly what you'd hear when a TV is switched on).
 

Shane Martin

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Sony's low end receivers are pretty poor. I have no had a lick of trouble with my ES. Granted I paid almost triple what Kenneth did for his but you do get what you pay for there.
 

Kenneth Harden

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Nick:

Yup, you nailed it. That is exactly what I was hearing.

Why on earth, of all movies, would LOTR have that problem?
 

DonJ

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This is just plain wrong.

Try to power Paradigm Signature S8's with a $300.00 Sony receiver and it will sound horrible to say the least.

Your sound starts in the Amps and that's where you need to start to get good sound. A friend and I did a direct comparison between a cheap $300.00 Pioneer Receiver and my HK AVR320 on my Paradigm Monitor speakers. It was night and day in terms of detail, background noise, and clarity between the two systems. The Pioneer had no chance.

At the same time I knew that my Paradigms can take a lot more power than my HK320 could put out. I added an Anthem PVA 7 and I couldn't belive the difference it made.


Point is Kenneth Harden, if you upgrade you speaker and don't change you receiver you will still have that same annoying hiss that you have right now. But if you upgrade your receiver to a Denon, HK, or the like you will hear the difference.

I prefer Harman Kardon so check out this link
http://stores.ebay.com/Harman-Audio_...enameZl2QQtZkm
They have HK receivers for less than 50% MSRP with full warranty.
 

Paul S

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Don, I suggest you go over to the Audioholics site and get yourself an education at their forums. Receivers, no matter what the brand, don't sound all that different from one another when you are comparing receivers of the same power capabilities.

Double blind tests have been done many times, once notably by Julian Hirsh of Hirsh/Houck labs, and no one could reliably tell the difference between receivers no matter what the brand. These tests were done under carefully controlled conditions. It has been my personal experience through owning well over 12 receivers since the 1960's that none ever sounded any different or better than the other that I could detect. I only upgraded due to receiver failure or technological advances that warranted buying a new receiver.

Incidentally, you can power a pair of Klipshorn speakers with as little as 20 watts and have enough volume to knock pictures off the walls.
 

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