How do Sony receivers compare to.......?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Chris PC, Aug 29, 2001.

  1. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    Looking for experience and opinions on how Sony receivers compare.
    What Sony receivers would be comparable to the Marantz SR 6200 and 7200? The Onkyo TX-DS 696 & 797? The Yamaha RX-V800, 1000 & 3000? The Denon 2802 & 3802? Which Sony models? Sony STR-V333ES Sony STR-V444ES Sony STR-V555ES?? The newer models I believe are coming out with DPL II.
    Basically, what Sony receivers will have:
    100 watts per channel into 5 or 6 channels
    DPL II
    Bass management of 40-120 or 200 hz in 10 hz increments?
    Good sound quality on par with or better than the above brands?
    I was considering a Marantz SR 6200 receiver, but if SONY is coming out with a comparable DPL II receiver, I might switch.
    [Edited last by Chris PC on August 29, 2001 at 02:32 PM]
     
  2. ChrisAG

    ChrisAG Supporting Actor

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    My experience with Sony equipment has not been the greatest. I admit that I have not used one of their receivers, but my Sony personal stereo, car stereo, laserdisc and other items owned by family and friends have tended to go on the blink after a couple of years (just outside of warranty, of course).
    Reading reviews of various Sony receivers on audioreview.com seems to confirm this, even in the ES series. Some models are great, others overheat or otherwise malfunction. However, they seem to make exceptionally fine video equipment (camcorders and TVs).
    The other brands you mentioned like Yamaha, Denon and Marantz tend to have outstanding reliability. My five year old Yamaha RX-V390 functioned flawlessly, and I only replaced it last week to take advantage of new technology.
    Chris
     
  3. Kevin P

    Kevin P Screenwriter

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    I hear mixed reviews on Sony receivers. Some people love 'em, even swear by them, and others think they are trash. It seems like their receivers tend to be a bit more problematic than a lot of their other products, such as TVs, DVD players and camcorders.
    There are actually three lines, or "levels" of Sony receivers: DE, DB, and ES. The DE is the entry level line, and are cheaply made. DB is their "mid line" series, and are better built than the DE ones, while the ES is their "top of the line". I would say the better DB and ES models are comparable to similarly priced Onkyo/Yamaha/Denon receivers.
    KJP
     
  4. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    I just switched from a Yamaha RXV-795 to a Sony STRV333ES. The Sony sounds smoother and more detailed, as well as more powerful.
    I'd describe the Yamaha as a very good mid-line receiver, and the Sony as a good entry-level higher end piece. The Sony has a lot more possible adjustments. Bass management crossover is not fixed, but variable for all 5 channels.
    While Yamaha is known for dsp modes, I like the Sony ones better--especially those that simulate actual mixing venues. These don't have the sorta distracting echo effects of the Yamaha's dsps.
    I read the entire thread on my receiver at audioreview before purchasing mine. I came to the conclusion that most of the reported problems were due to shorted speaker terminals, and my unit came with a large sticker on the top warning against careless speaker wiring so I think Sonys may be a bit more prone to failure from speaker wire shorts than some other makes. The ES line has a 5 year warranty in the US, no service contract needed.
    My 333ES has been up and running for 2 months now with no problems whatsoever. The manual is not comprehensive enough and only hints at some of the cool stuff it will do. The 2-way remote is great once you get used to it and remember to sorta aim it at the reciever long enough for the 2 way communication to take place.
    I considered a closeout Denon 3801 at $1k, a couple of Onkyos, and Kenwood VR510. My discontinued model 333ES lacks some of the fancier 6.1 channel formats and DPLII, but it's a solid basic performer, with plenty of power and well worth the $599 I paid for it.
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    Steve S.
    I prefer not to push the subwoofers until they're properly run in.
    [Edited last by Steve Schaffer on August 29, 2001 at 09:15 PM]
     
  5. Dalton

    Dalton Screenwriter

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    I have tried several receivers(Sony,Yamaha,Denon,Kenwood,Pioneer and Marantz). You can't beat the marantz for music. It gives such a nice warm and smooth sound. In HT it performs equally as well. Marantz might not have all the bells and whistles compared to some of the other brands, but IMHO it beats the pants off the others in sound quality. Dollar for dollar it is the best value. I know i am comong across as a Marantz commercial but I just love there receivers. I just upgraded to the SR 7200 from the SR7000(an excellent receiver but I wanted 6.1, componet video switching and pro- logic 2). They just keep getting better. You can't go wrong with the Marantz. Give it a try. Hell, give all the other brands a try too and let your ears be the judge, after all it's what you like that counts. [​IMG]
     
  6. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    Marantz have the Bells and Whistles that count, like 6.1 and DPL II. What I can't understand, is why Marantz, a company whos slogan is "Music Matters" has a fixed crossover of 100 hz. I have an excellent subwoofer that is capable of playing low, loud and clean and I want to make the best use of it, and that includes using it for Stereo music. I don't think a 100 hz crossover will sound the best in home theater, or in stereo music. Why can't Marantz have a 40-120 or 200 hz crossover adjustable by 10 hz increments like Sony has? I wasn't even considering Sony because I hadn't looked into them much, but if they are coming out with DPL II, then they are looking like the best ones in terms of DPL II receivers with bass management. The ES models have the best bass management of any receiver in their price range, at least that's what it seems to me.
    Are there 2 different ES lines? An A and a V line or something? What about the bass management in the DB line receivers? What adjustments do you have and how does it compare to the ES bass management?
    [Edited last by Chris PC on August 30, 2001 at 09:47 AM]
     
  7. Gil D

    Gil D Supporting Actor

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  8. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    I have a Sony STR-V444ES and am very impressed with it. Now, I haven't compared it extensively to comparably priced receivers from Marantz, Denon, Onkyo, or Yamaha, but I feel the 'V444ES competes very well from what I have heard. It has all the features I need, as I am not interested in DD EX, DTS-ES, DTS-Neo, DPL II, etc. The 'V444ES is very capable for music and movies for the price. That said, if music is a priority, I would not look at any of the $1000 or under home theater receivers. My feeling is that to get excellent stereo sound, one should go with a stereo integrated amp or one of the mega-receivers (e.g., the Denon AVR-5800). The 'V444ES is good for music, as I said, but I wanted more. I was not about to spend big bucks for a better A/V receiver when what I wanted was better stereo sound. It makes no sense to do that, in my opinion. The 'V444ES is perfectly satisfying for home theater. So, I stuck with it and added an NAD C 370 stereo integrated amp for $525 for music. I feel that is a better way to go then to buy an expensive A/V receiver when music is the priority. Something to think about. O.K., I'm getting off the soapbox now. [​IMG]
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  9. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    So how was the Sony 444 for music? I would have thought it would be good enough for music? You went ahead and bought a stereo NAD amplifier? How much of a difference did that make?
    I am confused with your approach. How do you use a receiver and an integrated amp with the same speakers. I would think you would have bought an NAD C270 amplifier and just take the pre-outs from the Sony and run them into the NAD amplifier. That way you would be able to use the same speakers and use the NAD amplifier for the front speakers in both stereo and in home theater. So why an integrated amp? Different room and speakers.
    If you bought an integrated amp, do you still use the bass management of the Sony receiver? If you use the NAD integrated amp alone, how do you blend the subwoofer?
    [Edited last by Chris PC on August 30, 2001 at 11:43 AM]
     
  10. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Chris, the NAD C 370 made a significant difference for music. The 'V444ES is good, but the C 370 is noticeably better. I had ideas for awhile of getting separate speakers for music in the home theater room. I have an Energy e:XL 16 5.1 speaker package and was using e:XL 16 bookshelf speakers both for stereo music and surround sound applications with the two amps. What I did for several months was switch speakers between the two amps as needed. I use banana plugs, so switching speakers was instantaneous. For a long time, I was pleased with the sound from the e:XL 16s, but I finally bought a pair of Totem Arro floorstanding speakers for music. The Totems are incredible. So, the Energys are connected to the 'V444ES, and the Totems are connected to the C 370. I have been very happy with the Energy package for home theater, so buying a whole new 5.1 set-up was out of the question.
    I never really missed the sub with the Energy e:XL 16s when playing music through the C 370. Now that I have the Totem floorstanders, I definitely don't need the sub.
    If you have main speakers in a 5.1 package that are good for music, then a stereo power amp should work for music, assuming the pre-amp in your receiver is of good quality. If, on the other hand, you have satellites or modestly-priced bookshelf speakers that are suitable for home theater after application of bass management, then an integrated amp with a better pair of speakers for music is worthy of consideration.
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    [Edited last by KeithH on August 30, 2001 at 11:55 AM]
     
  11. ChrisAG

    ChrisAG Supporting Actor

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    If music is as important to you as HT, check out the Marantz SR-5200 (85W x 6) or for more power, the 6200.
    When auditioning speakers at various audio dealers last Winter, I noticed that most were driven by high-end integrateds or separates. When I did get new speakers, I was disappointed with the sound my Yamaha RX-V390 could produce.
    When I replaced the Yamaha with the SR-6200 the sound was far closer to what I had heard in the dealer's sound room.
    Granted, the Yamaha was a low-end model, but the difference between it and the Marantz was immediately noticable, whereas the Marantz is VERY close to the higher end gear, at a fraction of the price.
    It's my personal opinion that in the $500-$1000 price range, Marantz puts their money into producing superior amplification that Denon, Yamaha, Onkyo and Sony ES can't touch.
    I was initially concerned about the 100Hz crossover, but it has not been a problem. I run my Mordaunt-Short 906 towers as "Large," the MS-504 centre as "Small," and the 902 rears as "Large" (for now). I don't have a subwoofer yet, but I'm very pleased with my setup. My CDs never sounded better, and Gladiator in DTS puts me in the arena!
     
  12. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    Welcome to the forum ChrisAG. I emailed you, but I'll ask you here too.
    Dude, I have to ask you, WHERE did you PICK-UP a Marantz SR-6200? I have been waiting a couple month for that sucker to arrive. I was shopping for speakers first. I have listened to the SR 5200 and I was pleasantly surprised when I heard it with PSB Image 5 and 6T's. I am steering towards the 5T's, but I could at the last minute get the 6T's for the increased efficiency and bass.
    Anyways, back to the Marantz 6200. Where did you pick that puppy up? And for how much? If and when (99.9% sure I will)I pick up the 6200, I'll be getting it from Whitby Audio for about $949.00 plus tx, as I was shopping for all my stuff last month when they had a sale on and I put a deposit on a Marantz and PSB speaker set.
    [Edited last by Chris PC on August 30, 2001 at 05:49 PM]
     
  13. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    I would like to hear more opinions on Marantz receivers. Most people say they are the most musical of the common A/V receivers (i.e., Marantz, Sony ES, Onkyo, Denon, and Yamaha). However, some say the Marantz models aren't as good for home theater. I know Marantz makes a good receiver, but I would like to hear more thoughts about their performance for home theater.
    By the way, all reviews I've ever read state that NAD makes musical A/V receivers too. However, I've often read that they are lacking for home theater. I'm not surprised by the strong performance of NAD A/V receivers for music based on the performance of their stereo integrated amps. NAD knows music. [​IMG]
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  14. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    I can't imagine Marantz and NAD being good for music and not for home theater, unless its in the decoding. If the amplification in the receivers sounds good for music, it can only sound good for movies too. I wonder why people say that.
    I like NAD too, in fact, my way around the bass management is to use an NAD C270 amplifier for the front mains. Insert a crossover and I've got smooth NAD amplification up front for both movies and music, and I've got a few more watts to play with too. Plus, with NAD doing the front left and right, and my 400 watt subwoofer filling in the bottom end, there is no way the center and rears will need more power, at least not in mye room [​IMG]
     
  15. TomH

    TomH Second Unit

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    Not sure if its really important but most Sony receivers seem to run extremely hot, not warm but Hot! Next time you are in the show room put your hand on the different brands. I cannot imagine a Sony receiver in an enclosed rack.
    Tom
     
  16. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Tom said:
     
  17. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I completely agree with ChrisAG. I have had my SR6200 for about 2 months now, and I could not be happier. I'm sure I've said this in more than enough threads but, I auditioned friend's HTs and the two that stood out most were each using Marantz receivers. After in store demos using a wide variety of speakers, I decided to buy the 6200. Marantz is does an excellent job of music, and HT is very respectable. I don't typically use any of the DSP modes.
    [ rant ]I don't know why people are so hung up on the 100Hz x-over. I have not found it to be a problem at all, either [ / rant off ]
    I even listened to the Denon 3802 and was not any more impressed with it over the 6200 for music. The 3802 did seem to do a better job at HT however, though at literally twice the price.
    I upgraded from a Sony STR-DE815 (about 5-6yrs old), which I still have in the bedroom running with the same mains (Paradigm Titans). I was happy with the 815, but after picking up the 6200, I can hear MUCH more detail in my music.
    I have a friend who has a Sony DB-940, and I cannot say that it sounds any better than my 815 other than a much greater power output. I can hear a significant improvement in sound quality in the ES line vs. the DB line.
    ------------------
    All progress is based upon a universal, innate desire on the part of every organism,
    to live beyond it's income.
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    [Edited last by John Garcia on August 31, 2001 at 10:58 AM]
     

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