Just got my STR-DA5ES - First Impressions

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Bryan Williams, Feb 10, 2002.

  1. Bryan Williams

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    Hello!

    I just picked up a STR-DA5ES this week and and am blown away by it. This is my fourth ES receiver and by far the best sounding in all regards. (Previous Units: STR-GX67ES still have this one, STR-GA8ES + SDP-EP9ES and last but not least the STR-V555ES). I have noticed a number of threads on this unit over the past while and most have asked more questions than provided answers. I do want to say in response to a statement written by a previous poster that the sub does work on "some" soundfields (ie: disco), but not all. Also, there has also been posts suggesting that this unit does not have PLII and NEO DTS because of the pictures on Crutchfield's Website. This unit DOES have them as most people are probably aware of by now.

    Overall this unit has a very clean and clear sound. The biggest difference I am noticing to the V555ES is that music sounds much better. It is fairly obvious to me that the quality of the DAC's for music has been dramatically improved. Furthermore it is clear that the amplifier section has been improved considerably as well. I run PSB Stratus Bronzes on the front channel and they sound much better than they previously did.

    I have to say that I am totally impressed by the way pro-logic II handles music and it is a real treat to listen to music with the new processing. I also find the NEO-DTS modes to be impressive as well but overall, I prefer the PLII. I haven't played too much with PLII for movies yet.

    Connectivity on this unit is extraordinary with enough connections to go around (I do wish it had S-Video to Component Conversion, but you can't have everything.) It is also nice to see that they got rid of the plastic plugs for toslink. I like the look of the plugs but they are a pain to keep track of when you pull them out to hook up a component.

    Build quality is excellent and it is quite a bit heavier than last years model (44lbs vs. 37 lbs) I happen to like the new detachable power cord as well. Also all gold connections and the 2 multi channel inputs are nothing to sneeze at either. I personally never noticed the volume thing that people were talking about in the V555ES last year and I haven't seen this one do anything with the volume control either.

    The remote isn't bad, but it is not incredibly intuitive when it comes to setting the unit up. it is certainly nicer to use than its LCD predecessor once everything is the way you want it. The old LCD touchscreen remote was very nice for setup, but its appeal went downhill from there.

    From what I can tell, big improvements on the On-screen display. I found using the GUI the best and easiest way to set this unit up. Every setup function can be accessed and it is fairly easy to follow once you get the hang of it.

    This is just my 0.02 cents worth. If any of you want to ask some other questions feel free. So far this receiver is a winner and an excellent value.

    Regards

    Bryan
     
  2. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Bryan, thanks for posting the review. I have the 'V444ES, which is good for the $640 I spent, but you obviously found the new model to be better. I have not heard the 'DA5ES, but I heard the 'DA3ES at a local Tweeter and was impressed with it. So, the 'DA5ES has a detachable power cord? That's cool. The 'DA3ES has a hardwired power cord. For $985 from Oade Bros., the 'DA5ES looks to be a great buy. Congratulations on your purchase and enjoy it. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  3. WilliamS

    WilliamS Agent

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    Byran,

    Are your using S-Video through the unit?

    If not test it: s-video dvd through the reciever and a s-video from the monitor out to the TV. I've found that the unit has been somewhat glitch(y) with this process.
     
  4. Bryan Williams

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    I have been using S-VIdeo pass-through for both Sat and DVD ( I don't have a TV with component inputs yet). I had read something about this potential issue and was watching for it. So far I have seen no problems with the S-Video.
     
  5. Earl Simpson

    Earl Simpson Supporting Actor

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    Have you tried the equalizer for each channel yet?
    I think I should have spent the extra $200 and got the DA5ES over the 3802. But, the 3802 is a great rcvr. I just like some of the features of the Sony 5.
    Where is it made??????????????????????????/[​IMG]
    PS//the video pass through was a TV problem for that one post!
     
  6. Chip E

    Chip E Screenwriter

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    I'm curious? Does the DA3ES have the full version of DPLII? ie: Movie and music? For that matter, does the DA5 have it?
     
  7. Earl Simpson

    Earl Simpson Supporting Actor

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    QUOTE

    I have to say that I am totally impressed by the way pro-logic II handles music and it is a real treat to listen to music with the new processing. I also find the NEO-DTS modes to be impressive as well but overall, I prefer the PLII. I haven't played too much with PLII for movies yet.

    QUOTE
     
  8. Bryan Williams

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    Yes, I have used the equalizer for all channels. I recommend using the on screen interface when doing this as then you can see the what you are doing across the spectrum instead of just looking at numbers. To answer another question, yes, as far as I can tell, the DA5 does have the full PLII for both movies and music. There are some pretty nice settings under the music option as well. The DA3 does not have PLII or Neo DTS.

    Regards

    Bryan
     
  9. Michael R Price

    Michael R Price Screenwriter

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    Bryan, How is that old GX67ES? My dad has a GX47ES (system sounds sort of hollow/thin... weird) and I'm wondering if his problem is the receiver or his speakers. Is it a nice robust powerful piece?
     
  10. Bryan Williams

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    Michael:

    To answer your question , the GX67ES is 10-11 years old. I bought it when I was still working for SONY. The GX67ES is a fantastic piece with excellent sound on 2 channel stereo. I have kept it because it doesn't have much of a feature set in comparison with more recent receivers and it isn't worth anything as a result. The GX47ES was the entry level ES receiver at the time and it lacks the power of the GX67ES and it did not sound as full as near as I can remember.

    Bryan

    PS: To answer a question from a previous post (and add more), the DA5ES is made by SONY in Malaysia. I know from previously working for SONY for a number of years that these are not contracted out and are made by SONY in a SONY factory.

    On a side note, I realize that many people believe that the product made in Malaysia is of inferior quality to the product made in Japan. I can attest from personal experience that these units are as good as anything that they have made in Japan. I was working for SONY when they made the change from Japan to Malaysia as a manufacturing base for home audio and I am of the opinion that there was no increase in defective equipment as a result in that move. I actually found that it was quite the opposite, and it seemed that there were far less problems with the receivers after that move especially with cold solder joints (cold solder joints were a major problem for many receiver manufacturers in the early pro-logic days) I have had 4 ES receivers including the DA5ES and the only one I had problems with was the one made in Japan (STR-GX67ES), all of the others were made in Malaysia.

    Just my opinion of course.
     
  11. Earl Simpson

    Earl Simpson Supporting Actor

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    I think this should put to rest the Sony bashing, if people can read. The DA5es was next to the 898 in my line up. I bought the 3802 because of price and 7 amps. But I wish I would have listened to GEO and bought the 5es. Not because the 3802 is not a great machine/because it is.
    But=
    1.You don't need 7 amps.
    2.If all you speakers are not identical/or you don't have a sub woofer, you need those 6 equalizers one for each channel.
    2. I have a 333es mega changer and feel the quality in the ES line is good to outstanding.
    3. 5 year warranty
    4. Sony is not picky who sells their products as long as it is new/sealed/original serial numbers.
    5. Connections on the back
    6. Remote control
    7. Power per channel
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  12. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Earl, sounds like you need to sell your '3802 and buy a 'DA5ES. I'm sure you would have no problems selling your '3802 on this site or on eBay. Then you could go out and get the receiver you really want. Why live with a receiver that is not the right one?
     

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