Need a stereo receiver -- anyone have experience with a Sony STRDE185?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Scott Merryfield, Dec 22, 2003.

  1. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    The 10+ year old Sony Dolby Pro Logic receiver that I had demoted to our bedroom system many years ago died last weekend. I am looking for something inexpensive as a replacement. The system also consists of a Sony 27-inch TV, my original 5 year old Sony DVP-300 DVD player and a pair of Optimus speakers. Since we only have two speakers, I do not require a 5.1 receiver.

    I was leaning towards another Sony for ease of use -- I would prefer to control everything with one remote, and ease of use trumps sound quality for this setup. Any serious film watching is done on our main HT system.

    OneCall has a Sony STRDE185 listed for $130. The specs seem to meet my needs. Does anyone have any experience with this or similar Sony stereo models? Any feedback would be appreciated.
     
  2. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I'd strongly suggest look for an Onkyo or H/K stereo receiver. I paid $150 for a brand new DE475, so that is not a good price, and it will disappoint anyway. The 475 was a POS, and it only had 2 bookshelf speakers hooked to it as well. I got rid of it the same week,
     
  3. ChrisLazarko

    ChrisLazarko Supporting Actor

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    Yeah I would probably avoid the Sony. If you really wanna go bottom-end then Panasonic is probably the best choice... If you can afford something a little better, around $200, HK or Onkyo, even Denon.
     
  4. Andrew O'Brien

    Andrew O'Brien Stunt Coordinator

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    Yep, I decided to go "bottom-end" and am replacing my 10 year old Sony STR-1090 with the Panasonic SA-HE 100. Good reviews for a low-end receiver and plenty good for my kids and the high-volume intolerant spouse (kids movies are mainly what we watch)

    By the way if your 10 year old Sony was a Sony STR-1090 , mine works fine and I might sell it for whatever I can get for it. Probably not worth the shipping costs these days though.[​IMG]
     
  5. Kenneth Harden

    Kenneth Harden Screenwriter

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    I have a Sony STR-DE675 and wish I spent that $300 on another brand. I love my Sony DVD and 300 CD changer, but they just don't do receivers well.
     
  6. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    Thanks for the suggestions so far. Keep in mind this is for a bedroom setup, and is usually played at a fairly low volume level. Also, I failed to mention that there is also a cheap Infinity powered subwoofer as part of the setup (another hand-me-down from my HT's Pro Logic days years ago), so the amp will not be pushed very hard to drive the pair of Optimus speakers. I am just looking for something to provide an improvement over the Sony TV's built-in speakers -- dialog when watching DVD's is sometimes hard to understand with the TV's speakers.

    Based on that additional information, wanting to keep the cost down, and the desire to make this setup as simple to use as possible (my wife uses it a lot more than I do), would you all still recommend avoiding the low-end Sonys?

    I actually have a 20 year old Technics receiver boxed up that I could use, but it has no remote and would be an ergonomic nightmare for my wife to use, so I would rather spend a little money to make things more wife-friendly.
     
  7. Jeff Hipps

    Jeff Hipps Stunt Coordinator

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    Have you considered the Sherwood RX-4100/4103? They are widely available (CC and elsewhere), sound good and should be $100 or less.

    Jeff
     
  8. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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  9. Bill Will

    Bill Will Screenwriter

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    Myself I would go with the Refurbished Onkyo TXSR500 for $149.96 that www.onecall.com has. It's going to sound a lot better than any of the lower priced Sony receivers & just incase you ever decide to go with Surround Sound you would be set. If operating your system is going to be a nightmare for your wife I would then pickup a cheap Universal Sony Remote for her. The low priced Sherwood & the Stereo Onkyo receivers above are also good choices though.
     
  10. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    Does Best Buy carry the Sherwood brand (or anything else that would meet my needs, another than Sony)? Their website didn't have anything interesting except the Sony stereo model that I originally asked about. I do have a $100 gift certificate from BB that could make this close to a no cost solution. I can always use the gift cert for other things, though, if BB doesn't have a decent, low cost solution.

    Bill, I saw that refurbished Onkyo at OneCall, and it is tempting, even though the 5.1 channel sound is more than I'll use. The dedicated subwoofer output and flexible crossover would make setup simpler -- I currently have the sub connected via speaker cables to the L/R channels of the old Sony receiver, then run the Optimus speaker cables from there. There is no crossover network on the sub -- everything is connected to the same speaker terminals.
     
  11. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Circuit City carries Onkyo and Harman Kardon.

    Maybe you could sell the gift certificate?
     
  12. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    No need to sell the gift certificate, John. I will use it eventually -- probably for several DVD purchases spread out over several weeks.

    J&R has a couple of stereo receivers listed at $99.88 each -- a refurbished Onkyo TX-8211 and a Sherwood RX4100. The links are here:

    Onkyo TX-8211

    Sherwood RX4100

    Anyone have any experience with these?

    As for the remote, I had forgotten about my recently abandoned Marantz RC2000 MKII (my Christmas present was a new Harmony SST-659 for our main HT). I should be able to set that up to control the simple bedroom setup easily for my wife, provided the new receiver comes with a remote control.
     
  13. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    The two sound comparable, as the higher wattage on the Sherwood may be a bit inflated. It lists only 40Hz-20kHz. The Onkyo looks better too [​IMG]

    Probably won't go wrong with either. Ask J&R if you can exchange one for the other if you are not happy maybe?
     
  14. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    I went ahead and ordered the Onkyo from J&R. I checked Onkyo's website, and they are selling the same model (not a refurb) for $250. I'm sure that's list price, but $100 for a refurb should be a good deal. At least I will not have a lot of money invested in the unit.

    Thanks to everyone for their input. Happy Holidays!
     
  15. Stelios

    Stelios Stunt Coordinator

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    I would go the the nearest shop and find out if they have a special price or a demo that they might be selling, hear it out and see. A few people here put the SONY receivers down because they might have had a bad experience with them but I assure you there are many many more that are happy with their SONY ones, you just don't hear them here as there is no reason to complain. Here is a site that specializes in SONY staff and see how may are happy with their choice,
    www.agoraquest.com

    Stelios
     
  16. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    Well, my luck with the refurbed Onkyo from J&R was not very good. I received the unit a couple of days ago, and the remote will not function. I tried the original remote, as well as two universal remotes -- Harmony SST-659 and One For All Cinema 7 -- defined to control this Onkyo model. None worked, so there is probably something wrong with the IR receiver in the Onkyo. Anyway, it's going back to J&R.

    So, does anyone have an opinion on the Yamaha HTR-5630? Best Buy has this 5.1 receiver listed for about $170, so it would be cheap if I used my $110 gift certificate.
     
  17. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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  18. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    That Harman Kardon looks interesting, Angelo, except that it is a refurb. After my experience with this refurbed Onkyo, I would prefer to get a new product this time.
     
  19. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    In case anyone is interested, I decided to go the less expensive route. I found a Sherwood stereo receiver on sale for $80 at Circuit City. Here is the link for anyone interested:

    Sherwood RX4103
     
  20. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    That sucks about the Onkyo. I tend to stay away from refurbs in general. Demos and used are one thing, but with refurbs, you are buying something that you already know had a problem. Good luck.
     

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