New Sony ES receivers... crappy digital sound??

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Sebastien David, Nov 10, 2003.

  1. Sebastien David

    Sebastien David Second Unit

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    Hey guys, haven't posted in a long time, but I was getting all excited about the new Sony ES line of receivers, with their digital amp technology, it seemed to be the advent of a new era... then I saw the THD numbers, which were HIGHER on the higher-end models than on the non-digital-amplified base STR-DA1000ES. Weird, but I decided to wait and see (or hear) before judging.

    They look great, and as can be expected from Sony, offer a very complete range of setup options and features. One day I show up for work at the store, and lo and behold, there was a brand-new STR-DA2000ES installed in the sound room!

    Now I had heard a lot of raving comments from people here on the Sony S-Master digital amps, so I was expecting something good. But my coworkers, who took a listen before me, told me the unit sounded like crap!

    So I went and made sure the settings were the same, matched the volume, put both units in stereo mode with sub on, and proceeded to do an A-B comparison using CD music.

    Well gosh darnit, the Sony did sound like crap compared to the Denon AVR-2803 I used as comparison! It sounded ok on its own, I guess, but when we switched to the Denon unit, BAM!, there was the real sound we should have been hearing...

    So I guess that's a disappointment, except if I got a faulty unit, which is doubtful because everything worked properly, or if the Sony digital amps need a lot of break-in time. I thought the contrary, because of the digital amps and all, but hey, I can be wrong...

    So anyone else take a listen to those units? Is the STR-DA2000ES an exception, or is it representative of the rest of the Direct Drive Digital amplifiers in the new Sony ES receivers?
     
  2. Nhan_H

    Nhan_H Second Unit

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    What exactly does crap sound like [​IMG]
     
  3. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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  4. Sebastien David

    Sebastien David Second Unit

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    Interesting Lee... maybe they cheaped out on the 2000 and this compromised the sound quality by a wide margin... I'm really looking forward to comments and reviews of the higher-end models before I finalize my opinion on the subject.
     
  5. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    I was not impressed with the sony digital amps at all. There were some threads about this i believe, but maybe im confusing the forums. Regardless, IMO the digital amps in those just don't cut it. I am sure somewhere there is some good digital amps, but this doesn't seem like it :-/.

    And yes, specs can be very misleading.
     
  6. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

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    When I look into a basement system over the winter or early spring I hope, I will look at that among other options. My take on what I have from digital amps, including high end ones, is that they tend to work well with very non-demanding loads. As soon as they see something just a bit complex they tend to have trouble more so than other things in the same price class. It may be rumor, but I have heard that in the next Bryston newsletter (which will be available online) they may be including a mini-white paper on their take on digital amps as apparently they have been asked when they will make them by various parties.
     
  7. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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  8. Craig_Kg

    Craig_Kg Supporting Actor

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  9. kevitra

    kevitra Second Unit

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    I had the 2000 and 3000 in my system at the same time. They sound the same to me (which was good, IMO).

    From Sony's PDF, the 2000, 3000 and 5000 all have pretty much the same internals, so I would expect them to sound the same.
     
  10. DarrylM

    DarrylM Stunt Coordinator

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    They don't make digital switching amps because they sound better. They make them because they are cheaper and smaller. Digital amps are more efficient and run cooler, which means smaller heatsinks, power supplies, and so forth. They actually go through a lot of trouble to make them sound as good as solid state amps.
     
  11. larry crimmins

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    Concluding that the 2000ES sounds "like crap" after listening to it after no burn-in is foolish. Reporting this on a public forum is irresponsible.
     
  12. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

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    Hey, he just voiced his opinion.Would you be this "angry" if it was positive?
    Anyone who takes these "heard this product at the dealer" threads seriously,is missing the points of these threads.[​IMG]
     
  13. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Electronic "burn-in" is unproven and in my opinion it is actually related to becoming accustomed to a new component's specific sonic personality. The same thing happens to anyone that has attended college--their first meal at the dining hall is a nauseating experience, then mysteriously by mid-terms it's "YES! they're having meatloaf tonight--mmm mmm good!!!." [​IMG]

    Anyway, can anyone elaborate on exactly WHAT sounds bad about these types of amps? Because I have a feeling these amps might be taking over the mid-fi class in the next five years if they actually sound decent. This thread sounds similar to that previous Panasonic XR-45 thread where everybody was guessing, or relaying second-hand information about the sound.

    LJ
     
  14. DarrylM

    DarrylM Stunt Coordinator

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  15. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

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  16. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    The latest Audio Critic has a detailed engineering review by David Rich of Sony AVD-S50ES that uses a digital switching amp(IIRC), an overall review of the same product, as well as a great piece by Tom Nousaine about the need for break-in (or lack thereof).

    Larry, I don't think Tom would share you point of view on break in for electronics.

    BGL
     
  17. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

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  18. DarrylM

    DarrylM Stunt Coordinator

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  19. DarrylM

    DarrylM Stunt Coordinator

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  20. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

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