Sony DA5ES review

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Razvan V, Nov 25, 2001.

  1. Razvan V

    Razvan V Stunt Coordinator

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    Here is a link to a review of the new Sony flagship receiver: Sony Review
    Razvan
     
  2. Richard Burzynski

    Richard Burzynski Second Unit

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    Razvan:

    The link doesn't seem to work.

    Please fix, I am interested in reading the review.

    Thanks.

    Rich B.
     
  3. David Judah

    David Judah Screenwriter

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    I didn't get a chance to mess with it, but I put one out on display yesterday, and it is a tank.

    The two six channel inputs are a nice touch for those who have DVD-A and SACD and it comes with two remotes.

    DJ
     
  4. Razvan V

    Razvan V Stunt Coordinator

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    Richard,
    Sony Review
    if it doesn't work just paste the link, I tried it and it works.
    Razvan
     
  5. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Razvan, I could not get your link to work either, even after pasting it into the address field on Internet Explorer. Something is wrong with the link. Why does the link you provided have ellipses marks (...) in it? Something's wrong there. I fished around the consumerreview.com message boards and couldn't find a discussion of the 'DA5ES. I know it's not in the Product Reviews section since that still uses 'audioreview.com' in the web address.
     
  6. Razvan V

    Razvan V Stunt Coordinator

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  7. Razvan V

    Razvan V Stunt Coordinator

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    OK, how about this:

    "Sony DA-5ES Let's Take a Look"

    Well I've had this sucker for a good 4 days now and I just got back from returning it. So I suppose I owe you all a review huh? Ok well let's get down to it.

    BASICS: 110W x 6, Multi-Zone capability for 3 rooms, SACD/DVD-A ready, RS-232 port, DTS ES Discrete (i think), and a boat load of DSPs.

    COST: 1499.99

    LACKING FEATURES: Well crutchfield's site claimed that the DA5ES can do Neo 6 and DPL II. Well I am either blind or a moron as I could not find out how to engage those sound fields. In the Crutchfield magazine for this month it makes no remarks regarding Neo 6 and DPL II, which makes me think that the site is incorrect.

    Additionally, the touch screen remote that the V555ES offered is no longer present. The same remote that had been bundled with the STR-DE935 and 945 is now the remote of choice. This is a 2-way LCD display remote, the frankly leaves me rather unimpressed.

    The DA5ES supports ONLY 6 amps on board, WTF...where the hell is the 7th amp. Shame on you sony, shame on you sony, shame on you.

    2 CHANNEL LISTENING: Well this is where the Sony was at it's worth I felt that the 2-channel audio, Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon and Simon and Garfunkel's Bridge Over Troubled Water were rather well uninspiraring. Just dissapointing.

    DOLBY DIGITAL 5.1: The DA5ES shines here. The 5.1 track of Frampton Live In detroit and the JAckal were dead on. Not as good as the Denon 3801 but certainly top notch. However, considering the 1499.99 price tag it lacks the perfromance that a price tag like that should yield.

    DOLBY DIGITAL EX: Austin Powers the Sy Who Shagged Me was the test disc and with a "borrowed" Klipsch RS3 as the rear channel the Sony perfromed flawlessly. On par with the Denon 3801 but not better than it. The rear channel was rather engaging but not overwhelming or fake, for lack of a better word.

    DTS ES DISCRETE: Gladiator, was on tap and well I have to say that the 2 rear speaker support offered the 3801 BLOWS away the sony's 6 speaker performance, but as a 6 speaker system the Sony was a monster, really it was. The opening scene where the battle takes place was just WOW, rear effects on Gladiator are great to begin with as a 5.1 source but I urge anyone who has not heard it in 6.1 to take a listen. Damned good perfromance but again I wanted and expected more given the price tag.

    DVD-A: I don't have a SACD player but the Bare Naked Ladies sounded mighty good on the Sony as did the demo disc I got with JVC 723GD. Again it's a good perfromance but not worth the price tag.

    REMOTE: The "high tech" remote was fine, and it was ale to successfully download all of the CD track information from my CDP-CX555ES megachanger, it also had no problem at all controlling the changer or learning the codes to my Panasonic 32HX40.

    OTHER ITEMS OF NOTE: Flexible bass management is there and that was a HUGE +. I like being able to set my fronts at a 60hz roll off and my rears as 60 as well while making my center channel 80hz. Not being limited was certainly refreshing. The multi-zone capability worked flawlessly. People who like multi-zone will be huge fans of this receivers ability to distribute to 3 rooms.

    WHY SO SHORT: Honestly I was so freaking dissapointed. I wanted to like this receiver alot, I really did, but it left me with a sour taste in my mouth and I think that it will to anyone who shells out the 1500.00 plus tax for this unit. I had it for 4 days and was not impressed despite how much I wanted to like it.

    MY THOUGHTS: Hmm well lets see at 1500.00 this receiver is 500.00 more than the DA3ES. Why though I have no freakign idea. The DA3ES offers the EXACT same features except for 3:

    1. 10 less watts per channel.

    2. Multi zone capability to only 2 rooms not 3.

    3. An even more dummed down remote.

    I have no idea why anyone in their right mind would pay 1500.00 for this receiver. They would either have to be a mental patient, lacking common sense, or just a person who wants less for his money.

    I exeperienced no rear channel hiss as was an issue in the V444ES. Having reviewed the DE1075 before I can honestly say that I would reccomend that unit or the DB1070 before I reccomended the DA5ES. The DA3ES is sorta priced accordingly and offers the better value.

    For a company hell bent on looks, technology, features, innovation, etc. I have no idea what they were thiniking when they let this go to market. In a day when Denon, Marantz, Onkyo, hell even Kenwood are packign features upon features (DPL-II, NEO 6, Pronto style remotes) and on top of that giving full 6.1 support with 7 amps the Sony falls flat on it's face. At 899.99 the Denon 3802 (though not heard yet by me) is a better value, for christ sake the Denon 2802 is a better value.

    I would stay away from this unit unless you like being the horses ass or like the cool blue Sony light.
     
  8. Chuck C

    Chuck C Cinematographer

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    Was sony on drugs when they departed from the greatness of the da777es? What the frig?
     
  9. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Well, that's disappointing. Sony makes great products in its ES line, but I don't know why they won't make a true flagship receiver (if not $3000+, at least fully featured and well-built inside and out for $1500-2000). Mind you, I am very happy with my 'V444ES for the $640 I paid brand new, but I expected the 'DA5ES to be more like the 'DA777ES.

    Chuck, from everything I have read, Sony did not release a receiver of the quality of the 'DA777ES last year because they wanted to feature the TA-E9000ES and TA-N9000ES separates as their high-end multi-channel products. Apparently, the 'DA777ES was so good and so close in performance to the separates for about half the price ($1500 retail), sales of the separates suffered. So, Sony wanted to draw attention to the separates by offering no other high-end option. While I feel that decision was questionable at best last year, it makes absolutely no sense now. The ES separates are excellent, but they are a couple years old now and lack features offered in the competition's top receivers. I have heard nothing about new separates coming from Sony, and it makes no sense for Sony to push two-year-old separates to the high-enders, so where is the flagship receiver?
     
  10. Jim_F

    Jim_F Screenwriter

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    Maybe some valid points here, but keep in mind that this reviewer is "just some guy on the Internet", whom I believe is a more or less intermediate-level user who's been banned from this site.
     
  11. Brandon_T

    Brandon_T Screenwriter

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    Hey Jim,

    How is that TAE working out for you. Good I hope. I think we should organize a Michigan meet sometime.

    Brandon
     
  12. Jim_F

    Jim_F Screenwriter

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    Hey Brandon,
    I really like the TA-E9K a lot! The first thing I did was to update to the 2.01 firmware, which added virtual 6.1 among other things. I've since added a second TA-N, running in BTL mode, some B&W Nautilus 800 series monitors, and a SVS 20-39PC.
    Since the TA-E doesn't do analog direct, I picked up a Creek volume control to work as a single in/out stereo passive preamp for 2-channel SACD (connected to the extra 2-channel inputs on the TA-Ns) It's awesome! I may be staying with this basic system for some time to come.
    Snapshot
    I bet that HT room of yours is pretty astounding by now, huh?
    I agree, a S.E. Michigan meet would be fun.
     
  13. Corey Hancock

    Corey Hancock Stunt Coordinator

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    Looks like I will be hanging on to my 777ES a little longer.

    Corey
     
  14. Geo

    Geo Stunt Coordinator

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    I should be receiving my STR-DA5ES any day now,

    (I know, horses a** but I do like the blue light)........

    I'll post my impression, FWIW, within a few days of receipt... The 5ES will be running the show in my somewhat elaborate workout room system. It will be replacing a Citation 7.0, which is headed to the bedroom.
     
  15. Cary

    Cary Stunt Coordinator

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    Considering the sometimes incomprehensible command of English of our reviewer, I'm don't think I'm going to accept his sonic criticism either. There should be many reviews in the next few weeks, hopefully from those who are less obsessed with dual! rear!! surrounds!!!

    Keith, there was another thread here with a rumor that new separates are coming from Sony next year. I would expect an annoucement at CES in January. Personally, if I was going to spend $3K on a surround setup, I would lean to separates over a receiver anyway.
     
  16. wally

    wally Second Unit

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    I see that they have the DA3ES in stock now at Crutchfield. I was told that when they came in, Oade would be selling them for, I think, $650. Wonder how it stands up to the Denon 2802 also on my "consider" list.
     
  17. Mark Austin

    Mark Austin Supporting Actor

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    [​IMG] This review is...well, not very good. It looks like grain of salt time.
     
  18. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Cary,

    Thanks for the info. regarding possible new separates from Sony. I hadn't heard anything, but I've been thinking that it's high time for Sony to replace the TA-N9000ES and TA-E9000ES. I was in a Tweeter store today and saw the price of the 'E9000ES reduced to $750, so it looks like it is being phased out.

    All,

    I was able to convince a salesman at Tweeter to set-up a 'DA3ES today. They only had one in stock and none on the floor to demo (and no 'DA5ES units), but I did get him to set up the one 'DA3ES. I was able to view the owner's manual, which is used for both the 'DA3ES and 'DA5ES, and both units weigh 44 lbs. So, both weigh more than last year's 'V444ES and 'V555ES (37.5 lbs.), but less than the 'DA777ES (ca. 55 lbs.). Also, I thought the 'DA5ES might be more hefty than the 'DA3ES, but alas, not. The 'DA3ES looks and feels a lot like my 'V444ES. Once again, you cannot dim the display completely on the 'DA3ES (and presumably on the 'DA5ES too), but you can on the 'DB1070. I say "once again" because I found that the display cannot be dimmed completely on last year's ES receivers, but can on the 'DB840 and 'DB940 from last year. The display can also be turned off on the 'DB930 from two years ago, which I once owned. I don't know why Sony doesn't put this feature into the ES models. By the way, you can dim the display on the ES receivers up to 60%.

    As for the sound of the 'DA3ES, I like what I heard on a few CDs, but I didn't compare it to any other receivers. Also, I did not witness the volume control problem that has been observed on last year's ES receivers and on some 'DA3ES units.
     
  19. Gil D

    Gil D Supporting Actor

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    Keith,

    Did the unit at Tweeter also have the rs232 port? And did you notice if you were able to select DTS ES (or something like DTS 6.1, DD 6.1, etc) or DPL II from the DSP selections available. Also, any improvement in the noise floor over the V units.

    The V series volume problem shows up over time in my experience. I had the unit for some time before I experienced it and then it got progressively worse.

    $750 is a good price on the 9000. Too bad no external input.

    Gil
     
  20. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Gil,

    I did not see the back panel of the 'DA3ES, so I can't say whether or not there is an RS-232 port there. Also, I didn't read the manual in great detail to see if there of any mention of it there.

    The 'DA3ES does not offer DPL-II or DTS-Neo. Those modes are only offered on the 'DA5ES. Also, I believe DTS-ES discrete 6.1 is limited to the 'DA5ES. I believe the 'DA3ES employs a matrix 6.1 mode, however I didn't play around with the DSPs.

    As for the noise floor, I was not too close to the speakers to notice any hissing. I went to Tweeter over my lunch hour yesterday and didn't have much time to play with the receiver. By the time the salesman got the receiver unpacked and set up, I only had a few minutes to actually play with it.
     

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