Sony SDP-E800 OK for DD?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Art Miller, Oct 23, 2001.

  1. Art Miller

    Art Miller Stunt Coordinator

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    Not sure for the moment what high-brow processor to lust for, maybe an outlaw 950 or B&K Ref 30 sometime, but in the interium, need to get something to replace my old prologic decoder. Since I'll likely pick up a toshiba (4700/5700) or Pan DVD-A (91) player that has DD/DTS decoders in it, the above captioned decoder would be for VHS, maybe laser disk if I install a RF out in my old Pioneer CLD-52, and cable (don't even know if Ocean Cablevision in NJ supplies DD in its feeds--does anyone know??)
    Is this unit OK for DD? It has 3 digital and 1 analog inputs, so that ought to be enough for the moment, and the important part is its about $100 new on ebay.
    I realize that it is nearly bottom rung 5.1 (only DD), but I'll have DTS on the DVD player, and currently am not as concerned with the other surround modes as I may one day be.
    comments?
     
  2. Bryan Williams

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    Good Evening;
    I had this unit when I worked for Sony and it is a GREAT value. Internally, it is very similar to the SDP-EP9. I believe the primary difference is in the DA converters though it did not make that much of a difference on movies. I did notice more of a difference when it came to music. The pro-logic decoder on the E800 was also significantly better than the built in decoder on my receiver if you still watch movies on VHS or just for TV watching. I first bought the SDP-E800 and then the SDP-EP9 when I got a great staff deal. Ironically, I did not think that the EP9 sounded that much better. I think as an interim unit that you would be very pleased with it (especially for $100).
     
  3. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    I have used the E800 since they came out, and also feel it is a great unit, particularly since they can now be had pretty cheaply.
    The various processing modes (replicating the acoustics of several Sony dubbing stages) are quite listenable, and straight DPL and DD also sound great.
    In fact, I own a Sony 650D DVD Carousel, which has a built in DD decoder. I used it for a while, but when I temporarily re-installed the E800, I found that the E800 sounded much better, with a greater sense of envelopment on surround material. I will be using it until I can get an Outlaw 950.
    The only criticism is that the unit can be noisy. This was mentioned in a Stereo Review article when they came out, and I concur.
    When balancing for 85db, you will need to raise the master volume to a point where you will hear quite a lot of hiss. Fortunately, this is normally not at all audible at normal listening volumes with normal program material (I normally am 10 to 20 db below Dolby Reference), which is still quite loud in a normal living room.
    Good Luck,
    BL
     
  4. Art Miller

    Art Miller Stunt Coordinator

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    Brian, and Bryan, thanks for the replys.
    Bryan: Any reason(s) to seek out the E9 Es model over the 800? I'll likely not be using it for music--at least the digital section, although as it does have a pass through for 5.1 analog, it might be tempting to use it for DVD-A/SACD. I don't image that it includes any bass management for the pass throughs...
     
  5. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    No. I used this unit for a while for a homebrew THX EX/DTS-ES 6.1 setup.
    It is noisy. Stay away.
    If you look around for reviews on the internet, you will find the same comments.
    Noisy. It hisses when it should be completely silent.
    For Dolby Digital by itself, I would better recommend a Technics SHAC-300 or 500 (I can't remember model numbers exactly).
    The SDP-9ES is in a completely different league than the E800.
    ------------------
     
  6. John Miles

    John Miles Stunt Coordinator

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    It may sound somewhat inflammatory, but anyone who can live with the SDP-E800 needs their hearing checked. This is the noisiest piece of junk I have ever seen on a store shelf.
    Rest assured, its internal construction and components are NOTHING like the EP9ES. [​IMG]
    I've owned both. EP9ES=good. SDP-E800=a blight on the Sony name.
     
  7. Gregg Loewen

    Gregg Loewen Video Standards Instructor, THX Ltd.
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    Well...I think the 800 is a great piece for using as a AC-3 demod...anyways...
    Question: When using the 5.1 pass through feature on the 9ES can you control the volume??
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  8. Shade Watson

    Shade Watson Stunt Coordinator

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