Sony STR-DA5ES Personal Review (long)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Angelo_Petralba, Apr 10, 2002.

  1. Angelo_Petralba

    Angelo_Petralba Second Unit

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    Here’s my Review on the new Sony STR-DA5ES receiver I got last Monday.
    Features:
    Most all of my “NEEDS” for an AV Receiver was met with the Sony. My main upgrade concerns were Video Switching, DTE-ES, DD-EX, DPL II, and at least 6 channels of amplification. The added bonus was the robust and powerful Bass Management and EQ for EACH channel. It really helped a lot in Tuning/Tweaking (tweakers dream AV) the settings to my taste.
    Working with the features:
    Learning to use the features did not take me long at all (probably 2-3 hours tops). I could see how this could be a problem for the “new HT enthusiast” because it does have QUITE A BIT of settings to tinker with. However, after all is said and done, I’m very comfortable with it and find it quite entertaining (no pun intended) to do.
    The video switching works perfectly and although I have not tried the Component Set because I’m waiting on my cables to arrive.
    Bass Management / EQ:
    This has got to be ONE OF THE BETTER ONES out there on the AV world. Imagine having control of EACH speaker including distance control (delay for others), whether you want the surround set to High on the walls or Ear Level, you can do it. The Bass cut-off for each speaker is available and adjustable.
    Remote Control and OSD (On Screen Display):
    The remote control and OSD can be more User Friendly especially for the newbies but I found them to be VERY useful and does what it is supposed to do. The remote does
    feel kinda cheap for a Flagship receiver compared to my MX500.
    The OSD is VERY helpful especially for the Visual Folks who likes to see what they are doing. I found that the Display on the Remote itself is not very intuitive nor is it useful. Use the OSD instead.
    The ALL-important Sound Quality:
    Like most of the Owners I found the HT Performance SUPERB! Outstanding! And Completely Satisfying! The quality of the sound, separation and DETAIL is ALL THERE, at lower volume however, it sounded kinda lacking (probably because of my speakers). Music is NOT as BAD as what others have said, but I must say that my old HK AVR 110 sounded slightly better even at the 50 watts per channel. The HK had MORE presence if I had to compare both. I have not tried DVD-Audio so I will update as soon as I get the chance.
    Rate from 1-10: is 8.5
    My Set-up:
    Hitachi 53SDX01B RPTV: Yamaha LD Player: Toshiba SD5700: Dish Network DTV.
    Speakers: Wharfedale Modus 1.6 Mains: Modus Music Center: Wharfedale Diamonds Anniversary 8 Side surrounds and Infinity RS1000 Rear Surround (old speakers).
    Subwoofer: DIY Tempest Sonosub in a 210 Liter tube with dual 3” flared ports tuned to 16HZ with Adire AV250 Amp.
    I hope this helps and I will update as I go along.
    Thanks for reading.
    Angelo
     
  2. chung

    chung Stunt Coordinator

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    The Sony has a much better sound for 2-channel music with an external stereo amp for the L/R, in my opinion. For HT, the receiver by itself sounds great; I am very impressed. My biggest complain is set-up and the main remote.
     
  3. Earl Simpson

    Earl Simpson Supporting Actor

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    Angelo, Did you ever do a manual convergence on your sdx01b? I have the 61dsx01b and the full shop manual and have been too chicken to do it.
     
  4. Angelo_Petralba

    Angelo_Petralba Second Unit

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    Earl-

    Im not brave enought to tinker with the TV settings.

    I was going to have an ISF guy come over to do some calibrating but the Technician is supposed to come over next saturday to fix my Progressive Scan problem which is common with these sets.
     
  5. randy bessinger

    randy bessinger Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Angelo,

    Just curious, but does the 5ES have only a standard headphone output or does it also output a synthesized surround as some other receivers?
     
  6. Gary W. Graley

    Gary W. Graley Second Unit

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    Headphones work great on there! I was amazed at the openess of the sound, really made my night when I HAD to slip on a pair as everyone else was sleeping, sounded GREAT!

    Senn headphones, 570 I think...

    G2
     
  7. Angelo_Petralba

    Angelo_Petralba Second Unit

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    Randy-

    There are 3 modes for the Headphones. Regular mode, Enhanced mode and Prologic or Cinema mode (virtual surround).

    It really is a GREAT receiver for the money.

    Everytime I fire up this thing, it justs gets better. The sound it puts out now seemed to be a little mellow now than when I first got it. It does get a TON of use specially now because my girlfriend is HOME all the time and she has it GOING ALL DAY LONG. It doesn't even get HOT, maybe just a little (i mean a very little) warm.

    Enjoy

    Angelo
     
  8. Will Gatlin Jr

    Will Gatlin Jr Stunt Coordinator

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    Angelo...

    I use a 555ES in my bedroom. The set up for the height of the rear spks is fantastic. My rear spks are horizontal that lay on two 2 feet end drawers.

    I set the rear mode as low, and the sound from the rear spks compensates for it's low height. The EQ'ing for the highs/mids/lows is a big plus. My Sony is all that I could ask for.
     
  9. randy bessinger

    randy bessinger Stunt Coordinator

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    Angelo,

    A belated thanks for the info on the headphones. One other question that I think is making the rounds is; can you use it as a preamp only for 7.1 with two rears instead of one? That is my situation as I already have an Outlaw 750 amp and a NAD for the rear channels.
     
  10. Angelo_Petralba

    Angelo_Petralba Second Unit

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    Randy-
    The Sony 5ES WILL do 7.1. All you need is an outboard 2 channel amp and you are good to go. An even better alternative is to use the FRONT Center channel and re-assign it as the Right Rear Surround and get a 3 Channel amp for the L/C/R channels up front.
    It's a very flexible receiver and it's MY main reason for purchasing it. PLUS it has an R232 port for FUTURE software upgrades (maybe DD-EX discrete will be available someday).
    here's a quote form Crutchfield
     
  11. randy bessinger

    randy bessinger Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks Angelo. Sounds like a good one for the $$$.[​IMG]
     

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