STR-DA5ES Receiver?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Kevin McCurdy, Feb 28, 2002.

  1. Kevin McCurdy

    Kevin McCurdy Stunt Coordinator

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    I've tried doing searches on a few forums and not much has come up so I thought I'd ask if anyone has had the opportunity to listen to this and what your thoughts are on it for home theater use? I listen to very little music.

    Unfortunately there's no stores locally carrying this model so I can't listen to it, but I was able to listen to the model below it the STR-DA3ES today and it provided a very powerful performance for home theater.

    The unit itself provides 3-32 Bit processors, a variety surround formats (DD, DD-PLII, DD-EX, DTS-ES, DTS-ES Discrete, DTS-ES Matrix, DTS-NEO:6, plus Sony's Cinema DSP's). Flexible features including adjustable bass management for each channel, Equalizer, Sound Field Customization. Multi Channel inputs(5.1 and 7.1). I can't give the description justice so if your interested Crutchfield's website has a pretty good description of it.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Michael_T

    Michael_T Second Unit

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    I recently picked up the Sony DA5ES about 2 weeks ago (mainly for the 2 separate multi-channel inputs - one for DVD-audio and one for MCH SACD). It replaced the Integra 6.2 in my Home Theater, which I liked alot.

    Since you aren't really interested in listening to music, I would say the DA5ES is very nice for HT applications, but a bit cumbersome to use compared to the very easy to use Integra.

    I found that the DA5ES actually seems to do a better job at Normal Surround (i.e., Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital-EX, DTS, DTS-ES, Dolby Pro Logic 2, etc.) then the Integra did. I, personally, am very impressed with the Sony.

    The Integra was only a 5.1 receiver, the Sony is a 6.1 receiver, so I added a back (center) surround speaker - and the results with DD-EX and DTS-ES encoded movies is nothing short of amazing.

    I would recommend the Sony, especially if all you will be using it for is Home Theater.
     
  3. JackS

    JackS Supporting Actor

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    MT-AS an owner of a 777es, I must tell you I'm envious of the dual 5.1ins. I think you nailed it with the difficulty factor of the Sonys. Anyone interested in plug-n-play should look elsewhere. On the other hand, anyone who is really interested in tinkering with unlimited sound options, the Sonys are the way to go. I know the forum has disscussed this before, but anyone looking for a compromise between seperates and receivers, the Sonys are virtually the only game in town as far as I'm concerned. I've only been a member here for a short time and have noticed some unfavorable comments regarding Sonys, so I thought it about time for someone to say a few words in favor of these great receivers. If anyone doubts that these new Sonys don't compete very nicley with anything in their price range, I would suggest a visit to your local ES dealer. If you think you've found somthing better for the same price, buy it. After all is said and done, we have to live by our decisions, and to purchase anything, when we really wanted somthing else, will guarantee our continued dissatisfaction throughout the life of ownership regardless of what we buy. Jack
     
  4. Adam Krogul

    Adam Krogul Stunt Coordinator

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    sony is a nice reciever for home theater. im very familiar with the es model b/c of work and installing them on a weekly basis. advantages of the sony reciever.

    -if you have sony gear... the universal remote works like a champ very easy to use..

    - if you have a dvd the setting for the 10 db drop is nice....(forgot what its called)

    -as jack said ... if you want to mess with all the eq and surround stuff, sony is the way to go

    -good sounding reciever...(definitly not the best though)

    downfalls

    -settings can be confusing at times,as well as the 9,582 different surrond modes

    -reciever remote seems useless if you have other brand of gear (few exceptions)

    if you like it and it's in your price range.... go with it you won't be dissapointed....

    note on integra--- this is a personal thing, but id like to express it....i hate them, they sound horrible for the amount of money, err sorry just venting... on a postive note, they have a freindly remote....
     
  5. Earl Simpson

    Earl Simpson Supporting Actor

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    This forum had all its contents dumped, so that's why all the 5es stuff is gone as well as everything else.

    If you have a hodge podge of speakers , like me, then the Sony is a must. Only one with 6 equalizers.

    You don't need 7 amps, but if you want 7 go with the 3802 or 898. The 898 is true thx ex/dd ex. That doesn't matter to me.

    5 year no hassle warranty. Not like Denon.

    Heaviest of the middle line up.

    The 5es should have two learning re-motes?????????????????????????????????? So I don't understand the comment on not working with other equipment. But hey, I can't read! So check it out.
     
  6. Kevin McCurdy

    Kevin McCurdy Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for comments. I never really looked at the Sony's much before I currently have the Denon 3300. I did have the opportunity to listen to the 777 at a friend's house a year or so ago and listening to the DA3ES yesterday brought back memories of how powerful sounding the Sony's sound is for Home Theater.

    We compared it to the Marantz 8200 and a Pioneer Elite model(36?) in the store and both of us preferred the Sony. The Sony seemed to hold nothing back. On some of the receivers I've listened to it seems the loudest material drowns out the other content of the movie and I have to strain to hear the dialogue, but with this receiver the dialogue was very strong and the ambient sounds were very noticeable. This evaluation was done at a store, so I'm not sure if the settings were set properly on any of the units, but the Sony sure stood out.

    I'm not worried about the tweakability it's one of the main reasons I'm interested in it. I figured with this unit I could really adjust it to match my room and listening preferences.

    Does anyone know what the unlabeled 7.1 input or preamp output on the DA5ES is for? I was hoping it would be another input/output to provide for a 2nd rear channel. That's one of the things I'm hesitant about on this since I've purchased all speakers and ext. amps to have a 7.1 system and I thought about using this as a preamp.
     
  7. Eric A

    Eric A Second Unit

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    I am currently auditioning prepros in my upgrade to separates and I went to listen to a Sony 9000es at a local dealer. Just for kicks I listened to the 5es as a comparison. I was very surprised that I thought it sounded much better. We took the time to match levels, check surround modes and eq's etc and make sure we weren't cheating either component. The new receiver definitely sounded fuller and richer. The session then turned into a 5es audition. We listened to a variety of selections from standard 2 channel (Diana Krall), DTS music disc, SACD 2 channel and multichannel and finally TPM Pod Race scene. The amazing part was how much better the 5es sounded on the music playback. Next we compared it to a Denon 3802 and there was no comparison. We could did not playback SACD but with Diana Krall the soundstage was so much wider with the 5es is was no contest. The owner of the store actually had to check and see if all the sound was coming from the center channel when playing the Denon. He thought we might have a surround mode activated. Now I'm no Sony fan. I actually owned the Denon 3801 last year before upgrading to an Onkyo 898. I am looking to upgrade to a prepro for 50/50 HT /Music. The Sony has thrown an interesting wrench into my plans. I will still probably wait on the Outlaw but if there is one more delay, I might go with the Sony as a prepro and not use the amps.
     
  8. JackS

    JackS Supporting Actor

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    To my mind, the 9000es seperates are superior but outdated and overpriced by todays standards. Sony has done a very nice job in support of the 9000's,and with the addition of the TAP-9000es I believe the 9000's have finally hit the proverbial brick wall. The upcomming Outlaw 950 would be my choice if I were going to go with seperates. The Outlaw is modern and upto date, and add to that a lower price than the TAE-9000. The new Sony receivers are a much better value than the Sony seperates. The receivers are upto date and upgradable and at half the price of the seperates.
     
  9. Charles Gurganus

    Charles Gurganus Supporting Actor

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    Eric, unless the Sony TA-E9000es preamp had at least Version 2.1 applied, it wasn't a fair comparison. I bet it had the 1.10 or even 1.18 version.
     
  10. Kevin McCurdy

    Kevin McCurdy Stunt Coordinator

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    On a post above I asked about the inputs and outputs. I thought I would let everyone know I called Sony to find out about the unlabeled RCA jacks that Crutchfield's website mentions, they are for the rear speaker. The description provided on their website describes using it's internal amps.

    The Sony tech said that when used as a preamp the unit will pass 7.1 channels and the rears can be independently level adjusted as well.

    Another note was one of my co-workers asked me to inquire about whether the bass management worked on the external inputs and I was told it does.

    Eric,

    Thanks for the review. I felt the same way about the center channel level of the Sony compared to my Denon. I to am on the waiting list for the 950, but I'm not going to wait any longer. At the $1000.00 price point I'm starting to think this may be a better purchase for me.

    Jack/Charles,

    How do you think the DA5ES stacks up to the 9000. Have you listened to both and what are your thoughts on the differences when both are used as a preamp? Other than the additional channels.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  11. JackS

    JackS Supporting Actor

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    Sorry I Can't add to much more as I'm speaking from the prospective of the 777. The 9000es may be better but not 1000 dollars better. And as I stated above, the DA5 offers more than the seperates in features but not in power. I would be interested in knowing if the DA5 has the ability of shutting down all video functions during the direct analog pass-through. If it does, this should be a very high quality pre-amp. Just add an outboard.
     
  12. Charles Gurganus

    Charles Gurganus Supporting Actor

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    I have not heard the DA5es. I DO have the E9000es and it has been vastly improved with version software release 2.1 (which I have). Unless the dealer updated the software to 2.1 (highly unlikly from my experience), the E9000es that was demoed probably had version 1.10.

    If I were in the market for another prepro (I am not), I would consider the DA5es. It has 2 analog bypass inputs and the same triple bypass bass management which to me was the most important thing I had to have.

    If you already have power amps, I still feel the E9000es is a very good but somewhat dated preamp. But if you only want or need 5.1 and add the P9000es analog bypass companion piece (which I did), it is still an excellent preamp (V2.1 software). You can buy it for under 1K I believe
     
  13. Kevin McCurdy

    Kevin McCurdy Stunt Coordinator

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    Jack, Charles, everyone,

    Thank you for commenting on the Sony's. I was looking for any kind of info to help me make a decision on whether or not to buy this unit. Unfortunately Sony doesn't provide a downloadable operators manual, so this is one of the few ways I could think of to get info. I appreciate your help.
     
  14. Will Yee

    Will Yee Auditioning

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    I'd like to chimje in here as an owner of a Sony DA5ES receiver and confirm that it is indeed an excellent value.

    I have no regrets that I made the decision to stick with this top of the line Sony ES receiver. I think that not only is it the best "Bang for Buck" receiver OR Pre/Pro you can get for around $1000 right now, it is an excellent performer regardless of price!

    I'd go with the Sony DA5ES. BTW, I have not experienced any quirks, bugs or problems that some early owners or posters had posted in various forums about the Sony DA5ES. The S-video inputs work excellent, the component connections/switcher works excellent, the volumn control has no erratic movements. No bugs. My unit is in the serial number range of 88038xx range. I bought it from

    J&R mail order in Feb 2002.

    I is an excellent performing unit, no doubt about it.

    I think it is a winner.

    BTW, I thought I had seen settings somewhere in its setup menus to the effect of turning off the video circuits, so I can only guess it is for when you want to do direct analog passthru mode without interference form the video circuits (for the purists). This unit is pretty loaded with lots of adjustments. Not every concievable adjustment, but lots of them that are or can be useful.
     
  15. Kevin McCurdy

    Kevin McCurdy Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks, Will.

    Michael,

    You mentioned one of your buying decisions was based on the multiple external input capabilities of this unit for use with both SACD and DVD Audio. Are you currently using both types of players?

    Have you noticed a difference in sound using the external inputs versus the digital connection for DVD Audio? I currently have the RP-91 and noticed a change in the sound (it was warmer) when connecting to the external inputs of the Denon.

    I mentioned in the beginning I don't listen to much music, but I do have a half dozen DVD-Audio disks (which probably equals my CD collection) and would like to take advantage of both formats (DVD-A & SACD). How would you characterize the sound of music using the external inputs versus the digital connection? Are you using the internal amps of the Sony?

    Will,

    Please comment as well.
     
  16. Juan_R

    Juan_R Supporting Actor

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    I am also in the market for a new receiver now that I have just upgraded my speakers. Another good thing about the 5ES is that you can buy it from any e-tailor and you dont have to worry about the warrenty being void.

    I do have a question tho. If I want to go to 7.1 in the future can I just get a two channel amp for the 2 rear speakers and use the internal amp of the 5ES for the rest of the speakers?
     
  17. Michael_T

    Michael_T Second Unit

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  18. Juan_R

    Juan_R Supporting Actor

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    Thanks Michael.
     
  19. Kevin McCurdy

    Kevin McCurdy Stunt Coordinator

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    Michael,

    When I listen to DVD-Audio I've been using the external in (analog) feature on the Denon I found I preferred it that way and your description of it's operation explains the reason why. I guess I never really took the time to research and understand DVD Audio. At the time I bought the RP91 we just bought a new HDTV so I bought it based on all the comments I saw on the forums, the DVD Audio was an additional bonus.

    I've also noticed a change using the ext. outs versus the optical connection when watching DVD's, I'm not sure which I prefer, but for simplicity I leave the Denon on auto for movies which selects the optical connection. Is there a benefit in using the analog inputs for movies as well and are you currently using the bass management feature with the multiple external inputs on the DA5ES?

    On DD & DTS 5.1 material can you select which rear speakers are active? I have floorstanders behind and wide dispersion surrounds on the sides. I would like to have the floorstanders active for 5.1 and have the wide dispersion speakers enabled during 6.1 material do you know if that's possible? It's not a big deal but I thought that would be a nice bonus. Thanks again you've provided a lot of help.
     
  20. Earl Simpson

    Earl Simpson Supporting Actor

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    So I assume this applys to DVD audio on audio disks and not to 5.1 and 6.1 ES discrete audio for DVD video????????????????????????????????????????????? ????????[​IMG]
     

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