Upgrading Sony receiver, worth it?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by EricSm, Dec 11, 2002.

  1. EricSm

    EricSm Stunt Coordinator

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    I've had a Sony STR-845 for about 2 years now. I've always been somewhat underwhelmed by it-- regardless of what variety of speakers I threw at it. Kinda hollow would best describe it.

    Seeing this HK AVR-520 for around $500 has got me thinking. Or maybe it's the holidays.

    Anyhow, do you think I would notice an appreciable upgrade in sound quality for movies and music? Or would I need to spend *more* money to get the noticable boost.

    I want to be blown away like I was expecting to be when I purchased it. Maybe my expectations were out of sync with what I was willing to spend.

    Appreciate any comments or insights.
     
  2. Earl Simpson

    Earl Simpson Supporting Actor

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    Wait untl the 23-27 and shop online. Think big! Stretch your budget so you won't get upgrade fever the next day.
     
  3. JohnSer

    JohnSer Stunt Coordinator

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    Eric,

    I had a Pioneer VSX-407? (not sure of model, but it was a 5x100 ProLogic, DD ready receiver) that was replaced by an Onkyo 575X. I noticed a big improvement, even though the ratings on the Onkyo are 5x75. Just recieved the HK520. I have only listened in stereo mode for a short time and not any true A-B tests, but the HK seems to have a tighter/stronger bass. Its an improvement, but not as large as I went to the Onkyo. The amp in the Pioneer is probably close in quality to what is in your Sony. You should hear a noticable difference jumping to the 520. Just make sure it has everything else you want. Only 5 channels and no DD-EX bothers many, but not for my use.

    PS: Please note, my speakers are home built Peerless/Seas, which are on the inefficient side. How much of an improvement you hear has allot to do with what speakers you have.

    JohnS
     
  4. EricSm

    EricSm Stunt Coordinator

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    Not sure what happens on the 23-27, but I do agree with the stretching your budget bit. It ends up saving you money if you do it right...

    Currently am using a Polk RM-6600 solution. I've heard it sound really good to very good, but with my receiver it sounds so-so.

    I've also been looking at the Denon 3802 for a while now. Not sure how that would compare in terms of sound quality to the HK 520...

    I'd be more than happy to make that a nice Chrismas gift for myself this year, but only if after I make the purchase I'm not going to be left scratching my head and thinking... "hmm, still sounds the same.."

    I'm not looking for more volume, really. The Sony goes loud enough. It just doesn't sound very good. Dull. Very dull. It has no energy to it.

    Sears is about as good as it gets around here, unfortunately. So a lot of my "listening" comes through research on the internet and we know how misleading that can be when sixty people who've only listened to boom boxes rave about the quality of their new Technics system.

    Anyhow.. thanks for the feedback.
     
  5. Juan_R

    Juan_R Supporting Actor

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    I went from an 845 to a 5ES and the sound was improved dramatically. The highs, mids and bass was all better, the speakers were a lot clearer and detailed. I don't think you would be disapointed with the HK but I would also strech the budget a little bit.
     
  6. terence

    terence Supporting Actor

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  7. Yogi

    Yogi Screenwriter

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    The 520 is a sweet piece of gear and any noticeable improvement in performance or sound will stretch your budget like you haven't imagined. I would say you should go with the 520 and maybe later on down the road add an external 2 channel or three channel amp for the fronts and get even more improvement. As far as receivers go the 520 will give you the best sound for the buck.
    Also remember, no matter how big you think you get the upgrade fever at around the same time. I think the upgrade fever is a personal attribute that is independent of how big the upgrade was in terms of $$$. In fact I have found that the bigger amount of cash you spend the bigger your appetite gets (in terms of $$$) for upgrades. Like for example before I got the 3802 the $800 was the most I could fathom for an upgrade. And that to I did reluctantly. The next time I got the Proceed Amp2 for $1300 with a little less reluctance. The last upgrade to the Ref 7250 (for the remaining channels) @ $1500 didnt take any reluctance at all. All this within the last year. So you see its getting easier for me to shell out the cash even though my earnings haven't upgraded by that much. So the longer you stay out of this upgrade mania and the more conservative you are in this game the happier you will be. So take my advice, for your own good and be satisfied with the 520 and dont start stretching your budget unnecessarily. And dont be under the impression that the bigger your upgrade this time the longer it will last, because there will always be something better and more expensive that you will drool over. Except this time there will be much less internal resistance to upgrade. Now you are thinking twice about spending $500 on the upgrade. The next time you wont think long before shelling out the $500. And so on and so forth.
    Upgraditis is like sex. The better it gets the more you want. And you want it better than the last time. [​IMG] Sorry if I am offending anyone with this reference, but thats exactly what is happening with me...I mean the upgraditis part[​IMG]
    My 2 cents.
     

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