Very displeased with my first home theatre reciever, replacement options?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by ShawnKubik, Dec 7, 2004.

  1. ShawnKubik

    ShawnKubik Extra

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    I just kinda "got into" this HT thing, currently I have a Sony STR-DE597 reciever with a JBL E250P sub and some subpar front/rear/center speakers... the speakers don't bother me ANYWHERE near as the audio quality of the reciever does peticularly during music.

    One thing i've always liked in previous recievers was "loudness" control, this one doesn't have it and everything sounds way too flat to me, like a reciever typically does with this setting disabled, only EQ options are bass & treble but it never touches the midrange, it just doesn't sound RIGHT, is there a reciever for not a whole lot of money that will greatly surpass this thing?

    I use a set of Bose 201 bookshelfs and a old 2ch Onkyo Tx-844 on my computer, music sounds MUCH better with this setup vs. the home theatre, even if I put these speakers are the front channels they just sound muddy on that sony reciever.

    I'm only running 5.1, but I do enjoy the DTS capability, all of my video connections are component and using 1 optical 1 coaxial audio connect

    thanks
     
  2. Ricky c

    Ricky c Stunt Coordinator

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    It may be your speakers more than you receiver.I think a better option would be to upgrade your speakers then see how it sounds before you spend money on a receiver and realize it still sounds bad.If it still does'nt sound good enough for you atleast you have a good set of speakers that you can add to by getting a better receiver.By the way i beleive my brother has that same receiver and he bought some athena mk 5's at best buy.His system sounds pretty good after he did the calibrations.
     
  3. ScottProulx

    ScottProulx Auditioning

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    Cambridge systems are really well balanced.
    I just bought an Infocus 4805 and hooked up "Attack of the Clones" dvd and output sound to Cambridge Soundworks FPS2000 4.1 system I bought 4yrs ago. turn Bass up 3/4 and volume up 3/4 and I could feel every swing of the light sabers in the seat of my pants... Kids usually can watch Jurassic Park, but were afraid with the sound/bass so realistic. I thought I'd be doing myself a favor by going out and getting a new receiver and sub and speakers. I tried Yamaha 5750, Onkyo 801, and I now have a Pioneer 1014 passing through the cambridge front and back speakers and Athena AS-P400 Sub.
    I could/can get the speakers to sound better, and I can get the house off the foundation, but I am very upset that I am unable to get all to play together as well as the cheap $80 PC speakers in the FPS2000 system. I'm now playing around with a Multimedia Switch from Pelican that switches 8 A/V inputs into 1 output. If I can get real good video/audio out of the switch to the Infocus/CB FPS2000, the expensive equipment is going back.... I'll be lookin into the MovieWorks line. 3 cheers for Cambridge...
    I know I could get the expensive equipment to work the way I need it to, but I have neither the time or money.
     
  4. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I think the speakers are part of the problem, but in all honesty, Sony's DE line really aren't that great. The number one glaring low point for them has traditionally been power and a lack thereof. A decent receiver in the same price category likely would be an improvement. Take a look at Marantz, Denon, Onkyo, H/K, and Yamaha.
     
  5. ScottCHI

    ScottCHI Screenwriter

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    what are your speakers, shawn?

    i'm with john. try and replace that receiver asap.
     
  6. ShawnKubik

    ShawnKubik Extra

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    it's not that the speakers are bad, they're low budget sony pieces and i dont' like them but they sound 2x better plugged into my 2 channel onkyo reciever... what about all this talk i hear of panasonic 300$ recievers, much better?

    i'm not in this for loudness, i live in a 950sq/ft apartment, but the clarity and range of sounds aren't right... this reciever doesn't reproduce very well, call me spoiled but my father always owned onkyo 2ch recievers and bose 501/701/901 speakers as i grew up and all of his 2ch setups sounded WAY better than anything i own right now
     
  7. ColinM

    ColinM Cinematographer

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    If you can return it, do it. Try the Panny, seems it replaces some hi-end gear!

    I had 3 Sony's in a row, then went to a Harman. I'll not be going back to Sony HT receivers...
     
  8. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    One thing i've always liked in previous recievers was "loudness" control

    Some people like that when listening to low volumes because it takes a stab at compensating for our hearing acuity as the volume becomes low. In your particular case, you're using it to deal with deficiencies in ...

    some subpar front/rear/center speakers which you further qualify by saying it's not that the speakers are bad, they're low budget sony pieces and i dont' like them

    You do note that they sound better hooked up to your onkyo which is in turn hooked up to your PC. Seeing as you're probably using your loudness control, basically what you're doing is taking a stab at compensating for the lousy FR and output of the speakers by artificially boosting the low end which probably doesn't go all that low.

    While buying a receiver that has some sort of loudness control might make you feel a little bit better, its money spent in the wrong area. You see, its like putting lipstick and a wig on a pig. Looks a little cuter, but damn, its still a pig.
     
  9. Jackson L

    Jackson L Stunt Coordinator

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    I have a Panasonic SA-HE100 and i am really happy with it. It is plenty loud and sound quality is excellent for all types of media. It also looks nice and is very easy to use. I'm not too crazy about the remote as it's a bit difficult to read in low light but I can live with it. I got it for $250 about a year ago from 6ave.com.
     
  10. ShawnKubik

    ShawnKubik Extra

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    well I have a JBL northridge 12" powered sub so the lows are covered by that, it's the overall dynamic of the sound that bums me out, for instance... the sony speakers do sound better overall on my onkyo 2ch, but if i put the bose 201s that i run on the onkyo (which sound absolutely great BTW, at all volume levels until they distort with bass), they simply sound like garbage with music on the sony... since it's set for small front/center/rear it's only reproducing the mid/high frequencies and it just sounds muddy/sloppy/flat, i run the bass/treble cranked on the reciever and it makes it sound somewhat better than 0/0 but it just purely sounds like crap next to my onkyo 2ch, plain and simple

    i'm looking for a solution that produces the same quality sound as my dated onkyo tx-844 2ch reciever with all of the benefits i'm using of my sony surround reciever (5.1, subwoofer preout, dts/prologicII/component video switching)

    basically, during movies my setup sounds fine, no compliants, i have some older floorstanding sony 3 way speaks in the front with 3" mids 1" tweets and 12" woofers, i still run them on "small" so the sub gets all the low frequencies (in LFE mode, gain just over half, +2 on reciever)... however when playing music, i use front L+R and the sub, that's when i notice how badly the reciever is producing the sound, during a movie i have NO compliants with my "cheap pos" sony center and rear channels and in movies i just don't notice how poorly the music is being reproduced by the fronts alone

    this is really hard to explain on a forum, you'd have to be here to have me demonstrate how RADICALLY different each set of speakers sounds on an audio cd track from reciever to reciever (also keep in mind although only 24, i'm still a huge fan of LOUD ear piercing highs and body shimmering lows from 2ch audio music, something i've been pleased to hear in my dad's setups growing up, this is his old 2ch that was handed down to me)

    i just want to replace the HT reciever with something that not neccessarily performs better for my digital audio surround movies but moreso if i pop in an mp3 cd or audio cd disc it can rival how beautiful these low end bose 201 bookshelf speakers sound on my very dated onkyo 2 channel

    i guess the best way to describe it is, the sony can deliver much louder sound but at any volume level, low or extremely high it just sounds flat and nasty vs. the comparison
     
  11. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    how big is the space your speakers are in and what's the location of the sub. FWIW, have you calibrated your system at the listening position with an SPL meter?
     
  12. Matt K P

    Matt K P Agent

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    sony speakers are some of the worst i have ever heard. Ive dont a-b testing with them and they just plain suck. Not to mention i used to have a sony reciever str-de515 and it sounded horrible by comparison to all of the new receivers i have tried
     
  13. ShawnKubik

    ShawnKubik Extra

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    so what's the *best* solution for the money right now? i've heard some talk of the panasonics...
     

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