What is wrong with Sony DE models?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Mike Milillo, Apr 21, 2003.

  1. Mike Milillo

    Mike Milillo Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey everybody, I have heard on these forums that Sony DE receivers are kinda looked down upon. I just don't know exactly why. Can anybody please tell me what the negatives are of the sony DE series? seems to be common knowledge to some, but not to me, please fill me in?
     
  2. John-Miles

    John-Miles Screenwriter

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    Sure thing Mike!

    just so you know this is all taken from my experience with my first receiver a sony STR-DE445, and my new receiver a Yamaha RX-V1300. of course the yamaha is about twice the price, but personally I have always been of the mind that you are payign more for additional features and power, if a receiver advertises soemthign ti should deliver and the sony does not.

    the sony i had was rated at 80w per channel, my yamaha is 110 per channel. but i digress, witht he sony i got noticable distortion less than half way up the volume scale, and the overall sound quality is like listening to a scratchy tape compared to my new yamaha.

    thats the only real difference, the sony was severely underpowered, and the processing was not very good.

    other than that the only problem i had with it was lack of inputs and features, but then that was because it was a cheaper DE model, had nothign to do with it beign a sony or DE model in and of itself.
     
  3. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    The DE models are notorious for exaggerated power claims and overall weak performance(qc issues). They are Sony's cheapest line and you do indeed get what you pay for.

    OTOH, Their ES line is completely different and a different animal all together. They don't exaggerate the #'s or last I read they don't and they have a 5 yr warranty to boot. They aren't that much more $$ to buy either if you shop around so spend the extra dough if you can.
     
  4. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Sony receivers, even ES versions, are notorious for not meeting their power specs with all channels driven. Just check out any review with measurements. (S&V, and I caught another review in a UK publication about a month ago where they also pointed it out.) Now, obviously, if you add external amplification, less of a problem. [​IMG]
     
  5. Chad Anson

    Chad Anson Second Unit

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    For what its worth, I had a first generation Sony DE dolby digital receiver, I think the model # was DE425. About 2 weeks after the warranty was up, the rear channel amplifiers cut out. It would have cost $175 to replace with only a 90-day warranty. No thanks.

    Turns out that many other people had the same problem.

    That is just one example of Sony consumer-level electronics crapping out on me. I now avoid all but their high end stuff.
     
  6. MikeMcGrew

    MikeMcGrew Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey Kevin, any links to those recent reviews???
     
  7. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Mike- One was in S&V, shoot, sometime in between Dec '01 to Feb '02. The other was What Hi Fi I think (Feb '03). Both reviews were comparison reviews with other receivers. BTW, Yamaha also has this problem! [​IMG] H/K doesn't. No links, sorry!

    Here's the last, their flagship ES amp: Go down to A Problem We Thought:

    http://www.homecinemachoice.com/fram...AN9000ES.shtml
     
  8. MikeMcGrew

    MikeMcGrew Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks Kevin. That is a really great read. It sounds like Sony got some of their pre-production bugs worked out though. I've got to tell you, I have had a hell of a time deciding on a receiver. Everytime I think I know what I want in my price range, I read something that causes me to rethink everything. I am about 95% sure that I am going to go with a DA4ES and some sort of external amplification. A decent two channel amp to start with (for music/mains). The DA4ES is sooo tweakable and the street price for it is pretty decent right now. I think it will make a nice pre/pro when I can afford a multi-channel amplifier. Then eventually the move to real seperates but that is a long way off. The five year no BS warranty also makes a HUGE diference. I like Denon but I must have some manufacturer's support. I know a lot of people are down on Sony but I have auditioned several receivers and I really do like the DA4ES. I think that is what's most important right?
     
  9. terence

    terence Supporting Actor

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  10. John Morton

    John Morton Stunt Coordinator

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    I have a DB-930 (higher end than DE, but lower than ES). The DA4ES is pulling my ear also (for 7.1), but I definitely wouldn't sell my DB930. It'll go good in another room.
     
  11. Alf S

    Alf S Cinematographer
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    I had a DE 925 a few years back and never had an ounce of problems and it sounded great.

    Hopefully the naysayers actually OWNED one (DE) and aren't just spouting off because "they've heard they're bad".
     
  12. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    In my case, my coworker owned a DE as well as a good friend of mine, both had issues. Both upgraded(to DB models) at a later date for that very reason. Perhaps you got lucky? Perhaps you didn't expect much out of it or didn't push it?

    There's a multitude of reason for the way these things act.
     
  13. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Mike- Here's another thought for you. I had a TA-E9000ES pre/pro for *four* years. I hated it at first: the remote went through a set of batteries every 2 weeks, the software had problems, noisy audio, etc. But Sony came through: they had a retrofit to fix the remote, I think 4 or 5 software upgrades over the 1st 2 years, even including "virtual" support of DD EX/DTS-ES even though it is a 5.1 pre/pro, and they even came out with the P9000ES to give it 5.1 analog passthrough for DVD-A/SACD. In the end, they did right by it.

    Their "normal" line of receivers? Maybe, maybe not. But I would give their ES line more of a consideration. They were the 1st mass producer to do individual crossovers for speakers, and even now, some others still don't. But over time, you might want to think about adding on a 2 channel amp for the mains to let the receiver "breathe easier" into the other channels. I *still* wish they'd do a successor to the pre/pro...
     
  14. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    Let me 2nd Kevin's suggestion that you consider the ES line. The 4ES can be had for a street price well below its MSRP of $999; in it's 'class,' ($600-700 AVRs), I think it is far and away the price/performance leader.

    That being said... I own a Sony STR-DE835 (3 years old now) and it has served well as a 2nd unit in my office. (I also own old-school Onkyo [still my fave], NAD and Marantz.) I, perhaps luckily, have not experienced the issues (overheating/protection mode, thin sound, etc) that others on this board have reported. In fact, the 835 does more than a decent job for home theater and a very passable job at non-critical music. Of course, it's extremely tweakable.

    Remember, when you ask a question here, or read reviews at audioreview.com (the reviews there make the 835 seem like it's useful for nothing but cooking eggs on), you are not getting an unbiased response, and folks around here represent a self-selected sample of individuals who own these things, of which Sony sells thousands. They are not being returned in droves, from what my neighbor in the home audio business tells me.
     
  15. John-Miles

    John-Miles Screenwriter

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    Angelo is right, but I will also add that the people on this board are also more decerning customers and in general we are more critical of our equipment. the majority of people who own DE equipment so far in this thread ahve been saying how its great in their second system.

    they are decent receivers, but in my opinion if you care enough to ask these questions likely you wont be happy with it after a time.
     
  16. Diallo B

    Diallo B Screenwriter

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