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Your input please: should I fix my A/V Receiver or just buy a new one?

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Your input please: should I fix my A/V Receiver or just buy a new one?

Old 11-01-01, 11:00 AM
  #1  
KEG
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Your input please: should I fix my A/V Receiver or just buy a new one?

I have a Sony STR-DB930. It is probably about 2 years old. It should not be broken but does appear to have a problem: the right front channel signal is many times 'weak' and sometimes, although rarely, missing altogether.

When I watch tv with the normal-surround setting the right front channel is 'weak.'

When I play CD's, or watch TV, with the stereo setting the left and right channels sound fine.

Whether watching TV or a DVD, when the right channel sounds 'weak' and I switch through all the sound settings (approx 20+) there are always several settings where the right channel comes in ok. But, for example, I just do not care for the Small-Hall or Jazz sound.

We recently moved. Maybe the receiver got 'bumped' or something. I noticed that my two Yamaha receivers 'moved' ok!

So should I fix this Sony or replace it?

That is, what would you estimate the repair costs would be?

I purchased this unit for around $380 shipped. If I could get if fixed for around $100 I probably would fix it and keep it.

Has anybody else experienced this type of problem with related repair costs?

Thanks, in advance, for you input.
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Old 11-01-01, 01:37 PM
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First a few questions and I apologize if this is something you checkd into extensively already. Have you double checked all the connections? Could be a loose connection vibrating free from Bass. Have you swaped L/R speakers and seen the problem persist? Those are a few things I'd think about before replacing or having it repaired.

That aside you have a decent reciver so I would look into reparing it, also if you hired movers they might have insurance that could cover the cost of repairing it if you persue it...
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Old 11-01-01, 02:12 PM
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if youre in any way mechanically able, open her up and dust off the inside with compressed air. also if your able to, wipe off the speaker connection with some ethanol.
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Old 11-02-01, 10:22 AM
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Thanks for your replies.

I have swapped out the speaker that was 'weak' with another identical speaker . . . still 'weak.'

I have 'played' with the connections extensively.

I have swapped speaker wires. That is, wires going to right speaker were disconnected and connected up to left speaker and vice versa. Checking for a possibly bad cable. Right side was still 'weak.'

When I swap the cables at the back of the receiver (Right cable goes to left speaker etc..) then the 'weak' side 'flips.' Indicating, I think, a receiver problem.

I have moved all the front speaker cables from the A set of speakers to the B set of speakers and still the right side is 'weak.'

I have tried pretty much everything that I can think of to rule out a connection, or speaker, problem. That is why I am down to an either fix it or replace it decision. Plus, the fact that some sound settings sound just fine, I think, is another indication that this is some kind of receiver problem.

Regarding the shot-of-air-repair: I have three questions 1) what brand of receiver were you using, 2) what kind of problem were you having, and 3) did that fix it?
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Old 11-02-01, 10:52 AM
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If the simple fixes above don't take of your problem, it would probably be more cost effective to replace it since you can get a similar model (probaly a better one) for about what you paid for the Sony. Consider it will probably cost nearly $100 just to have a tech determine the problem, then start adding up the parts & labor from there, neither of which are very cheap.

Another tip: Don't buy another Sony, I've read nothing but poor performance reviews about them.
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Old 11-02-01, 12:33 PM
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This was my first Sony AV Receiver purchase. I have had, and still do have, many Sony TVs, CD players, VHS & Beta recorders, as well as an assortment of other Sony goodies. I have always been very happy with the quality and dependability of these products. The tv's have always had an especially great picture quality.

Prior to my entry in the AV 'arena' all my receivers have been Yamaha's. I have two, circa mid 70's, still going strong and providing a great stereo sound for music or the audio from TV.

For me it was a tough choice to pick the Sony over a Yamaha AV receiver. In the end, it became a $$ decision. Plus, I had lots of other Sony 'stuff' which certainly seemed to perform adequately.

Right from the beginning I wondered if I had chosen wisely. While DVD's sounded great CD's sounded way to 'tinny.' Even switching to plain old 'stereo' mode did not seem to help much. No matter how much I tweaked the eq settings I just could never reproduce the sound I got from my Yamaha's on the Sony AV receiver. CD's lacked that 'full' sound that I was used to from my Yamaha's.

I have read numerous articles/feedback/reports about how AV Recievers just do not do a good job playing CD music . . . movies are great . . . music is not so good. It's a shame that is has to be that way; but I can certainly agree with that.

I have also seen feedback talking about how much better one brand of AV receiver sounded when playing music over a different brand. However, the trouble with these kinds of feedback is that what sounds good to one does not necessarily sound good to many. Good sound, is generally, a subjective conclusion. Prior to my first AV purchase I did no comparative listening.

However, I do know that I have never been happy with the CD sound produced by my Sony receiver. It is also ridiculous to pay $400 every two years or so for a new Sony receiver when the old one malfunctions. If I elect to purchase a replacement I'm going to have to check out the Yamaha line next time.

Last edited by KEG; 11-02-01 at 12:37 PM.
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Old 11-02-01, 05:34 PM
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Originally posted by KEG
This was my first Sony AV Receiver purchase. I have had, and still do have, many Sony TVs, CD players, VHS & Beta recorders, as well as an assortment of other Sony goodies. I have always been very happy with the quality and dependability of these products. The tv's have always had an especially great picture quality.
Please don't think I am knocking Sony. Many of their products are very good, especially their TVs. However, their consumer line of receivers leaves much to be desired.
When I was looking for a receiver a few years back, I was all ready to walk in and pick up a Sony, for pretty much the same reason you did. However, the salesperson actually was being helpful, and had me listen to a few side-by-side. I walked out with a Denon, and have been very happy with it.
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Old 11-02-01, 06:07 PM
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Official Sony Service ceters charge a flat rate for many repairs, no matter what the problem is. Bad deal if it's a minor problem but it can be good if it's something major. You might want to give them a call and make your decision based on the flat rate cost of the repair on your model.
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Old 11-02-01, 08:24 PM
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Originally posted by KEG
Thanks for your replies.
Regarding the shot-of-air-repair: I have three questions 1) what brand of receiver were you using, 2) what kind of problem were you having, and 3) did that fix it?
i did this with an old Kenwood receiver i used to have. If youve had the receiver for a long time it gets dusty inside, this can cause a degrade in your sound quality as well as make your receiver do weird things like changing chanels by itself or turining off for no reason. and if its really dusty in there it can cause your receiver to overheat. Also static dust can actually conduct electricity wich means it can short out chanels and things like that.

its very simple to do, just open up the receiver and dust off the amp and electronics with compressed air. Also make sure to clean the speaker terminals on the inside of the receiver with a cotton swabs and ethanol(alcahol)

when i did this to my kenwood it fixed a lot of the sound and overheating issues. It might not help w your receiver but its worth a shot... otherwise youde be better off going with a new receiver.. Sony will charge around $80 flat fee. You can get a comparable quality receiver then the one you have for around $300.
...and stay away from sony receivers and speakers
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Old 11-02-01, 10:21 PM
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before you do anything pop the case and first vacuum any dust in there and then blow eveything out with compressed air (the stuff they use to clean photo negatives). I had a bad channel on my 10 year old Denon and this fixed it permanently.
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Old 11-05-01, 11:38 AM
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I'm going to pull my cabinet out (what a pain,) unhook the receiver, open it up, and dust it out. I'll let you know what happens.

I'll try to get this done today.
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Old 11-06-01, 01:02 PM
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I don't want to turn this into a Sony bashing thread - nobody is perfect. But I think the concept of thinking that everything they make is good is probably an outdated concept. Certainly some of their stuff is really good but most of the stuff I see today that is made by them is no better than average, it just costs more. Sony is OK if your picky (like the Wega TV's remind me of a "traditional" Sony product).
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Old 11-06-01, 04:03 PM
  #13  
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Ok, I took the cover off and dusted if off. It really was not that dirty as it is only a little over two years old. Still a little dust did blow out of it.

No luck . . . still a weak right channel.

I went next door and 'borrowed' my father's Sony STR-DB830 - a gift from me when I purchased the 930. I hooked up the 830 and still had a weak right channel. I began to concentrate on the front speakers.

I rotated the speakers. The right channel was still weak. It was not a speaker problem.

I set the receiver to monitor the TV/SAT input. I set center channel to -10db (very quiet.) The right channel was still 'weak.'

I adjusted the tv's speaker balance so that only the left channel was audible. TV and left front speaker sounded fine.

I adjusted the tv's balance so that only the right channel was being output. The TV sounded fine but the front right speaker was barely audible.

I pulled the cabinet out and examined the audio output RF connections on the back of the tv which were going to the receiver. The left channel was firmly in place. The right channel was also firmly in place; although it appeared to not be pushed in quite as far as the left channel connection. I pushed the right channel cable connection in a little bit more and the right channel suddenly sprang to 'life.'

Problem solved.

While I can certainly understand why my tv output sound was out of balance; I can not understand how this situation affected my DVD sound output as well. The audio output from my DVD To my reciever is via an optical cable. Why does and improperly connected RF cable going from my TV's audio output to my receiver's TV/SAT input affect the DVD's audio output via optical cable? I certainly did not suspect this type of connection problem could cause such wide-spread problems with other devices via other audio connections. However, all is now working ok. Once again, after the move, DVD's are now sounding great.

Turns out the Sony is not defective afterall. That's a relief. I was very disappointed to think this receiver would go 'bad' so quickly. However, looks like my father now has a 930 instead of an 830 as I am in no mood to do any more swapping at this time.

Thanks again to all those who responded to this thread.
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