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Anyone know anything about this Sony surround sound receiver?

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Anyone know anything about this Sony surround sound receiver?

Old 04-01-03, 02:32 PM
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Anyone know anything about this Sony surround sound receiver?

I'm finally moving into the world of surround sound, at least a little bit at a time. My first step is to get a receiver. I'm looking at this one from Best Buy, the Sony Model: STRDE685 500-watt dolby digital/DTS home theater receiver.

Anyone have any experience with this receiver? I'm hoping someday to get some (lower end) Bower & Wilkins speakers to go with it.

Any advice is appreciated. Thanks.
Old 04-01-03, 07:54 PM
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Sony's are usually fine, I have a 925 and have had no issues with it, it's about 3 years old now, got it for 450 from crutchfield when I got it.
Old 04-01-03, 08:31 PM
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Thanks, BDB.
Old 04-01-03, 08:58 PM
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DE models for Sony are traditional sub-par, when compared with other brands in the range. I have a 545DE or 845DE...and I wish i got something else. Don't go by the wattage...usually it isn't exactly right. For a little more than $300 you can get a much better receiver.

-pedagogue
Old 04-01-03, 09:23 PM
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pedagogue understates the case. The lower-end Sonys drastically overreport the power, and it is from low-current (ok, anemic!) amps at that. For that price range, you could get a much more satisfying and powerful receiver. I'd suggest a Denon 1403 or 1603, or perhaps a Yamaha HTR5550/AVR-530 (same model). I used to have a "110 w/ch" Sony and the Denon that replaced it, rated at 70 w/ch, played *much* louder and incredibly more clearer. Added a whole new dimensioon to the sound, when I thought it was my speakers' shortcomings.

J&R has pretty good prices on the Yamahas,; you can also do a froogle search.
Old 04-01-03, 09:34 PM
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Last Sony I had was their 1011s model. 80, 80, 80, 30, and 30 watts in surround mode and 240 watts RMS per channel in stereo. Only trouble I had was from the neighbors, seems they didn't like my using 2 powered subwoofers along with 2 18 inch Pioneer speakers, Sennet center channel, and 2 ratshack mini speakers on poles. Sony is fine in my book good luck with your choice and your neighbors, if you tweak it out and get matching timbre
in your speakers.
Old 04-02-03, 01:23 AM
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drmoze hit the nail on the head. Most "hi-fi" dealers will have the Denon 1603 for about $300, and an extra hundred will get you the 1803, which is one of the best "bang for the buck" receivers out there. Also, check out the Harmon Kardon 325, in the same price range.

If you're planning on getting some B&W's later on, I'd suggest getting something that will power them now, and to combo them up with Denon is not only smart, but real good. I almost bought some B&W's but I ended up with Paradigm in the end. A friend got a decent 5.1 Setup from Boston Acoustics with a Denon 1603 for $620 tax included...it was the BA System 8800. The deals are out there, ya just gotta find them. Take a little time and go to a dedicated dealer in your area, and at the least talk to them about your plans and budget. I'm very sure your $300 would be better spent there than best buy, if not for anything but quality now and in the future.
Old 04-02-03, 02:40 AM
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http://www.goodguys.com/adtemplate.a...2&catky=643993

better receiver Denon 1403 for $299.99-$25 discount = $274.99 plus free shipping and no sales tax.

I would buy this receiver if I was looking to pay that amount of money.

I bought my denon 2802 from them plus my sub and my Tivo. I have been happy with them.
Old 04-02-03, 10:27 AM
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Just one comment: Those who say 'Sony is fine' for their non-ES under-$500 receivers have *not* done an a/b test with a good receiver! And in that price range, there are several excellent ones available, a few as noted above.

Seriously, I'm just trying to help others to see beyond the brand name and tons of bells'n'whistles, and to not make the same mistake I once did. (I almost bagged my NHT speakers back then until I heard a friend's setup with a decent Yamaha receiver!)
Old 04-02-03, 11:41 AM
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Let me be blunt.

Sony ES Receiver lines are "ok", but the other Sony receivers (like the Best Buy one mentioned at the beginning of this thread) are CRAP. DO NOT MAKE THE MISTAKE OF BUYING THIS RECEIVER! You will do much, much better for your money by getting a Denon or Yamaha receiver!

Edit: Don't buy receivers from Best Buy. You can get much better prices from other authorized retailers. Example: Yamaha HTR-5550 receiver. A good receiver. $399 at Best Buy. $229 at jandr.com. JandR is a reputable authorized retailer. Even Crutchfield (good retailer, not known for good prices) has the same receiver at $319. DO NOT BUY RECEIVERS FROM BEST BUY.

Last edited by Joshic; 04-02-03 at 11:46 AM.
Old 04-02-03, 12:48 PM
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i too would like to add my 2 cents about sony and best buy... dont use either

best buy rarely sells a good piece of electronics, and sony rarely makes one (in audio). we sell sony receivers (er, we CARRY them), and they are so horrible sounding i cant demo them for very long because they just sound AWFUL. i switch over to a yamaha (RXV-430 or the RXV-530, $249 and $299) and the sound is so much nicer is incredible.

secondly, people are right about best buy. their name is a joke. we carry that yamaha that they were talking about for $299... and we are a B&M store thats BIG (not a boutique). so you dont even need to do it online if you dont want.

now here is the kicker, not only do sony's sound bad, BUT, they lack a lot of features as well. look at the back of them, for the same money, they usually have 1 or 2 less inputs then the other guys, and much less video switching. (for instance, and ES piece at the $800 price point has 4 s-video inputs, whereas everyone else has like 8!)

friends dont let friends buy sony.

p.s. - im not all against sony, their tv's are amazing for the price. they need to stick with video, not audio.
Old 04-02-03, 02:51 PM
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Thanks for all the responses.

Problem is, I have to get it at BB because I got GCs there, and I only have about $250 to spend. From what people here and elsewhere are telling me, I'm going to look at the Yamahas.

Thanks all!
Old 04-02-03, 05:21 PM
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Be creative. You can sell your GCs at a decent discount and still come out ahead by buying a receiver somewhere else! BTW, J&R has the Yamaha HTR-5540 (or the AVR-430, forget which) for just $199.
Old 04-02-03, 06:58 PM
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When I was shopping for mine, I asked a friend who repairs them for a chain of stores in the midwest. He HIGHLY recommended going with Yamaha. I did and couldn't be happier with my choice after checking a few! So for me, Yamaha gets the vote!
Old 04-02-03, 07:43 PM
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Off topic but I have to share it, my last Yamaha was a Motor Cycle, 2 cycle engine with an Automatic Oil Injection 80 cc engine with 7 HP top speed; 49 M.P.H.

I should have bought the Honda 90 cc it could do 55 M.P.H. in 1965 LOL. Reason I bought the Yamaha it had turn signals the Honda or any other model in this low cc, didn't have that as a option. Fresh out of High School, I had to wait to get a Motor cycle for I was age 18.
Old 04-02-03, 11:40 PM
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Yeah...I've gotta agree with the sentiment, if you HAVE to stick with Best Buy...go Yamaha.
Old 04-03-03, 08:30 AM
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Okay, thanks all! I'm looking at the Yamaha HTR 5550. Problem is BB has it for $399, and I could get it online at JandR for $229. I'm going to try to haggle with them (BB).

Last edited by Bandoman; 04-03-03 at 11:05 AM.
Old 04-03-03, 01:35 PM
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Sell GCs for $230. Buy Yamaha at J&R. BB won't come down anywhere near that price, I'll bet...
Old 04-03-03, 05:35 PM
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PM

Do I hear Price Match..... Cuz I should.
Old 04-03-03, 05:41 PM
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I have got a Sony, I believe its the 845. Had it for a few years, basically got it for free. Its not bad at all.
Old 04-03-03, 09:17 PM
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I have a Sony STR-DE985 receiver & I absolutely love the thing. I really don't see what the knock on Sony is unless it's just the internet crowd whining about the most popular brand name. I looked at other brands, checked out friend's stuff, & tested & I decided on the Sony. My home theater is almost entirely Sony, & I absolutely love it.

So if that is the receiver you like, go for it.
Old 04-03-03, 11:01 PM
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Sorry to disagree, but I gotta. It's not just an 'internet crowd' thing against Sony. Good luck to ya if you like your setup. And Sony is great for some things, like their tube tv's can't be beat. But their receivers are no bargain in any price range. Their low-end ones are crap, pure and simple. Do an A/B with a good receiver like an H-K, Denon, Yamaha, Onkyo. As I noted earlier, I am pretty adamant about helping others to avoid the mistakes I've made. And Sony receivers are one of them!

Exactly what 'friend's stuff' did you test out? I'm glad you like you're receiver, but please don't recommend it to others based on no real comparisons. (And any real comparison would quickly show how bad the SOny is!) For around $300-$400, you could do a *lot* better with a Denon 1603 or similar. The '100 watts/channel' that Sony claims for your receiver probably tests out to more like 50-60 w/ch max before distortion kicks in excessively. And the Sony amps simply have nothing much when it comes to transient reserves. Which leads to a harsher sounding system at even moderate to high volume.
Old 04-04-03, 04:38 PM
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I have a Sony STR-DA4ES and love it. Price, power, distortion, etc. are all great. I did some comparisons with Onkyo, Yamaha, etc. and I feel I made the right choice. Most cases you do get what you pay for. If you buy the low end equipment, that's what you get.(Low End)
Old 04-04-03, 04:52 PM
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Yup, the DA4 has been getting good reviews. And it's a different beast than their non-ES receivers. Although I would differentiate between 'low end' and 'low cost' here. The inexpensive Denons and Yamahas above actually are quality units overall, with excellent sound and performance. Perhaps a bit less power and a few less features than their big brothers, but the important amplifier/processor quality is there.

Also, forgot to mention on the low-price end you may want to look at the Panasonic 100 & 200, which have also been earning praise. (Haven't listened to one personally but they seem to be qa recent major improvement for Panasonic.) Dunno if they'll come in cheaper than the Yamaha....
Old 04-04-03, 04:52 PM
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But if you get a Denon you dont get the 50,000 surroundfields and DSP modes that Sony or Yamaha have.

I particularly like the ones that make it sound like you are listening with your head in the toilet

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