Anyone using a Sony 8ES amp and 9ES decoder set up??

jon smith

Prominent Member
Jun 5, 2001
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Anyone using the 8ES amp and 9ES decoder combo?

Many moons ago had an 8ES prologic amp with a Technics DD decocder and got rid, think I bought a Sony 930 instead at the time.

Have recently bought the 9ES decoder, which I had always wanted, to go with a Rotel power amp - the 985mk2. I do still wonder how a 8ES and 9ES combo would compare though. Despite the slightly underpowered rears the 8ES was a fantastic sounding bit of kit, better quality than the equivalent now.

Maybe it's old age playing tricks on me or maybe they just don't make them like they used to.

If I see one cheap I may give it a bash and compare the 2. There's one on ebay at the mo but they want £200 for the amp(crazy price). I would say maybe half that is about right, but haven't seen any for sale lately to compare?

I'm sure the rotel/sony combo is better, i'm just curious how much better and whether I would notice the difference?


The 8es was a pretty good amp in it's day and it will probably still hold it's own in a reasonable set-up. Pair it up with the 9es and you have a fine combo. While the 9es doesn't do DTS is still a fantastic DD processor...and it's a great stand alone digital preamp.

You might want to pair the 9es up with a TAE-1000 preamp if you can find one around.
(I did see one recently...... send me a pm if you're interested)

bxd - thanks for the comments.

I think it would really be a case of the 8ES or keeping the rotel. If I got the 8ES it would be to simplify the setup, which would go down well in my house. Curious how much sound quality I would actually lose though. Am using Kef Eggs (due to shortage of space) so i'm sure a lot of the rotel is wasted anyway. An 8ES would probably cost me just over a ton, so would make a fair profit on this route.

Like you, I am a big fan of the 9ES now so wouldn't want to go down an integrated DD path at the mo. Although Brian's Pioneer E06 was tempting. But will stick with the sony decoder...


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