Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by planbeta, Aug 8, 2002.
Have any of you compared any of these:
Sony STR VA555ES
Not myself, but What Hi-Fi did...
In short :
1) Sony : best in AV & music
2) Denon : up to par with Sony for AV, a bit behind for music
3) Arcam : most musical but lacks a few features for AV, and Sony & Denon do a better job at it
You should probably go and listen for yourself, though.
I have a Denon AVR-3300 and like it a lot, but I'm gonna buy a Sony STR-DB1080QS when it comes out, mainly because I (read : my girlfriend) want an all silver AV setup (too bad the Sony ES-line is champagne instead of silver or it would have been the 555ES or maybe the new 333ES)
I auditioned a 1070 next to my Denon, and for AV the Sony seems a bit more 'vivid', for music the Denon's a bit softer, but I kind of liked the harshness of the Sony when I auditioned it in my room. Ever since I swapped my B&W603-CC6-602 setup for KEF Eggs I noticed that the treble was very soft, and the Sony fixes that rather nice...
Ok I've narrowed it down - I think I'll be going for the 3802 or AVR200 as these are both £100 cheaper than the VA555, and to be honest I prefer a more 'relaxed' sound, whereas from I what I can gather the Sony is quite upfront...
If it were me I would go for the Sony 555 and pay the extra for the, in my opinion, better amp. However...
Personally, and this is ment with no offence, I wouldn't disregard any audio product without a demo. Relying on what you can "gather" is taking other opinions as agreeing with your own, and this is rarely the case. I distinctly remember upgrading, if that is the word, my Yamaha A2 for a 3300 without a demo. I rued the day for a long while afterward.
Russell - No offence taken, all advice is welcome
Have you demoed these receivers? How do they compare?
Yeah, I heard them, but at different times. I was helping someone decide what to get. He really wanted the Denon because "...all the mags said it was good". This comment more than anything is probably why I have a thing about people just buying what magazines say at the moment.
Personally, I still think that the AX1 is a fantastic amp, and can be found for £794 on the Richer Sounds website. The Harmon/Kardon sounds even more effortless than the Yamaha but from memory doesn't have the same "wow that was good" effect the Yamaha had. Logic 7 is very effective, though, and I like the brutish H/K sound for stereo. The Denon is alright, just not the untouchable icon that many think, stereo performance being decidedly average.
Sorry, I forgot to mention that the Harman/Kardon amp was the 5500 model.
I have to agree with Russell and suggest you listen to these yourself rather than going by magazine reviews.
I also agree with him about the Harmon. The 320 and 520 are definately worth an audition and you may be surprised by how good they are. Plus the mic in the remote that helps set up the speaker levels is a great touch.
In fact a friend of mine just upgraded the Sony to the HK because of just how good the Harmon sounded, especially for the price.
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