My first AV Reciever


Darren Rhymer


I bought the Sony DVD700NS DVD player a couple of months ago and Im going to treat myself before christmas to a Amp and some speakers. Ive got around 400 450 to spend in total (well, plus leads!!) Trying to spend about 200-250 on speakers.

Basically I am confused with all the choices and variety but (think) I have narrowed it down to the following

Sony STRDE780
Marantz 4200
H+K 2550
Yamaha 620.

My reasons for these are the sony looks nice, comes in silver and we'll fit with my tv, sat, video and dvd player which are also silver Sony, and its cheap at 200 quid.
Both the Marantz and H+K were 5 star machines in the What TV and Video test. And the Yamaha because there has been a lot of talk about it on these pages and its also quite reasonable priced!!!

What TV and Video tested the 780 and only gave it three stars (average). Will I notice the difference?

If you've got any of these amps could you please tell me why you like it and why you didnt buy any of the others.

If I just keep looking around the web thats exactly what I will still be doing this time next year - looking!!

Thanks a lot



Standard Member
Hi Darren,

I recently bought the Marantz as I wasn't happy with the sound of music on my two year old Kenwood 5030.

I seen it in Richer Sounds for 200 quid and found only 5 star reviews, saying it was the best budget reciever for musical quality as well as good for films - that was me sold.

So I bought it and took out an extended warranty for 5 years which cost 30 or 40 pounds (can't quite remember) which is cheap but if you don't use the warranty after the 5 years you get your money back - so well worth it for the peace of mind.

Richers also allow a 2 week home trial where you can bring it back and exchange if you don't like what you've bought.

I'm incredibly happy with the sound which I first tried with my aging Philips CD player and driving a pair of Eltax Liberty 5 speakers (which cost me £110 and are also 5 star reviewed). I'm using Gale XL189 speaker cable at 99p a metre which (Hi-Fi Choice awarded the cable a "Best Buy" in July '97).

I'm no audiophile but I am fussy about sound quality and in my opinion it has a rich, warm sound, which is well balanced and focused, reproducing all the dynamic subtleties of both classical and modern music. It's well controlled when you want it loud with minimal distortion.

The amp is also well built with nice touches such as metal knobs instead of plastic. It has a good array of connections with proper screwdown ones for the speaker cables (my kenwood had the crappy spring ones). It has 2 phono digital inputs as well as 2 optical which are all configurable and also has an optical digital output which is handy for my MD deck.

The handset is excellent as it's programable for up to 8 other devices. Mine can now control my telly, video, cd and md. It doesn't work for my DVD player - probably as it's a new Philips recordable one.

The amp has quite a few surround programs but I never really use them and I haven't tried Dolby 5.1 yet as I'm selling my house and so put away my extra speakers to make my livingroom look tidier without the cables everywhere.

It works well as a tuner too with rds and auto store.

The amp is a good looking machine but you can only get it in black. Most of my stuff is black so I like it. I'm more annoyed that I couldn't get my DVD in black rather than get the amp in silver.

All in all I agree with the reviews and give it five stars, highly recommended.

Hope this helps,


Active Member

Read this link for my first impressions of the STR-DB780


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