Should I beware of the SONY STRDA1200

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Lanski14

Guest
Just when I thought I had sorted out my new home cinema system I did some final ringing round with a view to ordering it.

I have been quite surprised at the feedback given about the STRDA1200, which up to today has been my pick based largely on the reviews. Two separate well known retailers have basically said "you can have it if you want - but its not as good as the hype". One reported having to deal with a number of complaints from dusgruntled purchasers who feel they have bought a bit of a pup in that delivery is too harsh. Any similar feelings ? - or tell me its a load of shop spin.

As I'm getting a Pioneer PDP507XD, one retailer suggested Id be far better off with the VSX2016, which is surprinsingly about £200 more expensive. Another was pushing the Harmon Kardon AVR 140.

Should I stick with STRDA?

Lanski14
 
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clintfan

Guest
Hi, I think it's a beauty and the delivery is a smooth as velvet and packs a hell of a wallop when needed.

But don't take my word for it. It begs the question though, why don't you go along and get it demo'd yourself?

I'm wondering if the salesperson benefits financially by pushing you towards a different brand? Who knows?

But I'd never in a million years associate the word "Harsh" with this Amp..
 

lazymatt

Novice Member
I have come across many sales people who do not recommend Sony, or who put you off buying Sony, and I have often wondered the same thing...is there some financial incentive in them pushing you towards a different brand...more commission maybe?

I think possibly with the STRDA1200, a lot of people have ordered it off the internet based on reviews and without demo-ing. A lot are getting sent back under the 7 day distance seller rules.

I think the previous comment about making sure you get a good demo (hopefully with the same speakers you have) is important.
 

Knyght_byte

Novice Member
aye, go demo it, then you'll get a better idea....

quite often its simply a case of it being paired with the wrong speakers....if its a bright or forward sounding amp and its then plugged up to a pack of metal cone bright/forward sounding speakers, well, its gonna hurt....lol

i have Monitor Audio speakers, for both AV and Music use, the Music ones, GR10's are definitely towards bright and forward, although thankfully they have a good bass depth as well which helps counter a little...anyhow, i spent ages trying to work out which amp i wanted them on and did an 8 hour demo...and i'm so glad i did....lol....take time and you shall be rewarded ;)
 

CaPo

Active Member
Would anyone consider this amp a worthwhile upgrade to a CA540R? Obviously it has a lot more features but is the sound much better?
 

r0cky

Standard Member
i have Monitor Audio speakers, for both AV and Music use, the Music ones, GR10's are definitely towards bright and forward, although thankfully they have a good bass depth as well which helps counter a little...anyhow, i spent ages trying to work out which amp i wanted them on and did an 8 hour demo...and i'm so glad i did....lol....take time and you shall be rewarded ;)
How do you find this amp for music?

My Rotel amp has just died and I need to decide whether to buy another Rotel or get the STR-DA1200ES.

Main use is for music, but occasional film/surround use.
 

Russ 66

Well-known Member
Hi,

I went for the Pioneer 2016, I was also looking at the Sony 3020 at the time. I have never trusted reviews as sound is a matter of taste, some like a smooth sound overs like a more upfront sound.
I choose not to go for the Sony though as I have had bad experience with previous Sony amps (buzzing STRDB 1080). If possible try & have a listen yourself.

Russell
 
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Lanski14

Guest
I wouldn't trust half the crap these salesmen come out with - they don't have a clue. According to one of the salesmen at Richer Sounds, Birmingham, HDMI is a connection which does NOT carry audio regardless of which amp/receiver/dvd you have. I don't know how these idiots get employed.

Regarding the 'conveniently timed' comments surrounding the STR-DA1200ES - well lets just put it this way: the 1200 is now hard to get back in stock and places like richer sounds are now selling them at £299. Most retailers aren't going to bother battling with this price if they aren't going to make a return on them. Furthermore, if you remember back a couple of weeks, many retailers were saying they don't anticipate new stock until around the end of January/start of February.

Now i ask you, is it any wonder why these retailers are now making up crap about the 1200ES? I see this happen all the time. Now they're trying to tarnish the Sony line simply because they can't make any profit on it, so instead decide to push the Pioneer/Denon brands because they can make more profit on them.

Come on guys, it's common sense, wise up! Look how many people on here have purchased the Sony, and are still singing it's praises. Don't take the word of one or two retailers or who can no longer get them in stock or make a decent return on them.
Thanks Manny, you talk sense. Just didn't add up for me how the product can win best product awards and not be up to it. Just reinforces what a good site this is where you bounce ideas of people with no apparant agenda. Shame the same not true of "some" sales staff.

Lanski.
 

Helicon

Banned
I have been quite surprised at the feedback given about the STRDA1200, which up to today has been my pick based largely on the reviews. Two separate well known retailers have basically said "you can have it if you want - but its not as good as the hype". One reported having to deal with a number of complaints from dusgruntled purchasers who feel they have bought a bit of a pup in that delivery is too harsh. Any similar feelings ? - or tell me its a load of shop spin.
I have said before having experience of previous Sony Av amps.....ever since they went down the digital amplification route, they lost what audio quality they had. They were always well spec'd, but lacking audio quality and power delivery. I hate to use the phrase, but "at the end of the day" there's only so much you can do for £400.
Too many people have purchased the amp on other people's say so, qualified or not. I can understand the level of disappointment due to the hype surrounding this amp.
 

Helicon

Banned
Now i ask you, is it any wonder why these retailers are now making up crap about the 1200ES? I see this happen all the time. Now they're trying to tarnish the Sony line simply because they can't make any profit on it, so instead decide to push the Pioneer/Denon brands because they can make more profit on them.
There's very little profit on most Av amps/receivers under £1k anyway, so that makes no difference.

Come on guys, it's common sense, wise up! Look how many people on here have purchased the Sony, and are still singing it's praises. Don't take the word of one or two retailers or who can no longer get them in stock or make a decent return on them.
Most people who have bought one have no point of reference apart from their old amp as they haven't had a demo, so have no idea how good/bad it really is.
 

tonynibbles

Novice Member
I have come across many sales people who do not recommend Sony, or who put you off buying Sony, and I have often wondered the same thing...is there some financial incentive in them pushing you towards a different brand...more commission maybe?
You can say that again.

My extremely shiney and uber dust-magnet PlayStation 3 (dust quite literally migrates to it) arrived last week and I'm looking at upgrading my system. It simply sucks on my 32" WEGA (but looks sweet on a 42" 720p at work).
My STR-DB790 is due for an upgrade and I'm considering this amp.
Does anyone know if it can output every video signal via HDMI? Or can it only output HDMI from HDMI input?

Combined with the fact that Sony Centre sales staff are, well, generally clueless - they don't exactly shout volumes. Yet for some reason I stick with them...

That GUI on the, er, STR-DB5200ES is lush...
 

Smurkenstein

Novice Member
You can say that again.

Or can it only output HDMI from HDMI input?

.
I'm fairly sure only HDMI from HDMI.

I am a happy customer...but I am only using it for surround sound with smaller speakers. The SQ and living room surround solution is perfect for me and perfect for the price - I moved my intrusive Linn kit out to another room where the children cant feed it jam sandwiches and dent the floor by knocking over the speakers- I suspect if I placed the sony and the Linn classic head to head for music with the same katans, there would be a major deficit in the Sony...in fact I'm not even going to try. Theres no point.

I suspect the Sony, with plenty of spare decibels would do a pretty good job at driving much larger speakers in stereo. I do think the amp is a little on the brilliant side, so if you want it to perform well primarily for music, I would definitely audition it for stereo with the right speakers and concentrate on that before making your choice.
 

sideysid

Novice Member
Does anyone know if it can output every video signal via HDMI? Or can it only output HDMI from HDMI input?

Over the years I've only ever met people in Richer sounds who diss Sony.
Combined with the fact that Sony Centre sales staff are, well, generally clueless - they don't exactly shout volumes. Yet for some reason I stick with them...
Nope - only passes through (HDMI switcher) so no audio or video processing on HDMI.

A lot of people have bad opinions on Sony amps judged from past models - I genuinely feel Sony have improved their amps in the current ES range.
 

Knyght_byte

Novice Member
How do you find this amp for music?

My Rotel amp has just died and I need to decide whether to buy another Rotel or get the STR-DA1200ES.

Main use is for music, but occasional film/surround use.

whoops.....think my post wasnt laid out right and had confused you, i dont own the Sony, sorry....lol :oops:

i actually use a Denon 3803 on my Silver S surround pack and a Musical Fidelity A5 on my GR10 stereo pair...

i was just commenting on the fact i spent 8 hours in a demo room when deciding on the Musical Fidelity amp (between it and 2 others mainly), and i'm glad i did spend that time, i am absolutely happy with it ;)

(likewise i'm absolutely happy with my Denon which i heard a few times before i bought it a few years ago)
 

Knyght_byte

Novice Member
[Mod Comment: Just a reminder guys, keep on topic, we are discussing amps, not business practice and marketing! If you wish to discuss that please head over to the General AV Chat forum section: end mod comment]
 

smjxm09

Novice Member
Just a general thought but I would have thought that different makes of amp will give subtle differences in sound while a different make of speakers will make a huge difference.

There is always much talk about auditioning products but for a true audition this can only be done in your own home. This amp as with any amp will sound different in the demo room using demo room leads, a different DVD player and probably different speakers. Also the demo room will sound acoustically differently to your room at home so what is the point of having a demo at a shop.
 

Undercover82

Novice Member
Just a general thought but I would have thought that different makes of amp will give subtle differences in sound while a different make of speakers will make a huge difference.

There is always much talk about auditioning products but for a true audition this can only be done in your own home. This amp as with any amp will sound different in the demo room using demo room leads, a different DVD player and probably different speakers. Also the demo room will sound acoustically differently to your room at home so what is the point of having a demo at a shop.
That's a good thought and you're totally right. Listening rooms are setup around the av equipment. As you say, they are acoustically tweaked, often use superior speaker packages, dvd players, cables etc. Even the seating position isn't always the same as you'd have at home.

Therefore they are not perfect. A listening room is good if you are to going to compare X amount of amps side by side simultaneously because that allows you to hear them out against each other without any variables. However, the sound you hear there still may not necessarily represent the sound you'll get at home.

One thing i would like to say though is that out of the box, new equipment often sounds very poor. When i purchased my STR-DA1200ES it sounded poor for the first 2 days of casual use. There was music, but there was no bite and it lacked a lot of bass.

But after that initial period, it soon woke up and turned into a beast and now proudly sits there on my rack representing the heart of my system. Now it has real muscle and finesse at the same time.

If i had demo'd the Sony in a listening room and it was taken straight out of the box, i know for sure that i wouldn't have bought it based on that audition because it sounded so poor for the first 24 hours of it's life. I assume this theory would be the same for all av equipment.
 

Knyght_byte

Novice Member
Just a general thought but I would have thought that different makes of amp will give subtle differences in sound while a different make of speakers will make a huge difference.

There is always much talk about auditioning products but for a true audition this can only be done in your own home. This amp as with any amp will sound different in the demo room using demo room leads, a different DVD player and probably different speakers. Also the demo room will sound acoustically differently to your room at home so what is the point of having a demo at a shop.
different amps and speakers will work differently together, and yes the different setup (room, distances etc) will affect that too to a degree....but there is still likely to be a generic family sound effect.....example, Pioneer and Monitor Audio rarely work well together (with a few exceptions of course) as both lean towards brighter sound....so coupled would give most people the idea of the sound being a little too fatigueing........alternatively putting two brands together that are warm and rich could end up with a somewhat slow and plodding kind of sound....etc........at least the shop demo can highlight this factor......then you ask for a home demo...heh

tbh for movies an extensive shop demo should prove enough when considering products with an individual rrp of £1,000 or under.......if you go higher then its likely a home demo would prove immensly advantageous.....its more really with stereo though that the home demo proves a necessity...

but each to their own....you buy when you feel happy ;)
 
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Lanski14

Guest
just thought id do a quick post.

I took the advice and went and got my local retailer to do a demo. In the end I have opted for the Denon 2307, which I got for under £500. Matched with the 1930, B&W M1s (centre and rears) rega R3s and a velodyne, I am well pleased.

Thanks for the input.

Lanski.
 

adrianmurray

Novice Member
Lanski, what made you go for the Denon 2307 over the STRDA1200? Sound, features, aesthetics, price ? (or did the dealer lock you in the demo room until you gave in and bought his preferred choice :D )
 

wilfy

Active Member
I have just returned mine, the video switching did not work properly.I believe Sony cut corners with this amp in order to pack so many features in.
I am going to save up for a Yamaha RX-V1700 heard this today in Sevenoaks and it blew my away, totally different league.
Really disapointed with the STR-DA1200Es, is was bought to replace a STR-DB795QS, I have put the old amp back in and it functions perfectly.
I think there has been a huge drop in quality in Sony products over the last 2 years or so, and as such will be going for Yamaha in future.
 

drljames

Novice Member
Maybe you just had bad luck with yours?

Most people seem happy with theirs... I know I am very happy with mine, bargain at £299!!
 

wilfy

Active Member
could have been bad luck if it had been on one amp only, but this happened with the first one and the exchanged one I got from Richers.
 

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