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Sony DB790 Reviews keep getting better

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by pcookie, Jan 27, 2004.

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  1. pcookie

    pcookie
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    Having had my beady eye on the Sony DB2000 for some time, the reviews for it's cheaper sibling, the 790 have started apearing and I can't believe the praise that's being heaped on this receiver. First review in What Hi (yes I know) was fair but not amazing, but then Alvin Gold's review in HCC was astounding, and now Hi-Fi choice have said virtually the same thing. Now I know all reviews should be taken with a pinch of salt, but I wonder if this is a case of Sony going out with an analogue bang as all future amps/receivers will be digital. I'll be interested to see if the DB2000 gets the same praise. Something tells me that won't be the case. Either way, the rediculous price of the 790 should sway it for most people.
     
  2. perrdl

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    Yeah I have also just read a review of this amp in Hi Fi Choice, where they say it beats several stereo amps, including Creek and Roskan Kandy one's hands down.

    It also states that it has a better sound than the Pioneer AX3 and the Denon 2803. All of the tests were conducted blind too!!!

    I find this hard to believe, but as you can pick these up for around £230, it must be worth a go!!
     
  3. Dangermouse2000

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    I bought the 790 at the weekend.

    I originally wanted to go for the 2000 but my dealer didn't have it in. Instead I saw the 790 with 20% off, and me the impatient type. I needed my new amp now.

    I thought I would want to upgrade in a few months but after having it for a few days. I think it's a keeper. I had a Yamaha before, and they are noted as very good HC amps. But this Sony blows it away. It's very controlled and detailed in it's placement of effects but not too harsh as some amps can be.

    After the first 20 minutes of hooking it up I had the bigest smile over my face. If this is a budget amp, I can't wait to hear the 3000 or even 9000!!!

    Also, I was never a big fan of DSP effects. I only ever listened in straight 5.1 or DTS. But the Cinema Studio EX DSP are really good. They make you feel even more in the middle of the film.

    If your've got £220-£300 to spend. You will want to audition the 790.

    I just can't wait to watch another film!

    :D

    P.S. Has anyone got the reviews from What Hi and Hifi Choice they could post? I've got the HHC review but would be interested in reading what the others said.
     
  4. Ed Selley

    Ed Selley
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    I thought it sounded alright but found it was an absolute dogs breakfast to operate- random operations to make it do quite ordinary functions and a dimensionally massive display that then put a quite weedy amount of info on the screen. The manual also brings new meaning to "sketchy"- what happened to the old Sony manuals you could commit GBH with?
     
  5. Dangermouse2000

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    Yeah I found the intial setup was not straight forward. But after 20 minutes I got my head round 90% of the menu's.
    I like that Sony have minimised the amount of facia buttons, but that's at the expense of easy setup. On screen menu's would of made it easier. But considering the price vs performance. I can't grumble.
     
  6. kiddi

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    anybody got links to those reviews mentioned? I've got the 790 and I love it. Better than the Denon 2803 in a blindfold test? This I gotta read!
     
  7. Wasabi

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    Video - German magazine, Onkyo 501 beat Sony 790 at the goal line. http://www.onkyo.net/uk/cms/products/home/av_rec/TX-SR501E/indtip.htm, and other German mags, rates its musical and film abilities extremely high. It has basically won all German tests in its class.

    Soundandvisionmag measured 75x77w at 8ohms, and audiovision measured 5x118w at 4ohms, http://www.soundandvisionmag.com/article.asp?section_id=3&article_id=514&page_number=4&preview=
    Soundandvisionmag - US - said it had very good multichannel qualities.

    Ok, the price has gone up to 270 (avland) due to unbeatable stopped stocking it at the stonking 235 at the autumn. Apart from superb sound, it has more usable features than 790, including adjustable cross filters, valuable cinema filter (soundandvisionmag), easy set up menu and multiway binding posts.

    Wasabi
     
  8. nictry

    nictry
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  9. bobbypunk

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    it's good for £200
    but it's definately not anything special.
     
  10. Dangermouse2000

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  11. clayts450

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    Dangermouse - which Yammy did you have ? I'm currently looking at one of four amps to swap out with my DSPA5 - like you, I rarely used the DSPs (occasionally TV SPORTS, admittedly, on live sport), and the Sony is in the mix.

    Is the Sony a whole different ball game ? The Yammy has always been warm sounding but with plenty of punch when things get noisy. I got the impression from the WHF review that it's not very gutsy with big explosions, but is ace with surround effects.

    I've got Wharfey Diamond 8.3s up front, Diamond 8 Centre and a couple of Mission M7Ds together with a (stop chortling at the back) Eltax A8 sub. The room isn't massive (running the A5 at about quarter volume is generally fine) but I like my explosions thunderous.

    I'd be interested in more thoughts about the difference in the 790's 5.1/6.1 delivery in comparison to the DSPA5 (esp movies, not too bothered about music). Also how is dts Neo/DPL2 on it with "normal TV" ?

    And am I right in saying it has dts 96/24 too ?

    Sorry about all the questions ! I will have £300 to blow on Friday, and have to say the Sony is possibly just ahead, notably for it's ridiculously low price tag at Superfi (it's £200 at Empire Direct at present in addition)

    (BTW other three in the mix are Marantz SR4400, Yammy DSPAX640SE and Pioneer VSXD812, if you're interested).
     
  12. Dangermouse2000

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    Hi clayts450

    I have been using the Yamaha DSP-AX620 for the past 2.5 years. Although it was a step up from the amp previous I still felt it was lacking in the way it enveloped you in sound. It was all in front or behind. Not much in the middle.

    Like you I only used TV SPORTS when watching big games. So I wasn't looking for anything with loads of DSP modes. When I got the Sony home I was not expexting too much difference. I thought it would be a stop gap before I moved to a more serious amp later in the year. However I was very delighted when I firest hooked it up.

    The sound now seems part of the film. And not a separate entity as it was with the yammy. The effects surround you 100% and fast paced action never seems to run out of steam. The Yammy was good in it's day but was rather fatiguing after a while, especially at higher volumes. The Sony though was smoother and I still can't believe how much more I enjoyed the film. I was always conscious of the effects on the yamaha, but the sony makes you forget there are speakers there and lets you focus on enjoying the film.

    I know I sound as if I think this is the best amp in the world. I don't. But for the price. It's bloody amazing.

    Not sure about the DTS thing. I've never needed it as yet. You can download the manual from here. It should tell you in that.

    I certainly didn't notice any problems with handling lots of large explosions. In fact the Cinema Studio EX modes seem to make the LFE more punchy and taught. Some people don't like these DSP modes, I thought I would agree. But I was very suprised. Maybe it's just a fad and I'll go back to normal 5.1. But for now. I'm sticking with it.

    My Kit:
    B&W 602 S2 - Front
    B&W 601 S2 - Rear (no surround back as yet)
    B&W CCR6 - Centre
    B&W ASW1000 - Sub
    Toshiba SD330E - DVD
    Panasonic TX32PD30 - TV
     
  13. mudan

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    I have the older Sony DB1080 model, which was also well reviewed. I'm experimenting with the Cinema Studio EX at the moment to see what sounds best with my new set up. I found that previously when I didn't have a sub or surround back channel, then the EX mode B sounded great, however now with my complete 6.1 installation these EX modes can sometimes seem to blur detail.

    I have also read the HiFi Choice review of the DB790 and was very surprised at its performance in 2 channel mode.
     
  14. Dangermouse2000

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    If someone could scan the HiFi Choice review of the DB790 and either post alink or email it to me. I would be very greatful as I can't get hold of a copy where I live.
     
  15. GreenEagle

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    does anyone know if Sony or the Onkyo mentioned above have any preouts?

    I am looking to buy one of this as a stop gap until I have more for a separate 5 channel amp and pre/pro
     
  16. Wasabi

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    GreenEagle

    The 4 amps with full sets of preouts that are at a reasonable price are;

    Yamaha RX-V640 - £320 @ Richers
    Pioneer VSX-812 - £308 @ e.g. www.qed-uk.com
    Marantz SR-4400 - £250 @ Richers
    Marantz SR-5400 - £300 @ Richers

    Wasabi
     
  17. GreenEagle

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    Will check it out

    I thank you
     
  18. Wasabi

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    Greeneagle,

    I forgot, this page - will give you a good summary of specs of almost all amps, apart from H/K - http://www.avland.co.uk/amplifier/index.htm

    And in general for best prices see my "summary" thread. I try to update it as often as I can.

    Wasabi
     
  19. kiddi

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    I second that. It's i not avilable in Iceland...
     
  20. clayts450

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    Dangermouse - thanks so much for your considered opinion - this is very helpful.

    As the DSPAX620 was the immediate successor to the DSPA5 (no, I don't understand why the A5 was ever numbered so, either...) I can say with some optimism that the Sony has been promoted to number one on the list.

    So much so that I stuck a deposit on one today, pending payday on Friday :)

    Cheers again - I value your opinion greatly. Now to get to WHSmiths tomorrow and bag HiFi Choice, so I can repay the favour by sticking that on some webspace.
     
  21. bobbypunk

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    it definately has DTS96/24 but there's two restricting factors to how good this feature is at that level.
    1. The quality of the amp in the first place
    2. The fact that only three DVD discs and a couple of DVD-Audio discs (as a second option to actual DVD-A) have it.
    I tried Queens Greatest Hits and greatest hits II (Two out of three of the discs) on a pioneer vsxax3 and The 96/24 mix was amazing. Tried it on the STRDB790 and It was no better than any of the other things I tried. Even considering the price difference.
     
  22. boab_is

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    have a sony 790

    makes DTS shine, DPLII has got real oomph, Neo6 is clever but lacks a sub channel(why?!?!?), making it a little reedy

    the grumbles people have had with the interface and remote are somewhat confusing to me. I find the interface is intuitive (once you come around to its way of thinking).

    as for the remote, sony have it nailed as always, main controls are perfetly sited for my (admittedly smaller) hands. and it glows in the dark!!!

    above all tho, its silver and shiny and has a blue light on it!!!
     
  23. ShortNick

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    Anyone got a decent shot of the back of this amp? Need to know how many video inputs it has and if it has component switching. Thanks
     
  24. Dangermouse2000

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  25. MagicBoy

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    There's a photo of the back of the amp on the Superfi Website
     
  26. clayts450

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    Click here for the close up photo (quite big !!)

    BTW, I bagged HiFi Choice today, so I'll scan the review, convert to pdf and stick it on some webspace later on tonight (Probably around 11-ish)
     
  27. rupbert

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    Another very happy 790 owner, it really does shine in DTS...

    And 2 channel playback is impressive too.
     
  28. Ridha

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    ... Sounds good!
    But what speakers are you guys using with the 790?
    Thanks
     
  29. clayts450

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    One page review of STRDB790 and final summary in .pdf format here.

    To cover my back, may I add that this group and lab test is written by Paul Miller which is © Future Publishing Ltd 2004 HiFi Choice March 2004 pages 68 and 70 :)
     
  30. Wasabi

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    Ok,

    Just off topic a bit, I noticed on the hifi-choice pdf by clayts450 (thank btw) measured in the labs only 5x32w in 8ohms for 790, and they still raved "effortsly", "strong", "spaciousness", "awesome".

    There has been a small debate in a thread about the lack of power on e.g. Denon 1804 between Dimmy and me (just a discussion ;p), where HCC measured quite a low number 5x35w vs 90wpc on the specs, and actually 790 is even worse with 32wpc vs 100wpc on the specs.

    What are your opinions on this? How serious do you members take the lab watts?

    Wasabi
     

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