Sony STR-DB780 : First impressions


Established Member
Mar 20, 2002
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Banbury, UK
Had a PM asking for my thoughts about the STR-DB780 and thought there may be others looking at this receiver. Here goes...

I already had a Sony 28DX40 28" Widescreen IDTV, and a Sony DVP NS300 DVD Player, and got the go ahead (from you know who) to proceed with the full surround experience.

Wanted to stick with Sony (looks, remote compatibility etc.), so decided on the new STR-DE 685 (the 485 doesn't have DPLII, and 585 doesn't have optical out for MD). This was originally to be released in June, but AFAIK is still unavailable.

Amazon had Sony SA-VE525 speaker system on offer for £200, so I bought those back in April, and they sat in the box for several months whilst I waited for the 685 to appear.

It was only through the forums that I found out about the STR-DB780 (the Sony catalogue does not mention it), and from what I could gather this was better than the 685 (QS range, so has aluminium front like the 1070 / 1080 rather than plastic), and had all the features I wanted.

Rang SuperFi (AVLand's shop in Coventry) and they had stock, so went straight there and bought it (£250 with 3 year warranty) a month or so ago (even missed the F1 qualifying at Spa!).

It looks excellent and feels really well built. Has loads of inputs, optical out, good speaker binding posts, good remote and loads of features. One thing lacking is 6.1 decding, but you'd need another speaker anyway, and I've nowhere easy to mount it.

Took a lot of time hiding the cables (drilling through walls, carpets up etc. - all good home cinema stuff!) and setting up the amp (speaker type, distance etc.). It was after midnight by the time I was done.

The sound is... excellent! Watched Terminator 2 first and nearly shook the house down!! Shrek is also excellent through it - the sub really adds to the dragon scenes in the film. ProLogic II is well worth having too, as it really helps bring stereo TV / VHS to life - it's very clever - how does it work???

The speakers haven't been too well thought of on the forums, but I've no complaints - small (so the missus is happy), but with a big sound. I bought the Sony wall brackets for the rears (£20 from - really neat. The sub frightens the dog though!

Haven't bothered yet to do video switching through the amp, but might try this in the next couple of months.

All in all, I'm very happy, and would highly recommend the amp, and the speakers.

Anyone else got one? What do you think of it, and what is it partnering?


I've got the 1080 and love DPL2. Movies are excellent too. As for music, at first I felt it was better than my 940. Now, I'm not so sure. It has more clarity and control, makes it better for movies but it misses something for music. It's slightly bright and lacks depth and warmth.

I'm not really complaining but I dont' think the new models continue the 925/930/940 tradition of great music replay. At the end of the day, this was always a fill-in until I get a Tag 32 next year so I'm not really that bothered. Also, I'm using a Sony DVPNS 700 for CD's which is far from ideal so I guess it's a combination of things that leaves me feeling a bit wobbly about listening to music.

I do like the remote though. Not sure what the 780 has but this thing is a massive improvement on the 940 one.


I haven't really tried listening to CDs on it, but I must. I still have my old hi fi for CD, but it's really getting to the point that I'll get rid - can't remember the last time the tape deck was switched on - threw all the tapes out ages ago!


You mentioned the remote, have got it to control the channel on Sky?

I watch everything through Sky at the moment but find myself turning my Amp off because I have to use two remotes.

What speakers are you using with your 1080?
Originally posted by super7
Had a PM asking for my thoughts about the STR-DB780 and thought there may be others looking at this receiver. Here goes...

Anyone else got one? What do you think of it, and what is it partnering?



Hi peeps first post etc ;)

Ive just bought one of these:)
Coupled with the matching SONY DVP NS900 DVD SACD player and mission m73 floorstanders and mission m7c1 centre

I think its a great sounding receiver although it varies vastly with different interconnects. Using the 5.1 channel input/outpu between the DVD and Receiver the sound is very warm and rich. Using an optical cable it becomes very clinical maybe a little too sharp. With a digital coax I have received best results.
The sound is smoother than the optical and as rich as the multi channel phonos and even adds to the quality of the bass.

In the looks department (lets face it most home cinemas are in living rooms) it scores very highly with its brushed aluminium fascia and uncluttered controls. It looks superb underneath the matching DVD

My only niggles are that the manual is quite poor and doesnt explain itself fully, figuring out the FM receiver is a bit of a nightmare

Overall Im very happy with it but if given the chance to go back and change my choice (and not be tied down to getting one which woud go well with the furniture :D ) I would be tempted by a more epensive offering from yamaha

Super 7How are you connecting your DVD and receiver ?

Rich T aka RIOT

No, the damn thing won't control the Sony 760 Sky box. Bit of a bas$£rd oversight if you ask me.

As for speakers, I have Ruark Contemporary R series 5.1's. Very nice speaks.

I pushed the boat out at the weekend and got a new sony 1080 amp to replace my 870. Watched Proof of Life last night on Sky using PLII movies, was well impressed, no comparison to regular PL. It does go some way to making up for not getting DD 5.1 from my sony 760 sky digibox. Also am enjoying cd's using PLII music. Only disappointment is, as said already, that the remote wont control the digibox, seems an unbelievable ommission on sony's part!
Rant - Rant - Rant

UK Tuned


But you can't control any UK digitial TV!!!!!!!!

and when the UK swaps over to digital TV will Sony's policy change?

Rant over

Other than the remote I think the 1080 is great, I'm using it with a set of Sony Save705 5.1. The wife would'nt go for anything bigger and at that point I did'nt feel going for Kef Eggs was worth it.

But as I consider my options to move over to 6.1 I'm now trying to convince my wife that spending another £450 - £600 would be a good idea and upgrade to better set of speakers.

Anyway back to work

I'm using a midrange (About £30, but I bought it in the States) coax cable. My DVD player doesn't have optical out, so I haven't done the comparison. Judging from what you wrote, I probably don't want to!

Agree with your comment re looks and the manual, which is just plain poor.


No problem controlling my Sony IDTV with the remote :cool:



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