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Sony STR-DB930 - how good?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by MartinImber, Jul 5, 2002.

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  1. MartinImber

    MartinImber
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    I own the aformentioned amp and it is nearly 3 years old, ignoring 6.1 (no room for centre rears) how does it compare to amps released today.

    It was best in class when it was released.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Guest

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    Still is classleading. I miss mine :( but I did go all the way up to a Denon A1D :)

    Consider what came after it: the 940 looks ugly and the 1070 is underpowered and even uglier. The 930 - if you got a good'un re: 'hissiness' - is a damn fine thing. Have known them to go for £130 secondhand (which is diabolical) yet they still fetch ~£250 on eBay (despite the 1070 being £299 at RS).

    I know you'll always wonder how other/newer amps fare against it and in that regard try and borrow one from a kindly dealer and you'll probably end up sticking with the 930 anyway ;).

    Mike.
     
  3. MikeK

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    It really depends what amps you are comparing it against.

    If you ignore the fact that the 930 has no DPL2 and no 6.1 capability (don't think DTS-ES or DD-EX were available when it was launched, and DPL2 certainly wasn't) and judge the 930 purely on performance, then overall I'd expect it would hold it's own against more recent amps in the sub £400 category for DD/DTS. Perhaps one or two of the newer models may shade it a bit for stereo, but I wouldn't expect it to be totally eclipsed - it was perhaps never a star performer for CD, but it's competent enough for an AV receiver at the price point.

    Of course, you'd have to do a side by side demo with the amp you were interested in, to get a definitive answer (I haven't done this).


    If you compared it side by side to say a Marantz SR5200, then as a straight comparison, I'd be surprised if the Marantz didn't win.
    Probably a bit better musically and it sports DPL2 and 6.1 as well - though I would expect the 930 to give the 5200 a run for it's money in DD/DTS 5.1 (may even be better!)

    If you aren't bothered about DPL2, DTS-ES, Neo6, DD-EX etc etc, then you'd probably be looking in the £500+ bracket to get any worthwhile improvements (and even then they may be a bit marginal until you get a fair bit above this price point).
    If it's stereo where you'd really like some improvements (and are quite happy with the 930's 5.1 performance) I'd simply buy a stereo amplifier, and save some cash.

    The 930 was the class leader at the time for good reason - fair enough, it's eclipsed now by amps sporting more up to date features and facilities, but it's still a capable performer and certainly a lot better than some of the budget models around, even with their new features.
     
  4. Grimley

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    If you buy one, don't put it in enclosed space. I had this receiver for just over a year & it went wrong twice (due to overheating) B4 I sold it on. I replaced it with the 940, which sounds slightly better, more focused in 5.1 & has a learning remote. 940 does have less sub output than the 930, but may have something to do with the DTS sub output. later 930 models have this feature but earlier ones do not. 930 does look better than the 940.
    You may find silver models may be easier to get than black models.
    I hope this helps,
    Grimley
     
  5. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    It was a great amp for the money, don't be in any rush to change unless you have won the lottery or are desperate for new surround modes.

    Damn, that is two plugs for Sony in one day, I must be ill or drunk.:devil:
     
  6. nigel_williams

    nigel_williams
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    I've got a 930 and have been really happy with it. I'm looking to upgrade but not sure what yet.

    My main reason is wanting a bigger sound from the centre speaker - my Kef c90 was fine with the 32" TV but I need a bigger sound to go with my Da-Lite 80x45 screen.

    I've recently seen the Linn Centrik for £159 so I might consider a speaker upgrade first.
     
  7. Guest

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    "bigger sound" ??? You mean you want it louder ? ;) Or are you lacking LF ? Shirley the 930 will handle both without an upgrade ?
    You could always try a pair of centre speakers.

    Of course, the best centre sound often comes from having no dedicated centre speaker at all. Good ol' phantom mode - no cocking up of soundstaging, no timbre problems, no speaker-siting issues.

    Mike.
     
  8. MartinImber

    MartinImber
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    Mine doesn't hiss!

    I'm driving some quite good quality speakers.

    I'm glad I haven't got to upgrade it yet:)

    But I would go up a class anyway - to £750 - £1000

    However my DVD player don't do DTS but it won't break down, and the picture is as good in RGB as anything else I have seen!
     
  9. nigel_williams

    nigel_williams
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    I spoke to my local Hi-Fi dealer at the weekend and he suggested a Castle centre speaker to match the Harlech's I have now. I'm not convinced that a better amp will give me what I want - I'd need to spend about £1,000 to have any noticable difference. The Sony has plenty of power so maybe it's the Kef C90?

    Going for the Denon 3802, Arcam AVR200 or the new Sony 555 would probably be overkill as it only powers the centre and rears. The front L+R are connected to the Hi-Fi setup.

    I could consider replacing my Audiolab 8000S (used as pre-power combination with a Musical Fidelity P180 power). Do any of these AV amps provide a good pre-amp stage?

    Perhaps I can replace the 930 and 8000s with a high-end AV pre-amp?


    ..... and don't call be Shirley!!
     
  10. Guest

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    I always thought the 930 had a slightly 'larger than life'/'Large Print' presentation and I put that down to some slight upper bass bloominess. Easily solved via the parametric EQ built right in (are you listening, Denon ?). So I'm now I'm rather eager to make the point that people in this country are still very reluctant to use EQ. Why ? Oh yeah, I fogot: purist snobbishness. Oops, slavish reliance on other people's opinions. I forgot that one too.

    If you're correcting for room/speaker interaction to make your system sound better and just tweaking things slightly there is no reason not to. The Sony's EQ operates in the digital domain so snobbishness about ruining the purity of signal path is myopic, IMO.

    Within the context of A/V operation, not using EQ for purist reasons is daft. Again, IMO.

    Mike.
     
  11. MikeK

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    And IMO - I'd pretty much agree with you!
    It's what sounds best to the listener at the end of the day - if the treble's too bright, or the bass is a bit boomy at certain frequencies, trim it out.

    Apart from the source direct modes of certain models, the signal is being passed through the DSP processor anyway, even if it's not actually DSPing it.
    I'd say it would be better to buy kit in the first place which doesn't exhibit the problems, but if it's room interaction or you are stuck with what you've bought, then make the best of it any way you can.

    Another use for this type of equalizer is that you can pretty much match up speakers with differing tonal characters/timbres.
    Would be best to pick speakers which matched in the first place, sure, but sometimes it's not possible for a variety of reasons (the most common must be having a pair of front speakers you love, but which aren't made anymore, so no chance of actually getting a centre, if they ever made one in the first place)- the parametric EQ can be very handy for people in that position.
    You can just turn it off for stereo listening anyway.
     
  12. stranger

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    how the hell did i miss this? my alarms can not be working-come on nic give them a third:devil:
     
  13. mark1

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    Ive had my 930 for a couple of years and I love it. A friend of mine has recently bought the 1070 but it doesnt match the power of the 930.

    in what hifi tests the 930 came out 111W RMS per channel and the 1070 is more like 70W.

    for the money im sure it cant be beaten. The new sony priced at £1000 is supposed to blow everything away in its price range. possibly the only thing I would upgrade to.
     
  14. MartinImber

    MartinImber
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    Looks like the 930 was an excellent buy!
     
  15. sonny

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    I have had my 930 for two and half years and still cannot find anything at any price below £1000 to replace it.
     
  16. MartinImber

    MartinImber
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    I bought mine September 1999, only 2 left in shop and got £25 knocked off.
     

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