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sony str-va555es or marantz sr8200 ?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by memmerson, Dec 12, 2002.

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  1. memmerson

    memmerson
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    I've decided its time to replace my old str-db930, and have come up with a shortlist of the sony str-va555es and marantz sr8200.

    Has anyone heard both of these and can compare? or is there a general consensus on which is the better amp? Your opinions would be much appreciated.

    Cheers guys

    Marc
     
  2. Ravi 123

    Ravi 123
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    Well what i have heard of the Marantz is great but it seems to have a delay when switching chapters about 2 seconds i don't if these is with all machines. The sony sounded pretty good, good seperation but after watching Saving Private Ryan the opening 10 - 15 minutes the reciever was way to hot im not sure but I think the Sony doesn't have a built in fan.

    What speakers are looking to use ?
     
  3. memmerson

    memmerson
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    b&w 603, lcr60 and 600. thinking about getting some 601s for surround and using my existing 600s for rear surround.

    i may be able to push to a 9200, do you think the difference would be worth the extra £350?

    Marc
     
  4. Ravi 123

    Ravi 123
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    Well personally myself i use a Yamaha RXV - 1200 which i never found any reviews for and found this more superior to the Sony.
    Im currently running

    B & W 601s2 - Fronts
    Kef Eggs - Centre, R and L Back and Back Centre and front effects
    REL Quake x 2 subwoofer

    The amp is only at 80watts x 6 rms and 25 x 2rms

    This room size is roughly about 6 x 6 metres and i don't need tp play this amp above -30dbs. The amp doesn't even flinch.
    If you get the chance demo this amp which payed £550 from Sevenoaks retail £850. If you want more power Yamaha 3200 rated at 120w x 6 rms. avaialble ex - demo £800 both with 2 year warranty. Have a look at the link http://www.mountainsnow.co.uk/:) :)
     
  5. Guest

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    Mate - the Marantz two top models wipe the floor with the Sony for music. For movies you can rest assured that they are merely 'much better'.
     
  6. memmerson

    memmerson
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    cheers dude! that's sounds good enough for me!!

    i ordered the sr9200 yesterday!
     
  7. paul3_uk

    paul3_uk
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    memmerson,

    let me know what you think of the SR9200. I am thinking of buying this amp, but reviews are a bit thin on the ground.

    Any info would be greatly appreciated ....
     
  8. memmerson

    memmerson
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    i will do as soon as one turns up that works!!! received one doa on tuesday - should be getting new one tomorrow...
     
  9. paul3_uk

    paul3_uk
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    memmerson,

    how's the new SR9200. I am thinking about buying this unit, but would like to hear your opinion(s) of it.
     
  10. memmerson

    memmerson
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    been away on holiday for a while so haven't tested it too much much yet, but I am well chuffed with it - most noticable differences are much improved clarity, steering and equalisation. also, i nearly forgot, music sounds about a million times better!

    well recommended!
     
  11. memmerson

    memmerson
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    Paul, I don't know what prices you've been quoted but unbeatable.co.uk's price of £1384 was the cheapest I found - I ended up getting mine from a local store that matched the price.
     
  12. paul3_uk

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    memmerson,

    Thanks for the info.

    I have seen the price on unbeatable and am thinking of buying from there. Have also got an electronic voucher that will give me a further 5% off .... it just keeps getting better !!

    What Hi-fi did not rate the SR-9200 very highly saying that it was great for music but disappointing for movies (something about sound steering between speakers being poor, it being a bit soft centered and the bass being a bit mushy/fat).

    Do you think that any of these points are true, or, have they just got it in for Marantz?

    Also, what equipment are you partnering it with, and, what amp/receiver is it replacing?

    Sorry for all the questions, I am just trying to get a good idea about the amp before I spend lots of pennies (very dificult for me to audition one ...).

    Thanks in advance for any further info ...

    Paul.
     
  13. daninthemix

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    Paul - I would be very wary of What Hifi at the best of times, but certainly when it comes to Marantz reviews. For some reason about 8 months to a year ago they completely went off them, and starting downgrading many of the scores they had previously given Marantz kit (particularly stereo kit tho). I can't explain it - and the best reason they were ever able to give was "There's better available now". Sorry but that doesn't cut it with me when the best hifi from the 70s was arguably no worse than the hifi of today - 'technology moves on, better stuff comes out' simply isn't a good enough reason.

    Perhaps Marantz don't spend as much advertising with What Hifi any more...?!
     
  14. paul3_uk

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    daninthemix,

    Thanks for your input. I find it quite worrying that a magazine will be swayed by how much advertising revenue they get from a company as to how well they rate their products.

    Most people who buy their magazine think that they give unbiased reviews and that they are getting a true picture of the product. It all seems a bit underhand to me. Are you wary of just 'What Hi-Fi' or all magazines?

    What is your view of Marantz (in particular the SR-9200)? I have a Marantz CD63 cd player, have owned it for a good 8 years and have been very impressed with it. Likewise I have seen a lot of good reviews in the past about most Marantz products in general.

    Surely Marantz haven't gone down hill that much (they still appear to be quite popular in America). I personally think that a lot of the magazines are 'snobs' i.e. if it isn't one of the better known names ... they don't want to know.

    What do you think?

    Paul.
     
  15. daninthemix

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    My view of Marantz is that a lot of their stuff is great - particularly the stuff designed by Ken Ishiwata (in particular CD7 and SA-1). They are very good with their analogue output stages - which is why most of their CD players are fantastic. This is also why their SR range of AV amps have gone down well and a bit more refined that much of the competition - and are generally well thought of when it comes to stereo material (compared to other AV amps).

    However there is definitely a Marantz 'family sound', and to me it is warm, rather laid back - definitely geared toward resolving emotion rather than absolute detail, if that makes any sense.

    Definitely quite odd as a company though - whilst their low end stuff is popular, they do make some fabulous esoterica as well (like the aforementioned CD players, and the T-1 tube amp only available in Japan, but allegedly nearing the lofty heights of the infamous Audio Note Ongaku :eek: )

    I've heard the two top models of the SR range, and also the 4200 and 5200, and can honestly say they are all sound purchases. (no pun intended).

    It's very much a question of whether you 'dig' the Marantz sound, ultimately. I do, which is why I us an SA-1, and three integrated amps by them. Indeed, finances are the only reason my DVD player isn't a DV-12S1 ;)

    Hope this has been some help
     
  16. paul3_uk

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    Cheers daninthemix.

    By laid back, do you mean it lacks punch and is lacking in detail i.e. not much good for movies ....

    I have owned a Harmon Kardon integrated stereo amp now for approx 8 years, and it has done well for the £200 I spent on it back then. I wouldn't say that this amp was punchy but it seems to produce a decent soundstage.

    Unfortunately I am flying blind as I am unable to get a demo of the SR-9200, especially partnered with my TDL RTL2 floorstanders, paradigm centre speaker and dual firing paradigm rear speakers.

    Could you elaborate on laid back/warm?

    Sorry about this .....

    Paul.
     
  17. daninthemix

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    Interestingly, I read a review of a Marantz amp and described the sound as 'refined and relaxed'.

    It is possible, conceivable even - that a slow, ambient film could send you to sleep when played back on the Marantz I've heard (including my own). However, they tend to have enough dynamic range that sudden explosions and so on are extremely startling...(watch eXistenZ for a good example!).

    In short, it's the opposite of the ATC and Restek amps I've heard - where they have so much drive and vigor it's almost akin to ramming the sound down your throat. Both approaches can be tiresome in the wrong context; if I had to pick a genre I would say my Marantz' are best at acoustic guitar, strings, and the like. Whereas something like a Restek would be great for Rock music and so on.

    I'm using music as an example because it's generally agreed that 'good for music' also implies 'good for films', because IMO music is trhe more demanding application to get right. I personally consider a film's score to be the most important part in terms of atmosphere/mood, and emotion. Marantz amps tend to be very good at this. Other amps like the Sony might be more hard/brittle; you get a very exciting experience but it can be tiresome after prolonged listening. Perhaps you should look into your preffered type of film - are you an action nut who goes for all the big blockbusters? If so maybe the Marantz would not be the best choice in that price bracket. If you love ambient pieces like Pulp Fiction, the watching on the Marantz will be like going to a massage parlour, and personally this is the experience I like...
     
  18. memmerson

    memmerson
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    hi paul,

    like dan I do not trust whathifi, although I occasionally buy it. I get the impression that the same applies to a lot of av newsgroup members.

    With regard to the sr9200 I don't really consider myself an audiophile (more a part-time enthusiast) so I can't really give you an in-depth analysis, but I can tell you that to me it sounds A LOT better than my old amp (sony str-db930). MUCH more precise steering is particularly noticable (don't agree with what hifi's view at all), along with good bass definition (db930 was boomy and overpowering with little detail). The sound is warmer than the sony, which I personally don't regard as a bad thing because the sony, to me, sounded harsh. Actually I believe the warmness helps the sound in a room without carpet or soft heavy furnishings like mine.

    I loved my sony to bits, but when I upgraded my speakers the amps shortcomings became more obvious, particularly with music and overall definition. I wanted an amp with the latest formats that would just sound much better in all areas, and I got it.

    Anyway, I believe the measurement of sound quality is a personal issue. If you take it really seriously then all I can recommend is to try to get a listen somewhere. But you know that already...

    good luck with everything...

    btw you wanted to know what speakers I have, they are b&w 600 s3: 603's front, lcr60 center, 600's surround. will soon be replacing 600's at the side with 601's and will move the 600's to the rear.
     

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