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Sony TAN-9000ES TAE-9000ES vs Denon

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by daniel123, Apr 1, 2001.

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  1. daniel123

    daniel123
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    do you have any comments on the Sony TAN9000ES and TAE9000ES? is it a good
    product to buy? is it better than say
    the denon AVR3801 or the AVC-A10SE?
     
  2. Koen

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    the sony combo has more upgrading abilities,
    it has the advantage of being a separate combo, which gives way to upgrading either one of them or adding more power amps, and the sony comes with a touch-screen remote, but it's not very handy. the sony will outperfom the 3801 in nearly every way, the denon being perhaps just a little easier on the ear for stereo music.
    with the bigger denon model, it'll be a much closer call, since I believe it can cope with all the latest formats, and it's very powerfull to.
    personaly, I'd go for the sony combo, you can upgrade it's software with downloads, and I think it looks better too. But I must admit that I have a slight preference to sony amps, I have a da50es myself, which is the integrated equivalent of the combo (well, not really of course, but that's what sony says)
    Any of these machines WILL blow your socks of
    hope this helps,
    cheers,
    koen
     
  3. Vixpy

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    I've always had a personal disliking for sony amps (love thier tv's though) as they all sound not right to my ears so i went for an AVC10se which as the previous poster said will blow your socks off! Having said all that i hav'nt listend or looked at the sony's so its probably best for someone who has to give advice on those, i'll just say that you would'nt be going wrong with the Denon

    hope this helps a bit
     
  4. Stuart Wright

    Stuart Wright
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    Bump! Come on, folks - can anyone help this chap?
     
  5. stalefish

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    I have the 9000 on order from Link online...will post details when i get it powered up
     
  6. stalefish

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    Just received the 9000 last night,
    Power provided by 5 bridged amps 140w each
    Played 3 films
    1.Crouching Tiger
    2.Charlies Angels
    3.Black Hawk Down

    In my opinion it absolutely rocks!, plus I got it for £400!

    Add this to a decent 5ch amp and I think you will be very happy
    It's upgradable too (within limits)
     
  7. Guest

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    It's prob one of the bestest a/v pre-amps ever bar nothing. Tag owners can say whatever they like but if Sony was building TAG stuff it'd be much cheaper than TAG sell it for. People love knocking the so-called mass-market brands in preference for the esoteric but most of these characters have simply got more money than ears ;) (?)

    Hope you did your firmware upgrade.

    Mike.

    And it'd be nice to think that you got this via LinkOnline 'cos I posted about it ;)
     
  8. Steve.EX

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    Not at all sure i would agree with previous post in any way.
    How can you even begin to compare the Sony to the likes if Lexicon, Meridian, Tag to name the (very) obvious usual suspects, wild statements like this are pretty misleading to the uninitiated.
     
  9. Guest

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    Steve,

    IMO, the only thing which appears to unite expensive 'high-end' gear is the massive sense of being underwhelmed when you listen to most of it. I know that particular Sony pre-amp is superbly engineered, fantastic at what it does and massively underpriced @ £399. Yeah, it's probably better than plenty of 5.1 esoteric pre-amps at whatever cost (no surprise) but then many of 'the sort of people' who'd buy an esoteric pre-amp would scoff at the idea of a Sony being worthy because they've got alot more than sound quality on their list of criteria - e.g., they wouldn't want to drive a Ford unless it cost, say, £60,000; at which pricepoint it might just be passable.

    And, you can do far more than merely "begin to compare" that Sony with anything more expensive, and plenty of users at Audioreview.com have already done just that.

    You really disagree with this: "if Sony was building TAG stuff it'd be much cheaper than TAG sell it for" ???

    I've got a particular 'bag' on about the so-called 'High End' (and snobbery generally) at the moment. If you leave me alone for a while I'll be okay.

    Mike.
     
  10. Steve.EX

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    Mike
    Whilst i recognise your opinion i think you need to understand exactly what high end componennts (like the Tag) actually do (i am not talking about formats i.e DTS ES etc) with the input signal that results in the purity (or maybe plain sound to you) of reproduction, it is quite improper to say the Sony is on a par because at every level the Tag is not simply better but emphatically out-performing the Sony, the Tag however (i do own one but certainly do not have "more money than ears", i simply own one because i cannot stretch any further and EXTENSIVE reviewing of products leads me to the conclusion that it is the very best product for the £3000 asking price and nothing more nothing less) is only one part of the chain and requires components of obviously a similar quality.
    Tag understand VERY VERY well how to deal with digital audio and if you feel that you would rather keep your Sony than swap it for a Tag then it is probably just as well you have the Sony then.
    I might recommend a little venture into understanding the what and why of digital signal transfer/decoding.
    Seriously though stood side by side the Sony vs(for want of a better word) Meridian/Tag/Lexicon performance wise really is not an equal race.

    Regards

    Steve.


    For the record at no time do i dismiss the Sony's (i have heard it although quite a while ago) abiliies but am somewhat taking issue with YOUR statement that it is class leading at any price point which for many many reasons it simply isn't.
     
  11. marcoeser

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    I am another very happy owner of the sony twins. There is a dedicated forum with a wealth of info and help in setting it up correctly. The sony does need setting up correctly to get the most from it. I would strongly suggest very good interconnects. The sony so detailed you'll hear the difference (if you don't, why get the sony?). I'm using van de huls First ultimate.
    Also, the sony is the most talked about preamp on www.audioreview.com.
    If you are thinking of getting the sony keep in mind it is an old model with limitaions. no DPLII or 5.1 input for sacd and dvd-a. But what it does do, it does very well.
    marc :)
     
  12. Guest

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    But of course there is a 5.1 upgrade by way of an extra box, the TA-P9000ES. And who needs DPLII anyway ?

    Steve, I'll...er.. deal with you later ;)

    Mike.
     
  13. Guest

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    Gotta agree with Mike on this....

    If Tag had the mass market penetration that Sony have,and bought the huge volumes of components at a bulk price that Sony do-the Tag would cost 800 quid tops.

    The Sony pre amp in American reviews has been highly rated-in some compared to the Classe pre-amp which is WAY in front of the Tag and Meridian for a sweet ..warm detailed sound.

    Both the Tag and the Meridian are very clinical.(the Lexicon mc1 even more so...).

    In fact in the U.S. most of these are partnered with warm sounding amps to achieve a more neutral sound.

    People seem to forget that Sony pioneered S.D.D.S.-argueably the BEST multi-channel sound format.
    These guys have experience in multi channel cinema sound that NONE of the others have...........

    This is a fabulous combo for 1500 quid-and putting it another way;-If Tag sold this combo it would be 5 grand!

    The extra 3.5k price tag might make it more acceptable to those that think Sony is not in the same league as Tag and Meridian...


    ..On another note,I listened to the new Pioneer amp last weekend-and its miles better than the big Denons...

    Is it better than the Sony combo?..not as warm,but more detailed.

    But..nothing in it...
    Doug:)
     
  14. Guest

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    The only thing "miles better" than a big Denon would be listening to something in real life.

    Mike ;)

    (Big Denon Owner)
     
  15. Guest

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    Obviously you havnt heard the Pioneer then.....;)
    Doug
     
  16. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    I did chuckle to myself when I saw this. Made me laugh and brought back some bad memories. :(

    Carlisle sevonoakes got the Sony unit for demo shortly after it was released. I was looking at treating my self. It was one of the most memorable demo I have ever been to, but for all the wrong reasons.

    Well the unit came in for demo. Shop had no idea about it so we tries to set it up at the start of the demo. No OSD.:( The remote is very capable on specs but an ergonic nightmare with poor visibility). We balanced all the channels and started playing. It sounded okay until pushed. The units then started to sound yukky. It then decided to shut down. :( We left it 30 mins and fired it up again. We got another 10 minutes out of it before it blow up, quite literally, smoke and all, taking out some nice Castle speakers. It was then a dead duck (amp at least). Quality Sony engineering.;)

    A few months later I had another play with a pair. Much better this time around but again the Tag completely outclassed it. No contest. In fact it wasn't even close. I think the Sevenoakes owner prefered the old denon3801 at one third the price. I remember thinking he was a bit hard as it wasn't a bad unit (at £2200) but just not a Tag, Meridian etc.

    I took it home and had a play. There was a problem with the digital volume control. clicks. It did DD / DTS /PL okay but had not real future upgrades or 5.1 / component. Too many yukky souround sound modes though. The unit has a single low spec (?) SHARC where as the Denon has two. The Tag has the high spec unit (with the option of a second) and these are now being 'upgraded' to the mega spec units. The Sony units ran VERY hot. Not inspiring confidence. I measured the amp. It was no mona lisa. Their 140w amp barely gave 100w with a following wind. Push it hard and things got worse. The 100w Tag measured at nearer 150w and specs get even better when pushed. Make of that what you will.

    The Sony units are well built and finished. The amp has some nice 2 to 5 channel driving features but it ain't no Tag which is at least as well built.

    Now I fully expect (hope) that many of these issues have now been sorted out with current spec. I would expect nothing else. Software updates have hopefully sorted out clicks etc but at the end of the day it basic sound quality in NOT in the Tag league. Bare in mind that at this time I was very anti Tag following thier glitzy launch which I did not approve of.

    Re 'high' end products and snob value. I don't buy into this in general. I have repeadedly championed low priced product here. The list is long and most know this already. Toshiba 2109, 210, Servo 15, PDR 10, KEF Q15, Q1s, Denon receivers, Rotel power amps. etc etc etc. This list is long and I have gone out of my way to champion good value products, often against the perceived wisdom, at the time. I think few other can claim to have 'championed' so much good value kit. I still choose to use Tag at home as I think it is one of if no the best I have come across. Does that make me a snob?

    Can Sony make Tag quality gear. No, I don't think they have the current skills. They may be good in some area but they can't compete at this highest level. I wish they could......I expect they do as well, probably the reason why they no longer do Esprit stuff here.


    For the record, many USA reviews of the Sony ES amps have been luke warm at best, needing 'upgrades' which were re reviewed.

    For the prices being asked now it isn't a bad buy at all, assuming all the faults have been cured, which I don' know about. But this was mid range + kit in 1989. 2002 is a whole new century and only Tag and Theta has managed to keep theit stuff cutting edge. Even the Lexicaon DCs and Meridian 565 from that era have gone by the way side.

    Lets tell it as it actually is rather than making claims wide of the mark and facts. It help no one at all.
     
  17. stranger

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    nic, your post says a lot about the power amp section of the 9000 but not much about the pre-amp, which was the pertinent part of the main post-any reasons?:devil:
     
  18. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    The pre amp was the far better component of the two. It was decent (but not to Tag level). Frankly the power amp was a MAJOR mistake by Sony. The Pre at £399 looks very good value as long as you don't need PL2, Component inputs, 5.1 inputs. Ex, Es and matrix 6 channels etc. I tried to get that over above but when one component (power amp) dominates the demo it is difficult to spend more time on the pre.
     
  19. stranger

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    apparently the early power amps were disguised bombs-to blow up discerning reviewers labs.:)
     
  20. Guest

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    Nic,
    I dissagree with your post which seems to be all over the place.

    YES..when this combo was first released there were problems(3 years ago)-but this is not relevant now re;-recommending this product or not.

    Since that time,there has been a recent s/ware upgrade to the pre-amp-which when reviewed in the Perfect Vision-most certainly did NOT get a luke warm review.

    They stated that the only pre-amp which bettered it was the Classe-which is their current favourite in front of the Tag/LEXICON/Merdidian.

    Irrelevant of your preference of the Sound of these products-you did not tackle the value issue.
    The Sony combo is FANTASTIC value-whereas the Tag/Meridian/Lexicon are massively overpriced.
    This is because of the massive buying power of Sony and high production-the opposite is true of the others.

    THIS IS PRIMARILLY WHAT DETERMINES THE PRICE DIFFERENCES..

    I have listened to all these products in the last 18months(not 3 years ago..) with a view to upgrading.

    I am also due to listen to the new `55 amp-which for 800 quid has had rave reviews in Japan and the U.S.

    I classify Tag owners in the same bracket as Bang and Oluffson..more money than sense!!!!
    Doug;)
     
  21. gringottsdirect

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    doug quaid,
    I like the STR-VA555ES if that's what you mean by "the new 55 amp", sorry if I am wrong.
    It is real value @£800 ish.
    The Sony pre/power amp you mention wasn't really that hot in 1999, it never gained an enthusiast following, I'm sure you realise that any stock carried by any dealer now has been sitting around since then, including Peterborough's Link Online.
    I liked Audiolab pre Tag, and being aware of the massive investment since, I don't think it is fair to say they are like Bang & Olufsen. Everyone knows that B & O are a nicely styled mugs eyefull, but the Tag items are genuinely worthwhile.
    I agree that some folks have more money than sense but everything is relative. For some £1000 is a lot to pay for a television, for others £1000 is more than they paid for their car.
    To me £400 for an obsolete pre-amp is money wasted, it is just clearing end of line stock.
     
  22. Guest

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    Gringo,
    The Sony pre-amp has had a new s/ware revision-in essence its a different pre now..


    If you dont want dpl2-and who does?.....its a great deal!!!!!!!!

    Doug;)
     
  23. Guest

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    Ding ! Like I said, if Sony made TAG part for part, it'd be much cheaper. TAG are virtually just lifestyle products for the rich. I think they're in Harrods now, aren't they ? If the exact same thing had a Sony badge on it (and even if it cost the same !), potential TAG buyers would run away laughing. There's more going on here than sound quality preference.

    As for people thinking other companies have a more in depth understanding of digital audio than Sony, just who put the 's' in sp/dif ? Sony makes the ma££ive 24-bit digital pro mixing desks that are part of the process of producing superb quality recordings from the get-go. And Denon have been making - and playing back - digital recordings since around 1970. Whilst Meridian and TAG make great digital audio gear - let's not kid ourselves any other way - due to economies of scale and intentional market positioning they'll always cost more than they need to.

    People talking about TAG being leaps and bounds above anything else have fallen for a magazinespeak lie (which, amongst other crimes against audio, perpetuates the myth that last years products all sound useless in comparison to this years).

    Mike.
     
  24. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    Doug

    I have re read my contribution. All over the place, no, it may be not what you wanted to hear but it is an accurate representation of the facts at my time of demo and since. I was not alone in having similar problems. Speak to HCC here and they will confirm a similar story in their lab.

    Now the original poster asked about both the pre and power. I gave an un-biased assessment of both. Now lets us look where we are today. Everything that was posted was accurate, as ever.

    Power amp seems to have disappeared of the face of the earth. Once they sorted the protection circuits out to make it reliable it was still a flawed design that was not capable of matching even the 100w Denon receivers. It was not the ES quality power amp that it should have been. Where is it now, dropped like a hot potato by Sony who realised they had a ‘pup’ on their hands.

    Pre. This isn’t a bad device as I had stated already but Sony are still jobbing this off for a third of the original price (no doubt at a loss). People who are buying this now will get good value but it needs the new (optional) v2 software.

     
  25. Guest

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    Nic,

    The software upgrade is freely downloadable online and the IR codes for the extra remote control are pronto'd for all to download.

    Also, you said 1989 again. You mean 1999, yes ? Or are you getting confused with the TAE-1000 ??? ;)

    It's the BTL mode on the amp which sounds nicest. As a five-channel box, it's probly run of the mill.

    Also, pre-amp price drop due in part to impending new pre-amp: the 10ES.

    Mike.
     
  26. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    Mike

    glad to hear this, suspected as much, hence the comments in the original post but originally it was markeed as a separate add on. I feel it is essential for this amp. Re the power it is a pity that it was marketed it as a 5 channel amp. I would take the 555 from Sony now, much better and good price.

    It is a pity they have chosen not to keep it up to date though, these upgradable SHARC processors have so much going for them. I think Sony have missed a good oportunuity here
     
  27. Steve.EX

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    Whilst accepting fully each to their own, i find the comment "equating Tag owners to B+O" firstly a bit bl**dy naive and secondly quite an insult really.
    To suggest that i(?) bought one from being brain-washed by the mags is somewhat disrespectful (i personally feel) to the many years i have spend LISTENING to kit (which is the fun of it all) rather than paying attention to the popular magazine reviews.


    Rant over

    Steve
     
  28. stranger

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    nic , is the va555es definitely not upgradeable? it shows the software version in the front panel display and it has an rs232c port.
     
  29. Guest

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    Nic,
    I still think you are off the mark-and your answer still all over the place-with some inaccuracies.

    The original Perfect Vision review was tame-the Perfect Vision Review (recent) was a different story-albeit with the s/ware revision-which is freely available.

    As I said,only the Classe pre was considered better and that is the Perfect Vision`s reference!

    The pre-amp is discounted because a new version is coming out-as stated.

    Whcih makes this pre-amp a HUGE bargain-and NO..it is not a 1989 design???...It is a 1999 design-the s/ware rev.bringing it into 2002.

    NO..it still hasnt got every sound mode known to man,but then the Tag hasnt got Logic 7-so what?

    This is not the point,we are talking about the sound -and the modes it does have are very good,Sony`s matrixed modes are probably the best (bar Logic 7) that I have heard-their d.c.s.implementations(virtual multi rear) are excellent-and as I said we are talking about the inventors of S.D.D.S. here!

    NEITHER..Tag,Meridian,Lexicon or Denon can stake the same claim to actually inventing a multi channel sound format for the cinema.

    its also worth mentioning that neither do the other names own a studio that actually makes movies either!!

    Now if you can pick up this pre for 400 quid-rip your arm off to get one-take no notice of a years old review not relative to the product today.

    Nic,I suggest that you go and listen to one now-with the s/ware rev.-then tell me it is not worth 400 quid.....
    Doug

    ;)
     
  30. Guest

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    Update 1: Link Online are sold out at £400 and they were probably the last of 'em.

    Update 2: There is talk of a DPLII "upgrade" a comin' soon either from Sony or from some of the IC-programming, long-haired 'hacking' types what own one (me disincluded). Either or both of these are probably all talk though.

    Mike.
     

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