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SONY "UK Sound Tuned" question

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by ommadawn, Mar 16, 2005.

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  1. ommadawn

    ommadawn
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    After reading various reviews of the Sony STR-DB795 I am very tempted to purchase this model.
    The reviews state that this model has been "tuned" for the UK market and that this is depicted by a red badge on the facia.
    Whilst browsing various sites for the best price I noticed that none of the images of the model have the red badge.
    Am I to assume that the models advertised are not intended for the UK market or is it simply a case of the images used being a representation of the model and not to be taken literally?
    Interestingly the image of the model on the Sony UK web site is also without the red badge.
    I would be grateful if anyone who owns this model can clarify my concerns.

    Thanks.
     
  2. MagicBoy

    MagicBoy
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    I've not got a 795, but my slightly older 790 has the red badge. The 795's I've seen retail at the local Sony Centre and SuperFi also had the badge. I've also got a CDP-XB930E CD Player with has a similar UK Special Edition red badge.
     
  3. ommadawn

    ommadawn
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    Thanks for the reply MagicBoy. :thumbsup: I'll ring my supplier and check before ordering.
     
  4. tom_nieto

    tom_nieto
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    What changes (if any) do they make to the sound?
     
  5. tomt84

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    I think that the difference is that UK tuned sets tune in units of 0.05MHz per step whereas US sets tune in units of 0.125MHz per step.

    So there may be some UK stations that you can't tune exactly in to with a US set, for example you would not be able to reach 100.3MHz on a US set.

    I may have got the exact figures wrong but that is the principle IIRC.
     
  6. bob1

    bob1
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    I like your thinking tomt84 but uk tuned means that it as been setup sound wise to appeal more to the uk market,i doubt you would be able to tell any difference if it had the red badge or not.Looks more like a selling point to me,mine has the red badge and it did not infuence the purchase at all,honest :rolleyes: . :D
     
  7. benwillcox

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    What does that mean exactly? :confused:

    Anyway, a bit of Googling (nothing specific to the Sony) shows that there are differences between US and UK FM and AM broadcasts - tomt84 has the right idea, but it looks as though the step between freqencies on FM is the same (200kHz intervals), but the US uses odd frequencies vs even in europe. Also, stereo pre-emphasis timing is different US vs UK, which will affect the treble of the audio.
    Step frequencies for the AM band are 10kHz US vs 9kHz UK.

    So it sounds likely that these are the differences referred to, but don't take my word for it becase I don't really know! :)

    Ben.
     
  8. bob1

    bob1
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    Its nothing to do with tuning steps ,the badge says "uk sound tuned".
    The red badges have also appeared on other sony gear cd players,dvd players,hifi amp etc.
    These units are supposed to be tweaked to sound better to uk ears ,make of that what you will.
     
  9. bob1

    bob1
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    Ok found this.


    [​IMG]
     
  10. MagicBoy

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    "UK Sound Tuned" does not refer to the FM frequencies etc - that's just a regional specification difference. Sony's UK boffins get to respecify the unit to appeal to UK audio tastes. I'm not sure exactly what, but likely to be changes to the power supply and higher grade capacitors compared to the standard model for the rest of the EU. Just tweakery really I spose to alter the characteristics of the sound.

    The "UK Special Edition" CD player I have (CDP-XB930E) is a bit different -they made significant changes like removing the internal headphone amp and socket to improve the signal purity.

    Other big foreign manufacturers for example Yamaha do similar - eg Yamaha DSP-AX750SE. Yamaha take the standard RX-V750 then strip out the tuner and improve the amps. The AX is a unique UK model - the rest of Europe get the standard RX.

    If the UK boffins think it's an improvement over the standard article then it's good enough for me - otherwise why would they go to the expense of manufacturing a different variant?
     
  11. John

    John
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    Personally I think its a con .
    Can anyone find a reference to the UK sound project anywhere , I've tried to google it , with no joy. Where did you find the info bob1 ?

    I guess a blind test would be the only way of telling.

    Has anyone ever seen a US / French / German / etc etc ,tuned piece of kit ?
    Why would they want to do specific "tuning" for a market as small as the UK ?
    Oh yeah , they could probably get away with charging more money :rolleyes:.

    Sorry ,just had a day at work , and I'm still in cynic mode :D
    JS
     
  12. MagicBoy

    MagicBoy
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    I'd be interested in the blind test idea. If anyone finds anything, post it on here.

    Anyhow, some links after a 2 minute google session.
    Hifi Choice Hi-Fi amp review
    British Federation of Audio (whoever they are...)
    Something else
     
  13. dmurfet

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    It all sounds like it was written by a marketing department. I'm much more influenced by the people in here without a billion dollar axe to grind........ :)
     
  14. Zacabeb

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    I can understand how speakers could be designed for different markets, given that speakers do differ in character and one market may generally prefer certain tradeoffs over others. But I find it harder to understand how supposedly genuine improvements in an amplifier could be there just for a specific market, but still not be suitable for another. I have a theory though.

    The "tuned for UK ears" bit might be true to an extent - in Japan, space is exclusive and therefore expensive, and as a result compact living is taken to the extreme. So, the average Japanese household may prefer small speakers, generally sit closer, and won't need very beefy power amps. Whilst not everyone in Europe has a luxurious amount of living space, overall it is greater, and a particular model may be used in larger rooms by European consumers than Japanese ditto. Therefore, the European model would require more clean power and the ability to drive larger speakers.

    In other words, that would mean the Japanese version of a product can take cost and/or labor-saving shortcuts that would be exposed in the European market. Since we demand better stuff under the bonnet, they have no choice but to give us better stuff under the bonnet, whereas the Japanese market is more concerned with trends and features.

    Or, it may be that manufacturers like Sony have had a difficult time establishing themselves as makers of "true" HiFi equipment in Europe, save for a few select brands such as TEAC, Denon, and Nakamichi, who have focussed almost entirely on HiFi. Sony are mostly associated with portable sound equipment, not the least the Walkman, and may be seen as skimping when it comes to full-sized audio components. So, the "UK tuned sound" may just be a way to try and lull consumers into feeling more secure about those products.

    I haven't ever seen red badges on stuff here in Sweden though, but then again I haven't paid much attention to Sony products so far.
     
  15. carlymart

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    they do tweek the sound to uk tastes how i do not know
    it also means you are getting a proper uk model not an import

    sony did this a few years ago with a cd player and a lot of people got a none uk sourced cd player from a very big cheep hifi company that was not to uk model
    i worked in the selling hifi at the time and we had a lot of enquiries about them, you could tell by the type of bolts on the side uk was copper none uk black
    we did get to listen to a import and a uk model and the uk model was better
     
  16. paul333

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    My thoughts have always been that the changes are minimal but designed to discourage "grey" imports from continental Europe
     
  17. ommadawn

    ommadawn
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    Lets hope the one I ordered from Superfi has the badge. They could only confirm they were UK models but not that they had the badge.
     
  18. MagicBoy

    MagicBoy
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    My 790 came from SuperFi and was a UK model with a red badge. Ditto the 795 they had on display last week when I went in to buy some headphones.
     
  19. monkeylegs

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    are you able to take that crappy red badge off though, has anyone tried?
     
  20. ommadawn

    ommadawn
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    Who cares what it looks like :confused: :confused:

    :) :)
     
  21. Supersonic

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    Whatever the deal behind the red badge, I wouldn't touch a Sony 795 with a barge pole - unless I could have a comprehensive demo. Mine had the well-known 'buzz/hum' fault. It seems this has been acknowledged as such by Sony, so buy with caution!
     
  22. ommadawn

    ommadawn
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    I was concerned about the buzz/hum issue but Superfi are awaiting delivery direct from Sony UK so hopefully these models are ok. :lease:
     
  23. pcookie

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    I bought my 795 from unbeatable last year. Brilliant piece of kit. No problems. However, the question of good stereo sound must be tempered by your choice of speakers. The pair of KEF hifi speakers I had sounded great when used with the Sony for stereo only. The elec cinema 1's I have sound great with HC but mediocre with Stereo, so think hard about what you want.


    Regards, Cookie
     
  24. yaki_daikon

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    This red badge discussion on the forum is very interesting for me. I'd really welcome your advice on the following:

    I recently ordered an STR-DB795 and it arrived with a red "UK Tuned" badge on the front. This was just as I had expected. Unfortunately, the unit developed a fault within a few days (no - this wasn't the buzzing fault ! ) and it was sent back to the dealer for replacement. The replacement unit arrived and I unpacked it and set it up this weekend. I've noticed that this replacement unit doesn't have the red "UK Tuned" badge. So......

    - Do you think I should I be concerned that this unit doesn't have a red badge?

    - In years to come when I might want to upgrade... do you think that trying to sell a non-badged model might be a problem?
     

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