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Sony VA333ES vs VA555ES - HELP!!

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by dallow8, Oct 25, 2002.

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  1. dallow8

    dallow8
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    Hi, I'm from NZ.
    Has anyone read the HCC Nov issue review on the VA333ES receiver? What's the verdict?
    It takes weeks before we get them here and I'm struggling to decide on which receiver to purchase.

    I've had a good listen to both VA333ES and VA555ES and am convinced that the VA555ES sounds very right and that's what's bugging me...
    The VA333ES is close...but it's newer, cheaper and higher specced than the 555.
    7.1 channel amplification
    A+B speakers (N/A for VA555ES)
    DTS96/24 decoding
    More intuitive buttons and menu feature layout
    0.5dB increment adjustments for all channels (1dB for VA555ES)
    Newer 32bit processors

    I've had a listen to them side by side. The VA333ES seems to sound thinner at higher volumes but the bass response is more pronounced at any volume. It's also consistently +1dB louder than the VA555ES at a set volume level.
    The VA555ES has a tad more precision and smoother sounding but not as well specced.

    Any comments out there?
    Truly appreciate it if someone could tell me what the HCC verdict was like and power output measurements for the VA333ES.:confused:
     
  2. rjw

    rjw
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    Trust your own opinions, they are they only ones worth paying attention to.

    Sounds like you've already decided that the 555 is better.
     
  3. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    The 555 is worth the extra money IMHO
     
  4. ilkand

    ilkand
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    HCC seemed to quite like it overall. Gave it ****, "Great looks and build quality; detailed and convincing sound". Reading between the lines they did not seem to like it as much as the 555, though they do not say so in so many words. I have seen it reviewed in What Hi-Fi too, where it was seen as being not as good as the 555 either.
    Power is 7x100W.

    Cheers
    Andy
     
  5. Guest

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    Well sorry but no answers from me as to which to go for 333 or 555. I'm in the same boat as you having sold me old sony 930, but if, like me you want the dts 96/24 and 7.1 then the 555 is not an option even if it does sound slightly better(different) than the the 333. Both what hifi & hcc did seem to agree that the 333 didn't sound as rich as the 555 and it has little more treble.

    SO maybe neither is the right one to go for, have you thought about a pioneer either 1011 or 2011 both 7.1, dts 96/24 + THX?

    Regards

    Gary
     
  6. dallow8

    dallow8
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    Yup, I've listened to the 2011. The Pioneer's pretty impressive with home theatre. Impactful and a bit of a sledgehammer.
    However, I found this trait with music as well...and timing, fidelity was not in the same league as the Sony.
    I had a Yamaha DSP-A1 for a number of years and have been very impressed with it until a friend of mine replaced his with the Sony VA555ES. Initially I laughed and said why would you ever want to downgrade? I was stunned when he turned the Sony on - perhaps not with the movie stuff but with music... everything just sounded more integrated and musical.
    And just when I thought it was time to pick up the VA555ES, Sony brings out the VA333ES!
    Better specced, looks the same and even cheaper.
    But if anyone is out there facing the same difficulty as I am, I've come to one conclusion - the VA555ES does sound a tad better.
    It has more precision especially with centre dialogue and more detail coming from the rears. And when you up the volume, the 555ES takes it in its stride while the VA333ES forces that treble at you. BUT it's hard to ignore the upgraded specs.
    In every case, I would have bought with my ear but...!
    The Pioneer VSA-AX10 is in a different league and so is the Yamaha DSP-AZ1 (although not in some areas) but I can't stretch that far. The Sony's definitely ahead of the Denon 3802 and the Marantz 7200.
    Thanks for your responses guys...
     
  7. The Spaniard

    The Spaniard
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    I tried the 555 at home thinking i would replace my ageing yamaha A2. the A2 blew the sony away and i was left high and dry having already gone to the trouble of smashing the house apart to fit the new centre rear speaker! the 555 as you say was ace with music but crap with movies compared to the A2. yamaha have now released the AZ2 so have you thought about this? it looks set to be about a grand - like the sony but probably will end up cheaper on the net. i was so disappointed with the 555 having read all of the reviews!
     
  8. Daneel

    Daneel
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    You guys have me a little worried now. I have my Pioneer 2011 on order following lots of very pleased owners in the US.

    I had a long hard look at the Sony 555ES and the 333ES. They got great reviews and users seemed happy but the 555 is lacking in features compared to it's cheaper newer cousin yet the 555 is supposed to sound better.

    This meant that whichever I picked I was going to be making a compromise. The Pioneer has all the features I wanted and is supposed to sound superb.

    When you guys demoed the 2011, had MCACC been run? It is supposed to make a big difference.

    I'm very surprised to hear you say

    "Yup, I've listened to the 2011. The Pioneer's pretty impressive with home theatre. Impactful and a bit of a sledgehammer.
    However, I found this trait with music as well...and timing, fidelity was not in the same league as the Sony." dallow8.

    I certainly found people who prefered the sound of the Sony to the Pioneer, but they always said it was close and came down to personal preference, nothing like "a different league".

    Johndm, you say that the Sony is just better than the Pioneer, did you demo the 2011? Can you be more specific as to how it is better?

    /me stresses
     
  9. Daneel

    Daneel
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    I don't mean to bug you John, but any chance you could answer my question?

    Thanks
     

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