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What Hi-Fi Reviews this month

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by mugsy, Feb 11, 2003.

  1. mugsy

    mugsy
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    Hi all,

    Is there anyone out there who subscribes to What Hi-Fi and already has this months issue? If so, I believe there is a £450-600 AV amp shoot-out. What was reviewed and how did they do?

    Many thanks,
    Marcus
     
  2. perrdl

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    The Sony 1080 came out on top, with the Marantz 4300 a close second.

    The Denon 1803 got 4 out of 5, let down by stereo playback.

    The Yamaha 630 also got 4 out of 5.

    Seems strange that What Hi-Fi all of a sudden drop the Yamaha down to four stars. Replacing it with the Sony 1080, which has been out for months.
     
  3. HotblackDesiato

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    Sounds like an excellent well balanced review to me.

    spence

    ps Did i mentioned i'm selling mine in the classifieds.:blush:
     
  4. nunew33

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    Marantz 5200 used to be top dog but lost to the yamaha because it didnt have licensed ES/EX and Neo6 (no longer had the complete set of decoders). And lost stars!!!

    Why they cant give them all five stars and say which areas they stand out in is beyond me?

    Its simple:
    If you like music and intend to use amp for movies and music then its marantz 5 stars.

    If you like explosions and movies with lots of sound fx then the yamaha gets 5 stars.

    And if you are obsessed with looks and labels and dont care about quality the sony gets 5 stars:devil:

    Ive stopped buying what hifi because of this level of inconsistency. Different people want different things from an amp so they should stop going for a generic watered down opinion and specify which type of enthusiast an amp would suit.

    Most amps have some merit else they wouldnt sell
     
  5. pcookie

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    At the risk of starting a Sony is brilliant/rubbish debate, I would contest the remark about the lack of quality in Sony products. I have a sony DVD 900nv and X9 VCR and can honestly say they are both superbly built machines that perform brilliantly. If quality is an issue, then people would stay clear of Marantz as it has a less than stisfactory history in that department. That said , I am suprised the 1080 came out on top as a lot of people on this forum, many of them owners of this receiver, have been less than enthusiastic about it. In fact, I should be considering it as a natural partner to my other equipment, but feel that its stereo abilities have always been suspect. Is this the case? Are there any 1080 owners out there who think its a worthwhile purchase?

    Rant over.

    Cookie
     
  6. nunew33

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    Pcookie, im joking, half my kit is sony!!!!
     
  7. HotblackDesiato

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    Gollum...
    It's a must have, 5 star, product! ;)

    Smeagol...
    It's about par for course in the price bracket. As for stereo i find its own DAC a bit disappointing but feed it analogue and things are much improved.

    In short, i wouldn't ignore it, but would make sure you listen to the competition too.

    spence
     
  8. HotblackDesiato

    HotblackDesiato
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    D'oh....you got me! :D

    spence
     
  9. cybersoga

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    Now why havn't they reviewed the Sony DVP-NS905? It's been out for quite a while now.
     
  10. rjw

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    They already have. Oct02 issue, somewhere near the front. IIRC it only got 4* as it was let down by it's inability to play DVD-A.
     
  11. perrdl

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    Great review then!!!! :rolleyes:
     
  12. nunew33

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    At the risk of high jacking the thread: There seems to be a flaw in the way kit is reviewed regardless of the kit.

    They supposedly seperate the features quility etc, but then average these, why not seperate them out and keep them separate. For the vast number of people DVD audio is irrelevent so how can the downgrade the review on that basis. you could get an inferior dvd player that plays DVD audio that just gets the 5 star award on that basis.

    How about using this thread to define a better way of product evaluation and recommend it to what hifi?


    Tyefi: So what was the flame you were bout to type??
     
  13. wilber

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    To be fair to them, they gave it 4 stars 'cos they'd recently reviewed the Pioneer 656 which they felt to be a generally better "But the pioneer is the problem, doing everything multichannel better and offering more for the same money"
     
  14. pcookie

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    "Smeagol...
    It's about par for course in the price bracket. "

    Is that par for the course at £500 list or the £370ish that most retailers are asking for?

    cookie
     
  15. cybersoga

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    Well I dont care too much what they say - it's a fine DVD player, the picture is superb, I don't hear anyone who's bought one going "I wish I bought the pioneer!" :) I dont give a monkeys about DVDA or SACD right now. Why can't they say something useful like "the picture quality is on par/better/worse than the pioneer"... giving it 4 stars because it doesn't do DVDA doesn't mean anything, it still doesn't say whether it's better or worse than the pioneer. Just goes to show that their star system is flawed.
     
  16. HotblackDesiato

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    cookie
    Among those in the 350-450 bracket.

    nunew33
    I wasn't, you're description of a 1080 buyer got me bang to rights!:blush:

    spence
     
  17. perrdl

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    I did notice in What Hi-Fi? this month, they are starting to list the equipment used in their supertest's.

    Which is an improvement.

    They should list the equipment used to evaluate all of the products that they review though!!!
     
  18. nunew33

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    On av equipment at the very least they should give a seperate rating for music and video.

    And the overall rating shouldnt be an average as it depends on what the reader intends to use the amp for. That way in supertests you could potentially have 3 winners: a good music av amp, a good av amp and the best compromise. PC mags do it with a value winner, speed winner etc.
     
  19. perrdl

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    Sounds like a good idea to me.

    It seems strange that a DVD player could be downmarked for not offering something like SACD, when the person buying the DVD may have no intention of using it in that way.
     
  20. nunew33

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    Hmmm, seems on av kit bells and whistles are starting to count more than sound quality.

    Can you imagine if they did the same on stereo amps!!! Not getting 5 stars because theres no graphic equaliser
     
  21. perrdl

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    Crazy isn't it???

    As you say performace should always come first.

    And extra's should just be a bonus.
     
  22. nunew33

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    Despite saying I didnt buy this mag anymore I went and bought a copy!

    What a waste of time. Didnt tell me wnything. But it did make me smile when looking at the big mac £5000 stereo amp with 5 tone controls (a graphic equaliser (without the graphics) by any other name)
     
  23. sounddog

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    I go for the cunning plan route ...

    (1) take a trip to Borders bookshop, any branch will probably do ... but my preference is for the new Leicester branch.

    (2) collect What HiFi from the magazine section (have to visit soon after publication date otherwise all copies have been sold) ... optionally also collect variety of other UK and US magazines.

    (3) assend the stairs, join the queue for Starbucks coffee shop and purchase Coffee/Hot Chocolate/other delicious beverage.

    (4) find comfy chair

    (5) relax, take the weight off your feet, and read all the wonderful things the magazine has to say on your favorite subject.

    (6) after consuming both beverage and magazines content ... return above meantioned publications to the shelf.


    Victoria
     
  24. mudan

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    In my opinion, for movies, the Sony is an excellent amplifier: sound, features, looks, appealing remote - it can't be faulted for the price. It's not so bad with music either, however, I use a NAD C370 in my other system for music listening, so am not really bothered about the Sony's music performance.

    The biggest offence in the What Hi-Fi review is the inclusion of the Marantz SR-4300 rather than the better SR-5300 as it is the 5300 which falls into the test price bracket. I find it highly annoying when any magazine performs this kind of incorrect grouping.

    On the other hand, owners of the well priced SR-4300 (great deal at RS) can be proud of how well it stood up against the bigger boys. I wonder how the SR-5300 would have done then...

    I believe the street price for the Sony of £329 What Hi-Fi were referring to was an ex-VAT price available at Techtronics (don't shop there!).
     
  25. sounddog

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    Well as I said in another thread ... what gets tested is probably down to what Marantz('s marketing department) sends for test ... either all their 5300's were out elsewhere being tested ... or they decided that they would do better in terms of marketing with sending their lower end product.

    Victoria
     
  26. dude1971

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    I disagree with the comment about lack of reliability regarding Marantz as I've used their amps and CDs for over 10 years and never had a problem.

    If you want some names that are unreliable try Cyber Home and Sherwood :-(
     
  27. Dimmy

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    The thing I didn't understand about What Hi-Fi's AV Receiver review in question is their star summary of features. The AVR1803 got 4* for features, yet has everything that the STRDB1080 has (bar on screen displays) and a little more (i.e. component video switching, unless you buy from europe that is). Yet the STRDB1080 got 5* for features.

    No pioneer receivers in the group test though - bit of a disappointement.

    And again about what hi-fi. Did anybody buy "The Ultimate Guide"? They just slap a few products together, copy & paste the product's reviews (if that's what you'd call them) from earlier issues, and stick a few words inbetween. There's no "review" as such of the product's synergy with eachother. And they don't say how the set-up on one page is better than the one on the previous page and worse that the one on the next page. A waste of £4.99!
     
  28. sounddog

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    Not sure Dimmy ... but the 1803 may have been knocked down on the "features" points for not having pre-outs to allow you to connect to a power amp or stereo integrated amp. Probably at the price point this would be more important feature than component switching - though it depends on your priorities I guess.

    For a "features" score ... would make more sence to me to provide a features table of what they expect for the price.

    Vikki
     
  29. mutley

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    It was exactly as Sounddog said. Lack of pre-outs; very important feature!
     
  30. fama

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    To use the term reviews to What Hifi write ups is to elevate them to a status they dont have when did you see a proper evaluation and testing of a product. Most of the time if you want to know what facilities an av amp has you wont find it in their write ups
    3-4 hacks listening to gear with no idea of the set up you cant place any credence on this. Reading the current issue in a newsagent i noticed they printed a reply from DENON. Apparently their reviewer had been unable to fit banana plugs to the 3803. DENON had to tell them you could.!!!!!!!!!
    if it has any use its to find RS current offers.
     

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