Sony STR-DN1030 or better? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 01-30-2013, 02:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi guys,

I'm in the market for a new receiver. I'm looking for something in the $300-$400 range (street price).

I've been reading a ton of review here and there and it seem many of folks love the Sony DN1030. But most of the reviews are centered around all of the extra features that the Sony brings to the table like Airplay, Wifi, Bluetooth, etc... So I have been having a hard time trying to find the information that i'm interested in. Maybe a few of you with this and other similar receivers can comment on its performance?

It would seem from my research that there a few receivers in this price category worthy of consideration.

Sony STR-DN1030 ($400)
Yamaha RX-V573 ($350)
Onkyo TX-NR616 ($350)
Denon AVR-1613 ($400)

Things I don't really need or care about...
  • Ethernet (Admitadly, updating the firmware over the internet would be nice however)
  • Airplay
  • Bluetooth
  • WIFI
  • Tons of HDMI ports (Yamaha got bad marks against it for only 4 hdmi ports from reviewers, I really only need 2)
  • Pandora
  • Music Streaming
  • DLNA
  • iPod/iPad compatibility
  • Don't care if the setup menus aren't great (Yamaha got bad marks again here, but I wont use the set menus all that much once configured)

Things I need or want
  • Bi-Amp capability
  • Good sound quality
  • Solid construction
  • Upscaling? Does this really matter if my tv already does it?


I currently have some old Cambridge Soundworks Tower II's, I will probably add a center channel, an maybe some rear surrounds. I am in a condo so I don't care too much about a subwoofer for now, the Tower II's have enough Bass for my liking. I watch mostly movies and not much music. Ideally, I'd like to have just 3 front speakers (L/R/C) and get some sort of simulated 5.1 but i'm not sure if that's doable in this fashion.

I'm more concerned with quality and sound performance. I don't really need all the extra features most receivers seem to come with today. So reading reviews is tough as the features seem to weigh heavily on the outcome.
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post #2 of 18 Old 01-30-2013, 03:41 PM
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Bi-amping should be on your list of things you don't need or care about since it's a pointless thing to do.

So that leaves good sound (any AVR will get you this), solid construction (not really important given the trend toward digital amps and other eco trends). Up scaling. Unless you can afford a high end AVR you're better off letting your TV or Blu-ray player do it.

Any one of those you have listed would work fine. The Sony BTW gets pretty good professional reviews for sound quality and power output.

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post #3 of 18 Old 01-30-2013, 03:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post

Bi-amping should be on your list of things you don't need or care about since it's a pointless thing to do.

So that leaves good sound (any AVR will get you this), solid construction (not really important given the trend toward digital amps and other eco trends). Up scaling. Unless you can afford a high end AVR you're better off letting your TV or Blu-ray player do it.

Any one of those you have listed would work fine. The Sony BTW gets pretty good professional reviews for sound quality and power output.

Thank you for the reply!

How does the actual amp work in these "budget" receivers? We have many channels, but is it all one big amp? I have bi-amp speakers so I figure it wouldn't hurt to wire them as such. When using two extra channels of the amp for bi-amping am I really not gaining anything as its all one amp anyways?
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post #4 of 18 Old 01-30-2013, 05:28 PM
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I had an 8yr old Sony receiver and recently upgraded to a Denon 1913 and I am amazed by the sound quality and the 1613 should be similar. I haven't heard the new Sony but if you want a great sound, the Denon is a great option.
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post #5 of 18 Old 02-03-2013, 09:24 AM - Thread Starter
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What about going from the top of the line (DN1030) "normal" model to the bottom of the line (DA1800ES) ES model?

Are there any big differences in performance to be expected? It seems the DA1800ES can be found for not that much more $$$...
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post #6 of 18 Old 02-03-2013, 09:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by omniphil View Post

What about going from the top of the line (DN1030) "normal" model to the bottom of the line (DA1800ES) ES model?

Are there any big differences in performance to be expected? It seems the DA1800ES can be found for not that much more $$$...

It's the same receiver with different features and a slightly different build. They would/will sound identical.

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post #7 of 18 Old 02-03-2013, 04:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post

It's the same receiver with different features and a slightly different build. They would/will sound identical.

I can't seem to find a really good comparison of the features between those two. Nice to know that most of the guts are the same however...
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post #8 of 18 Old 02-04-2013, 07:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by omniphil View Post

I can't seem to find a really good comparison of the features between those two. Nice to know that most of the guts are the same however...

Go to Crutchfield's website and compare them. Basically you give up the blue tooth and built in wifi for a 4 port ethernet hub when you go with the ES model.

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post #9 of 18 Old 02-04-2013, 08:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post

Go to Crutchfield's website and compare them. Basically you give up the blue tooth and built in wifi for a 4 port ethernet hub when you go with the ES model.

I think that's the DA2800ES, the DA1800ES seems almost identical to the DN1030 spec and feature wise.
All I can see on crutchfields website is 2 extra hdmi ports and a different front panel. If it had better capacitors or something along those lines i'd be sold on the ES.

In the past the ES series were better performing units with better quality guts inside. (My current receiver is a STR-GX900ES), but it sounds like the DN1030 got those benefits.

The other question would be, If I decided that $560 street price for the DA1800ES is doable, should I be looking at another unit at that price point? The DN1030 seems to be the king of the $400 range, but maybe the DA1800ES isn't.
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post #10 of 18 Old 02-04-2013, 01:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by omniphil View Post

I think that's the DA2800ES, the DA1800ES seems almost identical to the DN1030 spec and feature wise.
All I can see on crutchfields website is 2 extra hdmi ports and a different front panel. If it had better capacitors or something along those lines i'd be sold on the ES.

In the past the ES series were better performing units with better quality guts inside. (My current receiver is a STR-GX900ES), but it sounds like the DN1030 got those benefits.

The other question would be, If I decided that $560 street price for the DA1800ES is doable, should I be looking at another unit at that price point? The DN1030 seems to be the king of the $400 range, but maybe the DA1800ES isn't.

You're right. I was thinking of the 2800.

For the $650 range the Pioneer 1222 (on sale sometimes from Newegg for as low as $529) to me would be the best choice. Other choices include discontinued and refurbed Denon and Onkyo products from Accessories for Less or Electronics Expo.

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post #11 of 18 Old 02-05-2013, 09:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post

You're right. I was thinking of the 2800.

For the $650 range the Pioneer 1222 (on sale sometimes from Newegg for as low as $529) to me would be the best choice. Other choices include discontinued and refurbed Denon and Onkyo products from Accessories for Less or Electronics Expo.

The Pioneer 1222 might be a tad out of my price range, tho it does look impressive.

I also just saw the new Yamaha RX-A720. Looks to be in the same street price range ($550) as the DA1800ES.
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post #12 of 18 Old 03-05-2013, 06:29 PM
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I have had the sony str-dn1030 for a couple of weeks now. I really like the sound coming out of it. It powers my Energy RC-70's well at 145w per channel and my entire 5.1 setup. It has all those bells and whistles you don't care about but it's a really solid choice. Gui is a little weird but not terrible like some say. I am actually used to it after about a week. I send everything to my receiver and hdmi to my tv. It even upconverts the wii to 1080i. It's very convenient to have a receiver that upconverts because you just need one hdmi to the tv. I also am running bitstream audio uncompressed on movies and cds - sounds fantastic. Can't go wrong with the Denon either. I am sure that it would sound great too.

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post #13 of 18 Old 03-05-2013, 08:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by omniphil View Post

The Pioneer 1222 might be a tad out of my price range, tho it does look impressive.

I also just saw the new Yamaha RX-A720. Looks to be in the same street price range ($550) as the DA1800ES.
Quote:
What about going from the top of the line (DN1030) "normal" model to the bottom of the line (DA1800ES) ES model?

Are there any big differences in performance to be expected? It seems the DA1800ES can be found for not that much more $$$...

Wait a minute, if the A720 and DA1800ES are in your price range at $550, why isn't the Pioneer SC-1222 at $529?

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post #14 of 18 Old 03-06-2013, 03:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Hmmm, the SC-1222 was over $650 street price. I see that its a bit cheaper now. Also seems like the reviews are mixed...

I've heard about the SC-1222 being the best in its class. What makes this better than the A720 or the DA1800ES? Is it just the amps?
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post #15 of 18 Old 04-02-2013, 01:44 PM
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I've had my STR-DN1030 for a few months now... overall, it sounds pretty good... and a good deal at $398. It does well with 5.1 & 7.1 surround... though I have to say... my old Technics SA-AX7/SH-AC500D seemed to have more oomph. The connectivity features are definitely a plus, as are the added surround codecs, though it's kinda disappointing how few movies are 7.1 encoded.
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post #16 of 18 Old 04-02-2013, 06:50 PM
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I too have been narrowing my search between the Sony 1030 , Denon 1913 , and the Yamaha Rx-v573. I want reliability above all and good sound. Seems like Denon may have the best sound? How does the Yamaha and Sony stack up sound wise?
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post #17 of 18 Old 04-02-2013, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by aurora85 View Post

I too have been narrowing my search between the Sony 1030 , Denon 1913 , and the Yamaha Rx-v573. I want reliability above all and good sound. Seems like Denon may have the best sound? How does the Yamaha and Sony stack up sound wise?

I like my Sony STR-DN1030 and it sounds great - almost 2 months with it now. The only thing I regret not having is the audyssey, like on the Denon (with eq). I didn't even know about it before purchasing the Sony and joining the avsforum. The Sony version of audyssey is ok, but always puts my fronts to large even with a sub and I am not sure what it really does with EQ. The Sony does produce incredible sound in my opinion but would have liked to have done a comparison before purchasing. No issue with the Sony running 7.1 and the highest audio settings (tru-hd, master-hd etc...) and the hdmi passthrough works great. I don't think you could wrong with either of these options.

Good luck!!

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post #18 of 18 Old 05-04-2013, 10:38 AM
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did you decide? as I watch and listen more this receiver the sony 1030 really does do well. no need for an upgrade to audyssey xt32. amazing clarity in movies.

Energy RC70 L/R | RC-LCR Center | C-R3 Surrounds | VMINI Bookshelves Surrounds | S12.3 and Dual S10.3 Subs | KRK 10s Sub | Benq w1070 pj | Elite 100" Sable Screen | SONY STR-DN1030| Sony S5100 and S3100 BDPs
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