How does the Sony STR-DN1040 compare to a Pioneer Elite SC-71? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 29 Old 07-09-2013, 01:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Apologies in advance for another "A vs. B" thread. I've been pondering these receivers and thought someone might have a fresh perspective.

I have been considering a new av receiver for a while now, and have been consistently impressed with the sound of Pioneer's Class D3 amps. I am leaning toward an SC-71 because I am interested in the power but not the bells and whistles offered by the higher models. I thought I might pick up one of last year's models at a discount, but it seems the SC-61 and its siblings are over 17" deep and won't fit in my cabinet. The SC-71 is about 14.6" deep according to Pioneer's website.

That being said, I keep reading very good things about the new Sony STR-DN1040. Both the Pioneer and the Sony have plenty of power, but I notice the Sony weighs just over 10 pounds and the Pioneer about 25 pounds. That concerns me a little bit. And I understand power ratings can be tricky and misleading. What gets my attention is that the Sony is $300-$400 less, but includes built-in wifi and bluetooth.

Should the Pioneer sound better? Or just sound different? I don't mind the extra cost if I get something for the money. Any thoughts are welcome.

I currently have:
B&W CDM1 speakers (somewhat high-end when purchased back in 1996)
B&W CC6 center channel (same)
Polk Audio DSW Pro 10" powered subwoofer (purchased last year)
Sony STR-DE545 receiver (purchased in *cough* 2001)
and am leaning towards adding B&W M-1 surrounds.

Thanks,
David
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post #2 of 29 Old 07-09-2013, 03:22 PM
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Both receivers weigh about 25 lbs (your specs must be in kg). I'm interested in the 1040 as well and currently own an SC-05. Unfortunately, the Sony isn't available in Canada yet, but I'll revisit this thread if I end up with one.
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post #3 of 29 Old 07-09-2013, 04:01 PM
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you are comparing apples to oranges... The Pioneer has class D amps, the Sony does not. The Pioneer should be more powerful. Also, the SC71 is an Elite model (which should be a better performer and specs) and the Sony is the mass market model...

If it's not a BIG screen, it's not a theater...
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post #4 of 29 Old 07-09-2013, 05:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikazaru View Post

Both receivers weigh about 25 lbs (your specs must be in kg). I'm interested in the 1040 as well and currently own an SC-05. Unfortunately, the Sony isn't available in Canada yet, but I'll revisit this thread if I end up with one.

Thanks Mikazaru, you are right: I saw the weight of 10 on Sony's website and missed that it was kilograms. Oops. Amazon's website says 22 pounds for the Sony.
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post #5 of 29 Old 07-09-2013, 05:43 PM
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Sony lists power output @ 1 channel driven. However, Sound and Vision tested last year's model (1030) and measured it at 80 watts x 7 channels driven (8 ohms). Since the 1040 is supposed to be more powerful than its predecessor (advertised specs of 165 vs 145 watts), I suspect that the Sony 1040 is actually a bit more powerful than the Pioneer SC-71 (560 watts total output).
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post #6 of 29 Old 07-09-2013, 05:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Jon S View Post

you are comparing apples to oranges... The Pioneer has class D amps, the Sony does not. The Pioneer should be more powerful. Also, the SC71 is an Elite model (which should be a better performer and specs) and the Sony is the mass market model...

Thanks, Jon. I though initially the Pioneer was a different class of receiver, but all the good reviews of the Sony had me starting to wonder. Though the power ratings are in the same league, I was thinking the Pioneer should perform somewhat better.

David

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post #7 of 29 Old 07-09-2013, 05:52 PM
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You should test them both out... just because something is advertised as a higher end product, doesn't necessarily make it so. As you've already stated, the Sony is getting great reviews.
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post #8 of 29 Old 07-10-2013, 02:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Mikazaru View Post

You should test them both out... just because something is advertised as a higher end product, doesn't necessarily make it so. As you've already stated, the Sony is getting great reviews.

I appreciate the suggestion, but I'm never comfortable buying something when I know I'm going to return it - which would be the case with one of the two receivers. Plus, I'm pretty lazy and likely would keep whichever one I took the time to wire up first.... rolleyes.gif
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post #9 of 29 Old 07-10-2013, 02:35 PM
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How efficient are your speakers? I have a Pioneer SC 35 along with a TV, 2 external amps, BDP, cable box and they all combined rarely exceed 350 total watts on my power console. Most of the spl is achieved with the first couple of watts. I can achieve movie reference level so, the total watts of the avr in the real world rarely come in to play. I have a Sony 100 watt avr that can drive my larger Klipsch towers and center to ear bleeding levels without a problem.

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post #10 of 29 Old 07-10-2013, 03:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikazaru View Post

Sony lists power output @ 1 channel driven. However, Sound and Vision tested last year's model (1030) and measured it at 80 watts x 7 channels driven (8 ohms). Since the 1040 is supposed to be more powerful than its predecessor (advertised specs of 165 vs 145 watts), I suspect that the Sony 1040 is actually a bit more powerful than the Pioneer SC-71 (560 watts total output).

HT magazine tested the Sony 1030 (last years model to the 1040) 118-wpc two channels driven and 65-wpc seven channels driven, both @ 0.1% distortion...

They tested the Pioneer SC-61 (last years model to the SC-71) 127-wpc two channels driven and 99-wpc seven channels driven, both @ 0.1% distortion, so the Pioneer outperformed the Sony in both cases.

But the retail prices for the Pioneer is $1100 vs. the Sony's $500... Again, you are not really comparing comparable models.

If it's not a BIG screen, it's not a theater...
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post #11 of 29 Old 07-11-2013, 03:35 AM
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Those HT magazine numbers show a pretty big edge for the Pioneer on last year's models. However, it seems that the SC-71 is a downgrade from the SC-61 and the str-dn1040 is an upgrade over the str-dn1030 power-wise. I'll be interested in seeing the measurements for this year's models.

http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/ephox/StaticFiles/PUSA/Files/Home/SC-71%20Single%20Sheet.pdf

http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/ephox/StaticFiles/PUSA/Files/Home/SC-61%20New%20Single%20Sheet.pdf

In general, I agree that usually you get what you pay for, but sometimes a manufacturer offers a high value product that competes above its weight class.
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post #12 of 29 Old 07-11-2013, 03:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by derrickdj1 View Post

How efficient are your speakers? I have a Pioneer SC 35 along with a TV, 2 external amps, BDP, cable box and they all combined rarely exceed 350 total watts on my power console. Most of the spl is achieved with the first couple of watts. I can achieve movie reference level so, the total watts of the avr in the real world rarely come in to play. I have a Sony 100 watt avr that can drive my larger Klipsch towers and center to ear bleeding levels without a problem.

Thanks for your input, Derrick. I looked up the specifications on my speakers, their sensitivity is 88 dB. That's pretty inefficient, isn't it? But the wattage ratings of the two receivers seem comparable.

By the way, I'm afraid I don't know what you mean by "spl" when you say most of the spl is achieved with the first couple of watts.

David
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post #13 of 29 Old 07-11-2013, 03:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikazaru View Post

Those HT magazine numbers show a pretty big edge for the Pioneer on last year's models. However, it seems that the SC-71 is a downgrade from the SC-61 and the str-dn1040 is an upgrade over the str-dn1030 power-wise. I'll be interested in seeing the measurements for this year's models.

http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/ephox/StaticFiles/PUSA/Files/Home/SC-71%20Single%20Sheet.pdf

http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/ephox/StaticFiles/PUSA/Files/Home/SC-61%20New%20Single%20Sheet.pdf

In general, I agree that usually you get what you pay for, but sometimes a manufacturer offers a high value product that competes above its weight class.

Thanks, I didn't realize the SC-71 was down in power from the SC-61. It looks like 5 wpc.

David
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post #14 of 29 Old 07-11-2013, 03:31 PM
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SPL is sound pressure level which is how loud the speakers will get for a certain input signal.

Using a speaker specifications or sensitivity of 90 db:

1 watt = 90dB

10 watts = 100dB

100watts = 110dB

This shows how fast watts go with rising spl/db.

Getting an avr with preouts is also a nice option since an external amp can be added if more power is needed. Your speakers are average sensitivity. Room size and how loud you listen also determine how much power you need. It is better to error on the side of a little to much power than not enough.

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post #15 of 29 Old 07-11-2013, 04:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon S View Post

HT magazine tested the Sony 1030 (last years model to the 1040) 118-wpc two channels driven and 65-wpc seven channels driven, both @ 0.1% distortion...

They tested the Pioneer SC-61 (last years model to the SC-71) 127-wpc two channels driven and 99-wpc seven channels driven, both @ 0.1% distortion, so the Pioneer outperformed the Sony in both cases.

But the retail prices for the Pioneer is $1100 vs. the Sony's $500... Again, you are not really comparing comparable models.

you realize the audible difference of 99 vs. 65 is negligible, right?

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post #16 of 29 Old 07-11-2013, 05:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by derrickdj1 View Post

SPL is sound pressure level which is how loud the speakers will get for a certain input signal.

Using a speaker specifications or sensitivity of 90 db:

1 watt = 90dB

10 watts = 100dB

100watts = 110dB

This shows how fast watts go with rising spl/db.

Getting an avr with preouts is also a nice option since an external amp can be added if more power is needed. Your speakers are average sensitivity. Room size and how loud you listen also determine how much power you need. It is better to error on the side of a little to much power than not enough.

Thank you for the explanation, Derrick. I did not realize the massive increase in wattage necessary to obtain an increase in decibels.

David
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post #17 of 29 Old 07-11-2013, 06:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by airgas1998 View Post

you realize the audible difference of 99 vs. 65 is negligible, right?

Hello Airgas,

You know, I had no idea that the difference in sound level between 99 and 65 watts was negligible. But thinking about it and looking at Derrick's post, I see what you mean. He pointed out that at a given sensitivity 10 watts would produce 100 dB, and 100 watts 110 dB. Given those numbers, 99 watts would produce nearly 110 db and 65w just a few decibels less. Thank you for calling my attention to that.

David

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post #18 of 29 Old 10-22-2013, 04:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikazaru View Post

Those HT magazine numbers show a pretty big edge for the Pioneer on last year's models. However, it seems that the SC-71 is a downgrade from the SC-61 and the str-dn1040 is an upgrade over the str-dn1030 power-wise. I'll be interested in seeing the measurements for this year's models.

http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/ephox/StaticFiles/PUSA/Files/Home/SC-71%20Single%20Sheet.pdf

http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/ephox/StaticFiles/PUSA/Files/Home/SC-61%20New%20Single%20Sheet.pdf

In general, I agree that usually you get what you pay for, but sometimes a manufacturer offers a high value product that competes above its weight class.
.

I agree, and I think that Sony did that with the 1040. Too bad they didnt put that same GUI in their 1800ES, or give the 1040 a 5yr warranty -- or at least 3 yrs. My understanding is that the 1040 has some ES technology in it. But that is hard to verify -- Sony is mum on that.
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post #19 of 29 Old 10-22-2013, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Mikazaru View Post

You should test them both out... just because something is advertised as a higher end product, doesn't necessarily make it so. As you've already stated, the Sony is getting great reviews.

According to Cnets Matthew Moskovciak, his fellow employee, Audio expert, Steve Gutenberg, liked the 1040 the best out of all the AVR's they tested this year.
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Originally Posted by diyer999 View Post

According to Cnets Matthew Moskovciak, his fellow employee, Audio expert, Steve Gutenberg, liked the 1040 the best out of all the AVR's they tested this year.

Which floors me when auto-calibration does not even work. Costco has the 1030 for like $399. I have a couple of entry level Sony's around here and I have always wonder if the incredibly quick calibration process was really just a sham.

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post #21 of 29 Old 10-22-2013, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Jon S View Post

. . . But the retail prices for the Pioneer is $1100 vs. the Sony's $500... Again, you are not really comparing comparable models.

What you said isnt correct. The Sony retails for $600 and the Pioneer for $1,000. The Sony's price is only dropping by $50 [off & on sales], whereas the Pioneer has dropped $400 off retail to a low of $700 on Amazon, probably even less on eBay. I think the Sony is underrated and the Pioneer is overrated. I think the Pioneer is much nicer looking and has a better video processor. I think the wifi feature right out of the box and those large caps and transformer for more power are Sony's advantage . . . Personally, I really dont care for either product.
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post #22 of 29 Old 10-22-2013, 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by david3772 View Post

Apologies in advance for another "A vs. B" thread. I've been pondering these receivers and thought someone might have a fresh perspective . . . I have been considering a new av receiver for a while now, and have been consistently impressed with the sound of Pioneer's Class D3 amps. I am leaning toward an SC-71 because I am interested in the power but not the bells and whistles offered by the higher models. I thought I might pick up one of last year's models at a discount, but it seems the SC-61 and its siblings are over 17" deep and won't fit in my cabinet. The SC-71 is about 14.6" deep according to Pioneer's website . . . That being said, I keep reading very good things about the new Sony STR-DN1040. Both the Pioneer and the Sony have plenty of power, but I notice the Sony weighs just over 10 pounds and the Pioneer about 25 pounds. That concerns me a little bit. And I understand power ratings can be tricky and misleading. What gets my attention is that the Sony is $300-$400 less, but includes built-in wifi and bluetooth. . . Should the Pioneer sound better? Or just sound different? I don't mind the extra cost if I get something for the money. Any thoughts are welcome.

I am also interested in those brands/model + the Yamaha RX-A720. I think they're all fine and anyone of them would serve me well when I listen to a "taxi-cab driver blow his horn" in a romantic comedy movie set in NYC, or watching the Weather Channel, or News, or many other programs. In fact, it was this forum where one of the engineers said that 90% of HT is video not audio, and of that 90%, only 10% involves movies that even need full surround sound, like an action movie. Essentially it is all hyped up money making duping us all. I realized that it was really overkill, kinda like buying a Ferrari to go grocery shopping. I am still building up a HT but not in such a crazy way as some here might often suggest. I mean, do I really need a McIntosh AVR to hear a taxi cab blow his horn? . . . I think not! And neither do I need an Integra, Rotel, Anthem, Marantz, Pioneer Elite, Cambridge, B&K, Lexicon, Adcom, Cary, Luxman, etc., etc., etc! to hear that taxi-cab driver. There are two situations where you might want a higher end AVR: listening to full complete music tracks, or if you only have one system and do not separate your audio and video.

But there are two other situations where you do not need a high end AVR, one, where you separate your audio and video, and the other, where you only watch video. I separate mine, so I got interested in the entry level AVR's for about $250. Even if I wanted to show off my system at the end of Fright Night 3D, when Hugo sings the entire 99 Problems, I mean c'mon, how important is that when you could donate that extra money to some child in Guatemala that would be thankful for just a cheap old analog tube radio. Not if I won the lottery would I buy a high end AVR for these purposes. So, basically I am making my HT for my Grandchildren, and for others to enjoy -- but it wont have a McIntosh level. Yes, I'll watch it some but it just isnt all that critical. The proof of that is that this HT thing is somewhat of a novelty, a fad that wears off. I've seen and talked to too many disillusioned former HT advocates end up with just simple 2 channel systems for all their audio-video needs. But the new generations seems to think its kool, so I figure let them have it, life's cruel enough soon enough.

So, I got to the point of even considering the Sony STR-DH740. It does 2 channel stereo, and the taxi driver sounds good, as well as, the weather channel. Ummm, it doesnt have any Internet functions, but my 3D TV has a full web browser and my high end Blu-Ray player does, so how many times do I need all those same apps-features? For example I have the MHL on my Oppo (now there is a wise place to put your HT $$$), so why does my AVR need it too? So, I saved $$$ just by nixing off AVR with MHL. As for the Pioneer SC-71, what I liked best about the unit was that it was supposed to run cooler, because it has a class D amplification. That is, until I read a review about someone's testing that model. So, now I nixed that model off, and again saved many $$$ by doing so. Btw, the Pioneer is not $1,200 or $1,400, it is listed at $1,000 and is greatly reduced to $700 on Amazon. And furthermore if it is so darned good why isnt Pioneer offering a 3 year warranty like Yamaha does. It has the same year warranty as the Sony 1040. And about the Sony, it isnt $500 retail as previously mentioned, it is $600. Here is a copy of the Pioneer review:
Quote:
. . . "I have noticed that this receiver gets quite warm, even when being used at medium listening levels. The heat is not enough to concern me, but more than I expected, considering the advertised efficiency of the D³ amps . . . It also made evident a weakness: lack of subwoofer EQ. The SC-71 will EQ down to about 125Hz, but below that you are basically stuck with your sub's natural response in your room (or an external EQ/DSP solution). After playing with sub placement and seating location, I have a setup that is pretty good for my main listening position despite a couple of peaks and dips, however the other seats in the room suffer from a nasty peak in bass below 40Hz. Another drawback is the lack of ability to measure and average room responses from multiple positions, as others like Audyssey and YPAO can do. It is something that could potentially be very beneficial for my room, and many others . . .

Conclusions and Recommendations: My major gripes would be lack of bass EQ and preamp outputs (beyond subs and main L&R), and a lousy remote. Unfortunately gripes 1 & 2 would both be deal breakers for me. Pioneer receivers probably do not get the attention they deserve, considering the majority of the discussion I see and hear seem to be focused around Onkyo, Denon, and Marantz, but based on my time with the SC-71 I believe many consumers would be very happy with any one of the Elite receivers.[END QUOTE]

Again, the heat issue was my interest in a Class D, and that review opened my eyes about that model. And the Subwoofer Hz issue was the other deal- braker for me. But the Pioneer is the nicest looking, with the orange backlighting display -- orange and black go well together -- I dislike the white backlighting, too distracting. I do agree that I would still pick the Pioneer over the Onkyo, Denon, and Marantz. I know a dealer who said that Onkyo had the worst attrition rate of all the brands he ever sold. Eight out of ten units he sold came back for some type of repair; id, for Denon, not what they use to be. As for Saul Marantz's products, look on the back, its Death by China. So, now its a race between the Sony 740, and the 1040, or the Yamaha RX-A720. I'm sure all are fine for movie sounds, so I'm waiting to see what develops. Btw, according to Matthew Moskovciak of C|net, his fellow employee, Audio expert, Steve Gutenberg, liked the 1040 the best out of all the AVR's tested this year . . . Hmmm, that guys knows tons more than we do. The 1040's large caps and transformer is what initially grabbed my attention. Since then I have learned that since it has the most power of all the models I considered, I would not have to turn the vol up as high to get the same level of efficiency, and therefore it will run cooler, and therefore will last longer, and therefore is a better value. That's my take on it.
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post #23 of 29 Old 10-24-2013, 08:32 PM
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Costco has now reduced the price of the STR-DN1030 to $349.99. It looks like that will be the price until they are gone. I have over 30 years in the AV industry and I can tell you this is an awesome receiver. The only difference I can see with the newer 1040 is the vastly improved GUI. But if you use the Sony Media Remote app you will have the same ease of use and still have $200 in your pocket.
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post #24 of 29 Old 10-24-2013, 10:12 PM
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I'll agree with listening to the AVR in your enviroment. The 1040 is getting some nice reviews, and is supposed to be a step up from the 1030 (which was already supposed to be a great deal). I too was looking for a new receiver, and ended up with the Sony 5800 es. I was able to listen to the Onkyo 818, Pioneer 1522, Denon X4000 and 4311, and Sony 5800es. All of them were used for two weeks, same set up. In my living room, the Sony sounded the best and the room correction worked the best out of them all. The Sony had nice detailed highs, and flat throughout the rest of the frequencies (not a complete audiophile so sorry if the definitions are correct). It also had the best separation.

If you like to listen to your music/movies loud, you should really look into a AVR that has outputs for a external amp. I believe the Sony 1040 doesn't (mainly the reason I purchased the 5800).

I always make sure to let the managers/supervisors know that I am "auditioning" the AVRs, and if they don't sound good, I will be returning them. I make sure this is clear, and if it bothers them, I wouldn't order the unit. Every place (Amazon, Costco, Crutchfield) is fine with this. I even tell them that I would order the "like new" models. SQ is going to be very subjective to YOUR ears. This, to me, is the only way you will know if you made the right choice.

Good Luck!
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post #25 of 29 Old 10-28-2013, 09:20 PM
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Beware the Sony STR-DN1040! The HDMI connections are very unreliable. There's an enormous discussion of this on the Sony Community site, going back at least 2 months. So Sony knows about it. Yet I just got burned with my new 1040. it's almost totally unusable when all the HDMI connections stop working?!
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post #26 of 29 Old 10-29-2013, 10:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdsalsero View Post

Beware the Sony STR-DN1040! The HDMI connections are very unreliable. There's an enormous discussion of this on the Sony Community site, going back at least 2 months. So Sony knows about it. Yet I just got burned with my new 1040. it's almost totally unusable when all the HDMI connections stop working?!
just curious, the Sony systems are made for 1.4a HDMI.
just using a HDMI with "high speed ethernet" may not work
or some times will for a short time then shut down.

my HT
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post #27 of 29 Old 11-18-2013, 08:33 PM
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I will not pretend to be a professional audiophile but I have some experience relevant to this thread.  I was interested in replacing my 2005 Pioneer Elite VSX-74VXI.  It was a beast and the heart of a killer system in my man-cave.  But it only had 2 HDMI inputs and, after 8 years, I thought it might be time to upgrade and update my receiver.  

 

I like many of you was incredibly impressed with the reviews of the Sony STR-DN1040.  And despite my (albeit naive) commitment to Pioneer Elite, I was ready to take the leap and give it a try.  But, as others have noted, the 1030 became available on Costco.com and despite an apparently less "cool" GUI, it was $250 less on sale for $350.  So I thought, what the h@$$, the difference can't be that remarkable.  I'll buy it and try it and if it didn't work out, then thank you Costco for your generous return policy.  

 

Well, I went through the entire set-up of the 1030 and, exactly as predicted by many user reviews, I immediately had problems with the HDMI inputs consistently displaying their relative signals.  Additionally, the GUI would not consistently operate despite repeated attempts with remote.  At one point, I had to actually disconnect the power cord in order to (apparently) reset the receiver.  That said, when the receiver was actually managing an inputted component, the sound was amazing.  But, as the colloquium goes, "other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?".

 

In the end, I actually bagged the idea of the SC-71 because of some of the professional critiques noted in this string and went with the VSX-70 and I have been incredibly impressed and happy.  Amazing sound; very cool and intuitive GUI interface and easy set-up -- it actually was able to tell me that 3 of my speakers were out of phase (again, not professional audiophile) -- so I could correct it.  And the iPhone app is pretty sweet as well.  

 

So, take my 2 cents for what it's worth ---- which is about 3 cents.  

 

Cheers.

 

Chris 

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post #28 of 29 Old 11-18-2013, 10:20 PM
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I have not seriously listened to a recent Sony DN-line in a few years. In the past I was never impressed. The ES, yes very nice, DN, well wouldn't be my choice - but the latest ones may be great.
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post #29 of 29 Old 11-25-2013, 09:05 PM
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Costco has now reduced the price to $ 324.00 after a Sony instant rebate.
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