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Sony STR-DA4400ES Owner's Thread - Page 2

post #31 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by MordredKLB View Post

The receiver gets loud. Volume range is -infinity to +22dB. I don't believe for a second that it's actually 22dB over reference, but it's loud. I turned an Opeth CD up to -1dB playing through my Klipsch RF-3s. It was a during a quiet guitar interlude and it was loud... then some heavy guitar came in and blew my ears out. We're talking ear damage in a few minutes loud. I'd like to say the sound wasn't getting muddy, but I couldn't listen long enough to make an accurate judgement.

After you have done more audio only listening can you let us know how in general you think it sounds.
post #32 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by RWetmore View Post

After you have done more audio only listening can you let us know how in general you think it sounds.

Definitely. At the moment, I'm concerned with how the whole video processing side works because that's definitely the first big deal breaker.

I did figure out what was going wrong on the upscaling side. First of all my TiVo HD wasn't outputting Native, but 1080i. I was comparing resolutions a few weeks ago and apparently didn't set it back. However the TiVo is connected to the 4400 by HDMI which means NO video upscaling is done. I knew this but got confused. My TV was also confused because it wasn't properly switching to 4:3 mode when receiving the signal over HDMI unlike when it received it over component.

When the 4400 receives video over component you can change the output format, but it's unavailable when receiving over HDMI. Apparently I never tried that last night.
post #33 of 220
I'm testing this with a Sony XBR4. I don't know if this is a Bravia Sync issue or HDMI control or what, but it's cool.

The 4400 can be set to send the sound to: Amp, Amp+TV or TV only. With HDMI control on, if you set it to Amp, when you adjust the volume on the TV (using the TV remote) my TV displays "Volume +" or "Volume -" and the receivers volume changes. Very cool.

Of course, this morning I turned on the TV and the receiver and noticed that for some reason the receiver had muted (i.e. Muting was showing on the display) itself and was routing sound to the TV. I checked and somehow the receiver had changed the setting back to Amp+TV. I'm pretty sure I didn't do this last night, but I'll watch it to make sure it doesn't switch back again.
post #34 of 220
Thanks for continuing with detailed reports. Can you look inside and see if there are two capacitors located behind the power supply? The reason I ask is because last year's models only had one, which was very odd.
post #35 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by RWetmore View Post

Thanks for continuing with detailed reports. Can you look inside and see if there are two capacitors located behind the power supply? The reason I ask is because last year's models only had one, which was very odd.

It's funny you ask that. When I pulled it out of the box I could swear I saw 2 (and they were a good bit smaller than the caps in my old DA4ES) but I decided to double check. However due to the nature of my the rack that it's sitting in I can't even see them anymore. I crammed my head and a flashlight into the 7" of clearance above it but could only see one. With the amount of circuit boards covering stuff it's possible I just couldn't get at the proper angle to see them both... or maybe there really is just one. I think I would have made more notice of that fact as I visually compared the innards of both before sticking the 4400 in my rack. So really, somebody else will have to check
post #36 of 220
While playing around with trying to get the proper aspect ratio all the time, I changed my TVs setting to turn on Auto Wide Mode. This is supposed to detect and set the aspect ratio based on the source. After turning this on I switched inputs to an SD source and immediately got the dreaded Pink Screen. I switched away and back and it was fine. I then switched away and back and the Pink Screen was there. I turned off Auto Wide Mode on the TV and switched between inputs a good 10 or 15 more times and the screen looked fine. Apparently that was the Pink Screen culprit. No idea if it's a problem with the XBR4 or the 4400 though.
post #37 of 220
I've owned a 4ES so I'm curious how you think the 4400ES sounds in 2 channel analog direct mode. Compared to my DG1000, the 4ES was quite a bit softer on the low end. The DG1000 has much tighter and punchier bass. Overall, I thought the DG1000 sounded quite a bit better despite not having quite the power reserves of the 4ES.
post #38 of 220
Does the volume GUI overlay over HDMI

I though this receiver upscaled everything to 1080p, Even HDMI

I could have swore i read these were some of the changes.

HDMI Gui Blending.....1080p upscaling of all inputs, including HDMI lesser resolutions sources.


I have the 5300ES and I payed a very pretty price for it. I would be able to get out almost even if not better if I watched the sales. Just curious.
post #39 of 220
HDMI Gui Blending - 5400es
Component GUI Blending - 4400es

I posted some pictures of the 5400es, rear, front, remotes but they have been deleted from this thread. Why?
post #40 of 220
i read too quickly the specs between the two. Im guessing the 5400 does hdmi upscaling as well as the gui blend to 1080p then. Thanks for the clarification.
post #41 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by RWetmore View Post

Thanks for continuing with detailed reports. Can you look inside and see if there are two capacitors located behind the power supply? The reason I ask is because last year's models only had one, which was very odd.

I had my wife stick her head into the rack and she was able to see two capacitors.
post #42 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by RWetmore View Post

I've owned a 4ES so I'm curious how you think the 4400ES sounds in 2 channel analog direct mode. Compared to my DG1000, the 4ES was quite a bit softer on the low end. The DG1000 has much tighter and punchier bass. Overall, I thought the DG1000 sounded quite a bit better despite not having quite the power reserves of the 4ES.

I wish you hadn't actually said this because it changed what I was looking for and might have colored my thinking. I say this mainly because I didn't actually use the 4ES for listening to music all that much, or at least not at significant volumes. The day the 4400 came I did try and do some listening on the 4ES so I could try and compare the two.

Now, I normally listened to CDs on the 4ES in 2.1 mode because I liked the extra power the sub gave. I thought it sounded just fine. Today, listening to the same material the bass sounded muddy and not well defined until I turned the sub off and I felt it was quite punchy. Were the crossovers set differently so that I wasn't getting much lowend out of my mains with the 4ES? I dunno. Whatever it was, in two channel the 4400 sounded great. I even noticed some things in one CD that I hadn't heard before, although I honestly don't think I ever listened to those tracks on the 4ES

I had (mistakenly) thought I could compare a DTS-MA or DD TrueHD track with a regular DTS and DD track before remembering that if your player can't decode the track it just extracts the core. The PS3 can so I haven't been able to do a direct comparison just yet. We have the Mummy Returns on BD (which has DTS-MA) from Netflix and I downloaded a HiDef copy of the same thing to attempt to compare... then realized that the copy I downloaded had an AC-3 soundtrack and not DTS. Not surprisingly the DTS-MA was about 10dB louder and sounded several times better as well. I'll be able to make an apples to apples comparison soon though I hope.
post #43 of 220
Thanks for the report. Yes, it does sound like the crossovers were probably set differently. I'm a purist and only listen in analog direct mode...I find everything sounds more natural that way.
post #44 of 220
BTW - how is the TrueHD and DTS-HD MA decoding? Any lip sync issues or glitches? Sony has been very good in the past with these things, but I thought I'd ask.
post #45 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by RWetmore View Post

BTW - how is the TrueHD and DTS-HD MA decoding? Any lip sync issues or glitches? Sony has been very good in the past with these things, but I thought I'd ask.

None that I've noticed, but the PS3 is decoding them and sending as L-PCM and I'd expect that to work perfectly. It's possible that bitstreaming may give different results, although I doubt it.
post #46 of 220
I know some people from the 5300 thread have complained of hiss through the speakers on HDMI connections. I hadn't noticed it at first, but I can confirm the hiss is there. I have Klipsch speakers which are ridiculously efficient and I'm listening to movies at ~-21dB (where +22dB is the max). I can hear the hiss with my ear right near the speaker. If I turn the volume up to 0dB it's clearly audible 11 feet away in a not all that quiet room. On a CD source connected with Toslink there is no audible hiss 1" away at max volume.
post #47 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by MordredKLB View Post

Sadly, at the moment I'm not completely sold on it. I've had some annoyances and weird issues that I don't completely understand but there's one thing that's really upsetting me. For some reason the receiver is completely flaking out with 1080p/24 output. I've got a PS3 which has been hooked up to an XBR4 for a year now and it's worked perfectly. When I put the 4400 in the middle of the HDMI I get a picture about 25% of the time. Oddly enough it works almost every time when I first start a BD disc but if I switch video inputs and then switch back I get a message on the TV that appears for about half a second that says "unsupported Video format" and then the screen flashes black, and the sound cuts out for a few seconds. Then it comes back, I get the same message... repeat ad infinitum. Disabling 1080p/24 output in the PS3 menu and instantly I have perfect picture.

I've got the same problem. Same equipment. Same 1080P/24 Off 'fix'. This unit is supposed to support that, and it does work sometimes like you described. I played with audio, video, Bravia sync settings. Nothing helped. I've put in a tech support request. Maybe they'll help.

I also noticed new and annoying hissing in my speakers after setting up this receiver. My last receiver wasn't using hdmi. It was a str-de997, and things were quiet. I was preparing to search for a ground loop, but now I wonder if it's the HDMI connections. If so, is there anything that can be done?

I'm also wondering about the 48 kHz output from higher than 96 kHz. Can anyone tell me if this is a bad thing? I've read plenty of debate about the need for higher sampling rates, but I'm wondering if anyone has the experience to tell me if I'm losing any sound quality because of this. I have no comparison experience or ability to do so. From a numbers standpoint, ooooing and ahhhing over lossless TrueHD 192 kHz sampling (for example) doesn't seem to be so exciting when 48 kHz is pasted on the display. Given the problems above, I'd definitely return this to get something that handled 192 if it exists (and didn't compare to the cost of a new car) if I knew it was worth it.

Thanks for any help.
post #48 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by evalese View Post

I've got the same problem. Same equipment. Same 1080P/24 Off 'fix'. This unit is supposed to support that, and it does work sometimes like you described. I played with audio, video, Bravia sync settings. Nothing helped. I've put in a tech support request. Maybe they'll help.

I also noticed new and annoying hissing in my speakers after setting up this receiver. My last receiver wasn't using hdmi. It was a str-de997, and things were quiet. I was preparing to search for a ground loop, but now I wonder if it's the HDMI connections. If so, is there anything that can be done?

Well glad to know it's not just my receiver that's defective. Did you talk to someone about the issue?

Were you noticing the hiss on all HDMI sources? I realized last night that I only checked the input the PS3 was hooked up to so it's possible that the hiss could be coming from the PS3 I suppose. I'll double check tonight.
post #49 of 220
I found out what the problem is with the humming. I have a separate battery backup unit for a few components, and it seems to be interfering with my amp (Emotiva XPA-5). Otherwise, it's quiet. The amp is closer to that power supply than my old receiver was, so there must be some interference.

I got a response from Sony support, but it was the canned link to the HDMI setup on the PS3. I wrote back with a more detailed explanation. Hopefully, they'll consider it further. I'll let you know how it goes.
post #50 of 220
I just hope this receiver doesn't turn out to be a nightmare like the 5300ES. You would think that Sony would learn from their past mistakes and focus on making improvements. Sometimes, I wonder if they even put their products to the test. A receiver costing as much as this one should not have any issues out of the box. I was really looking forward to buying this one, now I will just have to wait and see what happens to this particular model.
post #51 of 220
Well miraculously the hissing sound I was hearing on (at least the PS3) HDMI connections disappeared last night. I don't know what changed, but I couldn't reproduce it last night on any of the 3 HDMI inputs I was using... even at max volume and my ear pressed against the speaker.

I am getting the problem where if my Harmony remote starts an activity that turns on my XBR4 and the 4400, the Bravia Sync will switch the receiver to TV+AMP mode, mute the receiver and reset audio delay from 70ms back to 0ms. If the TV is already on when I turn on the receiver, the Bravia Sync correctly redirects sound output from TV to the 4400. I guess I'll have to play around with the macro to see if I can easily prevent this. I don't really want to disable the HDMI control because the redirecting sound output is very nice, particularly because you can control the AVRs volume with the TV volume control which is great for watching the TiVoHD where I don't normally have the receiver on, but occasionally turn it on for movies.
post #52 of 220
Can you compare the noise floor in analog direct mode vs. non analog direct mode (digital circuits on)? Can you put your ear up to one of the speakers and turn analog direct on and off and see if there is any noise from the digital circuits?

Also, have you tried the SACD/DSD playback via HDMI?
post #53 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by RWetmore View Post

Also, have you tried the SACD/DSD playback via HDMI?

The only SACD player I have is the PS3 (which doesn't do DSD I'm pretty sure) and I don't have any SACDs so someone else will have to comment on this.
post #54 of 220
I've played SACDs through the PS3. Works fine. I also have a Denon DVD player that can be set to run dsd "pure direct" to analog. I've got it running into the multi connect on the 4400. I ran a comparison between the two, all else equal. No contest. The PS3 HDMI throughput is noticably flat and lifeless. Trust me. My girlfriend could tell, and she doesn't care... For reference, I'm amping my receiver into the XPA-5 and out to Paradigm Studio 60s (and other Studio model speakers). I auto calibrated the receiver already. Volume levels didn't seem to change between the two. The Denon just sounds better. I was going to retire the multi connection. Now I guess I'm not.

I felt like a toolbox, but I bought high end Monster HDMI cables for the PS3 and TV out connections to try to fix the 1080P/24 issue. Made no difference (but you can't blame the cable quality for the poorer SACD sound). Sony support has been great so far. I spoke with a very good tech. I'm supposed to hear back from an internal tech soon. They've got nothing on this since the receiver's so new.
post #55 of 220
I bought some "already been returned" Monster HDMI cables to rule out the 1080p24 issue as well. That way I don't feel like I'm ripping Best Buy off when I return them in a few days.
post #56 of 220
I managed to get one opened item, too. Sure wasn't going to pay $99 for a 4ft cable, so I'm glad it was there. Update on the Sony call is they're replacing the receiver. Apparently, the 5400 has a video direct option that this doesn't, and video direct was what they were hoping would fix the issue. Inconvenient, but if a replacement works, that's ok. If not, I'm returning it. I haven't been as impressed with the Bravia sync feature as I'd hoped, either. It's inconvenient sometimes. I ended up turning it off. That kills two of the three tipping points for me (third being the 6 hdmi inputs).
post #57 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by evalese View Post

I managed to get one opened item, too. Sure wasn't going to pay $99 for a 4ft cable, so I'm glad it was there. Update on the Sony call is they're replacing the receiver. Apparently, the 5400 has a video direct option that this doesn't, and video direct was what they were hoping would fix the issue. Inconvenient, but if a replacement works, that's ok. If not, I'm returning it. I haven't been as impressed with the Bravia sync feature as I'd hoped, either. It's inconvenient sometimes. I ended up turning it off. That kills two of the three tipping points for me (third being the 6 hdmi inputs).

Are they swapping a 5400 for a 4400 for free or are you having to pay the cost difference?

Edit: The 5400 isn't even released yet. Are they offering you a 5300?
post #58 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by evalese View Post

I've played SACDs through the PS3. Works fine. I also have a Denon DVD player that can be set to run dsd "pure direct" to analog. I've got it running into the multi connect on the 4400.

The Denon cannot send DSD to the receiver directly. Nor can the PS3. (The PS3 coverts DSD to PCM and can send that over HDMI.)

Matty
post #59 of 220
They're just replacing the 4400 with another 4400. They only had a 5400 to use to test my issue at the time, and they thought I may have the same video direct option on mine.

With the Denon player (955S), I meant that it is converting direct from DSD to analog (no cross-conversion) before output to the receiver using the dvd analog outputs. Sorry for the confusion.
post #60 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by evalese View Post

With the Denon player (955S), I meant that it is converting direct from DSD to analog (no cross-conversion) before output to the receiver using the dvd analog outputs. Sorry for the confusion.

I think I probably just misread the original post. Apologies all around!

Matty
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