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Sony ES vs Denon? Is there a difference?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
I am looking at both Denon and Sony ES recievers.

Sony STR-DA5500ES
Denon AVR-4310CI

Just curious what people's thoughts are. I've had a Denon AVR-3805 for almost 5 years now and am happy with the performance. Just got a low end sony STR-D800 so I could get my Blu-Ray to play TruHD as I research a high end reciever. I'm happy, but like the clarity of the Denon I had better... I don't put a lot of weight into the compairison because the Sony was $300 and the Denon I paid about $1,500 years ago.

So my question in terms of Sound quality and options that tailor to sound quality what is everyone's thoughts? Things like Denon has Audyssey Multi XT for auto EQ, sony has their flavor... Any thoughts and reasons why is greatly appreciated.
post #2 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjohnston7 View Post

I am looking at both Denon and Sony ES recievers.

Sony STR-DA5500ES
Denon AVR-4310CI

Just curious what people's thoughts are. I've had a Denon AVR-3805 for almost 5 years now and am happy with the performance. Just got a low end sony STR-D800 so I could get my Blu-Ray to play TruHD as I research a high end reciever. I'm happy, but like the clarity of the Denon I had better... I don't put a lot of weight into the compairison because the Sony was $300 and the Denon I paid about $1,500 years ago.

So my question in terms of Sound quality and options that tailor to sound quality what is everyone's thoughts? Things like Denon has Audyssey Multi XT for auto EQ, sony has their flavor... Any thoughts and reasons why is greatly appreciated.

Well I voted for the Denon but it all boils down to personal preference. If you like the Denon, get the Denon. If you like the Sony, get the Sony. I like bells and whistles and power and i feel the 4310 will give you that and not the sony. but some sony supporters may say otherwise.
post #3 of 21
I've always been a fan of the Sony ES series and currently have an ES3200 and ES3400 AVR. While maybe not as versatile as the higher end Denons,Yammies and the like i find a clear difference in SQ with the edge going to the Sony. Pure direct two channel is simply outstanding IMO.
post #4 of 21
Pick the one with the better power supply if features are not making up your mind. You can check max power consumption in the manuals to get an idea.

I had nothing better to do, so I looked.

Sony shows

USA and Canada 480 W - this may not be max consumption

Denon shows 9.5A. That would be 1140 amps. I tend to think the Sony number is not max power consumption. But it is lighter than the 4100, I believe, which could indicate a smaller power transformer.

All guesswork, obviously.
post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thats good information!! What would the bigger transformer do if the watts per channel were very similar? I mean how much difference can 10 watts make... If the transformer means more than watts per channel thats good to know, I would just be curious what benefit it would have.

Thanks again everyone, this is really helpfull!
post #6 of 21
The power supply, especially the power transformer is going to set the limit on how much power the receiver has. If you look at bench tests in reviews, you will see how power drops off as more channels are driven.

If you compare budget receivers to better receivers you will see a clear difference in bench tested power. That's mainly due to the larger power transformer being used in the more expensive receivers. Transformers are not cheap, which is why budget models have smaller ones. Note the difference in weights among the budget receivers vs. the mid range models. That's probably in good part because of the larger, heavier transformers used in the more expensive receivers.

10 watts is insignificant on power. If 100 watts of power into a speaker at 8 ohms gives you 100 dB SPL, 200 only gives you 103 dB. 3 dB is not a big difference in SPL.

Which is why rated specs are useless, because they make almost every receiver's power look very similar. When in fact, the budget models won't put out their rated 100x7 watts of power. They will put out 30 watts with all channels driven or something like that.

The better receivers will come closer to rated power.

Receivers with better power supplies will also use larger filter capacitors which can provide for higher levels for short peak demands. This is probably not a big deal though.
post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 
That is VERY helpful information!! Thanks!!! You seem to know a lot about it!
post #8 of 21
looked at these same two as well, went with the sony due to personal preference. Loved many aspects of the Denon but went with the SOny. Now the break in fun..
post #9 of 21
I was very disappointed with my Sony ES3400. The amps were very poor (as in power output dropped from ~100 W/ch to ~35 W/ch, all channels driven) and the Sony room correction was very poor (in several rooms, and with different speakers -- I just could not find anything that it seemed to like). I had expected much better based on previous (but old) experience with Sony. A Denon blew it away, at least IMO. I currently have a Pioneer that also blows the Sony away. Perhaps Sony has improved, but my next AVR won't be a Sony.
post #10 of 21
Wow, holy tales from the crypt! This thread was dead and buried and came back to life.
post #11 of 21
Unless things have changed, Sony specializes in budget receivers. Maybe it's different in Japan.
post #12 of 21
Sony used to make very good high-end stuff. Seems times have changed...
post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by DonH50 View Post

Sony used to make very good high-end stuff. Seems times have changed...

Sony does seem to be working very hard to put itself out of business. It's hard to believe how far they have fallen from the 80's.
post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by bfreedma View Post

Sony does seem to be working very hard to put itself out of business. It's hard to believe how far they have fallen from the 80's.

Just like ford, gm and chrysler, just making crap for the last twenty five years, Its takes a near death, to wake them up and billons of tax dollars.
I would wait for ford, gm and chrysler have a 5 year bumper to bumper before I would buy another..
post #15 of 21
Aside from a volume knob, is there a similarity?
post #16 of 21
The ES line is on par with all the other mid level gear on the market. eg Denon, onkyo, pio, etc. They are all pretty much the same design with a few tweaks. Pretty much all the new receivers are the same now days.
I had a DA7ES, 8 years ago and it was one of the best on the market at the time. Although sony
's budget line really is nothing special, their ES line is still on par quality wise vs the other manufactures. SQ will vary on your room, personal preference etc.
It's just like everything else, some will hate it, some will love it but it's nothing more than personal preference.
post #17 of 21
Hmmm... I do not have recent experience with Sony's top of the line, but the middle (say $1000 to <$2000 range) is what I looked at, and IME/IMO Denon and Pioneer have much better build quality, amplifiers, and room correction than the Sonys I looked at (reviews and in-store) and tried in that range. I liked the Yamaha as well but YPAO did not seem to do as well for me as Audyssey or MCACC. Have not heard a newer Onkyo or HK. As I said, I was dissappointed, and very surprised.
post #18 of 21
Middle range would be $800-$1500 or so IMO. 2K would be into top tire range IMO. Have you looked at the inside of a denon? I have a 3311 and a 4311 and the amp section is a complete joke on both, just like almost all other manufactured now. I'd say their build quality is lacking to what was offered even just a few years ago.

IMO the yamahas seem to have the least amount of gripers on the net. Not to say there are no problems with them but there are more threads on problems with onkyos, denons, marantz etc. Last I read yamaha was the #1 selling avr brand sold in NA, so I guess that must mean their QC may be a bit better but really, who knows.

I'd think the ES line won't be around much longer though. Their sales were pretty bad vs the other manf. They are probably all made at the same factory anyways lol
post #19 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by N8DOGG View Post

Middle range would be $800-$1500 or so IMO. 2K would be into top tire range IMO. Have you looked at the inside of a denon? I have a 3311 and a 4311 and the amp section is a complete joke on both, just like almost all other manufactured now. I'd say their build quality is lacking to what was offered even just a few years ago.

Sony stopped making good audio gear twenty years go. And original question was about Denon 4310, no 4311.

So out of two options, I recommend Denon.
post #20 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by joehonest View Post

Just like ford, gm and chrysler, just making crap for the last twenty five years, Its takes a near death, to wake them up and billons of tax dollars.
I would wait for ford, gm and chrysler have a 5 year bumper to bumper before I would buy another..

Not wanting to feed a troll, but I don't understand this hatred of American cars. My Ford F-150 has 120K miles and has never been in the shop for a repair. It has had only one issue - with a HVAC blend door servo - that I fixed myself. A coworkers Camry had to have a new short block at 30K miles due to an internal engine defect. Which one was more reliable?

And also, Ford didn't take any government bail out and was not near death as you assert. American cars are every bit as good as the foreign ones, and in the case of Ford, better than most.
post #21 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by ap1 View Post

Sony stopped making good audio gear twenty years go. And original question was about Denon 4310, no 4311.

So out of two options, I recommend Denon.

Do you have the denon? have you had the 4310 and the 5500 in the same room and done an A/B blind test? What are you basing your recommendation on? Or are you just bias towards certain brands for some reason?
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