Have your say & ask the experts!

Bought a Cheap Sony STR-DA1200ES receiver. Is it any good?

50 replies [Last post]
bretty's picture
Offline
Joined: 20 Jul 2007
Posts: 2408
RE: Bought a Cheap Sony STR-DA1200ES receiver. Is it any good?

BIGBERNARDBRESSLAW wrote:

Self-employed, and owed a lot of money. |(

Tell me about it, mate. I'm in the same boat. I've got a window cleaning company and window cleaning and poxy weather do not like each other. I'm hoping this snow doesn't hang around for long, cos I can't work again til it thaws. Add that onto only managing 5 days work in December and you have one very skint Bretty (hence buying cheap, second hand stuff off the 'Bay!)

I hope you get your invoices paid soon, fella. They private or commercial customers? I usually find the commercials pay pretty promptly (not always, mind).

__________________

GyroDec SE - TechnoArm A - Grado Reference Platinum 1 cart

Rotel RCD-991 - Exposure VII Pre amp (Dual Mono) - 2 x Exposure VI PSU - Exposure Super VIII Power - Rogers Studio 1A

Optoma HD33 projector - 106" screen - Sony STR-DA5400ES - Tannoy Eyris Surround Package - REL Strata II

Joined: 20 Oct 2010
Posts: 4692
RE: Bought a Cheap Sony STR-DA1200ES receiver. Is it any good?

Subbying to someone who spends money like water, but never ever pays me up. It'll be nearly £4000 by the end of the week after tax.

Very annoying, but I need the work, so I can't kick up too much. 

__________________

LOUNGE:  Panasonic TX-P50GT50 (is poorly) / Panasonic DMP-BDT120 / Yamaha RX-A2020 / Dali Zensor 3 (front) / Dali Zensor Vokal (centre) / Mordaunt Short MS20i Pearl Edition (rear) / Q Acoustics1000Si (sub) / Roksan Radius 5.2 / Ortofon Super OM20 Cartridge / Sky HD / WD My Book Live 2TB / Seagate Expansion 2TB / Nintendo Wii / Tacima CS-929 

BEDROOM:  Samsung LE32C450 / Sony BDP-S360 / Echostar HDS-600RS / Netgear WNCE2001

Joined: 17 Aug 2009
Posts: 4282
RE: Bought a Cheap Sony STR-DA1200ES receiver. Is it any good?

BIGBERNARDBRESSLAW wrote:

I think the Yammy 1020 is top of my list at the moment

As a quick update, now I've had the Yammy 810 for a week, I have a few concerns. The sound it produces can be striking, while the sound field is huge. It also drags up an impressive amount of detail through the midrange. First impressions are therefore good.

However, now I've had more time to hear it in action with a wider range of content, there are a few things I really don't like. Perhaps most importantly, dialogue sounds thin and too bright. There's a metallic ring to voices and other sounds in the high frequencies. Think Thom Yorke's processed voice in "The National Anthem" (if you're a Radiohead fan) and hopefully you'll have an idea of what I mean.

Detail is also missing at the top end. While I can hear sounds in the midrange I'd never noticed before, there are sonic gaps in the treble (I've sat here on a few occasions thinking "where did that cymbal or sound effect go, it's always been there before").

Beyond that, it's strange how the receiver is capable of huge dynamic shifts with Blu-rays, yet has little bottom end with music (I started a thread on this in the hi-fi section).

It could be that the receiver is bedding in and will ease up a little further down the line. On the other hand, it might sound exactly the same, in which case I don't think I can live with it. I spoke to RS and they're happy for me to give it a little more time, with the option to return. They were very friendly and provided excellent customer service, as always.

I've sold my old TV, BDP, and receiver now, so whatever I do it will involve new kit...

Anyway, I posted as I thought that might be useful information given your current choices. The 1020 is of course a later model and may have a very different sonic character to the 810.

__________________

Hardware: Panasonic TX-P50VT65B (calibrated); Cambridge Audio Azur 651BD; Yamaha RX-A810; Teac PD-H600; PS3; B&W 601 & 600LCR (series 3); Q Acoustics QAV (rear)

Furniture and Accessories: BLOK Classix 3000 Oak AV Cabinet; Atacama Nexus 6 (atabite metal filled); 3D3 A1112

bretty's picture
Offline
Joined: 20 Jul 2007
Posts: 2408
RE: Bought a Cheap Sony STR-DA1200ES receiver. Is it any good?

BIGBERNARDBRESSLAW wrote:

Subbying to someone who spends money like water, but never ever pays me up. It'll be nearly £4000 by the end of the week after tax.

Very annoying, but I need the work, so I can't kick up too much. 

Frustrating mate, especially when it makes you feel like you're being me a mug of, but ca't say anything. I have one commercial client that is ALWAYS late on the payment by two to three months at a time. I would love to get rid of them, but the job's worth a couple grand a year so I have to bite my lip and keep schtum, which really isn't my style. Eats me up inside!

Hope you get paid this week, mate. Then you can get shopping and I can read your review of your new amp!

__________________

GyroDec SE - TechnoArm A - Grado Reference Platinum 1 cart

Rotel RCD-991 - Exposure VII Pre amp (Dual Mono) - 2 x Exposure VI PSU - Exposure Super VIII Power - Rogers Studio 1A

Optoma HD33 projector - 106" screen - Sony STR-DA5400ES - Tannoy Eyris Surround Package - REL Strata II

bretty's picture
Offline
Joined: 20 Jul 2007
Posts: 2408
RE: Bought a Cheap Sony STR-DA1200ES receiver. Is it any good?

strapped for cash wrote:

BIGBERNARDBRESSLAW wrote:

I think the Yammy 1020 is top of my list at the moment

 

However, now I've had more time to hear it in action with a wider range of content, there are a few things I really don't like. Perhaps most importantly, dialogue sounds thin and too bright. There's a metallic ring to voices and other sounds in the high frequencies. Think Thom Yorke's processed voice in "The National Anthem" (if you're a Radiohead fan) and hopefully you'll have an idea of what I mean.

 

Sounds strange. Has the amp set your centre speaker to 'small' by any chance? 

__________________

GyroDec SE - TechnoArm A - Grado Reference Platinum 1 cart

Rotel RCD-991 - Exposure VII Pre amp (Dual Mono) - 2 x Exposure VI PSU - Exposure Super VIII Power - Rogers Studio 1A

Optoma HD33 projector - 106" screen - Sony STR-DA5400ES - Tannoy Eyris Surround Package - REL Strata II

Joined: 17 Aug 2009
Posts: 4282
RE: Bought a Cheap Sony STR-DA1200ES receiver. Is it any good?

bretty wrote:

strapped for cash wrote:

BIGBERNARDBRESSLAW wrote:

I think the Yammy 1020 is top of my list at the moment

 

However, now I've had more time to hear it in action with a wider range of content, there are a few things I really don't like. Perhaps most importantly, dialogue sounds thin and too bright. There's a metallic ring to voices and other sounds in the high frequencies. Think Thom Yorke's processed voice in "The National Anthem" (if you're a Radiohead fan) and hopefully you'll have an idea of what I mean.

 

Sounds strange. Has the amp set your centre speaker to 'small' by any chance? 

It did by default, but I've been through every possible configuration and it sounds the same.

The front three speakers have been changed from small to large in every possible combination. I've been through several auto calibrations with single and multiple microphone positions. I've tried every sound option and DSP parameter the AVR offers. I've even tried playing the same content through different sources, fed through HDMI (bitstream and PCM) and analogue. I've also tweaked various EQ functions and listened to the AVR in "Pure Direct" mode. The result is the same, thin dialogue and a metallic ring at the top end.

I've read a few accounts of the receiver sounding sibilant when new, but improving over time. However, that would indicate a hiss rather than ring (the treble does sound rather diffuse, though, accounting for the lack of detail mentioned above). I've owned two Yamaha receivers previously, which were an excellent sonic match with my B&Ws. I'm wondering of the Yamaha/B&W combination, in this instance, is the root cause of the problem. 

__________________

Hardware: Panasonic TX-P50VT65B (calibrated); Cambridge Audio Azur 651BD; Yamaha RX-A810; Teac PD-H600; PS3; B&W 601 & 600LCR (series 3); Q Acoustics QAV (rear)

Furniture and Accessories: BLOK Classix 3000 Oak AV Cabinet; Atacama Nexus 6 (atabite metal filled); 3D3 A1112

bretty's picture
Offline
Joined: 20 Jul 2007
Posts: 2408
RE: Bought a Cheap Sony STR-DA1200ES receiver. Is it any good?

strapped for cash wrote:

bretty wrote:

strapped for cash wrote:

BIGBERNARDBRESSLAW wrote:

I think the Yammy 1020 is top of my list at the moment

 

However, now I've had more time to hear it in action with a wider range of content, there are a few things I really don't like. Perhaps most importantly, dialogue sounds thin and too bright. There's a metallic ring to voices and other sounds in the high frequencies. Think Thom Yorke's processed voice in "The National Anthem" (if you're a Radiohead fan) and hopefully you'll have an idea of what I mean.

 

Sounds strange. Has the amp set your centre speaker to 'small' by any chance? 

It did by default, but I've been through every possible configuration and it sounds the same.

The front three speakers have been changed from small to large in every possible combination. I've been through several auto calibrations with single and multiple microphone positions. I've tried every sound option and DSP parameter the AVR offers. I've even tried playing the same content through different sources, fed through HDMI (bitstream and PCM) and analogue. I've also tweaked various EQ functions and listened to the AVR in "Pure Direct" mode. The result is the same, thin dialogue and a metallic ring at the top end.

I've read a few accounts of the receiver sounding sibilant when new, but improving over time. However, that would indicate a hiss rather than ring (the treble does sound rather diffuse, though, accounting for the lack of detail mentioned above). I've owned two Yamaha receivers previously, which were an excellent sonic match with my B&Ws. I'm wondering of the Yamaha/B&W combination, in this instance, is the root cause of the problem. 

Hmmm, sounds like it's just not the amp for you. I can't imagine the sound changing too much after being run in. Are you going to send it back?

__________________

GyroDec SE - TechnoArm A - Grado Reference Platinum 1 cart

Rotel RCD-991 - Exposure VII Pre amp (Dual Mono) - 2 x Exposure VI PSU - Exposure Super VIII Power - Rogers Studio 1A

Optoma HD33 projector - 106" screen - Sony STR-DA5400ES - Tannoy Eyris Surround Package - REL Strata II

Joined: 17 Aug 2009
Posts: 4282
RE: Bought a Cheap Sony STR-DA1200ES receiver. Is it any good?

Probably. I want to give it a chance to settle down, first.

The bigger question is, if I return the 810, what's the alternative? I've been thinking about the Onkyo 717, but I've read worrying reports of lip sync problems, multiple units failing, and other glitches.

I'm definitely open to suggestions. with a budget of, say, £600. Any receiver I choose can't be deeper than 38cm (any larger and it won't fit in my cabinet).

__________________

Hardware: Panasonic TX-P50VT65B (calibrated); Cambridge Audio Azur 651BD; Yamaha RX-A810; Teac PD-H600; PS3; B&W 601 & 600LCR (series 3); Q Acoustics QAV (rear)

Furniture and Accessories: BLOK Classix 3000 Oak AV Cabinet; Atacama Nexus 6 (atabite metal filled); 3D3 A1112

Joined: 20 Oct 2010
Posts: 4692
RE: Bought a Cheap Sony STR-DA1200ES receiver. Is it any good?

Thanks for the feedback Strapped, it's a big shame that you're not too happy with the sound you're getting, and of course, you've now put the doubts into my head about Yamaha receivers. <img src=" /> 

I really like the sound of my Sony, it's just not 3D capable, and doesn't have all the other things that the new amps have, so I thought it's the right time to change it. Maybe not then.

 

 

__________________

LOUNGE:  Panasonic TX-P50GT50 (is poorly) / Panasonic DMP-BDT120 / Yamaha RX-A2020 / Dali Zensor 3 (front) / Dali Zensor Vokal (centre) / Mordaunt Short MS20i Pearl Edition (rear) / Q Acoustics1000Si (sub) / Roksan Radius 5.2 / Ortofon Super OM20 Cartridge / Sky HD / WD My Book Live 2TB / Seagate Expansion 2TB / Nintendo Wii / Tacima CS-929 

BEDROOM:  Samsung LE32C450 / Sony BDP-S360 / Echostar HDS-600RS / Netgear WNCE2001

Joined: 20 Oct 2010
Posts: 4692
RE: Bought a Cheap Sony STR-DA1200ES receiver. Is it any good?

This is grabbing my attention now Strapped, and not a bad price for something that was well over a grand when it first came out. 

http://www.audiblefidelity.co.uk/Denon_AVR_3313_AV_Receiver_p/avr3313.ht...

or

http://www.petertyson.co.uk/ebuttonz/ebz_product_pages/denon_avr-3313.sh...

 

__________________

LOUNGE:  Panasonic TX-P50GT50 (is poorly) / Panasonic DMP-BDT120 / Yamaha RX-A2020 / Dali Zensor 3 (front) / Dali Zensor Vokal (centre) / Mordaunt Short MS20i Pearl Edition (rear) / Q Acoustics1000Si (sub) / Roksan Radius 5.2 / Ortofon Super OM20 Cartridge / Sky HD / WD My Book Live 2TB / Seagate Expansion 2TB / Nintendo Wii / Tacima CS-929 

BEDROOM:  Samsung LE32C450 / Sony BDP-S360 / Echostar HDS-600RS / Netgear WNCE2001

Joined: 17 Aug 2009
Posts: 4282
RE: Bought a Cheap Sony STR-DA1200ES receiver. Is it any good?

Thanks for the links BBB. Very tempting...

I've spent the last three hours having a thorough play with the 810. It's sounding a bit more agreeable. I went right back to basics, restored the 810 to factory default settings, abandoned thoughts of using YPAO auto calibration, set speaker levels by ear, measured and entered speaker distances, and made manual EQ adjustments by ear too.

This hasn't eradicated the issues mentioned above, but it has minimised them (or it sounds the same and I've convinced myself otherwise Embarassed). And I'm definitely enjoying the 810's sound steering abilities.

I think I'll let it run in for a fortnight and see how it sounds then. I know some maintain that an AVR will sound exactly the same out of the box as it does a month later. They may be right; but RS has given me a big enough window to return the 810 and I've got other things I need to get on with. The worst case scenario is that I'm deferring hassle.

I'd be grateful if you could let me know if you audition (or buy) the Denon. It'd be great to hear how you get on.

Incidentally, did you speak to JL about your GT50? I know you're working away at the mo, so it's probably not top of your list of priorities...

__________________

Hardware: Panasonic TX-P50VT65B (calibrated); Cambridge Audio Azur 651BD; Yamaha RX-A810; Teac PD-H600; PS3; B&W 601 & 600LCR (series 3); Q Acoustics QAV (rear)

Furniture and Accessories: BLOK Classix 3000 Oak AV Cabinet; Atacama Nexus 6 (atabite metal filled); 3D3 A1112

Joined: 20 Oct 2010
Posts: 4692
RE: Bought a Cheap Sony STR-DA1200ES receiver. Is it any good?

strapped for cash wrote:

I'd be grateful if you could let me know if you audition (or buy) the Denon. It'd be great to hear how you get on.

Incidentally, did you speak to JL about your GT50? I know you're working away at the mo, so it's probably not top of your list of priorities...

Will do. I'm still totally undecided, and might even keep the Sony. A lot of it comes down to money, and I've a cambelt that needs doing, and gas and electric bills about to arrive, so we'll see what I'm left with.

Haven't spoken to JL, been on my list to do, but as usual with me, I've put it off for another day.

Have you changed your GT yet?

__________________

LOUNGE:  Panasonic TX-P50GT50 (is poorly) / Panasonic DMP-BDT120 / Yamaha RX-A2020 / Dali Zensor 3 (front) / Dali Zensor Vokal (centre) / Mordaunt Short MS20i Pearl Edition (rear) / Q Acoustics1000Si (sub) / Roksan Radius 5.2 / Ortofon Super OM20 Cartridge / Sky HD / WD My Book Live 2TB / Seagate Expansion 2TB / Nintendo Wii / Tacima CS-929 

BEDROOM:  Samsung LE32C450 / Sony BDP-S360 / Echostar HDS-600RS / Netgear WNCE2001

Joined: 17 Aug 2009
Posts: 4282
RE: Bought a Cheap Sony STR-DA1200ES receiver. Is it any good?

Cheers BBB. The replacement GT50 is being delivered on Thursday.

On a positive note, I can say that the picture on the GT50 presently in my living room is fantastic now, when I can't see the dirty screen effect.

I can state definitively that there are five brighter vertical lines on the right of the screen, from the bezel to a third of the way in, and one on the far left. I can spot them whenever a uniform colour is displayed; more so with pastel shades, and most when there's grass in the image.

Is this comparable with your experiences, or does it sound like I've got more of a problem set?

The buzzing is exactly the same -- louder than on my previous two plasma TVs and the wrong side of what I'd consider acceptable.

 

Heating your home and getting from A-to-B sound more important than AV upgrades, especially during this cold snap!

__________________

Hardware: Panasonic TX-P50VT65B (calibrated); Cambridge Audio Azur 651BD; Yamaha RX-A810; Teac PD-H600; PS3; B&W 601 & 600LCR (series 3); Q Acoustics QAV (rear)

Furniture and Accessories: BLOK Classix 3000 Oak AV Cabinet; Atacama Nexus 6 (atabite metal filled); 3D3 A1112

Joined: 20 Oct 2010
Posts: 4692
RE: Bought a Cheap Sony STR-DA1200ES receiver. Is it any good?

Your GT50 problem is quite similar to mine, though I can't be as specific about the amount of vertical bands I can see, they are visible on both sides of the screen, but mainly on the right hand side. I've run the scrolling bar, and the bands show themselves as lighter, green tinted bands. There are also what look like, dirty marks near the centre of the screen. 

My general view of the picture is that it is great, but I find occasionally, my eyes get drawn to these bands.

I will have to ring JL, but the idea of getting on the replacement merry go round, doesn't thrill me.

Good luck with yours, I hope you get a perfect specimen, I'm sure there are such things out there. 

__________________

LOUNGE:  Panasonic TX-P50GT50 (is poorly) / Panasonic DMP-BDT120 / Yamaha RX-A2020 / Dali Zensor 3 (front) / Dali Zensor Vokal (centre) / Mordaunt Short MS20i Pearl Edition (rear) / Q Acoustics1000Si (sub) / Roksan Radius 5.2 / Ortofon Super OM20 Cartridge / Sky HD / WD My Book Live 2TB / Seagate Expansion 2TB / Nintendo Wii / Tacima CS-929 

BEDROOM:  Samsung LE32C450 / Sony BDP-S360 / Echostar HDS-600RS / Netgear WNCE2001

Joined: 17 Aug 2009
Posts: 4282
RE: Bought a Cheap Sony STR-DA1200ES receiver. Is it any good?

Thanks. It's useful to compare notes with another GT50 owner.

There's no green tint to the bands on my GT50, unless the screen is filled with green content. The bands show up as a lighter shade of whichever colour is being displayed.

The replacement merry-go-round isn't fun. What scares me is that I could end up with more problems than I've got now. Learning from experience, I won't post a success story before I've had a chance to thoroughly check out the new set. After replacing my TV, AVR, and BDP in recent weeks, I'm also tiring of packing and unpacking boxes.

Anyway, it's late, so I'll leave you in peace!

__________________

Hardware: Panasonic TX-P50VT65B (calibrated); Cambridge Audio Azur 651BD; Yamaha RX-A810; Teac PD-H600; PS3; B&W 601 & 600LCR (series 3); Q Acoustics QAV (rear)

Furniture and Accessories: BLOK Classix 3000 Oak AV Cabinet; Atacama Nexus 6 (atabite metal filled); 3D3 A1112