Suggestions for better receiver than Sony DE897


Unregistered guest
I realize this question is wearing thin here, but nonetheless, after reading through similar posts I would like any further advice you can provide.

I recently upgraded a 10 year old Sony HCD-461 system (which is beginning to fail) to a Sony STR-DE897.

To my ear, the lower watt HCD Sony sounds louder, warmer, and clearer than this newer fancier model. To me, the DE897 sounds very bright and artificial.

I use the unit mainly for music but also for HT. The main importance to me is music.

I am running the new Sony through the same speakers that came with the 10-yr-old unit. To me they always sounded good. But am open to upgrading based on more expert advice.

If anyone has any suggestions for a system that will provide the best & LOUDEST sound for a budget of around 1000 and under for a receiver, and 1500 or less for speakers, I would greatly appreciate it.

Thank you much, Bob.

Unregistered guest
Bob, do yourself a favor and ditch the SONY alltogether!!! What type of speakers do you have? Try a Marantz SR-7400 for $599 at accesscories 4 less!

Their website is

Unregistered guest
Yes, I plan to sell the DE897, as I really don't care for the sound.

They are all Sony speakers that came with the original unit, also 10 yrs old. The front speakers are large and rated at 200W.

Unregistered guest
Yeah about the only thing Sony makes that's really good is their TVs and video cameras. In audio I think their ES series is supposed to be OK but that's it.

The Marantz 7400 is very nice, though the $600 price is for a refurb. If you want to look at new Marantz receivers, go to and take your pick, I think they have a new 5500 or 6400 for $600 shipped up to a new 7500 for $1000 shipped.

Or you can get a Pioneer 1014 for $400 at which a lot of folks have been extremely happy with and add the $600 savings to your speaker setup where you might hear a bigger difference.

For speakers I'd check out the Internet-direct makes first---Swan, Ascend, Axiom, etc. The local retail speakers I'd look at first for best quality-to-price ratio would be Paradigms.

Personally I've been really happy with my Ascend 340s because I like clear and natural mids/highs in my music (80% of my use); they offer outstanding quality for the money, especially if you use their System Advisor page to buy a whole setup at a time. Get the best you can afford for the front 3 then go cheap on the surrounds, would be my advice. The Hsu subs they carry are excellent for both movies and music.

Unregistered guest
Thanks for taking the time to lend some advice. I will check out your suggestions.

I'm surprised to see no one brought up HK ;-)

Thanks again, BobT

Bronze Member
Username: Jbecvar

Post Number: 11
Registered: Mar-05
I have a pioneer 1014, and I am extremely happy with it, it's identical to the elite line with a couple of minor exceptions, and it's very affordable, although the new 1015 is coming in april, and it's gonna have more power and some other new features, so if you can wait, I would say hold off for that one.
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