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Need Advice: A/V receiver to replace SONY ES

 

New member
Username: Jasperm

Post Number: 1
Registered: Mar-05
Hi All-

I am considering upgrading from my very old SONY STRGX7ES receiver (from their ES audiophile series) to a new A/V receiver, so that we can have home theatre, and also convert from standard stereo speaker setup to smaller front speakers with subwoofer (as well as the additional surround speakers).

I am leaning towards the Pioneer VSX1014 (or 1015 that's coming?).

What I'm wondering is whether in this price range ($300-400), I'm going to be disappointed by the audio compared to my old SONY ES, which I've really enjoyed for the audio. How do receivers like the pioneer 1014 compare when used for straight stereo, for serious jazz, classical, and acoustic music?

What's the best compromise in this price range between the home theatre stuff and good music performance. For the theatre stuff, I don't watch a lot of action films with complex sound tracks - more of an art film type.

I'm also leaning toward choosing individual speakers from the local Cambridge Soundworks outlet. Are these a good choice for what I've described? Any less expensive options that might perform as well or better?

Advice appreciated!

Thanks,
Michael
 

Bronze Member
Username: Jet2001

Post Number: 15
Registered: Mar-05
If you were happy with the Sony, stick with it and just upgrade. They have a new ES line coming soon, but the current line seems to be doing great. Check out the STR-1000ES and see if it fits your needs. $300-400 should get you what you need.
 

edster922
Unregistered guest
The only way to really decide between your Sony ES receiver and the Pioneer 1014 is to go buy a 1014 locally (if you can find one, they were recently discontinued) and return it if you prefer the Sony.

The 1014 is said to do very well against receivers up to $800 in both HT and music, so I tend to think you'd prefer the 1014.

As for speakers, I'd pass on Cambridge Soundworks---you can get better quality for the same money elsewhere, especially if you're willing to home audition some Internet-direct brands (you just pay $25-45 return shipping if you don't like it).

> For the theatre stuff, I don't watch a lot of action films with complex sound tracks - more of an art film type.

That's exactly how I am, in fact I rarely bother to hookup my two surround speakers for that reason. What I've found really essential is having a really good center channel speaker, since the films I like are heavy on dialogue.

I've been very happy with my Ascend 340s across the front (ascendacoustics.com), in particular the 340c center channel---it's not some dinky little thing but a full-size speaker but it really brings dialogue to life, the sound is amazingly open, natural and lifelike such that I find that I don't need to turn the volume up as much to understand the dialogue, and on the occasions that I do I never get listener fatigue unlike cheaper, shriller speakers.

If your budget or room doesn't allow it, go with the smaller Ascend 170s (absolutely MASSIVE paper trail of glowing reviews there) but stick with the 340 center...it's so good in fact I often find myself listening to vocal-dominated music in 3.1 instead of stereo!

Overall though, I tend to agree with jet2001's suggestion that you upgrade your speakers first...the Sony ES just might be ok.

Oh, and if you don't have one already make sure you get a good sub (Hsu or SVS, $400-600). That way you can crossover your speakers so that they do just midrange and highs while the sub does all the low frequencies and (depending on your speakers' capabilities or lack thereof) mid-bass.
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