Sony STRZA5000es Flagship Receiver

mantismantis Posts: 15,009
Hello all,
I did something I never did in the past. I went Video first then Audio second. With 4k HDR and now Dolby Vision I felt I was just getting behind and wanted to experience these formats in my own home.
So first off I had to really sit down with myself and Take my Pioneer Elite 60 inch Kuro off the wall and hang a Sony 65XBRZ9D. As awesome as the Z9D is taking down my forever loved Kuro was a very hard move. The Kuro stops at 1080p and to this day I'll go on record to say there is NOTHING on the market up to right now has a better picture for up to 1080p content. Not even the mighty Z9D can outperform it here.
Next was my Apple TV, easy as it's just an upgrade from the last one. Swapped it out now I I have 4k there. Dolby Vision HDR all good.
Ok then I swapped out the Xbox one. Another easy move, now I have 4k gaming and HDR for Blu ray and game playback , blu ray here until I can grab an Oppo 203 or 205 I'm on the waiting list.
Now for the BIG ONE which to me is just as personal as the Kuro the Mighty Pioneer Elite SC-99. This is the LAST of the greats for Pioneer. I looked at the new SC LX models and now the flagship does not support USB High Rez so that really bothered me and it's $3000.00 retail. So I decided not to go that route. I dug into Arcam and they are pretty fantastic but quirky to control, just upgraded to Dolby Vision and I think I'm gonna play without Showroom model once it's installed and really test it there instead at home.
I have a NAD T187 Preamp but have the older HDMI cable v2 in it so no 4k support. The replacement V3 card is $599 and for that kind of money just to test drive 4k then go buy a new 7 channel amp which NAD doesn't make anymore just pissed me off.
So I decided to go with the Sony 5000es receiver over the Integra as I really like the no bullcrap approach. This is closer to what I would want out of a preamp or receiver as it doesn't have streaming crap, extra bells and whistles but it has everything I want except one thing, dual separate Subwoofer outputs. It has a built in dual out splitter so tuning my Mythos ST subs i'm back to my technic I developed when I had the SC-68.
I have a Total Control Control system in my home and I programed it this morning. What a breeze it is to control the Sony. I'm using IP control on the Tv and the receiver and it's seamless and fast. I did however test IP IR and RS232 on the SC-99 and that all worked fine as well.
So I listened to some music on it out of the box with manual calibration and I'm kinda surprised how nice and warm the Sony sounds. I think it might lack some of the punch and dynamic range the SC-99 has but I can't be sure until I fully calibrate it and use the Sony Auto cal plus my tweaks on top of it.
Video wise I'm loving it. I now can pass Dolby Vision from the Apple Tv and it's pretty killer. It's not night and day vs HDR as the SC-99 did support HDR but not Dolby Vision. This is the ONLY reason I moved the SC-99 and put it up for sale. If it did Dolby Vision it would NOT be up for sale. That is a special receiver and I love the hell out of it. I hope who grabs it uses it the way I did as for music it's amazing.
Once I fully calibrate and really get some time in front of the 5000es I will post a full mantis style review on it. This to me is a learning piece but hopefully it's good enough to sadisfy me for maybe a year until I figure out the Arcam, NAD releases a new matching amp to my T187 preamp and drops the price on the HDMI card upgrade. Audiocontrol impresses me enough to buy their preamp and amp or Pioneer comes back out with a USB High rez receiver again but that I'm not holding my breath.3177hz5jb5sr.jpg
Dan
My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.

Comments

  • mantismantis Posts: 15,009
    edited June 9
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    As you can see I'm a Audioquest kinda guy. I also tested all HDMI cables for 4K pass and all Audioquest HDMI cables up to 8M fully support 4k. This is sweet so I don't have to go replace all of them. I use Cinnamon to the TV 3m.Carbon to Blu ray 1m, Chocolate to Cable box 1.5m , Carbon to Xbox One X and finally a Chocolate to Apple TV 4k 2m which I'll probably upgrade or just side grade to Carbon. I don't really see any benefit at 1080p ir hear any difference in audio from Chocolate to Carbon but I'll test again on the Apple TV since I just went Dolby Vison there.
    So some HDMI cables will show up in the flea market , I have to damn many of them from swapping out.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • pitdogg2pitdogg2 Posts: 10,832
    edited June 9
    Why use the better cables from sources then use a lesser cable to display??? I'm mean the cinnamon is no slacker but yet you still have better cables from the source.
  • mdaudioguymdaudioguy Posts: 4,621
    Nice write-up, nice system, but man, you're so dramatic! I hope you've moved the old TV and receiver to the bedroom!
    7.1 - polk RTi10 x 3 (LCR) : FXi3 x 2 : RTi4 x 4 : Sunfire SDS-12 : Yamaha Aventage RX-A2040 : Adcom GFA-7500 : Squeezebox Touch : DIRECTV : Roku SE : Panasonic PT-AX200U PJ @ 120"
    5.1 - Definitive Technology ProMonitor 800 x 4 : ProCenter 1000 : Klipsch Sub-10 : Pioneer Elite SC-91: DIRECTV : LG OLED55B6P : Roku Premiere+
    Garage Duty - polk Monitor 10s : Pioneer A-717 Integrated Amp : Squeezebox Classic
  • mrbironmrbiron Posts: 4,819
    It still cracks me up, being 2018, and seeing 3 sets of component connections on that receiver. When will it die!?!?
    Zu Audio Omen MK-1B's, Peachtree Decco65, Bryston BDA-2, Cheap TT, PS Audio UPC200, PS Audio AC3's, Zu Mission SC's, HTPC, One, Bottlehead Reduction & Crack w/Speedball
  • UpstatemaxUpstatemax Posts: 2,220
    My father has that same receiver. It replaced his NAD T787 that became nothing but a problem after the 4K UHD "upgrade".

    He likes it a lot!

    Hard to compare sound directly since he added a Rotel RB-1582 MKII for the front mains at the same time, but the Sony/Rotel combo is great.

    Open, detailed, less harsh on the top end that what the NAD was.
    Living room:
    Samsung PN50B860 50" Plasma : XBOX One : Roku Ultra : Oppo UDP-203 : Pioneer Elite SC-87 : APC H15 : Focal 806V mains : Focal 806V Surrounds : SVS SB2000 : SVS SB12-NSD

    2Ch:
    Sonus Faber Venere S : Parasound HCA 1500A : Oppo UDP-205 : Furman Elite 15 DM i : Sony XBR 55X810C Monitor :
  • mrlorenmrloren Posts: 1,469
    All I've owned for the past 25 years till I switched to Marantz is Sony. I worked at the CRT plant in San Diego. With the big discount we got on home AV gear It was a no brainer. All the Sony ES I owned were always great on music vs. Marantz which took me some tweaking. It was the movie soundtracks that pushed me away. A $400 Onkyo sounded 10X better on movies than the Sony ES ever did.


    Please let us know your thoughts on your movie experience.
    When I was a kid my parents told me to turn it down. Now I'm an adult and my kids tell me to turn it down.

    Family Room:
    Samsung UN60H,
    Denon AVR-X4400H, Emotiva XPA3 GEN3
    Oppo BDP-93,Sony UBP-X800BM, Sony DVP-NS3100ES, WD Live HUB.
    Main: Polk Signature S60
    Center: Polk CSi-A6
    Front High/Rear High In-Ceiling Polk 80F/X RT
    Surrounds: Polk T15
    Sub: HSU VTF3-MK5

    Bed Room;
    Sony KDF-E42A10,
    Marantz SR5010, BDP-S270
    Main: Polk Signature S20
    Center: Polk Signature S35
    Rear: Polk R15
    Sub: HSU STF-2

    Working Warehouse;
    Sony 2100ES
    Polk RTi4 about 15' up the wall
    Old sony 12" Sub
    Mini tower PC with 400GB of music
  • txcoastal1txcoastal1 Posts: 9,899
    Nioce write up and install Dan
    mrbiron wrote: »
    It still cracks me up, being 2018, and seeing 3 sets of component connections on that receiver. When will it die!?!?

    A lot of people still haven't upgraded, especially in the poorer countries
    2-channel: Modwright KWI-200 Integrated, Dynaudio C1-II Signatures
    Desktop rig: LSi7, Polk 110sub, Dayens Ampino amp, W4S DAC/pre, Sonos, JRiver
    Gear on standby: Melody 101 tube pre, Unison Research Simply Italy Integrated
    Gone to new homes: (Matt Polk's)Threshold Stasis SA12e monoblocks, Pass XA30.5 amp, Usher MD2 speakers, Dynaudio C4 platinum speakers, Modwright LS100 (voltz), Simaudio 780D DAC
  • mrbironmrbiron Posts: 4,819
    txcoastal1 wrote: »
    Nioce write up and install Dan
    mrbiron wrote: »
    It still cracks me up, being 2018, and seeing 3 sets of component connections on that receiver. When will it die!?!?

    A lot of people still haven't upgraded, especially in the poorer countries

    But this is Sony’s ES line which isn’t geared towards people in poorer countries. If you are poor and buying a $2,200 receiver, you have your priorities mixed.
    When you are spending that much, you aren’t using it with a Toshiba VCR. HDMI, Optical, USB, and maybe 1-2 sets of RCA. Spend less money on connections nobody ever uses and put more back into the video processing or amp section.

    It’s like buying a car with both electric and manual window cranks...

    S-video died, why can’t component?
    Zu Audio Omen MK-1B's, Peachtree Decco65, Bryston BDA-2, Cheap TT, PS Audio UPC200, PS Audio AC3's, Zu Mission SC's, HTPC, One, Bottlehead Reduction & Crack w/Speedball
  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 40,375
    It might cost them a buck for those component connections, you shouldn't lose sleep over it.
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


  • mrbironmrbiron Posts: 4,819
    I am.....i can’t help it :D
    Zu Audio Omen MK-1B's, Peachtree Decco65, Bryston BDA-2, Cheap TT, PS Audio UPC200, PS Audio AC3's, Zu Mission SC's, HTPC, One, Bottlehead Reduction & Crack w/Speedball
  • mantismantis Posts: 15,009
    pitdogg2 wrote: »
    Why use the better cables from sources then use a lesser cable to display??? I'm mean the cinnamon is no slacker but yet you still have better cables from the source.
    According to Audioquest thats exactly how you should use their premium HDMI cables. Use the more entry level model to the display like Pearl Forest or Cinnamon and then use higher end cables like Cinnamon Chocolate or Carbon for the components. The Components will send Audio and video and the Display just uses video unless your using ARC which I am. I plan on a Carbon to the TV and just use Carbon for the entire system. I have more Carbon HDMI cables but in my current configuration they are to short. I need to get a 2m and a 3m Carbon. I have a 1.5 and 1m Carbon just sitting here.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • mantismantis Posts: 15,009
    mdaudioguy wrote: »
    Nice write-up, nice system, but man, you're so dramatic! I hope you've moved the old TV and receiver to the bedroom!


    LOL
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • mantismantis Posts: 15,009
    mrbiron wrote: »
    It still cracks me up, being 2018, and seeing 3 sets of component connections on that receiver. When will it die!?!?
    It's dead but some feel it's still nice to have the Composite and Component connections for legacy equipment. I'd prefer to go all Digital but the world isn't just yet.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • mantismantis Posts: 15,009
    Upstatemax wrote: »
    My father has that same receiver. It replaced his NAD T787 that became nothing but a problem after the 4K UHD "upgrade".

    He likes it a lot!

    Hard to compare sound directly since he added a Rotel RB-1582 MKII for the front mains at the same time, but the Sony/Rotel combo is great.

    Open, detailed, less harsh on the top end that what the NAD was.
    I'm a bit surprised how good it sounds. I don't have any power amps connected to it I'm using the internal amps. I only run 5 channels and the center and Surrounds in small.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • mantismantis Posts: 15,009
    mrloren wrote: »
    All I've owned for the past 25 years till I switched to Marantz is Sony. I worked at the CRT plant in San Diego. With the big discount we got on home AV gear It was a no brainer. All the Sony ES I owned were always great on music vs. Marantz which took me some tweaking. It was the movie soundtracks that pushed me away. A $400 Onkyo sounded 10X better on movies than the Sony ES ever did.

    For music so far I'm liking what I hear. I haven't watched a movie yet but I plan on watching one tonight. I'll run some clips of movies I know well and post my thoughts in my upcoming review.
    So far I don't like how the Auto Calibration calibrates the Subs. It's like someone have me a 7db bass boost. I like my system to have a flat response and allow the content to dictate the DB levels of each channel. I don't juice any of my channels for excitement. I do however tweak each channel to blend a bit more then just a simple DB meter or Calibration mic.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • mantismantis Posts: 15,009
    UPDATE, LIVING WITH THE STRZA5000ES
    Hello all,
    Just a small review after watching some movies, Tv and Video games. Streamed some Youtube stuff and really got a pretty good feel on how the 5000es work vs my last receiver in the Mighty SC-99 which is sold already.
    For Video it's awesome. It passes all current Formats but the biggest one for me was Dolby Vision. I'm trying to pick up a Oppo 203 but if I have to in the mean time just to test out Dolby Vision on a blu ray player 4k then I'll grab the cheap Sony X700 as really the picking for a Dolby Vision Blu ray player right now so so slim. HDR looks basically the same as it did on the SC-99 but with the SC-99 not being able to pass Dolby Vision, I now can at least stream it with the Apple TV 4k.
    Audio wise it's not bad. I don't think it's better then the SC-99. They SC-99 had slightly better dynamics and seemed to be more powerful but if you read the spec's on both receivers, they are neck and neck. Real world performance tells the story way more then reading spec's.
    Calibration is funky. It has this Stereo Mic and it runs a very fast sweep and calibrates the audio. What I found is distance and all speaker levels where set correctly except the subwoofers. I have 2 and the output is only mono. I have Def Tech Mythos ST fronts and I already have the subs tuned to the room for themselves in Large running. For LFE the Sony outputs as I said a dual out but it's a splitter not a independent output like what was on the SC-99. This is another thing I liked better about the SC-99 over the 5000es. I had to recalibrate my subs myself as Auto Cal didn't work out here.
    Dyanamics are very important when watching a movie and the Sony with my 8 ohm load 93 db rating all around the room had plenty of power to drive my system plenty loud enough for my room and be nicely dynamic. The SC-99 I still feel was more dynamic.
    Detail tones came across very nicely. The high's especially seem more natural and clear. This is something I like better about the 5000es over the SC-99. Its a very natural sounding well balanced sound. Everything seems to blend together naturally. From the low end to mid range is amazingly smooth and comfortable. It's like I got new mid range drivers installed in all my speakers with a fresh new outlook on life. It's rewarding to have something I can say is better then my old receiver as in ways I didn't even want the 5000es other then for Video abilities to match my Z9D.
    Control is beautiful. It's fast and very nice.
    Sonos Intergration is slow as the day is long. It takes 21 seconds for the receiver to turn on and play music when you start Sonos. Sure it's cool that you just have to use the Sonos app and when you play music on that Connect, the Sony Turns on and goes to the CD input for you and turns on to a certain turn on volume. Then from the Sonos app you can change the volume as you feel fit.
    Turn off after Sonos takes 15 minutes. After you stop playing Sonos music like Apple music or whatever, the Sony will wait 15 minutes without a signal then power itself off. This is nice for those nights you drink a bit to much and forget to turn your system off. The Sony will do that for you.
    Over all I think the Sony is a fantastic receiver. It's has no extra crap it's just a fully functional Custom Install receiver with a good amp built in. I don't have Atmos yet but I plan on adding a pair of Inceiling speakers for Atmos so I can fool around with that.
    I nice pair of De Tech 6 or 8 inch Inceiling Matching speakers will be awesome.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • mantismantis Posts: 15,009
    The more stuff I watch with this receiver the more I like what I hear. One thing that stands out over the last week is the mid range. I'm wondering if the Auto Correction system did a wonderful job balancing out the balance between all frequencies in my room? I'm feeling this overall warmth I didn't have with the Pioneer that I thought I had. Even dynamic range seems to be damn good.
    If I had a full Polk RTI or even LSI or LSIM , I would love to hear how this receiver would fair on those speaker packages. I know the RTI series would sound amazing. The amount of warmth paired with the wonderful overall balance o from top to bottom I think would calm down some of the harshness the RTi series can sometimes have in certain rooms. The Lsi series with it's laid back top end I think would shine as well due tot he even response the Sony has. I think it could bring out some new personality in that series.
    The LSIM series from my super limited experience with them , from what I remember in it's tonal quality I can see a very good match here.

    Just some random thoughts I had while I have been testing the crap out of it for all kinds of different content.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • mrlorenmrloren Posts: 1,469
    I had Sony 2100ES, 5300ES and 5700ES with my RTI-8/CSI5 it was way to bright for my liking. I had the treble @ -2 to tone down the harshness. I did hook up the 5700 to my signatures for a bit, Great on music but movies the Marantz far better.

    I do agree that Sony's auto calibrate program is good. One thing I always liked about Sony is they make it easy to setup in most cases. The Marantz took some time but that is more Audyssey XT being a pain.
    When I was a kid my parents told me to turn it down. Now I'm an adult and my kids tell me to turn it down.

    Family Room:
    Samsung UN60H,
    Denon AVR-X4400H, Emotiva XPA3 GEN3
    Oppo BDP-93,Sony UBP-X800BM, Sony DVP-NS3100ES, WD Live HUB.
    Main: Polk Signature S60
    Center: Polk CSi-A6
    Front High/Rear High In-Ceiling Polk 80F/X RT
    Surrounds: Polk T15
    Sub: HSU VTF3-MK5

    Bed Room;
    Sony KDF-E42A10,
    Marantz SR5010, BDP-S270
    Main: Polk Signature S20
    Center: Polk Signature S35
    Rear: Polk R15
    Sub: HSU STF-2

    Working Warehouse;
    Sony 2100ES
    Polk RTi4 about 15' up the wall
    Old sony 12" Sub
    Mini tower PC with 400GB of music
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