Brand new Sony STRAZ5000es

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mantis
mantis Posts: 17,126
edited May 2023 in Electronics
So I have been considering many AVR's for my system. I went round and round with all the different brands, comparing features power and price points.

Just recently Pioneer Elite dropped their prices a bit and that was almost a green light to get one. But the new Sony ES line after looking over everything they changed and improved on from the prior line which I had a STRZA5000es and it was pretty fantastic with a few flaws but overall a great performer. I decided to grab the new 5000.

I got it 2 days ago, Installed it , calibrated and started going through all the new features etc. I listened to some music as if it didn't perform well for music, I would return it. I also watched TV shows and did normal everyday things we do in our family room. last night I watched Mortal Kombat.

So what I have noticed so far is that it has a similar sound quality to the last generation. Warm smooth and clear. What is different is it's a bit more punchy. It has better dynamic range.

Sony released a new format or DSP if you will called Spatial 360. I'm all out on any gimmick so this wasn't something I was interested in at all. But for the sheer hell of it , just like when you own your first Yamaha Receiver and got through the 10000 DSP sound modes , I decided to try it. Well damn, it kinda reminded me of the first time I head Atmos how full and free moving it is. Sony's new 360 mode is pretty damn fantastic for now. I'm waiting for the honeymoon phase to wear off and then after living with this thing for awhile, see if it's still fantastic or is it just like one of the 10000 DSP modes Yamaha gives you.

Music it's pretty impressive. Again warm clear full is what keeps coming to mind when I listen. Almost like the first time you experience a high end Denon or Marantz , it has that warmth to it very comfortable if you will. But it still has excellent high end detail. I'm currently running my Focal's but I'm very tempted to bring up my Def Tech Mythos ST towers and see how they sound on this. I really liked the combo when I had the last gen 5000 and with this being more punchy and powerful, I think that might be a good fit.

The difference this year is the Power supply and Capasitors. They have been updated and polished. It shows when you turn up the volume. It also feels more in control like the Dampening factor has been increased. I have not seen any spec's so I'm just assuming it's increased but he control of the speakers I'm noticing.

There are some negatives I found that are left over from the last gen model.

The volume control.
Sony has this slow at first ramping speed and then goes into overdrive. If you press and hold the volume up, it will start a slow ramp then take off faster then you want it to. I hated that then, I hate it now. I know how to ramp without blowing myself out of the room, but it's just as annoying as it has been.

Manual Calibration.
Yeah I use the Auto calibration but I'm old school and still like to manually do a calibration. When you start your test tone generator, it doesn't go to reference volume. For me that's annoying. I much prefer the way Integra does it , THX style and gives you a countdown to Reference volume to start your calibration.

Order of Speaker setup.
Most probably wouldn't even notice this but as a professional calibrator, I like to do things in a order like Size , Crossover points etc. Sony has a out of order feel to it and I hate it. I feel like I got to skip around to get things set up. Not the biggest deal just annoying to me.

There is another thing I noticed that I didn't know up front and that is the feature WORKS WITH SONOS. So some of us in here have Sonos systems and most likely are going to have a Sonos Connect or Port in their Surround system. I do and have 9 other Zones in my home. Well my Connect is a S1 unit and guess what? It doesn't work with the new WORKS WITH SONOS Feature. My last gen Sony did all day. So now I have to buy a Port so I can retain my Sonos flow around my house OR I have to manually turn on my Receiver , switch to the CD or AUX input and then listen to Sony . Boo Hoo first world problems I know but I have a lot of Sonos amps and don't want to upgrade to a full Sonos S2 just yet. I don't rock the entire house enough to invest thousands of dollars into my Sonos system again. I prefer to spend that money on other things like a Center and Surrounds by Focal and replace my Def Techs.
Dan
My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.

Comments

  • mantis
    mantis Posts: 17,126
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    My choice here a strange one honestly. I was seriously leaning Marantz Cinema 40 but after I found out a few details and facts about Marantz and Denon, I was turned off by the higher cost of the Marantz vs Denon. I guess you get a WAY BETTER looking unit, you get a slight different sound with the Marantz but honestly the Denon models sound almost the same, for the difference in price, the Denon models are better IMO.

    Integra really stood out in my decision and I kept going back and forth. The DRX 5.4 is still on my mind as I find that AVR to be one of the best in the business at any cost. I would put it up against anything by Rotel, NAD , Anthem , Arcam etc as they where all strong considerations. Something about the way Onkyo - Integra performs , sounds , menu structure , Feature sets etc are all to me super attractive.
    Comparing the Sony ES line to the Integra line is a strong vs battle.

    The Sony ES line is built for custom Integrators and have a more no nonsense approach. Simply yet effective. They don't give you tons of bells and whistles and not put money where it actually counts. Not to mention they have the best warranty in the business at 5 years. I can pick up the phone, call Sony ES Tech support and get a human in seconds. Not to mention they all know me LOL. They have real world experience with their product and can answer all my questions ( there is 1 on the table I'm trying to work out ).

    So far I'm pretty happy with the STRAZ5000es , the only thing that haunts me is that damn Integra DRX 5.4. If I wasn't able to wait as long as I did to get the Sony I would already own the Integra and I would not have been longing for the Sony. It's strange to like 2 products as much as I do especially when Denon and Marantz was such a strong contender, I almost just got the Cinema 50 which is a model I wouldn't go after , the Cinema 40 is more my speed but I put one in and was overly impressed.

    I think what I'm saying here after thinking about all this is that these AVR's of today got so good , none of them stick way out in front of the other to the point to make one a clear winner over all other like years ago. You really could buy off of spec's to satisfy all your needs and get a great piece that will perform to the highest level and you can enjoy for many years.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • mrloren
    mrloren Posts: 2,458
    edited June 2023
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    I was thinking of upgrading to the Sony 5000ES or Onkyo RZ50 and changing my sub to SVS SB16. Then I'll watch a movie and forget about it.

    Total upgrade would be well over $4k, not totally in this years budget.

    Bummer I don't work at Sony anymore, AVR's we use to get about 50% off with employee discount.
    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:LG QNED80 75", Onkyo RZ50 Emotiva XPA3 GEN3 Oppo BDP-93,Sony UBP-X800BM. Main: Polk LsiM 705Center: Polk LSiM 704CFront High/Rear High In-Ceiling Polk 80F/X RT Surrounds: Polk S15 Sub: HSU VTF3-MK5
    Bed Room; Marantz SR5010, BDP-S270Main: Polk Signature S20Center: Polk Signature S35Rear: Polk R15 Sub: SVS SB2000
    Working Warehouse; Yamaha A-S301, Sony DVP-NS3100ES for disc Plok TSX550T SVS PB2000 Mini tower PC with 400GB of music
  • mantis
    mantis Posts: 17,126
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    mrloren wrote: »
    I was thinking of upgrading to the Sony 5000ES or Onkyo RZ50 and changing my sub to SVS SB16. Then I'll watch a movie and forget about it.

    Total upgrade would be well over $4k, not totally in this years budget.

    Bummer I don't work at Sony anymore, AVR's we use to get about 50% off with employee discount.
    I've been messing around with the new STRAZ5000es and it's pretty wonderful. Powerful clean and nicely detailed. Shame you can't get one this year, it's a beast
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • mrloren
    mrloren Posts: 2,458
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    Yeah I'm trying to fight off the upgrade bug.

    last year I changed my bedroom sub from a old HSU STF-2 to a SVS SB2000, wow what a big difference. Hard hitting punch in the gut violent bass.

    Been thinking about a SVS SB16 to replace my VTF3MK5. But we watch a movie and the bug goes away, kind of.

    I always liked Sony AVR's for music. these D&M AVR's I've been using these past few years have been great on movies but took too much dialing in for music. My last Sony was a 5800ES, toss a CD/SACD in hit "AFD" and enjoy. When I worked at Sony we got 50% or so off on AVR's.

    I might put funds together and see if I can save a few dollars around July 4th. I'm still a little upset I could not pull the Christmas sale @ SVS, darn SB16 was marked down to $1899 new.

    I've been impressed with SVS subs, SB2000 in the bedroom, PB2000 at work. Neither have let me down at all.
    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:LG QNED80 75", Onkyo RZ50 Emotiva XPA3 GEN3 Oppo BDP-93,Sony UBP-X800BM. Main: Polk LsiM 705Center: Polk LSiM 704CFront High/Rear High In-Ceiling Polk 80F/X RT Surrounds: Polk S15 Sub: HSU VTF3-MK5
    Bed Room; Marantz SR5010, BDP-S270Main: Polk Signature S20Center: Polk Signature S35Rear: Polk R15 Sub: SVS SB2000
    Working Warehouse; Yamaha A-S301, Sony DVP-NS3100ES for disc Plok TSX550T SVS PB2000 Mini tower PC with 400GB of music
  • dpowell
    dpowell Posts: 3,065
    edited July 2023
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    Im still running a 23 year old Sony ES CD/SACD player in my rig. I really like the warm, musical sound it produces similar I'm sure to what you describe above.
    ____________________________________________________________

    polkaudio Fully Modded SDA SRS 1.2TLs + Dreadnaught, LSiM706c, 4 X Polk Surrounds + 4 X ATMOS, SVS PB13 Ultra X 2, Pass Labs X1, Marantz 7704, Bob Carver Crimson Beauty 350 Tube Mono Blocks, Carver Sunfire Signature Cinema Grande 400x5, ADCOM GFA 7807, Panasonic UB420, Moon 380D DAC, EPSON Pro Cinema 6050
  • rooftop59
    rooftop59 Posts: 8,026
    edited July 2023
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    mrloren wrote: »
    Yeah I'm trying to fight off the upgrade bug.

    last year I changed my bedroom sub from a old HSU STF-2 to a SVS SB2000, wow what a big difference. Hard hitting punch in the gut violent bass.

    Been thinking about a SVS SB16 to replace my VTF3MK5. But we watch a movie and the bug goes away, kind of.

    I always liked Sony AVR's for music. these D&M AVR's I've been using these past few years have been great on movies but took too much dialing in for music. My last Sony was a 5800ES, toss a CD/SACD in hit "AFD" and enjoy. When I worked at Sony we got 50% or so off on AVR's.

    I might put funds together and see if I can save a few dollars around July 4th. I'm still a little upset I could not pull the Christmas sale @ SVS, darn SB16 was marked down to $1899 new.

    I've been impressed with SVS subs, SB2000 in the bedroom, PB2000 at work. Neither have let me down at all.

    Read the reviews on the monoprice monolith 15 inch sub. All the reviews say the performance is very similar to the SVS you are looking at, but it’s way cheaper. I love mine!

    https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=44574
    Living Room 2.2: Usher BE-718 "tiny dancers"; Dual DIY Dayton audio RSS210HF-4 Subs with Dayton SPA-250 amps; Arcam SA30; Musical Fidelity A308; Sony UBP-x1000es; Squeezebox Touch with Bolder Power Supply
    Game Room 5.1.4:
    Denon AVR-X4200w; Sony UBP-x700; Definitive Technology Power Monitor 900 mains, CLR-3000 center, StudioMonitor 350 surrounds, ProMonitor 800 atmos x4; Sub - Monoprice Monolith 15in THX Ultra

    Bedroom 2.1
    Cambridge Azur 551r; Polk RT25i; ACI Titan Subwoofer
  • mantis
    mantis Posts: 17,126
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    Tonight probably not a good idea to do a follow up review on the Sony AVR. But in my current condition, it's Effin Awesome.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.