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Old 01-08-2011, 01:48 PM   #1
wesnah wesnah is offline
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Default Sony vs. Pioneer. Which to buy.

Sony STR-DH810 http://www.amazon.com/Sony-STR-DH810...4498094&sr=1-1
vs.
Pioneer VSX-920-K. http://www.amazon.com/Pioneer-VSX-92...4495309&sr=8-1

Almost the same price. The Pioneer is $25 more right now. Which is the better unit. I have A PS3 and the Sony BDP-S570 player. I thinking the Sony just for matching the rest. What are some opinions. Thanks
Mitsubishi 60" 3-D DLP w/IR glasses
Pioneer VSX-1021-k
Energy Take Classics 5.1
Sony BDP-S570 3D player
250gb PS3 Slim
PSN ID=Wesnah
Xbox360=ConveyedLeaf32
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Old 01-08-2011, 02:59 PM   #2
browndk26 browndk26 is offline
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I had a Sony for a short time but returned it for a Pioneer. They were different models than what you are looking at though.

I didn't like the sound from the Sony. I like my Pioneer and may get another Pioneer one day.
Basement-Panasonic TC-P50X1, Sony BDP-S360, Onkyo TX NR709, Energy C-C50, Energy C-200, Sony SA-W2500, WII, Sony PS3
Living Room-JVC AV-48WP30, Sony DAV-HDX500
Family Room-JVC LT-32X667, Sony BDP-S350
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Old 01-08-2011, 03:00 PM   #3
landgraftj landgraftj is offline
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How much are you looking to spend?
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Old 01-08-2011, 03:01 PM   #4
Wingman1977 Wingman1977 is offline
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Pioneer, no question.
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Old 01-08-2011, 03:26 PM   #5
nezff nezff is offline
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sony makes good cameras, camcorders, tvs, blu ray players, and game systems. Not real sure about their receivers. I dont want to offend anyone here.
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Old 01-08-2011, 03:28 PM   #6
raygendreau raygendreau is offline
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I replaced a Sony STR-DG720 with the Pioneer 920 for two reasons. MCACC auto speaker setup is superior to Sony's DCAC and the Pioneer THD is only .08% vs Sony's 1%.

Keep in mind this hard to find info: The 920 does not have ARC, the Sony does. If your not familiar with the Auto Return Channel, it allows TV audio to go to your receiver via your High Speed HDMI cable. So it saves having to hook up an optical cable. That wasn't a deal breaker for me.
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Old 01-08-2011, 03:43 PM   #7
callas01 callas01 is offline
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best thing to do is hear them see what you like best, then make sure it has all the features you need/want. IMO a $200-300 receiver is a $200-300 receiver, theyll be ok but nothing special

Youd be better off buying a refurb onkyo or marantz on accessories4less.com
Video: Panasonic 55" P55ST50, Oppo BDP-103
Amplification: Integra DTR-40.2, Naim Nait XS-2 Integrated Amp
2-CH: Jolida FX Tube DAC, MacBook Pro, Audirvana Music Software
Speakers: Dynaudio Focus 260s, Focus 210 C, DM 2/6
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Hsu VTF-2 MK4, Auralex Subriser
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Old 01-08-2011, 04:55 PM   #8
lojack1976 lojack1976 is offline
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Sony is a little inconsistent with their non-ES receivers, but every so often they make a winner. That particular model is probably the best in the non-ES lineup. HERE's a review of it over on WhatHiFif.com. That particular Pioneer is also an excellent receiver. Its basically a stripped down version of the 1020 which I had up until recently. It was a great receiver for the money.

I would give the edge to the Pioneer myself, but you have to keep in mind that its actually a tier up from the Sony. The original selling price of the 920 was $200 more than it goes for now. HERE's a review of the Pioneer also on WhatHiFi.com. If at all possible you should go and check them out and decide which you prefer. They have very different sound characteristics.

One area that the Pioneer definitely wins is in the video section. It has Anchor Bay processing while Sony uses Faroudja. I don't know how much importance that holds for you though. There's only an $8 difference between the two at the moment. Amazon's prices change pretty rapidly.
106" Motorized 16x9 Screen - Optoma GT700 Projector - Pioneer Kuro KRP-500M Plasma 1080p(living room)
Panasonic PX75U 50" Plasma 768p(bedroom)
Pioneer SC-05/Crown XLS1000 Amp & Martin Logan Preface Left/Right, Fresco Center, Sunfire HRS-12 Sub, Harman Kardon HKTS 11 5.1 sub/satellites = 7.2(living room) Onkyo HT-RC180 & JBL CST55/Energy Act6 5.1(bedroom) PS3 60GB and Xbox 360(living room) PS3 40GB(bedroom) Harmony One remote(living room)
My blood runs Blu!!!
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Old 01-08-2011, 05:37 PM   #9
wesnah wesnah is offline
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Thanks for the input so far. I would like to keep my spending at $300. And I would like to run everything through HDMI. And keep the wiring as clean as possible. I may be leaning towards Sony if, I understand the ARC feature.
Mitsubishi 60" 3-D DLP w/IR glasses
Pioneer VSX-1021-k
Energy Take Classics 5.1
Sony BDP-S570 3D player
250gb PS3 Slim
PSN ID=Wesnah
Xbox360=ConveyedLeaf32
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Old 01-08-2011, 05:39 PM   #10
lojack1976 lojack1976 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wesnah View Post
Thanks for the input so far. I would like to keep my spending at $300. And I would like to run everything through HDMI. And keep the wiring as clean as possible. I may be leaning towards Sony if, I understand the ARC feature.
Are you getting new speakers and if so what are you getting?
106" Motorized 16x9 Screen - Optoma GT700 Projector - Pioneer Kuro KRP-500M Plasma 1080p(living room)
Panasonic PX75U 50" Plasma 768p(bedroom)
Pioneer SC-05/Crown XLS1000 Amp & Martin Logan Preface Left/Right, Fresco Center, Sunfire HRS-12 Sub, Harman Kardon HKTS 11 5.1 sub/satellites = 7.2(living room) Onkyo HT-RC180 & JBL CST55/Energy Act6 5.1(bedroom) PS3 60GB and Xbox 360(living room) PS3 40GB(bedroom) Harmony One remote(living room)
My blood runs Blu!!!
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Old 01-08-2011, 05:49 PM   #11
ZoetMB ZoetMB is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raygendreau View Post
I replaced a Sony STR-DG720 with the Pioneer 920 for two reasons. MCACC auto speaker setup is superior to Sony's DCAC and the Pioneer THD is only .08% vs Sony's 1%.

Keep in mind this hard to find info: The 920 does not have ARC, the Sony does. If your not familiar with the Auto Return Channel, it allows TV audio to go to your receiver via your High Speed HDMI cable. So it saves having to hook up an optical cable. That wasn't a deal breaker for me.
That difference in THD is meaningless because there are no real consistent standards for measuring this anymore. The IHF (Institute of High Fidelity) used to have standards for this and power ratings (RMS power, all channels driven, THD = X%, driven into 8 ohms, etc.), but ever since the American hi-fi industry died and computer audio came in, that's all been thrown away. Power ratings today are a joke - some of these receivers that claim 100 watts a channel are probably around 20 watts. My old Crown D50 (25 watts a channel, I believe) has more "oomph" than any modern A/V receiver that I've had a chance to audition.

ARC (to the OP): When it works properly, I think it makes a lot of sense especially if you're in an environment where you don't want a lot of cables, are tight for space and don't plan to use the A/V receiver for ordinary TV watching. In this case, you link your cable box via HDMI to the TV, not to the receiver. The HDMI connection between the receiver and the TV also supports the audio return from the TV, so in the cases where you do want the audio from a TV broadcast to playback via the receiver, you can do so without another cable. The only disadvantage to this is that you won't be using the receiver to upscale 480i or 720p video, but most TVs do that these days anyway.

But the only other choice would be to run HDMI from the cable box to the receiver and then also run component video from the cable box to the TV (and HDMI from the receiver to the TV), but that means a somewhat inferior picture when not using the receiver. At least that's how I see it.

Last edited by ZoetMB; 01-08-2011 at 05:56 PM.
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Old 01-08-2011, 05:56 PM   #12
raygendreau raygendreau is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wesnah View Post
Thanks for the input so far. I would like to keep my spending at $300. And I would like to run everything through HDMI. And keep the wiring as clean as possible. I may be leaning towards Sony if, I understand the ARC feature.
ARC does not affect the audio via HDMI from your source player. It only allows audio from your TV, broadcast audio if you are using the TV's internal tuner, for example, to be routed to the AVR.

Last edited by raygendreau; 01-08-2011 at 05:59 PM.
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Old 01-08-2011, 06:06 PM   #13
wesnah wesnah is offline
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I was hoping to run my TV, PS3, S570, and cable box to the Receiver. Then to the 3-D adapter and out to the TV. I also have a Wii that I would use the component inputs. I don't want to run a HDMI and optical cable. but if I have to run a coaxial cable from the receiver to the TV for sound then so be it. I'm doing that now. New speakers? I haven't decided on anything. But I've read some ok reviews on the Sony's also for the $$$ spent.

http://www.amazon.com/Sony-SS-CN5000...4513548&sr=1-4

http://www.amazon.com/Sony-SS-F6000-...4513548&sr=1-6

I really am on a budget.
Mitsubishi 60" 3-D DLP w/IR glasses
Pioneer VSX-1021-k
Energy Take Classics 5.1
Sony BDP-S570 3D player
250gb PS3 Slim
PSN ID=Wesnah
Xbox360=ConveyedLeaf32
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Old 01-08-2011, 06:21 PM   #14
landgraftj landgraftj is offline
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I'd stick with the pioneer over the sony. I've had 4 pio's in the past, 2 were Elites and I loved them all. Elite 03txh is still in use in my living room with a new marantz 5005 on its way for the basement. That's the 1st time I've bought another brand of receiver other than pioneer.
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Old 01-08-2011, 06:47 PM   #15
browndk26 browndk26 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wesnah View Post
I was hoping to run my TV, PS3, S570, and cable box to the Receiver. Then to the 3-D adapter and out to the TV. I also have a Wii that I would use the component inputs. I don't want to run a HDMI and optical cable. but if I have to run a coaxial cable from the receiver to the TV for sound then so be it. I'm doing that now. New speakers? I haven't decided on anything. But I've read some ok reviews on the Sony's also for the $$$ spent.

http://www.amazon.com/Sony-SS-CN5000...4513548&sr=1-4

http://www.amazon.com/Sony-SS-F6000-...4513548&sr=1-6

I really am on a budget.
Keep away from Sony speakers. You will be looking to upgrade soon after you buy them.
Basement-Panasonic TC-P50X1, Sony BDP-S360, Onkyo TX NR709, Energy C-C50, Energy C-200, Sony SA-W2500, WII, Sony PS3
Living Room-JVC AV-48WP30, Sony DAV-HDX500
Family Room-JVC LT-32X667, Sony BDP-S350
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Old 01-08-2011, 06:53 PM   #16
raygendreau raygendreau is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wesnah View Post
I was hoping to run my TV, PS3, S570, and cable box to the Receiver. Then to the 3-D adapter and out to the TV. I also have a Wii that I would use the component inputs. I don't want to run a HDMI and optical cable. but if I have to run a coaxial cable from the receiver to the TV for sound then so be it. I'm doing that now. New speakers? I haven't decided on anything. But I've read some ok reviews on the Sony's also for the $$$ spent.

http://www.amazon.com/Sony-SS-CN5000...4513548&sr=1-4

http://www.amazon.com/Sony-SS-F6000-...4513548&sr=1-6

I really am on a budget.
I have owned 3 Sony AVR's, the last was the STR-DG720. The Pioneer VSX-920 beats them all in audio quality.

Check THD for both AVRs you are considering:

http://reviews.cnet.com/av-receivers...=mncolBtm;rnav

http://reviews.cnet.com/av-receivers...-33983133.html
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Old 01-08-2011, 07:13 PM   #17
wesnah wesnah is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by browndk26 View Post
Keep away from Sony speakers. You will be looking to upgrade soon after you buy them.
So no Sony speaker's. I would consider something else in this price point, with the same features but I just can't seem to find anything. Say from Onyko ,Denon or Yamaha. Kewood must be out of the home receiver business.
Mitsubishi 60" 3-D DLP w/IR glasses
Pioneer VSX-1021-k
Energy Take Classics 5.1
Sony BDP-S570 3D player
250gb PS3 Slim
PSN ID=Wesnah
Xbox360=ConveyedLeaf32

Last edited by wesnah; 01-08-2011 at 07:15 PM.
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Old 01-08-2011, 08:06 PM   #18
kesando kesando is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wesnah View Post
I was hoping to run my TV, PS3, S570, and cable box to the Receiver. Then to the 3-D adapter and out to the TV. I also have a Wii that I would use the component inputs. I don't want to run a HDMI and optical cable. but if I have to run a coaxial cable from the receiver to the TV for sound then so be it. I'm doing that now. New speakers? I haven't decided on anything. But I've read some ok reviews on the Sony's also for the $$$ spent.

http://www.amazon.com/Sony-SS-CN5000...4513548&sr=1-4

http://www.amazon.com/Sony-SS-F6000-...4513548&sr=1-6

I really am on a budget.
I would stick with Pioneer for both receiver and speakers.

Have you checked out Pioneer's new Andrew Jones designed speaker line?
The are supposed to be outstanding for the money

Retail prices run from $79 for bookshelfs/center speakers to $199 for tower speakers. Go for it!

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Pioneer+...&skuId=1147998

Last edited by kesando; 01-08-2011 at 08:17 PM.
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Old 01-08-2011, 08:26 PM   #19
lojack1976 lojack1976 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wesnah View Post
So no Sony speaker's. I would consider something else in this price point, with the same features but I just can't seem to find anything. Say from Onyko ,Denon or Yamaha. Kewood must be out of the home receiver business.
As far as AVR's go you really have to demo all of the brands' models in your price range. Performance can vary from model to model. Some brands give you excellent quality from the bottom to the top of the line while others give you mediocre performance at the bottom and excellence at the top.

Some brands gimp features at the bottom of the range, but still give you great sound quality while other brands still give you loads of features, but sacrifice sound quality in their lower end models. You really have to evaluate each model you're interested in on a case by case basis. Check out the Sony, the Pioneer, and some Onkyo, Denon, and Yamaha models in your range. You won't know exactly what you're getting without demoing them.

As for speakers, definitely stay away from the Sony offerings. They aren't bad, but they aren't all that good either. If you want to keep costs down then look at the Polk Monitor 50's over on Newegg. They're $130 shipped right now, but they discount them at around $100 shipped each quite often and they will sound far better. Another good option are THESE Pioneer speakers. They've been getting rave reviews and they're only $200/pair at your local Best Buy.
106" Motorized 16x9 Screen - Optoma GT700 Projector - Pioneer Kuro KRP-500M Plasma 1080p(living room)
Panasonic PX75U 50" Plasma 768p(bedroom)
Pioneer SC-05/Crown XLS1000 Amp & Martin Logan Preface Left/Right, Fresco Center, Sunfire HRS-12 Sub, Harman Kardon HKTS 11 5.1 sub/satellites = 7.2(living room) Onkyo HT-RC180 & JBL CST55/Energy Act6 5.1(bedroom) PS3 60GB and Xbox 360(living room) PS3 40GB(bedroom) Harmony One remote(living room)
My blood runs Blu!!!
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Old 01-08-2011, 08:28 PM   #20
lojack1976 lojack1976 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kesando View Post
I would stick with Pioneer for both receiver and speakers.

Have you checked out Pioneer's new Andrew Jones designed speaker line?
The are supposed to be outstanding for the money

Retail prices run from $79 for bookshelfs/center speakers to $199 for tower speakers. Go for it!

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Pioneer+...&skuId=1147998
Ahh...you beat me to suggesting the Pioneer speakers.
106" Motorized 16x9 Screen - Optoma GT700 Projector - Pioneer Kuro KRP-500M Plasma 1080p(living room)
Panasonic PX75U 50" Plasma 768p(bedroom)
Pioneer SC-05/Crown XLS1000 Amp & Martin Logan Preface Left/Right, Fresco Center, Sunfire HRS-12 Sub, Harman Kardon HKTS 11 5.1 sub/satellites = 7.2(living room) Onkyo HT-RC180 & JBL CST55/Energy Act6 5.1(bedroom) PS3 60GB and Xbox 360(living room) PS3 40GB(bedroom) Harmony One remote(living room)
My blood runs Blu!!!
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