46 of 55 people found the following review helpful
An okay receiver
, September 19, 2012
This review is from: Sony STRDH720 7.1 Channel 3D AV Receiver (Black) (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Electronics)
I bought this receiver to replace a higher end Yamaha receiver that was electrocuted. My home in Florida gets quite a few lightning strikes and I lost quite a few pieces of equipment. This is in spite of having top end surge protectors.
Anyway, this receiver works okay. Here is what I have experienced with this equipment.
The manual is not so good. It really does not give you a grasp of the context behind the various settings. It's voluminous, but useless. You will need some experience to set this up. The manual will not help.
The speaker settings are unusual based on my experience with Pioneer and Yamaha setups. I have a 5.1 surround sound speaker cluster with large left and right speakers and a large center speaker.
The issue I have with the settings is that you CANNOT customize the bass settings to your sub-woofer with the left, right and center speakers set to large. Crossover settings only work with these speakers set to small. I wish the manual was more clear about this. For the life of me, I couldn't figure out why all of this bass was coming through the left, right and center speakers. The vocal sound (which should be routed through the center) was muddy. Almost nothing was being piped through the sub-woofer.
Another issue is that you can only set the left, right and center speakers to large or small as a trio. There is no way to set the center speaker distinctly from the two front speakers.
Now, I finally set the left, right and center speaker to small. Set the crossover to 100 Hz and wow... the sound was not too bad. So in other words, if you have a sub-woofer, you MUST set the left, right and center speakers as a trio to small. Even if they are capable of a full range of bass. Also, as a sub-note, my left and right surround speakers are set to small with 200 HZ crossover.
Now without a sub-woofer, the bass being piped through the center speaker would still cause dialogue to be muddy because you can't set the center to small if you set the front left and right speakers to large (which you must do for bass).
The other issue is this receiver has a relatively high THD (total harmonic distortion). So, when you crank up the volume you will find that the sound distortion is significant. If you have a small to medium size room with pretty good speakers, this should not be a problem as the system has little distortion at medium to loud volume settings. Maximum settings will be unbearable due to distortion.
Okay, I have had no problems with the HDMI. However, our Scientific Atlantic cable receiver will not work right with the HDMI Bravia control on (video will not reliably display on the TV). I don't need it so it's not a big deal, but for those who use HDMI integration between components, beware.
I pipe all of my systems through my receiver (XBOX 360, Wii, Cable, Blu-ray, etc.) and use the receiver as a hub. The video seems correct. I don't like to use video up-conversion, but I really don't know how to turn it off as the manual is not clear. Not been an issue, however so I don't know if a video processor is on or not. There is no indication either way.
The box is big but light. Also, this unit DOES NOT generate a lot of heat.
If you want a cheap receiver that works pretty well. I recommend this unit. For me, if it gets zapped, I won't be out the big bucks that I lost when my beloved Yamaha receiver died. This unit is easily replaceable, works pretty well. Generates fairly good output and is not too hot. Decent buy for the money.
It is not a high end unit and you will be disappointed if you expect something more than a mid-grade system.
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