Sony DSP-EP9ES A/V Preamplifier

4.8/5 (5 Reviews)


Product Description

Dolby Digital Processor


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Reviews 1 - 5 (5 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Criticallistenphile a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: August 13, 2010

Bottom Line:   
*not sure on the producation date of this unit - I looked but found no date stamp*

I've owned more than one preamplifier in the past and currently do. Obviously, a variation of inputs is nice, but the point that I'd prefer to critique more is the quality of the audio. I currently use this unit as the preamplifier for my home office computer. I am using only one of the digital inputs (optical) that is fed its signal from a Turtle Beach USB to optical converter (which is a phenomenal unit, I must admit). All of my audio critiquing is done from .FLAC files that have been ripped from CD via Xact Audio Copy. This elimintes the error correction issue that plagues cd-rom drives and cd players. As a result this sort of playback eliminate a few variables that can have a detrimental effect on the audio playback. I generally rely on Randy Roos - Liquid Smoke, Sissel, Chesky Demonstration Disk, and the such for performing my critique becuase of the superb quality of these recordings.

As far as equipment is concerned, all components are power conditioned. The EP9ES is connected to a Pioneer SA-8800 amplifier that has been recapped with Black Gate capacitors. The connection is made with solid silver interconnects with a minimalist design directly to the amplifier in section - therefore bypassing the standard inputs, the preamplifier section, including the volume potentiometer. The speakers driven have an efficiency of 100db @1watt/1meter and are entirely free of a crossover network since they are full range drivers. As a consequence, there is no coloration that comes through excess solder joints and variations of metals that an audio signal usually encounters through a crossover network as it journeys to the speakers.

The Sony EP9ES provides a transparent signal with no apparent discrimination or bias to particular frequencies. The DAC that is used delivers a wide soundstage and allows for a clear delivery of all parts of the music even when simultaneous. I have an Anthem AVM20 which I love. Understanding that there is a clear difference between the products, although both are preamps - one having all the bells and whistles and the other (the Sony) having a limited number, the EP9ES is not far from the Anthem in it's two channel production. I cannot review the surround difference since I"m only using the Sony for two channel reproduction. For the difference in price, the Sony delivers an exception value - especially since I only paid $40.00USD for mine. I am very pleased with the audio quality that this device delivers. I feel that my review is fair to the unit as my review setup eliminates so many of the standard variables. If one is considering buying this unit, barring malfunctions, it should be a satisfying addition to any audio system. I highly recommend it. It's simplicity adds to the audio quality that it produces.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   1999



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by ARIKI a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: December 29, 1999

Bottom Line:   
I HAVE USED THIS PRODUCT FOR THE LAST 6 MONTHS AND HAVE FOUND IT TO BE AN EXCEPTIONAL "DIGITAL PREAMP".IT HAS 4 DIGITAL INPUTS(1 COAX 3 OPT),1 RF INPUT AND 1 OPT OUTPUT.THE SOUND FROM MY 3 AUDIO COMPONENTS(CD,MD,CDR)IS EXCELLENT AND FROM DVD(DOLBY DIGITAL)IS SUPERB.I RUN A PERREAUX PRE AMP THROUGH THE "BYPASS" INPUTS AND FIND THE SOUND THROUGH HERE QUITE TRANSPARENT.A FEW(VERY MINOR)NIGGLES...IT NEEDS ANOTHER DIGITAL OUT(FOR MORE THAN 1 DIGITAL RECORDING DEVICE)AND IT CANNOT ACCEPT A FIRST GENERATION DIGITAL COPY(eg CDR).EVEN SO I DEFINITELY RECOMMEND THIS AS THE HEART OF ANY GREAT HOME THEATRE SYSTEM.

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Used product for:   3 months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1997



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by curtis couch a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: November 29, 1999

Bottom Line:   
i have been using this unit as a digital preamp as well as dolby digital processor with a relatively high-end martin-logan sl3/classe 200 setup.

i don't listen to analog sources anymore, so the digital inputs only aspect doesn't affect me. i'm sure there are probably some high-end (high priced) units out there that may surpass this unit's performance, but without a/b'ing them in my system, i never feel like i am missing out on much in the way of performance.

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Used product for:   3 months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1999



Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Tom a an Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: April 10, 1999

Bottom Line:   
I purchased the DSP-EP9ES here in Tokyo used for about $325. In short, I couldn't be more pleased with the unit. In the DD mode, I am using it with a second-hand Sony DVP-S7000 and the combination offers all I need for H/T. As for the lack of analog inputs, I've got around this small problem by using a high-end Sony MD deck's analog/digital circuit for inputing analog sources. For example, I've routed my HiFi VHS unit thru the Sony MD player and the Dolby Pro Logic section of the EP9ES is clearly superior to that of my old Carver pre/pro. Another nice feature of the EP9ES is the bypass circuit that permits one to connect audio preamp into the same system. Mine includes a Bryston BP 25/3B-ST that are used for audio. The Bryston and DSP-EP9ES share the same amp for dual purposes and, in this way, one gets the best of both worlds without buying duplicate amps and speakers. While the Sony 9000 pre-pro is more adjustable from an H/T prespective, I was able to buy both the EP9ES and S7000 for $300 less than what the Sony 9000 pre-pro would have cost here in Tokyo. In my case, I believe that I've got decent H/T and audio systems without spending a fortune on either. However, even at new price of $550, I think the EP9ES is a great value since it's so reliable and versatile.

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Duration Product Used:   an Audio Enthusiast



Overall Rating:4
Submitted by tony esporma a an Audiophile

Date Reviewed: April 10, 1999

Bottom Line:   
I use this unit as the surround decoder in my video system. It's downsidesis that it has no analog inputs, so it can't decode Dolby Pro Logic soundtracks
off my laserdisc. It strenghts are no video switching, good decoding and
almost no grittiness on soundtracks.

As far as audio use: It's supposed to play the new 96/24 discs but I haven't
done so yet. Sound is very good on soundtracks since the sense of depth is
provided by the producer. Tracking in Pro Logic is also quite good, although
less and less DVDs are now released in anything than DD 5.1. Audio only I
would say this is a reasonable CD player for those of us who already have
a dedicated High End audio system elsewhere. There's little depth.

OTOH, it's fun playing with the synthesized theater modes. Listening to
a Led Zeppelin in stadium mode while drinking cheap beer brings back years
of yore. Bloated Loud Bass!

To those of you who are puzzled as to why I see the lack video switching as a plus: In this day and age: April '99, there's no standard on what HDTV switching will be like, but all have agreed to support DD. So, buying an audio only decoder makes sense. The whole system can be tied together later with a programmable remote.

Which of course brings me up to my one and only _real_ _big_ _bitch_ about
this component: the remote control doesn't have an ON/OFF switch! I don't
dare use off a switched outlet in case I lose the settings. BUMMER!

Also, there used to be an upgrade for DTS from an outfit here in Southern
Cal. I don't know if it's still available. But who cares anymore?

Bottom line, I got this decoder for about $550.00 mail order. For the money,
nothing, nothing can beat it.

Tony

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Duration Product Used:   an Audiophile




Reviews 1 - 5 (5 Reviews Total)

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