Sony STR-DA50ES A/V Receivers

4.15/5 (199 Reviews)


Product Description

A/V RECEIVER DOLBY DIGITAL & DTS


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Reviews 1 - 5 (199 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Keith Hollis a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: September 30, 2014

Bottom Line:   
I had acquired a BOSE Acoustimass 6 system as an award gift from my employer in 1998. I chose the speaker system from an award catalog, even though I had no system to enjoy them with at the time. Now I had a reason to shop around, do some homework, and put a system together. At the time I had 3 crates of vinyl, but CD's were the current rage.

After hitting some high-end local home theater and audio stores, I learned two things: PIONEER's Elite Series was their higher end model line, and SONY had the 'ES' line as their high-end line.

The stores I went in felt like most car dealerships - trying to sell me a bill of goods today, but not caring at all about what my needs were (I needed knowledge, mostly, at the time), so I learned what I could and got out.

CRUTCHFIELD sent me a catalog, and seemed to be a great resource for the 'ES' line and were very helpful. I bought the DA50ES, a cassette tape-to-tape deck, a 5-disc CD carousel, a turntable for the vinyl, and even paid a few hundred $$ for a good PANAMAX power conditioner/surge protector. And speaker stands for the rear surround speakers of the A6 system.

Well the speaker stands were swell, but after a while I hung the speakers on the back wall, and the speakers went to the attic. I had tape players in both cars, but have to admit - I never spent a whole lot of time messing with that tape deck. The carousel was nice, though.

The turntable? Excellent, but damn those LP sides are short! So I didn't use it as much as I should have. I lost everything I owned when Tropical Storm Allison hit Houston in 2001, but I had my audio equipment high and dry! I did lose the 3 crates of vinyl. Emotionally it was the album sleeves and the "extras" that came in them besides the vinyl itself. I saved the vinyl for another couple of years, but my heart wasn't in it anymore, and I never listened to them, do to the curb they went. It wasn't long after I learned that all those LP's could have been converted to digital. I cry thinking about it, as a lot of that was irreplaceable. Believe me, I've tried.

I gave the turntable to my ex-wife's husband. The cassette deck is in my attic now, too. The carousel started to malfunction and was rarely used, so out it went.

But 15 years later, after running 6-7 hours/day every weekday, and often 14 hours/day every weekend, the DA50ES is still going strong. At least 3 TV's, maybe more cable boxes and VCR's, and now of course, the requisite Blue Ray Disc player. The amp has been flawless (as have been the BOSE Acoustimass speakers). I paid $999.00 for that receiver, and had a hard time admitting that to family and friends, as I no none of them would ever consider such an expense "for a radio", but it has truly been worth every penny and more, to me.

I had programmed a cable box remote to operate the Sony receiver, and inadvertently let the batteries go bad in the Sony remote, ruining it. I never even considered shopping EBay for a replacement. And never considered a universal remote, either, as the cable remote sufficed, until now.

The cable remote quit lowering volume on the ES, though it will raise volume and MUTE.

Two new remotes sent by AT&T U-Verse won't program to the ES at all. It's now outdated. I need a second room set of speakers powered (on the deck), while not giving up surround sound in the house. No HDMI connections. Times change, and its time to move on.

Question: SONY STR-DA1800ES?

OR: YAMAHA RXA2030 (AVENTAGE)

The Sony had built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and AirPlay for $700.

The YAMAHA is Internet-ready, either with a wire or a dongle (poor reviews on the dongle), would also require a dongle for Bluetooth (I don't need if AirPlay works). It's a 2013 model, retailing for $1600, but I can get it for $800 buying an open-box unit at BestBuy with my stepson's employee discount. It only has a 3-year manufacturer's warranty, but said stepson can cover it thru BestBuy's extended warranty program for nothing, he says.

(I think a LOT of Sony's 5-year P&L warranty covering their "ES" line....)

But this YAMAHA is one heck of an amp, and a tool that will likely far outlive my use for it, even though I'll never begin to realize it's full capabilities.

I think I'm going to try it - it's a deal too hard to pass up.

But SONY ROCKS!!!!

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   1998



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

Date Reviewed: February 15, 2012

Bottom Line:   
I have had this receiver for 14 years and it still produces outstanding sound quality. I've never had it serviced, and have upgraded the components around it but kept the receiver. The amp doesn't need much more than 1/4 power to get my Definitive speakers to rock concert sound levels. The DSP sound fields are great (live house and arena for rock in particular), especially for watching concerts on DVD. The remote is so-so. While I have had no problems with it, it can be difficult to read in low lighting and is bulky, but does have a lot of flexibility to it. I would have no hesitation to purchase another Sony amp based on my experience with the DA 50ES..

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1998



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by pellaeon a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: August 30, 2003

Bottom Line:   
I worked at a Sony/Denon/Panasonic dealer when I bought my amp and was able to compare many amps in the comfort of my home. At first I was going to buy a Denon amp (AVR-3300) which is a very capable amp and has also got decent stereo preformance. But when I saw the STR-DA50ES I totally fell for the looks and when I listened to it I was sold! The sound was much smoother then in any other digital amp I had tested previously, tends to be a little harsh. The AVR-3300 was also very good but the thing that made me rather buy the Sony was the remote. From reading the other reviews I can see that many of you don´t like the remote. Some of the earlier models had a bug in the software so that it drained the batteries in a week or so, got a software update for mine and no problem. I use it to control all of the other devices that I have and like it a lot! The Denon remotes are very poorly organized and don´t have backlighting, that is one of the main reasons I didn´t go for a Denon amp.
I have used my amp for at least 12-16 hours a week for over 3 years now without problems, I also sold 3 or 4 amps of the same kind and none of them have malfunctioned.
Sony Quality

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2000

Price Paid:    $800.00

Purchased At:   Aco



Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:2
Submitted by yeron a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: August 13, 2003

Bottom Line:   
I have the DA50ES for three years in use. It sounds good on DTS with a DVD player, for stereo use the DA 50 gives a bad sound. You have to use the sound field to get a harmonic sound. If you want stereo sound, just add another good amplifier.
The remote control is not practical in use, it simply costs to much time to put the thing on, etc.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2000

Price Paid:    $750.00

Purchased At:   Correct Rotterdam



Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Brad C a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: April 29, 2003

Bottom Line:   
I will have to agree with one of the previous posts. I too have had the same receiver break down on 4 different occasions where the receiver won't turn on. Repairing the receiver to "Factory Specs" is the best that both an outside authorized repair center AND Sony's repair center could do...... So much for the Lemon law. Save your money and don't buy an ES Model.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   1999

Price Paid:    $1000.00

Purchased At:   Jerry's Audio and Vi




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