Price Paid: $600
Purchase at: .com
Build Quality, Sound Quality, Almost endlessly customizable, drives low impedance speakers well, classic good looks, 2 multi channel inputs
All channel driven power is rumored to be a bit slim, remote complicates simple operations.
I shopped around relentlessly before choosing the DA4. I am a college student and not a rich one by any means. I needed a high quality product that would satisfy my desire for high quality music as my 1st priority, HT for my 2nd and not cost a fortune. I of course sampled units by Yamaha, Denon, Onkyo, Harman/Kardon, and JVC. For the cash outlay nothing compared to the Sony. When I 1st got it I was using a JBL Studio series speaker setup. This sounded really good, and as the JBLs were fairly sensitive I didnt have to dip too far in to the power reserves to play them loud. I was impressed with the detail and clarity it brought to the music. The sound opened up from my previous reciever and everything flowed more smoothly. I was so enamored with the performance of the unit with lower end speakers I replaced the JBLs with seakers by NHT. I believe these speakers and this reciever were meant for each other. Especially in 2 channel mode, I have not heard a comparable system that did not cost much much more. The sound is warm, but detailed. I have heard many a detailed system that was overly harsh and especially on female vocals almost unlistenable. With artists like Evanescence, Sarah McLaughlin, or Madonna, it sounds just right. Male vocals seem to be esier to “get right” and no exception here. The DA4s amps drive the 4ohm 86db NHTs with no problems at all, rarely gettin warm despite extended listening at high levels. On movie soundtracks, the “air” and ambiance effets created embarass lesser processors/amps. If your 4ES dosen’t sound great out of the box, there are hundreds of user customizable settngs to take advantage for to compensate for room acoustics and speaker placement, as well as flexible EQ system. The unit itself is solid and substantial, with firm feeling controls, like you’d find in an audi or lexus. The back panel connections are numerous and well laid out. I will have and enjoy this amp for a long time. Definately a winner for Sony!