STR – DB 798

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Price Paid: $500

Purchase at: India

Strengths
Sound, Sound and Sound…

Weakness
No Auto Setup, HDMI . Requires manual setting. But still the manual is handy and offers good information. No onscreen menu in TV.

Comments/Review
“Power, Power & Power”,
I have been doing a market research in AV Receivers over a period of 6 months. After going through reviews and specs, i finally settled down with this receiver. While Denon, Onkyo were similar in quality, they are simply muscled out by Sony when it comes to power. I listened to various Receivers like AVR-1706, AVR-1906,AVR-2106 , Onkyo SR 6XX and 71X series. Almost all of them offer same set of features. But when driven hard ( full 7 channels ) , only a few have command over your speakers. And the STR-DB798 lived to my expectations ( dont forget , its a budget receiver !! ). Its a big brother of STR-DB795. Since i purchased this set from india i was only able to get a black finished one( It looks cool though ! ) .Sony Asia has only black finished ones.
Design:
This specific model is middle range of sony’s receivers. This is called as QS range receiver. QS ( Quality Standard ) is next level From ES ( Elevated Standard ). The receiver is solidly built, and it weighs around 14 KG’s . No plastic, all solidly built. The remote is also cool, it can also be used as an universal commander. That means you could use it to control your other brand products ( like DVD player, TV etc. ). Remote is cleverly designed and offers wide range of functions. The speaker terminals are binding posts and are very good for fixing the speakers. This receiver upconverts any video signal to component signal.

Performance:
The first day i got this receiver , i made the connections in 30 minutes flat. Though it might take sometime for those who are new to receivers. For the musical audition, i played The Greatest Hits by backstreet boys, All i can say is “WOW” , this receiver wont miss a beat in the music, it does a clear job, especially in the multichannel mode. Clarity for the price is stunning. I was not able to move beyond -5 DB , it was so loud with no distortion. It would go till + 23 DB ( You cannot anyways!! imagine the power!! ). Then i played some oldies , Jim Reeves and then some Michael jackson music, it did an excellent Job. I was so conviced with the musical qualities of the receiver. I would highly recommend floorstanding speakers for this receiver since it offers amazing power. You’ll fall in love with this receiver as it plays every bit of music.
Next i wanted to test the DVD perfomance. I slipped in “Saving Private Ryan” Dts DVD. The opening scene was definitely better than theatre. It offered very deep bass, expecially the explosions. midrange was top notch. You will never get such power with receivers in the same price range. The receiver did the channel separation perfectly with both Dolby and DTS. STR – DB 798 is a top quality receiver with few minor lack of features. Dollar to Dollar, best receiver you could get. it offers 100 watts / C * 7 . When driven by all 7 channels , it still delivers 55 W / Channel which is serious power ( Believe me , you will never be out of power in small to mid sized rooms ). Display in receiver is cool.There is an almost textured quality to the sound, and it hints at the kind of qualities you would hear from a high-end stereo (or multichannel) receiver.

Cons:
No Auto Setup, HDMI . Requires manual setting. But still the manual is handy and offers good information. No onscreen menu in TV.

Bottomline:
This receiver stands tall in mid priced budget receivers. It offers real world muscle ( power ) and less gimmicks. Build quality, Perfomance , Value is top notch. This receiver can drive high end speakers as pricey as 1000$ a pair. Floorstanders are highly recommended for this receiver.

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