Joined: Nov 26, 2002
From: Ottawa, Canada
Posted: 2003-05-29 11:14
If you definitely, absolutely, will never even consider upgrading to a 6.1 or 7.1 speaker arrangement, then consider the V555ES. Otherwise, go for the DA4ES.
The DA4ES is, as maxxwire said, two models newer. It has a 7 channel amp, compared to the 555's 5 channel amp. That doesn't mean that it will play louder, but it means that it can use rear surround speakers (in addition to the standard side surrounds) which are required to take full advantage of DD-EX and dts-ES soundtracks. Normal DD or dts soundtracks use only the standard 5 channels.
The 4ES also has dts 96/24 capability, which most of its owners are likely to never use. You will be more likely to make use of its Dolby Pro-Logic II and/or dts NEO:6 decoding. Both of these decode a 2-channel source into surround sound and are intended as replacements for (or improvements upon) Dolby Pro-Logic. They are useful for both TV/movies and for music.
The V555ES has a few things that make it attractive. It has a slick touchscreen LCD remote which communicates two-way with the receiver, allowing you to see and adjust all of the receiver's parameters (EQ settings, level settings, surround settings, etc.) right on the remote's screen. It will display disc and track names when you use a Sony CD player/changer with that capability. The 4ES' remote is not very good, believe me.
The V555ES also allows you to turn off Pro-Logic decoding when using one of the surround soundfields (like Cinema Studio EX B) with two-channel sources (like music). The 4ES does not.
The 4ES has a great EQ, but the 555's is even better. It adds a mid band in the main EQ for the surround channel speakers, and adds a mid band for the "surround EQ" which is an EQ setting applied to all speakers, and has unique settings for each soundfield (separate from the main EQ).
Thanks for the help. I'll probably go for the 4ES. I found the V555ES in Crutchfield's scratch and dent section of their website while I was looking for a 5ES with no luck. My Pioneer doesn't even have a subwoofer output so anything will be better at this point.
Joined: Aug 29, 2002
From: Portland, Oregon - USA
Posted: 2003-05-30 14:15
I sure don't blame you for wanting to get a DA 5ES its such a primo unit, but like you said its nearly impossible to get a new one these days. I think you are doing the right thing in chosing the DA4ES over the DA 555ES.
----------------- A Satisfied Sony Fan Since 1974!
Joined: Dec 21, 2002
From: Abbotsford BC
Posted: 2003-05-30 21:55
I had the V555ES prior to my DA5ES. THe V555ES ran hot and had more hiss apparent in the DSP's. It was a nice unit but the DA5 (and presumably the DA4) is a better built and better sounding receiver. In terms of the V555ES remote, it was my opinion that it was cool for the first week. After that I just hated it more and more. It did have a great "WOW" factor when guests saw it, but thats about it. The DA5 remote is no prize either mind you but all in all I prefer it to the V555ES. The onscreen setup for the DA4/DA5 is better as well as the obvious stuff like PLII, etc...
By more robust I mean that the output is greater by 10W on each channel and as mentioned, a 3rd room capability and the remote is reportedly superior. There is a 3rd 12V trigger, a 2nd remote, and a 3rd DSP decoder.
I also have heard that there are some differences in the interior component quality (even though the THD and other benchmark stats are the same).
I suppose that the use of the word "much" may be over stating it. No doubt that the 7ES is more robust.
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