Sony STR-DG700 AV-receiver
Each time we have audio equipment of Sony we are surprised by the ability of the company to offer maximum functionality for relatively little money. Here is a recent example - the receiver STR-DG700. Who could imagine that one of the most affordable devices will have automatic calibration with external microphone, and cross-plugging for universal HDMI interface, and finally a first-class processor with expanded selection of settings and modes of multichannel playback? Just wonders!
In addition, the receiver has the rare commutation capabilities (is designed for six sources) and is able to work with an additional equipment. A six-channel amplifier module has high efficiencyaccording to the ratio of output and working power, but, apparently, it is built by traditional analog circuit technique. If STR-DG700 had the branded pulsed power amplifiers, the icon of S-Master Pro would be there. The device is made with an exemplary quality and is equipped with a handy programmable remote control.
The sound of this model, dare I say it, is on a superior for budget equipment height. The scene isextensive, the upper range is very beautiful and airy, the middle is transferred clearly and in details, and low frequencies go out of control just for a little - humming side-tones are sometimes detected.
There is no big deference in the quality of playing between digital and analog inputs. Tonal balance stays to be neutral; neither detail of the picture, nor dynamics and other characteristics change. If you connect the player by coaxial wire or HDMI, you will note the difference only in the sound stage - the sources will focus a bit sharper.
In acoustic, chamber or vocal programs STR-DG700 shows live, open and rich sound. If you offer it the compositions with dense specter and intense infra-low range (for example, Niacin) and increase the volume to maximum, the receiver will suffer from hunger. Bass relief is simplified, "kick" turns sour, musical purity disappears at mid frequencies - it seems that the amplifiers could give drive, but the system isn't ready for this.
Is it a shame? Not really - couple years ago such shortcomings were the norm in receivers of much higher class.