This receiver is a beast! It has lots of features and good sound qualities. Now down to the core; coming from high end Yamaha products its seems to lack user friendly features. It is not as easy to set up as the Yamaha. It lacks the eq dynamic adjustments like the Yamaha. The Yamaha seemed to have just a little bit more power with my speaker set up, but still very close. The Sony has too many features to list and overall I am happy with it. Plus I got too good of a deal on it to turn down after my Yamaha died!
July 18, 2012
before i got this rciever i has the sony ga8es es reciever and that lasted 13 years but it finally died. and this the best reciever i ever tested GREAT!!!!!!!!!
October 6, 2010
Don't buy this
So I plunked down $2500 for this beast around 12/2009 and here's what I can tell you.
Sony is a company that has lost it's way. Upon receipt of this monster, you will find that Sony has shipped you their ES Utility 1.0, which is already outdated out of the box, since v2.0 appears to be the current version (check Crutchfield.com since Sony.com is no help). Since you use this utility to manage the unit over the network, and anyone who'd buy this model is probaqbly network-savvy, you'd think they'd provide adequate online support for those of us who want to update to the current version of the ES Utility but this is again, the new Sony - a company that has gotten too big and lost to be effective. Their online "support" site provides no updates for firmware or the ES Utility and their Vaio media app that's supposed to be used for DLNA control doesn't even support Win7 and their lame excuse is that it was developed before Win7. Why is that MY problem when I'm the customer and Win7 has been shipping for a year? Have these people never heard of doing version upgrades to support current operating systems like the rest of the world?
The amp's on-screen menu is slow, even on a switched gigabit network, and MP3 ID1 or ID2 album cover art does not always load on the amp, even when it loads on every other MP3 player I've tested. Sony of course has no answers, and forget about trying to get help on their "support" site. Their support people read from the manuals so forget about calling too - you can get all the answers yourself in the manuals and these folks won't know any more than what's already documented.
The sound, features and design are overall good and that is the one saving grace of this unit. If Sony management would wake up from their coma and get a clue that they ALSO need to provide great online support and offer CURRENT driver/app support, then they'd have a solid product.
I was pretty apprehensive about this purchase because although the features/specs looked solid, I've had a number of Sony consumer electronics fail after a relatively short lifespan in the last decade of purchasing, always thinking it was an isolated incident - till I realized the trend. The only reason I felt better about this purchase was that the ES family is SUPPOSED to be built of a higher quality component than the rest of their stuff. But shouldn't they build ALL models to last a little longer without built-in obsolescense?
Really, Sony needs their butt kicked by the competition for a few more years and maybe then they'll have lost enough market share to get hungry enough to WORK to regain the greatness they exhibited in the 80's and up till early 90's, before totally losing their way.
I'd be VERY suprised if Sony has the guts to leave this critical post up. I am guessing that even in spite of forcing me to register to post, they will remove anything less than a glowing review. If they do, this will be my last Sony purchase ever - this from someone who's bought Sony products for 30 years.
May 30, 2010
STR-DA6400ES review by Home Theater Enthusiast
When I first recieved this reciever, the first thing I noticed was the build quality and weight. You can instantly tell the reciever was built to last. My current setup consists of a PS3 Slim (HDMI), Samsung 81 series TV (HDMI Output 1 of 2), DISH Network HD (HDMI), XM Radio (analog stereo), Sony 5-disc changer (Composite + Toslink), and my XBOX 360 (Composite + Toslink). All of the items listed above are plugged into the amplifier supporting all these plus many more with composite connections. My DVDs appear near HD quality as compared to near 720p Blu-ray. I've tried about all of the features of this amplifier, including it's server function which allows you to stream the AM/FM audio to your PC on the network. The HDMI-CEC (aka BraviaLink, AnyNet, etc.) works perfect with my TV & PS3. If I turn on the PS3 it will turn on the amplifier, and then the TV. I could also use my TV remote to control the PS3 via the TVs IRDA port. Once you load your PS3 slim with a movie title with Dolby TrueHD & DTS Master Audio bitstreamed, it sounds just as good as PCM outputted to your speakers. The only drawbacks I noticed was that the DLNA is picky about the MPEG4 content which your films are encoded at. Other than that, this amplifier does get 5 stars for overall build quality, sound quality, and support for both HD & legacy connections.
September 16, 2009