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So we are now the proud owners of a shiny (well matt black) new Sony STR-DB895D home cinema receiver.

I briefly toyed with going for the Yamaha AX759SE which has had good reviews, but it's £150-£200 more for no real advantage to people like us who don't have that sensitive an ear for that hi-fi sound!

Barring a brief problem where I wired up the rear speakers to the wrong channel (it's a 7.1 amp so it's got a couple of spares!) it all seems to be working okay.

So does it sound any different? Well, difficult to tell really. Dialogue is a bit sharper, I think (which with my hearing is a plus!). In fairness, it is a like-for-like replacement rather than an upgrade so I don't expect anything too different.
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And today, ten minutes into watching Thursday's Veronica Mars the second channel dropped out.

So definitely going to have to buy a new receiver then...
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Well that was a Saturday afternoon that didn't quite go to plan.

We've been talking about replacing the Home Cinema receiver we have because we've recently noticed that the left & right front speaker channels keep dropping out (which would explain why I've been struggling to hear dialogue recently. I thought it was a sign that my hearing was deteriorating further).

I've priced up the replacement we want (basically the six-year on equivalent of the one we already have) but decided to re-check all the wiring anyway first just to be sure.

It turns out that one of the speaker wires was coming out so I decided that it was just wiring. So I spent a happy couple of hours taking the whole system apart (which consists of: the Home Cinema/music amp, Playstation 2, DVD Player, Tape deck, turntable, Sky+ box, DVD player, video player and Plasma TV control box) and putting it all back together again (which also gave me the opportunity to clean were the wiring used to be - and turned up the PS2 memory card that I couldn't find a few months ago with old Singstar scores on it!).

Doing this I did discover two things:
1. I had my speakers bi-wired wrongly and
2. I had the sub-woofer plugged into the wrong socket which would explain why it didn't seem to be doing very much.

Anyway, all seemed okay after putting it back together again apart from the front right channel being a bit fuzzy. So I re-wired the speaker and tried again. And after a couple of seconds - nothing. Not a sausage from either front speaker.

I wired one of the rear speakers onto the circuit to make sure it wasn't the speakers but still nothing.

So, not just a loose wire then!

Luckily the amp has two front speaker channels so I was able to switch over to the other channel and it sounds fine (actually, now the subwoofer is working properly, I'd go as far as to say it sounds awesome!).

But it does confirm that the amp is probably on its way out...


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April 2017



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