• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). Come here to have fun, be ready to be teased and not take online life too seriously. We now measure and review equipment for free! Click here for details.

Review and Measurements of Sony STR-ZA1100ES AVR

Blumlein 88

Major Contributor
Joined
Feb 23, 2016
Messages
6,495
Likes
6,224
#41
The EIA toneburst won't damage a thing, it gives a very good indication of dynamic capability and some people will argue a more representative 'real-world' performance.

20 cycles at 0dB, 480 cycles at -20dB 1KHz.

The EIAJ/JEITA is [email protected] and [email protected]

This worrying about blowing stuff up is misplaced. I regularly put 45+ year old gear, highly collectible and valuable gear through a full barrage of high power tests and don't have failures. But then again, the old gear is mostly way better made.
Yes, that is why I mentioned those. I think the ANSI is 20 cycles on 500 off. Same basic idea.
 

Sal1950

Major Contributor
The Chicago Crusher
Joined
Mar 1, 2016
Messages
5,733
Likes
3,220
Location
Central Fl
#42
I regularly put 45+ year old gear, highly collectible and valuable gear through a full barrage of high power tests and don't have failures.
Wish I could say the same thing about people. LOL
 
Joined
Apr 25, 2019
Messages
32
Likes
48
#43
I heard absolutely nothing from Amir in the way of "golden ear/hi-rez pimping", no comment at all was made in the subjective vane. Actually overall the big picture of the review was quite positive. Can the attitude please.
The idea that people need ~120db sinad capable devices is implicit in pretty much every review here, it's basically used as a benchmark (no pun intended). I have a feeling that there have been more suggestions for those devices on this site alone than the number of people actually succesfully ABXing them vs ~90db sinad devices in realistic condition in the whole history of audiophilia.

"Lowering my standards substantially..." is basically saying this device is not good enough, but why? Where are the ABX test results comparing it to Benchamrk or Hypex amps to substantiate that claim?
 
Last edited:

restorer-john

Major Contributor
Joined
Mar 1, 2018
Messages
2,358
Likes
3,748
Location
Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
#44
...Wish I could say the same thing about people...
You're still going aren't you? Sure, you may have needed a few spare parts here and there, perhaps a little tweak of your knobs and pots to keep you in alignment, but you can't beat quality eh? :)
 

PierreV

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2018
Messages
349
Likes
770
#45
The idea that people need ~120db sinad capable devices is implicit in pretty much every review here, it's basically used as a benchmark (no pun intended). I have a feeling that there have been more suggestions for those devices on this site alone than the number of people actually succesfully ABXing them vs ~90db sinad devices in realistic condition in the whole history of audiophilia.
"Lowering my standards substantially..." is basically saying this device is not good enough, but why? Where are the ABX test results comparing it to Benchamrk or Hypex amps to substantiate that claim?
That's the nature of the beast I am afraid. Objective tests will lead to a stream of ooooh! and aaaah! for every bit or dB of improvement here and there even if they don't actually matter. And those oooohs and aaaahs are by essence subjective. But aren't hard numbers still better and more useful than pure subjective reviews? Amir usually notes that even if the results aren't record-breaking they are likely to be audibly transparent anyway. What the crowd makes of them is another story.

I tend to agree that, in my environment and in my own assisted blind tests, I am totally unable to make the distinction between a 110db and a 99db DAC for example (and going lower probably wouldn't even matter day to day). That, in itself, is useful information: I know that I don't need to pay more for transparency but could for looks, features or maybe even bragging rights ;).

As far as amplifiers are concerned, this is more nuanced imho. Amplifiers may measure decently and still be unable to drive a given load. sinad is just one piece of the puzzle. That's why @Blumlein 88 and @restorer-john would love more realistic tests I believe. When I compared one of my AVR to the Hypex amps on the Focal, it was clear the AVR (measuring decently according to that polish site) was barely able to drive the things. The problem wasn't a sinad problem, more a current delivery one imho (but I am not that well equipped to measure and test that assumption). The issue is so obvious that the plan to move the Focal to the home theater has been shelved at the moment.
 
Joined
Mar 27, 2019
Messages
83
Likes
95
#46
It’s shame it wasn’t tested in HDMI. Thats the use case scenario for 99% of people who own these. As well as testing the surround channels to see what they are capable off.

Here at ASR there seems a bias towards 2 channel stereo...
 

trl

Addicted to Fun and Learning
King of Mods
Joined
Feb 28, 2018
Messages
669
Likes
432
Location
Iasi, RO
#47
I think Amir stated that it's very difficult for him to test the HDMI input, but if there're lot of people asking for it then he'll do it.

I personally think that the HDMI input will measure about the same as the optical input, because they're both digital connections and getting to the same DAC.
 

Sal1950

Major Contributor
The Chicago Crusher
Joined
Mar 1, 2016
Messages
5,733
Likes
3,220
Location
Central Fl
#48
I think Amir stated that it's very difficult for him to test the HDMI input, but if there're lot of people asking for it then he'll do it.

I personally think that the HDMI input will measure about the same as the optical input, because they're both digital connections and getting to the same DAC.
But you never know for sure till you test it. ;)
 

maty

Major Contributor
Joined
Dec 12, 2017
Messages
1,360
Likes
553
Location
Tarragona (Spain)
#50
AVR Sony STR-ZA1100ES

Direct Mode



If the odd harmonics could be lowered so that the even predominate ... at least they are monotonically decreasing in each type. That should be the main goal of improvement besides protecting the electronics of the transformer radiation.


Hegel H90

 
Last edited:

Blumlein 88

Major Contributor
Joined
Feb 23, 2016
Messages
6,495
Likes
6,224
#51
That's the nature of the beast I am afraid. Objective tests will lead to a stream of ooooh! and aaaah! for every bit or dB of improvement here and there even if they don't actually matter. And those oooohs and aaaahs are by essence subjective. But aren't hard numbers still better and more useful than pure subjective reviews? Amir usually notes that even if the results aren't record-breaking they are likely to be audibly transparent anyway. What the crowd makes of them is another story.

I tend to agree that, in my environment and in my own assisted blind tests, I am totally unable to make the distinction between a 110db and a 99db DAC for example (and going lower probably wouldn't even matter day to day). That, in itself, is useful information: I know that I don't need to pay more for transparency but could for looks, features or maybe even bragging rights ;).

As far as amplifiers are concerned, this is more nuanced imho. Amplifiers may measure decently and still be unable to drive a given load. sinad is just one piece of the puzzle. That's why @Blumlein 88 and @restorer-john would love more realistic tests I believe. When I compared one of my AVR to the Hypex amps on the Focal, it was clear the AVR (measuring decently according to that polish site) was barely able to drive the things. The problem wasn't a sinad problem, more a current delivery one imho (but I am not that well equipped to measure and test that assumption). The issue is so obvious that the plan to move the Focal to the home theater has been shelved at the moment.
I don't know why I didn't think of this earlier. Another good illustration of needing something extra for handling reactance in terms of current. I once owned a Nelson Pass Aleph 3. This was a single ended class A 30 wpc amplifier with basically one device in the output stage. It could source 8 amps and no more. It was pretty low in noise vs 1 watt, had flat extended response with a near textbook looking square wave. It had moderate distortion as the level rose. It met specs for power at 1% distortion.

This amp sounded good with Quads though a bit underpowered. Sounded good with some Jordans. Sounded pretty good with a stuffed transmission line speaker I had built. Sounded alright with Maggies though limited in output. With any ported speaker it sounded like garbage. Even small bookshelf ported speakers. It simply couldn't handle reactive loads requiring extra peak current. Quads are reactive, but in a way that doesn't ask for lots of current.

Maybe some tone burst testing like this could be used. It was developed for testing speakers in a way you don't damage them. Don't see why it couldn't be used to safely test amps connected to a reactive dummy load. You could determine at what power level distortion rises above the levels found with resistive dummy loads.

https://www.klippel.de/fileadmin/kl...System/PDF/S44_TBM_Tone_Burst_Measurement.pdf
 

restorer-john

Major Contributor
Joined
Mar 1, 2018
Messages
2,358
Likes
3,748
Location
Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
#52
Maybe some tone burst testing like this could be used. It was developed for testing speakers in a way you don't damage them. Don't see why it couldn't be used to safely test amps connected to a reactive dummy load. You could determine at what power level distortion rises above the levels found with resistive dummy loads.
Louis Challis (ETI) was an early proponent of tone burst testing for loudspeaker measurement. I remember building a tone-burst (gate) generator back in the 1980s.
 

Sal1950

Major Contributor
The Chicago Crusher
Joined
Mar 1, 2016
Messages
5,733
Likes
3,220
Location
Central Fl
#53
I love this place. :)
 

andreasmaaan

Major Contributor
Joined
Jun 19, 2018
Messages
3,517
Likes
2,757
#54
With any ported speaker it sounded like garbage. Even small bookshelf ported speakers. It simply couldn't handle reactive loads requiring extra peak current.
Ported bookshelf/standmount speakers paradoxically tend to be the most difficult to drive of all dynamic-driver boxed speakers. Not only do you have a small, inefficient single woofer, but you have a port tuning higher up in frequency where there tends to be a lot more music content than in the sub-30Hz range in which you might expect a larger floorstander to be tuned.
 

restorer-john

Major Contributor
Joined
Mar 1, 2018
Messages
2,358
Likes
3,748
Location
Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
#55
Louis Challis (ETI) was an early proponent of tone burst testing for loudspeaker measurement. I remember building a tone-burst (gate) generator back in the 1980s.
So I dug through my old electronics books, scanned the project, and here it is:
 

Attachments

amirm

Founder/Admin
Staff Member
CFO (Chief Fun Officer)
Joined
Feb 13, 2016
Messages
20,583
Likes
25,363
Location
Seattle Area
#56

trl

Addicted to Fun and Learning
King of Mods
Joined
Feb 28, 2018
Messages
669
Likes
432
Location
Iasi, RO
#57
AVR Sony STR-ZA1100ES

Direct Mode
[...]

If the odd harmonics could be lowered so that the even predominate ... at least they are monotonically decreasing in each type. That should be the main goal of improvement besides protecting the electronics of the transformer radiation.
[...]
I guess the easiest and most recommended "upgrade" here would be to shield the transformer with GOSS or M-U shield, to get rid of most of the mains noise. As for the 3rd harmonic, given it's 93 dB away from the fundamental, I'd say that it's inaudible to our ears.
 

maty

Major Contributor
Joined
Dec 12, 2017
Messages
1,360
Likes
553
Location
Tarragona (Spain)
#59
I guess the easiest and most recommended "upgrade" here would be to shield the transformer with GOSS or M-U shield, to get rid of most of the mains noise. As for the 3rd harmonic, given it's 93 dB away from the fundamental, I'd say that it's inaudible to our ears.
Yes.

In principle it is inaudible but it would be good to experiment with it. The problem may be that the Amirm measurements are at 1 watt if I am not wrong (and 7-8 watts at the Polish site). Maybe at 20 watts the harmonic profile changes and the amplitudes too.
 

RayDunzl

Major Contributor
Central Scrutinizer
Joined
Mar 9, 2016
Messages
7,065
Likes
3,389
Location
Riverview, FL
#60
As well as testing the surround channels to see what they are capable off.
Casual observance of the internals of the typical AVR makes me think there is usually one hardware design for all the channels, and I wouldn't expect any substantial difference among them.

Random AVR internal:

1561014359820.png


(I get to be wrong, and don't have any AVR here)
 
Top Bottom