To set the record straight, part 2

To set the record straight, part 2

Postby Axel » Thu Jan 07, 2016 2:35 pm

For those who haven't read part 1, read it first then come back : http://www.thevintageknob.org/tvk_talk/viewtopic.php?f=1512&t=1832



Sony PS-HX500
So Sony apparently "comes back" to vinyl as well, after Technics got back on the train with a 7th version of the famed SL-1200.
Wow ! Are we going to get a PS-X8000 or a TTS-9000 at last ?

Not sure, but a come back for Sony it is indeed as all it had since the mid 1990s in its catalog for LP replay were crappy-crap items made in China, weighing less than a kilo and a half and sometimes shared with others like Pioneer.
Denon never really left the niche, even if it built all of its recent TTs in China or Taiwan based on Technics motor/rotor/tonearm rip-offs ; Luxman left it a million years ago, when it still was owned by Alpine, and delved back with a beautiful but outlandishly exorbitant effort which apparently sells as much as possible - were it on sale on the far side of Saturn.

So, the Sony.
Ha, well, no : it ain't no PS-X8000, even if very well designed in looks, reminiscent of the '77 period of Dieter Rams at Braun - the good spot.
But for the rest the HX500 is a low-end whatever made in China weighing a few kilos with a tonearm straight out of the Jelco/Sumiko flurry of variants since the late 1970s, a diecast aluminium platter (speechless we are !), a "newly designed 5mm rubber mat" (WOW !) a "highly stable belt-drive system" (WOWWOW !) and other such whatevers which mean nothing and make the expected retail price already NOT acceptable even before it is mentioned : 500£.

Read all about it here : http://www.sony.co.uk/electronics/audio-components/ps-hx500/specifications (and laugh) (or cry).

I won't even go into the "hi-res" thing, if only to say it is a clever effort on brand(ing) synergy.
But maybe Yamato Tanikawa, director of home entertainment and sound at Sony should look into websites such as TVK to get a grasp of the history of the brand he's working for ?
Perhaps even actually know which product to reissue ? Because the "new" Technics is actually a mk7, the crappy DP-A100 is a disguised DP-900/1300M reissue and the Luxman
is a clear re-take of the Micro-built PD-300 - all items which sold extremely well worldwide.

All Sony had to do was : reissue, say, an updated PS-X65, add its USB out for DSD ripping - et voilà !
Something which would have really added value, and quality, to a "come back" worth its name.
But as it is the PS-HX500 is, literally, pointless.

Skip, find a second-hand PS-X50 for 100$ and never mind the bollocks.
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Re: To set the record straight, part 2

Postby Stoffie » Wed Jan 27, 2016 6:38 am

True that, but then what did you expect. It's 2016, marketing is ever so much more important than intrinsic quality. Not sure if that's every going to change again. Just a quick win to join the record revival for Sony. Heritage means nothing unless it can bring more money but then it's usually only looks and image that are recycled.

I'll be playing tunes on my PS-X800 and PS-X75 knowing those were among the finest TT's Sony ever made, now and back then.
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Re: To set the record straight, part 2

Postby theophile » Mon Feb 01, 2016 4:44 am

As I said somewhere else, These brands don't seem to realise the damage that they are doing to their reputation. They would be better off releasing nothing than to release utter rubbish. At least if they release nothing rubbish, they can ride along on the back of their past reputation and sell some okay mid-fi stuff. But by releasing utter rubbish they trample on their past reputation for high quality. It shouts out loud: "We've abandoned all attempts to get it right and we'll now only be known for releasing the worst crap possible".

At least Technics and Yamaha chose to take a stab at restarting their old prestige lines. Yamaha had the good sense to avoid going down the turntable route. Technics redeveloped a new turntable but despite producing a quality product chose to style it on the SL-1200 models. This I feel is unfortunate because most of the cheap Chinese direct drives from Hanpin were also styled to copy the SL-1200. Technics should have recognised that this style registers as possibly a cheap Chinese, as well as their own original, and decided to give their brand an updated style in order to distinguish it from the cheap knock-offs.

They really should have released it as the Technics SP-10.
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Re: To set the record straight, part 2

Postby Nick_G » Sat Feb 13, 2016 5:13 pm

I think the current Yamaha range looks stunning, and fits right in with their components from the 1970s. However, how would, for example, the current range-topper in the integrated amplifier range, the A-S3000, compare to TOTL Japanese amps from the majors in the late 80s/early 90s?

http://europe.yamaha.com/en/products/au ... mode=model

I suppose the signals travel digitally rather than mechanically, so less moving parts to wear out, but what if an IC goes south? A bit more difficult to replace I suspect.

The components do look gorgeous though and I would love to try an A-S3000 if I had the money.
Last edited by Nick_G on Sat Feb 13, 2016 6:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: To set the record straight, part 2

Postby theophile » Sat Feb 13, 2016 6:22 pm

Reviews I have read about the A-S3000 seem to determine that it is a spectacularly good sounding amp. Kudos to Yamaha that they have probably built their best sounding integrated amp ever with this release.
Last edited by theophile on Sat Feb 13, 2016 11:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: To set the record straight, part 2

Postby MarkB » Sat Feb 13, 2016 11:30 pm

It's obvious from the specs http://www.sony.com/electronics/audio-components/ps-hx500/specifications#specifications that the PS-HX500 is aimed at the low end of the market.

Does this damage the brands reputation? Undoubtedly with a segment of the audiophile community (IMO the willfully ignorant). What I hope it doesn't affect is the willingness of brands like Sony, Yamaha, etc. to produce gear of exceptional quality.
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Re: To set the record straight, part 2

Postby theophile » Sat Feb 13, 2016 11:44 pm

MarkB wrote:It's obvious from the specs http://www.sony.com/electronics/audio-components/ps-hx500/specifications#specifications that the PS-HX500 is aimed at the low end of the market.

Does this damage the brands reputation? Undoubtedly with a segment of the audiophile community (IMO the willfully ignorant). What I hope it doesn't affect is the willingness of brands like Sony, Yamaha, etc. to produce gear of exceptional quality.


From that link:

"Integrate it into your high-quality audio system

Connecting the PS-HX500 with a high-quality audio component system enables you to enjoy all your vinyl with all the raw realism they can offer."

Far from it. It is a Bottom Of The Line offering which will deny one to enjoy all your(sic) vinyl with all the raw realism they can offer. A sad day for Sony.
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Re: To set the record straight, part 2

Postby Nick_G » Sun Feb 14, 2016 1:07 pm

theophile wrote:Reviews I have read about the A-S3000 seem to determine that it is a spectacularly good sounding amp. Kudos to Yamaha that they have probably built their best sounding integrated amp ever with this release.


Thanks theophile. Good to know that Yamaha seem to be serious about their high-end offerings, at least.
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Re: To set the record straight, part 2

Postby theophile » Sun Feb 14, 2016 1:23 pm

Sony has not abandoned their production of excellent components. Over the last decade they have released some well received high end components. Most are expensive however. Such that they weed out the average man and are aimed at true Sony fans who appreciate the best that Sony can offer. This turntable is not one of them. The likely buyer of this turntable would not be looking toward Sony's high end line to partner with this turntable. Thus his impression of Sony would be that the brand fits in with the market that this turntable belongs to. To my way of thinking it trashes the effort that they have put in over the last decade to revive their brand reputation in the high end.
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Re: To set the record straight, part 2

Postby Axel » Sun Feb 14, 2016 2:34 pm

The mega-buck SCD-DR1 and TA-DR1 /DR1a are still available in Japan - nearly a decade old and still on sale ; so are the big SS-AR1 floorstanders.
Sony in its new "ES" series, or thereabout, is far from doing a cheap me-too thing... but that turntable is a mystery - probably a different product managing team or boss.

What escapes me is that everybody is doing it evidently high-end (whether the word is justified or not, or justifiably so or not) and Sony makes it evidently low-end.

Perhaps said boss understood little sales would happen anyway and there was no need for a big project.
However good, none of this new gear sells in significant quantities anyway - maybe Sony was reasonable for once !
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