What's happened to Sony?

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  • 05-25-2004, 02:12 PM
    grampi
    What's happened to Sony?
    Sony used to be a company you could bank on. Their products were always some of the best, if not the best in terms of being well built, but in recent years their stuff has turned to crap. I know they're not the only company that's allowed their products to contract cheapitis. What is going on with these companies? I realize the main reason to be in business is to make money, but don't any of these companies care about what these garbage products they've putting out over the last fews is doing to thier reputaions? 10 years ago, I wouldn't have hesitated to buy a Sony product. Today, I avoid them like the plague.
  • 05-25-2004, 06:47 PM
    Lexmark3200
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by grampi
    Sony used to be a company you could bank on. Their products were always some of the best, if not the best in terms of being well built, but in recent years their stuff has turned to crap. I know they're not the only company that's allowed their products to contract cheapitis. What is going on with these companies? I realize the main reason to be in business is to make money, but don't any of these companies care about what these garbage products they've putting out over the last fews is doing to thier reputaions? 10 years ago, I wouldn't have hesitated to buy a Sony product. Today, I avoid them like the plague.

    Hi Gramps,

    I totally agree with you.....I think I would only consider purchasing a Sony TV set or one of their portable products (i.e. Discman, boombox, etc)....the ONLY Sony home gear I would purchase --- if I had to --- would be from their ES line. A friend of mine had one of their single well cassette decks (an ES) and it was close to 900 bucks....this thing made tapes that sounded like CDs....I am NOT kidding. VERY impressive piece of gear. I wouldnt touch anything from their non-ES stuff; I own a 27" Trinitron screen and have beene extremely happy with the picture, as a testament to my comment regarding their TVs....
  • 05-25-2004, 08:18 PM
    grampi
    Lex, how old is that TV? I wouldn't get too comfortable with it.
  • 05-25-2004, 10:12 PM
    Lexmark3200
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by grampi
    Lex, how old is that TV? I wouldn't get too comfortable with it.

    Why do you say that?
  • 05-26-2004, 05:54 AM
    grampi
    Because it's a Sony and they seem to be more interested in cutting corners than producing quality products these days.
  • 05-26-2004, 01:51 PM
    kelsci
    Hi Lex; As long as your tv works and has been working for the past few years, just continue using it. A few years ago, I was in Brandsmart here in Fla. Sitting in the tv dept., the sets that caught my eyes playing were the FD Trinitrons. My brother and a person I know own the 35 inch basic model for a few years. It ran him about $700. It is a most pleasant tv to watch and play dvd's in the interlace mode on this set. The broadcasts themselves take on a look of visual dynamics and outstanding color fidelity IMHO. I have scene both the equivalent 27 and 32 inch models and they play equally well. I have a 20 inch version in my living room. It is rare to see such consistency in picture quality from 20 up to 35 inches from other manufacturers. I did here there were some problems with other model Sony tvs probably with the WEGAS. I have scene on occassion an XBR widescreen WEGA however that played extremely well, something similarly reviewed recently by audiorevolution.com. There is definite problems with their audio receivers. I have not cared for the sound quality of the standard or ES line at all. Be thankful you have an Onkyo receiver. Their DVD player quality at times seem to be erratic in video quality although my brother's friend bought a recent basic model single player which played extremely well on his friend's PROSCAN tv. A few years ago, there were some good PROSCAN's out and both he and my brother got one each. Just keep on using your 27 inch Sony. How long it last will really tell how really reliable your particular model was. Kelsci...
  • 05-26-2004, 02:28 PM
    Lexmark3200
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by grampi
    Because it's a Sony and they seem to be more interested in cutting corners than producing quality products these days.

    Well, I understand all your concerns about this manufacturers' products as of late, but I was saying, based on performance and life of MY particular set, I believe they make good, clear-looking TVs/screens/monitors; any other piece of gear, i.e. receivers, that are not of their ES line, I would AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE....talk about cheap crap; that's Sony's non-ES gear in a nutshell.

    But my TV has been working great and delivers a GORGEOUS picture for a 27" display, honest....and to answer your question, I have the set for well over three years now; it originally sat in my family's downstairs den and when they moved to Vegas a couple of years ago, it came with me to my studio apartment here in New York....has been fine ever since. Watched animated gems like Monsters Inc and Finding Nemo on this Sony, and the images just jump off the screen at you.
  • 05-26-2004, 02:33 PM
    Lexmark3200
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by kelsci
    Hi Lex; As long as your tv works and has been working for the past few years, just continue using it. A few years ago, I was in Brandsmart here in Fla. Sitting in the tv dept., the sets that caught my eyes playing were the FD Trinitrons. My brother and a person I know own the 35 inch basic model for a few years. It ran him about $700. It is a most pleasant tv to watch and play dvd's in the interlace mode on this set. The broadcasts themselves take on a look of visual dynamics and outstanding color fidelity IMHO. I have scene both the equivalent 27 and 32 inch models and they play equally well. I have a 20 inch version in my living room. It is rare to see such consistency in picture quality from 20 up to 35 inches from other manufacturers. I did here there were some problems with other model Sony tvs probably with the WEGAS. I have scene on occassion an XBR widescreen WEGA however that played extremely well, something similarly reviewed recently by audiorevolution.com. There is definite problems with their audio receivers. I have not cared for the sound quality of the standard or ES line at all. Be thankful you have an Onkyo receiver. Their DVD player quality at times seem to be erratic in video quality although my brother's friend bought a recent basic model single player which played extremely well on his friend's PROSCAN tv. A few years ago, there were some good PROSCAN's out and both he and my brother got one each. Just keep on using your 27 inch Sony. How long it last will really tell how really reliable your particular model was. Kelsci...

    Hello Again My Very Good Friend,

    Hope Florida weather is treating you right! Been very humid up here....

    Anyways, thanks for your thoughtful post, as always. I agree 100 PERCENT about Sony's audio receivers; in non-ES guise, their stuff just screams cheap, and sounds it. Are you sure about the quality of their ES merchandise? Has it slipped too?

    I remember a good many years ago, the same friend that I mentioned above who had the $900 ES tape deck, wanted to sell me a Sony Pro Logic receiver; we hooked it up in my entertainment room of my family's old house and man did this thing suck....all kinds of shorts ran through it, the sound was crap, the buttons were falling off....what a piece of ****, honest.....in no time at all, he was returning the thing to Crutchfield and had an ongoing feud with them regarding Sony's so-called "unbreakable products."
  • 05-26-2004, 02:47 PM
    grampi
    Lex, I wish you many years of satisfying service from your Sony. I've just lost all confidence in their products.
  • 05-26-2004, 02:53 PM
    Lexmark3200
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by grampi
    Lex, I wish you many years of satisfying service from your Sony. I've just lost all confidence in their products.

    I completely understand and respect your views on this, and I agree, completely, on their audio gear....it really does suck....my TV just hasnt given me any problems as of yet.

    Their receivers really do suck, though.
  • 05-26-2004, 03:11 PM
    Woochifer
    I think Sony took their eye off the ball and spread themselves out way too thin in mass market channels. From what I understand, they do a lot more outsourced manufacturing than before and they have definitely cut corners with their product quality to the point that I don't buy Sony anymore. I've had too many recent failures to have any confidence in their products. Plus, a friend of mine who used to work in AV sales has noted Sony's reliability problems across several product lines; and it got to a point that he did not do any Sony demos unless a customer specifically asked about Sony. He had way too many product failures and unhappy customers to risk his livelihood by recommending Sonys. Often, it's not that most Sonys are that much more unreliable than other brands, but the problem is that when specific models or production runs have reliability problems, they are unreliable in a huge way. Just as an example, about half of the first production Sony Wega TVs that his store received failed within the first week. You really are rolling the dice as to whether or not you wind up with one of those types of problematic batches.

    It used to be that Sony products were a cut above the other mass market competitors in performance, and they charged a premium for that extra performance and product quality. Nowadays, I don't see Sonys priced all that differently than the JVCs, Panasonics, Hitachis, Pioneers, Toshibas, and Kenwoods on the market. The performance is still good, but the product quality has definitely slipped as they blended in with those mass market competitors.

    I also think that Sony no longer has the same technological advantage over their competitors that they once did. Just think back to when the Trinitron tube was still relatively new, and how much better the Sony TVs looked than competing products. Back then, the Sonys cost more, but that extra cost was justifiable. Of course, back then people were also willing to pay more to get higher quality. Not so sure that's the case now, and Sony's current pricing structure might very well reflect market reality more than anything
  • 05-26-2004, 05:48 PM
    Lexmark3200
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Woochifer
    I think Sony took their eye off the ball and spread themselves out way too thin in mass market channels. From what I understand, they do a lot more outsourced manufacturing than before and they have definitely cut corners with their product quality to the point that I don't buy Sony anymore. I've had too many recent failures to have any confidence in their products. Plus, a friend of mine who used to work in AV sales has noted Sony's reliability problems across several product lines; and it got to a point that he did not do any Sony demos unless a customer specifically asked about Sony. He had way too many product failures and unhappy customers to risk his livelihood by recommending Sonys. Often, it's not that most Sonys are that much more unreliable than other brands, but the problem is that when specific models or production runs have reliability problems, they are unreliable in a huge way. Just as an example, about half of the first production Sony Wega TVs that his store received failed within the first week. You really are rolling the dice as to whether or not you wind up with one of those types of problematic batches.

    It used to be that Sony products were a cut above the other mass market competitors in performance, and they charged a premium for that extra performance and product quality. Nowadays, I don't see Sonys priced all that differently than the JVCs, Panasonics, Hitachis, Pioneers, Toshibas, and Kenwoods on the market. The performance is still good, but the product quality has definitely slipped as they blended in with those mass market competitors.

    I also think that Sony no longer has the same technological advantage over their competitors that they once did. Just think back to when the Trinitron tube was still relatively new, and how much better the Sony TVs looked than competing products. Back then, the Sonys cost more, but that extra cost was justifiable. Of course, back then people were also willing to pay more to get higher quality. Not so sure that's the case now, and Sony's current pricing structure might very well reflect market reality more than anything

    Well put.
  • 05-26-2004, 08:01 PM
    kelsci
    Hi Lex; I think my brother once had a SONY 1070 DPL receiver. I played around with it. There was pumping and clicking sound in the surround channels. The separation stunk. It was supposed to produce if I recall 120 watts per channel in stereo at .03%. It was the lousiest 120 watts per channel I ever damm did hear.

    I have heard some grumblings on previous ES models but I think I heard more grumbles on the model l000 receiver that is currently out. In fact, my brother was in Ohio. He took his friend to hear a certain set of MIRAGE SPEAKERS that give an omnipolar effect. It was hooked up to one of those Sony ES things. My brother said that the receiver could not do justice to the Mirage speakers that the store demonstrated for his friend. In the past, when I was at stores, I did not like the sound quality of ES receivers nor their CD players. It is possibloe however that you are right about their ES cassette tape machine. I had a el-cheapo machine from them that recorded and played back very well till it broke down. Lex,, it is not unusual for a company to make some items that are great and others that stink to high heaven. I saw you reply to Grampi and I believe that you 27 inch tv does what you claim visually. about 10 years ago however, that model you own did not play well as the one you have today. Sony got the act together somehow on the FD Trinitrons when they released the 35 inch model and as such a few years back the 20,27,32 and 35 inch sets for the money were well worth owning. Ten years ago I returned the 27 inch Sony I bought in Sears and took a 27 inch RCA Colortrack 2000. It is a very good tv and a fine monitor with a picture tube that was about the equal in flatness of the FD Trinitron. It has an S-VHS input and plays very well with the two DVD players I own. It is an excellent tv in its own right and really cannot be compared to a current 27 inch Sony as perhaps saying that one might beat the other and so on and so on. Lets say that one make is a ROY ROGERS and the other is a GENE AUTRY. Take care, Lex., KELSCI.
  • 05-26-2004, 09:10 PM
    Lexmark3200
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by kelsci
    Hi Lex; I think my brother once had a SONY 1070 DPL receiver. I played around with it. There was pumping and clicking sound in the surround channels. The separation stunk. It was supposed to produce if I recall 120 watts per channel in stereo at .03%. It was the lousiest 120 watts per channel I ever damm did hear.

    I have heard some grumblings on previous ES models but I think I heard more grumbles on the model l000 receiver that is currently out. In fact, my brother was in Ohio. He took his friend to hear a certain set of MIRAGE SPEAKERS that give an omnipolar effect. It was hooked up to one of those Sony ES things. My brother said that the receiver could not do justice to the Mirage speakers that the store demonstrated for his friend. In the past, when I was at stores, I did not like the sound quality of ES receivers nor their CD players. It is possibloe however that you are right about their ES cassette tape machine. I had a el-cheapo machine from them that recorded and played back very well till it broke down. Lex,, it is not unusual for a company to make some items that are great and others that stink to high heaven. I saw you reply to Grampi and I believe that you 27 inch tv does what you claim visually. about 10 years ago however, that model you own did not play well as the one you have today. Sony got the act together somehow on the FD Trinitrons when they released the 35 inch model and as such a few years back the 20,27,32 and 35 inch sets for the money were well worth owning. Ten years ago I returned the 27 inch Sony I bought in Sears and took a 27 inch RCA Colortrack 2000. It is a very good tv and a fine monitor with a picture tube that was about the equal in flatness of the FD Trinitron. It has an S-VHS input and plays very well with the two DVD players I own. It is an excellent tv in its own right and really cannot be compared to a current 27 inch Sony as perhaps saying that one might beat the other and so on and so on. Lets say that one make is a ROY ROGERS and the other is a GENE AUTRY. Take care, Lex., KELSCI.

    Hello Kel,

    Interesting finds, indeed. I believe you and your brother have experienced what I have regarding Sony and their receivers....that is to say, I wouldnt touch them with a 40 foot cattle prod. This receiver that my friend was trying to get me to buy (this friend has since moved to your neck of the woods in the Sunshine State) was an absolute pile of horse dung....it was a horrendous insult that Sony even put their name on this crap. Literally, buttons were falling off, and as you said, the LOUSIEST version of "watts" I ever did hear a receiver put out. My Onkyo is indeed light years ahead of that piece of crap, in build quality and sound quality.

    Yes, that ES tape deck my friend had was absolutely AWESOME....the tapes he made and then played back in his car sounded like CDs, no joke, recorded on Maxell XLIIS blank cassettes. As for the Sony TV debate, well, yes my 27" Trinitron is still going strong and I really do like the picture quality on it. As I said, this unit made the trip from my parents' house into my apartment when they moved out west to Vegas, and has given me reliable service all these years. Sure, I still hate watching 2:35:1 widescreen aspect DVDs on this set with the huge black bars, but until I have a bigger place or more money for a widescreen monitor, this Sony is doing quite fine.......and that is with an S-Video connection from it to my DVD player........
  • 05-27-2004, 04:42 AM
    CWS
    Ill agree to a point. I have a bunch of Sony Audio and video equipment all purchased in the last 7 years I have only had problems with one item a A/V receiver a STR-DE995 I was NEVER happy with it and it died after about 3 years of use. I recently replaced it with a 3000ES receiver and am back in Sony bliss again the digitals receivers are awesome. The truth is Sony is trying to compete with the other cheap brands out there with their regular stuff and it show's, cheap junk. However the higher model equipment is still very nice and top quality. The problem is the cheap junk is going to smear their good name and people will overlook the better quality stuff Sony offers.

    For the record I have 2 TV's 27" and 36" VVega, 2 VCR's, 2 DVD players, 1 SACD player, 1 CD changer, 3 A/V Receivers (One broken), 4 Universal remotes, Cordless phone system, Several Clock radios all are Sony.
  • 05-27-2004, 05:57 AM
    grampi
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by CWS
    Ill agree to a point. I have a bunch of Sony Audio and video equipment all purchased in the last 7 years I have only had problems with one item a A/V receiver a STR-DE995 I was NEVER happy with it and it died after about 3 years of use. I recently replaced it with a 3000ES receiver and am back in Sony bliss again the digitals receivers are awesome. The truth is Sony is trying to compete with the other cheap brands out there with their regular stuff and it show's, cheap junk. However the higher model equipment is still very nice and top quality. The problem is the cheap junk is going to smear their good name and people will overlook the better quality stuff Sony offers.

    For the record I have 2 TV's 27" and 36" VVega, 2 VCR's, 2 DVD players, 1 SACD player, 1 CD changer, 3 A/V Receivers (One broken), 4 Universal remotes, Cordless phone system, Several Clock radios all are Sony.

    You are absolutely right in saying Sony's quality components will be overlooked due to the poor rep Sony has given themselves by producing the cheap garbage. I won't touch any of their products because of their corner cutting. The people at Sony need to wake up and smell the coffee because this cheapitis is starting to bite them in the a$$. I don't have any sympathy for companies who choose to go this route. It's all about greed. Top company execs aren't happy making just $50 million a year, they want to make $100 million a year, so what do they do? They cut corners everywhere they can on their products so as much extra profit as possible can go into their pockets. They've made their bed, now they must sleep in it.
  • 05-27-2004, 09:24 AM
    kelsci
    Lex; Funny you should mention Maxell XL11S. I also found this audio tape to work superbly on the Sony unit that I had too. I have also had luck with Maxell CD-R blanks as well over other brands. Their VHS tape however was fair to fairly good, but I found certain emulsions through the years of TDK and Sony better. Maxell is Hitachi, a company whose products vary in quality as to what they make going back to what I said earlier that some companies vary in quality according to the products they make. Perhaps a good example of this was Pioneer. One associates them first off with audio. Pioneer some years back revamped how a RPTV should play and for two years made a 40 inch job that really was the first good RPTV. I feel however that after those first two models, I have not cared for their RPTVs. They did make some tube tv monitors. Both the latter and the former shared unusually fine color reproduction and image quality of their own right years back. That color balance shows in their expensive plazma tvs, but they are EEEXXXPENSIVE. Kelsci.
  • 05-27-2004, 07:19 PM
    Lexmark3200
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by kelsci
    Lex; Funny you should mention Maxell XL11S. I also found this audio tape to work superbly on the Sony unit that I had too. I have also had luck with Maxell CD-R blanks as well over other brands. Their VHS tape however was fair to fairly good, but I found certain emulsions through the years of TDK and Sony better. Maxell is Hitachi, a company whose products vary in quality as to what they make going back to what I said earlier that some companies vary in quality according to the products they make. Perhaps a good example of this was Pioneer. One associates them first off with audio. Pioneer some years back revamped how a RPTV should play and for two years made a 40 inch job that really was the first good RPTV. I feel however that after those first two models, I have not cared for their RPTVs. They did make some tube tv monitors. Both the latter and the former shared unusually fine color reproduction and image quality of their own right years back. That color balance shows in their expensive plazma tvs, but they are EEEXXXPENSIVE. Kelsci.

    I totally agree about the Maxell blank CD-Rs, and its funny that YOU should mention THEM....I dont use anything but Maxell Music Only CD-Rs when recording on my Marantz DR700 CD recorder; I have recently been introduced to their "Music Pro" CD-Rs, and they are absolutely awesome....the sound quality of the resulting CD-R sounds like the original CD recording, no joke...
  • 05-27-2004, 08:25 PM
    paul_pci
    Yeah, I bought a Sony portable CD player for $70, primarily for mp3 CD playback and the thing crapped out on me in like a month. Of course, stupid me went out and bought the same thing again. Luckily, this one is still kickin'.
  • 05-27-2004, 08:30 PM
    Lexmark3200
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by paul_pci
    Yeah, I bought a Sony portable CD player for $70, primarily for mp3 CD playback and the thing crapped out on me in like a month. Of course, stupid me went out and bought the same thing again. Luckily, this one is still kickin'.

    Paul,

    I was a believer in Sony's portable products, but have been hearing stories like yours about their degrading quality, too...