ES Series Receivers Technical Background Version 3.0; May 30, 2003...
While these design breakthroughs are exciting and fresh, the fact that they make their appearance in the Sony ES Series should come as no surprise at all. From the very beginning, ES receivers have benefited from Sony's comprehensive expertise in digital source components and Sony's thorough understanding of digital signals.
In this new context, digital amplification is becoming more and more compelling. It was for this reason that Sony first developed the S-Master process back in 2001. The 2003 ES receivers, starting with the STR-DA2000ES, incorporate Sony's third generation of S-Master technology—and our most advanced by far.
Conventional, analog power amplifiers have awkward characteristics that are so familiar that receiver engineers automatically work around them. However, Sony's design program for the 2003 ES Series required more than the typical work-around. We sought to address these issues directly: •...
The conventional A/V receiver is anything but simple. The signal must run through a gantlet of processes and stages. The Sony S-Master Pro amplifier is dramatically different. There is no Digital-to-Analog (D/A) converter. Instead, the amplifier accepts the digital output of the DSP stage directly.
Block diagram of the S-Master Pro amplifier. Sony generates a 1-bit pulse stream to switch a pair of FET power output transistors on and off. The resulting output has more than enough wattage to drive a loudspeaker. The output transistors act like an electronic on/off switch for the power supply voltage.
The S-Master Pro process While Sony's S-Master Pro amplifier is simple in principle, the fidelity of the output signal depends on getting each pulse exactly right. That is, the leading and trailing edges of each pulse must have the right timing—and the height of each pulse must be carefully controlled.
While the method does a good job of controlling high-frequency jitter, Sony also required excellent control at the low frequencies. That's why Sony engineers developed the Clean Data Cycle, the first stage of the S-Master process. Clean Data Cycle regenerates the digital signal with time-axis accuracy equivalent to the original A/D converter at the recording studio.
Even if the amplitude of every digital sample is 100% accurate, time- axis jitter can distort the analog result (top). Sony's Clean Data Cycle actually calculates the original sampling interval and applies the calculated timing to the signal (bottom). Using a supremely accurate clock, the Clean Data Cycle examines thousands of input pulses at a time, calculates the correct sampling interval and applies the clean interval to the output data.
Sony demanded more. The full power pulse (A) represents the maximum setting of the volume control. To turn the volume down 6 dB, the receiver cuts the voltage to the power pulse generator in half (B). In contrast, the Pulse Height Volume control adjusts the 1-bit C-PLM stream by adjusting the regulator that supplies voltage to the power pulse generator.
When you connect a real- world amplifier to a real-world loudspeaker, the interaction causes significant departure from phase linearity at frequencies below 30 or 50 Hz. Sony studies show a typical deviation from linear phase of about +90 degrees. While not making the bass any louder or softer, this shift does have a subtle effect, creating warmer and more accessible bass.
That's why some previous digital amplifiers have used relatively inexpensive integrated circuit op-amps at the output. But Sony ES engineers were after the best possible sound. So they selected discrete output transistors for the entire ES line.
In this way, the filter has a major influence on sound quality. That's why the engineers of Sony ES selected the filter parts carefully and methodically. Instead of choosing less expensive cylinder-type coils, the ES engineers chose exotic toroidal coils, optimized for sound.
Two-Stage Pulse Power Supply The power supply is always a critical component of amplifier sound quality. And this continues to be true of digital amplifiers. That's why Sony designed the S-Master Pro amplifiers with incredibly stable power supplies. The STR-DA2000ES, DA3000ES and DA5000ES take advantage of Sony's two- stage pulse power supply.
S-Master Pro Benefits No crossover distortion Conventional power amplifiers use separate transistors to reproduce the upper and lower halves of the waveform. Crossover distortion occurs when one power transistor switches off and the other switches on as the audio waveform "crosses over"...
crossover distortion, even when the music or movie sound track is particularly soft. Reduced thermal modulation distortion Analog power amp output transistors create the shape of the audio waveform directly. Unwanted variations in this waveform are heard directly as distortion. Unfortunately, changes in the output signal cause momentary heating or cooling in the transistors.
In contrast, the tremendous thermal efficiency of the S-Master Pro amplifier changes everything. Instead of isolating the power output transistors, Sony can place them in the middle of a circuit board. Instead of massive aluminum heat sinks, the S- Master Pro heat sinks can be quite compact, especially on the STR-DA2000ES and DA3000ES.
The internal layout of the STR-DA4ES analog amplifier is driven by the issue of heat dissipation. The entire design is dominated by the output transistor heat sink fins. In dramatic contrast, the power amplifier of the STR-DA2000ES is amazingly compact. The S-Master LSIs (1) convert the signal to a Pulse Length Modulation 1-bit stream.
However, NFB exposes the signal to Transient Intermodulation Distortion and other dynamic problems. In contrast, the Sony S-Master Pro amplifier achieves excellent fidelity without any negative feedback at all! Distortion remains low without any sacrifice in transient and dynamic characteristics. Music comes alive. And movie sound effects like car crashes and gunshots retain all their original impact.
channel x7, 8 ohms, 20 to 20,000 Hz, 0.15%), and exceptional sound quality. Music is rendered in very high resolution, against a background of silky silence. Dynamics are powerful but not forced. Bass is vigorous but not boomy. These receivers are perfect for integration with the most difficult and power-hungry speakers.
While SA-CD players have included coaxial and optical digital outputs, these outputs handled CD signals exclusively. The SCD-XA9000ES is Sony's first SA-CD player to provide an i.LINK digital output for the 1-bit DSD signal. The STR-DA9000ES is Sony's first receiver to incorporate an i.LINK digital input.
3. Command signals from the receiver to the player, controlling transmission speed. SCD-XA9000ES With Sony HATS, audio data flows from the player to the receiver's buffer memory, according to rate control commands from the receiver. Reproduction in the receiver achieves the full time base accuracy of the receiver's quartz crystal master clock.
These upconversions are made possible by two Sony large-scale integrated circuits (LSIs), which draw on years of Sony IC experience. Sony's CXD2064 digital LSI performs Composite to S-Video upconversion, while the analog CXA2199 upconverts S-Video to Component Video. Some previous upconversion circuits could not control the Hue, Contrast and Brightness of converted signals.
The speaker selector switch includes positions for A, B and A + B. In the A + B position, the receiver can drive two Surround Left and two Surround Right speakers, in addition to a Surround Back pair. Of course, this 9.1 configuration is closer to the array of surround speakers used in a commercial movie theater.
2 ohms! Power transformer cores and windings can vibrate and degrade the sound, radiating 60 Hz hum into nearby audio circuits. That's why Sony chose the toroidal core design, which enables the transformer windings to be wrapped without the voids or gaps that permit vibration.
MOS FET output transistors (STR-DA9000ES) To achieve 200 watts x7 (20—20,000 Hz, 8 ohms, 0.15% THD), the STR- DA9000ES incorporates some unique power amplifier technology. For example, the power amplifier uses Metal Oxide Semiconductor Field Effect Transistors (MOS FETs), highly prized for their linearity. Four MOS FETs per channel are configured in modules that are direct-mounted to heat sinks in a "circuit-on- chassis"...
S-Master Pro power amplifier. Power supply voltage travels a similar route, from the opposite side. In this way, Sony keeps signal leads to a minimum, protecting the music from the radiation of spurious hum and noise.
Silver Cascade Design (STR-DA3000ES and up) In addition to their remarkable technology, these receivers inaugurate a new faceplate design exclusive to the Sony ES Series. The "cascade" design sets the primary front panel controls at an angle, so that you can use them without uncomfortable bending and stooping to identify each control.
• STR-DA3000ES A/V receiver • SCD-XA9000ES SA-CD player • DVP-NC555ES DVD changer MATCHING SILVER FRONT PANELS • STR-DA2000ES A/V receiver • STR-DA1000ES A/V receiver • DVP-NS999ES DVD player (Silver or Black) • DVP-CX777ES DVD changer • RCD-W2000ES CD recorder • AVD-C700ES DVD receiver •...
ES discrete 6.1 and dts ES matrix 6.1 o dts Neo6:cinema and dts Neo6:music • 32-bit surround sound decoding (all models). Using a proprietary Sony Large Scale Integrated circuit (LSI). • 6.0-channel Digital Cinema Sound concert hall modes (all models). For the Amsterdam Concertgebouw and the Vienna Musikvereinsaal.
• A/B speaker terminals (all models). Real estate on the back panel of modern A/V receivers is severely limited. At the request of ES dealers, Sony found a way to add a set of B speaker terminals. Beginning with the PCM-701ES digital processor in 1982, the engineers of Sony ES have been extending the capabilities of digital audio.
Features and specifications Feature Power output, 8 ohms, 20 to 20,000 Hz at rated THD THD at rated power output S-Master Pro Amplifier DC Phase Linearizer Dolby Digital® EX decoding dts® ES decoding dts 96/24 decoding Dolby® Pro Logic® II decoding dts Neo:6 decoding Digital Cinema Sound circuit 32-bit Decoder...