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 Post subject: Rank a/v hardware manufacturers from best to worst
PostPosted: 06 Jan 2020, 18:45 
Young Padawan
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Let’s limit this to high volume manufacturers (Pioneer, Sony, Panasonic etc..) and keep all the boutique brands out for now. Let’s limit the ranking to 5 brands and 3 honorable mentions. Please consider the amount of innovation, built quality, range of products and how their top of the line products rank among others.


1- Sony
2- Denon
3- Yamaha
4- Panasonic/Technics
5- Pioneer

Honorable mentions (not in order)
- JVC
- Toshiba
- Philips (If kept going with innovations, Philips would be top 2 with Sony)
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 Post subject: Re: Rank a/v hardware manufacturers from best to worst
PostPosted: 06 Jan 2020, 20:15 
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Man, that’s hard. Sony for example is probably #1 when it comes to innovation. They really kick a** in that department but...man the stuff is so often broken in the first year or two making the innovation nothing more than a memory. They occasionally screw up and make something reliable but most of it is wastefully designed to last not much longer than the next innovation.

Panasonic on the other hand doesn’t really blow my mind with anything BUT reliability. I consider Panasonic/Technics to be top dog in that area. The Tech 1200 is something I’ve spent even more time with than Laserdisc.

Also, I nominate Teac for the Portastudio if nothing else. The Portastudio rules.
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 Post subject: Re: Rank a/v hardware manufacturers from best to worst
PostPosted: 06 Jan 2020, 21:01 
Young Padawan
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signofzeta wrote:
Man, that’s hard. Sony for example is probably #1 when it comes to innovation. They really kick a** in that department but...man the stuff is so often broken in the first year or two making the innovation nothing more than a memory. They occasionally screw up and make something reliable but most of it is wastefully designed to last not much longer than the next innovation.

Panasonic on the other hand doesn’t really blow my mind with anything BUT reliability. I consider Panasonic/Technics to be top dog in that area. The Tech 1200 is something I’ve spent even more time with than Laserdisc.

Also, I nominate Teac for the Portastudio if nothing else. The Portastudio rules.


Sony is really interesting. No need to discuss innovation with Sony but also their range of products is second to none. They make the $40 DVD player and also have the $60,000 benchmark/industry standard laser projector in their current line up. ES line products come with 5 year warranty. I doubt Sony would honor such a long warranty if reliability was in question in those but they also make other cheaply made products you know they won’t last more than a year.

Panasonic/Technics/Matsushita products are generally mid-line or above. They are priced accordingly as well. This probably allows them better build and more reliable products. Reliability was the reason I put Panasonic on my top 5 otherwise I don’t recall any benchmark products from them beside the legendary SL-1200.
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 Post subject: Re: Rank a/v hardware manufacturers from best to worst
PostPosted: 06 Jan 2020, 21:11 
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Note:
Denon and Marantz are now essentially the same like Panasonic and Technics but Marantz initially was an American brand and later European and later Japanese. So it can go Philips/Marantz from 80s to 00s and Denon/Marantz after mid 00s. In both eras, Marantz brand represents the more musical sounding range of products (although not necessarily higher end than Denon or Philips)
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 Post subject: Re: Rank a/v hardware manufacturers from best to worst
PostPosted: 06 Jan 2020, 23:48 
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Sony only
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 Post subject: Re: Rank a/v hardware manufacturers from best to worst
PostPosted: 07 Jan 2020, 01:14 
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forper wrote:
Sony only

lol you really didn't have to bother reminding us :roll:
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 Post subject: Re: Rank a/v hardware manufacturers from best to worst
PostPosted: 07 Jan 2020, 02:04 
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audioboyz1973 wrote:
forper wrote:
Sony only

lol you really didn't have to bother reminding us :roll:



So far Sony is winning.
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 Post subject: Re: Rank a/v hardware manufacturers from best to worst
PostPosted: 07 Jan 2020, 04:16 
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I've used Yamaha stuff for around 30 years now with zero issues. The oldest unit is pro logic.

I do have a fair amount of Sony products but nothing audio now...unless you count a CiB Walkman.
All of it is pretty much game consoles, I think I have about 3x dead PS3 consoles there atm (bad main boards), but I have more working units than dead. Same for PS & PS2.
I have thrown out a lot of Sony mini systems and receivers over the years though so their stuff does break, it isn't all high quality. The quality of their televisions in particular has varied for years now, not like the old days when they were nearly all solid units.
I've got a 32" trinitron that still works ok but I rarely use it.


So from the manufacturers you've mentioned there I've had the most personal experience with Sony, but it hasn't all been good. Doesn't make me avoid their stuff though.

Yamaha I've always had a good experience, but I've never had anything break so I've only bought like 3 receivers :lol:
Yamaha stuff that comes in at work (mostly keyboards tbh) is always still working ok.
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 Post subject: Re: Rank a/v hardware manufacturers from best to worst
PostPosted: 07 Jan 2020, 04:49 
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Not convinced I followed the rules to a t.

#1 = Sony: has made the best mainstream TV since at latest the Trinitron, the best consumer-ballpark RGB projector, amongst the best current projectors (I'll never sample the entire field), good to great entry level audio gear, gaming consoles with nice-bonus level av ability in the PSX and PS2, then superb ability in the PS3, then the PS4 reverts to PSX level, along with the Walkman and Discman.
Cons: their very uneven headphones across all eras; durability woes, while part and parcel with entry level gear, often extend into their mid level commodities.

#2 = Panasonic: also excellent displays from the `80s through the plasma era. Technics receivers and speakers were budget monsters.

#3 = JVC: Sony without the innovation, but better build quality. I'd say they hit fewer highs as well. Still a projector juggernaut.

#4 = Pioneer: great entry to mid level audio gear and the foremost thrust behind the LD movement.

#5 = Marantz: better audio gear than Yamaha and Denon although Yamaha has more generally conformed to my spending bracket. They've made some really cool speakers in the past.

HMs = Yamaha, Sansui, ....and a blurry tie between manufacturers on the audio side. Audio Technica, MCS, I don't know, tap out.


Last edited by snipesbackhand on 13 Jan 2020, 03:07, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Rank a/v hardware manufacturers from best to worst
PostPosted: 07 Jan 2020, 10:53 
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Depends on field and years in my opinon.

Sony was the best in CD players field before 90's. Today They are very good in photography field (good material quality) and Video TV/projector (innovation but not material quality in my opinon).
i think you should avoid their products in 90's and 00's. (all cheap plastic)

Panasonic products are always strong and reliable (TV and other products for everyday life, in Japan) (form my experience). Their "technics" branch is also better than sony, denon etc, in LP field. their "national" branch was also well knowned for reliability in all fields).

Pioneer was very good in Plasma, LD field, DVD/BD players until 2008 (before they fuse with onkyo). Now is the same level as Onkyo. Cheap but well designed.

I love the sound from Denon Amps, clear and neutral, but their products are not so reliable in my opinon. Their CD players are very bad (impossible to read some discs on Denon CD players I tried.)
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 Post subject: Re: Rank a/v hardware manufacturers from best to worst
PostPosted: 07 Jan 2020, 15:59 
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There is a portion of the website The Vintage Knob where the guy explains some stuff about the supply/manufacturing chain for famous Japanese brands (and others). He shows how Kenwood built stuff for Marantz and that sort of thing. Dividing the brand from the actual factory. It blurs the lines quite a bit and makes me think even more that these sorts of rankings are very hard to do. Every product is sort of its own thing.

Now there is a much larger and longer supply chain and most of it is outside of Japan, often actively concealed. It think this has a lot to do with build quality.
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 Post subject: Re: Rank a/v hardware manufacturers from best to worst
PostPosted: 08 Jan 2020, 00:09 
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The Vintage Knob is the best site I know about CD players and Amps.
I bought my Sony CDP-557ESD thanks to this site ! This 1988 player works to good even after more than 30 years of use ! 18Kg of pure quality in building and sound. No trace of cheap plastic here.
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 Post subject: Re: Rank a/v hardware manufacturers from best to worst
PostPosted: 08 Jan 2020, 11:28 
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yeah love that site, it's a Sony ES shrine
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 Post subject: Re: Rank a/v hardware manufacturers from best to worst
PostPosted: 12 Jan 2020, 05:42 
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Not exactly a "rank the best to worst" but Techmoan asked his followers on Patreon to name whatever top 5 brands came to mind for "HiFi" in this video and:

Attachment:
top20.png
top20.png [ 87.67 KiB | Viewed 398 times ]


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 Post subject: Re: Rank a/v hardware manufacturers from best to worst
PostPosted: 12 Jan 2020, 08:01 
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Shame JBL didn't even get in the list. They made some of the most legendary speakers although now just a licenced meaningless name I guess.
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 Post subject: Re: Rank a/v hardware manufacturers from best to worst
PostPosted: 12 Jan 2020, 18:09 
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Yeah and amazing that Bose is on there, once you know your stuff they are not that great unless first gen speakers like JBL.

Glad to see Sansui, my speakers are still rocking and are super amazing.


EDIT:
I wonder if the ranking above also has to do with overall equipment being made by said company.
For example someone like Carver had audio and video equipment but really is more of an audio company in my mind,
so that could be a reason that some companies aren't on the list as much as others????


Last edited by rein-o on 13 Jan 2020, 18:32, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Rank a/v hardware manufacturers from best to worst
PostPosted: 13 Jan 2020, 03:13 
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admin wrote:
Attachment:
top20.png


Julien


It gave me a chuckle to see Bose just squeaking ahead of Sanyo.

But it's odd seeing no mention of Carver/Sunfire, Krell, Cerwin Vega, Tannoy, HK not that I care much about them, and as others have said JBL. Probably they're way down the list; too far, I'd say, not that any of those challenges for the topic's top 8.
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 Post subject: Re: Rank a/v hardware manufacturers from best to worst
PostPosted: 13 Jan 2020, 04:01 
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snipesbackhand wrote:
But it's odd seeing no mention of Carver/Sunfire, Krell, Cerwin Vega, Tannoy, HK not that I care much about them, and as others have said JBL. Probably they're way down the list; too far, I'd say, not that any of those challenges for the topic's top 8.


As described, this is not a quality ranking but a brand awareness ranking (from the way the question was framed).

The more commercial/mainstream brands will show up first.

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 Post subject: Re: Rank a/v hardware manufacturers from best to worst
PostPosted: 14 Jan 2020, 01:45 
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admin wrote:
snipesbackhand wrote:
But it's odd seeing no mention of Carver/Sunfire, Krell, Cerwin Vega, Tannoy, HK not that I care much about them, and as others have said JBL. Probably they're way down the list; too far, I'd say, not that any of those challenges for the topic's top 8.


As described, this is not a quality ranking but a brand awareness ranking (from the way the question was framed).

The more commercial/mainstream brands will show up first.

Julien


McIntosh, NAD, Akai, and Nakamichi wouldn't even register if that were the case. I'm sure the query took both into account, simply by strength of the term Hi-fi, or Aiwa would be in there for market penetration. Harmon Kardan and Cerwin Vega are certainly well known, these days far moreso than Kenwood, which was also a bit of a surprise as I'd been led to believe its reputation had fallen off the map.
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 Post subject: Re: Rank a/v hardware manufacturers from best to worst
PostPosted: 14 Feb 2020, 22:44 
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mimylovesjapan wrote:
The Vintage Knob is the best site I know about CD players and Amps.
I bought my Sony CDP-557ESD thanks to this site ! This 1988 player works to good even after more than 30 years of use ! 18Kg of pure quality in building and sound. No trace of cheap plastic here.


Snap, the 557 is a great player (I have one too - still going strong and used every day) 8-)
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