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I purchased one of these and within 2 months the system started making popping sounds from all speakers irrespective of the sound level set or the input selected. Since then I have been going from the supplier to the recommended sony repair shop and back with no joy. I am completely disillusioned with the Sony quality and after sales service. I am left with a Sony Hi-Fi that is of no use as the popping noise makes it impossible to listen to.
Here's how it starts. How and why did get it? ( If you don't want to read this part skip down to 'setup'. Its May 2001 and my mum makes a deal with me. " If you get all A's and A* 's for your GCSE's I'll give you £500 to spend on a new hifi system." Imagine my excitement! For a long time now I had been dreaming of my own home cinema system- my dad being an audio enthusiast himself, he has all the kit and me being daddy's little girl we have always been interested in the same hobbies. But until May I had to occupy myself by reading his home cinema magazines and dreaming of the time i win lottery so that i can have a cinema in my garage. I know £500 is hardly a lottery winning but with this I could have my first taste of the home cinema revolution. At first i was leaning towards seperates as i wanted to buy one of those Yamaha receiver and 5.1 speaker packages.I was planning to connect my computer (which had a dvd player) to the receiver and get my audio that way. I soon realized that this was very limited as I would have to boot up the computer everytime i wanted to play a cd and also if i wanted to play all the tapes i have i would have to connect my bog standard micro system to the receiver -not a good idea really. Then i found out that my computer could only stream analogue sound - massive let down. Eventually i drew the conclusions that i would have to have a seperate dvd player, receiver and tape deck plus 5.1 speakers. But this would have gone way over my budget. Decision- mini dvd system everything i wanted in a convenient package- that micro system needed to be replaced anyway...right? My first look at the market was dissapointing- they all looked like normal mini systems that looked horrible and sounded worse. Nothing like the clean cut seperates that i had been dreaming of. Only the Denon AVF100 came up to scratch but it happened to be TWICE my budget. Fo r a months i scoured the websites and magazines for any sign of my perfect mini. I found it in the Sony MHC-S9D. It seemed to be everything i wanted but oh... they only seemed to be selling it in Australia. Phew! It just hadn't been released yet in the UK. So I bided my time, collected as much information as possible... oh yeah and revised for my exams. " 7 A*'s and 3A's!! Yeeessssssssss!" I had proven myself. (Now you'll be asking -if i didn't have a goal to aim for would i have done as well?). Its October 2001. Such a long wait but its finally here in my house two massive boxes. I didn't realize the scale of the thing until now. I thought mini systems were supposed to be mini. Opened box no.1 " Wow those fronts look great". Opened box no.2 " ...be calm, BE CALM....yeeesssssssss!" Right. Thats my story, here comes the useful part: Setup- Easy, just follow the clearly diagramed manual. Do everything in the required order and you won't put a foot wrong, trust me. " The long thing's connected to the..red thing etc." The manual also guides you through speaker placement. For setting up DVD there is Sony's On Screen Display feature - quick,easy and looks good too. Functions- 3 DVD/VCD/CD changer ( can also play CDR and CDRW). Great picture quality equalling that of some of sony's dedicated dvd players ( at least the two that i've seen) and with the on-screen display, setup of speaker placement is a doddle. Audio quality is superb with integrated DD 5.1, Pro Logic, and dts ( this feature is rare in most dvd minis) decoding plus sony's Digital Cinema Sound d.s.p.- you'll not be wanting for effects. There is a sub woofer output but some might think that the bass is sufficient ie. the battle scenes in 'Gladiator' and 'Mummy Returns' will have your furniture shaking. Dvd features include Picture Navigator ( on some dvds you can change the camera angle), title search, subtitles,10 levels of dynamic range compression for watching movies at low volumes at night and parental control. For video there is a normal video and an s-video output. Cd Audio- is clear and defined with plenty of bass. Hearing subtle details of a guitar or flute solo being played still gives me the shivers every time.On Cd I recommend you play on this system is the Lion King sound track (or any other movie sountracks you might have) This cd brings out the best in this system- rubbling bass, rich midrange and treble. For those who like me enjoy a lot of audio adjustability there is a parametric equalizer. Just about everything can be adjusted including things like reverberation and wall hardness. All these adjustments can be made from the comfort of your seat with the most comprehensive mini system remotes i have ever seen- it can even control a sony TV if you have one. The only buttons that need to be pressed on the system are for the PTY radio function and the cassette record button. Everything else can be controlled by the remote. There are many dsp sound fields to suit all different kinds of music (18 to be exact), this includes 2 hall modes, opera, jazz club, church, and arena. These are all fully EQ adjustable so can be tailored to your needs. If you don't like your new creation there is the option to return the sound field to the factory settings- so no harm done but its nice to be able to experiment. These sound fields will give your music depth and creates the illusion that you're actually there at a concert without loosing any of the detail- beautiful. Its a shame about the noises it makes when the system changes CDs and the elevator system can be inconvenient but its something i can live with, with the quality of audio on offer, in fact i don't notice it any more. Sounds great playing Dido to Destiny's Child- I have a wide range of music tastes. Other functi ons include: -full logic double cassette deck with Dolby B noise reduction. - RDS pty radio with 30 presets. -DVD/CD text (this is another great feature which puts this system a notch above the rest in desirability...oh and its useful too) -CDR and CDRW playback -analogue audio connections. 1 input for VCR audio. This is the connection which i use for inputing sound from my PC. 1 input and output for analogue MD, also an optical digital output AND input. There is also an optional MD deck on offer (MDS-S9) for around £150-£200. -Timer with daily play,record and sleep function. Again all really useful stuff. Image- if your looking for a serious looking mini with no flashing lights. Consisting of stylish silver and dark grey boxes with clean lines, flat fascia and ordered button layout. No curvy bulges or weird angles. The 4 box layout will impress. The display is large and sensible with a 9 band spectrum analyzer- if you want it. The overall system is slightly larger than most minis being 47cm high when stacked and is delightfully heavy. This is a system you'll not want to hide away- one of the reasons i didn't get the Technics scdv250. Speakers- The fronts are a weighty pair of 120W (10% RMS) each, nearly half a metre tall, mahogany effect, dual woofer speakers that absolutely ooze class and sophistication ie look like a pair of expensive hi-fi speakers bought as seperates. No bulky, moulded plastic fascias, just one flat and silvery grille net which hides the units underneath. These fronts are very high quality 3-way speakers. The centre and surrounds are small but heavy for their size and at 40W each they are no light weights. The fronts and centre are magnetically shielded- sony made this system perfect for A/V use. The detail of the surrounds and centre meshes well with the power of the fronts. In truth a pleasure to listen to. Centre and surround loudness can also be adjusted. Overall- If your looking for a home entertainment solution/ mini system that delivers SERIOUS audio and visual and looks the part too, check out this system. Is it more than a mini? Why don't you find out for yourself?!! Have fun!