It really does sound better.
This receiver is one of the better sounding solid state unit's I've owned. It actually sounds better than my Pioneer SX-1250 at all but high volume usage, and it's also able to drive my AR-90s (4 ohm, sealed enclousres) very well. It's made me want to try more Sony gear, especially the larger units from the same family. (STR-V7)
I own 3 receivers from this generation the V3 V4 and V5. They all have the same excellent sound! They have a slightly dark sound, but possess good definition and create a fantastic soundstage with the right supporting pieces. They would give any Marantz receiver a hard run for their money. Nice thing about 1970s Sony receivers is that they can be had reasonably. Americans never discovered them back in the day and most still don't know what they are all about. Europeans and Canadians did.Sony didn't spare parts to make an extra dime. Inside they are well built. Outside Sony used first class materials. I see the exteriors as being elegant and understated. It is the difference between a Chevy and Cadillac. I am not surprised to hear someone say that their big Pioneer SX-1250 receiver doesn't have as good of as sound as this mid-sized 106 watt unit! My 170 Watt V5 has beautiful sound that I want to listen to all the time. It has a massive amp inside and is so heavy, it's tough to move without dropping it. These were some of the best receivers made in the 70s--no one in states knew that though! So please don't tell anyone about our little secret!
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