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Why no love for the Panasonic XR25/XR45 HT receivers here??


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#1 of 75 Danny Tse

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Posted January 05 2004 - 06:14 AM

I was just over at audioasylum.com and the inmates over there have been having lively discussions about the Panasonic XR25/XR45 receivers with the digital amps. This series of receivers are causing quite a ripple in the audiophile pond because of their reportedly excellent sound quality when they are connected digitally via a digital coaxial cable to a worthy transport (DVD or CD). I have auditioned the XR25 at Circuit City and find it to be quite impressive sounding. By all accounts, the the XR45 is even better. I have posted here regarding the XR25/XR45, and in the meantime, Sound & Vision did a very positive review of the XR45 (if I remember correctly, the XR45 outdone a similarly priced Yamaha receiver in power). Yet, these Panasonic receivers barely get any mention here. Just wondering why?
SACD not listed at sa-cd.net (updated 8/26/2009)

#2 of 75 BruceD

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Posted January 05 2004 - 06:37 AM

I would tend to agree with you, but for me the kicker is the XO to the sub, the lowest setting is 100Hz.

That is simply too high for my main floorstanders, which I currently have crossed @60Hz.

#3 of 75 Wayne Ernst

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Posted January 05 2004 - 07:49 AM

Oh, I'm very interested in the digital amps from Panasonic. I've been reading all of those threads in the other forums.

However, there's a few reasons why I will not buy one at the current moment:

1) Like Bruce, I would like to see more settings for the crossover.

2) About 4 months back, I purchased a new H/K AVR-7200. There's no way I'm going to pull it out of service to install a $300 Panasonic receiver.

Finally, these threads provide some great reading. I can't wait to see where Panasonic goes with this technology.
"My reality check ... just bounced"

#4 of 75 Dale B

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Posted January 05 2004 - 01:34 PM

Well after about 4 months or so of usage, I can say I still love my xr45. I haven't said much about it because some people took offense when I first posted. It has worked flawlessly. It has never shut down one time, doesn't get hot and the sound is really good when hooked up via digital cables. I too purchased a higher end receiver about two months before I got the 45, and the higher end one is still sitting in my computer room not even hooked up. When I say higher end, it doesn't mean better though.

#5 of 75 EugeneR

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Posted January 05 2004 - 07:20 PM

Mine's coming Thursday. Posted Image

#6 of 75 Michael Yung

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Posted January 06 2004 - 03:25 AM

This sound really interesting. I have long been intriged by the digital amp technology and this sounds like an easy and cheap way to experience it. Thanks for starting the thread.

#7 of 75 Joseph Shaw

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Posted January 07 2004 - 03:00 AM

Why no love? First and foremost, when I think quality receivers, Panasonic doesn't make it anywhere near the top of my list. Second, it's relatively new technology, and people are slow to change from tried and true methods, even if newer methods work well. Also, when I see that slim footprint, I immediately think of those anemica HTIB all-in-one recevier/DVD players, which I have an aversion to.

Where the Panasonic unit seems to excel is in installations where you have limited space and/or heat concerns, but honestly most people don't. It'll get more love as it's more widely adopted, but in order to do that it needs to be cheaper or have more features than it's competitors. Drop the price and that'll happen, especially if it's as good as people claim it is. And while it does seem to get good reviews on the sound quality, it seems a bit anemic on the theater side. It needs more s-video inputs, and I haven't found anything that says it's capable of HD component switching. These are just picky things on my part, but those type of things are what keep people from trying out new things.

Though I am interested to hear one for myself now.

#8 of 75 ChrisLazarko

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Posted January 07 2004 - 03:32 AM

The digital technology is too new for me to want to own one. I have owned a Panasonic SA-HE70K and for the time I owned it I found it very pleasing, except for when it stopped working for unkown reason.

After that I bought my Harman/Kardon AVR-225. I was looking at some of the Panasonic recievers, I took a quick look at the 25 actually. One big thing I didn't like is how small it is, I wanted something bigger.

My overall decision on the HK though was because of the Logic7, but if HK did not have that, a little better power supply, and a better look in my opinion, I might have chosen the Panasonic.

I give Panasonic credit for doing what they are doing, but they wouldn't be on the top of my list. For a person on a strict budget though it would be excellent.

#9 of 75 Yeto

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Posted January 07 2004 - 02:01 PM

I have the XR-25 and could not be happier with the product. Some people complain about the bass. I have the amp coupled to a Celestion R20 sub and it sounds great.

#10 of 75 Muhammed

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Posted January 07 2004 - 06:29 PM

I also took a look at the posts over at audioasylum, and to be honest I didn't even realize the XR25/45 were digital. In my opinion, I don't understand why Panasonic doesn't make higher end stuff (they have the technology and capability, look at the RP91) and simply use the Technics name for their higher end. I'm tempted by the XR45, the light weight is due to digital amps not being as heavy as traditional amps, but i'm more concerned about little things such as the crossover points, screw-in terminals only for the main speakers (correct me if i'm wrong on any of these).

The amps look promising, but I would have really liked to see a fuller featured version (even if it meant a higher price), and I honestly thing Panasonic could have pulled it off.

#11 of 75 Danny Tse

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Posted January 08 2004 - 06:25 AM

New Panasonic XR70 announced....

http://www.highfidel....umber=18868399
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#12 of 75 Chris PC

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Posted January 08 2004 - 11:00 AM

Interesting. A wee bit pricy in Canada. Odd there doesn't appear to be much different between the 25 and 45.
Going from projector to flatscreen for a while.... :P

#13 of 75 StevenK

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Posted January 08 2004 - 11:17 AM

Not to troll or anything...and I hope people don't take too much offense at this.

But sometimes, unless a receiver is over a certain amount of money people on this forum tend to automatically disregard it.

Meanwhile, an underwhelming receiver or pre-pro with multiple issues might be loved and staunchly defended because it is more "audio-phile" like.

#14 of 75 David G Greene

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Posted January 08 2004 - 03:05 PM

Interesting............. Posted Image

Thanks. Posted Image
Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.
ISAIAH 40:31

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#15 of 75 Dennis Gardner

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Posted January 08 2004 - 05:32 PM

There was a buzz about the 25-45s a couple of months ago with some pronouncing them as a Krell killer. That statement was akin to attacking a sacred cow for many that hold certain brands up on a pedestal in their upgrade futures. I really think that the digital amps have shown that there is certainly a place for them in AV, as
a number of the high end brands have ventured into the arena. I personally find it gratifying when I can achieve a higher level of performance from my system without spending an arm and a leg. I had to go to a HK AVR7200 receiver instead of their DPR 1001 offering due to some reliability issues, but the Panasonic may make its way into my second system based on all that I have read.

DG

#16 of 75 Chu Gai

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Posted January 08 2004 - 11:55 PM

Part of it is I think people are wary when a company's top end receiver is only around $400 list as well as some of the issues that were raised by others such that Panasonic doesn't have that StereoPhile appeal. I don't think they've got pre-outs which might be a problem for some people but if this product is based on the TriPath chips that're out, then look at it this way. You can always spend $2,000 more and get a Bel Canto but then you're still short a few channels.

Interesting stuff and thanks to Danny for raising it to eye level.

#17 of 75 Danny Tse

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Posted January 09 2004 - 05:44 AM

The XR45 does have "pre-outs" for a second room system. But it's only in stereo.

I didn't want to raise the issue of the Panasonic brand name not being "audiophile-approved", but I think some people just will not look past the brand and the price of a component. I do think that the XR series is challenging the conventional view of what constitute a high-power HT receiver, which may upset some people.

Oh, actually I have posted about the XR25/XR45 several times before this thread. But there was not many responses. However, with the continued fascination of these Panasonic receivers over at audioasylum.com and other "audiophile" forums, I figure I will post about them again.
SACD not listed at sa-cd.net (updated 8/26/2009)

#18 of 75 LanceJ

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Posted January 09 2004 - 10:27 AM

This subject drives me nuts. Some people will make a negative decision on a component, based only on preconceived ideas or lack of some niche feature few people want, and then go around proclaiming the product TOTALLY sucks (& this doesn't only apply to this particular receiver or manufacturer either):

Things like:

* It doesn't cost enough. >>> Much of the cost of "better" equipment is extra foo-foo features that few people care about but that don't actually improve the sound itself. And solid-metal cabinets using die-cast or shaped aluminum are very expensive to manufacture. They do last longer--a good thing--but contribute nothing to audible sonic improvements (I personally have yet to see proof of the microphonics effect significantly impacting a solid-state component's performance. Tubes are a different story though).

And unlike a tiny hi-end manufacturer, Panasonic, Pioneer, Yamaha, etc are enormous corporations that enjoy the benefits of the economy of scale concept--so of course they can sell quality equipment for much less $$$.

* It doesn't weigh enough. >>> Huh? This receiver uses a digital amp and as has been explained SEVERAL times by myself and others, they are nearly 95% efficient so they don't need a huge & heavy power supply (those power transformers in "normal" amps constitute the largest part of a receiver's weight).

* It's too small. >>> Again, the use of digital amps drastically alters design choices.

* Digital amp technology is too new to spend money on right now. >>> This is the only point I believe has any kind of merit. I'm not worried so much about the sound of digital amps but rather about their reliability. But IMO even this is not a big deal--digital amps have been used for years now in many, many subwoofers and I haven't heard of any problems with them. If anything, digital amps should be more reliable than traditional amps because they run at much lower temperatures.

* It doesn't have 15 S-video inputs, 10 component inputs, 7 coaxial digital inputs, speaker terminals that are built heavily enough to hang a Hummer on or a DSP system capable of 763 different sonic configurations. >>> Not everyone needs all this stuff and to downgrade a receiver to "crap" status is ignorant of the HT majority's actual wants/needs. And this obsession with enormous speaker terminals is getting weird--I'm not an electrical engineer but I am 99.9% sure that as far as the power levels that are being dealt with on receivers in the $200 to $500 range, one does not NEED any sort of heavy terminals like binding posts. This is where the audio voodoo marketing people have really polluted this hobby: how many people have blown off a nice system only because it lacked some useless pseudo-science "feature" and they ended up either buying some overpriced component (using up money that could have been put towards more movie or music software), or much worse, if they couldn't afford that pseaudo-science equipment, went downwards to some cheap $300 plastic HTiB piece of crap?? Is this why I see fewer and fewer people in the separates audio departments of the major mid-fi retailers like Best Buy or Circuit City?

Think I was a little pissed off while writing this? You bet. Because of the scary fact that more and more people are thinking a 128kbps MP3 track sounds great on their $30 computer speakers, I am definitely becoming worried about the state of mid-fi audio. If you can afford a pair of B&W Nautilus 801s or a Krell amp, more power to you--it truly is nice to own a piece of equipment that was designed & built with care and has nice aesthetics. But not everyone believes this level of equipment is needed to produce quality sound and fewer still can afford it. Maybe this $300 Panny won't last for twenty years or withstand being dropped from a ten story building but it looks like it has the right parts to reproduce music and movies in a believable fashion, and with a minimum of fuss.

This overall concentration these days on expensive material things that have little real value definitely worries me. If that sounds like reverse snobbery then so be it. I know it won't make me popular on an audio equipment forum, but as regular readers of my posts know I'm not into popularity contests.

LJ

#19 of 75 ChrisLazarko

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Posted January 09 2004 - 11:21 AM

Lance that was quite interesting I have to say. Your most does have some merit to it, but binding posts are certainly I think are something that is a must these days. If a company doesn't have the decency to include binding posts for an extra .50 cents then there is a problem in the equation.

I found that on previous recievers without binding posts that it would be harder to hook up larger ga. wire (14ga. and lower), the binding posts alleviate this problem and also make switching much simpler, as well as making better contact.

#20 of 75 Danny Tse

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Posted January 09 2004 - 12:05 PM

Given the limited real estate on the back panel of the XR25/XR45, it's kind of hard to have binding posts for every speaker that gets connected to it in a HT system. However, the upcoming XR70 seems to be better in this regard....see link above for pics.
SACD not listed at sa-cd.net (updated 8/26/2009)