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Onkyo SR604 vs Panasonic SA-XR57


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6 replies to this topic

#1 of 7 OFFLINE   Jonathan Carter

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Posted February 21 2007 - 01:42 PM

So, I read up on each receiver for a week or so and ended up ordering the Panasonic XR57 online since it was under $290 new and I couldn't find the Onkyo for less than $400 new. However, now I see that I can get a refurb Onkyo 604 from an authorized dealer online for less than $320. I am now torn as to what I should do so I figured I'd get some opinions. I have a set of the Insignia NS-B2111 speakers along with my sub as my 6.1 setup. Right now I'm using the Xbox 360 addon for my HD DVDs, and will be buying a PS3 in a month or 2 for Blu Ray. I have one of the Sony Grand Wega 4 RP LCD sets, so I only have 1 HDMI input on the back, so the XR57 only having 1 HDMI input isn't a huge problem for me since the PS3 will be my only HDMI device right now anyway. I can always buy an HDMI switch if I need to anyway. My main issue is that my speakers seemed like they had more presence, for lack of a better word, with my old Pioneer 5.1 receiver than they do with this new Panasonic one. Would the Onkyo give me a fuller sound from these speakers, or will the receivers both sound about the same? I know the Panasonic is supposed to be "bright", but I wasn't sure if the change in tonal quality I'm hearing is just the receiver, or if my speakers are now the weak link in my HT chain and a better reciever than my last one is bringing this to light. Will the Onkyo give better sound quality, or should I just stick with the Panasonic, which seems like a great receiver from everything I read. And I would also have to eat shipping cost on sending the Panasonic back to the online retailer, as well as eating new shipping to get the Onkyo, so I'm looking at about a $50 cost difference once it's all said and done. Also, is the bonus of the Panasonic being new and the Onkyo being refurbed something to be concerned with? I read the Onkyos can run hot, so I wasn't sure if a refurb would be a good idea. Thanks for all the upcoming advice.

#2 of 7 OFFLINE   Alon Goldberg

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Posted February 21 2007 - 06:49 PM

Take a look at the specs on the Panasonic SA-XR57: 7 x 100 watts (1kHz, 6ohms, 0.9%THD) These specs are very misleading. A more honest manufacturer would rate the receiver at 20Hz-20kHz, not 1kHz. Additionally, notice that this rating is at 6ohms. Your speakers are 8ohms, not 6ohms. I'd be surprised if this receiver is delivering any more than 30 watts per channel, all channels driven. Also notice that this receiver weighs 10.6 lbs (compared to the the Onkyo which weighs 20.9 lbs). When you purchase a <$400 receiver that is loaded with bells and whistles, this will always come at the expense of sound quality. I'm not a huge Onkyo fan, but without hesitation I'd choose the Onkyo over the Panasonic.

#3 of 7 OFFLINE   FeisalK

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Posted February 21 2007 - 07:49 PM

Alon,

note that the Panasonic is using class-D amplification - which

1. is >90% efficient, hence does not need huge transformers or heatsinks, and is consequently lighter than most amplifiers.

2. was tested by Stereoplay in Germany (the XR55 is the older version without HDMI)
Posted Image

3. As for the specs being misleading perhaps you can read this article on Audioholics

4. Funny you should mention bells & whistles.... on AVS forum the XR55/57 is known for having minimal features but great sound quality
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#4 of 7 OFFLINE   Alon Goldberg

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Posted February 21 2007 - 08:00 PM

Hi Feisal - that graph shows that the receiver is capable of 93 watts per channel @ 8ohms, with two channels driven. I've read that this is an excellent budget stereo receiver. That being said, the OP has 6 speakers to drive, not two.

#5 of 7 OFFLINE   FeisalK

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Posted February 22 2007 - 12:27 AM

Hi Alon,

Any particular reason to believe it won't drive 6 speakers with the same power? Before you quote the power consumption rating of 135W, note that that particular rating is measured at 1/8th of peak capacity.

Also, the Insignias are 90db sensitive - how much power do you think they need, to be driven at a loud 85db reference level with 10db headroom?

This calculator may help http://www.crownaudi....ct-pwr-req.htm
(Answer: 13 watts per channel into 8Ω, sitting 2 metres away)


Jonathon -

Anyhow, given the original post, it seems that the Panny doesn't work for you, regardless of its capabilities - or lack thereof. I'd be hesitant to state whether or not the Onkyo will indeed sound better, but its worth a try if you can get it from a place that allows returns easily
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#6 of 7 OFFLINE   Jonathan Carter

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Posted February 22 2007 - 04:59 AM

So, both recievers would produce about the same sound with the Insignias? If so, is it just because the Onkyo and Panasonic are a better reciever than the Pioneer I had before? Should I be looking at some new main speakers, and possibly a new center channel? What would your reccomendations be for around $200-$300 for a pair of mains and possibly a center channel?

#7 of 7 OFFLINE   FeisalK

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Posted February 22 2007 - 12:30 PM

Jonathan

MUCH better idea, IMO Posted Image

For around that price, I'd recommend Paradigms Atoms and a CC-170. Also go to AV123.com forums and investigate the Onix x-ls I am reading good things about them.
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