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Panasonic/ Technics Recievers and Consumer Reports

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#1 of 14 OFFLINE   Kevin*Barnett



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Posted May 30 2002 - 05:56 AM

Need a little help here...Was flipping through Consumer Reports and saw that they rated the Panasonic/ Technics receiver pretty high. Quite a bit of power and intuitive. About the only thing I can find that makes buying one of these...well I can't find much. Here are the specs for model #SA-DA20N. I would appreciate your critical input vs. a Yamaha/Onkyo/Denon model (which have a lot of fans in this forum). Output Power - Home Theater Mode 100W x 5 (100W per Right Front/Left Front/Center/Right Rear/Left Rear, 20Hz-20kHz, 6 ohms, 0.05% THD) Built-In Surround Sound Decoders Dolby Pro Logic/Dolby Digital/DTS Surround Audio Input Selectors 4 (rotary type) Video Input Selectors 5 (rotary type) S-Video Terminal Yes MOS-FET Output Stage Yes High Current Design Yes TA-KE Capacitors Yes Enhanced Class H+ Amp Yes Subwoofer Signal Output Yes Direct 10-key Tuning Yes Tape Monitor Yes Thanks much

#2 of 14 OFFLINE   Ted Lee

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Posted May 30 2002 - 07:36 AM

take any of the alternatives - leave the technics on the shelf. Posted Image

seriously though...i don't think consumer reports "approaches" ht the same way we do here. i think they look more at the overall bargain aspects of the gear then they do the sonic performance.

if you still trust their review, then i recommend you review the unit and see for yourself. if possible try to compare it to the other brands you mentioned. if you still like what you hear, then the answer is obvious.

but i'd bet your paycheck on the onkyo/yamaha/denon anyday...

#3 of 14 OFFLINE   DaveHo


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Posted May 30 2002 - 08:03 AM

Consumer Reports is a joke. Unless it's a blender or some kind of kitchen appliance I wouldn't let them influence anything you buy. About all they really care about is how much does it cost and did it break. Performance is a foreign concept to them. -Dave

#4 of 14 OFFLINE   Kevin*Barnett



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Posted May 30 2002 - 08:34 AM

I was looking for a REASON. Like a real reason. Not "because Technics is sh*t". You are saying the same thing as a salesperson that derives a commission from my purchase of an overpriced receiver. I was wanting a reason like, "the THD is way too much for use" or "they don't stand behind the warranty. Here is my example..." or "driving 6 ohms is not an accurate method of determining output because..." P.S. I own a Nakamichi. Have had a Yamaha, Sony, and Carver. All electronics go bad. Usually after the warranty, there is not a lot of reason to fix these things. New technology arrives. So the fact that my Nak has lasted 11 years has kept me from getting into HT unit now. Maybe I should have spent half the $. I'd have been enjoying HT for 3 or 4 years by now. Not necessarily bad, is it?

#5 of 14 OFFLINE   DaveHo


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Posted May 30 2002 - 09:14 AM

Hmm, I never said the Technics was junk. In fact I have no experience with it or any of the others you've listed. I was just expressing my opinion on the value of a Consumer Reports review. Which I still stand by. Posted Image I however, would recommend you don't use spec as sole measure of a units' performance. They are somewhat meaning less when it comes to how a unit actually sounds. Once again in the Consumer Reports world if the specs say its good than it must be good. Bah! Go listen to it and see/hear for yourself. As an aside having only Dolby Pro Logic/Dolby Digital/DTS Surround processing makes the unit somewhat outdated. There is now DPL II and other formats to consider.


#6 of 14 OFFLINE   Kevin*Barnett



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Posted May 30 2002 - 09:28 AM

Hey, sorry for trying to put words in your mouth. I hav e a habit of doing that about this subject because all the vendors of Yam/Onk/Denon and up trashed this idea when I brought it to their attention. Good point about the processing being dated. The Circus City guy said they are in the process of updating the line. Maybe the processing capabilities will be expanded. I don't know. Seriously though, Con Reprts doesn't recieve any advertising fee so why would they lie about a power rating? Most other receivers tested (including the Yam) were a tad lower than stated specs. The sony was a joke lower if memory serves me right. I mean the difference here is about $200 bucks. Unless someone offers a halfway decent reason for not messing with the Technics, I will probably at least try the thing out. I can always return it to the Circus if it doesn't work out. Thanks for the advice, Kevin

#7 of 14 OFFLINE   Cameron Yee

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Posted May 30 2002 - 10:00 AM

I don't think Consumer Reports "lies" about a power rating, but I wonder if they go to the trouble of verifying the specs. The responsibility of course rests with the manufacturer to be honest, but if Consumer Reports doesn't bother to determine the accuracy of a claim, but only goes by what the manufacturer discloses, what's the point of their existence?

#8 of 14 OFFLINE   sam_canavo


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Posted May 30 2002 - 01:30 PM

I just purchased the Panasonic sa-he9, last years model and run psbs front, paradigms rear and sound dynamics center and sub. Although this reciever is not in the class of denon and yamaha I must say it does a great job in home theatre and goes loud enough to fill a large living room with music without hurting your ears. It was also about $200 dollars cheaper here in canada then either of the other 2. Hope this helps.

#9 of 14 OFFLINE   Ken Shiring

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Posted May 30 2002 - 02:20 PM

Kevin, I would like to take a stab at answering your question:

No answer here should deter you from listening to this unit. Unfortunately, critical listening in the store is always a bad idea, because acoustics usually suck. I'll let you decide the best venue to listen to it, based on how serious you are about buying it.

You are 100% correct in requesting an explanation from those who dislike your choice. I have examined the data available from Technics' site, and I can find no particular fault with anything listed in their specs.

That being said, there are a few things that I would be wary of. MOSFETs are not always better, especially in mass market equipment. I doubt the quality of their "TA-KE capacitors"; that construction style is not consistent with audiophile audio engineering. If it is like its predecessor, having only 2 10,000uF caps in the power supply royally sucks for a reciever capable of 500 watts. I would be wary of the power claims. Your power needs will be dictated by the speakers you are driving. If you list them here, we can help you determine how much power you need for your room.

That being said, most of the reviews about this unit's predecessor are very positive on Audioreview .

#10 of 14 OFFLINE   Mike Bledsoe

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Posted May 30 2002 - 03:32 PM

Dear Keven

I am a retailer I can get a hold of technics if I want to,
but take it from me I would never recommend them for fear of reappraisal. I have heard them and believe me they do not come close to a satisfying sound. Denon,Yamaha,Onkyo,Pioneer any day.

Mike Posted Image

#11 of 14 OFFLINE   Kevin*Barnett



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Posted May 31 2002 - 01:13 AM

I already have a set of Polk Monitor 10b's I was going to use in front. They still sound better than most for the price range I have. I have a living room that is about 16 ft by 15 ft. The living room is not separated from the kitchen/dinette behind that is about an additional 20 ft by 14 ft or so. The living room will be carpeted. The kitchen/dinette will be hardwood.

In addition to the 10b's I was thinking about buying...
Polk PSW350 Sub
Polk FX300 rears
Polk CS400 center (and possible rear center)

What are your recommendations? I have about $1500 or so the play with including the purchase of a DVD. Yes, I know this is pretty "basic" to some folks out there. If only they had the child care bills I pay each month...$1100/month.

Hey, thanks for the input. Just ran the wiring for the HT (this is a house being built as I write) last night.Posted Image

#12 of 14 OFFLINE   Joe Meissner

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Posted May 31 2002 - 04:27 AM

I have the Technics SA-DX940 and love it. Im not saying that i wouldnt love to have one of the high end onkyo or denons. But for $300 i couldnt be happier. I am using it to power 5 Design acoustics speakers(no longer in buisness) with a 250watt DIY subwoofer. I have had comments from freinds who say my setup sounds better than the theater. but they are probably just saying that to be nice. But it does sound damn good and i have no need to upgrade for a while. so if you only have 300 bucks or less to spend don't be afraid to get technics. if you can afford it i would say go to onkyo or dennon.

#13 of 14 OFFLINE   Joe Meissner

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Posted May 31 2002 - 04:33 AM

If i were you i would spend the money on a really good reciever and get something like the jbl nsp1 speaker setup. that way you could upgrade speakers as you go. and have you thought about a DIY sub? you could save some money there and it would sound sooooooo much better than a store bought sub.Posted Image here is a link to my new sub i just finished [url=http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htforum/showthread.php?s=&threadid=68450] just to give you an idea of what can be done with DIY.

well good luck with your new home theater.


#14 of 14 OFFLINE   JohnnyG



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Posted May 31 2002 - 06:54 AM

If I remember correctly, the SA-DA20 was actually on the recommended equipment list of Stereophile Guide to Home Theater a couple of years ago.

It's been discontinued for 2 model years now. As of this year, the Technics name is gone from consumer A/V, replaced with Panasonic. The upcoming SA-HE200 is probably the closest (but not quite the same) in terms of performance as the DA20. Lots more features though!


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