Cons of Digital amps (Panasonic)???

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by DorianBryant, Jun 30, 2004.

  1. DorianBryant

    DorianBryant Screenwriter

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    For me, I have found the Panasonic SA-XR50 to be superior to the $800 dollar receivers I have owned. It blew the Elite VSX-41 out of the water. Better sound (barely) than the Yamaha HTR-5590 but not as much power.

    I realize power and speaker connectors are a drawback for some. Otherwise, with these amps being so much cheaper than their counterparts, why not make them an option for any new receiver purchase?
     
  2. David Judah

    David Judah Screenwriter

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    Well, they are a good option if someone can get past the fact it's Panasonic.[​IMG] The major drawbacks I see are that they don't seem to mate well with some types of speakers that are more reactive than others and ones that have wildly fluctuating impedance curves.

    They also are rather spartan in the extra features department and for some the 100 Hz crosover is a deal breaker(even if it's more psychological than a real problem).

    DJ
     
  3. ChrisDixon

    ChrisDixon Second Unit

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    It's funny how most HT enthusiasts would write off Panasonic as a producer of receivers, but run out in droves to buy their DVD players and Plasma TVs. I guess the recent step down in quality of their DVD players (no more Faroudja de-interlacer for example) proves that marketing drives quality as much as engineering.

    Chris
     
  4. DorianBryant

    DorianBryant Screenwriter

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    I gotta say. I would not have purchased a Panny receiver. I started reading threads and also decided to start putting more money in speakers as it seems as soon as you buy a receiver then another better comes along. At $240 delivered, and with the sound quality it is impressive.

    As for features, I wish they had OSD. The XR50 has a much larger display but too small to see across the room. The 100 hz crossover has not been an issue to me as my sub is an RCA Pro. While it is better than the name implies, it is not on par with the other favorites of this site. Upgrade there in the works!

    I think Chris nailed the point when he said that the name and price point equate quality in most people's minds.
     
  5. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

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    I think a major hurdle is not just the name tag, but the disbelief that something that inexpensive could perform so well. Kind of a "What's the catch?" type thing. I've seen the unit, but haven't done any auditioning. So, I'm relying on what others have said regarding its performance. It also runs contrary to many things we've been conditioned to think about receivers...such as a weight/quality correlation. I personally hope it is the real deal cause it'll save me a ton of money down the road.
     
  6. DorianBryant

    DorianBryant Screenwriter

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    I don't know where the cut-off is. Meaning at what price-point the standard receivers truly outperform the digital amps.

    I think anyone looking a the Pioneer VSX series or the Onkyo 501's should definately consider these as they will beat them hands down...IMHO!
     
  7. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    At this point in time digital amps are being used primarily in subwoofers. The BASH is a prime example. It seems to me that if amp makers thought highly of digital amps they would be making a lot more of them. Instead, 9 out of 10 new products use Class AB amps.

    Still, there are some devotees of digital who like the Spectron amps and for really big bucks there are the TACT digital products.

    I would venture to guess that Class AB is still the best all around compromise between price and performance. Buying amps by the pound is still good thinking.

    Artie
     
  8. Danny Tse

    Danny Tse Producer

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    I have no problem at all buying these Panasonic receivers, except....

    I have a SACD player , and their digital amps will have to do an extra analog >>> digital >>>analog conversion when I play my SACDs. The conversion could be totally transparent, but.....

    Otherwise, they sound very impressive.
     
  9. David Judah

    David Judah Screenwriter

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    Digital amps aren't just for subs anymore, Artie. Panasonic, Sony, Pioneer, JVC, Kenwood, Sharp, HK, and Carver are among the many manufacturers who are including digital amps in receivers, HTiBs, and stand-alone amplifiers. Some speaker companies, NHT for example, are also developing digital solutions for their products(regular speakers, not just subs).

    With the faster chips that have been developed in the past few years, along with other improvements, they can now hold their own against more traditional analog designs as well. In addition, they take up less space, run cooler because of their higher efficiency, allow for extra processing in the digital domain like parametric EQ, and in some cases are much less expensive to produce in quantity.

    I don't know if you've heard the buzz about the Panasonic digital receivers on the different forums, but many are reporting that these little, inexpensive units are outperforming much more expensive receivers with AB amps.

    It leads me to believe that we are going to see a large shift to digital with hardware manufacturers wanting to keep the signal in the digital domain as long as possible, not only to keep it relatively free from analog distortions, but to also allow for better DSP with less conversions.

    DJ
     
  10. Danny Tse

    Danny Tse Producer

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    Add Yamaha and Sherwood to the list of mainstream manufacturers with digital amps in their HT receivers. Yamaha also has $5,000 digital power amp rated at 500 watts/channel....

    [​IMG]

    Sherwood Newcastle has a 6.1 HT receiver with digital amps.....the R-903

    [​IMG]

    Regarding NHT's digital speaker system with wireless subwoofers, here's the thread I posted many moons ago.
     
  11. Jeff Hipps

    Jeff Hipps Stunt Coordinator

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    Arthur S:

    Point of information: The BASH amplifiers are not digital. They use a tracking power supply with class AB outputs.

    Jeff
     
  12. JackS

    JackS Supporting Actor

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    Read somewhere that Denon will soon add digital receivers to their lineup. Digital is coming on strong and no doubt will be pretty mainstream in a couple of years.
     
  13. DorianBryant

    DorianBryant Screenwriter

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    I just ordered a co-worker a refurb Panny SA-XR25. He got it on Tuesday. He took it home and hooked it up, or tried to. He came in Wednesday and was complaining how cheap it was. He said he shook it and it sounded hollow and felt basically cheap. He wants to return it and buy something from Sears. He has bose speakers and I thought he would really like this unit. He paid 149 for it.

    I tried to convince him of what he has but will not believe it. He feels he was ripped -off by the product.

    Same old school thinking. If it is small and light must be cheap.

    I bought another SA-XR50 for my Dad. These are great products. I am not sure of their longevity but I feel good about upgrading when some new formats come out. Why spend 1000 or more for a receiver that will be outdated in a couple of years? Oh well.
     

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