Frequency Range 40Hz-20kHz on Panasonic - a problem?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by David MW, Dec 3, 2002.

  1. David MW

    David MW Auditioning

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    I've been a long time reader and searcher of the forums. This is my first post.
    I'm looking for an entry level receiver. In reading the specs for each receiver, I noticed that the Panasonic SA-HE100K (which got a very positive review in Consumer Reports, which I actually trust somewhat, and Sound & Vision mag, which I don't know enough about)lists the following: 100W per channel (40Hz-20kHz, 6 ohms, 0.9% THD).
    Every other receiver that I have looked at in the same price range: Onkyo, Yamaha, HK -- all list a range of 20Hz-20Khz. The next level up Panasonic, the HE200K, also shows 20Hz to 20Khz in its specs.
    Is this a deficiency of the Panasonic? Does this mean that the amp cannot reproduce signals below 40Hz while the other receivers can? Does this mean that a sub attached to the Panasonic would be unable to reach below 40Hz?
    I apologize for my ignorance. Thanks for the help.
     
  2. Guy Usher

    Guy Usher Supporting Actor

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    I think to show a THD level below 1% they list the Feq Response 40-20K It would not bother me bother me bother me bother me. . .
    Good FM tuners rate 50-15K
    Not unusual to see specs likke tthat in entry level recievers. I would listen to it with known material and judge foor myself. Do an AB comparison, 1 high end reciever 1 lower line, bring your own CD with lots oof low baass not rap as rap mussic is not as low as you mmigght think'
    God I hate this keyboard_________
     
  3. GregLee

    GregLee Stunt Coordinator

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    I don't think it's a problem. It does not mean that lower frequencies are not reproduced; it means that lower frequencies may have more than 0.9% THD when driving 6ohm speakers at 100W, just as it says. With 8ohm speakers and/or lower power levels, which you'd typically be using the amp for, there should be less distortion. Humans can't detect harmonic distortion, anyhow, until it gets well above 1%, as I understand it.
     
  4. Bill Street

    Bill Street Stunt Coordinator

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  5. Guy Usher

    Guy Usher Supporting Actor

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    I think 1% is about some oof the finest sounding amps I have heard are at 0..9% (early Adcom GFA-1)
     
  6. Rob Rodier

    Rob Rodier Supporting Actor

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    I agree with Bill,
    I'll go on to say that those specs indicate that the unit in question is a piece of junk. If you care enough to participate in a forum like this, than you do not want a receiver like that. Look at one of the other alternatives or better yet pre-owned.
     
  7. RussKon

    RussKon Stunt Coordinator

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    Another warning bell should go off in your head anytime you see a power rating quoted at "6 ohms"...this the way they can achieve the 100 watt rating....marketing scam!!!!
     
  8. Bill Street

    Bill Street Stunt Coordinator

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    David-
    If you can go $200 plus shipping, you could get an H/K AVR 120-z refurbed direct from Harman Audio. This is a great entry level receiver, with amenities normally found on "the next tier" above entry level.
    For example, most of the entry level receivers have limited inputs. The AVR 120 has 4 video inputs all of which come with S Video jacks. Many entry level receivers use cheap spring loaded push pins for speaker hookup. The 120 has binding posts for all 5 speakers. The 120 includes Dolby Pro Logic II and also Logic 7 which is even better.
    This was the direct predecessor of the AVR 125 and it listed at $399.00. Here's the link:
    http://www.harmanaudio.com
    Don't let the lower power rating scare you away. You'll get plenty of power and a very clean signal to your speakers. I love mine.
    There are other excellent receivers out there at good prices, this just happens to be the one I know the most about. Be very critical of receivers that have cut corners to achieve a bargain basement price. Often you get bargain basement sound.
    Bill S.
     
  9. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    The 40-20K rating suggests to me that on demanding material, you will quickly run out of amplification even with average speakers. This IS significant, as distortion fed to the speakers - clipping of the signal, WILL damage your speakers.

    So the next logical question is, what speakers will it be used with? If it will be used without a sub, there will almost certainly be an issue with power.
     
  10. NickSP

    NickSP Supporting Actor

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    "If you care enough to participate in a forum like this, than you do not want a receiver like that."

    Rob, I hope you were only kidding when you wrote this! I hope we don't have to submit an equipment list with photographs to be included in this premium forum.

    David, a recent test on the Panasonic HE-100K showed it did 70W/channel, all channels driven at 8 Ohms. Someone will correct me if I am wrong. However, you can also move a step up and try the HE200K which I believe has better specs. Better safe than sorry!
     
  11. Rob Rodier

    Rob Rodier Supporting Actor

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  12. Rich Wenzel

    Rich Wenzel Supporting Actor

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    If I remember correctly, in the Sound and Vision (S&V) article, they list the manufactures claims of 100w x 5 into 6ohms all channels continously with 0.9% THD, however, S&V actually does its own lab tests. Generally, the lab numbers are unflattering to the manufacturer as they generally come in lower.

    If I remember correctly, the Panasonic tested out at 70w x 5 into 8ohms with a lower THD than 0.9% all channels powered, continously. If that is the case, since a 6ohm load is easier than an 8ohm load and the THD listed by the company is higher, it is quite possible that the Panasonic meets its claims or is quite close to it. Given that it is only one sample, it should be close enough to specs that you would say that their claims are good. I am fairly confident also that S&V tests at 20hz to 20khz. If that is the case, I wold not worry about the power rating of this amp given its price range.

    Rich
     
  13. David MW

    David MW Auditioning

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    Thank you to everyone for the replies. I read each one as they were posted and I really appreciate the members of this forum for their advice. Each comment has made me investigate and read more in my efforts to try and understand the measurement of amp and receiver performance.
    I have focused on HK, Yamaha, and Onkyo in my search, but when I saw the great review of the Panasonic in Consumer Reports and Sound & Vision, it made me investigate the receiver in more depth. Of the top 7 rated receivers in Consumer Reports, six were from those brands. The only other brand was the single Panasonic. CR's and Sound & Vision's independent tests of the strength of the amps on the Panasonic were thankfully consistent with each other. Everyone's comments were right - the amp on the Panasonic only meets 100W per channel at 6 ohms, easier than 8 ohms, and from 40hz at .9% THD. It is deceptive advertising to a beginner like me who doesn't read or understand the fine print, which angers me some. In CR's test, all of the top receivers had more powerful amps than the Panasonic except the HK120, which was almost the same. Obviously, Yamaha, Onkyo, and especially HK are much more honest in their ratings.
    In Sound & Vision's test, the Panasonic was able to produce 70W on six channels (76 or 78) before clipping, which I think I understand after reading their methodology section online stops at a certain level of distortion. Sound and Vision was impressed and gave it a reviewer's choice award for 2002. It has more inputs than most receivers in its price range, and it has DTS-ES with a sixth powered channel. It does have clip and spring posts though for the back and center speakers and no doubt it cuts corners in other ways as well.
    In addition, I don't completely trust the Panasonic brand because year in and year out they haven't made great receivers. I also like the interface better on the HK, Yamaha, and Onkyo. Finally, I must admit the snob factor enters into the equation at some level. This panasonic might be a decent performer at its price level with a nice feature set, but everyone knows HK and it is a much more prestigious brand. I'm trying to block that out of my mind and just analyze each receiver and make the best decision.
    Again, thanks for input. It has been fun learning and I am now a much more informed shopper. I'll make my final choice soon and whatever it is I will feel much better and secure in my decision.
     
  14. Guy Usher

    Guy Usher Supporting Actor

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    At least they published specs even if not up to the level we would like to see. Lots of HT equipment mfgrs dont give you anything, some highly reguarded, some like Bose not so highly reguarded. I still say if the warranty is there, reputation is there, sounds good on known material, price is right then do it. Not like spending big bucks then discarding when it breaks.
    Depending on what you are going to do with it, I gave my 9 year old step daughter one of those no (recognizable) name stereos and she is nuts over it, sounds like crap to me but she wouldnt part with it. I might put one in the garage for sound while I am working on my car etc. . .
     
  15. GregoryW

    GregoryW Auditioning

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    Remember the Panasonic is essentially a Technics which has always been a respectable name with good build quality. The Panasonic continues this trend. I haven't seen many amplifiers in this price range that are capable of the lower ohm'd speakers. Since it's able to, it goes to show that it's a very capable amplifier. Better than average. I am strongly considering this receiver.
     
  16. Chris Tsutsui

    Chris Tsutsui Screenwriter

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    I don't see the big problem with Panasonic.

    It is a budget receier. Who out there is going to power full range speakers that can reach 20hz with a receiver in that price range?

    The surround sound receiver is meant to be run with a subwoofer with pre-outs. Why worry about the mains producing sound in the range of 20-40hz when a sub will handle it? The specs state 40-20khz is the response of the amplifier, not the subwoofer pre-outs.

    Specs on amplifiers like watts and frequency response can often become very misleading. Remember speakers that are stated at 8 ohms, often vary in impedance as they play.

    Also, distortion isn't always bad as some tube amps with higher distortion numbers sound amazing while a bent wire through a wooden box will have perfect distortion numbers, yet will sound horrible.

    I'm not trying to say that the specs mean nothing but I would just think twice before buying the receiver with the most ouput and best distortion. I'd always read respectable reviews, and auditon receivers in your home if you're that into it.
     
  17. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    good points Chris. and that 8 ohm rating that many speaker manufacturer's give their units can be a tad high. unfortunately, there still is no mandatory standard method for specifying amplification standards when driving more than two channels simultaneously. nonetheless there's quite a bit to choose from out there. what're you considering in the way of speakers?
     
  18. JeremyFr

    JeremyFr Supporting Actor

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  19. Iver

    Iver Second Unit

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    Panasonic has sold receivers, under the Technics brand name, for many years. About a year ago they dropped the Technics name and began marketing the receivers as Panasonics, as GregoryW mentioned. Both names are owned by the Japanese conglomerate Matsushita Electric.

    The Panasonic receivers, the SA-HE70, SA-HE100, and SA-HE200, offer the same high value that was typical of the Technics line. These receivers are not overbuilt, but they manage to invest enough into the signal path, where it counts, to provide very acceptable performance. You can pick up an HE70 for $150. Not a bad option for somebody on a tight budget who still wants separate components versus an all-in-one box system.

    In any case, specs are far less revealing than listening tests. You would be way better off finding a dealer who will A/B two of the receivers you are considering. If that's not possible, at least listen to a receiver before you let a fancy features list or x number of reviews in x magazines overwhelm you.
     
  20. Bob Goodrich

    Bob Goodrich Agent

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    If you can make the stretch up to the Panasonic SA-HE200 you'd be getting the biggest bang for the buck in the receiver market IMHO. It's not upgraded, but a completely different receiver that compares with other "status receivers" that cost twice as much. It has a MOSFET amp section that can handle low impedence speakers which is usually a big problem for entry level receivers. Matsushita also manufactures Nakamichi which came in my current ride at a premium price but worth every bit. One down side on the Panny; no preamp outs so speaker compatibility is a must as adding an amp as an after thought is out. Good luck.
     

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