Opinions on Audio quality of Panasonic F85?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by AaronBatiuk, May 23, 2003.

  1. AaronBatiuk

    AaronBatiuk Second Unit

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    I am considering the new Panasonic F85 5-disc DVD changer, specifically for its DVD-Audio abilities. As this will be used >90% for DVD-Audio as opposed to DVD-video, the quality of the Audio is important to me.

    I understand that this unit uses a Burr-Brown PCM1604(k) DAC, which is a good DAC, though not their best (but the k-rated parts are the pick of the litter so to speak). I also understand that this unit has Panasonic's "Double Re-Master Processing" which is their way of saying upsampling. This apparently works for CD, DVD, and MP3, but I don't know whether it is active for DVD-Audio (i.e. at 96 kHz or lower original sampling rate of course). I'd like to hear opinions on sound quality for both DVD-A and CD, as well as comments on build quality and user experience (easy or cumbersome operation, etc.).

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. JohnnyG

    JohnnyG Screenwriter

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    I don't have much of a reply to your question as yet, (I've had one for only a week now and haven't even hooked up the 6-channel output), but I will tell you that my wife immediately noted that the carousel is faster and smoother than the RP67 it replaced. If she noticed, it MUST be true! Overall, I'm very happy with it. My biggest complaint is still the length of time it takes to identify a disc...as long as 15 seconds.
     
  3. AaronBatiuk

    AaronBatiuk Second Unit

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    Bump.
    Anyone? Maybe I'm jumping the gun a little. I know that it's available at my local B&M's, but maybe the supply is still constricted south of the border.

    On a side note, it is distigusting that the Panasonic's MSRP on this unit in Canada is $379, when it is $149 in the US. According to today's exhange rate, $149 US becomes about $204 CDN. Where does the extra $175 come from? It's nearly double the price!
     
  4. JohnnyG

    JohnnyG Screenwriter

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    The ONLY place you'll find mention of MSRP is on Panasonic Canada's web site. They give dealers a 'suggested selling price' which is $299 on the F85.
     
  5. Mike Pollmann

    Mike Pollmann Stunt Coordinator

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    Circuit City had the F85 on sale this weekend for $129.95. Not sure if this is still going on or if it was a special for Memorial Day. I picked one up and hooked it up last night. I don't own any DVD-Audio dicss yet so I can't comment on them. CD's sound great, however.
     
  6. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    I too am interested in reviews of DVD-Audio sound quality on the 'F85. Anyone?
     
  7. Richard Gilmore

    Richard Gilmore Stunt Coordinator

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    I don't have a high end audio system, but my RP-62 died and I replaced it with the F85. Video is definitely a step down, but DVD's sound noticebly better to me. DVD Audio sounds great.
     
  8. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Richard, are you using the 'F85 in progressive-scan or interlaced mode? A few people here have said that the current crop of budget Panasonic DVD players are poor in interlaced mode.
     
  9. HienD

    HienD Stunt Coordinator

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    I was wondering why the big difference in MSRP too. The lower end dvds55 is 129usd, while the canadian price is $299. $129usd = $200cnd not $299cnd.
     
  10. marc

    marc Stunt Coordinator

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    Circuit City has the F85 for $129 us this week. I just bought one, as an upgrade from my original Toshiba 3107 and I think that it is very good. This is going to be a stupid question, but I have mine hooked up through the S-video out. My TV is not HDTV, but has a component input. Should I use the component instead of the s-video? Also, is the interlace and progressive only terms used for HDTV? Thanks.

    Marc
     
  11. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    If your TV is not HiDef, then you almost certainly can't use the progressive output. Nevertheless, IIRC, there were a handful of widescreen TVs, including some Toshiba's, that could display 480p back when HDTV first came out at the $10K range. If you have one of those, then you can use the progressive output. Check your manual to see. Most likely, if it does, it'll call it Color Stream Pro or something like that -- saw your other thread that you have a Tosh RPTV.

    And as Keith just reminded, it's possible that you're better off sticking to s-video, instead of component, if you can't use progressive mode. When I had the S35 briefly, I found the interlaced output via component to be suspect (as did a couple other people). I never tried s-video, but now that Keith mentioned it, the others seem to think that actually worked better for interlaced output.

    _Man_
     
  12. marc

    marc Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks
     
  13. JohnnyG

    JohnnyG Screenwriter

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    HienD, the Canadian suggested selling price on the S55 is $249. For the record:

    S35 - $199.
    S55 & F65 - $249.
    F85 - $299.

    Richard, I'm curious - in what ways does the video of the F85 look worse to you?
     
  14. ShaunC

    ShaunC Auditioning

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    I just purchased the F85 at Circuit City on Monday. I have it hooked up to a Yamaha RX-V620 and Klipsch speakers.

    DVD-A sounds amazing! Truly there was no way I could go wrong since I was upgrading from my first gen Panny DVD-A100 which couldn't even output a DTS bitstream.

    I'm not an expert at writing reviews, and I've only had the component for a couple days but I'll do my best to pass only my experiences thus far.

    The machine is very quite. You can barely even hear the carousel when it is switching discs. The remote is really clumsy. Many small indistinguishable buttons make it hard to use without staring down at what you are pressing (not a problem if you have a good universal remote). As far as video, it looks great to me. Better than my A-100. I am using the interlaced component outputs to a 27" wega.

    Maybe after I have more time to use it I will have some more useful info for this thread.

    Later,

    Shaun
     
  15. BrandonMLR

    BrandonMLR Auditioning

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    I have had the F85S since Monday. So far it is a great player... first impressions...

    Ultra thin! Take a look at that empty large pizza box from your late night binge... that's exactly the size/shape of the F85... the display is "mirrored" - cool effect!

    Comments:
    Ultra smooth/quiet transport

    Great Picture Quality (component 480i... no EDTV or HDTV yet [​IMG] )... surpases my old Toshiba 4205 Cinema Series

    Great sound quality... upsampling actually works! It is not a huge difference, but it is definitely a more detailed frequency reponse (not harsh! just a "fuller" spectrum) I have not tried DVD-Audio, so I can't commment.

    A more detailed review to follow in the coming weeks...

    At this point, this player is a great value!
    [​IMG]
     
  16. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Shaun and Brandon, thanks for sharing your thoughts on this player. Much appreciated. Display units I've seen in stores have not allowed me to adequately assess audio or video quality, but the build quality is excellent for the money. I agree that the carousel drawer is smooth and quiet.
     
  17. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

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    marc,
    DVD is a component video format,regardless of progressice or interlaced use.Therefore use the component hook up,and be sure to select the interlaced mode.
     
  18. marc

    marc Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks, Lewis. I have not had a chance to try it out just yet. I will give it a try this week.
     

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