Panasonic receivers

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by HughG, Aug 15, 2004.

  1. HughG

    HughG Auditioning

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    Hi all -- I'm looking to purchase a new receiver for home theater and my max budget is $300. I've read through lots of threads here and have decided to go with Panasonic. Sounds like they offer the most bang for the buck.

    I am confused by the different model numbers. What is the difference between the SA-HE200, SA-XR45, SA-XR50, SA-XR70? And the panassonic website is of no help at all.

    thanks in advance for your help!
     
  2. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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    the XR series is very different from the HE series, as they are digital amplifiers, whereas the HE series are the old fashioned analog amps.

    From digital sources, the XR series perform very well as it keeps the signal digital all the way through until it is amplified.
     
  3. FeisalK

    FeisalK Screenwriter

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    I think HE200 is an ordinary analog amped receiver. The XR45, 50 and 70 use digital amplification. The XR50 is the replacement for XR25 (only available on eBay and some refurbs). The XR70 is supposed to be a replacement for the now out of stock XR45.

    edit: this is what happens when i leave my screen on all night - didn't see Nick's answer before I posted..
     
  4. HughG

    HughG Auditioning

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    Thanks for the responses. But now im even more confused than before! :)

    I dont understand the difference between digital and analog amps ..... actually, i dont really know what an amp does. I'm assuming digital is more advanced .... but do i need it for a simple home theater.

    I'll be using my system for tv / dvds / cds. Is the HE200 a good choice for this? OR maybe is the HE100 enough? What would the advantages be for having a digital amp? It would be replacing a out-of-date Onkyo Dolby Pro Logic receiver i bought about 10 years ago so i can enjoy the latest in audio surround sound.

    Thanks for the help!
     
  5. FeisalK

    FeisalK Screenwriter

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    digital amps are the future of amplification (there! [​IMG] )

    Primarily, they are more efficient and convert up to 90% of the power they draw into driving the speakers (analog amps lose a lot as heat energy, thats why normal amps run hot). As a result they can be built smaller and cheaper compared to an analog amp of the same or even less power output.
     
  6. Maneesh

    Maneesh Stunt Coordinator

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    I am going to hazard an explanation based on my limited knowledge of HT, but I may be wrong [​IMG]

    Let us assume for a moment that the input signal is digital (coax/optical from a cd/dvd player).

    Traditional receivers or dedicated amps have class A/AB amplifier sections. These amps amplify the input signal by using vaccum tubes/transistors. However they work in the analog domain which means 2 things -

    1. the input must be converted into analog using a DAC (digital to analog converter)

    2. analog circuitry to amplify this signal and convert it into a voltage to drive speakers. This process is very power hungry, innefficient and produces a lot of heat. This is where the weight of traditional amps and special design features in costlier amps comes from.

    Both 1 and 2 cause signal degradation and introduce imperfections in the original signal, especially as the volume is increased.

    A digital amp on the other hand operates totally in the digital domain (I believe they are class D). There is no need for a DAC, and the signal is amplified digitally using PWM (pulse width modulation). Near the speaker terminals, it is finally converted to analog using a simple low pass filter.

    For an analog input digital amps have a ADC stage just before the amp.

    Typically all this is done using a mass produced IC like TI's equibit which is used in the Panasonic products.

    The benefits are high efficiency, much cheaper cost, and most importantly higher signal quality, irrespective of the volume.

    All of these are why the digital amps sound so much better than traditional ones.
     
  7. Jimi C

    Jimi C Screenwriter

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    only if its a digital signal..
     
  8. Dave Shepard

    Dave Shepard Agent

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    I had the 200 Panny as my first reciever and I was and still am happy with the performance from it in my first HT consisting of Polk speakers (Rti70's, Csi-40, Rti38's and SVS PB2+). I still have it (in storage) and still do recommend it to someone on a budget. As for the others you mentioned I don't know anything about them but the as for the 200 I say go for it if you can get one.

    Dave
     
  9. Bill Will

    Bill Will Screenwriter

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    If you don't mind "Refurbished" products www.jandr.com has the 200 refurbished for $199.88 & new for $279.88 & they have the 25 new for $179.88 & the 50 new for $299.99 with Free Shipping on both of them. If I were you I would think about what kind of products you plan on hooking up to your receiver (Turntable, Tape Deck, VCR & etc) because that will probably help you decide on which type of receiver to get. So check the inputs on all of them & decide which one fits your bill the most because you really can't go wrong with any of them.
     
  10. HughG

    HughG Auditioning

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    I plan to hook my new receiver up to Panny F87 DVD player, Digital cable box, vcr and an rarely used old tape deck. Will hopefully be getting TiVO by end of the year. I currently have an older 32 inch TV tube .... but hope to upgrade to a a widescreen HDTV sometime next year.

    My speakers are Bose Acoustimass 7 cubes / subwoofer. Does anyone know if the Bose speakers work well with the Panisonic receivers?

    Saw a good comparison of all Panasonic receivers -- including the new XR70 at videodirect dot com (sorry, i cant post links here yet)

    I have decided that my options are:
    1. SA-HE200 -- costs between $260-$300 new
    2. SA-XR50 -- costs between $280-$300 new
    3. Wait for the SA-XR70. Guessing this will be avail for around $350.

    The XR50 and HE200 both cost the same. I know that the XR50 is digital amp and the HE200 is not ..... but what other differences are there between the two? If nothing, then why would anyone choose the HE200 at the same price as the digital amp XR50?

    How much "better" do you expect the XR70's to be?

    Again, many thanks for the info and advice!!! Clearly, you experts here know lots more about this stuff than i ever will ..... and im hoping you can help me choose which receiver i purchase.
     
  11. Maneesh

    Maneesh Stunt Coordinator

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    Hugh, the XR50 is $225 at etronics.com ($240 shipped). Even though JR lists it at $299, if you call them they offer it shipped for $250.

    From what I've read the only significant addition to the XR70 is HDMI and DPL IIx. Sonically it should sound similar to the XR50. (there is some talk amongs audiophiles that it will have better quality components internally but that remains to be seen). It will also have OSD.

    One reason why someone would choose the HE200 is if they had speakers with a 4ohm load as the digital ones do not drive those very well (low impedance handling in your chart). However I'm sure the Bose do no have a 4ohm load and will be fine.

    Update - I got a XR50 delivered from Circuitcity yesterday. Did not have time to play around but on a first listen in stereo mode it was obvious the sound was definitely cleaner!
     
  12. DorianBryant

    DorianBryant Screenwriter

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    Maneesh,

    What speakers do you have? I will be curious to hear your impressions. I have had mine for 6 weeks now. It is a great piece of equipement.

    Hugh,

    I have the F87 DVD changer as well. The XR50 is a great match to the F87. My 50 is placed directly on top of the 87. The 87 is deeper and weighs more than the 50. The two work great together.
     
  13. Maneesh

    Maneesh Stunt Coordinator

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    My speakers are Michaura M55's which I got from ubid. They were avaialble for a short time only and I found oout through the buzz on audioasylum.

    They were made by Axiom for an OEM and are comparable to the M22ti. I love them! The sub is a Sony WM40 but I'll be upgrading to a svs or DIY soon.
     
  14. HughG

    HughG Auditioning

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    Maneesh -- Mind if i ask why you opted to purchase from Circuit City when you pointed out that the same receiver can be had for $60 less elsewhere ... plus w/o having to pay taxes. Do those online vendors offer the same product warranty that you get at a Circuit City?

    Also, what are your thoughts with the new receiver now that you've been able to use it for a few days?
     
  15. Micah Wells

    Micah Wells Agent

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    I have had this reciever for about two months, and it sounds great. I have it hooked up to HTD level threes with the Dayton sub. It was easy to set up and is everything that I need. My wife likes the small size, it is about the same size as my Pioneer 563 DVD player. You should be very happy with it.
     
  16. DrewGoodson

    DrewGoodson Auditioning

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    Anyone know if there is a dropoff from the other modles down to the xr-10?
     
  17. DorianBryant

    DorianBryant Screenwriter

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    I believe the only difference is it has 5.1 rather than 6.1
     
  18. Maneesh

    Maneesh Stunt Coordinator

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    Hugh, I got it from CircuitCity only to try it out. I was planning on upgrading my receiver and a friend needed a DD receiver, so I sold him mine, and I couldn't bear to be without one for a week [​IMG]

    And I wanted to see how it would sound in my home with my speakers.

    So far I have used it for dvd's, hidef tv and music. Everything sounds better than my old Kenwood 507, which was no slouch either. The biggest difference is in music cd's and a good dvd, the audio is much clearer and I can feel a lot more dynamic range. On one cd when I played it I could hear a contant background hissing which I mistakenly blamed on the receiver. I then played it through my old one and the hissing was there but only at high volumes - it was getting lost and muddied below that! The Panasonic is very revealing for sure.

    I haven't tested the various SFC modes, or the multi master effect yet. Also the consensus is that this needs some 'break-in', so I only expect the sound to get better. Most people also advise a power cord upgrade but frankly I have a hard time believing that and have no desire to spend $50 or more to experiment.

    The only drawback is the center/surround channel binding clips are really small, I had to strip some of my 12g wire to fit.

    I will be ordering my real unit from etronics and return this to CC with no loss [​IMG]
     
  19. David Judah

    David Judah Screenwriter

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    In addition to the HDMI and PL IIx, the 70 will have HQ sound mode and Multi-channel multi-drive with linear phase. Panasonic describes HQ sound mode as:
    The other feature allows you to bi-amp in stereo mode using the surround speaker outputs additionally for the main speakers. They also talk about an electronic delay so the high frequencies and low frequencies reach your ears at the same time when you're bi-amping(which doesn't make sense to me)with a user adjustment for the delay and for the high and low frequency range to match the characteristics of your speakers.

    There is also talk from folks who mod the Pannys that the 70 will most likely have additional parts in the amp circuitry that the 50 lacks. This is deduced from the XR25 & 45. The 25 has an empty space in the amp section that is occupied in the 45. Similiarly, the 50 has the same empty space as the 25, which presumably will be occupied in the 70.

    The 70 also has an additional video input.

    I have a 25 now and I'm really impressed with it, but I'm definitely going to get a 70 when it is released.

    DJ
     
  20. FeisalK

    FeisalK Screenwriter

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    David (or any other current owner)

    how does SACD/DVDA sound on the XR25?

    thanks
    F
     

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