Panasonic SA-HE100

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ozzie, Oct 30, 2002.

  1. Ozzie

    Ozzie Agent

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    Let me start by saying that I am new to HT. Any help is appreciated.
    The most recent Consumer Report has the Panasonic SA-HE100 as the best receiver tested. It is also rated as a Consumer Report "Best Buy."
    I am in the market for my first receiver and this Panny seems to be a clear choice. I would be using the receiver mainly for music but I want great sound for movies as well. The receiver would be used for the following:
    JBL SCS115 (system which brings surround SAT 10 (80w) and a BASS 15 (100w) sub)
    I will substitute the front SAT 10's for JBL N 28's (front)
    Thanks for the help!
    [​IMG]
     
  2. JakubH

    JakubH Stunt Coordinator

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    FWIW, this receiver also got a high score from Sound&Vision magazine when they reviewed it. The numbers they got in testing were:
    78wx5, 70wx6
    0.04%/0.05% 4 ohms THD
    -75.0 dB Noise
    Quite nice considering the price range and how the competition tested. See
    http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Holl...1/ratevsac.htm
    for other test results for other recievers. Certainly at the price this unit is IMO very hard to beat. You might also consider the Pioneer 811s, which is similar but with a somewhat weaker amp section and pre-outs for every channel. Depends on whether you want to upgrade later or buy and forget IMO.
     
  3. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    I would suggest the Pioneer 811S over the Panasonic HE100 for a few reasons. The first is build quality. The HE100 has a very low build quality. It feels very cheap and plastic to me. Also, spring clips instead of binding posts for speaker connections is a big no no in my book. The second reason is that the HE100 doesn't have support for 7.1 speaker setups. The 811S offers 2 sets of binding posts for the back surround channel where the HE100 only offers one.

    I don't think the 811S's amp section could be categorized as weak when compared to the HE100. The HE100 put out 70w x 6 at 4 ohm. The 811S has been recorded to put out 68 x 6 at 8 ohm. 68 w x6 at 8ohm is noticeably stronger than 70 x 6 at 4ohm. I also have a problem believing that the HE100 could handle a 4ohm load for any extended amount of time, especially at anywhere near reference level.

    The 811S's preouts for all channels may not be a selling point for you since this seems to be your first dive into HT, and you probably won't be moving toward separates any time soon, but the option to do so is still nice.

    Hope this helps.
     
  4. Bill Will

    Bill Will Screenwriter

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    Panasonic SA-HE100 from Sound & Vision's Test Report:
    1 channel driven (8 ohms) 122 watts
    1 channel driven (4 ohms) 186 watts
    5 channels driven (8 ohms) 78 watts
    6 channels driven (8 ohms) 70 watts
    HIGH POINTS:
    Impressive performance & power per dollar
    Unusually complete options for Dolby Prologic II
    Enhanced 6.1 Channel playback from 5.1 recordings
    LOW POINTS:
    No onscreen display
    Small, Limited, poorly labeled remote
    Only one coaxial digital input
    Stephen is right when it comes to build quality though plus the Pioneer also has a better remote control than the Panasonic. The HE100 has Phono Inputs the Pioneer doesn't if that might be a factor. I would say it really depends on how much you want to spend? The Panasonic can be had for $250 delivered & the Pioneer $300 delivered from on-line sources. check www.pricescan.com I would say if you can afford the extra $50 go for the Pioneer. Try & get your hands on both of them though, making sure you can return one, & then test both of them out in your home & see which one you like best & then return the one that you don't like.
     
  5. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Personal opinion: Panasonic/Technics puts their money into the guts, and not so much into the secondary stuff. The fact the HE100's amplifier in S&V's test operated SIX, FULL-range speakers at a nearly unlistenable volume speaks quality to me (I think it finally shut itself down due to temperature issues. Remember: it only costs $250........). And "reference level"-again, to me-is unbelievably loud. I don't care if it offends George Lucas or not, I would never listen to a movie at that level.
    The fact it can drive 4 ohm speakers-even if just for short periods of time-is another big plus for me. Most 8ohm speaker's impedance varies and can drop to 6-4 ohms, especially during bass-heavy music or with big explosion scenes (quite a few high-end brands can go really low. Thiel's for example can go as low as 2.6 ohms!). If the amp can't operate at these impedances the sound will either be compressed because current limiting circuitry will kick in, or the receiver will just shut itself off ("protect" mode).
    LJ
     
  6. Steve Adams

    Steve Adams Second Unit

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    I was looking at both the pioneer and the panasonic he100. I decided on the pioneer for the overall build quality, better tweaking ability, and better sound quality. the panasonic is a great reciver for a budget system. i probably would have bought it if it werent for the price of the pioneer at the time. because originally the pioneer that i bought was 899. and i got it for 360 tax in.
     
  7. JakubH

    JakubH Stunt Coordinator

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    Steve - that is a great price on the 811 (I assume CDN?). If I might ask, where did you get that price? I have not seen it lower than $550 + tax locally.
     
  8. Ozzie

    Ozzie Agent

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    Lance-
    Per Consumer Report, the SA-HE100 can get up to 45 watts at 4ohms (even if it is for a couple of minutes). This may be an overstatement being that it has the HE100 pushing 85 watts @ 8 ohms. The only other listed receiver that can handle 4 ohms is the Yamaha RX-V430 amoung the tested.
    It is true what you say. IMO, I don't care for listening to movies at an extreme volume level. This system is for use in my great room that is not sound proof and may piss off my neighbors. Granted the room is big (20 X 14) but there will be seldom times when the volume would be cranked.

    The only other issue that worries me is the "cheap make" of this unit. Is it really that bad? So much so that people are turned off to the HE-100 because of the build and not the quality of sound? I have yet to see it in person but although it may feel like it is cheaply made, prior expirience with other Panasonic products tells me it is not.

    Your threads weigh a lot in my buying. Do you think that this would be a good unit to purchase given what I will be using it for?

    Main Usage: Music (and movies of cousrse)

    Surrounding System:
    TV=Mitsu WS 55809
    Speakers=JBL N28 (front)
    JBL SAT 10 (rear)
    JBL BASS 15 (sub)
    Room Size: 20 x 14

    Thanks to all!
     
  9. Steve Adams

    Steve Adams Second Unit

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    Its a great receiver ozzie. I was just saying, shop around before buying. you might pull off a deal like i got. yes it is not built as good as the rest, what i mean by that the knobs feel cheap as well as the buttons. also the remote is not the greatest. however, it does have some balls. not as much as my pioneer but enough for what it's made for. im sure you will enjoy this machine. really all i can say is stay away from SONY!
     
  10. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    The cheapness really turned me off to it, especially the spring clips. When i use my friend's down the hall, i feel like i'm going to break it every time i turn a knob or push a button.

    From what i've read, it does sound good, and is the cheapest receiver on the market w/ all the current formats. Still, i would spend the extra $50 and get he 811S. More features, better build, better remote, preouts, 7.1 speaker capability, and if you look really hard online you can find it in silver like the HE100 (if that's a selling point, i don't see why it would be).

    Hope this helps.
     
  11. Ozzie

    Ozzie Agent

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    Actually, I need it in black. All my other components are black. As for the 811S, I just saw it for $274 with shipping.
    I really value Consumer Reports tests but then again, the 811S was never tested and you guys know your S#!%!
    Does the 811S have on screen display?

    At my first thread, I thought I would run away with the HE100. Now, I am leaning towards the 811S...how easily I am persuaded!
     
  12. Ozzie

    Ozzie Agent

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    I've read that the 811s does not excel in music...is this true ? Music would probably be the main usage of the unit.
    [​IMG]
     
  13. Steve Adams

    Steve Adams Second Unit

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    Mine sounds awsome. i have the 810, just last years model. Now, mind you, i was useing a sony strde445 before. Cd's played in my grandmothers ass sounded better! but seriously, the receiver sounds really good.
     
  14. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Ozzie:
    I've only played with the Panasonic once at Circuit City when that S&V article came out and it "felt" o.k. to me. Nothing spectacular but not flimsy either (around the same time I had been checking out the new Infiniti Q45. I was surprized to note it's outside door handles were made of heavy plastic, unlike the Lexus LS430's metal ones I had just looked at. They didn't have the same reassuring feel as the 430's, but they did get the job done if you see what I mean). And that $250 price tag kept reminding me of economic realities: if you want a substantial amp section with SIX channels; a phono section (getting very rare these days, but vinyl can sound very good); and very flexible DTS-ES settings somewhere something has to give! And in my opinion Panasonic reliability is better than Pioneer's (I used to sell home audio in the 90's for three years).
    The Pioneer's remote is definitely better than the Panasonic's (but kinda too many buttons to navigate around).
    Spring clip connectors are no big deal on lower-powered recievers, especially the center & surrounds: they don't handle the low bass frequencies (where the "big watts" are) so lots of metal contact area isn't needed. And it does have banana plug connectors for the mains (where low bass IS present for music or movies if no subwoofer is used). $250..............
    And JBLs are an easy load for any receiver to drive.
    Lastly, Technics/Panasonic equipment is usually easy to operate. No weird illogical operating characteristics like Sony stuff (I used to HATE setting up their receivers). Partly because they lack frivilous features that few people really need or want.
    Between these two companies it's a tight race (my 20 year old Pioneer SX-6 receiver still works perfectly), but I lean more toward functionality than lots of features or looks. But to me Pioneers have a slightly warmer sound quality than Technics and you may simply like that better. So make sure YOU like the sound of whatever you buy--an amp w/great specifications will mean nothing to you if it dosn't sound right in your system.
    I presently own a 2001 model Technics SA-DA8 receiver for @70% music listening, 30% HT.
    LJ
     
  15. Bill Will

    Bill Will Screenwriter

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    Ozzie, hate to say it again, but the only way you can really decide is (if the $50 difference doesn't mean anything) is to go & listen to both of them or as I said before see if you can get both of them & then return the one that you don't like. Stores hate you doing this but I once got a Panasonic vcr from Circuit City & then went & got a Sony vcr from Best Buy & compared them both at home for 2 weeks, then took "BOTH" of them back & bought the Panasonic from J&R online. I never felt bad about doing this either because both stores say that if your unhappy with it, bring it back before 30 days is up. I did try & get both stores to match J&R's price & they would'nt so I figured I at least gave them the chance at a sale. Also the price that I got out of J&R was them matching an unknown online dealer that I was really scared to buy from. If you do this make sure you understand the stores return policy. I could never figure out why Circuit City or Best Buy would not match the price seeing that they now had an item that they were going to have to really discount as an open box item? Good Luck & go listen to them if you can.
     
  16. Nick Cerretti

    Nick Cerretti Stunt Coordinator

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    Why would stores "hate" that you return your item back in 30 days. If they have a problem with that, they shouldn't give consumers a 30 day satisfaction guarantee sort of policy. Besides, I bet Circuit City and Best Buy resell these "used" units new, so they aren't losing anything.
     
  17. Ozzie

    Ozzie Agent

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    Thanks guys...I guess I have to go out for a test drive....

    Lance--of the subject: Which did you end up getting? The Q45 or the LS 430? It seems like the styling, 345 hp, and voice activated commands would be hard to beat yet it seems like people would rather spend more money to buy the Lexus. This was a good analogy...for the money, the Q45 seems to have more bang but yet "I drive a Lexus" carries more weight than "I drive an Infiniti." IMO, Infiniti has a ways to go but if they keep packaging hp, styling (the new Infiniti's are very stylish), and a lower price tag for what you are getting, they will soon be "the car to buy."

    Thanks again to all.
     
  18. Adil M

    Adil M Supporting Actor

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    Nick and Bill,
    I call BullShit. You bought from both stores and used their return policy for the wrong intent. Then you try to justify it based on they won't lose any money anyway. Then they should match your online price or you'll return it (real nice twist). This over a VCR and maybe 10-15 bucks. It's like eating a steak at a local restaurant and then telling them you want a Taco Bell price, so that justifies you returning it.

    As to the original thread, I'd buy the Panasonic based on having listened to it. I was impressed. The Pioneer to me has more of a flat sound. Go to your local CC or BB to check them out.
     
  19. Joe_B_M

    Joe_B_M Extra

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    I haven't seen the HE100 but I have the HE200 which can be bought for about $375 delivered. I can tell you the build quality of this unit is very good. It's almost all aluminum, buttons and knobs are very solid, the remote is not great but is ok, and the sound, power, and features of this unit are outstanding. It does DD EX, DPL II, DTS ES, and Neo 6. The looks, although subjective, are very good and clean as well. This is a top notch unit for a good price, retail is $500.

    You may want to add this to your "check out" list.
     

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