Panasonic XR10 vs. XR25 v. XR50

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by ManekiNeko, Dec 16, 2004.

  1. ManekiNeko

    ManekiNeko Auditioning

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    I was shopping around, hoping to get one of the digital panasonics.

    Best prices I found were
    XR10 150
    XR25 150 refurbed
    XR50 230

    Now I've heard some people say that the XR10 is actually the best of these? Do you guys think that's true? Which one would you recommend out of these?
     
  2. Nigel Hooper

    Nigel Hooper Stunt Coordinator

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    The 10 was the best sounding I owned. The 45 second and the 50 is a distant third.
     
  3. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    Now that the 70 is out?
     
  4. Nigel Hooper

    Nigel Hooper Stunt Coordinator

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    Haven't had the 70 yet but reports seem to be it's the same as or slightly better than the 50 but nothing dramatic.
     
  5. Brian_Fly

    Brian_Fly Stunt Coordinator

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    Nigel, do you still have the xr10. If not, why? What was your impression of the digital sound (i.e. through optical cable) of the XR10? Is it worth $150.
     
  6. Nigel Hooper

    Nigel Hooper Stunt Coordinator

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    No I went back to analogue. At this point I still don't like in ultimate terms what the digitals do to certain frequencies and to the soundstage.
     
  7. Dave_vega

    Dave_vega Stunt Coordinator

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    well I haven't used the first 2 receivers, but I can say I am pleasantly surprised and satisfied with the xr50..
     
  8. JimPeitersen

    JimPeitersen Second Unit

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    I love my XR10. While the jury my still be out about these digital amps for full sprectrum sound, I can say that I love what they do in the mid-bass to sub-bass regions (iron-fisted control.) You can sometimes find this model on ebay for around a $100.
    JP
     
  9. Brian_Fly

    Brian_Fly Stunt Coordinator

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    Yeah, I got impulsive and bought the XR10 at my local Rex yesterday. They gave me a fair price, so I figured I'd give it a shot. I thought: at the very least it would make a good sound system for a bedroom. It's an impressive little unit, but it has it's drawbacks. I'll elaborate soon.
     
  10. Brian_Fly

    Brian_Fly Stunt Coordinator

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    Before I go into the specifics of the SA-XR10, I’ll tell you that my experience with audio receivers is limited. I’m providing this amateur review as there seems to be very limited info on these Panasonic digital receivers. In the last ten years I have gone from a HTIB by JVC to the bigger HTIB (the SAVA system) by Sony to the Yamaha 5240(5.1, 100watts/channel) with Polk speakers all around. Recent upgrades to my speakers were the purchase of Polk R50’s ($90 each) for mains and an Atlantic Technology T70 sub ($179) - great bargains IMO. If you haven’t already figured, I like to get performance for price. I have wanted to dabble in the fully digital receivers, so the size and low price of the XR10 ($160 new, 2 year warranty) sealed the deal. I have no place for 6.1 or 7.1 rear speakers in my den or bedroom, so the fact that this older unit is 5.1 is no big deal. Ok, now on to my impressions of the XR10. First off, I’ll say I’m very impressed with the surround sound capabilities of this system. It is more like being in a theater than I have ever experienced at home. The sound envelopement and presence just seems right. The sound is clear and neutral, and the soundstage just seems to have more depth and believability than my Yamaha does. I have seen from various sources that this receiver excels for direct digital connections, but my cable box is routed via an analog input and it sounds fantastic as well. I’m guessing the Dolby Prologic II processing has something to do with it. I also find the power of this unit to be more than adequate for my needs. I’m not one who will play stuff at Reference levels, but I have a feeling this thing could do it. As for aesthetics, this is probably as nice a looking receiver as I’ve ever seen. Panasonic must have felt this way too as they’ve packed it with a polishing cloth. Anyway, as for features, there’s pluses and minuses. I find that most created soundfields (i.e. Hall, Club, Stadium) are pretty worthless in most receivers. You may find one or two that you would listen to normally, and I find that true here. The “theater” soundfield is a nice one for music as it uses digital voodoo to leave vocals up front and just accentuates the music with the surround speakers. I’m guessing I’ll listen to this one with the most regularity for music. “Party” mode may get some use also, as this is just untampered music pumped through 4 speakers. Once you’ve selected one of these soundfields, the remote has a button to toggle between Surround, Stereo, and you’re selected soundfield, which really simplifies things when you like to listen to different sources in different ways (i.e. cable with surround, the tuner with stereo, and CDs with “theater”. As far as the remote control, I find it to be adequate. It’s not great, but it’s useable. It controls my TV except for toggling through its inputs, and it fully controls my Sony DVD player. The nicest feature on the remote for me is the button for the subwoofer. You just press the button and it incrementally cycles the subwoofer level from OFF, Min, +5, +10, +15, to Max. This is nice for when you don’t want to wake the family late at night. Probably my biggest pet peeve with the XR10 is the display. It is simply unreadable past 6ft or so. Luckily, the front of the unit also has LEDs that let you know if you are in surround mode, and they’ll light up for ProLogic, ProLogicII, Dolby Digital, or DTS. I’m guessing within a week or so I’ll have everything either set or memorized so the display won’t really be that big of a deal. Another annoyance is the subwoofer crossover settings, with the lowest being 100dB. I think it shouldn’t really matter if the fronts are set to large though. If I’m missing any low end, I sure can’t tell- maybe I’ll break out my test tones disc and SPL meter to find out, but until then, ignorance is bliss. Moving on, if you’re looking for video ins and outs, this is probably not the unit for you. I think it has two composite video inputs. And, my final gripe is the spring clips for speaker wire hookup. Honestly, they work fine, and there’s just no room for binding posts anyway. All in all, this is a great little receiver. If are looking for a compact, nice looking, low cost receiver, and 5.1 is sufficient for you, I wouldn’t hesitate to buy the XR10 or any of the other digital receivers with the Texas Instruments chips. Is it better than analog stuff in it’s price range? I don’t know. You can get an Onkyo SR502 or plenty of others for a similar price with more features. Is it better than my old Yamaha?- YES. I’ll be keeping this little XR10.
     
  11. Kevin Alexander

    Kevin Alexander Screenwriter

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    Nice review Brian.
     

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