Panasonic's new digital recievers: thoughts?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Nathan Warawa, Mar 8, 2004.

  1. Nathan Warawa

    Nathan Warawa Auditioning

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    Anyone out there have any experience with the Panasonic xr15, xr25, or xr45? I saw a review a few months back that raved about the xr45's quality, but I wanted to get some more input.

    I was thinking of getting a good mid-range amp to replace my aging Yamaha RX-V395 (I like it, but no digital inputs or s-video/component switching) later on this year. I had the Onkyo 700 and 701 units in mind, but hey... I'm open...
     
  2. Ernest Yee

    Ernest Yee Supporting Actor

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    I remember seeing a few really really large threads about this on the AudioCircle forums. Like 300-400 posts in replies. I think it was under something like Sub $200 Krell Killer.
     
  3. DavidK

    DavidK Extra

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    Ernest,
    Panasonic's about to release new XR50 & XR70 (replacements for XR25/45). Use search on this and other forums for more info.
     
  4. John Kotches

    John Kotches Cinematographer

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    I picked up an SA-XR25 last weekend and for the price I paid (barely over $200) it's pretty amazing.

    It's not the last word in everything, but it's perfect for its eventual destination (a surround capable receiver for my PeeCee).

    Cheers,
     
  5. JimPeitersen

    JimPeitersen Second Unit

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    I've got an SA-XR10 (model prior to the 25/45) in a second system, and it really is amazing for the price (about $150 now in most stores - Rex Stores, Ebay, etc.) This model is actually smaller than the 25/45, and I think it looks better. How can you beat a full-featured 5.1 receiver with 5 channels of "true" digital amplification in a package less than 2" tall?
    JP
     
  6. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    Well. You can't if the sound quality is good. How is the sound?
     
  7. Nathan Warawa

    Nathan Warawa Auditioning

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    I think I found the forum at audiocircle Ernest was talking about here:

    /circles/viewtopic.php?t=4991&highlight=panasonic+xr45

    (it won't let me paste the whole url)

    So, that forum raises two questions:

    1) Has anyone done a head-to-head with the XR-25 and XR-45? Does the upgraded PS really make a difference?

    2) I'm doubtful an upgraded power cord will make a difference? Can anyone confirm this?
     
  8. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    I'm curious about the sound quality of the digital receivers and in particular, the sound quality of the upcoming XR70. Also hoping it doesn't experience digital dropouts. Too bad its not THX so the crossovers would be 80 hz [​IMG]
     
  9. Chris Purvis

    Chris Purvis Stunt Coordinator

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    The sound quality is very good. I have a H/K 320 used as a pre/pro only connected to 3 Adcom GFA-535's. A totally stock XR-25 is at least as good as these in a home theater context with a digital input. I know because a friend brought his over and we tried it out in my room. Very, very impressive for the money. There was nothing about it's performance that would make me choose the separates I have over it. Nor was there anything the Adcom's could provide in my system that gave them an edge over the panasonic. The only thing (and this isn't going to be rectified by the XR50 or XR70) is that you have to use 16 or smaller gage wire with them, the clips are too small for anything thicker (and that's a very minor point IMHO).

    As for the differences in sound between the XR-45 and XR-25 - I doubt that for most of us (assuming you are using it in a home theater not a high-end music system) it would make a bit of difference. The amplifier chips are the same in both models, and you have to keep in mind what those audiocircle guys are comparing these things to. They are using the panasonic's to bi- and tri- amplify very high end 2-channel full range speakers, and are extremely nitpicky and critical about the result. Given that multichannel home theater soundtracks are pretty poor sources (audiophile wise - you don't get audiophile-grade recordings of classical music from Telarc in half-bitrate Dolby Digital now, do you?) and most of us use relatively modest speaker systems with powered subwoofers (compared to a 2-channel audiophile nutcase*) I think what they are hearing in differences between the '45 and '25 would be lost on most of us.

    *no offense intended, I consider myself a 2-channel audiophile nutcase when it comes to music, and I don't mix my HT and music gear at all.
     
  10. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    I can't afford two systems and my Marantz SR 6200 does double duty. Luckily, the sound quality for audio is nice. I agree about the audio of the DVD's. You get used to it and you forget. Its almost embarrasing when you pop in a frickin VHS tape and the "hi-fi" audio tracks sound better in many ways than many DVD's.

    About the low gauge wire for connecting. Thats not the end of the world. Its only a connection point. You can use a run of wire at whatever gauge and trim the end to fit into the amp/receiver.

    I would like to hear what these systems sound like. I like the idea of smaller, lighter and more efficient, and sounding decent.
     
  11. JimPeitersen

    JimPeitersen Second Unit

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    I would echo what C. Purvis said, it sounds very good. There is something about the way these new "digital" amps seem to "control" the music, especially the bass notes. Some guys in other forums (with much more EE knowledge than me say it has to do with the damping [sic] factor of this style of design.) The Panny really makes me wonder why I spent so much for seperates in my main system. This next year should be even more interesting, as a few companies are set to roll out "high" power digital amps. As much as I like some of the old Solid-State monsters, I don't think I will ever buy a new one again. By the way, I just use pins on the receiver end to accept up to 10 gauge wire and still fit in the holes.
    JP
     
  12. John Kotches

    John Kotches Cinematographer

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    Jim,

    I agree with you, and I know that I've already purchased my last solid state power amplifier.

    Whatever replaces the Cinepro will be digital. Now it's really a question of which digital [​IMG]

    Cheers,
     
  13. Chris Purvis

    Chris Purvis Stunt Coordinator

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    I would really like to hear someone with experience compare the H/K DPR-1001 to the SA-XR25 - those are selling for around $450 now (down from > $1k). Very few reviews of them out there that I can find, though.
     
  14. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

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    Are you saying that digital amps will do to solid state what CD did to vinyl? Will pre/pros have digital interconnects to digital amps and analogue is doomed? What about all the copyright issues with DVD-A and SACD?
    What's going on here?[​IMG]
     
  15. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    I'm thinking of trying one of the Panny receivers just for the heck of it. Curious how it sounds.
     
  16. Nicholas R

    Nicholas R Stunt Coordinator

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    They are untouchable by anything under $1500. The XR10 is the real jewel where they used the best parts in the circuitry they could to the point where they lost $100 on every unit sold and that was at $600US. The 45 and 25 are much flatter and less detailed. The 10 was such a revellation I sold my Marantz 6200 and my Denon 3803 and now run a 10 and a 45. Shockingly good sound.
    I am however going to buy or trade for another 6200 as my wife thinks it looks sexy.
     
  17. Rob Kramer

    Rob Kramer Second Unit

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    HK DPR-1001 is being replaced by the 1005 and 2005 models. Word is that they are a substantial upgrade (audio and power wise).

    Just look at that feature list of the 2005.
    (check onecall)
     
  18. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    So the XR 10 is still the best of the original SA-XR receivers?
     
  19. Nicholas R

    Nicholas R Stunt Coordinator

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    I've used them all except the 70 and by a wide margin the 10 is the most musical, dynamic and 3 dimensional. As well it did use the best parts, power supply and volume control but it was not economically feasible for them to keep making it.
     
  20. David Judah

    David Judah Screenwriter

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    I picked up an XR25 and tried it in my main HT system where I was running a Yamaha RXV-795/Sunfire Cinema Grand combo. Except when I wanted to play it very loud(a level that I won't often listen at), the Panasonic compared very favorably--I actaully preferred it in some cases.

    It doesn't have alot of frills, but the sound quality is very good from digital sources. It does have a 100 Hz crossover, but I'm guessing it has a more shallow filter than the common 4th order one found in most receivers. I haven't seen any specs on it, but I still get quite a bit of bass in my mains even set to small. It would be nice to have more crossover flexibility, but it doesn't present a problem in my system.

    It's amazing how this little thing sounds for both the size and the money. I'm going to get the XR70 when it comes out and if it performs even better than the XR25, which is what I expect, I'm going to use it exclusively.

    DJ
     

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