Pre-purchasing questions....

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Eljay, Jan 19, 2003.

  1. Eljay

    Eljay Auditioning

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    I am going to be heading to the store for a first time purchase of a home theater system.

    The manager of CC was trying to sell me on the Onkyo TX-SR500 for an unbelievable personal friends price ($230.00). After looking at several post concerning this Onkyo model and have read that a lot of people are having trouble with the subwoofer not responding properly, I am now unsure of what I should do.

    The other option that I have explored is to purchase a Panasonic SA-HE100 at another unbelievable price for this system.

    I am asking if anyone has had any negative feedback on the Panasonic SA-HE100 that I should know about.

    I am also welcoming any suggestions about my up and coming purchase of my new home theater system!

    Thank to all how can contribute any wisdom and experience.
     
  2. AaronJB

    AaronJB Second Unit

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    There is another thread (as you mentioned) in the reciever forum about the Onkyo & subwoofer. Out of the two you mentioned, I would definitely go w/ the Panasonic.
    As for the Panasonic SAHE-100, I wrote out a "Pros/Cons" for the reciever a couple of days ago on another thread. I've copied it below. Personally, I've been very pleased with the unit and have owned it for three months now. If you have any questions, please feel free to respond here (or email me @ [email protected]) and I will be happy to respond to any questions.
    ----------------
    Panasonic SAHE-100 basic pros/cons:
    Cons:
    * Spring Clips for center/surrounds connection. Front mains have posts.
    * To be quite honest, the remote sucks. Not backlit, not glow-in-the-dark, not really much of anything. Still, I can at least switch between sources with the remote, make basic adjustments and +/- volume.
    * Gets pretty warm. I have it in an open cabinet and although it does get warm, the unit has never overheated, even when I've pushed the volume for long (and I mean, all day) listening periods. Overall, you just need to keep it in an open area.
    * DSP Sound Modes are pretty useless. Any two-channel listening will be perfectly fine in PLII or NEO-6. I don't think too much of the simulated "surround" modes.
    Pros:
    Unofficial DD-EX. Clicking a button on the front turns on an equivalent to Dolby Digital-EX. Likely, Panasonic didn't want to pay for licensing rights.
    DTS ES/NEO-6. The reciever plays both official DTS Matrix and Discrete (the display on the reciever will note either "Matrix" or "Discrete" when the program first begins), as well as NEO-6. The reciever has correctly read all DTS-ES flags on the DTS-ES DVDs I've tried.
    There is amplification for 6 channels (rear surround, l/r surrounds, l/r fronts, center) (the unit advertises 6x100w, but it's apparently - see Sound and Vision - been tested for more along the lines of 6 x 70w). In an 11ft x 11ft room, this is more than enough to get the room thumpin'.
    PLII: Pro Logic II.
    Lots of connections. Looking at the back of the reciever just now, I saw one digital coax input, 3 optical inputs and one optical output. 5.1 channel analog input (for DVD-Audio) and more.
    Fine sound across the board: I've been pleased with the unit's sound quality for CD, DVD and DVD-A playback. DVD movie playback sounds very good to my ears, even at high volume. I've also been pleased with listening to network television in either DTS-NEO 6 or PLII.
    Radio reception: Although I'm sure this varies with many factors, I've been pleased with the radio reception on this unit, which is more consistent than any previous radio I've had in this room.
    Build quality: Although its bigger brother (the SAHE200, which goes for about $499) is supposed to have better overall build quality, I'm very pleased with this 25 pound unit, which feels and looks substancial.
    Easy Hook-up: Almost forgot, I was very pleased with how easy it was to hook this up. It took me an hour and really, that was only because I was taking my time to make sure I plugged everything in correctly and securely.
     
  3. JasonMIL

    JasonMIL Extra

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    I also have the PAnasonic and am Extremely pleased with it! I bought an open box at CC for $199 and it more than satisfies my needs. It does run very hot, but in case of extreme heat, the internal cooling fan will be activiated (never happened for me yet. Good sound and channel separation at a great price.
     
  4. Alf S

    Alf S Producer

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    Have you considered the Pioneer 811 receiver?

    A great receiver in it's price range (well under $399)IMHO.

    Alfer
     
  5. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

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    5.0 does not equal home theater.
    5.1 does.
    Stay away from that Onkyo. It will only gnaw at you if you buy it. I can't believe Onkyo is not recalling it. Not having the LFE is a consuming flaw in something that's supposed to used for home theater.
     
  6. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

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    Double post - sorry.
     
  7. Eljay

    Eljay Auditioning

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    DanaA,
    What do you mean when you say:
    "5.0 does not equal home theater.
    5.1 does."?
     
  8. Eljay

    Eljay Auditioning

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    Is the "LFE" a low frequency for the sub? What does it actually stand for?
    LFE= ???
     
  9. Alf S

    Alf S Producer

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    Yep...The (.1) is the subwoofer channel of DD 5.1 soundtracks.
     
  10. Eljay

    Eljay Auditioning

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    Alf S,
    Please expound, I am not that much up on "knowledge about home theater systems"
     
  11. Alf S

    Alf S Producer

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    LJ
    Check out DOLBY.com for a full lesson on 5.1 and more.
    Alfer
     
  12. Bill**H

    Bill**H Stunt Coordinator

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    Okay, in all fairness to the Onkyo TX-SR500 when you have it set to speaker Mode 1 you get the Bass from all channels. My crossover is set to 100 Hz, so everything below 100 Hz goes to the Subwoofer including the Point 1. Granted, when it's set to Mode 3 you will not get anything from the from the Subwoofer while playing a DD disk. If you are playing a DTS disk it works, but all you are getting is the Point 1 of 5.1. The output is about 3 or 4 DB down from what you would get if you were in Mode 1. This is understandable because your not getting any Bass from the other speakers. I am not happy about how this works (Mode 3 DD), but I can live with it by using Mode 1. I look at Mode 1 as setting your speakers to small.

    My room is 11x33x8. I have the Onkyo speaker set and a Sony SA-WM40 Subwoofer, and it Rocks! I have no trouble reaching 105 DB peaks on the Radio Shack meter 14 feet from the front speakers, (I run the sub about 6 DB hot).

    I know my system is "entry level". Do I want more? Why hell yes I want more, but until I can afford it, this works for me!
    Guess I should say my receiver is a HT-R500. I think it makes more power than the TX-SR500 because it weighs more and it draws more Amps from the 120 volt line. I compared the manuals for both and the HT-R500 is rated at 100 watts RMS and also has a higher dynamic power output.
    My Onkyo is not "Gnawing" at me, though it was when I first read the post about Mode 3.
    I wish I knew how to copy this same message to the other thread so people would know, yes there is a flaw, but it ain't that bad.
     
  13. Eljay

    Eljay Auditioning

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    What is the feature called for the settings (mode 1, 2, 3, etc.) on the TX-SR500? ~Or~ What is the name of the button to select the "mode 3"? I will be going to discuss this with the gentleman at my local CC who is trying to talk me into buying this model by offering me a very sweet deal on the receiver with 3 speakers. [​IMG]
     
  14. Bill**H

    Bill**H Stunt Coordinator

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    There is a button on the front labeled "Subwoofer Mode".
    Each time you push the button it changes mode 1 through 4.
    Subwoofer Mode 1
    (To output the low frequencies of all channels from the subwoofer)
    Subwoofer Mode 2
    (To output the low frequencies of the center and surround channels from the subwoofer)
    Subwoofer Mode 3
    (To output only the LFE channel of a 5.1 channel source from the subwoofer)
    Subwoofer Off
    (When no subwoofer is connected or when a subwoofer is connected but not used)
    Go take the HT-S650(the receiver is just about the same as the TX-SR500) for a test drive at CC. Make sure the Bass and Treble are set to zero using the "Audio Adjust" button on the front of the receiver. Using the same button make sure the Late night and the Cinema function are set to off.
    They will more than likely have the control on the back of the Subwoofer turned all the way up. Have them put in a DVD that has good sound. If you find it sounds good to you there, it will sound better when you get it home. And NO I do not work for CC. I'm just a por ole boy from WV who did his homework. See what kind of a price he will give you on the HT-S650, it's usually $499. A great entry level system!
     

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