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Full review of Panasonic SL-CT470A (blue version) compared to Sony D-E446CK

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
I thought since other people were doing it I'd try and help people out by writing a full review of the Panasonic SL-CT470 comparing it to my Sony D-E446CK.

I'll rate everything out of 10.

Build quality: Panasonic-6/10 Sony-9/10
The lid doesn't feel too solid and considering the buttons and display are on the lid it might not hold up too long. It's also really light. It feels like it won't hold up to too much abuse unlike older Panasonic players. It does look high quality though. The Sony's lid is loose too but the buttons are on the front so it's not affected. Dropping it and spilling coke on it hasn't affected it too much either.

Winner:Sony

Antiskip: Panasonic-8/10 Sony-5/10
With the antiskip off it can't handle too much moving around. A little jolt to the side and it cuts out for split second. With antiskip on it can't be stopped. The Sony is a lot better for using with ESP off but not near as good as the P-Sonic with ESP on.

Winner:Panasonic

Battery Life: Panasonic-6/10 Sony-7/10
The 2AAA rechargeables that come with it only last about 5 or 6 hours for me with varied use. My Sony's rechargeable AA pack originally lasted about 9 hours on a charge (never using ESP) but the battery pack is about 3 years old now and doesn't last quite as long. A little bit longer than the Panasonic. I don't like the idea of an add on battery case so it would be nice to have longer battery life with the rechargeables, something like what the D-EJ915 has. Also the Panasonic 470 doesn't have a battery gauge so I never know when it's gonna die. My Sony has a 3 level gauge that helps me judge when to recharge.

Winner:Sony

Sound: Panasonic-7/10 Sony- 9/10
This was supposed to be the best sounding portable cd player available now so that's why I bought it, but comparing it to my Sony I find it doesn't sound as good. Sometimes the volume output isn't good enough when I'm using the Sony EX70's, but it depends on the recording. When I switched back and forth from the Panasonic to the Sony I tried to match the volume level. The Sony seemed to have better, clearer deep bass. It also sounded a lot more exciting to me. The Panasonic in comparison sounded a bit soft or dull or something. I think maybe the Sony sacrifices neutrality for something else that I like. Don't know the wording for it, I'm not really good at this. The highs seem stronger and clearer but a little bit more harsh. I prefer the slightly harsh sound to the dullness of the Panasonic. Maybe it's cause my Panasonic is blue. My Sony sounds better cause it is silver. :-) If I had gotten the blue Sony and the silver Panasonic then the Panasonic would have sounded better! :-) Someone mentioned this a little while back when they compared a bunch of cd players. But they sounded a bit more serious then me. lol
I think maybe the midrange is a bit lacking on the Sony compared to the Panasonic. The Sony matches my Koss Sportapros better because they have a lot of midbass and less harsh highs. The Sony matches up better with this. The Sony is also better with the Sony EX70's because they are a bit inefficient like some people have mentioned before. I can't imagine having the EX70's with a new Sony with 5mw amp. That would suck.

Winner:Sony

Features: Panasonic-6/10 Sony-8/10

The Sony has a resume play feature that I really like. Sometimes I want to stop the cd for a minute or 2 so I don't want to pause it. I turn on the resume switch and hit stop. When I start it back up it goes to the exact same spot. The Panasonic will only resume to the same track. That's stupid, I can switch tracks easily enough to get back to the one I was on. Also with the Sony you can use the resume feature separate from any other programming feauture. With the Panasonic it's on the same switch as the shuffle play so you can't shuffle and resume at the same time if you wanted too. Big deal. The Sony also has intro play. Big deal. It has a feature that can make the cd player only play one song and then stop, or you can hit repeat and it will play the one song over and over again. It has quite a few little details like that the Panasonic doesn't have. Also the battery display is nice to have. Bass boost sucks on both of them (obviously). The lcd displays are equally easy to see on both of them but the Panasonics is a lot bigger (but with less to see on it).

Winner:Sony

I think I covered almost everything here. Hope this helps some people.
post #2 of 23

seems like panasonic is getting worse

Three years ago I've made a carefull evaluation of Panasonic vs Sony before choosing Panasonic SX-500. The choice was made exclusively on a basis of a sound quality.

Seems like since then Panasonic made turn for the worse. They make the players smaller, so they use AAA batteries instead of AA and apparently try to extend the battery life by reducing the sound output, or may be changing the electronics - whatever. I just think this is undesirable trend - cool appearance and worsening sound quality. I hate to think what I'm going to do when my SX-500 dies. I have recently checked it against some newer Sony models - and I still like mine better.

Boohoo ...
post #3 of 23

Todd (of Headroom) sums it up about the newest Panasonics...

...that Panasonic has been sliding into the mediocrity of its competitors. His review of the SL-CT580 on Epinions says it best...
post #4 of 23

470A question

first off, i'm no expert on portable CDP's. however, i was under the impression that the headphone jack of the cl-ct470 was one of the best around. but i just bought one and the sound out of the headphone jack hums a bit with both my ety's and my cheap sony headphones! (this isn't normal, right?)

with the anti-skip off it hums slightly. turn the anti-skip on and the hum gets a little louder. and it gets louder still with the bass boost on (although i don't use the bass boost). it isn't THAT loud--i can't hear it over the music. but inbetween the tracks or during quiet passages of classical CD's it's there. sould i have this thing looked at?
post #5 of 23

Panasonic CT-580

To Eagle_Driver,

yes, CT-580 is exactly what I had in mind. Fortunately Panasonic still makes less fancy and better quality models like CT-570. Didn't have a chance to check this one, but it got some good reviews, also on epinions.
post #6 of 23
That's funny, I was just auditioning the
570 and the 580 yesterday and I found their
sound very similar (which means good)

Ok, I didn't have good phones with me, but they
really sounded very close.

The built quality of the 570 however is much better.
And it has a line out.... and it has a pot while
the 580 uses a digital volume control (which
didn't improve the sound... and least not for my
ears) that is a real pain to operate.

So, overall winner is the 570... slightly more
expensive though ( onecall has it for 88.76
including US shipping, Americans should
definitely check this one out)

Bye

Redwoood
post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 
I think Eagle Drivers experience with the SL-CT580 pretty much sums up it's design and build quality (his lid broke right off after 4 months or so). Also I think the lack of a line out really sucks and so does the digital volume. I hated it on the D-EJ915 that I had for 2 weeks and returned.

If you buy a newer Panasonic get the SL-CT570. It's better than the newer ones. Better yet get an old one. I was walking with a chick that's a friend of mine and she pulled out her discman, it was an SL-S140. Someone on headwize a while back mentioned they had this discman and liked it a lot. I was like "this thing is sweet". She said she had it for about 5 years and it always worked perfect. I listened to it for a minute with my EX70's and it was loud and seemed to have good sound. Felt durable too. No antiskip at all though.
post #8 of 23
deuce: 10 points for modesty, but that already was a full review.

arnett: Did you try different cds? Some have a hum themselves... If the cdp keeps humming with all your cds, you've definitely got a faulty unit.

Greetings from Munich!

Manfred / lini
post #9 of 23
I own the Sony D-E446CK and I can attest to it's build quality. I've had this thing for I think 3 years or more, and it's gone through a LOT, including being dropped down the steps several times (don't ask) and just banged around a bit, and it's still holding up great, just a few scratches, it is a very solidly built player.

As far as sound quality, I think it sounds great it's doing a pretty good job with my HD600s at the moment (listening to Counting Crows' This Desert Life). Keep in mind I've never heard a dedicated headphone amp or ever done any critical listening on any other CDPs. The only problems I've had with it I think can be attributed it it getting soaked in a rain storm, I had it in my pocket while walking across the Harvard Bridge in Boston during what felt like a monsoon, ever since it has these minor clicks every once in a while, but it doesn't seem to effect the sound that it does play. It handles my CD-Rs pretty well too, although not perfectly.
post #10 of 23
Thread Starter 
It's good to hear someone else who's had the same cd player as me. Mines still working good but its a bit quirky with scratched cd's. It plays some really scratched ones without skipping but sometimes skips on others that have only little scratches.

The sound is really good though, the 15mw/ch output is nice.
post #11 of 23
deuce, which CDP are you talking about the sony or the panasonic? Is 15 mw/chan good? I don't really know much about portable CDPs, when I bought it, I didn't care about stuff like that.
post #12 of 23
grrr223: 15 m/w PER CHANNEL, if it is clean power, is VERY good. Generally with cans, you want as much clean power as you can get. Then you will be able to use a range a headphones without an amp (excluding high-imp. Senns).

Most PCDP reviews u'll see here on head-fi note the power output, since a higher one will give you the freedom to go beyond just crappy efficient cans or the rare highly-efficient yet good sounding headphones (888s, etc.). This is due to the fact that lately, many (all?) of the major consumer audio equipment manufacturers have been cutting the output on their portables to lower and lower levels. An all-time low was hit when Panasonic released their latest MD (3.5 m/w? ).

So.....yeah.......15 m/w is good.
post #13 of 23
and is the 15mw/channel on the Sony or the Panasonic portable CDP?
post #14 of 23
the sony. not the new models, though. so you'll have to find an older sony. try checking a sony outlet mall in your area.
post #15 of 23

sony outlet store

i just got back from the sony outlet store in birch run, michigan. i picked up a sony D-E776CK portable CDP. it rocks! it was the oldest one they had--it was manufactured in april 1999. and it has a 15 mW amp!!!!! YES!!!

i do indeed like it better than my panasonic 470A.

i took my ety ER4-P's into the store to listen to several models. even though the store was loud, the ety was able to block out most of the noise. i listened to the unit i bought and a few newer units.

i would not buy one of the newer sony's with g-protection if i were you. the newer sony's sounded quite lifeless--no detail whatsoever! on the other hand, the newer sony's were DEAD QUIET!

the D-E776CK i bought sounded much more lively with a greater sense of detail. it does have a little more hiss, however.

therefore, i must concur that older sony's sound better than their newer counterparts.

arnett
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