Panasonic XR-55 or 57 Receivers
Oct 11, 2006 at 11:48 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 31

classicalguy

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Has anybody spent any time listening to these receivers in two channel mode for music? How do they sound? I'm very curious about how the built-in dacs compare with Chinese stereo dacs like the Zholou, Citypulse, and diyeden. Are the stereo dacs far better than the surround sound dacs in dealing 2 channel music? I know that the stereo dacs SHOULD sound much better given their price, but I wonder if they really do in real-world applications. Any experience? General comments about these receivers also welcome.
 
Oct 12, 2006 at 1:02 AM Post #2 of 31

VicAjax

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i set my father in-law up with the XR55 and a pair of Athena B1 bookshelf speakers.

i've had extended listening sessions with the set up several times, and though i haven't compared it to anything directly, i'm amazed at how good it sounds at $350 for the entire setup.

the words that come to mind are clarity, detail, and blackness... as in completely free from noise.

in fact, i've been so impressed that i'm seriously considering picking up an XR57 to power the new speakers i'm picking up in the next two weeks. i do have some hesitation about this, as i'm not sure the amp will really be able to bring out the best from a nicer pair of speakers... but it's cheap enough that i'm very tempted.

the pannys don't actually use DACs. instead, it converts the PCM signal to PWM, and keeps everything digital until the speaker output.

for 2 channel, it stacks the unused amps ("dual amp") to provide reserve power in case it's needed. you can also bi-wire and bi-amp using the B-speaker terminals.
 
Oct 12, 2006 at 1:50 AM Post #3 of 31

Carl

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PWM amps use a digital comparator much the same way as a delta/sigma DAC chip does, but the comparator itself is tied to the amplification stages.

In effect, you get an average quality DAC, and get a nice quality amplifier free of charge.
 
Oct 12, 2006 at 2:10 AM Post #4 of 31

gevorg

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Carl
In effect, you get an average quality DAC


There are no DACs in receivers like XR55 or XR57.



I currently use XR57 + Athena AS-B1, and it sounds better than my previous DAC1 + Teac Tripath amp + AS-B1.

The only problem with XR57 is harsh highs on some recordings, which according to audiocircle & diyaudio can be fixed with mods in the power section and speaker terminals.
 
Oct 12, 2006 at 2:31 AM Post #5 of 31

jpelg

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JVC digital receivers sound better to me than the Panny's, imo. Amp section is warmer, more natural. The internal DAC isn't bad either.
 
Oct 12, 2006 at 4:42 AM Post #6 of 31

Jon L

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Quote:

Originally Posted by jpelg
JVC digital receivers sound better to me than the Panny's, imo. Amp section is warmer, more natural. The internal DAC isn't bad either.


Isn't the latest JVC literally "warmer," as in toasty hot chassis, prone to failure by many reports? Which JVC and Panny are you talking about here?
 
Oct 12, 2006 at 4:59 AM Post #7 of 31

Carl

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Quote:

Originally Posted by gevorg
There are no DACs in receivers like XR55 or XR57.


Depends on your nomenclature.

A digital-domain PCM->PWM comparator followed by analogue low-pass filter is in effect a D/A converter. It works very similarly to a delta/sigma DAC, except the latter uses pulse density modulation instead of pulse width.


Quote:

Originally Posted by jpelg
JVC digital receivers sound better to me than the Panny's, imo. Amp section is warmer, more natural. The internal DAC isn't bad either.


Different Class D implementations have different flavours. On top of the Texas Instrumements and Tripath versions, Harmon International, Philips, and Wolfson Micro, among others, make them as well.
 
Oct 12, 2006 at 8:03 AM Post #8 of 31

ehlim

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I have the XR-10 which is the first generation model from Japan & thereafter sets are made in Malaysia.

Both Panny & JVC have similar models of such receiver amps. There are the so-called class D amp.

I have hooked up my SqueezeBox SB3 using the coaxial or optical & the sound quality is very good.

These amps are of multi-purpose & they are especially good for home theatre application.

Regards
 
Oct 12, 2006 at 12:46 PM Post #9 of 31

jrosenth

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I have the Panny 55 - was literally $200 shipped via Amazon.

It's receiving a sony C2000ES changer's optical line out - all processing done in the digital domain.

Powering a pair of Tekton Design speakers using the fullrange Fostex 127 driver.

Better cables silver serpert digital cable and DIY magnet wire speaker cables (preferred them to anticables in this application) - wiremold powerstrip.

Obviously a budget system, but one designed for clarity and vocal reproduction and the panny kills everything I've heard anywhere near the price range. Maybe that's because it's simply taking the digital inputs, maybe not.

The 55 has a "bi-am" and "dual amp" setting, which seems to increase power - some guys on other boards are using them to power maggies very nicely.

The panny is, as I understand the talk on the boards, the only true all digital amp as opposed to the JVC, Kenwood, Sony, and even HK "digital" amps.

The panny reminds me of a Xin amp in a lot of ways, air, etc.

They don't sound bright but very, very detailed (which might appear bright to some compared to whatever they may be using) with a huge soundstage.

Don't believe cables change the sound, use one of these with some small fullrange speakers!

Couldn't be happier and can't recommend it enough.
 
Oct 12, 2006 at 2:27 PM Post #10 of 31

jpelg

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Jon L
Which JVC and Panny are you talking about here?


I own the last generation JVC RX-F10S, and owned the least expensive current generation RX-D206B. Both models' speaker amp sections sound similiar - on the warmer side, but still plenty of air & space. Very natural to my ears. I believe they share similiar "hybrid digital" technology, which you can read all about on JVC's site. But I don't see the difference that makes when compared to "full digital"?

The RX-F10S does run a bit hot, but even with my DVD player stacked on top I've not experienced any reliability issues over the past two years. I do turn it off when not in use. The newer RX-D206B I had briefly has a slightly larger chassis and did not seem to exhibit any heat issues. Not sure what "the boards" are saying about this model, which has a pretty decent headphone-out, unlike the RX-F10S headphone jack which is useless. The USB input in front is a cool idea, and makes for a great external PC soundcard. For the money (and more), they can't be beat, imo.

The Pannys that I've listened to are two past-generation model, XR25 & XR50. I haven't heard the most recent Panny models.
 
Oct 12, 2006 at 6:18 PM Post #11 of 31

Jon L

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Quote:

Originally Posted by jpelg
The Pannys that I've listened to are two past-generation model, XR25 & XR50. I haven't heard the most recent Panny models.


Owners of older and newer Pannies seem to report a pretty good jump in SQ with the 55/57 series. I haven't heard the older ones.

55 and 57 should be the same, except for more video/connection features in 57, and I've been using the 55 for quite some time now. I still can't believe how cheap this thing was to buy. It's been cool-running, completely trouble-free, and most of all, always great-sounding.

Even though it's in my home theater, it's only b/c I don't have another receiver, not necessarily b/c of sound quality. 2-channel music SQ is pretty average if fed spdif from your average consumer DVD player; however, when I fed it from a nice digital source like the Empirical Audio Freeway, it sounded as "high-end" as anything out there. The stock 18 awg! power cord HAS got to go, though.
 
Oct 12, 2006 at 8:06 PM Post #12 of 31

Carl

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Quote:

Originally Posted by jpelg
I believe they share similiar "hybrid digital" technology, which you can read all about on JVC's site. But I don't see the difference that makes when compared to "full digital"?


Tripath's chips use an analogue comparitor, not a digital one. It means an extra conversion of the signal.
 
Oct 12, 2006 at 8:12 PM Post #13 of 31

jpelg

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Carl
Tripath's chips use an analogue comparitor, not a digital one. It means an extra conversion of the signal.


I understand that. What I meant was, "so?"

The overall sound quality :: $$ ratio is still very much in the consumers favor compared to older traditional technology. Whether you prefer one brand's sound signature over the other is purely taste.

If one is stuck on comparing their respective underlying technology, I think one would be missing the point.
 
Oct 12, 2006 at 9:02 PM Post #14 of 31

jrosenth

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Quote:

Originally Posted by jpelg
If one is stuck on comparing their respective underlying technology, I think one would be missing the point.



I agree.

I just through that out there since a lot is made of it on the boards. I think the theory is that when used with a digital in it never gets converted.

Frankly, I was literally stunned listening to the budget Sony ES digital out to its digital ins with the little fostex - never imaged that such a budget set up would sound so good. A lot of people report very similar experiences with the little maggies. A few people use digital egs (behringer and real high end stuff) to do the processing in the digital domain with very good result - ironically even the behringer unit costs more than the receivers.

All that said, I think the best way to evaluate is to listen (isn't it always?
tongue.gif
)

Seriously, on the bang for buck ratio I can't imagine someone going wrong with either option

Oh yah, the 55 and 57 are supposed to sound better than the earlier units - the few have have had them both seem to consistently ring that gong and give some technical explanations why - the early ones got toasty too and the newer ones have larger chassis supposedly as a correction - the bi-amping and dual-amping is supposed to be a response to consumer demand with the new ones as well, which makes me think they may have added some other bits and pieces along with the better terminals/posts.
 
Oct 12, 2006 at 11:34 PM Post #15 of 31

Hi-Finthen

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Quote:

Originally Posted by jpelg
I own the last generation JVC RX-F10S, and owned the least expensive current generation RX-D206B. Both models' speaker amp sections sound similiar - on the warmer side, but still plenty of air & space. Very natural to my ears. I believe they share similiar "hybrid digital" technology, which you can read all about on JVC's site. But I don't see the difference that makes when compared to "full digital"?

The RX-F10S does run a bit hot, but even with my DVD player stacked on top I've not experienced any reliability issues over the past two years. I do turn it off when not in use. The newer RX-D206B I had briefly has a slightly larger chassis and did not seem to exhibit any heat issues. Not sure what "the boards" are saying about this model, which has a pretty decent headphone-out, unlike the RX-F10S headphone jack which is useless. The USB input in front is a cool idea, and makes for a great external PC soundcard. For the money (and more), they can't be beat, imo.

The Pannys that I've listened to are two past-generation model, XR25 & XR50. I haven't heard the most recent Panny models.



I've also been running the JVC RX-F10S going on 3 years now with great sucess! Runs warm @ 50% power and much warmer @ 75% and the cooling fan comes on. I run from squeezebox/SACD thru my tube preamp out put to both headamp HeadFive and JVC stereo imput with the selector @ DVD Multi imput to bypass the internal digital converters ...This option was one of the decisions selling point in my research. I'm awed at the proformance of this rig, both with its price and POWER in terms of control of the LFs on Bookshelf Klispch SB3(8 inch) the HFs ARE somewhat rolled off but pleasent rather than any glare or shrillness which the klispch upper mids & treble are infamous for. Nice sonic presentation in a budjet setup with alot of utility. Else, I would have replaced it by now. For more resolution/accuracy and details I tune in thru the headphone rig; Again, much less costly to achieve vs traditional home stereos, IMO....

/Team, BUDGET-FI!
 

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