Yamaha YSP-5100 vs. B&W Panorama - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 25 Old 05-20-2011, 10:12 AM - Thread Starter
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I am downsizing from a paradigm 5.1 setup to a soundbar

I have been doing a lot of research and had basically decided upon the YSP-5100, I really like the connectivity options (4 HDMI inputs, HD audio decoding, wireless sub and ipod streaming) but I am worried about sub-par audio quality. I realize there is no substitute for a 5.1 setup, but I would think when something has a $2100 price tag, the quality of the audio should be fairly decent. I have scoured the net for reviews and thoughts but really haven't come up with much. The B&W panorama seems to be the best for sound quality but is really lacking in the connectivity department (no HDMI, only two optical, two analog, no video passthrough).

Has anyone on here happened to demo both these units out and have an impressions?

I have a PS3, Xbox360, directv HD receiver and HDVD player. I will also pair the soundbat with a HSU VTF-2, so I am not too worried about low end performance. The soundbar will be placed in a 13x11 room with walls on all sides and doors that can be closed (see attachment).

40% movies 60% music

 

Sub Placement - Living Room.pdf 6.2685546875k . file

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post #2 of 25 Old 05-20-2011, 10:45 AM
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VERY familiar and well listened with both.
The YSP will blow away the Panorama as far as surround quality. No contest. But yes, the Panorama does 'sound' better, especially for music.
That said, the 5100 with a great subwoofer ,sounds far from bad. I depends on what you are looking for in a soundbar. If you are looking for the best 'magic' they have to offer.. ie space of sound, feeling of invisible speakers, looking over your shoulder.. nothing beats the YSPs in the right room, and properly set up. If you are looking for audiophile qualify first, and the sense of surround magic is not that important, then go with the Panorama.
Also, the 5100 will decode the full Blu Ray audios. The Panorama will just do the 'cores'.( Soundwise, that's a totally different discussion if that means anything
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post #3 of 25 Old 05-20-2011, 11:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input Frosty.

I love the fact that the YSP decodes the HD audio, but then again, from a soundbar that is pushing less than a combined 100 watts, will I ever hear a difference between the "core" DTS/DD stream and the full HD DTS/DD stream?

Frosty, any input on how well the wireless sub works with the YSP? I was told by a self proclaimed "audiophile" that wireless technology cuts out all frequencies below 30-35hz........... I have my doubts, Yamaha totes that there wireless technology is top notch.....any noticeable delays in the sub signal or interference with local wifi signals?

The soundbar will be my main music setup in my house, so I am pretty concerned about overall music quality, I hope the HSU sub can rise to the occasion and really fill in the 20-90hz range which the ysp can't touch.

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post #4 of 25 Old 05-20-2011, 02:06 PM
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As far as being able to tell the difference between the Full HD audio on a soundbar and the Cores, I actually believe one can, or I should say I can, but even then it's subtle, ..at least on a soundbar.
As far as wirelesss subwoofers, that I don't know.. as I have my subs wired.

Good luck!
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post #5 of 25 Old 05-20-2011, 02:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Great, thanks for the feedback again, I am pretty sure I am gonna go with the 5100.

Anyone else have feedback on just the 5100 as far as SQ or how the wireless sub works?

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post #6 of 25 Old 05-21-2011, 11:40 PM
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Hello
Not trying to be a lemon here, but if music is important to you (the quality) and the quality of sound of the soundbar, trust me, go for the b/w panorama.
I bought it after I had the ysp 2200 for a couple of weeks. the difference is heaven and earth.
b/w sounds hi-def and it does work great as surround in the same proper setting as ysp 5100. I've heard both, there's no comparison IMHO.

The bowers and wilkins sounds like a full home theatre, everything precise, everything perfect. You don't need a sub, any tweak at all, it's just wonderful.

Pop in a Harry Potter movie in a quidditch game, crank the volume up, and be amazed. It trumps my previous 5.1 systems and puts the YSP to shame.

And as for HD formats. I heard my YSP 2200 with DTS HD, DTS hi-res, Dolby True, Dolby PCM.... and nothing compares to the subtleties of the bowers and wilkins performance with the simpler DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1.
I listened to Black Swan, Batman Begins, Moulin Rouge and Dracula in Hi-res formats... and I thought it sounded great.
I listened to the same in their normal DTS and Dolby 5.1 in B&W and it sounds AMAZING. If B&W decoded HD formats imagine how it would sound...

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post #7 of 25 Old 05-22-2011, 10:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Dam you neto. I had my mind all made up, now I have some doubts.....

If I can find a panorama in the <$1500 range I might get that, I can use my tvs optical out for audio. The panorama does seem to produce much better audio from what I have read as well.

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post #8 of 25 Old 05-22-2011, 01:22 PM
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Sorry ahartig, I didn't wanna cause you any indecisions, LOL
But it is a lot of money,
So hopefully you can hear both on your own (some Best Buys have it) before you decide

I've been doing a Harry Potter marathon this weekend (i didn't see them in the theaters) and I'm amazed at the sound of the panorama

But as others say, it's personal taste. (and you need a good proper setting for surround, while the ysp is less "picky" in this sense).
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post #9 of 25 Old 05-22-2011, 09:00 PM - Thread Starter
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That's the thing. My living room is basically a rectangle with a few doors that can be closed, see my first post for the PDF file picture. Thats why I am now torn, I think the Panorama would work quite well in that room. Dammit.

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post #10 of 25 Old 05-24-2011, 11:07 AM - Thread Starter
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I can get a used B&W Panorama shipped for $1375. I can get a used 5100 for 1200 shipped......
decisions decisions

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post #11 of 25 Old 05-27-2011, 09:38 AM - Thread Starter
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I pulled the trigger on the Panorama. Ill post my impressions here when I get it.

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post #12 of 25 Old 06-02-2011, 09:55 AM
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ahartig,
let us know what you think about the panorama. I auditioned both extensively and went with the YSP 5100. It is paired with an Epic Empire and 58 vt25 for a bedroom system. I think you made the right choice for your situation. THe YSP blows away the Panorama for HT but the Panorama is definitely superior for music. The differences between them were not subtle for me. Since my use is 90/10 HT/music I went for the YSP 5100.
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post #13 of 25 Old 06-02-2011, 10:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Capecod, thanks for the feedback, I wish I could have demoed them both, but alas, all I had to go off of were professional reviews and impressions from this forum.

I was lucky to get a good deal on a used Panorama (only about 200 more dollars than a 5100).

I hope I made the right choice, the Panorama will be our main music player for our new house....so quality was definitely a big driving factor.

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post #14 of 25 Old 06-13-2011, 04:10 PM - Thread Starter
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I received the Panorama a few days ago. I have not been able to do any intense demoing because I am in the process of moving and have it setup in a less than ideal location. Once I get it setup in my new place and have listened to it extensively I'll post some deeper thoughts on here, but for now, here are my initial impressions:

Amazing sound out of a small bar...... I listened to a few scenes from Wall-E and the Social Network on bluray and was amazed. Vocals (especially center channel dialog) sound better than my old 5.1 setup. I have a HSU VTF-2 sub connected to it and am not sure if I will keep it connected. I contact B&W regarding internal crossovers when a sub was connected, I was told that when the Panorama senses that a sub is connected, it internally sends all freq below 80Hz to the sub. The crossover is not adjustable. I wish I could lower the crossover, as the minisubs on the Panorama pack quite a punch in the 80 to 40Hz range.....

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post #15 of 25 Old 06-18-2011, 02:09 PM
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Anyone know when B&W will be releasing an updated Panorama?
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post #16 of 25 Old 07-04-2011, 07:26 PM
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Can anyone tell me what a good price is to pay for a B&W Panorama and where I could purchase one?
Thanks
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post #17 of 25 Old 07-06-2011, 09:33 AM - Thread Starter
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I got mine used for $1400 including shipping.

There is one on ebay now for a good price:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...=p5197.c0.m619

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post #18 of 25 Old 09-17-2012, 10:12 AM
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ahartig,
shopping for a new system and stumbled across this post while looking for the YSP's and the Panorama.

what's your impression now that you've had the system a while, presuming you are still using it?

I'm trying to decide between a quality soundbar or full on receiver, speakers & sub.
primarily, I want something good for music and digital streaming (as good as that can be), and home theater is a secondary consideration.

thanks,
msg
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post #19 of 25 Old 09-17-2012, 04:30 PM
 
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Speakers and sub are a better solution if they can be placed well. Soundbars are a good solution if your situation doesn't allow for properly placing speakers and sub.
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post #20 of 25 Old 09-17-2012, 09:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msg464 View Post

ahartig,
shopping for a new system and stumbled across this post while looking for the YSP's and the Panorama.
what's your impression now that you've had the system a while, presuming you are still using it?
I'm trying to decide between a quality soundbar or full on receiver, speakers & sub.
primarily, I want something good for music and digital streaming (as good as that can be), and home theater is a secondary consideration.
thanks,
msg

I went for a soundbar because of space limitations and WAF. If your primary use is for music then I don't think you can find a better sounding soundbar than the Panorama.
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post #21 of 25 Old 09-18-2012, 11:41 AM
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thanks fellas.

what's considered proper placement? the standard square/rectangle, seating in the middle, etc.?
my space is going to be a bit difficult to nail down. the place is under renovation right now, and I'm not quite sure yet how I'm going to set it up. I dropped a bunch of interior walls, and the living space is now pretty wide open, but will be sectioned off for the living/entertainment area. I have a wall option, and my second option is a corner setup, which I'm not too enthused over

what's WAF?

I like the reviews I've read about the Panorama, but I don't like that it doesn't have HDMI switching and I'd hate to pick one up only to have that feature released in a subsequent version. I'm the type to make the heftier investment on the system up front and enjoy it for years. re: the HDMI switching, I'd like HDMI enabled, but I've never found it too much bother manually switching inputs on the TV instead of HDMI ARC. (is this passed through, btw? I think I read a spec on a receive the other day that said something about the frequency - what if you have a high freq tv - can a receiver limit the output?)
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Speakers and sub are a better solution if they can be placed well. Soundbars are a good solution if your situation doesn't allow for properly placing speakers and sub.

Quote:
Originally Posted by m0no View Post

I went for a soundbar because of space limitations and WAF. If your primary use is for music then I don't think you can find a better sounding soundbar than the Panorama.
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post #22 of 25 Old 09-18-2012, 12:04 PM
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WAF = Wife Acceptance Factor smile.gif

I agree having HDMI would be nice and it was something I did want but after trying several soundbars the Panorama was the best fit. The Panorama will be paired with Kuro 500m monitor which does not have any audio outputs so having a soundbar that supports HDMI ARC does not matter. Also since I am moving overseas I needed to make a quick decision and could not wait for a new B&W soundbar to be released. Purchasing abroad would have been a lot more expensive as well. I was able to get a good deal on the Panorama so all in all for my needs it was the best option and solution available.
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post #23 of 25 Old 09-19-2012, 07:32 AM
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The new Panorama will be released soon and is supposed to have HDMI (finally!). I sold my Panorama recently and will wait for the official announcement and release. See my thread about the new one coming out.
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post #24 of 25 Old 09-19-2012, 08:27 AM
 
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Proper placement of the fronts is essential especially if you plan on stereo music. For you primary seating locations the speakers should have about a 45-60 degree spread and if possible aimed toward the center seat. The center speaker should be centered on the seating. Ideally they should all be the same height but if you can keep the center within ~ 12" of the sides that will be very good. Tilt the speakers to aim at the listening postion if not at ear height. Keep the left and right front speakers out of the corner. The surrounds we can have a little more fexibility but to the side of the listeners or slightly behind the listeners on the side walls is best and ~ 2-3 feet above ear height. Speakers on the back wall are not ideal for 5.1 applications.

Don't discount the corner set up of the TV. It often gets rid of first reflections which depending on the situation might be a big benefit. The problem with corner set up systems is the main listening area rarely faces the TV/speakers. You have to angle your main seating to make that work. Look at page 9 of this white paper done by one of the experts in th field.
http://www.harman.com/EN-US/OurCompany/Innovation/Documents/White%20Papers/LoudspeakersandRoomsPt1.pdf

The further you have to deviate from a good set up, the more attractive the sound bars become. They typically provide a wide soundstage for their size. The trade off with sound bars is their small woofers are typically only 2-3" and you won't get a lot of mid bass punch with that compared to a speaker with a 5-6" woofer. I will give you a few more options for sound bars to consider.

All in one units I think you have probably picked out the best two. I might also consider Atlantic Technologies new Powerbar 235. At a recent demo it really has some nice mid bass punch and I think would be a great music option. I haven't had a chance to play with one in person but I would definitely consider it.

Surround Bars that need a receiver I would consider Atlantic Technologies FS 7.1, again with its 4x6 drivers it give better mid-bass but I don't think it does as good at surround effects compared to the Yamaha units. But for music I'd prefer it. It is room dependant for its surround effects. It does require a receiver.

LCR sound bars can be a good option if your front wall will be difficult to place speakers well but you can have decent placement of the surrounds. They do require a receiver. I would look at Triad or Atlantic Technology. I give Triad the edge plus they will custom size the bar to match the width of your flat panel which makes for a very aesthetic solution.
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post #25 of 25 Old 09-21-2012, 07:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m0no View Post

WAF = Wife Acceptance Factor smile.gif
I agree having HDMI would be nice and it was something I did want but after trying several soundbars the Panorama was the best fit. The Panorama will be paired with Kuro 500m monitor which does not have any audio outputs so having a soundbar that supports HDMI ARC does not matter. Also since I am moving overseas I needed to make a quick decision and could not wait for a new B&W soundbar to be released. Purchasing abroad would have been a lot more expensive as well. I was able to get a good deal on the Panorama so all in all for my needs it was the best option and solution available.
hahaha! gotcha, haha
Quote:
Originally Posted by YOTR View Post

The new Panorama will be released soon and is supposed to have HDMI (finally!). I sold my Panorama recently and will wait for the official announcement and release. See my thread about the new one coming out.
okay then, could be an option, thanks for this info.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BobL View Post

Proper placement of the fronts is essential especially if you plan on stereo music. For you primary seating locations the speakers should have about a 45-60 degree spread and if possible aimed toward the center seat. The center speaker should be centered on the seating. Ideally they should all be the same height but if you can keep the center within ~ 12" of the sides that will be very good. Tilt the speakers to aim at the listening postion if not at ear height. Keep the left and right front speakers out of the corner. The surrounds we can have a little more fexibility but to the side of the listeners or slightly behind the listeners on the side walls is best and ~ 2-3 feet above ear height. Speakers on the back wall are not ideal for 5.1 applications.
Don't discount the corner set up of the TV. It often gets rid of first reflections which depending on the situation might be a big benefit. The problem with corner set up systems is the main listening area rarely faces the TV/speakers. You have to angle your main seating to make that work. Look at page 9 of this white paper done by one of the experts in th field.
http://www.harman.com/EN-US/OurCompany/Innovation/Documents/White%20Papers/LoudspeakersandRoomsPt1.pdf
The further you have to deviate from a good set up, the more attractive the sound bars become. They typically provide a wide soundstage for their size. The trade off with sound bars is their small woofers are typically only 2-3" and you won't get a lot of mid bass punch with that compared to a speaker with a 5-6" woofer. I will give you a few more options for sound bars to consider.
All in one units I think you have probably picked out the best two. I might also consider Atlantic Technologies new Powerbar 235. At a recent demo it really has some nice mid bass punch and I think would be a great music option. I haven't had a chance to play with one in person but I would definitely consider it.
Surround Bars that need a receiver I would consider Atlantic Technologies FS 7.1, again with its 4x6 drivers it give better mid-bass but I don't think it does as good at surround effects compared to the Yamaha units. But for music I'd prefer it. It is room dependant for its surround effects. It does require a receiver.
LCR sound bars can be a good option if your front wall will be difficult to place speakers well but you can have decent placement of the surrounds. They do require a receiver. I would look at Triad or Atlantic Technology. I give Triad the edge plus they will custom size the bar to match the width of your flat panel which makes for a very aesthetic solution.
wow, this is great info, thanks very much. I'll read that white paper and take all into account.
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