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Old 08-12-2011, 01:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Loaded question, for sure, but I'm not interested in running a traditional surround setup and am curious what soundbar you would choose if you could pick any (i.e. cost doesn't matter).

My setup will be a Panasonic 65 VT-30 Plasma. Material will be Xbox (Netflix, Zune, Gaming), Blu-ray, HD Cable. I'm not entirely opposed to buying a unit that requires a separate DSP/Amp and sub.

A few I've stumbled across are:
-Yamaha YSP-5100 (though it is huge)
-DefTech Mythos SSA-50
-Polk Surround Bar 50
-B & W Panorama

Appreciate any thoughts. Thanks.
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Old 08-12-2011, 03:54 PM
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I recently purchased the B&W Panorama. I am VERY pleased with it.

I came from a 5.1 Paradigm speaker / SVS sub setup.

I have a HSU VTF-2 hooked up to the Panorama which in my opinion is crucial for bass heavy movies.

Amazing soundbar, great design.

Only downside is no hdmi inputs and lack of overall inputs.

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Old 08-12-2011, 07:49 PM
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I second the b&w.

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Note: Any posts are of my personal opinions and not to reflect upon any business.

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Old 08-12-2011, 10:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the feedback. I'm curious why no HDMI. Any chance of finding one at a local store to listen to?
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Old 08-12-2011, 10:38 PM
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HDCP (part of hdmi) licencing costs are prohibitive to the smaller manufacutrer, although i wouldnt call B&W small, but they dont have a major electronics division.

International HDDVD Screenshot Archive (Full 1080p Images): www.hdmovies.co.nz
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Old 08-13-2011, 08:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahartig View Post

I recently purchased the B&W Panorama. I am VERY pleased with it.

I came from a 5.1 Paradigm speaker / SVS sub setup.

I have a HSU VTF-2 hooked up to the Panorama which in my opinion is crucial for bass heavy movies.

Amazing soundbar, great design.

Only downside is no hdmi inputs and lack of overall inputs.

Ahh ahartig, I never posted my thoughts, but I knew you'd put that Hsu back with the Panorama when you posted a while back you were gonna go without it.
To the OP: I spent a ton of time auditioning at least 7 different soundbars and the YSP 5100 and Panorama stood out from the rest by a sizeable margin. I never got to hear the def tech posted above but I did audition that Polk.
The YSP 5100 and Panorama are quite different although both are excellent and play very loud without audible distortion.
The 5100 is incredible for movies and pretty good for music. It has (4)hdmi1.4 so it can pass 3d and switch audio/video. Nothing else comes close to the top line YSP's for creating a realistic surround field if your room doesn't have a lot of openings. It also has a wireless sub module that works with any sub. It's auto set up and calibration is surprisingly accurate and has 3 separate memory settings which you'll see below can be very useful.
The Panorama has the cleanest loudest output for music without question. It does well for HT but simply from it's high quality drivers. It has a big soundstage up front but no real envelopment from the sides let alone rear.
The Yammie acts like a new reciever with the latest hdmi switching and features. The Panorama requires you to purchase one separately if you want the newest audio codecs and 3d capable hdmi switching. Both are best with a sub. Choose a sub with good midbass output because even the best soundbars don't dig deep enough to cross over below 100 hz, 120 was best with both of these units.
I chose the 5100 because it was going to be used for 90% or more movies in a bedroon rig where I was pleased it didn't need AVR. My 5100 is mated with an Epik Empire and on an articulating mount with a 58vt25.The articulating mount moves the soundbar and plasma together. My bedroom has a listenening area with leather couch/chairs in addition to the bed. The Yammie's 3 memory settings are great for my application 1) when the rig is turned towards the bed 2) rig straight at listening area but flat to wall 3) rig straight to the listening area but extended 27 inches from wall closer to the listening area for 3d (which is much better with tighter viewing distance). So the 5100 was perfect for my particular needs.
Ahartig uses his Panorama for more music than HT. With his content mix I would have done the same since the Panorama is like an LCR on roids.
For your content mix and a 3d capable plasma I'd get the 5100 unless you feel like you'll shift more towards music in the future. Another consideration is WAF. The 5100 is taller than the Panorama so it's best mounted with your plasma or on a shelf below it. Simply using your plasma's stand with the 5100 on same surface below it would block some screen.
Let us know what you pick and how you feel about it. Good luck.
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Old 08-14-2011, 01:41 AM
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I would agree with the votes for the Panorama and the Yamaha.

But you deciede you dont need the HDMI switching or dont want to spend a whole lot of money the Polk 6000 might be a soundbar to take a look at.

I have owned and tried out more soundbars than I can even remember but when I demoed the Polk at home and was very impressed.

Cheers
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Old 08-14-2011, 01:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Awesome input. Thanks everyone.
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Old 08-15-2011, 01:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capecodorthopod View Post
Ahh ahartig, I never posted my thoughts, but I knew you'd put that Hsu back with the Panorama when you posted a while back you were gonna go without it.
Ya, the straw that broke the camels back was when I played the Tropic Thunder blu-ray disc with just the Panorama. During the Toby Maguire and Downey Jr. Gay Monk Movie "preview" the deep bass beat that starts when they begin to hold hands completely distorted the Panorama, plugged the HSU in and the room shook and the wife went "wow."

The internal crossover of the Panorama is 80Hz when a sub is connected, but without a sub the panorama packs an amazing punch for freq above 35-40Hz.

I use the Pano for about 35/35/30 music, games, movies now, but I suspect the 35 games will go down to 5 and the music up to 65 once our first child is born in a few months.....

Love it though, all I have is a PS3, Xbox, and Airport express for wireless itunes hooked up. Best $1400 investment I have made, especially since I wont have to worry about baby hands all over speaker wires and saved space by not having speakers all around the living room

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Old 08-16-2011, 12:01 AM
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Congrats on the upcoming baby! Good luck. My two boys (7&2) have made my life immensely more fun and meaningful. But you won't be cranking anything loud for a while.
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Old 08-17-2011, 01:42 PM
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The Phase Tech PC 3.0 is hands down the best sound bar I have ever heard. It's a 3 way sound bar with 3 flat piston drivers, 3 dome mids, and 3 tweets across the front with a pair of domes on the sides to help create a wider soundfield. I've never been a fan if soundbars, and still think that the companies that try to bill their units as as virtual surround sound are full of it. Having said that, this bar knocked me on my ass.
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Old 08-17-2011, 10:03 PM
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Have you heard a Yamaha YSP 4100 or 5100 in a room with 4 or 3.5 walls (not a lot of openings)? Or at least a 2200? Soundbars with a few larger high quality drivers can produce a nice big front soundstage (like the B&W Panorama or the Phase Tech you mention) but not a convincing sense of immersion like YSP's with 40+ smaller drivers that can direct sound to specific parts of the room. The fewer/larger driver Panorama is more dynamic for music but the YSP's create better surround effect. The YSP's can't do their thing well if the room has a lot of openings though.
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Old 08-17-2011, 11:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capecodorthopod View Post

The 5100 is incredible for movies and pretty good for music. It has (4)hdmi1.4 so it can pass 3d and switch audio/video. Nothing else comes close to the top line YSP's for creating a realistic surround field if your room doesn't have a lot of openings..

Hi..I can't agree more with you, my 5100 is really amazing feat of tech.

On the HDMI switching, did you have any trouble in the beginning? after I did the calibration I had no problems with switching as it switched on to blu ray as soon as there was a signal. I've been watching BD and dvds for over a month. But now I can't seem to get even a sound much less a picture. When I put in a dvd or BD, it just brings up that blue YSP set up menu screen. Any advice before I call tech support which usually ends up in an hour frustration from someone in India. Thanks a lot!
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Old 08-17-2011, 11:09 PM
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Btw, I wonder what Yamaha has up their sleeves for a follow up to the 5100? In the past they would release a new model each yr but haven't heard or seen any thing yet. The 5100 is so good I can't wait to what they will do to improve it.
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Old 08-18-2011, 02:16 AM
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Zoey67,
Once the hdmi control feature stopped working after a power outage. Go into the menu and turn off then turn back the hdmi control feature. That worked for me
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Old 08-18-2011, 06:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capecodorthopod View Post

Zoey67,
Once the hdmi control feature stopped working after a power outage. Go into the menu and turn off then turn back the hdmi control feature. That worked for me

Ok thanks, but wait isn't the HDMI control feature is suppose to be "off" ? according to the manual the HDMI control feature was strictly for some remote control use and not the actual "switching" feature which is what I wish would work again.
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Old 08-18-2011, 07:26 PM
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Don't know when you are looking to buy, but I had been looking at the Polk 50 (which you may find on some clearance deals soon) and came across the Polk CHT500, which was announced at the end of last year. I asked Polk when they were actually going to ship and was told October. Given the already good reviews of the 50, I am hoping that the CHT500 is an improvement.
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Old 08-18-2011, 10:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zoey67 View Post

Ok thanks, but wait isn't the HDMI control feature is suppose to be "off" ? according to the manual the HDMI control feature was strictly for some remote control use and not the actual "switching" feature which is what I wish would work again.

Sorry I must have misunderstood your post. When you stated that the 5100 would automatically switch to the blue ray player when it sensed a signal and now it doesn't. Do you mean to say the 5100 is not switching the video and audio when you use the remote to select a different hdmi source?
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Old 08-20-2011, 10:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capecodorthopod View Post

Sorry I must have misunderstood your post. When you stated that the 5100 would automatically switch to the blue ray player when it sensed a signal and now it doesn't. Do you mean to say the 5100 is not switching the video and audio when you use the remote to select a different hdmi source?

Yes I can't get any picture or sound. Before as soon as the disc was inserted it would "switch" to the movie and sound would come on when i set it to the corresponding HDMI input. Now when I insert any disc, it just brings up that blue YSP-5100 set screen. Is there a quick fix for this?

It was so easy when I 1st hooked it up. 1 HDMI into "in" of the 5100 and 1 "out" to the BD player and it worked instantly. I've watched at least 10 movies without a hitch and never unplugged anything or had any power outages so I don't know one day why this blue screen keeps popping up instead of the movie, and no sound either. So strange...
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Old 08-20-2011, 05:46 PM
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Hdmi can do some weird things when the "handshake" doesn't work. Try unplugging all the hdmi ports, unplug the 5100 for a minute or 2 then plug everything back in. If it doesn't work try another non-hdmi input like component or s-video before you call Yamaha customer service because they may ask that question. I assume you tried more than 1 hdmi source like cable/sat stb. Good luck and let us know what happens.
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Old 08-22-2011, 08:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capecodorthopod View Post

Hdmi can do some weird things when the "handshake" doesn't work. Try unplugging all the hdmi ports, unplug the 5100 for a minute or 2 then plug everything back in. If it doesn't work try another non-hdmi input like component or s-video before you call Yamaha customer service because they may ask that question. I assume you tried more than 1 hdmi source like cable/sat stb. Good luck and let us know what happens.

I only have 1 HDMI switch and thats with BD. I did try another HDMI "in" on the 5100 and that didn't do anything. I will try to unplug the 5100 though, I just hope that doesn't erase my calibration and have to start over again. That might fix it though...thanks alot.
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Old 08-31-2011, 06:42 AM
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capcodorthopod...

I just received my 5100 yesterday and am loving it so far...one question though

When playing a BD with TrueHD, I see the TrueHD light on the soundbar but also still see the Dolby PL2x lit up....it this just how the bar works? ( I also see the PL2x when watching Dolby 5.1 cable broadcasts)

In all my years of HT, if you see Pro Logic then the receiver is getting a 2.1 signal. This is my first soundbar (have a Yamaha/Klipsch Reference system as my main HT setup) and I just want to make sure that I'm getting the most possible from it. It's currently setup with a Sony BDP-S580 and a Comcast HDDVR box with HDMI.

BTW...just from what I've heard so far this thing is truely amazing....I currently have it setup with the wireless sub module running a Klipsch RSW-12...and I'm tremendously impressed and would recommend this to anyone looking for a "simple" surround solution.
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Old 08-31-2011, 07:06 PM
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Crush,
It's pretty amazing what the 5100 can do with a few walls and a decent sub.
It's normal to see PLIIx on the 5100 for all content if the unit was able to produce 5+2 channels after calibration. I guess it's because it's not 7 truly discreet channels. Don't worry it's working as intended.
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Old 03-01-2012, 07:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zoey67 View Post

I only have 1 HDMI switch and thats with BD. I did try another HDMI "in" on the 5100 and that didn't do anything. I will try to unplug the 5100 though, I just hope that doesn't erase my calibration and have to start over again. That might fix it though...thanks alot.

Did ya ever fix your problem? I have 5100 also and it's doing some weird things with hdmi. My cable box's audio keeps dropping in and out but my bluray works fine? Wondering if it's my cable box?
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Old 01-16-2013, 01:17 PM
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I have the Klipsch SB-1 and sounds absolutely amazing!!! Extremely great sound quality
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Old 01-21-2013, 10:55 AM
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I have the Klipsch SB-1 and sounds absolutely amazing!!! Extremely great sound quality
I have heard very good reports on this soundbar, and Best Buy online recently had it on sale for $499. I am watching for it to go on sale again.
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