Originally Posted by ahartig
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.