Panasonic SA-BX500 Small Light Powerful - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 699 Old 10-26-2008, 06:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Looks like i am going to have to start the thread on this product.

No frills, no OSD, no Multi-Eq, allegedly great sound from the Class D
amps.

The big question are those digital amps as good or better than in the
SA-XR55 in this 11lb. midget? Could they break the "Ice"? Sorry, had to
give one under the belt

What got me right away is that its depth is only 12" unlike the SA-XR700 which expands backwards to keep slim. My Sony XBR910 only allows max 13" depth on the A/V shelf, no other HD receiver of the
current crop can fit in there.

Relatively light, yet it did well in some reviews, as you would expect from a basic HD decoding receiver, biamping/biwiring included.


Trilingual notes on the back, likely reflecting the expected mix of users, as EU regulations require


Manual:

http://service.us.panasonic.com/OPERMANPDF/SABX500.PDF

Reviews:

http://www.trustedreviews.com/home-c...AV-Receiver/p1

http://www.homecinemachoice.com/revi...asonic+sabx500

SA-BX500
Power Output Power Output at 20Hz-20kHz
Each Ch. Driven Front (L/R) 130 W x 2 (6ohms, THD 0.7%)
Center 130 W (6ohms, THD 0.7%)
Surround (L/R) 130 W x 2 (6ohms, THD 0.7%)
Surround Back (L/R) 130 W x 2 (6ohms, THD 0.7%)
Total Harmonic Distortion 0.7 % (6ohms)
(at 20Hz- 20kHz)
Frequency Response Input*1 4Hz-40kHz, ±2dB
BD PLAYER 8CH 4Hz-40kHz, ±2dB
S/N (IHF A) Digital Input 97dB
FM Frequency Response 87.9-107.9MHz (200kHz Steps)
87.5-108.0MHz (100kHz Steps)
AM Frequency Response 520-1710kHz
Dolby Digital Decoder (Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus,
Dolby Digital EX)
Dolby Pro Logic (IIx)
DTS Decoder (DTS-HD Master Audio,
DTS-HD High Resolution Audio, DTS-HD Low Bit Rate,
DTS ES, Neo:6, DTS 96/24)
Auto Speaker Setup
VIERA Link™ (HDAVI Control 3)
HDMI Inputs/Outputs 3-in, 1-out
Component Video Inputs/Outputs 3-in, 1-out
S-Video Inputs/Outputs 6-in (Front 1-in, Back 5-in), 1-out
Video Inputs/Outputs 6-in (Front 1-in, Back 5-in), 1-out
Video Rec Output 1-out (with S-Video)
Front Audio Input/Video Input 1-in (with S-Video)
Digital Inputs 4 (3-optical, 1-coaxial)
8-ch Discrete Inputs
Audio Inputs/Outputs 6-in, 1-out
Subwoofer Output
Digital Synthesizer Tuner
Universal Dock for iPod® /SH-PD10*2
Remote Control (Universal)
Weight (lb.) (Approx.) 11
Dimensions (W x H x D) (inch) (Approx.) 16-15/16" x 6-1/4" x 13-11/32"

*1 CD,AUX,TV,GAME,CABLE/SAT,VCR, DVD RECORDER,BD/DVD PLAYER,Option Port
*2 With the purchase of SH-PD10.

*Notes: Total harmonic distortion is measured by digital spectrum analyzer.
Total harmonic distortion is measured by using AES 17 filter.





I ordered mine tonight, we'll have to see it beats the revered SA-XR55.
I have been using an SA-XR70 for 3 years now in the kids room. This replaces it, i have nothing but high expectations.

Will post impressions.

Don't get me wrong though, i am still keeping my balanced separates system in the basement 3 row HT
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post #2 of 699 Old 10-28-2008, 12:19 AM
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I think sa-bx500 will sound pretty much like the xr700. And the xr700 is supposed to be a wee bit better than the xr55/57. So I am thinking this will be better than the xr55.
I am waiting for your auditioning, before I order mine (I have the xr55) now :-). For me, the xr55 is the main dac/amp with my squeezebox and silverline sonatinas. So I am a little cautious before changing :-)
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post #3 of 699 Old 10-29-2008, 01:25 AM
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The spiritual successor to the infamous XR700 and XR57... problem is, do they still use the TI amp chip? Does the fan add noise to the whole experience? Price?
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post #4 of 699 Old 10-29-2008, 05:20 AM
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Lots of negativity in the air already on this product.
I had been considering getting this to use primarily as a 7 Channel AMP for
a Pre/Pro but the Panny SA-BX500 AMP performance is getting poor bench mark reviews.

From what I have read the unit does seem to have some punch at high volumes close to reference levels
but in all honesty quality audio at traditional listening levels be it music or film is what is important to me.

I can only guess poor performance when I hook up
power hungry 4 OHM stereos and 8 Ohm CCs & Surrounds.

Even at current $200 of list price is it worth to invest in this as a 7 Channel AMP
even when the pre/pro has video and room optimization processing?
If Audio is poor at moderate levels as reviewed I say no.
Now if this was available at 50% off list I'd give it a try until
better 7 Channel ICE amps such Rotel or 7 Channel Ballanced AMPS come down in price.


http://reviews.cnet.com/av-receivers...-33317127.html
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post #5 of 699 Old 10-29-2008, 06:43 AM
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Yea, the least they could do is add Audyssey
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post #6 of 699 Old 10-29-2008, 06:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trashmonger View Post

Lots of negativity in the air already on this product.

Just from you, AFAICT.

It's just setting it up to fail to compare it to the IcePower amps and AVRs, that's not a fair comparison. It stacks up fine for what it is.

700 Thread - discussion in the thread from there on

More discussion on this

Everybody is wondering about the fan, so if someone has a chance to check it out please comment. This wouldn't need much ventilation, so let's hope they used a suitably quiet fan. If so it's a plus, always good to cool the electronics.
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post #7 of 699 Old 10-29-2008, 07:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buzzy_ View Post

If so it's a plus, always good to cool the electronics.

But they could've done it using better heatsinks, although more expensive, its probably better piece of mind to audiophile heads. And I'm still not convinced there wouldn't be any noise from the fan. The whole appeal of the XR was slim design but biamp biwire pure class d sound.
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post #8 of 699 Old 10-29-2008, 12:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buzzy_ View Post

Just from you, AFAICT.

It's just setting it up to fail to compare it to the IcePower amps and AVRs, that's not a fair comparison. It stacks up fine for what it is.

700 Thread - discussion in the thread from there on

More discussion on this

Everybody is wondering about the fan, so if someone has a chance to check it out please comment. This wouldn't need much ventilation, so let's hope they used a suitably quiet fan. If so it's a plus, always good to cool the electronics.

As far as fidelity with Full Range 4 Ohm Speakers at moderate listening levels I think the AVR is setup to fail period.
Mix in 8 Ohm surrounds who knows what is gonna happen with that puppy.
Even Pioneer is telling owners of the SC-05 & SC-07 not to use 4 Ohm speakers with the B&O IcePower
so I have concerns and would research before dropping
600 into an inferior Class D with mediocrity headroom at moderate volumes.
.

$799 list for an AVR with no on screen config and no room optimization is what it is.

Hey I had hoped to use this as a 7.1 AMP for a Pre/Pro but the reviews for standard listening levels were poor.
It really sounds like it's one of these full throttle punch or nothing AMPS where medium power has little to no audio headroom.
Would that improve with good Pre/Pro processing, maybe.
I'll wait and as I wait the price on this will drop.
I can't see this AVR staying at $600 to $800.
Black Friday $400 would be a good guess.

There are so many AVRs with better audio benchmarks, room optimization and video conversion where medium power output will not kill my electric bill.
For my finances I'll just go ahead and buy a good Class AB 7 channel amp to use with the pre/pro.
Hey I never expected this to compete with a Iceower AMP but only use it until a 7 channel IcePower such as the Rotel costs 1K.

As I said at $400 I'll buy it but at $600 o $800 keep it.
A short time ago $532 would have been my buying price.
I'll wait out for $400.
I could always continue to use my 2 Channel Analog AMP with my current DAC options for 2 channel Audio
but am just not spending $600 on this to drive 7.


http://whathifi.com/Review/Panasonic...0/default.aspx

#
Against
Shrill sound, tricky configuration and a real lack of sonic finesse


Lack of finesse is clear
But none of that really matters next to the Panasonic's sound. Optimistically rated at 150w per channel (using the most flattering criteria possible), it's a shrill-sounding sonic weed in a class of muscle-bound powerhouses.

Even after its auto-calibration process has done its stuff, the receiver's lack of finesse and composure at modest volumes is obvious – but push it with anything demanding, and its shrieking, uncomfortably edgy balance is distinctly off-putting, as is its flattened, compressed presentation of what should be substantial dynamic shifts.

That's a significant weakness in a product designed to showcase the best in next-generation home cinema technology. Shifting to less-demanding surround content and lower volume levels is slightly more rewarding, but it also tends to defeat the point a little.

Summary? It's not often we encounter a product we just can't recommend, but the SA-BX500 pulls it off. You can do much, much better than this.
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post #9 of 699 Old 10-29-2008, 12:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Got her, i got so frustrated after reading some reviews claiming half power specs that i called JR to return it, but they got me a nice partial refund and got to keep it, good deal, as this will get me a Blu-Ray player.

The truth is that the only other HD receiver with similar capabilites and a 13" or less shelf depth is the Sony STR-DG820, but my painfully learned rule is "never buy a Sony unless it is a display".

Will start tinkering after i put the gang to bed (3 under 5) tonight. Hopefully the codes will match with the SA-XR70S, so i won't have to reprogram the faithful Harmony (got enough 667s for a lifetime refurbed)

Xxxx! , resoldering bananas instead of the pins on the SR70 for the surrounds will be a pain, but have stay at least quasi-audiophile here

LACK OF FINESSE? How come then stereophile magazines put Panasonic digital amps in comparisons with others that cost 10 times more? Technics/Panasonic have a long tradition on digital amps, the SA-SR55 is well respected here. Wait until i can set this little guy up, will post.
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post #10 of 699 Old 10-30-2008, 06:55 AM
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Interesting partial review.

http://www.homecinemachoice.com/revi...asonic+sabx500
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post #11 of 699 Old 10-30-2008, 07:06 AM
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its next gen model will be worth the look, not this one.
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post #12 of 699 Old 10-30-2008, 12:13 PM
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While I did not read Richard Stevensons entire Home Cinema Choice magazine article what was published on the website for the last month really has me taking backstrokes as using the SA-BX500 as a 7 Channel AMP for a Pre/Pro.

My 4 Ohm speakers are power hungry needing 30WPC minimum. Coup that with 6 other 8 Ohm speakers and a 100WPC powered Sub to round out 7.1
I am really concerned not only if the Panny can perform at moderate levels but that even in a temporary situation for two years if it is just not in the power class for my requirements.

excerpt from the Mark Stevenson article in Home Choice Cinema

http://www.homecinemachoice.com/revi...asonic+sabx500

All receivers at Home Cinema Choice are tested in a lab, and subjectively in a listening room. Objectively, we found the receiver to be lacking compared to the claimed specifications. This is no muscle amp.

The ratings system we publish in HCC for amplifier power is based on the percentage of the manufacturer's claimed output power achieved in technical tests. For example, if a receiver delivers more than 100% of rated power, it's rated Excellent' (five stars) by the Tech labs team. If it delivers less than 75 percent of the rated power it's deemed Poor (one star).


In the case of the SA-BX500, the claimed channel output is 130W, but the measured output was between 40W and 75W depending on number of channels used and speaker impedance; under 75% in all cases. Such a discrepancy is not unknown at the bottom end of the market, where hyperbole is rife. But certainly enough for the men in white coats to give it the thumbs down.
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post #13 of 699 Old 10-30-2008, 04:47 PM
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Folks (especially Trendmonger),
This is not a receiver made for the HT enthusiasts. It works well for people who use it as a receiver as well as a music/stereo system. Audiophiles (including myself) use it in biamp mode where we use all 6 amps for stereo. Note, we also drive it directly without a DAC in between. This gives a very transparent sound. Actually, that is where the Panny excels, as a Power Amp + DAC combo. If you are using it with a pre/pro then the analog signal will get digitized again and amplified in the digital domain by the Panny. One more thing, the Panny may not work well with power hungry speakers/speakers with wild impedence curves. I use mine with Silverline Sonatina speakers which are made for SET amps.
I am interested in this now because, with HDMI my audio of movies will get enhanced with the new HD audio formats. (I am a little concerned about the fan though).
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post #14 of 699 Old 10-30-2008, 08:15 PM
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The whole appeal of Pannys has always been in superior 2 channel playback. The fact that it's a receiver is an extra flexibility feature so can also use your setup as HT. Only people who care about true class d, biamp, biwire would want to shell out the $. That would be me, but what's up with the fan?
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post #15 of 699 Old 11-04-2008, 05:37 AM
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FYI, the BX500 is listed and available on the club panasonic web site for sale. If you have a panasonic purchase program discount account thru your employer it also has a nice price (40% off) as well with free shipping.

see here:
http://www2.panasonic.com/consumer-e...00000000008615
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post #16 of 699 Old 11-04-2008, 01:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trendmonger View Post

... in the case of the SA-BX500, the claimed channel output is 130W, but the measured output was between 40W and 75W depending on number of channels used and speaker impedance; under 75% in all cases. Such a discrepancy is not unknown at the bottom end of the market, where hyperbole is rife. But certainly enough for the men in white coats to give it the thumbs down.[/i]

Hm, funny how you somehow missed what comes right below the paragraph you quoted:

"... What the tech data doesn't tell you, and what you won't find out until you live with the BX500, is that there's real emotive power in its digital amp modules. When the SA-BX100 cracks out an electrifying edition of Rehab you can forgive it all the misgivings.... It comes across every bit as classy, refined and detailed as its nearest competitor, the better specified Sony STR-DG820, but expands on the sound-stage in every direction.

Switch to Blu-ray movies and the elaborate guffawing of The Fifth Element swells into the room with great emotional drive. The Diva's operatic song is strangely enthralling, without a ragged edge or dull tone...."

I am holding off to see what's coming from Panasonic early next year, but if my experience with the SA-XR57 holds true, their amps are perfect for me - in my subjective tests, the SA-XR57 was noticeably better with my Gallo Solos, than the HK, NAD and Denon I compared it to. In fact, its sound was the closest I could get to the sound of my Class A amp (Pass Aleph,) but without the heat.

I really like digital amps (but am not as enamored with ICE, as some seem to be.) I also have the feeling most of the audio industry hates them, because they make it harder to justify a hefty mark up.
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post #17 of 699 Old 11-04-2008, 02:13 PM
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While I don't have any expensive gear to compare my SA-XR55 to at home it is my favorite over a Yamaha 663 (not including the new high rez codecs in this comparison), and an Outlaw 950/amp combination. These digital receivers from Panasonic have never tested well in any benchmark reviews. It's how they sound that makes a difference.

bobpaule,
How's your listening going? Keep us posted!
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post #18 of 699 Old 11-05-2008, 09:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KramerTC View Post

.....
bobpaule,
How's your listening going? Keep us posted!

With 12 hour shifts and 3 kids under 5 not too well i am afraid.

In fact it is still in the box, on top of it the Reon VX (a must for my 1080i XBR960 TV) based BD-P2550 Netflix/Pandora BD player, and the CS400i center i recently acquired to timbre match my Polk RT800i towers.

The 3 yo finally managed to topple the RT800i and create a hole in the wall, so now i will drill through the floor and the TV to secure all the speakers from the hands of the little explorers.

I will take a half day off to do all this, then i will post as soon as i get to it.
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post #19 of 699 Old 11-06-2008, 07:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trendmonger View Post

Against
Shrill sound, tricky configuration and a real lack of sonic finesse

Lack of finesse is clear
But none of that really matters next to the Panasonic's sound. Optimistically rated at 150w per channel (using the most flattering criteria possible), it's a shrill-sounding sonic weed in a class of muscle-bound powerhouses.

Even after its auto-calibration process has done its stuff, the receiver's lack of finesse and composure at modest volumes is obvious - but push it with anything demanding, and its shrieking, uncomfortably edgy balance is distinctly off-putting, as is its flattened, compressed presentation of what should be substantial dynamic shifts.

You have to wonder whether they disabled dynamic range compression or not for their review. I love my XR55 but when DR compression is turned on, I would have to agree that the above is an accurate description of the resultant sound quality. Turn it off and it's a whole different story, of course.
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post #20 of 699 Old 11-09-2008, 06:56 PM
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I am interested in reading your review Bob. I own and adore my SA-XR700. The sound is clean, tight and exact. People commonly come by and comment on what they deem as accuracy in sound. So clear, so defined.

It pains me to upgrade, but I am in a 7.1 environment and the SA-XR700 can only apply Dolby ProLogic IIx processing to stretch 5.1 to 7.1 on DTS Core/Dolby Digital Bitstreams as well as 2 channel PCM tracks. Since I only watch Blu-ray and listen to it as 24-bit/48khz 5.1 PCM I have 2 dead channels unless the disc has 7.1 on it. The SA-BX500 allows Dolby ProLogic IIx on all sources.

I am specifically interested in knowing if the the receiver can properly switch from PCM and Bitstreamed on the same input with ease. The SA-XR700 has difficulty on Blu-ray movies sometimes. The PS3 runs in PCM until I slip in a Blu-ray, the intro and menu on all Blu-ray movies I have are in Dolby Digital 448/640kbps or less which is Bitstreamed to the Receiver, when the movie starts the Receiver switches to PCM but improperly locks on to the rate and fails to playback audio, requiring a power cycle of the receiver.

Just write up a nice user review!

Thanks.
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post #21 of 699 Old 11-12-2008, 09:20 PM - Thread Starter
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OK, the unit is installed. My system:

1. Polk RT800i biamped / CS400i / M5 surrounds / PSW250 sub.
2. Monster HTS3500 conditioner.
3. Sony XBR910 1080i TV.
4. Samsung BD-P2550 BD/Netflix/Pandora.
5. Philips DVP-3962 $25 HDMI 568p DivX player.
6. Muxlab baluns/IR extender HD from basement VIP622 Dish receiver.
7. Audiovox PPC6700 cell phone WiFi Shoutcast stations via GS Player software.
8. Gold plated spades, silver solder, 12 AWG O2 free wiring.



First impressions are that setup is not as bad as thought of given that there is no OSD.

Fed her some Pandora tunes PCM via the Samsung BD-P2550 and i have to say that dynamic range was impressive out of the box, no calibration. Bass is where this baby excels, it is like someone took the "dynamic range compression" off my former SA-XR70S. I still cannot believe how much detail i hear from this 11 lb marvel. Beautiful polyphony on jazz saxophone pieces like Kenny G, Beasley, or Hardcastle, all instruments come alive, for a moment i thought i was in the basement with my separates system. Does not overheat, it is quiet.

Fed it analog from my old cell phone an Audiovox PPC7600 Shoutcast/GSPlayer WiFi and i loved what i heard, not as clear as the Sammy, but we are talking 44 kHz here.

BD excelled, great surround and enveloping front stage (the CS400 center off Craigslist came right on time for the install) from Ice Age.

And then my $25 Philips 568p passing HDMI region free (thx. videohelp.com) DVD player did not do too bad with my kids DVDs. Had to get it as i have this 3 year old who believes loading a DVD in the tray is just the coolest thing ever, the result is we are on our 3rd player in one year.

The Dish VIP622 via Muxlab baluns carrying component video and coax digital sound did well, Palladia concerts DD 5.1 sounded great, not as enveloping as uncompressed tracks or Pandora stations.

No video processing, so HQV based players are a plus, esp. when you have a 1080i display.

Needless to say i love my SA-BX500 for what it does, ie a simple solution for HD sound with great 2 channel biamping included sound. Agree with this part of the review from Home Cinema Choice:

Quote:


Bass effect

Viking: Battle for Asgard has an immediate, upfront and spacious sound backed by fairly enthusiastic LFE which the BX500 nails perfectly. It comes across every bit as classy, refined and detailed as the Sony STR-DG820 but expands on the sound-stage in every direction.

The sound kicks bass butt with every crunching axe blow. The ropey dialogue in the cut-scenes is a little too smooth but it does at least buff out the rough edges.

Switch to Blu-ray movies and the elaborate guffawing of Fifth Element swells into the room with great emotional drive. The bass effect of every gunshot is utterly addictive. The Diva's operatic song is strangely enthralling, without a ragged edge or dull tone. A couple of extra dB on the centre channel
brings the dialogue up.

When the going gets tough this Panasonic clearly hasn't got the gumption of some rivals, but what
it does have is genuine all-round appeal.

The not so good:

1. It cycles through inputs, always starting at "FM", so you have to keep that Harmony remote pointed a bit until it reaches the input. I shortened the input delay by 200ms, helped a bit.

2. MACC is pure sxxt. No worries, the RS SPL meter did the job, after all this is the living room system.

Would i buy it again, YOU BETYA!

Sorry for the unprofessional review, i am sure one of the cognescenti will rise to the occasion and post a better one soon.

I heard no "shrill sound" or distortion at loud volumes and i have a fairly large living room, the asymmetrical ceiling may help to break up some standing waves. I have no argument with the power ratings in one of the reviews, but my speakers are very sensitive and i am no Jamo/rap at max volumes fan, nor do i ride my Kubota tractor without ear protection
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post #22 of 699 Old 11-12-2008, 10:05 PM
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Thank you for the review. I'm glad you liked it.
I've a question..."it cycles through inputs..."...I'm sorry I haven't read the manual in detail yet... are you telling us you don't have a discrete button on the remote to select your hdmi sources? Or is that Harmony doesn't have the discrete codes yet?
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post #23 of 699 Old 11-13-2008, 05:27 AM
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You are saying this receiver reproduces music better than the SA-XR70, just bass or it is the same wonderful quality of sound?

I can see that you are pleased, but confused over your thoughts.

What is MACC?
And Dynamic Compression is off?
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post #24 of 699 Old 11-13-2008, 12:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KramerTC View Post

Thank you for the review. I'm glad you liked it.
I've a question..."it cycles through inputs..."...I'm sorry I haven't read the manual in detail yet... are you telling us you don't have a discrete button on the remote to select your hdmi sources? Or is that Harmony doesn't have the discrete codes yet?

The remote only has discrete codes for BD/DVD, DVDR, and one more input. The problem is that if i teach the Harmony the code, then the remote skips over the correct input if i switch inputs to non-discrete inputs. The receiver basically always starts at "FM" then jumps as many inputs as memorized in the Harmony remote. I hope this makes sense to you. Sorry, new to English, bad immigrant here.

So i just left it the way the Harmony programs using presets. That is it will go through each input until it hits the right one. Bit of a hassle though.

I would appreciate if someone could send Harmony discretes for all inputs, but so far no luck.

============================================================ ============================

Quote:
Originally Posted by vhato View Post

You are saying this receiver reproduces music better than the SA-XR70, just bass or it is the same wonderful quality of sound?

I can see that you are pleased, but confused over your thoughts.

What is MACC?
And Dynamic Compression is off?

Sounds more dynamic on two channel, and the bass is much deeper, still you can hear transitions very well, and high tones like a flute or trumpet get spacially staged precisely over the LFE background, like bass or percussion. Yes, i am very pleasantly impressed. Keep in mind i used the same exact setup with the SA-XR70S.

Now to answer your questions:

MACC is Microphone Assisted Channel Calibration, IIRC but i may be wrong. Unless Audyssey it is usually preferable to pursue the RS SPL meter DYI method well detailed elsewhere on the forum.

DRC is a function where the dialog level is kept constant, so very loud sounds will sound soft but not viceversa. This way you can still hear people talking over the loud car driving across the front stage.
In other words, Compression reduces the level of the loud sounds, but not the quiet sounds, thus, the level can be raised to a point where the quiet sounds are more audible without the loud sounds being too loud, if this makes sense to you. It is a killer of good music, but a blessing for parents of little children trying to watch Hollywood mainstream junk. For real fun there is the basement HT of course.

Hope this helps.
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post #25 of 699 Old 11-13-2008, 06:56 PM
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bobpaule (you g-d of early adopters):

Can you comment on these two items-

1. For a 5.1 setup (NOT 7.1) Is the biamp active for 5.1 channel as well as 2.0 channel playback? My current XR57 does biamp for 5.1 and 2.0.

2. Does the BX500 have the dreaded LFE bug? ie. LFE sound is too 10db too low. Test this by sending the DD or DTS bitstream to the BX500 from your DVD player and then compare it with DD/DTS decoded in the DVD player and sent as separate PCM streams over the HDMI connection.
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post #26 of 699 Old 11-13-2008, 10:31 PM
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Bob..thanks for the review. I can also relate to your experiences with your 3 yr old. My 3 yrs old even goes to the extent slipping the cover out of the DVD jewel boxes. My Oppo 970 has become the 'toy' dvd player after I got the Sony BD s350 player.
BTW, how loud/quiet is the fan ? Looks like I will spring for this (currently using a xr55). Even the xr700 is supposed to be better than the xr57. So I guess this receiver must have a better power supply or something.
Also, not sure whether you will believe aftermarket digital or power cables make a difference. It is probably worth a try if you are so keenly interested.
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post #27 of 699 Old 11-14-2008, 01:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by SoftwireEngineer View Post

Bob..thanks for the review. I can also relate to your experiences with your 3 yr old. My 3 yrs old even goes to the extent slipping the cover out of the DVD jewel boxes. My Oppo 970 has become the 'toy' dvd player after I got the Sony BD s350 player.
BTW, how loud/quiet is the fan ? Looks like I will spring for this (currently using a xr55). Even the xr700 is supposed to be better than the xr57. So I guess this receiver must have a better power supply or something.
Also, not sure whether you will believe aftermarket digital or power cables make a difference. It is probably worth a try if you are so keenly interested.

I'll give you a childproofing tip. Go to WalMart or AutoZone and get the biggest zipties you can find. Link 4-8 of these together and pass it over the components and shelf (assuming you already epoxied the shelf into the cabinet, hehe) and tighten it. Now no component will ever "migrate" without the use of some serious cutting tools.

So far i have never heard the fan work, but i use it at low volumes mostly.

The digital interconnects will always be Ramelectronics for me, as are all short HDMI cables. As for the power cables, the old faithful Monster HTS3500 conditioner seems to be cutting it. Now the problem is that i plugged the X10 IR module for the light dimming into the conditioner and it would not pass the signal, darrrrn!
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post #28 of 699 Old 11-15-2008, 04:41 PM
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Bob..that ties idea is great. Not sure other people appreciate how useful it can be :-) I just pulled the trigger on the receiver as J&R had a sub-500 price this weekend.
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post #29 of 699 Old 11-17-2008, 11:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoftwireEngineer View Post

Bob..that ties idea is great. Not sure other people appreciate how useful it can be :-) I just pulled the trigger on the receiver as J&R had a sub-500 price this weekend.

SoftwireEngineer, I await with interest your review. I followed in your footsteps years ago with my SA-XR45, upgraded powercable and powervar isolation transformer. I cannot wait to do the same with the BX500.
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post #30 of 699 Old 11-20-2008, 04:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dm View Post

SoftwireEngineer, I await with interest your review. I followed in your footsteps years ago with my SA-XR45, upgraded powercable and powervar isolation transformer. I cannot wait to do the same with the BX500.

I received the UPS 2 days delivery yesterday. Immediately plugged it in (wanted to forget work and stock market mayhem :-( ) . I heard a difference in sound immediately, compared to my previous XR55. The difference is mainly in the depth of the sound or in audiophile terms, soundstage. The sounds are also more well-defined, I think. I played Night at the Museum and was able to hear DTS HD (seems like it has more dynamic range). Then I played some songs from my Squeezebox. Surely, the sound is an improvement versus the XR55. It also feels like it has more power.
Again, all this is my first impression. The receiver does not look that great and the power plug is a polarized C7 standard (unlike the one in the picture in this thread). I was able to use C7-IEC power cord adapter and aftermarket power cords going to my balanced power conditions. I also heard the fan when I got my ears to 1 feet of the receiver and the sound playing at the minimum 79, in the middle of a quiet night.
For around 500 bucks, I think this is a good receiver for the 3 HDMI inputs and new HD audio format processing and sound quality. More detailed reports later.
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