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Receivers, Amps, and Processors > Picture of Panasonic SA-XR50 and SA-XR50S Released!
beowulf7's Avatar beowulf7 11:09 PM 03-19-2004
I was browsing around J&R and saw that they finally published the photos of the Panasonic SA-XR50(S) receivers.

SA-XR50S in Silver

SA-XR50 in Black

Here are the specs for the silver one (which should be the same as the black receiver). I noticed that only DPLII is mentioned, not DPLIIx. What gives? Is Panasonic only releasing that for the SA-XR70(S)? J&R's Web site still has not links to those receivers; and their specs were pulled from their Web site a couple weeks ago. :confused:

Anyway, the pics of the SA-XR50(S) look quite different that what the SA-XR25(S) and SA-XR45(S) look like. :eek:

youngatl's Avatar youngatl 12:45 PM 03-20-2004
How are the digital receivers, such as these Panasonics, supposed to compare to the traditional AV receiver, like Denon, Onkyo, etc?
lespurgeon's Avatar lespurgeon 06:24 PM 03-20-2004
very, very well for the price. Search on XR45, the last version from Panasonic. It was/is much praised.
rcmoto's Avatar rcmoto 08:27 PM 03-20-2004
Beowulf,are you getting one of these things or have you already pulled the trigger?
Thasp's Avatar Thasp 08:36 PM 03-20-2004
A few sites revealed that the 'true' power output of the XR45 was about below 45 watts per channel for stereo, which is way off from the manufactor's rating of 100 watts per channel(a tad too optomistic for me), so I hope they improved the digital amps for this one. :|
beowulf7's Avatar beowulf7 08:43 PM 03-20-2004
Quote:
Originally posted by Thasp
A few sites revealed that the 'true' power output of the XR45 was about below 45 watts per channel for stereo, which is way off from the manufactor's rating of 100 watts per channel(a tad too optomistic for me), so I hope they improved the digital amps for this one. :|
Only 45?! :eek: I hope the amps are more beefed up and truer to the rated spec. We'll find out, the only question is when.
cpc's Avatar cpc 07:02 AM 03-21-2004
Those sites probably rated the receivers into 8 ohms. Panasonic has developed a habit of rating their receivers into 6 ohms. It isn't exactly the best practice being that most speakers are 8 ohms, however, at least the receivers can drive 6 ohm speakers. 4 ohm load handling would be better, but some mid-grade receivers have trouble with sub 8 ohm loads so at least the Panny's can give a little more current than the average bargain receivers. You'd think, but maybe not? The 100 watts was rated into 6 ohms so I imagine the most they'd get into 8 ohms was 66 watts?
DooDoo's Avatar DooDoo 07:53 AM 03-21-2004
Quote:
Originally posted by Thasp
A few sites revealed that the 'true' power output of the XR45 was about below 45 watts per channel for stereo, which is way off from the manufactor's rating of 100 watts per channel(a tad too optomistic for me), so I hope they improved the digital amps for this one. :|
Please confirm your facts before you post false information. As the attached link provides, the XR-25 (lessser model) tested out at 82watts/channel with 5 channels driven into 8 ohms by Sound & Vision. The xr25/45 have far and away the most power in their class (sub $300 receivers), nothing else even comes close.

http://soundandvisionmag.com/assets/...7200314244.pdf
beowulf7's Avatar beowulf7 07:53 AM 03-21-2004
Quote:
Originally posted by cpc
Those sites probably rated the receivers into 8 ohms. Panasonic has developed a habit of rating their receivers into 6 ohms. It isn't exactly the best practice being that most speakers are 8 ohms, however, at least the receivers can drive 6 ohm speakers. 4 ohm load handling would be better, but some mid-grade receivers have trouble with sub 8 ohm loads so at least the Panny's can give a little more current than the average bargain receivers. You'd think, but maybe not? The 100 watts was rated into 6 ohms so I imagine the most they'd get into 8 ohms was 66 watts?
I asked about converting between 6-ohm and 8-ohm in this thread. JorgeLopez and another fellow were kind enough to respond.
eggman51's Avatar eggman51 06:50 PM 03-22-2004
Minor update on the XR50...

I have some contacts in Canada at a large electronics retailer.

Supposedly scheduled to be on sale in major electronics retailers in Canada starting April 7th.

MSRP Canadian will be $399 CDN for XR50 and $699 CDN for XR70. About the lowest price it will be possible to pick up an XR50 is $299 CDN, which is what I expect to pay for mine (due to contacts, don't think it will be offered that way publicly). I notice them at $299 USD on JandR.com, so $399 CDN seems a fair price (in comparison to how the XR25 models were priced across the border).

Although I am unclear on the differences between the XR50 and XR70 (except what is already known and inherited from the previous models) I think I will be getting an XR50 because $300 CDN is just so damn cheap .. I've won more on a good poker night :p

Eamonn
beowulf7's Avatar beowulf7 07:53 PM 03-22-2004
Quote:
Originally posted by eggman51
Minor update on the XR50...

I have some contacts in Canada at a large electronics retailer.

Supposedly scheduled to be on sale in major electronics retailers in Canada starting April 7th.

MSRP Canadian will be $399 CDN for XR50 and $699 CDN for XR70. About the lowest price it will be possible to pick up an XR50 is $299 CDN, which is what I expect to pay for mine (due to contacts, don't think it will be offered that way publicly). I notice them at $299 USD on JandR.com, so $399 CDN seems a fair price (in comparison to how the XR25 models were priced across the border).

Although I am unclear on the differences between the XR50 and XR70 (except what is already known and inherited from the previous models) I think I will be getting an XR50 because $300 CDN is just so damn cheap .. I've won more on a good poker night :p

Eamonn
Thanks for the update. I'd also be interested in the following differences: XR25 vs. XR50 and XR45 vs. XR70. Ideally, I'd like to see a table comparing all 4 of those receivers on all sorts of specs. April 7, eh? What about the XR70, same time, too? Thanks for the teaser. ;)
eggman51's Avatar eggman51 08:13 PM 03-22-2004
no word on the availability of the XR70. For this particular retailer... the "high end" model is the 50, as they are comparing XR30 (XR15) to the XR50 (XR25). They are not carrying the XR70.

I suppose I could pressure my mate into finding out about the XR70, but $300 CDN for the XR50 is a fantastic deal (think about $220 USD) ... so I don't want to push my luck hehe.

Also .. my current Kenwood 2090 has basically gone belly up. However the stereo signal processing seems to be fine. I am going to use the "tape out" type functionality on the XR50 to go to the 2090 and use the A & B functionality on the 2090 to add speakers to the sundeck and other parts of the house for when we have parties. On my HTPC I am going to add a "booze it up music mode" button which will turn on A & B speakers on the 2090 and replicate whatever tunes are playing on the XR50 out to the rest of the party. Hopefully that will work and negates one of the differences between the 25/50 and 45/70 receivers.

OK sorry got distracted and was thinking aloud hehe :p

Should have an XR50 within a couple of weeks, doesn't look like I'll have the patience to wait on the XR70 and don't think it's as attractively priced or available for the same type of deal I can get on the 50. Connecting it to an HTPC so it's a perfect match for a budget HTPC system, will post any further updates if / when I get new info.

Eamonn
beowulf7's Avatar beowulf7 08:25 PM 03-22-2004
eggman, thanks for following up. I have one more question regarding the 2 Panasonic digi-amp'ed receivers. The press release for the XR70 said that it would support DPLIIx (DPL = Dolby Pro Logic). Will XR50 do that as well? J&R's Web site only indicates standard DPLII, but maybe their spec is wrong. Thanks.

BTW, nice job there trying to replicate the XR45/70's functionality w/ your anticipated XR50. :cool:
eggman51's Avatar eggman51 10:20 PM 03-22-2004
will see if I can find any information on DPLIIx support in the 50.

I did see a "powerpoint slide" type spec sheet for the XR50 and it did definitely add some decoding options over the 25, but it was flashed in front of me really quick.

I'll see if I can dig up more info on the 50 specs. Because they are not carrying the 70 he has little or no info on it beyond what you and I would already know.

Eamonn
SteveSatch's Avatar SteveSatch 10:58 PM 03-22-2004
All I want to know is if the subwoofer crossover will be 100 hz.
eggman51's Avatar eggman51 11:21 PM 03-22-2004
OK well I can't answer the crossover question and I douby my mate will know. Also .. it did just occur to me that the added decoding was DTS 96/24. I will double check tomorrow if DPLIIx was added, but I don't think so.

NOTE ON THE PICTURES:
Quote:
Originally posted by J.J.R.#4
Those pictures on the first page are VERY misleading. The parts with the component connections have been blacked out or otherwise 'covered' or 'altered'. This is very apparent with the picture of the XR45, less so with the XR25.

I have the XR25, and there are definitely component inputs (two of them) and component out (one). If I remember correctly, they're between the other video inputs and the fan on the back, where it's blacked out on the XR45 picture..

Have a look at the manuals.

I'm surprised no one else noticed this as well. Eggman51 - you should make a note of this below the pictures.

JJR
Check out these pictures sourced from here:
http://www.avland.co.uk/panasonic/saxr50/saxr50.htm

Front of the XR50:
http://www.avland.co.uk/panasonic/saxr50/saxr50lrg.jpg

...in comparison to the front of the XR25:
http://www.avland.co.uk/panasonic/saxr25/saxr25lrg.jpg

... and the front of the XR45
http://www.avland.co.uk/panasonic/saxr45/saxr452lrg.jpg

and the rear of the XR50:
http://www.avland.co.uk/panasonic/saxr50/saxr50rear.jpg

...in comparison to the rear of the XR25:
http://www.avland.co.uk/panasonic/saxr25/rearlrg.jpg

... in comparison to the rear of the XR45:
http://www.avland.co.uk/panasonic/saxr45/rear2lrg.jpg

Unless those are doctored pictures .. one thing I notice is that there is a "multi source re-master" button. If that is what it sounds like, then I believe this was previously only on the XR45. It's relavant to me because all my source is high bitrate MP3, which I understand this process adds some sound quality to. I do notice it is labelled as "multi source digital re-master" on the XR45 (likely the same, think it's just because they ran out of rrom on the button hehe).

However if those pictures are accurate then some new things on the XR 50 are:
  • A & B speaker support
  • Multi Source Remaster
  • "multi control" (whatever that is .. button near volume, likely AB volume control)
  • in addition to DTS 96/24

Sorry for the large pics, but thought they might be of interest to folks.

Eamonn
beowulf7's Avatar beowulf7 11:29 PM 03-22-2004
Thanks again, eggman! One thing I noticed is that according to the press release (and its pic), the XR70 will have banana plug connector for not only the front L & R channels but also for the front C. For the XR50, it only looks like the front L & R speakers will have that better connection (like the older XR25 and XR45) while the front C gets the cheaper spring clips. :(
Pace's Avatar Pace 07:53 AM 03-23-2004
Quote:
Originally posted by DooDoo
Please confirm your facts before you post false information. As the attached link provides, the XR-25 (lessser model) tested out at 82watts/channel with 5 channels driven into 8 ohms by Sound & Vision. The xr25/45 have far and away the most power in their class (sub $300 receivers), nothing else even comes close.
h t t p : / / w w w . wvip. co . uk /cgi-bin/outputpdf.php?file=HCC/200309/062_HC_0903.pdf

Read... and weep...

As a noob I can't use URL-tags... grrr...
cpc's Avatar cpc 07:53 AM 03-23-2004
All I would really be concerned about is whether or not the receiver exhibits audio-dropouts. I think it would be ironic if these "digital" receivers cut-off the beginning of the signal for digitally connected sources.

Interesting pics. I cannot believe that Panasonic is putting out a receiver with "coax" in for the DVD digital input when most of their DVD players have optical audio outputs! My Panny DVD player has optical audio. Don't most Panny's?

Also would love an adustable crossover, or at least 80hz.

Do these receivers have any "tone" controls or a "loudness" control?
eggman51's Avatar eggman51 04:38 PM 03-23-2004
I was able to confirm the following information on the XR50:

- adds A & B speakers
- adds DTS 96/24
- adds multi source digital remaster (previously ony on XR45)
- adds "bass synthesizer" (no idea what it is, mate says it's basically a loudness control; not sure if it has any crossover setting relavance)
- DOES NOT add DPLIIx

Retail availability date IN CANADA of April 7th currently seems pretty solid.

No idea on the crossover settings (not worried for my own application as I have a crossover setting on my sub itself).

No idea on "dropouts" I think this will require testing the receiver itself. I'll post findings when I get one.

Note that A&B on the 45 required a second amplifier connected to the second audio out ports; A&B on the 50 is a "true" A&B speaker setup (not sure if B can play different source than A; the "multi control" button implies it might, but I may be totally misinterpreting that).

All in all, this is really appears to be a great receiver for my limited "Wife Approved" budget situation, particularly when connecting it to an all digital HTPC environment. Many of the things on the XR45 have trickled into the XR50 (multi source remaster) and some new stuff as well (DTS 96/24 and A&B speakers).

I am really excited about getting one, especially given that my 6 year old Kenwood is dying.

=====

As for the article referenced here:
http://www.wvip.co.uk/cgi-bin/output...62_HC_0903.pdf

I would say it's a *very* mediocre article. Most of the "review" is compiled from general data about digital amplifier technology. If I was responsible for a review where the amplifier exhibited such a huge discrepancy between stated power and measured power, I would be compelled to dig into the issue pretty deeply. They rate the measured output at 25% of the manufactures rated output .. and only about 30% of the article is actually devoted to the product in listening / practical tests.

I dunno much about the magazine "Home Ciname Choice" but the article from Sound and Vision referenced above (http://soundandvisionmag.com/assets/...7200314244.pdf full article here: http://www.soundandvisionmag.com/art...&page_number=1) seems like a much more credible source and a better quality review.

IMHO anywhoo.

Eamonn
loopy's Avatar loopy 04:43 PM 03-23-2004
them things look like toys
Thasp's Avatar Thasp 05:17 PM 03-23-2004
Quote:
Originally posted by DooDoo
Please confirm your facts before you post false information. As the attached link provides, the XR-25 (lessser model) tested out at 82watts/channel with 5 channels driven into 8 ohms by Sound & Vision. The xr25/45 have far and away the most power in their class (sub $300 receivers), nothing else even comes close.

http://soundandvisionmag.com/assets/...7200314244.pdf
I received the information from this review(PDF onboard) http://www.homecinemachoice.com/fram...?reviewid=3387 , which seemed to be a reputable site. Now I'm a bit confused, although I'll trust your information to be correct since you seem to be a bit more experienced around here. :)
SteveSatch's Avatar SteveSatch 07:16 PM 03-23-2004
Quote:
Originally posted by eggman51
:
No idea on the crossover settings (not worried for my own application as I have a crossover setting on my sub itself).

Eamonn
Thanks for the info. I may be an idiot here, but I thought it didn't matter about having a crossover setting on the sub. The sub can only deal with the signal it's sent right? You can set your sub at 80, but it the receiver is set at 100, there's a big gap in your bass right? As I understand it, a high crossover can only be dealt with by setting the front speakers to large and having the bass sent to both the sub and the front speakers This is something I don't want to do so a high crossover on the XR-70 would be a deal breaker for me. It's between the HK 7200 and the Panasonic. I don't know if I can wait on the Panasonic before the Hk sells out.
beowulf7's Avatar beowulf7 08:05 PM 03-23-2004
eggman, thanks again for following up. Too bad the XR50 doesn't support DPLIIx, which the XR70 supposedly will. I guess that's how Panasonic can justify its $100 US (and $300 CA :eek: ) premium.

My final question (for now) would be how does the XR50 compare, head-to-head, against the XR70. Both are DPLII, have digital remastering, A&B (which the XR50 supposedly does better), etc.
Pace's Avatar Pace 12:22 AM 03-24-2004
Quote:
Originally posted by Thasp
I received the information from this review(PDF onboard) {URL removed due to newbieness}, which seemed to be a reputable site. Now I'm a bit confused, although I'll trust your information to be correct since you seem to be a bit more experienced around here. :)
The difference in the measured power is caused by different measuring techniques. Sound and Vision in their measurments didn't care about distortion at all, they only measured the power just before the amp started clipping, so for all we know, the material might have had so much distortion that it would've been unlistenable in normal use at those levels.

Homecinema Choice on the other hand have taken a more Hi-Fi approach to their measurments and measured the output power when the THD is at 0.1%.

It is a matter of opinion, but in my opinion the Homecinema Choices measurments holds much more value, as it actually tells how much clean power the amp is able to deliver.
cpc's Avatar cpc 09:06 AM 03-24-2004
SteveSatch,

Some receivers have a crossover for the mains but regardless, send a full range to the subwoofer.
dwk123's Avatar dwk123 11:11 AM 03-24-2004
Quote:
Originally posted by Pace
The difference in the measured power is caused by different measuring techniques. Sound and Vision in their measurments didn't care about distortion at all, they only measured the power just before the amp started clipping, so for all we know, the material might have had so much distortion that it would've been unlistenable in normal use at those levels.

Homecinema Choice on the other hand have taken a more Hi-Fi approach to their measurments and measured the output power when the THD is at 0.1%.

It is a matter of opinion, but in my opinion the Homecinema Choices measurments holds much more value, as it actually tells how much clean power the amp is able to deliver.
That's fine as far as it goes, but the details of how they measure are still very important with the XR units. Digital amplifiers all have a large amount of switching noise on their outputs due to the PWM techniques - 350kHz in the case of the XR receivers. How you filter this when making THD+N measurements is very important. If they measured full-bandwidth, (ie NOT with the typical 20kHz AES filter) then it's probably not unreasonable that distortion from switching noise could hit 0.1% at those low power levels. The specs from TI and Panasonic are undoubtedly with the filter in place, which give the 80-100 w/channel numbers.

Since the Panasonic output stages are very close to the TI references described in their docs, the TI lit is a good source of info for understanding what's going on. Audio-bandwidth distortion is actually relatively low until you start pushing decent power, and the spectrum from the amps stages themselves is mostly low order, with very low IMD. (The TI modulation scheme is zero-feedback) The inductors in the output filter unfortunately undermine this somewhat, though.
Pace's Avatar Pace 12:51 PM 03-24-2004
Quote:
Originally posted by dwk123
That's fine as far as it goes, but the details of how they measure are still very important with the XR units. Digital amplifiers all have a large amount of switching noise on their outputs due to the PWM techniques - 350kHz in the case of the XR receivers. How you filter this when making THD+N measurements is very important. If they measured full-bandwidth, (ie NOT with the typical 20kHz AES filter) then it's probably not unreasonable that distortion from switching noise could hit 0.1% at those low power levels. The specs from TI and Panasonic are undoubtedly with the filter in place, which give the 80-100 w/channel numbers.

Since the Panasonic output stages are very close to the TI references described in their docs, the TI lit is a good source of info for understanding what's going on. Audio-bandwidth distortion is actually relatively low until you start pushing decent power, and the spectrum from the amps stages themselves is mostly low order, with very low IMD. (The TI modulation scheme is zero-feedback) The inductors in the output filter unfortunately undermine this somewhat, though.
What you say is possible. But I would still prefer if Panasonic would have just included this kind of filter in the XR25/45 design rather than leaving it on the shoulders of the one making the measurments.
beowulf7's Avatar beowulf7 01:43 PM 03-24-2004
I called Panasonic today (800-211-PANA). This is what the CSR told me.

The SA-XR50 is meant to replace the SA-XR45 (I thought it was replacing the SA-XR25). Panasonic will ship the XR50 receiver by the end of the month and (r)e(-)tailers will start selling them next month, April 2004. She couldn't tell me any of the specs since they are just preliminary. But eggman's posts and J&R's listing do help. I'm still curious as to what all the differences are between the XR50 and XR45. :confused:

Now what she said next kind of disappointed me. The XR70 is not planned on being released until August 2004 (which is what the press release for CES 2004 said). :( And that is supposed to be a new receiver; it's not replacing a previous model. So basically, the XR25 is being phased out, the XR45 is being replaced by the XR50, and the XR70 is a new receiver. : \\

So I think I'm just going to buy the XR50 from J&R for $300 and be done with it. It would've been nice to get DPLIIx, but I can't wait until August for the XR70. :(
eggman51's Avatar eggman51 02:23 PM 03-24-2004
Beowulf:

What you say there not totally makes sense. The XR50 was shaping up to be a lot mroe like the XR45 than expected (a really good thing for me because it was the 45 I was originally after).

Don't forget about the XR30 which is likely the new replacement for the XR25. It sounds to me more like the XR15 is the one being phased out based on the features I have seen in the 30.

That also makes "sense" marketing wise and the model number replacements are "+5" increments (XR25 --> 30, XR45 --> 50).

Like you I can't wait for the XR70 and frankly the XR50 really is what I am after. Can't wait to get one!

Eamonn
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