Ok, here are the results from the mini shootout for H/T sonics from three digital, and in some cases analog wonders.
This was kept real short as we had already been through a few hours of 2 channel comparisons that you can read about over at www.audiocircle.com
The three wonders are
Panasonic sa-xr 45
The other two people in this shootout, my wife and 26 year old nephew were not blindfolded for the H/T comparison for obvious reasons.
All receivers used the same VH pulsar 1.5 m digital coaxial connection and same speaker wire.
All channel levels were adjusted whith a Rat Shack meter.
All receivers were used whith stock pc and the same modified Powervar power conditioner.
The two dvd's used were Matrix Revolutions were the Coat check scene was used for DD, and Kill Bill vol 1 in the Uma vs Vivica Fox scene for DTS.
I made the two reveiwers leave the room for wire swapping, and they could not see which receiver was playing when they were judging sonics for each receiver in H/T mode.
On both DD and DTS, the Panny 45 was considered the most real sounding, whether it was Uma's stolen truck motor, pulling up for the showdown, breaking glass in the living room fight scene, or the gun shot in the kitchen.
This more detailed sound made the scene more enjoyable to both reveiwers.
Same goes for the coat check scene were guns being re-loaded,gun shots ect all had a more vivid detail to them when using the 45 over the other two.
The two reveiwers both picked the Pany for H/T, over the Kenwood and JVC.
When it came to second place, the decision was much harder as the JVC had the edge in bass output in the middle range, and the Kenwood was voted by both as being more detailed in the highs by both reveiwers.
When forced to choose, the reveiwers both picked #2 which was the Kenwood 7100.
This mini shootout is for H/T only, used in my set up and room, and your resluts whith your speakers and room may very well be different.
Overall, if you need one of these receivers to do analog and digital sources, I would choose either the JVC RX-10 or Kenwood 7100 as the 45 does not do analog well at all.
If you want the Pany sonics for both analog and digital, you should either listen to an xr50 model which is said to be improved over the 45 and 25, or wait for the 70.
Although we all considered the 45 the digital winner, whether 2 channel or H/T, it is out of the running as compared to the Kenwood 7100 or slightly better yet JVC RX-10 when using analog sources.
After the shootout, my nephew commented that he thought KB 1 was crap, and turned it off while watching it on a tube tv whith no surround after moving, and not yet unpacking his gear
Watching it on a screen of over 100" whith a 6.1 digital wonder has seemed to change his mind.
Since I had already made up my mind to go whith the 45 for H/T sonics, I scored another unit to use in a 6.1 bi amped set up whith dual powered subs.
We hooked up only the front three channels in bi amped mode as I was short some cabling.
We matched all levels and used the 45 that ran the tweeters in the small setting and used one remote to control volume ect.
We were shocked at the difference in sonics and dynamic range.
If using one 45 in bi amped mode for 2 channel is an improvement, using two 45's in a bi amped multi channel DD/DTS setup is a quantum leap in sonic impact, and a much bigger difference than swapping the digital wonders in and out of the chain.
Today I am going to get some more cabling and bi amp all 6 channels whith one sub from each 45.
Although I found the 45 more transparent and revealing than my 8k Parasound halo c2/Legacy (Coda) 250 x 5 amp combo, I did miss the headroom and overall slam of that set up.
Well the slam is back, and there is NOTHING I miss about that set up now, except for its awesome sounding non digitised analog ins.