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Whatever happen to digital receivers?

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 
Many years ago digital receivers were all the rage here and I replaced a Yamaha with a Panasonic xr-55 and its still the best thing I have heard even against todays.Has any company put out a digital receiver in the last few years?
post #2 of 41
What are they today? I think they, AVR's have both digital and analog circuits and both digital and analog inputs and outputs plus a lot of digital processing. What are they called now?
post #3 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattg3 View Post

Many years ago digital receivers were all the rage here and I replaced a Yamaha with a Panasonic xr-55 and its still the best thing I have heard even against todays.Has any company put out a digital receiver in the last few years?
Chances are the XR55 did not have a digital amp. Many companies put that label on early Class D amps, but they did so in error. Today Class D is common.
post #4 of 41
There is no such thing as a digital amp. Back in the 80's when CD arrived on the scene, audiophiles became worried about the added dynamic range that CD's had compared to vinyl discs. The manufacturers responded by calling speakers and amplifiers "digital" thereby comforting people's concerns about handling digital music. It was fairly silly but was common at the time. We've stopped that nonsense after decades of digital music recordings. There are no more "digital" amps because people no longer worry about their equipment's ability to reproduce digital music.
post #5 of 41
post #6 of 41
Switching amps (class D) are not digital. They take an analog input and output an analog signal. There is nothing digital about what they do.
post #7 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Badouri View Post

Audioholics article on the Panasonic SA-XR50

http://www.audioholics.com/audio-amplifier/switching-amplifiers-the-technology-and-the-issues

Interesting if a bit beyond my understanding.All I can say is I have been using the XR55 for over 6 years as a sound companion to my Oppo 83 and the sound is full,detailed and very clean coming out of 25 year old Polk SDA CRS+ speakers as fronts for a 7.1 surround system.Friends have been amazed by the audio experience when viewing films or concert material.
post #8 of 41
The Panasonic XR series were amongst the worst measuring commercial amplifiers ever built. The fact that so many people liked them is really odd. This is coming from someone who owned an XR55 and got rid of it like the plague.
post #9 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by astrallite View Post

The Panasonic XR series were amongst the worst measuring commercial amplifiers ever built. The fact that so many people liked them is really odd. This is coming from someone who owned an XR55 and got rid of it like the plague.

The Pansonic XR series were totally designed by TI...
Its major drawback was its inability to drive low impedance loads...
And when being pushed hard, the output stage could go into oscillation and destroy a quality ludspeaker...


Just my $0.05... 👍😉
post #10 of 41
There are several class D receivers still, they aren't that common mainly because most class D amps still suck.

Off the top of my head:

All of Harman Kardon's current lineup (I think)
Most of Pioneer's current lineup
Marantz's slimline receivers
Rotel RSX-1562
Teac's CR-H260i technically counts wink.gif But all of their integrated amps use class D
post #11 of 41
I don't believe the Marantz slimline receivers are class D, but could be wrong.
post #12 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lessen View Post

There are several class D receivers still, they aren't that common mainly because most class D amps still suck.

Off the top of my head:

All of Harman Kardon's current lineup (I think)
Most of Pioneer's current lineup
Marantz's slimline receivers
Rotel RSX-1562
Teac's CR-H260i technically counts wink.gif But all of their integrated amps use class D

Rotel has ICEpower amplifiers, Pioneer is not using them anymore. The latest Class D3 receivers from Pioneer are great. Harman Kardon is Class A/B SMPS.

post #13 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by astrallite View Post

The Panasonic XR series were amongst the worst measuring commercial amplifiers ever built. The fact that so many people liked them is really odd. This is coming from someone who owned an XR55 and got rid of it like the plague.

Okay,could you tell me what you replaced it with?I live in a condo and my setup is primarily for film and concert dvds in a very small room with six speakers in place but no subwoofer because of people living below me but my Polks have passive subs built into both CRS speakers.
post #14 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lessen View Post

There are several class D receivers still, they aren't that common mainly because most class D amps still suck.

Off the top of my head:

All of Harman Kardon's current lineup (I think)

Incorrect..
The power supply is an SMPS but the output stage is Class A-B...

Just my $0.05...👍😉
post #15 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by M Code View Post

The Pansonic XR series were totally designed by TI...
Its major drawback was its inability to drive low impedance loads...
And when being pushed hard, the output stage could go into oscillation and destroy a quality ludspeaker...


Just my $0.05... 👍😉

If this were true why have I not damaged my Polk SDA CRS speakers that have been used with this receiver for years?Was it because my Polks have 5 ohms D.C. resistance
post #16 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattg3 View Post

If this were true why have I not damaged my Polk SDA CRS speakers that have been used with this receiver for years?Was it because my Polks have 5 ohms D.C. resistance

Duh...
Consider yourself lucky..
When the XR is pushed hard driving low impedance loads, the output stage makes a howling noise before it blows out..

Just my $0.05.... 👍😉
post #17 of 41
Thread Starter 
About 8 years of constant usage is a lot of luck on my side.I googled old AVS review pages on this receiver and never found one person mentioning a problem like you have stated.Maybe its because my system is in an 8 by 10 room in a condo and before I could push hard on the volume I would have my neighbors howling and banging before the output stage did.
post #18 of 41
Thread Starter 
In conclusion your reply was a wake up call but after reading a pile of old xr-55 reviews from many reputable sites im convinced my usage of the xr-55 is safe at volume I use and Im just going to relax and enjoy its great ,clean,detailed sound.
post #19 of 41
I had the XR-55's little brother, XR-25. I thought it sounded great back then until I replaced it with a Pioneer Elite 92. It blows my XR-25 out of water. No looking back. Now I know why no one else picked up these TI digital AMP technologies.

If your XR-55 sounds good to you, that's all it matters.

But I'd say until you tried something else new, you don't know what you are missing.
post #20 of 41
cool
post #21 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxbat121 View Post

I had the XR-55's little brother, XR-25. I thought it sounded great back then until I replaced it with a Pioneer Elite 92. It blows my XR-25 out of water. No looking back. Now I know why no one else picked up these TI digital AMP technologies.

If your XR-55 sounds good to you, that's all it matters.

But I'd say until you tried something else new, you don't know what you are missing.

Okay you have my attention since its all about the best sound.Could you explain how your upgrade receiver blew the XR 25 out of the water.Could you also recommend a new receiver that would blow my XR 55 away.If you own the XR 25 you must remember all the rage about how these Panny digital receivers were best sounding in competition with thousand dollar machines but of course that was years ago and things have changed.
post #22 of 41
The XR-25 I had is quite limited in power (XR-55 is slightly better). Panasonic really over stated its power output in specs. That really shows when you play it loud IMO. That's just my own impression.
The biggest difference for me is that the receiver is pre-HDMI and pre-room correction. Using MCH analog input has its limitations especially Panasonic don't let you adjust LFE channel gains and some (DVD) players in early days have MCH output that really need this LFE +10db boost. So, I struggle and never could get the analog 6.1 sounds right.

HDMI changed all these. And room correction are common in AVRs these days. You will really have to try it out to know. I'd suggest a mid to higher end AVR. I bought mine on sale for quite cheap price. My Pioneer Elite 92 was bought for around $600 during a store close out deal and now the Pioneer SC-1522 for similar price last year in Costco. Great receivers (both retail for $1500). But those deals are long gone.
Edited by Foxbat121 - 2/3/14 at 5:09am
post #23 of 41
Thread Starter 
Thanks.I cant play my xr55 loud because Im in a condo,do not have a subwoofer and used a sound pressure meter to balance my speakers so perhaps for me the xr-55 is okay.New receivers with all bells and whistles seem so complicated.I dirctly connect my oppo to the screen and my audio is Optical connection.Perhaps without onscreen setup display I could not even properly setup a new receiver?
post #24 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattg3 View Post

Thanks.I cant play my xr55 loud because Im in a condo,do not have a subwoofer and used a sound pressure meter to balance my speakers so perhaps for me the xr-55 is okay.New receivers with all bells and whistles seem so complicated.I dirctly connect my oppo to the screen and my audio is Optical connection.Perhaps without onscreen setup display I could not even properly setup a new receiver?

Yes you can, because the proceedure is simpler than what you are doing now. Example, turn on receiver , plug in microphone, press calibrate or something similar, let the receiver make its sounds and calibrate and you are done. You can connect the OPPO the same way, or use the HDMI which simplifies cable runs. Then you are done

Cheers
post #25 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by FMW View Post

There is no such thing as a digital amp.

I guess that's true since there are no 1's and 0's involved, but class D shares with digital the use of PWM to reconstruct the analog waveform.

So it could be argued that class D amps are at least as much like digital amps as they are analog.
post #26 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by noah katz View Post

I guess that's true since there are no 1's and 0's involved, but class D shares with digital the use of PWM to reconstruct the analog waveform.

So it could be argued that class D amps are at least as much like digital amps as they are analog.

OK. They still amplify an AC voltage like any audio amp. The fact that the incoming AC voltage is manipulated digitally doesn't really change that in my view. To me the term digital amplifier would connote something that amplifies data. As you know, it doesn't work that way.
post #27 of 41
Fair enough.

Actually the above is about the extent of my knowledge.

Is the input waveform amplifier class A?
post #28 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil17108 View Post

What are they today? I think they, AVR's have both digital and analog circuits and both digital and analog inputs and outputs plus a lot of digital processing. What are they called now?

The digital parts of an AVR are in the preamp/processor. The amplifiers are always analog.
post #29 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by noah katz View Post

Fair enough.

Actually the above is about the extent of my knowledge.

Is the input waveform amplifier class A?

No. Class A is a method for biasing the output stage of an amplifier. It doesn't describe a waveform. Class A is the lowest distortion and least efficient method of biasing and Class D is probably the highest distortion and most efficient method. If the amps are designed properly, you should not be able to hear the differences between them unless they are tube amps.
post #30 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattg3 View Post

Thanks.I cant play my xr55 loud because Im in a condo,do not have a subwoofer and used a sound pressure meter to balance my speakers so perhaps for me the xr-55 is okay.New receivers with all bells and whistles seem so complicated.I dirctly connect my oppo to the screen and my audio is Optical connection.Perhaps without onscreen setup display I could not even properly setup a new receiver?
If you get a new receiver, just connect all sources like bluray, cable tv box etc. to the receiver with a hdmi cable. Then connect the receiver to the tv with another hdmi cable. High quality sound from everything and onscreen control of receiver. After this you can pretty much put the tv remote away (simplicity). Most TV's are limited on what signal they pass through the digital audio out. Hdmi is highest quality audio and video all in one. And connecting a modern receiver to the internet will open up all kinds of audio sources. Many are free. Cables are dirt cheap here.
http://www.monoprice.com/Category?c_id=102&cp_id=10240
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