Panasonic DMR ES25 VS EA18 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 6 Old 06-13-2010, 05:25 PM - Thread Starter
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I recently bought a new EA18 to replace a DMR ES25 because of a power supply that was aparently going weak. The unit recorded well as long as you never turned off the power. If I did, it took maybe 15 or 20 minutes for it to power up and a tech I know looked it once and said it was only a matter of time. I found a DMR EA18 on sale and I bought it. I don't really need a tuner so this works OK for me. My question to you all is that it's my perception that the recording PQ at LP on the 18 is slightly poorer than on the 25. Is this the consensus here? I chose not to get the older machine repaired because I thought it might not be worth it, but now I am not so sure.
Thanks, John
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post #2 of 6 Old 06-13-2010, 07:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barjo4 View Post

I recently bought a new EA18 to replace a DMR ES25 because of a power supply that was aparently going weak. The unit recorded well as long as you never turned off the power. If I did, it took maybe 15 or 20 minutes for it to power up and a tech I know looked it once and said it was only a matter of time. I found a DMR EA18 on sale and I bought it. I don't really need a tuner so this works OK for me. My question to you all is that it's my perception that the recording PQ at LP on the 18 is slightly poorer than on the 25. Is this the consensus here? I chose not to get the older machine repaired because I thought it might not be worth it, but now I am not so sure.
Thanks, John

I have a 2006 DMR-ES25 in daily use in my bedroom recording center. I have several other ES series Panasonic recorders in daily use. These ES series recorders are capable of producing excellent picture quality and have been very reliable. My ES25 and one ES35V each average 100-130 recording hours per month. (In order to prolong laser assembly longevity none of my recorders are used for playing DVDs. I use DVD players for that purpose.) In addition to the four 2006 ES series recorders in daily use, there is a 2007 DMR-EZ17 and a 2008 DMR-EZ28--tuner-equipped variations of the DMR-EA18. The EZ series models, even with their bugs and design flaws, are also capable of producing the same excellent picture quality as the 2006 ES series models, but the newer EZ series models require workarounds to maintain functionality. The two EZ series recorders still in daily use each average around 70 recording hours per month, a usage profile somewhat restricted by the workarounds. (The usual EZ series workarounds are described in several EZ model-specific threads). Two of my late model EZ series Panasonics had early laser assembly failures in the 1,500 to 1,700 recording hour ranges during October/November 2009. Those EZ series recorders will not be repaired as I regard them as junk i.e. "parts machines." Since 2008 I no longer purchase EZ series recorders. In 2008 and 2009 I purchased four of the outstanding Magnavox 2160 HDD/DVD recorders. Sometimes older ES series recorders replace junked EZ series recorders, other times a Magnavox 2160 is swapped into place. The Magnavox 2160 or the newly introduced 513 are the current products to buy:

https://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...6#post12244086

You were asking if it's worthwhile to repair a DMR-ES25 that's thought to have a "weak" power supply. By "weak" I'm assuming that the largest electrolytic capacitor in the power supply is failing. Yes, it's worth repairing your DMR-ES25, especially if you do it yourself. It's easy enough to special order a new correct-specification (and heat range) capacitor, around $4 at electronic parts stores (not Radio Shack). I order all my capacitors through Norvac in Beaverton. There is also a Norvac in Salem at 1545 Commercial Street N.E. Capacitor replacement requires extensive disassembly, basic soldering skills and reassembly, an hour-long procedure described in this post:

https://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...7#post14452857

The procedure (for the similar 2006 DMR-ES15) is illustrated in two posts starting here:

https://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...2#post14959722

"A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME WILL SMELL AS SWEET. BUT IT DOES NOT FOLLOW THAT WHATEVER WE CHOOSE TO CALL A ROSE WILL POSSESS THE ROSE'S FRAGRANCE."

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post #3 of 6 Old 06-14-2010, 10:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for your nice and thorough reply. I will look into your information. A retired tech from Albany did take it apart a few months ago and confirmed about the power supply problem, but no parts were ordered - then. I think I will contact him and go further with the plan. The fact that the ES25 doesn't have a digital tuner isn't a factor for me.

The new recorder is OK, I guess. I suppose I just got used to the ES25 which has produced over 800 dvds. It did fail within the warranty period and it was repaired at the Panasonic facility in Salem. (over near the airport)
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post #4 of 6 Old 06-14-2010, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barjo4 View Post

Thanks for your nice and thorough reply. I will look into your information. A retired tech from Albany did take it apart a few months ago and confirmed about the power supply problem, but no parts were ordered - then. I think I will contact him and go further with the plan. The fact that the ES25 doesn't have a digital tuner isn't a factor for me.

The new recorder is OK, I guess. I suppose I just got used to the ES25 which has produced over 800 dvds. It did fail within the warranty period and it was repaired at the Panasonic facility in Salem. (over near the airport)

You may also want to consider the routine DVD Drive lens and rubber hub cleaning if that has never been done or it has been some time since the last cleaning:

https://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...8#post14479898

"A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME WILL SMELL AS SWEET. BUT IT DOES NOT FOLLOW THAT WHATEVER WE CHOOSE TO CALL A ROSE WILL POSSESS THE ROSE'S FRAGRANCE."

--Benjamin Breckinridge Warfield (1917)
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post #5 of 6 Old 06-14-2010, 01:29 PM - Thread Starter
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That was done at the same time the tech looked at it. Thanks, John
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post #6 of 6 Old 06-19-2010, 02:58 PM
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From what I've seen the EA-18(and all other EA/EZ's) have equal picture quality LP to the older('05, '06) ES/EH Panasonics. One difference is the EA/EZ Panasonics have a LSI encoder compared to Panasonics own silicon for the older series.
Some people swear that LSI produces a better encoder(less macroblocking in slower speeds) than Panasonic, I haven't noticed this but I do notice all the bugs in the LSI Panasonics.
So to answer your question direct, no I don't think the older Panasonics looked better than the newer ones and in fact some people may like the PQ of the newer ones to the older ones.
LP on Panasonics prior to '05 were not full D1 resolution but rather dropped to 1/2 D1.
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