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Discussion Starter #1
Here are my needs, I've waded through the tech. specs on each, the opinions on here and other boards, but would like someone who's tried both or has familiarity with either company's products to give me some advice.


I am looking for at least 3 optical inputs.

HD component switching (very important it be able to carry a HD signal to my TV)


The Panny looks to be the hot new thing right now, due to the digital amps and size of it, however I know H/K has a reputation for making quality products. Any reason why I should choose one over the other?


Thanks in advance


JB
 

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HK sound is dark for me.They might do well with bright speakers.. The Panny unit is just so neutral I guess the best way to describe it. Close to what my Passive controller setup revealed when playing CD's.


I have owned and listened to alot of HK stuff and I will never buy stuff from them again unless things change.


Good luck!
 

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Here is a vote for H/K. From my experience with several of their receivers their sound quality is a notch above the competition at the same price level. Plus they give you a two year warranty while most are only for one year at the entry level. Their customer service is better also, but you want to deal directly with them and not the retailer (after the retailer's return period). I don't know of any entry level receiver that you can get that will outperform the H/K. I remain dubious about the X45 since all the Panasonic audio equipment I have heard sounds pretty bad to me (love their video though). If you want to buy a H/K receiver you can save a lot by buying their refurbished units at their on-line store, and you still get the full two year warranty. My experience with their refurbs has been excellent - they usually look and perofrm as new. They have the AVR520 (5 ch. amp) for $448 and the AVR325 (7 ch amp) for $498 at their web store. I am using the 520 as a pre/pro at the moment.


Dsmith
 

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Here is my experience with HK and the new panny. I currently own the XR45 (I, too repaced the power cord with a homebrew Asylum cord). It replaced an HK AVR85 which crapped out on me after ~4 years. I enjoyed the HK as it sounded pretty good in 2 channel stereo and did a good job for Dolby Digital. However, the XR45 is in a different league, sound quality-wise especially in 2 channel stereo when feeding it a digital signal. Differences- soundstage width and depth and pinpoint placement of the vocals and instruments are much better on the panny. The highs are not fatiquing at all. The biggest difference is the quality of the low-end. The panny's ability to reproduce bass is as good as I have ever heard both in 2 channel and in 5.1 applications. I have KEF Q15 speakers across the front and an SVS 20/39 PC sub- the 100Hz crossover on the panny works nicely- the AVR85 crossed over at 100Hz as well.


For home theater, I hear things in movies now that I did not with the HK. This could be due to the more up-to-date processors in the panny compared to the older HK model however. HK does make good receivers and the newer models likely do a better job processing 5.1 signals than the AVR85. The differences in HT application is not as stark as in 2 channel applications in my system, though, as mentioned earlier the bass output is much better controlled with the panny.


Sound-wise, the panny beats the AVR85 hands down- there is nothing entry level about the sound of the XR45. Complaints- speaker binding posts for the center and surround channels are the old-fashion spring clip type and are a pain in the a** to get 12-14 gauge wire into.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the input everyone, I'm leaning towards the Panny if I can just find a place online that has it in stock! Does anyone know ANYWHERE to get one right now? It's seriously hard to find.
 

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I am amazed that the xr45 sounds better than an H/K. I have read alot of posts about the XR45 but none claimed it sounds better than an H/K, it is ashame it is so low on features
 

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The best thing about the Panny is that you can modify it to get rid of the Binding post,insert a fixed 3 prong plug adaptor,change the Powersupply and X/O output Caps which puts it in the league of ultra expensive gear.If you cannot do the upgrades yourself Bolder Cable will do them.


Comparing the Digital amp with a low fi conventional amp is really to no win situation for conventional A/AB recievers because the digital amps are so clean. Less colorations mean better sound to me. They will only be more refined from here on out.


JMO
 

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Quote:
I don't know of any entry level receiver that you can get that will outperform the H/K. I remain dubious about the X45 since all the Panasonic audio equipment I have heard sounds pretty bad to me (love their video though).
I've owned H/K gear and it's pretty good IMO. That said, the Panasonic is the real deal. No kidding...
 

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Quote:
change the Powersupply and X/O output Caps which puts it in the league of ultra expensive gear.
Abex,


Where do I find info on changing the power supply myself?

What do you mean by changing the X/O output caps - I thought the crossover was done digitally for all of the channels?
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by mcurtinx
Here is my experience with HK and the new panny. I currently own the XR45 (I, too repaced the power cord with a homebrew Asylum cord). It replaced an HK AVR85 which crapped out on me after ~4 years. I enjoyed the HK as it sounded pretty good in 2 channel stereo and did a good job for Dolby Digital. However, the XR45 is in a different league, sound quality-wise especially in 2 channel stereo when feeding it a digital signal. Differences- soundstage width and depth and pinpoint placement of the vocals and instruments are much better on the panny. The highs are not fatiquing at all. The biggest difference is the quality of the low-end. The panny's ability to reproduce bass is as good as I have ever heard both in 2 channel and in 5.1 applications. I have KEF Q15 speakers across the front and an SVS 20/39 PC sub- the 100Hz crossover on the panny works nicely- the AVR85 crossed over at 100Hz as well.


For home theater, I hear things in movies now that I did not with the HK. This could be due to the more up-to-date processors in the panny compared to the older HK model however. HK does make good receivers and the newer models likely do a better job processing 5.1 signals than the AVR85. The differences in HT application is not as stark as in 2 channel applications in my system, though, as mentioned earlier the bass output is much better controlled with the panny.


Sound-wise, the panny beats the AVR85 hands down- there is nothing entry level about the sound of the XR45. Complaints- speaker binding posts for the center and surround channels are the old-fashion spring clip type and are a pain in the a** to get 12-14 gauge wire into.
The HK AVR 85 was designed and built by Marantz, the later HK AVRs are totally different circuitry designed and assembled by HK.

Their sound is far superior....
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Your powerful techno-speak (and the fact I found the AVR230 for $314.00 shipped) have convinced me to go with H/K. I hope this is a unit I can trust to give me good performance for many years to come. I got to really play around with this receiver the other day at Circuit City and was impressed by the overall package and ease of use. Although I believe what you've said about the Panny's performance being true, I just couldn't pass up on the price of this H/K. Panasonic's technology seems to be in a relative infancy, so maybe in a few years I'll be upgrading to digital.


Now, the hunt for speakers begins.....


Thanks everyone, wish me luck!
 
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