Does anyone have the Panasonic SA-XR700 yet?

Kotatsu Neko

Well-known Member
This amp is now out in the US I believe, and seems to be available from at least one online retailer in the UK. Does anyone have it yet?

I'm looking for a new amp to replace my rapidly deteriorating Yamaha DSP-A1, and it will be used to switch between Xbox 360 (working as media center PC/PVR, DVD player, HD DVD player, and games system), and a Nintendo Wii. Both on component, so component switching is a must. HDMI I have no use for at the moment, but I'd like a few ports there all the same just in case an HDMI cable ever appears for the 360.

Has anyone read any reviews of this amp?
 

Kotatsu Neko

Well-known Member
Well I picked up one of these amps this afternoon while out shopping. But of an impulse buy, I just saw it in a Panasonic store and thought 'why not?'.

I'm impressed with it so far. The unit itself is pretty small compared to my old amp (DSP-A1), and at only 8kg a fraction of the weight. Sadly it's finished in tacky silver, which is a real shame, but it seems in the UK we're still stuck with silver while the rest of the world moves to black. That aside the unit is a nice enough design and looks suitably modern.

Input wise it's limited but enough for my needs. I have 2 component video devices hooked up (Wii and Xbox 360). One is 480p, and the other 1080i. The amp handles both of these fine. The Wii's audio is DPL2 through regular stereo phono cables, and the 360 is the usual digital formats through toslink. I also have my HDTV feeding the amp a stereo feed from Freeview.

The sound is quite different to my old Yamaha. It's noticeably crisper with much more activity through the surrounds. (and this is after using the mic based auto speaker set-up) Not as much base though, but I like the way it sounds. I tried Gears of War, King Kong on HD DVD, and Red Steel on Wii and all sounded superb. My speakers are a set of old Kef Q series, which are fine but I will probably replace them with something beefier next year sometime.

I read that all digital amps like this one might have lower output levels than old school analogue amps. Not sure if that's true or not but it's able to drive my speakers to ridiculously high levels of volume and as I mentioned, they sound super crisp and clear.

Nice amp then, if you're after a component/HDMI 1.2 switching amp with a small form factor and pleasant design (not to mention low price) I'd recommend it. The only other down side I can think of is the remote, which is a truly ghastly lump of spray painted silver tat with a truly terrible design. Very, very nasty indeed.
 

V5-APS

Active Member
Does the amp have to be switched on for HDMI passthru ??
i.e. would a picture be displayed with the amp in s/by mode.
 

Kotatsu Neko

Well-known Member
Does the amp have to be switched on for HDMI passthru ??
i.e. would a picture be displayed with the amp in s/by mode.
I don't have any HDMI devices anymore (used to have digital cable, but it was rather pointless so got rid of it), so I can't test that. I can tell you that the amp has to be switched on for component pass through though, so it'd be a fairly safe bet that HDMI will be the same.
 

dean999

Active Member
thanks for the info u have provided. i believe big andy 1979 has bought one and will demo it on 28 dec 06 and let us know of the outcome
 

breadmaker6

Well-known Member
does anyone have any more first hand experience or know where i can find some reviews of this unit.

i went to see the unit at my local panasonic store and i appeared to know more about its capabilities than they did..:suicide:

i just like the look of it and it appears to be a good combination with my forthcoming ps3 and my panny plasma.
 

Kotatsu Neko

Well-known Member
I have one and use it currently with 3 devices - freeview (audio from my TV), Wii (component), and X360 + HD DVD (component).

What would you like to know?
 
O

Onno1

Guest
1. can the component in/out on the xr700 handle 1080i?
2. how is sound(most important), will have to start in virtual surround and stereo, because i'll start with 2 b&w fpm 4 speakers.
3. pictures? i have seen the panasonic pictures on the web, but they are from panasonic. I would like to see it in real set-ups.
 

Kotatsu Neko

Well-known Member
I feed mine 1080i from the 360/HD DVD and 480p from the Wii and it handles both fine. It doesn't do any upconverting, it just spits it out as it was handed it.

No idea about virtual surround, I have the usual 5.1 speaker set-up so just use that. It does have bi-wiring though, which was a nice surprise. (you have to enable it in the options to get it to work though)

I haven't taken any pictures of mine but you shouldn't get any surprises if you've seen shots on the web. It's considerably smaller than analogue AV amps which is a big plus for me as my old Yamaha amp completely dominated my Toshiba LCD glass stand. It's silver though, which looks very dated and rather tacky, and annoying too as this amp is available in black in the US. The remote is a complete train wreck, managing to look cheap, feel fragile, have very poorly placed buttons, and devote a ton of space to Panasonic DVD/BD playback, which is completely useless to me (and I imagine most people).

It's not perfect but I wanted an HDMI/component switching amp and preferably one which was going to save a lot of space. It was between this and the JVC, and after researching both this seemed to be the clear winner. Shame there isn't more competition, but I guess it's early days for digital amps.

The other gripe I have are with the way the inputs are arranged/labelled, which force certain devices into certain types of inputs if you want each input to make sense - ie. DVD input is actually the DVD player. I ended up with my TV on 'CD', my Wii on 'TV', and my 360 on 'DVD Recorder'. Not the end of the world but annoying all the same.
 

Trnbl

Novice Member
Am very interested in this receiver. Do you have any pictures of it?

The other thread that had some up close photos seems to have gone missing.

Like yourself, I am put off by the silver. I'm seriously wondering what downside there would be to importing one. I presume I would need a step down converter. Any idea what wattage this thing is outputting?

I wonder if there are any other territories that have the machine in black that run 240v?
 

breadmaker6

Well-known Member
I have one and use it currently with 3 devices - freeview (audio from my TV), Wii (component), and X360 + HD DVD (component).

What would you like to know?
I have a Yamaha amp (RX 657) which does a great job of converting my standard inputs from Sky and my current PS2 to component signal that i feed to my screen. My Panasonic Plasma has a built in free view (Very handy when Rain etc take out Sky signal) which i feed in to the amp with phono cables to get some surround sound (the standard sound on the screen is pants at best!).

So to cut a very long story short..how does the amp handle non component/hd sources when converting to the HDMI feed? Can the HDMI Connection carry sound back to the amp for my freeview sound..or do i still need to use my phono leads (I am guessing that this will be the case.)

And finally..did anyone audition it against any 'traditional amps' as getting a comparison test is impossible as it only seem to be stocked by panasonic dealers who can only show it partnered with their £1300 BluRay Player :rolleyes:

Thanks in advance.
 

Kotatsu Neko

Well-known Member
Can't help you much with any of that, sorry. All I know is that it only handles like for like, so if you give it an HDMI input it will only output HDMI. Same with component. I can't remember off hand if it has any legacy connections as I have no use for them.

The inputs that I use are:

Freeview - analogue audio L & R

Wii - 480p component & analogue audio L & R

360 & HD DVD - 1080i component & toslink digital audio


Other stuff which may be of interest - it's HDMI 1.2, so no HD audio format support, but it does have a 6 channel analogue audio input. Doesn't help me much as the 360 only has digital audio output. It also has Pro Logic Surround 2, which is useful for the Wii.

My previous amp was a Yamaha DSP-A1, which served me well for many years but was really starting to break down and needed replacing. The Yamaha certainly has a warmer sound than the Panasonic, but also a little flatter. Both sound good to me, but I'm not a hardcore audiophile.
 

breadmaker6

Well-known Member
Other stuff which may be of interest - it's HDMI 1.2, so no HD audio format support, but it does have a 6 channel analogue audio input. Doesn't help me much as the 360 only has digital audio output.
:confused: :confused:

I thought that the main selling point that this amp can 'do it all digitally' including carrying HD Audio..and i quote the Panasonic website

The SA-XR700 receives in their original form the 7.1-channel digital audio signals sent by HDMI cable from the DMP-BD10, digitally amplifies them without degradation, and generates more than enough power to cleanly drive the speakers.
Is this not the case then? :lease:
 

Kotatsu Neko

Well-known Member
:confused: :confused:

I thought that the main selling point that this amp can 'do it all digitally' including carrying HD Audio..and i quote the Panasonic website
Nope, you need HDMI 1.3 for that, and as far as I know there are no HDMI 1.3 amps available yet. Funny thing is you can get players that output it, such as the new Toshiba HD DVD players, but just nothing to decode the audio.

It's not the end of the world though, DTS still sounds rather good.
 

Knyght_byte

Novice Member
does the amp not accept LPCM by the HDMI input then?

if it does then it can amplify pre-decoded digital signals......that is how every amp currently has to do it as none have 1.3v HDMI......however if the amp cannot process any audio via HDMI then it wont be able to do it obviously...
 

Trnbl

Novice Member
:confused: :confused:

I thought that the main selling point that this amp can 'do it all digitally' including carrying HD Audio..and i quote the Panasonic website



Is this not the case then? :lease:
Depends if you really mean HD audio or audio through hdmi. From reading up on this, the receiver will extract and channel the audio digitally direct from the hdmi input, and will support the new Dolby Digital Plus format. It doesn't support Dolby Digital TrueHD or DTS HD because hdmi 1.2a does not support this. When these formats become available it's likely that the HD player will be doing the decoding of the format and this receiver will still be able to amplify the decoded HD over LPCM 7.1. As I said this is what I can gather from reading around as there doesn't seem to be a lot of info on this machine.

Here is a quote from the latest What Hi-Fi:
This AV receiver from Panasonic sets some firsts for surround sound receiver in relation to the new technology. First it can extract digital audio straight from HDMI allowing you to simplify your AV connections. It's also capable of decoding Dolby's new surround sound format Dolby Digital Plus, though it doesn't support either Dolby Digital TrueHD or DTS HD due to the lack of HDMI 1.3 support - this is HDMI 1.2a.
Also here is a link to the specs on the Japanese Panasonic site as the uk version doesn't seem to include this: click me

Hope this all helps :thumbsup:
 

Kotatsu Neko

Well-known Member
does the amp not accept LPCM by the HDMI input then?

if it does then it can amplify pre-decoded digital signals......that is how every amp currently has to do it as none have 1.3v HDMI......however if the amp cannot process any audio via HDMI then it wont be able to do it obviously...
I've only fed it dolby digital through HDMI so I really couldn't say for sure either way. You best email Panasonic.
 

Knyght_byte

Novice Member
i'm not interested in the amp..lol

all i was saying is that if it can accept LPCM via HDMI then you have the HD player decode the HD codecs (DD TrueHD and DTS HD Master) to PCM then send it on to the amp as PCM, its still the same quality as if you sent it as a bitstream and had the amp decode it.......unless of course you had a very dirt cheap player and a highly expensive 1.3 amp with the correct codecs, then the amp might make a better job of it.....but if you had a very expensive player and a cheap amp with 1.3 then you'd probably still do better letting the player decode and repackage as LPCM for the amp to deal with....

if the specs of the amp state it can handle 6 or 8 channel LPCM then you can listen to TruHD and DTS Master....not just DD+......
 

Andris L

Well-known Member
Does the amp have to be switched on for HDMI passthru ??
i.e. would a picture be displayed with the amp in s/by mode.

Yes, it does pass-through.


does the amp not accept LPCM by the HDMI input then?
As far as I know it does accept LPMC over the HDMI.

I’m buying Toshiba HD-E1 so I’m about to find out if it will handle Dolby True HD and DTS Master (as far as I know Tosh doing decoding itself and will pass sound as LPCM over to amp, correct me if I’m wrong :rolleyes:).
 

MADMAND

Banned
Yes, it does pass-through.




As far as I know it does accept LPMC over the HDMI.

I’m buying Toshiba HD-E1 so I’m about to find out if it will handle Dolby True HD and DTS Master (as far as I know Tosh doing decoding itself and will pass sound as LPCM over to amp, correct me if I’m wrong :rolleyes:).

As far as I am aware there is no reciever or player currently on the market that can decode DTS-HD.
 

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