Panasonic SA-XR55K

May 11, 2005

SAXR55KLet’s face it 100 watt, 7.1, surround receivers cost an arm and a leg right? I mean look at the Denon AVR-3805, great receiver but ouch $1200.00 retail? What to do if like me, you’re on a budget and 1k for a receiver just isn’t in the cards? Or for that matter, you’re lucky enough to have need for a new A/V receiver and your budget allows for 1k, but you have a secondary room also in need of surround sound.

The Panasonic SA-XR55K appears to offer a lot considering its sub $250.00 street price (pre-orders only at this timeicon). No that wasn’t a typo, those come later, and yes the SA-XR55K really can be had for under $250.00 USD. Ok but why should you care? Yeah I guess I got a little ahead of myself.

Alright what does this sub $250.00 surround receiver offer? For starters: 7.1 Channel Surround Sound (at 100 watts per channel) with Dolby Digital EX, DTS ES and Dolby Pro Logic II processing. One Coaxial and two Optical digital inputs, as well as two component video inputs, all housed in a cabinet less than 3″ high.

This (in my mind at least) brings up the question, if other 100 watt surround receivers cost three times as much what’s the catch? As far as I can tell, sans a full on review there isn’t one. Sure other receivers have more inputs and outputs, and snazzier remotes, but the necessities are more than covered by the SA-XR55K. But again what’s the catch? Well this isn’t a “typical” surround receiver as it’s powered by a digital power supply, what’s that? I’m glad you asked.

Typical AVR receivers, or receivers and amplifiers in general, employ linear power supplies often a toroidal power transformer, whereas the SA-XR55Kicon uses a digital power supply for its amplifier section. This type of “digital” power supply is more efficient and less costly to produce, and surely accounts in large for the sub $250.00 cost of the Panasonic SA-XR55K.

Without a full review of the unit, I’ll hold against a full on recommendation, as a main surround receiver. But if your on a tight budget, or have need for a secondary receiver the Panasonic SA-XR55K is surely worth a look.



Posted by Bryan Greenway | | Filed Under Home Theater Receivers


Comments

  • B.Greenway

    If you’ll look back I haven’t indicated that this would be a better performing receiver than a Denon AVR-3805, or any other well known AVR receiver for that matter. To the contrary I think one of those amps would cream the SA-XR55K

    The whole premise of the post was “you’re on a budget and 1k for a receiver just isn’t in the cards” and “you have a secondary room also in need of surround sound”.

    How does it sound? Again I stated “Without a full review of the unit, I’ll hold against a full on recommendation, as a main surround receiver. But if your on a tight budget, or have need for a secondary receiver the Panasonic SA-XR55K is surely worth a look.” I base this on wattage and retail price alone. Not it’s stellar performance.

    As to whether it has 7.1 inputs for SACD/DVD-A, Dolby Pro Logic IIx processing? and Bass management. I think its obvious it doesn’t and I stated “Sure other receivers have more inputs and outputs, and snazzier remotes, but the necessities are more than covered by the SA-XR55K”

    I don’t consider any of those items a necessity in a $250.00 receiver, as a matter of fact, those items in a reciver of this price would be more liability than asset. I was more impressed at what it did have at 250.00 rather than what other receivers have over it at 3 to 4 times the price.

    I’m confused by the “But is it the equal to the Denon at 1/4-1/5 the price? Probably no.” part. Would anyone expect it be as good as an amplifier that retails for over 900.00 more?

  • B.Greenway

    If you’ll look back I haven’t indicated that this would be a better performing receiver than a Denon AVR-3805, or any other well known AVR receiver for that matter. To the contrary I think one of those amps would cream the SA-XR55K

    The whole premise of the post was “you’re on a budget and 1k for a receiver just isn’t in the cards” and “you have a secondary room also in need of surround sound”.

    How does it sound? Again I stated “Without a full review of the unit, I’ll hold against a full on recommendation, as a main surround receiver. But if your on a tight budget, or have need for a secondary receiver the Panasonic SA-XR55K is surely worth a look.” I base this on wattage and retail price alone. Not it’s stellar performance.

    As to whether it has 7.1 inputs for SACD/DVD-A, Dolby Pro Logic IIx processing? and Bass management. I think its obvious it doesn’t and I stated “Sure other receivers have more inputs and outputs, and snazzier remotes, but the necessities are more than covered by the SA-XR55K”

    I don’t consider any of those items a necessity in a $250.00 receiver, as a matter of fact, those items in a reciver of this price would be more liability than asset. I was more impressed at what it did have at 250.00 rather than what other receivers have over it at 3 to 4 times the price.

    I’m confused by the “But is it the equal to the Denon at 1/4-1/5 the price? Probably no.” part. Would anyone expect it be as good as an amplifier that retails for over 900.00 more?

  • Kevin

    I understand the “digital” amplifiers have been gtting good press for the past year as giving good performance at a low price, but there is more to a receiver than amps and inputs/outputs. Does the Panasonic have 7.1 inputs for SACD/DVD-A? Does it support Dolby Pro Logic IIx processsing? Bass management?

    Most importantly, how does it sound? The Denon uses high quality electrical components and Burr-Brown DACs. I would suspect the Panny doesn’t quite measure up in these areas.

    Is it very likelt a good receiver at a good price? Probably yes. But is it the equal to the Denon at 1/4-1/5 the price? Probably no.

  • Kevin

    I understand the “digital” amplifiers have been gtting good press for the past year as giving good performance at a low price, but there is more to a receiver than amps and inputs/outputs. Does the Panasonic have 7.1 inputs for SACD/DVD-A? Does it support Dolby Pro Logic IIx processsing? Bass management?

    Most importantly, how does it sound? The Denon uses high quality electrical components and Burr-Brown DACs. I would suspect the Panny doesn’t quite measure up in these areas.

    Is it very likelt a good receiver at a good price? Probably yes. But is it the equal to the Denon at 1/4-1/5 the price? Probably no.