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Panasonic XR-55 or Yamaha RX-V657?

 

Bronze Member
Username: Walkeye

Post Number: 13
Registered: Jun-04
Please excuse me if this has been posted previously. Both of these receivers have gotten favorable "professional" reviews, as well as kudos from some folks on this board. Both are very budget-friendly, as well. Has anyone purchased, or spent some time listening to BOTH (Edster?)? Understanding that the listening experience is highly subjective, would appreciate any opinions on which is the better "sonic value."
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 2198
Registered: Feb-05
I've heard both and wouldn't consider the Panny to for any application. If you need a receiver with a really good power supply and great sound I would look at the HK's. If you have efficient speakers (89-92db) then the Yamaha sounds great and is an excellent buy. I own the Yamaha as my HT pre/pro and power amp for the center and rears. Side by side the Panny may sound more dynamic and colorful (hint) but the fidelity to source is lacking in every way.
 

Gold Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 2863
Registered: Mar-05
I have not listened to the rx-v657 but have heard the higher-up Yamaha rx-v1500/1600/2500 models.

There is no comparison, the Yammie's only advantage is its much longer feature list, esp. the XM-radio readiness of the 657, but otherwise it is another soon-to-be-obsolete big clunky analog amp with all of that technology's inherent limitations.

I'd put it this way: in a world of overpriced bicycles (analog receivers), Panasonic has come out with a very cheap motorcycle. The bicyclists will swear that theirs is the only way to go...until they personally come across the cheap motorcycle, which will promptly leave them in the dust.

But don't take my word or anyone else's word for it...order the Panny from Amazon.com and take it into your local shop (Tweeter?) that carries the Yammie for an AB comparison. If you decide you prefer the bicycle, it's only $15 or so to return ship the motorcycle. LOL
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 2200
Registered: Feb-05
If you could hop on that Panny and ride it perhaps it would be a better deal.
 

Gold Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 2888
Registered: Mar-05
> Side by side the Panny may sound more dynamic and colorful (hint) but the fidelity to source is lacking in every way.

You're not trying to discourage him from doing an AB comparison, now are you Art? Hmmmmmm!

 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 2203
Registered: Feb-05
No Edster I'm telling the truth and actually being informative. Give it a try. First step is learning.
 

Gold Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 2889
Registered: Mar-05
You and I can tell our "truths" all we want, but bottom line is that the consumer should decide what he prefers with his own ears, preferably through an AB comparison.

Surely you don't disagree with that simple democratic principle do you?
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 2205
Registered: Feb-05
I do indeed agree with that.

 

Bronze Member
Username: Walkeye

Post Number: 14
Registered: Jun-04
I REALLY appreciate your thoughts, guys! If I can swing it, the A/B comparison would seem to be the appropriate course of action.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Mrtomasulo

Post Number: 72
Registered: Mar-05
Edster, you honestly sound like (in this and other threads) you are are being paid by Panasonic. Are you?
 

Gold Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 2923
Registered: Mar-05
ah, same question has been posed to me about my advocacy of Ascend speakers.

Unfortunately the answer is no, though (hint hint Panny and Ascend, if you are reading) I would not exactly refuse any electronic transfers to my PayPal account.

No, I guess I see it as a form of public service: these are two exceptionally high-value products that the vast majority of newbies have never heard about because they are neither mass-advertised like Sony and Bose crap nor are they at all hyped by the boutique stores and advertising-bribed boutique audio press.

The Panny in particular is a mind-bogglingly high-value product unless you truly have a strong preference for the "analog" sound, esp. if you are a diehard fan of tube amps and LPs.

I don't disagree with Art that the "digital" sound is indeed different from the "analog" sound---we just disagre on which one we find more pleasing.

For some reason which I have yet to figure out, Panasonic is so far being too stupid to really market these receivers to their full potential.
 

New member
Username: Writedoc

Post Number: 1
Registered: Sep-05
After comparing the Panasonic XR-55 (c$400) and the Yamaha RX-V657 (c$540), I opted for the RX-V657 mainly for the YPAO and Cinema DSP features. I listen mainly to movies and I wanted a receiver with excellent surround sound features; I also thought what's the point of surround sound if my system is not not setup correctly so I looked for a receiver with an easy way to setup my system. I'm using the RX-V657 with Point 5 speakers (sensitivity 89db) and so far, after only a week, I'm very happy with the overall system.
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 2280
Registered: Feb-05
The Yammie has nice processing features and makes a very good inexpensive cinema solution. Used with efficient speakers it has very satisfying sound. I enjoy the XM tuner in pure direct stereo mode.
 

Gold Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 3008
Registered: Mar-05
well with those Point 5 speakers I'd have to say that the 657 was probably a wise choice, aside from its longer feature list.

Still, I'm curious: how did the two compare for simple sound quality, to your ears?
 

New member
Username: Writedoc

Post Number: 2
Registered: Sep-05
Comparing the Panasonic XR-55 and Yamaha RX-V657 with the Athena Point 5 speakers: I can't say I noticed any differences at the volumes I listen to. I opted for the Yamaha mainly because of the auto receiver setup and better DSP features and I felt that the extra cost was worth it just to get the YPAO. I also like ability to play stereo music through 7 speakers (only using 5 at moment). The XM-Radio tuner feature was not a selling feature for me but is is nice to have it if I change my mind later; I also like the flexibility of 8-channel external decoder inputs (only using for 5.1 at present).
 

Silver Member
Username: Cheapskate

Post Number: 529
Registered: Mar-04
i have both an NAD and an onkyo reciever which are reasonably comperable to yamaha, but my SA-XR55 walks all over both of them for resolution, imaging, midrange and freedom from grain.

just yesterday, i made a curious discovery that TOTALLY went against what i expected.

i've heard some people say that panny's are bright, but to my ears, they're a little bit warm and polite. (at low volumes at least) on the other hand, they have incredible detail resolution in the treble which compensates.

i've ALWAYS thought that sony gear (any that i've heard or owned) leans towards excessive treble politeness.

having just bought a sony DVD/SACD player, i decided to hook it up via analogue on my panny to see what happened. to my surprise, the treble brightened a little and sounded faster.

aside from my sony preconceptions, i've read that a pure digital signal into a panny stays digital right into the amp, feeding an analogue signal that needs to be converted back to digital would seem to only add distortion to the sound due to extra D/A -> A/D conversion, but i hear more air from the sony D/A converters.

i'm baffled. the only thing i can think of to explain it would be that it sounds brighter and more detailed because of a volume boost, but even trying to A/B by volume matching without a VU meter, it still sounds like the sony is more detailed.

could it be a jitter issue? i'm almost tempted to power my onkyo DVD player back up to see how it's D/A converters (which i liked much better than my old sony CD player) sounds.

if nothing else, i'm not as apprehensive about buying some SACDs now.

i'd be curious to hear anyone else's experiences using their outboard D/A convertors. i'm scratching my head over this one. my original onkyo -> onkyo system sounded just a little better with a generic video cable doing digital than $35 monter cables doing analogue and i'm guessing the D/A converters were identical, but the sony sounds better via generic RCA analogue.

my only other guess is that the panasonic A/D converter is operating at a super high frequency and that the sony just has a better D/A converter.

i wish the panny had volume presets for inputs so i could do faster A/B comparisons.
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