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Showing 1-10 of 13 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 22 reviews
on September 27, 2011
This receiver sounds beautiful, and is able to handle my 4 ohm axiom m80 towers with ease. I just bought an hdmi switcher to give me more hdmi connections, I may go with this setup for a while. Connect an apple tv to this receiver and it has most everything I need. 5 years later, I am still amazed by the sound quality. I wish panasonic would have continued with their digital receivers, I would be purchasing one right now. This unit replaced a denon 3801 which cost a lot more. I may keep my pany until it dies, because no mainstream receiver can touch it. I paid 299, nothing in that price range now compares. I want a new receiver but the drawbacks outweigh the positives. 5 enthusiastic stars!!!
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on July 3, 2009
since i already have a sa-xr55, i knew what i was getting into when i bought the sa-xr57. the 57 looks better than the 55. beyond that the only main difference is the hdmi interface in the 57. but given its limited video sampling capabilities i find that hooking my dvd player directly to my sony lcd tv (which has better video sampling capabilities) gives me a clearer picture with hdmi. for audio i hook a coax cable from the dvd player to the receiver. at low volumes it is not that great. but at good volumes the audio is pretty good. i use the b&w 6 series speakers and a pinnacle baby sub for my home theater setup. i also have a nad 325 bee cd player hooked into the receiver with another coax. for the money this receiver is a great deal.
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on January 29, 2011
A great unit for the price and it syncs well with my Pansonic Plasma and Pansonic DVD/VHS combo recorder/Player. The bummer is the surround portion pooped out about a month ago. ( I'll have to check into that. Maybe substitute some other speakers) I'm using any old speakers from previous failed equipment and it still sounds good ( of course I'm deaf as a stone but maybe Sara Palin can hear it from her house. After all that's all that counts right?? Hope her remote control's signal won't reach my place cause I gave up watching cartoons when I was six.
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on February 11, 2007
To me, the promise and point of HDMI is that you have a single cable going to your TV (and even a single cable from other components).

But this unit will only work this way if you are just using a DVD player (or just connecting HDTV) because the single HDMI output is just a pass-through for the single HDMI input. I have another AVR in my living room (Yahama HTR-5990) which allows any inputs (analog or digital) to be sent out through the single HDMI cable. On this unit, all the video inputs and outputs are just pass-throughs, and are not switchable. So if you have composite in, you have composite out, or S-Video in require S-Video out. Thus, if you have more than one component sending video, you must have another video cable to your TV, and it can't be HDMI. I wish I had known this before purchasing this unit.

As a surround sound unit, it seems fine. Nothing special, but inexpensive and fairly straightforward. It's not a bad AVR, but didn't suit my needs very well at all.
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on February 8, 2008
I upgraded to this from an aging and ailing Aiwa receiver I purchased just before the end of the millennium. While the old girl had served me quite well, eventually her time had come. After a significant amount of consideration and consulting with my local A/V expert, I settled on the XR57 as the ideal blend of price and performance for my setup.

In the price range of this receiver, there is absolutely no competition. It stands apart by delivering exceptionally high quality sound that is more comparable to boutique models from big names than the alternatives in the sub $300 space. I was a little disappointed at the lack of a phono input, but that only applies to members of the continually shrinking group that maintain a turntable. My speaker setup is 5.0, as I haven't ponied up for a good sub or the additional speakers to complete 7.1, but I can say that a traditional large-tower/bookshelf setup sounds magnificent with proper configuration. I was honestly struck by the sharp step up in quality from my prior receiver. The perennial "Twister opening scene in DTS" test came alive with renewed vigor. The sound was clean and clear, full of deep punch in the bass and excellent surround reproduction. I followed up with the "Normandy Beach" test from Saving Private Ryan and again, the surround stage was magnificent, delivering excellent immersion in the battle replete with the eerie whiz of bullets and the sharp ka-ching of empty Garands. The quality of audio here is truly a cut above.

Where this device shows its price-point is in the video switching. I find it has sufficient video switching capabilities to satisfy my needs, but they are far from extravagant in either number of connections or whiz-bang features. It delivers in line with its competition here. My setup does not include an HDTV or digital cable and I only have two component sources to switch which makes this the perfect fit. I sprung for the single HDMI port as a small amount of future-proofing, but in the end I'm a long way from the financial wherewithal to afford the HDTV of my dreams.

One thing I seem to read decried in reviews here and abroad is that the HDMI port is pass-through only. While Amazon's description is a little confusing in this respect, this device does not convert all signals to HDMI. Frankly, you will not find worthwhile HDMI upconversion in a receiver this inexpensive. Moreover, if you currently bask in the splendor of a high-quality HD set, you should definitely think twice about low-end upconverting receivers. The convenience of a single cable should not blind you to the fact that your television will do a much better job with the original component signal than the vast majority of upconverting receivers.

Overall, this was an excellent purchase and a monumental value. This kind of bang-for-your-buck is rare in consumer electronics and exceedingly rare in the A/V space. My hat is off to Panasonic for the engineering quality and kudos to Amazon for the fantastic price.
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on February 28, 2008
Bought this when my trusty marantz died. This was cheaper but it sounds just as good or better. Has some great features like duel amping, and bi amping as well as flexible bass management options which was important to me for home theater. Overall, a great buy.
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on August 4, 2008
After reading so many reviews complaining about its video features, I still decided to go with XR57, the successor to XR55 THE GREAT simply because of the great audio output and XR57 certainly did not disappoint me at all. The sound is absolutely stunning from a sub-$300 amp. Paired with my Mirage OMNI 550, the sound is crystal clear with a plenty of punch at the low end. The top of the amp is warm at most after running all day long which means it does not consume a lot of energy. Yet they fill up my 21' by 17' living room with ease.
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on February 15, 2007
IN SHORT: As an audio-video receiver, it's solid on the A, but falls short on the V. Still, it's a very good option if that fits your needs.

The Panasonic SA-XR57 is a solid receiver for someone looking for to fill out the audio section of their home theater, especially if the compact size and lower heat output of this digitally amplified model are important to you. The sound and power are good, and the audio feature set is reasonably complete. For people who primarily need audio, and have a limited number of video sources, the rating would be 4+ stars. (There are a few quirks, and the power output probably won't fill a large room as well as other options, so it doesn't earn 5 stars.) Consider the SA-XR57 if you just have one or two primary video sources, and can manage with the XR57's connections, or directly connect the sources to the television.

Unfortunately, this receiver is not a good option if you want to rely on it for the video part of a more complicated home theater setup. See the detailed discussion below. So as a true AV receiver, this rates 2+ stars. If you are looking to connect and switch several video inputs, look at another receiver. (Yamahas are sweet, they will have to pry my old one from my cold dead hands.)

SOLID AUDIO FEATURES FOR MUSIC AND HOME THEATER

There's a lot to like about this AV receiver if your are looking for a lower-priced receiver for music or home theater.

- The audio quality is good and provides enough power to up to 7.1 channels to satisfy lots of people. It handles nearly all of the multichannel and audio formats you're likely to want to use, with a few small wrinkles.

- All audio inputs are processed and amplified digitally (with high sample rate conversion to digital for analog sources).

- Because it's a fully "digital" amplifier, it's much smaller and lighter than other options with the sound quality and features this offers. That also means it's more energy-efficient, and generates a lot less heat. (But note that does NOT mean you can squeeze this into a cramped, closed cabinet with no air or circulation!)

- Cleverly, if you've connected just a 5.0 or 5.1 speaker setup, the XR57 will automatically use the idle amplifiers from the unused rear surround channels to "dual amp" the front left and right, to deliver full power with less distortion.

The receiver has enough connections for most people, and the real binding posts for the speakers are nice to have.

It's not the most beautiful receiver, though it has a nice slightly retro feel - you can imagine the silver one in Starsky or Hutch's pad. If you can get past that, and past buying audio gear from the same company that makes your electric razor, you'll like this receiver.

LIMITED VIDEO FEATURES

This receiver will make you happy as long as your video requirements are limited. Other people will quickly run into some of the shortcomings of the video side of the XR57:

- If, like most people, you have any equipment that isn't brand new, this implementation of HDMI leaves a lot to be desired. You can only output signal through the same type of connection as it was input (for example a component connection in means component out). So you can't plug all your video sources into the back of the receiver and expect to run one HDMI cable to the TV. Given that the whole point of HDMI is to reduce cable clutter, it's not entirely clear what they were thinking when they produced this implementation.

- And even if all your gear is brand new, that won't help. There's only one HDMI input and one output. So even if all your inputs are HDMI, you can't connect more than one. Further, the XR57 supports resolutions only up to 1080i, so even as a pass-through you can't connect a 1080p source.

Just in case it doesn't go without saying, there is of course no upconversion (for example, turning a 480-line DVD signal into a carefully resampled 1080-line signal for the TV).

By the way, connecting video sources directly to the TV can work fine if you have a high quality digital output from your TV to the receiver. You can output the audio from the TV to the receiver over a digital cable. This will not only get you the audio for the directly-connected sources, it will also feed the Dolby Digital audio in the HDTV broadcast to your amp and speakers!

A FEW OTHER ISSUES

There are a few quirks that should be ironed out:

- Some of the features, including things you might use regularly like balance, can only be accessed from the front of the receiver, not from the remote. That matters a bit more than it might since you there's no separate level adjustment for the front left and right speakers.

- If you connect an HDMI source, you can only use the audio from that HDMI cable - you can't select another audio source. So, for example, you can't connect a DVI to HDMI cable and route the audio separately.

There's also some room for improvement on the nice-to-have features, although using a universal remote would hide most of the rough spots in the interface. (Just a quick note, if you haven't looked into what a good universal remote can do to simplify using your home theater, look into it! The Logitech Harmony brand is popular.)

- It would be great if there were a manual or automatic edit to the list of inputs/sources, so that you didn't have to scroll through ones that are non-functional to get to the one you want.

- It remembers the settings by source, which takes you part way there but isn't that much help if your DVD player/recorder is also your CD player.

- It's nice to be able to rename the inputs to fit your own description. (For example, I don't have a set top box, so I don't really like seeing TV/STB as the source.)

- There are just barely enough adjustments for most people, but it would be nice if they went a little further with the fine-tuning options for the audio and speaker setup. Not everyone has a dedicated, perfectly shaped room for their home theater, more options can help adapt to various situations. It would also help out some of those who are more particular about their settings.

Panasonic is also touting the ability to control an all-Panasonic home theater (TV, DVD, etc.) using their proprietary HDAVI control signal system. But other reviewers have given that unenthusiastic reviews, saying that it takes some time to figure out, and it doesn't do anything you couldn't do (maybe better) with a universal remote.

[...]
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on May 31, 2007
It has everything I was looking for with a reasonable price. I found it easy to connect and set up. Remote is not perfect, but workable.
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on July 19, 2007
Right out of the box I was happy. I replaced my Kenwood with the Panasonic and was not dissapointed. My main reason was to have wireless rear surround speakers. I also had to buy the rear surround setup, which I bouight referb'd. Something I can expect to function properly, and I was not dissapointed. They work perfectly. Also, I wanted a receiver that was more with the current technology, again, not dissapointed.
The Pan is not perfect, but for me it fit the bill. Realize, that you are not spending five hundred or more dollars and for the money you spend, what you get.
The quality of the sound from my speakers was far ahead of the Kenwood.
Everyone has their own likes and dislikes, for me I like it!
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