Panasonic digital amps and 4 ohm speakers

I've been looking at buying one of the new Panasonic XR digital receivers (SA-XR50 or SA-XR70), but the XR50 specifies 6-16 ohms. Anyone tried using one of these (or the older XR45) with a 4 ohm speaker?

I've got some GMA Europas on order, and was hoping to mate them with one of the new Panasonic receivers. Any reason not to?

My room is only 12 x 19, I listen mostly to 2 channel, and mostly listen at low to moderate levels. Definitely want to be able to crank it up every now and then, though. Thanks for any help.
I have a XR25 (same amps as XR45) and I tried it out with Dynaudio speakers that measure about 3.7 ohms dc. It sounded fine and didn't get hot. However I can't say how things would go long term. Panasonic must have a reason for the 6-8ohm spec. But perhaps that is related only to maximizing power output...don't know.

One thing you can do is use a subwoofer (powered by its own amp) to take some of the load off the Panny.
I dont really have an answer but im really curious to see where this goes.

Im looking at some Adire Audio DIY speakers, they are all 4 ohm, and ive been eyeing those panasonics, and while i dont ming amping my main l/r i would just rather not go to the expence of buying a seperate amp for the surrounds. it is just a living room surround setup.
Can you please expand on what this receiver does that makes it a great value or sounding unit?? I never thought Panasonic was even considered mid-hi-fi??? I know some of this stuff is starting to sound ok particular when considering how little it costs.

Red2, the new Panasonic units are supposed to sound great when using the digital inputs, but just average when using the analog inputs. Since I have several digital devices and a limited budget, this is my first choice of receiver, provided it is compatible with my new speakers.
I'm using the SAXR45 with the GMA Europas with no problems. Sounds excellent hooked up digitally with a Panny 963sa upsampled. You will have no problems
I have used the Panasonic on GMA Europas and my Magnepan 2.5Rs. I've ran it 4 weeks straight without turning off the Panasonic on my Maggies. There are a couple guys that post on Audioasylum that use the Panny with B&W 801s another uses Von Schweikert 4.5se.I seriously doubt you will have any problems. It's quite a bit tougher than what it looks.Word of advice ...pair your cd/dvd player with a power conditioner. Something that uses an isolation transformer like the Powervars would be great. It makes one hella of difference.The Panny is very sensitive to the bits it recieves from the cd player.The cleaner the bits the better IME. You can get a Powervar 2.0 to 5.0 on Ebay .They normally sell between $30.00 and $50.00.Any of these would be more than adequate for a cd player.These conditioners IMO out perform or match some of the high dollar audiophile conditioners.

Good Luck!
Thanks, Gmood1. Would replacing the power cords on the Panasonic and cdp have the same effect as using a Powervar or OneAC unit? New PCs from SignalCable or Bolder would actually cost more than the prices you quoted, but I am curious as to the effects of a PC versus a conditioner.
I'm also driving Europas with an XR45 and getting very good results.
Ragan I have experimented both ways.I used a Tice Infinite speed power cord with great results. This power cord cost nearly twice what I paid for the Panny! I also tried a regular 18 gauge cord into the Powervar..along with the cd player plugged into the same unit. It was just too clean for me(your results may vary depending how clean the power is in your area). I found plugging the Panny straight into the wall with the cd player plugged into the Powervar worked best. I also used both units into a Monster Power Center and a Tice Power conditioner.The results were less noticeable.The most cost effective way with the greatest results was using the Powervar on the cd player with a normal cord (not the stock though)on the Panny. Get at least an 18 or 14 gauge computer grade cord .This will cost you maybe $6.00. As good as some of the power cords are none can do what a power conditioner does with isolation transformers IMHO.

The Panny is like a powered Dac that plugs directly into your speakers. So you want the bitstream it sees to be as free from ac hash and noise as possible.The Powervars do this without a hitch. I work in the communications field.
If a Powervar is good enough to plug millions of dollars worth of equipment to. It's good enough for the audio toys.
I just bought a panasonic xa 50 from j and r music for a second system. I am using a philips 963sa as dvd player. I ran a digital out from the 963 to the panny. It will not play sacd's. Cd plays, though. Also, i want to put it into "party mode" to double the power to my main speakers. It says no "sfm" for this pcm source. Can i use the party mode? Why not?
Thanks guys.
SACD does not output a digital signal. You will need to use analog outputs from the Philips for your SACD playback, but for CD and DVD continue to use the digital out.
Streetdaddy, what is your source component and what type of signal are you feeding the Panasonic? SFC modes cannot be used with Dolby Digital, DTS or high sample rate signals.
I am sending the signal from my philips 963 sacd/cd player thru the digital input{coax} to the panny. Maybe i need to turn off the upsampler?
ok, i turned off the upsampler and it worked. Thanks guys.
Yes, please explain what it is about this $399 Panasonic receiver that is so special that most of you are integtrating it into a mega thousand dollar system. $800 power cords? Dynaudio speakers? B&W 801's??? C'mon, am I missing something here?
Yes Mborner you are missing something!!Where have you been for the last 6 months? LOL
No it is not the end to all sound.But the little Panny is pretty damn good.Especially if you like neutrality and high resolution with good PRAT. I have simplified it by calling it a powered dac that plugs directly into your speakers.This isn't a run of the mill receiver with built in Dacs. This is a pure digital amplifier.Digital amplifiers make it possible for the audio signal to stay in its pure digital form through the complete audio signal chain to greatly enhance sound quality. In a pure digital amplifier, (one with a digital input ), there is no need for Digital to Analog Converters in the audio signal path. Digital Amplifiers actually synthesize the desired output signal directly on the speaker terminals, thereby creating a high-powered digital-to-analog converter.

It also is a zero feedback design.The new XR70 which everyone is waiting on ...including me. Is a fully digital receiver that features HDMI* (High-Definition Multimedia Interface), which helps simplify the connection to other audio/video sources and provides high quality audio and video playback.

I took this from a consumer report on the unit.
HDMI transmits digital and audio signals at speeds of up to 5 Gigabytes per second without compressing them. It supports high-definition images up to 1080p, and high quality, multi-channel audio formats such as DVD-Audio all through single wire digital connections. This produces extremely pure sounds free from noise and signal degradation and allows for high quality audio and video with fewer cables. The small, user-friendly connector is suitable for a wide range of components, such as a set-top box, DVD player, and A/V receiver and a digital television. Result: the consumer can derive all of the benefits of home theater without sound and picture degradation or complicated wiring.The SA-XR70 reproduces sounds up to 88 kHz and drives them with a flat, wide power bandwidth that extends to 100 kHz. This provides rich reproduction of the ultrahigh frequency range that affects the musical ambience and mood.

There are no transformers in these receivers.They use switching power supplies. These switching supplies can switch on and off up to many 100,000 times per second.They are supposedly 98% efficient..where as the average transformer based analog amplifier is roughly 40 to 50 percent efficient.The unit only draws 120 watts max but can output roughly 75 wpc.
There is no hum or hiss...infact you can turn these amplifiers up full volume and you will not here anything with your ear pressed against the speakers.It's a TI(Texas Instrument) based digital chip used in the Panny.It has a muting circuit built in, so if there's no pulse wave form to see then there's no sound.Texas Instrument bought the Toccata team that designed TACT digital amplifiers($10,000) from TACT audio. The version of this chip in the Panasonics was designed to be cost effective.

The negative side... it is only for digital based audio systems. Also it will take a cd recording and tear it apart! If it's not recorded will certainly know it. You can easily tell if the engineer did his job or fell a sleep at the board. With well recorded Chesky recordings the sound is quite amazing.If you like a tube sound then this unit is probably not for you.It is unforgiving and gives you only what it reads off the cd colouring.On the other hand if tube equipment was used in making the recording as with Sara K recordings. It will sound like you plugged up a tube amp.

Even though the cd player is only a transport when using the little Panny. The sound varies from player to player.Some are more up front and some have more of a laid back sound. I see a lot of guys using the Phillips with great results.By the way the power cord retailed for $400.00 ..I bought my Panny just a tad over $200.00.
I bought it as my first AV receiver for a 2-channel HT system. I use it only for audio, not for video switching. It gets a digital source from DVDs but an analog source from my TiVo box, which takes the Comcast digital cable signal. I'm happy with the sound even on the analog side. Very clean, neutral, not all harsh, a touch sweet even. Then again, I'm so thrilled to have something better than the sound from my TV's built-in speakers that probably anything would sound good to me. (I get excited about seeing Mercedes commercials "in HT".)
Drubin no need to make excuses about liking this combo. It is a very good combo... as others have discovered. If you compare it to some other combos within in this price range and to some degree above you will discover it's a damn good combo! I wish I could have started out with a system like this combo... it might have saved me some money!

Happy Listening!
Goodmood1, I have a lot of rock cd recordings from the mid 80s. Most of them are not the best recordings. I'm sure I'm not the only one with early REM or U2 albums ect... on cd. With a lot of this kind of music in my inventory, it sounds like the digital receivers are something we should stay away from. Am I wrong on this notion? Or would it be more foolish to drop 5 grand on an analog setup (preamp and amp) at the dawn of digital? Thanks.
Hello Kclone..well to be honest if you need to smooth over some recordings this isn't the receiver for you. I guess in a perfect world having a high resolution system and one that plays the mass market recordings would be best.With the advancements in technology I don't think I could talk myself into spending 5 grand on a preamp and a ampilifier.
But then again I am a cheap SOB.LOL

If you have one system and everything sounds the same. Something is wrong. No two cds sound the same.Also in some cases no two recordings sound the same on the same cd.
As little as the Panny cost it would be fun to swap it out sometimes with a nice analog preamp/amp combo when you get that itch.My next purchase will be for a Eastern Electric combo.
The Eastern Electric Minimax preamp and the their 70 wpc tube amplifier that hopefully will be released soon. I am one that believes simpler is better.Whether it's digital or analog.
could it be used to power 5 maggies as a ht system: 4mmgw and one mmgc? -dan
Dan should be able to power five maggies in this configuration.Kenwood is due to release it's pure path digital receiver VRS-7100 in june.
It supposedly 130 wpc instead of the rated 100 wpc Panny. It's the same equibit technology..just a little more power.
It's something else for you to consider..I am guessing street prices will be about the same as the Panasonic.

Also there's a flagship model called the VRS-N8100 .This looks like it's going to be very versatile.Here's some info I pulled on it.

The new HD-ready Kenwood Fineline™ receivers, styled in a sleek, silver, low-profile design, feature the flagship Model VRS-N8100, which can play streaming audio and video files over a computer network, display photo files stored on networked PCs or on digital memory cards, and play one soundtrack over speakers while playing another over headphones.

Both new models, the VRS-N8100 and VRS-7100, have advanced features including built-in 130 watt x 6 channel digital amplification, HD component video switching, 6.1-channel Dolby® Digital EX and DTS-ES® decoding, five digital audio inputs, 24-bit/96 KHz digital-to-analog audio processing, and Kenwood’s exclusive Active EQ by DSP, which optimizes movie soundtracks and other audio sources to sound best over compact speaker systems.
Though packed with power and top technology, both receivers are less than 2½” tall, small enough to fit on a shelf in most any entertainment system stand or rack.

“People want affordable home entertainment products that can work with their other digital electronics, that have the latest features, won’t become obsolete after a year or two, and of course, have great style, ” said John Hwang, R&D/product manager for home Electronics. “That’s what Kenwood Fineline products are all about.”

VRS-N8100: Ethernet and PCMCIA Connectivity Plus Home Theater A/V

Designed for connection to a wired computer network (LAN), the new VRS-N8100 is Kenwood’s first network-capable home theater receiver. It provides a standard Ethernet jack on the rear panel and is also equipped with a PCMCIA card slot on the front panel that can accept flash memory cards via PCMCIA adapters.

Once on the network, the VRS-N8100 will stream audio and video media files stored on a PC in real time. Compatible audio media file types include MP3, WMA, WAV and Ogg Vorbis; compatible video media file types include MPEG1, MPEG2, and XviD. The VRS-N8100 can also display digital still images (in JPEG, GIF, PNG and BMP formats) stored on a PC and on flash memory cards used with PCMCIA adapters.

Video Game Features and New Dolby Headphone Technology

In addition to home theater and networking features, the versatile VRS-N8100 also provides video game system inputs on the front panel. The receiver automatically detects when the game inputs are in use and selects them as the active input.

In a novel approach to sharing resources among family members, the receiver is equipped with Kenwood’s Dual-Source/Single-Zone listening mode that allows someone to listen to one source on headphones — a video game for example — at the same time others listen to another source (such as a CD or radio) over speakers.

To add to headphone users’ enjoyment and sense of realism, the VRS-N8100 features Dolby Headphone, which simulates a 5-channel surround sound environment to someone wearing any type of ordinary stereo headphones. With Dolby Headphone, listeners sense that, rather than the sound coming from inside one’s head (a common complaint of headphone users), they hear sound around and outside themselves. Dolby Headphone is recommended for gaming, movies, and music.

Superior 6 Channel Digital Audio Processing with 32-bit SHARC DSP Chip

Six-channel audio processing in the VRS-N8100 is handled by an ADI SHARC® 32-bit Floating-Point DSP chip, providing high-resolution processing of both high level and low level audio signals that maintains surround sound effects during quiet as well loud passages.
VRS-7100: All the Features of VRS-8100, Except Networking

Consumers looking for an affordable 6.1-channel home theater receiver but who don’t foresee needing to connect to networks or read memory cards can choose the Kenwood Fineline VRS-7100 receiver. The VRS-7100 offers identical features and performance as the VRS-N8100 — including video game inputs and audio modes, Dolby Digital EX, DTS-ES, and Neo:6 decoding, Active EQ by DSP, the 32-bit floating-point SHARC DSP chip, and powerful, cool-running digital amplifiers — except it does not provide an Ethernet connection, PCMCIA card slot or file streaming capabilities.
Pricing and Availability

The VRS-N8100 will be available from authorized Kenwood home electronics dealers in July at a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $800.00. The VRS-7100 will be available in May at a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $500.00

The landscape of audio and video are about to have a drastic change over next couple of years!
For the Fellas still desperately holding on to the boat five years you won't be able to give them away.

Have Fun!
Gmood, Help rid me of my boat anchors...I WANT to believe! But let me see if I'm understanding all this correctly:

These digital amp rx's are great for cd. But for good quality SACD (and the ultimate boat anchor, vinyl) I still need amps that perform better in the analog world, judging from earlier posts above. What about movie sound playback?

It seems like getting rid of my old gear will leave me with mediocre playback of all sources except cd -- and according to Huggy Bear, word on the street is that cd's days are numbered.

I'm not doubting the prowess of this class of digital rx -- I'm gonna get one to check them out for myself, after I finish paying off the new basement, into which I will move my audio den of treasures. I just want to make sure i understand it all clearly so I can map out my future system configuration accurately. Thanks for edumacating us!
Hello Brett..I still have a soft spot for the boat anchors.But I know the day will come when they will become few and far between.If not already ...soon there will be digital amplifiers that you can tune and change the sound to your liking.So if you want more of a tuby sound you can press a button.Enjoy the boat anchors but keep an open mind for the future.It won't be long before these digital amps will cover all the bases .It will be difficult to find something wrong with them.Hopefully models will appear that mate well with vinyl..only time will tell.

Happy listening!