I have heard the circuitry in the newer SA-XR45 is more up-to-date than that of the XR-25. A friend of mine had the XR-25 and said it was okay, but not totally transparent, especially in the treble. I have not heard the XR25, but use the XR45 in a two-channel system and I can tell you it is a very, very, good amplifier. Plus it has a direct digital input. Thus, I recommend the XR45; I'm sure it's worth the extra $70.
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I use the XR25 with no regrets...My next buy will be the XR70 that comes out in July or August.This one will have direct digital with DVD audio compatibility.The biggest diference between the XR25 and XR45 being the XR45 has a variable volume control circuit. Where as the XR25 is set at a fixed voltage. Other than that.. they use the same chips and power supply.Some guys actually use a battery power supply in place of the variable control capacitor.
Go for the XR45 if your planning to buy now. These are the ones being modded. I bought mine based on local availability ..being if it didn't work out I could take it back. That never happened so it's being used until the XR70 hits the market
Also I hope your speakers are up to par..believe it or not this little unit will show the weaknesses in your speakers..if there are any. Plan to hear your cds the way they were recorded good or bad..they will all sound different.
Just a week ago, I ordered a 45 from Videodirect or one of those places, but they came back a few days later and said it had been discontinued and they couldn't get any. However, they said they are being told March or April on the XR70, so I'm going to believe them on that and wait for the 70. If it turns out to be July, I'll be pissed.
The Re-Mastered fields will have an effect on playback as I have tested them for regular recordings,but not for MP3's.
In any event the unit is well worth the $$.I think it is the best deal in affordable audio right now unless you use analog.
From some others comments it beats out some great Rotel gear and others.As for myself it bests my older Rotel gear and falls just shy of my Passive setup which cost around $1500 without having the ability for HT.
You might want to wait for the XR-70 model,but if you have no need for HDMI hook-up why wait.
I have the SA-XR25 model for my "souped up" TV (I really can't call it HT). However I do have the whole 5.1 setup, and agree with others that this is one fine piece of equipment.
Features that the 45 has which the 25 does not are:
1. On screen display for setup purposes. Not really a problem because the front panel buttons are really more convenient. If one plans to use the unit just for audio the OSD would be a waste of money.
2. Low level outputs (stereo) for driving an amplifier at a second listening location. You probably don't need this.
3. The remote has a button labeled "TONE" but the 25 does not respond.
I don't know what Gmood1 means when he talks of direct digital input. Mine has it. 2 Optical, 1 coax, and 1 optical output (shown connected to a CD recorder). The 45 has 3 optical in, said to be ready for 192KHz.
All performance specs are the same.
Drubin ..I hope they are right..then I will be buying the XR70 sooner than what I thought!
Hello Eldartford...I meant it would have HDMI interface ..that will allow transmission of DVD-Audio in the digital domain .If you look at the back of XR25/XR45 it's set up for 6 channel analog input. Also I hear there's a XR50 coming out..not sure the differences between it and the XR70.
Also Panny you can give the top end a smooth ,detailed and natural response by adding a Crescendo bypass capacitor of .01uF to the tweeter/midrange crossover.It seems to take out any high freqs ac noise or hash.Bypass caps are used within the unit to filter out ac noise already.It only makes sense to add another line of filtering at the speakers.I've been toying with the bypass caps for a couple of days now..it makes the Panny have even more air and makes the soundstage tightly focused.I didn't know Maggies could have the pin point imaging of stand mounted speakers...they do now!
Try it and see.. I think you will be very suprised! The $8.50 per cap plus shipping is worth it. It really turns this light weight into a heavy weight in the amplifier world! The filtering caps should also help other amplifiers or speakers with high freqs ac noise.
Thanks so much for all the astute advice :-).
Here's a great eval/comparison of the two:
btw, I'm going for the 45 or the 70.