Technics SH-AC500D A/V Preamplifier

4.1/5 (30 Reviews) MSRP : $300.00


Product Description

Dolby Digital / DTS processor


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Reviews 1 - 5 (30 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by sactohye a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: May 28, 2005

Bottom Line:   
While it may seem a bit late in the day to be reviewing a piece of equipment, one gets a very good feel for it after many years of use. In addition, any reliability problems will have surfaced.

I bought the Technics SH-AC500D processor at the same time as a Panasonic DVD-A110 DVD player. The processor is connected to my Sherwood Newcastle R725 receiver, which I have reviewed. When the processor is decoding Dolby Digital or DTS soundtracks, it uses just the power amplifiers in the receiver. Currently, I have an LG LST-3510A HD Receiver/DVD player connected to the SH-AC500D via an optical cable.

Installation was easy, although connecting nearly a dozen cables between it and the receiver makes for a jungle of wiring. Setup also went smoothly. The manual explained everything quite clearly.

The processor must be powered on and in "Line" mode in order to operate the receiver. One would think that it could pass the signals through itself when powered off. At least the Mute function works in this mode, which is handy.

Switching to one of its three digital inputs "breaks" the connection between the receiver's preamp out and main amp in lines and activates the processor. The processor will automatically decode Dolby Digital and PCM feeds from the DVD player. It does not send any signal to the subwoofer when decoding a PCM signal from a CD nor does it automatically detect a DTS feed. The processor has to be manually switched to decode DTS. While hardly the end of the world, automatic switching would have been a real boon.

The SH-AC500D does a very good job of decoding both Dolby Digital and DTS soundtracks from the LG unit. The sound quality has always been noise-free, clean and clear on all channels. While it has no tone controls, and bypasses those in the receiver, I have never found a need for them

I have not used its remote control for the past five years because I bought a Marantz RC2000 MkII remote (also reviewed).

After seven years of use, the SH-AC500D has not had any problems. It has been an excellent performer and will be for some time to come. . It does what it's supposed to do without fuss and does it very well.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1998

Price Paid:    $299.00

Purchased At:   Good Guys, Milpitas,



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Supra2JZGTE a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: July 30, 2002

Bottom Line:   
I won the unit off of eBay as a used with some damage product. My roomate hamerred out the dents it had, I cleaned the PCB and the face plate, and she was good to go. I have a Denon AVR-1700 AC3 ONLY reciever. My roomated DVD player (Panasonic) has DTS bitstream out. Anybody who knows Digital Surround formats knows that DTS just plain out sounds better then AC3 because of its bitrate and compression ratio. Well I was starving for DTS for years, but couldnt afford the decoder, and when I could afford it, I could never find it. The other day, I found it on eBay, and I had some dough, so I made a bid and fought to stay ahead. I walked away paying 88 bux plus 12 bux for shipping/handling. The unit took me 5 minutes to set up to my 6CH inputs on my reciever. I was beyond pleased with my purchase, and was more then happy to be finally hearing my movies in DTS and not Dolby Digital.
Dont get me wrong, AC3 sounds great, but DTS sounds incredible.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Price Paid:    $88.00

Purchased At:   eBay



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Geno a Casual Listener

Date Reviewed: August 28, 2001

Bottom Line:   
Mark

You have just described my set-up with the processor and the pioneer VSX-DIIS. I purchased the receiver 7 years ago knowing that AC-3 was on it's way so I wanted the separate pre-out/main-ins to do exactly what I'm doing. I had read about the technics AC500 and thought it would be a good match for my receiver. On the way to my bank one day and for no particular reason I droped into a small stereo shop to look around and low and behold they had this unit on the clearance shelf, brand new and still in box. I quickly snatched it up and now I am enjoying DD & DTS for a very cheap price.

This unit is a great little unit, with exceptional sound quality and value. I would highly recommend it to anyone who has a similar upgrade path. As far providing providing a more detailed review, Mark has pretty much said it all for me.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Casual Listener

Product model year:   1999

Price Paid:    $125.00

Purchased At:   Kings Stereo



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Alan Dana a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: June 4, 2001

Bottom Line:   
This little box has its limitations. I put the remote into a drawer and never use it as it offered such little functionality. You have to push a button to get it to decode DTS. It has only 3 digital inputs. Speaker setup is limited. You could try to use it as a standalone preamp, but I doubt you'd stick with it for long.

However the plus side, and its a BIG PLUS side, is that it is a terrific Dolby Digital and DTS decoder for a very inexpensive price. I've compared it to decoders listing for close to $1000 and the difference is quite small. I use it with an older Denon Pro Logic receiver (with 5.1 inputs) and they work beautifully together. Was even able to program my $30 Radio Shack remote with the several of the Technics remote codes, so I can control it along with the rest of my HT system from a single remote.

This piece originally listed at $349 and it was a great deal at that price. Now some of the internet sellers offer it for under $200 and you can't beat it for adding very good DD/DTS to an older system.

I run my Technics DVD player, a Dish DBS receiver, and an older Pioneer laserdisc through it and all sound better than I've ever heard them before.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   1999

Price Paid:    $169.00

Purchased At:   Best Buy



Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:3
Submitted by laugeois marc a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: March 14, 2001

Bottom Line:   
The processor produce a "scratch" when the source is automatically changing standard from Dolby Prologic to Dolby Digital. I notice this problem on Pink Floyd the Wall (when the dolby prologic music of the interactive menu stops, the processor switch on Dolby Digital), T2 : the ultimate edition, Fight club (during the layer changing) ... This problem does not happen on others processors as marantz, harman or denon!
If anyone has had the same pb, could you e-mail me.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   2000

Price Paid:    $320.00




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