Technics SH-AC300 A/V Preamplifier

SH-AC300

Dolby Digital 5.1Surroud Processor

User Reviews (9)

Showing 1-9 of 9  
Douglas Jones   Audiophile [Jun 25, 2000]
Strength:

Price

Weakness:

Sound

The original 300 model did not decode DD sound very well at all....I returned the model for a much better Yamaha decoder....when the 500 model came out with the DTS decoder,
I gave it a shot due to the price I was able to buy it for which also included a receiver...$240 open box buy at Best Buy. The 500 model does an outstanding job in both DD and DTS decoding. Definitely performs as well as my high priced Yamaha!!! I would highly recommend the 500 model and advise all to stay away from the older 300 model.

Similar Products Used: Technics DD/
Technics DD/DTS SH 500
OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
3
Gary W.   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 17, 1999]
Strength:

Dolby Digital, cheap

Weakness:

not exactly a stand-alone unit

The sound is pretty good! I made use of the digital inputs, and both DVD and CD sound is excellent, with good imaging and clarity. I'm not quite to the audiophile level, so I suppose "pretty good" is relative.

It was a lot of rigging to get it to work in my system, but I managed to do it. If I recall correctly, the big sticky point was that you could only get a surround signal out of it from a digital input. If you connect it with an analog signal, that can only be used as a pass-through -- fairly useless for me. So, if you have a DVD or CD player, one with one style of digital output, the other with the other type, you can use the SH-300 and external amps for a real nice-sounding system. This probably works better with a DD-ready system, but so far, the DD-ready systems I've seen are a bit low-end, and I don't see what benefit I'd get, so I'll keep my rigged system.

This might be a good deal for someone trying to rig up external amps for an almost-audiophile setup/sound at a lower price. As a DD processor, I'm not sure that it's terribly practical. When I bought it, there were few DD processors at all, but now there are inexpensive DD receivers, so most consumers would probably be better off with them instead. I would prefer to have a fuller-featured pre-amp with Dolby Digital built-in, however, the price is too high for these units!

Similar Products Used: Old Dolby Surround-Sound units
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
4
eric   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 15, 1999]
Strength:

at this price, every single thing about it

Weakness:

at this price, not a damn thing

i paid $48.88, new in the box. it's disco'd. and when i opened it, the batteries supplied with the remote were dead due to its age. all that notwithstanding, for $48.88 it is the single greatest deal in the history of home theater! so what, one coax and one optical input? for me, that's just enough for my dvd player and my direct tv sat. receiver! i am in heaven!!!!!! sounds great through my yammy dsp-e492 (which i paid $99 for!). separaion is incredible, imaging is all there, and the sound really makes the movies. dolby digital is simply the way to go, and if you can find these -- BUY THEM UP!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Micah Martinez   Audio Enthusiast [Oct 10, 2000]
Strength:

cheap, limited competitors

Weakness:

stops working

This worked alright for about a year for me then simply stoped decoding in 5.1. Now Im stuck and have to buy either a new stereo or DVD player that both work fine just to decode 5.1! Thats what I get for buying technics.

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
3
Evan Jones   an Audio Enthusiast [Jul 20, 1999]

Well to start off, this unit is actually discontinued because of the new SH-AC500D that has come out (it is basically the same unit, but the 500D does DTS and has more digital inputs). I luked out and found this unit at a store that was selling it since it was a trade in (they are rather hard to find). It cost me $230 Cdn incl tax.
Set-up was a breeze..or so I thought...I ended up mesuring the room...speaker locations ect...so I could set delays...spent hours ballancing the AMPS..
(BTW having 3 separat amps is a nasty thing to set up properly) but luckly the decoder can double as a pre-amp! so once I got it setup...it was good to go..well till my next upgrade. *grin*

Another nice touch is that the unit has a COAX and a Optical in so if I ever can get a CD player with a digital out...I can easily plug it in and go.
BUT (saw it comming right?) there is only 1 COAX and 1 Optical...more would have been nice (the 500D has 3 coax and 2 optical so get that if you need more Digital inputs)
AND...this really bugs me...the THROUGH is a strait THOUGH...i,e the pre-amp does not affect this signal...so I can't plug in an analogue CDplayer into this thing...I will need another pre-amp. *sigh* (but yes..this could be an advantage in the long run depending on what your needs are)

Bieng my first jump into the Dolby Digital/AudioEnthusiast world... I was not sure what to expect, but to my surprise the unit sounds very good. (please note all I have for comparison is my firends Sony Mid Range AC-3 DVD player...it does the decoding in the box).
Well first off the separation is very apparant and clear, as is the dynamic range (it is alot more pronounced than my friends DVD player, like a heck of alot)..but the player has DR-Compensation which makes it not quite so apparant (somtimes it seems it is too quiet then too loud...but more than likely that is the movies fault...not the decoder). Overall the sound quality still blows me away(Going from VHS to this was a giant leap for my ears).
The unit also has a THX cinematic re-eq which is REALLY nice, the difference is makes is amazing. Without it turned on, the sound is very tingy...(sounds like the treble has been set to max...or farther) but with it on, it sounds alot smoother....as it would in a theater...the bass gets a tad warmer as well. Generally it improves the overall sound and feel, definately a must have for any decoder.

Overall I was going to give this unit a 3/5, but since it is discontinued and as such can be found used REALLY CHEAP...I would recommend it to anybody starting out in the AC-3 world...so I give it a 4/5.
(definately over an entry level AC-3 amp....I would say find one of these and pair it with a mid range AC-3 ready reciever...net cost will be about the same....or 3 power amps like I did..you will not regret it....plus at $230 canadain..its a bloody steal :)

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
Darryn MacDonald   an Audiophile [Sep 15, 1999]

For the price that these things sell for I absolutely have to give it 5 stars. I have owned mine for about a year and it was only $240 Canadiam when I bought it. I have seen them go for as low a $100 (canadian dollars) new. This processor lacks two features that are found in the newer SH-AC500D. The SH-AC500D has a six channel discrete input (passthru, NO volume control), and DTS decoding. However I actually prefer that SH-AC300 because it has one feature that I find very useful that the SH-AC500D does not have and that is Cinema-ReEQ. I don't know why panasonic chose now to include it in the newer version, but it is very useful for some less than perfectly recorded movies, especially if you own bright speakers. I use a pair of paradigm active/450LR's for my front Left and right channels and this feature is essential for some movies on my system. The bass management on this processor is very simple, each channel can be large, small (except LFE channel), or not present. The crossover points are set to about 100Hz for small. In any case, you are better off using full range speakers for as many channels as possible, in which case you wont need to use the bass management at all. One thing I really liked about this unit is the small, light and simple remote. Oh yeah, the SH-AC500D also have one other featere not found on this processor and that is an extra digital input. In closing, to get a better dolby digital processor than this would cost over $500.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Matt   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 01, 2000]
Strength:

Great price, multiple inputs, nice volume control

Weakness:

Possible Optical Input Problem? Stereo pass through only goes l to r -- does not pass signals to subwoofer.

Overall, I'm very happy. I found this unit for $99 from Crutchfield.

Only complaint I have is that the stereo pass through doesn't pass signals to my subwoofer (when hooked up in 6 channel mode to my rx)

Also, I was experiencing intermittant audio dropouts with the optical digital input; not sure if this was with the decoder, the DVD player, or the cable. Either way, when I switched to the COAX, I was good.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Frederick Hetu   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 06, 1999]
Strength:

It's easy to use for anybody and does the job marvellously.

Weakness:

Cannot control the input level for the "line" input.

This processor is the best of it's category. It's so easy to use and it's compatible with other technics remote control. The soud processing is almost perfect comparing with built-in processor/receiver. For me, I couldn't have made a better choice.

Similar Products Used: none
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Daniel Garcia   Audio Enthusiast [Oct 10, 2000]
Strength:

Does a good job in decoding

Weakness:

Line input can not be controlled

For the price it is very good.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-9 of 9  

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