Panasonic SC-PM20 Mico Component System Mini Systems

SC-PM20 Mico Component System

User Reviews (10)

Showing 1-10 of 10  
Chris999   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 19, 2011]

I am glad to say SC-PM20 is one of the best microsystems ever made by audio industry world! To say frankly Panasonic/Technics brand was never too successful in HI-FI, but has made some famous microsystems. The system has very good desigh, the use of Bi-amping does its job perfectly! Even with conservative 20 Watts output power system gives detailed, even balanced, relaxing sound. The bass is not so deep (the size matters) but midbass has defined notes without distortion. High/midrange is normal for micro class, not irritating in any case . I never needed to use equalizer just because everything was right. It is not for total drive or disco party, instead it is amazing solution for places, where you need quiet, but detailed presentation (office, bedroom, kitchen, store, small cafe ...). By the way in its lineup it was the best unit, next models were somehow worse. So i am keeping this thing with pride thanks to Panasonic!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Patilea Dragos   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 14, 2000]
Strength:

Great sound

Weakness:

Little power

I have from May ’98 an SC-PM15 - the preview model of SC-PM20, but very similar (same features, same power, same everything, except the digital output for MD and LCD display lights)!
Fist of all this micro-system has a dynamic sound, trying to get the sound of the 'big-brothers' of Panasonic compos family. Sometimes the sound is better!

Sound and features

The old “bass” and “treble” control is here again, taking place of the boring sound presets (you know, “jazz”, “pop” etc.) used by many compo manufacturers. Additionally the system has the already traditional Panasonic’s ‘Sound Virtualizer’ working as surround.
There are some else interesting functions and features too: tape counter, TPS (‘tape program sensor’ – an +/- 9 tracks skipper), ‘CD-edit’ and the old MASH circuit (note that SC-PM15/20 CD-player use 8 time oversampling filters).
The system use an effective bi-amp amplifier, the speakers are great enough (20W DIN - 5W for high, 15W for bass), but the ‘large stroke edge dumper’ of the ‘super-woofer’ is not so great – try to use it at 75% nominal power, with +6dB bass (level +3 – medium) and the woofer fails and get ugly. But I must notice that he cross over frequency is 110Hz (!), so the woofer acts as like a sub-woofer. Cool!
Other aspect – maybe is better to keep the treble out of the last two high levels (+5, +6), where the sound is a little bit hissed.
Be ware when you use the ‘Sound Virtualizer’, especially when you listen on FM – the noise is amplified if the tape is bad recorded (no NR here...) or the FM station is far from your location!
The volume (digital, of course) is scaled in dB (nominal power is 0dB, ½ power is –16dB). I highly recommend listening at –10dB maximum volume, to preserve the system.
In the night the fine adjustment of volume (dB means logarithmic scale, so at the low volume the volume steps are smaller) it’s a great deal! And that partially because SC-PM15/20 succeeds in that spot where other micro-systems fails – at low volumes, where the sound must remains dynamic and the bass must still be there.

Aspect

The silver system is, in my opinion, well designed. It has an integrated CD-player, single deck and sensitive (only on FM) tuner. Also it has an aux input, for extern source.
SC-SHPM15/20 is expressive – the original ‘power-glide’ dominates the aesthetic. ‘Power-glide’ is a moving panel, which allows the access to some tape function (here can be found the “rec” key, also not present on remote – and this is a smart thing) and some tuner/timer functions.

Some technical information

FM tuner sensitivity is 1,5 µV (S/N 26dB) and AM tuner sensitivity is 500 µV (S/N 20dB). For tape frequency response (Type I and Tape II) is 50Hz-13kHz, S/N is 52dB and the wow and flutter is 0.18%. The D/A converter of CD player is MASH (1 bit DAC) and CD S/N is 82dB. Speaker impedance is 6 ohm at input power 5W DIN (high) and 15W DIN (low) , output sound pressure is 85dB/W (1m) and frequency response is 43Hz-22kHz (-16dB).

Conclusions

I think it’s the coolest and only like-hifi system at the price (270$). You just keep the volume down (at maximum –16dB) and the bass and treble bellow +5 level (+10dB), and this silver system will give you the best of it!
If you are a silent music fan the SC-PM15/20 is made for you. But if you want real power – just forget it. Anything else depends on taste, am I right?
Enjoy your life and good luck!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Mike   Audio Enthusiast [Jun 24, 2000]
Strength:

This is actually a review for the SC-PM22. Anyway, its strengths are that it sounds good, looks good, and is cheap.

Weakness:

No balance control

Basically, this system is great. It's small, sounds excellent, and has everything you need. The only thing I don't like is that there is no balance control.
If there was a balance control, I would've given the unit a five instead of a four.

Similar Products Used: Aiwa pieces of crap
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Will   Audio Enthusiast [May 25, 2000]
Strength:

this is straight up a therogh system for its size

Weakness:

there are none at all

sorry if your thinking of a jvc peice of crap with no bass.
think again this blows out competition everywhere. it may be i little bit biggerr but for what it has and not being overpriced you definantly have a good deal here

Similar Products Used: none
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Jim Bob   Casual Listener [Jun 25, 2000]
Strength:

Good sound for such a little stereo.

Weakness:

Placement of some controls.
Some buttons found on remote can't be found on stereo.

Okay, so I live in a little studio apartment and I don't have enough room or money for a super audio system, so I decided to purchase this (the SC-PM22).
The sound is pretty awesome for this little stereo. It is well balanced, clear and straightforward. As noted in the reviews below, it just has a bass and treble control, which seems to do the trick in most cases, although some people that like a lot of sound control with equalization and Jazz, Rock, Pop effects may not like this unit. For me, this stereo has the perfect amount of bass, but if you're into super mega-maxi bass, this isn't what you're looking for. I will say, for it's size, this thing can pump out the volume. If I have to complain about anything, I would say they are minor complaints. First, some of the controls can be a little bit confusing and a few buttons can only be found on the remote (what happens if you lose it or run out of batteries?) Another thing I would change is to put a little tape deck window so you can see how much tape is left on the reel. I like to make CD to tape recordings and it is kind of annoying not to know how much tape you have left in order to prevent the tape from clicking off right in the middle of your favorite song.
Other than that, this thing is awesome, especially for the price (about $250) and size. If you have limited space, like great sound and don't have a ton of money to spend, this mini-stereo is for you.

Similar Products Used: Various generic boomboxes purchased at Wal-Mart.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Patilea Dragos   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 20, 2000]
Strength:

Is my micro.

Weakness:

Keep searchin'

I must take back what I said about the SC-PM15/20 power. Some of JVC FS-series owners consider that the 2x13W JVC executives have a powerful sound. Two month ago I listened a £130 JVC FS-5000 and the sound is far away even from £100 PM01 (little brother of PM20, being 2x14W only-CD/tuner micro), taking into account the power and the dynamics of sound. My previous opinion was vis-à-vis my uncle’s Technics SC-EH 500 system (2x80W), AK Panasonic series, Kenwood compos and Sony’s MHCs.
Bottom of line – SC-PM15/20 has just the needed power. Not big – but enough.

PS
I know very well my sys. So if you have any questions about it – write an email. I will be glad to answer.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Dragos Patilea   Audio Enthusiast [Oct 01, 2001]
Strength:

Sound. Built. After 3.5 years still look great.

Weakness:

I had to change the belts of tape deck 2 months ago.

I came back with a new review ("again?" you may say) on SC-PM15, 'cause I just get a full-sized system (amp, CD-payer, tuner, speakers). All I have to say is my micro CAN compete (even in bass area!) with my brand new system! I still enjoy music from it! So, for the money this is a great micro!
It's a shame that the series PM15/20/22 was discontinued... All Panasonic micros made today are FAR away from this baby performance!
Have a nice listening!

Dragos

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Aaron   Audio Enthusiast [Jun 10, 2000]
Strength:

It's simple, yet has excellent sound. Nice finnish and retro-styling on the outside and sweet bass. I havent noticed any problems with the treble either which is really great.

Weakness:

Hm.. get back to me on that one.. maybe that I dont have 2 of them?

Well, it looks almost identical to the SC-PM20 so you know it looks classy. I went to the biggest stores in town that specialized in audio systems. I was looking for a Minisystem, but was amazed by some of the so called Microsystems that were a deal smaller than the Minisystems, yet produced about the same volume and quality of sound that the bigger ones did. Now, my budget was to buy something for about $250 or less, so if thats around what you're looking to get, look no further! Heck, even if you budget is even under $500, this is still a highly competitive peice of hardware. I didn't buy it because it "looked cool", and it does!. I wanted to buy the best sounding system i could find and then see if I could afford it. Well, I found myself looking back and forth between two different stores and after a while, I finally decided to make a final decision, so i went to the few great-sounding systems and turned up the volume.. LOUD! well, this little thing went almost all the way up to max ( I didnt want to make it go all the way in the store cuz it would get everyone's attention!) without any distortion whatsoever! even in the bass!(You gotta see those little sub-woofers move!!) It was the nicest sounding system i could find with the exception of the huge mini-systems for $650+.. those are just huge and i wouldn't want it in my room.. too complicated (this one just has a bass knob and a treble knob, not any of those stupid modes like "jazz" or "rock" or "disco" and it has a "sound virtualizer" that opens up the sound and gives it a more realistic echo effect, although you hear a very light hiss when the volume is turned all the way up which the virtualizer is on, but if you just turn the bass up a notch, you can't hear it anyway.. or you can just turn off the sound virtualizer) and have too many lights for no reason.. i dont think i would want one of those anyway. I hear they break down too easily, so this was absolutely my first choice. In the sterios that have a 3 or 5 cd changer, the changer sometimes breaks or can't read the disc after a week or so, so a simple 1 cd player made it more attractive to me.. i just have a case for my cds next to it which works fine. Remeber, the more things it has, the more that can go wrong, so definately dont but a big system that has lots of features and is only $150.. it wont work after a year most likely! The best part was, was that the price was $249 (Just my limit!) at best buy. Not as cheap as off the net, but i didn't want to bother with looking for the best prices for hours. I wanted it that night!
So anyway, If you're looking for a superior system to many others (yeah, you are or you wouldnt be here) and you like to save space (who doesn't?) and like to listen to your fav. CDs or songs on the radio with some of the best sound quality you've ever heard, purchase the SC-PM22.
My only gripes... The manual says SC-PM22, but the actual sterio says SA-PM22, but so far, i dont think theres really a difference because the pics of the SC-PM22 are the same as what mine looks like with the exact same features, so im guessing its just something like model year.. mine is the newest version i think, but I'm not sure. try looking at best buy or circuit city or some other audio stores to see for yourselves.
The other problem is that the blue glow on the display screen at the top doesnt turn completely off without turning the whole system off even though i like to listen to music as i go to sleep so i just dim the light by closing it up (you'll see what i mean when you mess with it) and keep the "brain" of the system turned away from the bed a little.. that fixed my problem.
Bottom line:
6 Stars! get it!

Similar Products Used: None.. Actually, I have a SC-PM22, not a 20, but since this site doesnt have a place to reciew the SC-PM22 and the 20 and 22 are so similar, i thought it would be ok to review it here, so bear with me.. if there is a place to review the SC-PM22, i will give a long term review there.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Jeff Dunlop   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 29, 2000]
Strength:

Exceptionally clean sound

Weakness:

Trebles a mite harsh

Treble and bass controls on shelf systems have become a dying breed, so finding them on this unit was welcome. The other dying breed is the shelf unit with Dolby decoding, and unfortunately this unit has none of that. The remote is very full featured. One annoying thing is that if you lose the remote, you lose several features, including the sleep timer.

The system uses a bi-amp with crossovers to provide exceptional bass response in the approx 7x11x8" wooden speaker enclosures. This system clearly cannot stand favorably next to any component system, but of the literally dozens of shelf systems that I auditioned, nothing else on the market offered the quality of sound, even at prices up to $700.

I bought one for my daughter almost two years ago, and loved it so much that when I needed sounds for my office I again auditioned everything out there, and the PM20 was hands down my clear favorite.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Chris   Audiophile [Jul 30, 2000]
Strength:

Sound quality, great bass, sound quality, cd player and tape deck, retro-styled knobs and such, simplicity yet has a fairly good amount of features, and sound quality

Weakness:

blue light stays on unless the whole thing is turned off.. it dims when the power glide panel is closed, but it doesnt completely turn off, no window for tape player so its hard to see where on the tape you are

Like i said before, the sound quality from this is amazing. you really need to go back and forth between systems and see which system has the best sound quality.. mini and micro-systems included. The bigger ones are more feature rich but to make up for that, it seems that the sound quality suffers becuase the speakers were made more cheaply so the prices could compete with other systems. This system is all about Sound quality, design, and relative simplicity. It's made from mostly metal and wood, so i like its high quality construction which in my opinion, helps sound quality even more. All I can really tell you is that if you are thinking of buying a mini or micro-system, go to a few stores and just compare what the SC-PM22 sounds like compared to anything else. Now if you have $800+, then you can proabably get a big mini-ststem that can compete and probably outdo this one.. perhaps.. If you want sheer volume, a mini-system is just louder, but thats just noise, not music. This system is absolutely optimal for someone who: enjoys listening to excellent sounding music-the way it was supposed to sound, someone who wants to put it in a small-medium sized room(Its in my bedroom). Its not a home theater system, but i think if you turn it up almost to max, i guess you could do that.. i must admit i was supprised to hear that when its turned all the way up, there is hardly any audible distortion whatsoever, but turning all the way up is too loud for me.. shakes things up a little too much! anyway, its a great peice of hardware. U gotta hear it.

Similar Products Used: if i had anything similar, i wouldnt have needed to buy this one
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 10  

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