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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Since I moved the Panasonic PT-50LC13 into my bedroom along with my GameCube and Playstation 2, I haven't had anything hooked up as I was waiting for the Sony STR-DE597. It arrived earlier this week and I was able to get it hooked up today with my Castle Avon speakers. The system works as good as I expected, and does everything I need it to do.

There were a few things I found inferior with this receiver, but nothing I wouldn't expect for such a low-end product. The sound quality is not superb, but it's good enough. There is an audible click when turning it on or switching inputs. And there is no setting for subwoofer distance/delay or crossover frequency.

Attaching the connections to the back of the receiver caused the back-plate to bend in. It's attached very well, but not very stiff. The unit is not particularly heavy, although the side with the power supply and amplifiers is heavier, making the unit off-balance in terms of weight. It is also pretty large for a such a low-end unit.

The inputs labeled DVD only accept coaxial digital audio, and not optical. This isn't entirely bad, as the receiver still includes two optical digital audio inputs: one for SACD/CD and one for Video 2. So instead of having both coaxial and optical audio inputs for DVD, which would only allow you to use one of the two inputs, I could make use of both of them. However, I won't be, as I have the GameCube going to the DVD inputs and the Playstation 2 going to the Video 2 inputs so I can use the optical audio. I may use the SACD/CD optical audio input with another Airport Express at some future time.

The LCD display is a bit limiting in terms of available pixels, and the user-interface a little confusing as a result. A lot of words need to be abbreviated making the manual a necessary reference. I also tend to dislike units that have a lot of buttons or controls on the front panel, preferring to use the remote or to have those controls hidden behind a faceplate.

The included remote is not a universal remote, for obvious reasons at this price point. This means I have to use both the television and receiver remotes to control things.

I did discover that the receiver includes three light output settings for its LCD display, which is a very nice bonus. I have it set to the lowest setting so it does not distract as much. Although, due to the size, I was forced to place this on the very bottom of the stand, so it isn't near the screen anyway. I can drive the Castle Avon speakers, which are rated at 8 ohms, at my desired volume level without pushing the receiver too hard.
 

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Interesting,...Sounds like Sony has improved the DE line a bit. When I used my DE-995 to drive five 6 ohm speakers it always went into protect mode, ran really hot, and could not produce enough volume to really enjoy a good action movie.

It is now in the bedroom and only has to drive two 8 ohm speakers, though it still has problems with even a light load.

Glad to hear the new ones are performing better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well, I don't drive this setup very hard. It's for video games which means I won't crank it up very high as I don't want to damage my hearing during extended gaming sessions. Some games do have more dynamic range, like maybe Metal Gear Solid 2 which I played recently. But most of the time I will keep the average volume at about 65dB and the peaks will only be ~5dB higher. I also only sit about 6ft. away from the speakers, and there are only two speakers.

Correction, it turns out the Castle Avons are 8ohms nominal.
 
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