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Technics SA-AX7 / SH-AC500

5.1-ready A/V receiver / Dolby Digital & DTS decoder (Receiver/decoder combination package)

Item # 133SFDX7

Need help?
Contact our Virginia-based experts.
Discontinued item

Item # 133SFDX7

Need help?
Contact our Virginia-based experts.

About the Technics SA-AX7 / SH-AC500

Key Decoder Features:
Connect the brainy SH-AC500 to the brawny SA-AX7 (via the 5.1-channel inputs), and get ready for the incredible realism of discrete digital home theater!

Equipped with both Dolby Digital and DTS decoding, the SH-AC500 unlocks the awesome surround sound waiting for you on 5.1-encoded DVDs or DBS programs. (For DTS DVDs, you also need a DTS-capable DVD player.) This versatile processor also features built-in Dolby Pro Logic decoding for non-5.1 soundtracks, and switching for up to three digital sources.

The SA-AX7 keeps the multichannel audio playing loud and clear. It delivers not five, but six channels x 100-watts of built-in power, so you can hook up your choice of a powered or passive subwoofer. But what makes this receiver special, and why Technics calls it "DVD-Audio ready," is the Variable Gain Control Amplifier technology which enables its industry-shaking 110 dB signal-to-noise ratio, and its ability to handle frequencies up to 100,000 Hz! These extraordinary specs make this receiver a perfect match for a DVD-Audio player.

Key Decoder Features:

  • Dolby Digital, Dolby Pro Logic, and DTS decoding
  • 5.1-channel output jacks (front L/R, surround L/R, center, and subwoofer)
  • 3 digital inputs (1 optical, 1 coaxial, 1 switchable optical/coaxial)
  • no AC-3 RF input for laserdisc
  • test tone, muting, and dimmer functions
  • dynamic range compression for late-night listening
  • 3' optical digital patch cord
  • remote control
  • signal-to-noise ratio 96 dB
  • 16-15/16"W x 2-3/4"H x 13-1/4"D
  • warranty: 1 year
Key Receiver Features:
  • Variable Gain Control Amplifier
  • 100 watts x 2 (stereo) into 6 ohms (20-20,000 Hz) at 0.05% THD - or 100 watts x 6 channels at 0.09% THD in Dolby Pro Logic mode
  • 3 audio, 5 A/V (including 3 S-video, 1 front-panel, and one 5.1-channel) inputs
  • subwoofer level, cutoff frequency, and adaptive volume controls
  • A/V remote control (multibrand for video)
  • 5 soundfields
  • HELP function
  • 16-15/16"W x 6-1/4"H x 13-1/2"D
  • warranty: 1 year

What's in the box:

  • One large carton containing two smaller cartons and a pre-coded multi-brand remote
  • RAK-SA954MK remote
  • Black colored SA-AX7 AM/FM receiver
  • SH-AC500D Dolby Digital/Dolby Pro Logic/DTS Processor
  • two 68` AC power cables
  • 4 "AAA" batteries
  • two 28" RCA stereo patch cords (for front L/R and surround L/R preamp connections)
  • two 28" mono RCA patch cords (provided for center and subwoofer preamp connections)
  • 38" Toslink optical digital cable
  • FM wire antenna
  • AM loop antenna (with holder and 1 screw)
  • Operating Intructions for SF-DX7 system (English)
  • Operating Intructions for SF-DX7 system (French)
  • Home Theater Guide (English/French)
  • US warranty sheet
  • Canadian warranty sheet (list of Canadian factory service centers on sheet)
  • Customer Care Plan card (offer for optional extra-cost extended warranty from Panasonic)
  • Survey/product registration card
  • US service center list.

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Crutchfield response

<< >>

More details on the Technics SA-AX7 / SH-AC500

Stacey B.

Features & specs

Number Of Channels N/A
Stereo RMS Power (watts) ---
THD in Stereo ---
Frequency Bandwidth (stereo) ---
Minimum Impedance L/R 4 ohms
Minimum Impedance Center 6 ohms
Minimum Impedance Surround 6 ohms
General Features
Bluetooth No
Apple AirPlay ---
Alexa-compatible No
Google Assistant-compatible No
Chromecast built-in No
DTS Play-Fi No
App Remote Control No
On-Screen Display No
Auto Speaker Calibration ---
Multi-room Audio/Video
Powered Multi-room Audio Output No
Preamp Multi-room Audio Output No
Multi-room HDMI Output No
Total Number of Zones 1
Playback from Digital Audio Inputs No
Playback from Streaming Sources No
Surround Processing
Dolby Digital Yes
Dolby Atmos N/A
Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization ---
DTS:X ---
DTS Virtual:X ---
Inputs & Outputs
Phono Input 1
Audio-Video Inputs 4
Audio-only Inputs 3
Component Video Inputs None
Component Video Monitor Outputs ---
Optical Digital Inputs 2
Coaxial Digital Inputs 2
Optical Digital Outputs None
Coaxial Digital Outputs None
Number of HDMI Inputs ---
HDMI Monitor Outputs ---
Subwoofer Outputs 1
Discrete Subwoofer Outputs No
Multi-Channel Analog Input No
Multi-channel Preamp Output No
Main Speaker Output Pairs Binding Posts
Main Speaker Terminals Binding Posts
Ethernet Port ---
USB Connections None
Removable Power Cord ---
Supports Wireless Rear Speakers No
HDMI Features
HDMI Version ---
VRR (Variable Refresh Rate) No
ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode) No
4K/120Hz-Capable Inputs No
Audio Return Channel No
Video Upscaling No
HDR (High Dynamic Range) Support
HDR10 No
HDR10+ No
Dolby Vision No
Other Specs
FM Sensitivity 11.2 dBf
Multibrand Remote Control ---
Learning Remote No
Width (inches) Not available
Height (inches) Not available
Depth (inches) Not available
Weight (pounds) ---
Parts Warranty 1 YEAR
Labor Warranty 1 YEAR

Product Research

Special Note
SA-AX7 Receiver Features
SH-AC500D Processor Features
Receiver Inputs/Outputs

Processor Inputs/Outputs
Remote Control

Special Note:

The number of inputs (analog and digital), surround type information and outlet (switched and unswitched) information listed under the "Specs/Features" tab in the Crutchfield database are for the entire SF-DX7 package. The package includes a SA-AX7 receiver, a SH-AC500D Dolby Digital and DTS processor and a pre-coded multi-brand remote. 

SA-AX7 Receiver Features:

100 watt Subwoofer Output: This unit includes a powered output to connect to a passive (non-powered) subwoofer. The subwoofer output amplifier is rated to deliver 100 watts (0.09% THD) into 6 ohms.  The subwoofer output level may be adjusted using the front panel subwoofer level control. The output has a non-defeatable low pass filter that is continuously variable from 50 to 200Hz, and the frequency response is given as 20-200 Hz.

Variable Gain Control Amplifier (VGCA): A VGCA is used to deliver low-noise output  and wide dynamic range sound reproduction.

VGCA Mode: This mode cuts down on noise created by tone control and display circuitry.  While the VGCA Mode is engaged, the tone controls are bypassed and the display turned off.  While the VGCA mode is on, you can view the display for 3 seconds by pressing the "stereo" button, or you may turn the display on for constant viewing while continuing to bypass the tone controls.

H+ Amplifiers: This unit uses enhanced Class H+ amplifier circuitry which provides 2dB of Dynamic Headroom (e.g., momentary peak power is about 1.5 times rated power). This helps guard against clipping distortion which occurs when a momentary volume peak requires more power than the amp can deliver.

"TA-KE" Capacitors: TA-KE capacitors are used in the construction of this unit. This type of capacitor is made with Japanese TA-KE (bamboo) fiber in the capacitor separator. TA-KE fiber generates low audible distortion, which helps provide excellent high-frequency transparency and mid-range fidelity. The overall result is remarkable clarity and neutral, but powerful, sound.

Bi-Amp/Bi-Wire Outputs (Multi-Channel Multi-Drive Design): for extra high sound quality, this unit provides bi-amp outputs for the front left and right speakers. In the 2-channel stereo mode, when bi-wire connections have been made and the bi-amp mode is activated, 4 of the 6 channels of amplification are used to power the left and right front speakers. In 2-channel stereo mode, the "A/HF" outputs supply 100 watts to the high frequency terminals of bi-ampable speakers, while the "B/LF" outputs supply 100 watts to the low frequency terminals of bi-ampable speakers. When a surround mode is selected, only 2 of the 6 channels of amplification are used to power the high and low frequency inputs of the connected bi-ampable speakers.

Note: To use the bi-amp/bi-wire feature, the front left and right speakers must have bi-amp inputs. When this feature is used, the "B" speaker outputs used as the low frequency outputs, so a "B" set of speakers cannot be connected.

SFC (Sound Field Control) Surround Modes:

  • Dolby Pro Logic Surround: For playback of Dolby Pro Logic encoded sources. Delay variable from  15 to 30ms in 5ms steps
  • Dolby Pro Logic 3 Stereo: For playback of Dolby Pro Logic encoded sources without surround speakers. There is no delay setting for this mode.
  • Hall: Simulates the acoustics of a large concert hall. This mode has no center channel output, and rear channel delay may be set at 20, 25, 30, 40 or 50 ms.
  • Club: Simulates the acoustics of a  small jazz club. The rear channel delay may be set at 0, 15, 20, 25 or 30 ms.
  • Live: This mode is primarily for vocal pieces; vocals sound as if you were hearing them at a live performance. The rear channel delay may be set at 15, 20, 30, 40 or 50 ms.
  • Theater: This mode is used to produce a surround sound experience with soundtracks that haven't been Dolby Pro Logic encoded. The rear channel delay may be set at  15, 20, 25, 30 or 40 ms.
  • Simulated: This mode is used create surround sound effects while listening to a mono source. This mode has no center channel output, and rear channel delay may be set at 15, 20, 25, 30 or 40ms.

Center Channel Modes:The center channel output may be set for "Normal", "Wideband" or "Phantom" operation.

Dolby Digital/DTS Ready: The 6 channel discrete input allows you to easily connect the SH-AC500D Dolby Digital and DTS multi-channel processor.  The receiver will supply six channels of amplification (or five channels if you use a self powered subwoofer). Note that you cannot activate any of the receiver's internal decoding functions (soundfields or Pro Logic) when the 6 channel input has been selected. The delay times and levels for the 6 channel input signals are controlled by the SH-AC500D processor, not the receiver.

Blue Control Panel Illumination: There are two bars of blue illumination along the top of the recessed control panel that occupies the lower half of the receiver's front panel. A tinted flip-down door covers the recessed controls. The blue bars of illumination can be turned off to improve video viewing in dark or dimly lit rooms.

Help Function:  Pressing the HELP/RESET button prompts the unit to scroll troubleshooting messages across the display. The messages are helpful for solving many common operational problems. For example, if you press the HELP/RESET button while both speaker selectors are turned off, the unit will tell you to switch one on. If the help button is pressed for 2 seconds or more the unit will  reset to factory settings, but tuner presets will not be erased.

Fan Cooling: there is a cooling fan in the rear of the unit.

Automatic Memory Presetting: allows you to push one button to automatically enter the strongest stations into preset memory  (like best station memory in car head units).

AM/FM Tuning Intervals: The FM and AM intervals listed under the Specs tab are available when using direct tuning from the remote. When tuning from the unit, the tuning intervals are 0.2 MHz for FM and 10kHz for AM.

Memory holds tuner presets for up to 30 days without power.

SH-AC500D Processor Features:

Dimensions: W = 16.9375", H = 2.739", D = 13.25"

Dolby Digital and DTS Processor Overview: This processor provides Dolby Digital, Dolby Pro Logic and DTS decoding as well as a stereo mode. Note that only 44.1k, linear 16 bit PCM signals can be decoded; this model will not decode 96kHz PCM. As of the date of this entry DTS software is available only on CD and LaserDisc; and is expected to be available in the near future on DVD. Note that DTS CANNOT be downmixed, so it can only be played by selecting the DTS mode and, unlike Dolby Digital, if certain speakers are not connected, such as the surrounds, the sound which would normally be output through those speakers is lost. DTS uses a compression ratio of 1: 3.3 instead of Dolby Digital's ratio of 1:12 and thus claims to have higher sound quality.

Display: This processor has a blue display. Besides showing the input source and mode there is a graphical display of all six speakers (fronts, surrounds, center and subwoofer) which shows which speakers and sizes you have selected.

Dimmer: There is a button on the remote that may be used to dim the display to a preset level.

Speaker Size Settings:

  • Front speakers: may be set to Large or Small
  • Center: may be set to Large, Small or none
  • Surround: may be set to Large, Small or none
  • Subwoofer: may be set to Yes or No

Note: When a speaker is set as small, frequencies below about 100Hz are redirected to the Subwoofer, if there is no subwoofer the bass signal is redirected to the front speakers if they have been set as "Large". Note that this does NOT apply to DTS sources which can not be downmixed.The signal is not redirected but is lost if a speaker is not connected.

Speaker Level Settings: The levels for the Center, Right surround, Left surround and Subwoofer can be adjusted from -12dB to +12dB in 1 dB steps. The balance between the Left and Right front speakers can be adjusted in 12 steps.

Delay settings: 

  • Center speaker ( 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ms)
  • Surround speakers ( 0, 5, 10, 15 ms)

Controls on Processor Front Panel:

  • Power button
  • Digital 1 Input Selector Button: Digital 1 has both a Optical digital (Toslink) and Coax connector. If both are connected the Coax will automatically be given priority.
  • Digital 2 Input Selector Button
  • Digital 3 Input Selector Button
  • Line Input Selector Button: If the line input is selected, the signal from the line source unit simply passes through this processor; none of the processor's controls (including volume) can be used.
  • Surround button: Used for Dolby Digital and Dolby Pro Logic. The processor will automatically switch from Dolby Digital to Dolby Pro Logic depending on the source. The display shows you exactly which channels of a Dolby Digital Signal are used.
  • DTS button: Used to play back DTS encoded sources.
  • Stereo button: Used to listen to surround sources (except DTS) in stereo (it down-mixes the various channels into the front left and right speakers) or to listen to normal stereo, such as a regular CD.
  • Volume control: This is used to set initial gain when using a Dolby Digital ready receiver, or as your main volume control when using separate amplifiers
  • Speaker setting/channel set button: Cycles through speaker size options
  • Selector button: Selects speaker size.

Receiver Inputs/Outputs:

Rear Panel:

  • FM Antenna: Thumb screws for FM antenna wires
  • AM Antenna: Thumb screw for an AM antenna plus a 2 pin female connector for the supplied AM loop antenna
  • Phono: stereo RCA inputs
  • CD: stereo RCA inputs
  • Tape: stereo RCA inputs and stereo RCA outputs
  • DVD/DVD 6 Ch: stereo RCA audio (front left and front right), RCA composite video in and S-video inputs. Also includes center, subwoofer, left surround and right surround RCA inputs for connection along with the DVD stereo RCA audio inputs to an optional multi-channel decoder for Dolby Digital, DTS or DVD audio (when available) multi-channel playback.
  • VCR1: stereo RCA audio, RCA composite video in/out and S-video in 
  • VCR3: stereo RCA audio, RCA composite video in
  • TV/DSS: stereo RCA audio input and RCA composite video input
  • Monitor Out: RCA composite video and S-video out for TV monitor
  • Subwoofer: RCA preamp audio output
  • AC In: input for the AC power cord
  • Speaker Outputs: Binding post speaker outputs for A/HF (high frequency)  & B/LF (low frequency) speakers, Left surround, Right surround, Center and Subwoofer. The posts are not 5-way posts because they have a collar that prevents the use of spade lugs.
  • Switched AC Outlets: two switched outlets provided (maximum allowable combined draw from outlets is 80 watts 0.7 amps)

Front Panel:

  • Headphone: Gold plated standard headphone output jack
  • VCR2: one set of gold plated RCA stereo audio and video input jacks

Processor Inputs/Outputs

Rear Panel:

  • Optical digital input (Toslink) and Coax digital input marked as Digital 1: Either of these can be used but the coax input has priority. If a Toslink and Coax cable are simultaneously connected to the Digital 1, and both cables are carrying a signal, the coax input will be selected.
  • Toslink digital input marked as Digital 2
  • Coax digital input marked as Digital 3

    Note: Any of the digital inputs can be used for Dolby Digital, DTS or PCM. However, this unit does not have an input to accept the AC-3 RF output of a LaserDisc player. An AC-3 RF demodulator (sold separately) is required to connect this unit to a LaserDisc AC-3 RF output.

  • RCA line level left and right front, subwoofer, center and left and right surround inputs: This is used to connect an analog source such as another type of multi-channel decoder, a digital TV set top boxes or a stereo preamplifier to the unit. When the line input is selected on this unit, the signals entering this input are output with no modification at all; you cannot use this unit's volume, sound adjustment, etc. to change the signal input the line input connections.

    Note: The line input cannot be selected using the remote. To select the line input, you must use the line input select button on the front of the processor.

  • RCA Front left and right, center, Surround Left and right, and subwoofer outputs: These are connected to the 6 channel discrete inputs of a Dolby Digital ready receiver, or 6 amplifiers, or the preamp inputs of a receiver with 5 pre-amp inputs and a powered subwoofer. Note that these cables are not supplied
  • AC outlet: Unswitched, 50W, 0.4A max
  • Input for AC line cord.

Remote Control:

Multi-Brand TV, VCR and DVD/Sat/Cable Control: The included remote controls the receiver, the processor, remote compatible Technics cassette decks, Technics CD players/CD changers, Technics DVD players and most television, VCR, DVD, satellite (including DirecTV and Dish Network systems) and cable box brands (consult manual for specific brand compatibility).

Note: The only satellite and cable box controls included on the remote are for channel changing; you may change the channel using the channel +/- buttons and the numeric keypad.

Buttons on the Remote:

  • Power
  • VCR (when the VCR mode is selected and a button is pressed, red back lighting illuminates this button)
  • PROC (when the processor mode is selected and a button is pressed, red back lighting illuminates this button)
  • DVD/SAT (when the DVD/SAT/Cable box mode is selected and a button is pressed, red back lighting illuminates this button)
  • RCVR (when the receiver mode is selected and a button is pressed, red back lighting illuminates this button)
  • TV (when the TV mode is selected and a button is pressed, red back lighting illuminates this button)
  • Play
  • Skip/Search (backward)
  • Skip/Search (forward)
  • Stop
  • VCR Record/Cassette Reverse Play (for auto reverse cassette decks)
  • Muting
  • Display/Test/Recall
  • Channel +/-
  • Volume +/-
  • Level (when a button is pressed, blue back lighting illuminates this button)
  • Tuner (when a button is pressed, blue back lighting illuminates this button)
  • Delay (when a button is pressed, blue back lighting illuminates this button)
  • Surround/Stereo/L/R/-/+ cursor button (when a button is pressed, blue back lighting illuminates this button)
  • CD (when a button is pressed, blue back lighting illuminates this button)
  • SFC/CH SELECT (when a button is pressed, blue back lighting illuminates this button)
  • DVD Select/DR Comp (when a button is pressed, blue back lighting illuminates this button)
  • Tape/CH SELECT (when a button is pressed, blue back lighting illuminates this button)
  • 0-9, 10/>10 numeric keypad
  • Digital 1 (# 1 button on the numeric keypad)
  • Digital 2 (# 2 button on the numeric keypad)
  • Digital 3 (# 3 button on the numeric keypad)
  • Dimmer (# 4 button on the numeric keypad): the dimmer function is for the processor display only
  • Tune Ent/Set up

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