About the Technics SA-AX7 / SH-AC500
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
- 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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More details on the Technics SA-AX7 / SH-AC500
Features & specs
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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)
- Headphone: Gold plated standard headphone output jack
- VCR2: one set of gold plated RCA stereo audio and video input jacks
- 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
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.
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:
- 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)
- TV/VIDEO/DVD TITLE/DISC ENTER
- DECK1/DECK2/DVD MENU DISC/PAUSE
- Skip/Search (backward)
- Skip/Search (forward)
- VCR Record/Cassette Reverse Play (for auto reverse cassette decks)
- 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