Panasonic SC-ST1: test and review

This Panasonic set its limits when searching for a naturally balanced sound. These limits are a problem for the music for films, therefore, they will affect listeners some more than others.

This system does not shine by its functionality. The surround sound receiver processing modes are basic: they are limited to Dolby Digital and Pro Logic (no Pro Logic II) standard and DTS 5.1. The ST1 is even devoid of the usual basic functions to adjust the bass and treble. The only way to adjust the sound ST1 is to use the command of the subwoofer that offers 4 levels.

Certainly the ST1 plays DVD-A and provides component video outputs, but the connection possibilities are extremely limited: only two sets of stereo inputs and outputs composite, progressive scan component and s-video.

Each speaker houses sculptural tiny speakers grave of 6.35 cm and a treble loudspeaker. The center speaker is made up of four woofers 5.1 cm and a treble loudspeaker 2.5 cm. The subwoofer contains meanwhile a serious speaker of 17.1 cm and all ST1 of the power amplifiers. While the subwoofer amplifier delivers 130 watts, the center speaker delivers 62 watts and the front and rear channel amplifier only 27 watts each. These values ​​are significantly lower than those of most other systems marketed at a price similar to ST1.

More oriented cinema music

On the DVD Gangs of New York, the opening battle enabled the ST1 to show his best abilities. The terrible fight melee, the sound of blows and clashing metal objects were all played impressively. A little later, when “Bill the Butcher” is a knife throwing, sound proved sensational, we could hear the blades penetrate into the wood with a crash. With this DVD, the ST1 is its reason for being, the sound was projected with high purity.

However, as time passed the ST1, we noticed that the dialogues lacked consistency, the sounds are much too poor.

This system lends itself more to movies than music. Our acoustic jazz CDs were pleasant, but powerful bass were more thunderous. Before we reach very high volumes, the sound seemed forced, the voice being particularly aggressive and garish. These large columns have too often behaved like tiny satellites. In addition, the power and the extension of subwoofer deep bass were only mediocre. Many of our DVD-A emerged with its anemic and desperately strangled, even with the subwoofer set to maximum. We’re not 100% certain, but it seemed that the ST1 not properly would redirect the bass from the main channels to the subwoofer.

But not very ergonomic design

Each speaker column (107 cm) consists of three elements: a plastic enclosure box, a base and a circular metal base. Given the number of elements, ST1 of the physical installation takes time, but it combines perfectly. You can also mount some or all speakers on the wall. It took a little under an hour to fix them on pedestals and connect all the son before you can play DVDs on the ST1. Measuring 16.5 cm wide, 44.5 cm high and 42.5 cm deep, the subwoofer is the most bulky component. With its plastic aspect that can not be undone, it seems inappropriate in this expensive set.

The disc loading system has a wow vertical drive tray opens quietly, you insert a CD or DVD, you press Play and the machine draws the disc. The system reads all our test MP3 selections, display information relating to each file. The ST1 has not made the difficult reading DVD-R indiscriminately, DVD-RW, DVD + R, DVD + RW and DVD-RAM.

Orders of 107 cm receiver on base are on top, but they are not lit, so we always appuyions the wrong button. We have lost count of the times we drive off accidentally. The small screen is mounted on the front. A second screen placed on top would have been nice, as we had to constantly look back to see us or what was happening.

Of course, we basically used the elegant remote control, but we are not able to get used to the layout of its buttons, far from intuitive.