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Tieftoener 1st May 2003 02:48 PM

Panasonic F85 - Pretty nice DACs
Hey all,

About 6 weeks ago, a friend and I were searching around the local Circuit Cities for a leftover Pany CP-72. Nobody would sell one because they all just had the in-store model used for the special DVD-Audio display. In one store, the department manager took down our name and number to give us a call when the new replacements came for the CP-72. At that point, he said he could see us the CP-72 that was on display, because it would be replaced by the new Panasonic DVD-Audio player. He said it was supposed to be in within two weeks. I know, I know - I at least had some leverage for bargaining a good price I figured.

So, weeks go by, and this weekend we decided to stop by out of the blue again. They still had the CP-72 set up in the DVD-Audio display... things didn't look good. We asked around, but the manager we had talked to weeks ago was on lunch break. So, we went up the management chain. And, we found out that the new player had actually just come into their store Friday night on the truck. They were going to be setting one up for the display, and they were availabe to buy as well. With a sticker price of $149, I was rather leary. ..

Well, I decided, "What the heck?!" I picked one up, brought it home, and just opened it up... didn't even bother plugging it in. Only you guys on this forum would appreciate that :) I just had to see what was inside...

It appears to be an all-in-one video/audio DSP engine. It decodes DD and dts, which I thought was impressive for $149. Uses Samsung memory for the DSP. The DSP is some proprietary Panasonic number. Not sure if this was outsourced or what. I am unable to identify a seaparate progressive chip, which is what leads me to beleive it is an all-in-one design.

The DAC is a Burr-Brown multichannel, PCM1607K. The 1607 is not yet on the website, and I haven't able to find anything out on it as of yet. However, I'm extremely impressed that they use the "K" series. This is the best of the lot. And this is what inspired me to keep the player.

The only real reason I purchased this player was to have DVD-Audio. Last year, my college roommate bought the Toshiba SD-4700, and I was introduced to a whole new breed of recordings with DVD-Audio. It's presentation completely depends from one disc to another. But I have noticed a tremendous difference over the original redbook CD presentations in a few recordings. I generally much prefer DVD-A over SACD. Just my personal opinion... I don't mean to start a holy war here. I've upgraded my SACD player's analog output stage using several mod suggestions as noted in other Sony NC-650V and NS-500V mod threads (see
here ). The Sony now sounds really good on redbook CDs, but I'm still not impressed with SACD - anyhoo... that's for another thread.

So, a few weeks ago, I mod'ed my old roommate's Toshiba SD-4700, which uses a 6 channel Analog Devices DAC. I removed the muting transistors and decoupling caps, and replaced his el-cheapo opamps with some AD8620's. WOW... what a difference.

After popping open my Panasonic this weekend and noting the Burr-Brown K series DAC, I decided it would be worth the wait to get in my new AD8620's, as I'm now out of them. I can't wait to hear what this player will do. I just wish I could get a datasheet from TI on the PCM1607K DAC. I'd seriously look into replacing the clock and adding an independent power supply for it. Good things come in time. I have some OPA2134's that would probably be a tremendous upgrade in itself, but I'd rather just wait for the AD chips I think. Anything would be better than the NJR NJM4580 opamps that come with it.

Let me warn you, figuring out how to get that darn F85 apart was a trick... I wish you all luck. The main purpose for posting this thread was to give a heads up on the K-series DAC... that really impressed me for a $149 player.

Anybody know where I can get a Panasonic shop manual for this thing? And if anyone knows what audio/video DSP is used, please let me know.

maczrool 1st May 2003 05:25 PM

If it's anything like the 1608K, it's a pretty pedestrian piece, spec-wise.


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