Pros: Awesome power reserves, high-quality finish and electronic components throughout, and of course SOUND QUALITY!
Cons: No Dolby Pro-Logic II or 6.1 and 7.1, no preamp outputs, runs very hot.
*This review is updated*
At First glance:
Okay, one reason why I bought this receiver was because the look. The champagne-gold finish was a real eye catcher, and the aluminum front panel contributes to its vintage styling. In the good old days almost all receivers were built like a tank, nowadays black plastic dominated the chart, I wonder what happened? Anyway, the face of the Technics receiver was very clean, with a large volume control in the middle companied by a smaller knob for input selection(both were aluminum, not plastic), three small knobs for bass, treble and balance, a couple of small buttons for power, tuner, digital input, 5.1 input, VGCA, and speaker selection, and that was about it; the clean face plate looked so good I could sit and stare at it all day. There was also a front panel input for say, a camcorder, so you won't have to fiddle around with inputs in the back. All five speakers used 3-way binding posts, and all inputs were gold plated, a nice touch! A quiet fan was also in the back for cooling, and it only turns on when needed, no fan noise here! The anti-vibration base was pretty effective on eliminating rattles, but air-borne resonances might still vibrate the case. Open the "hood" of the receiver reveals about 30,000 mfd of capacitance, enough to support harsh dynamics of today's blockbuster movies. Every components were of high-quality, especially the TA-KE II capacitors, which looked like stacked donuts.
Trying to describe every little detail is almost a waste of time; to put it in a simple way, this receiver rocks! It has power reserves to overload all five of my JBL N24s and N-Center, running full range, at the same time! To this day I still haven't been able to stress this receiver to the point of distortion, nor will I want to; I can only listen to very loud music for a short period of time now, because it hurts my ear. Note that the JBLs have a sensitivity rating of 86dB(a well known magazine confirmed that), which is very low. If you run a pair of uh, those gigantic pro audio speakers, you will most likely go deaf. Sound quality is also top notch for its price range, I can very well hear the lowest noise in a movie, while big explosions rocked with authority. The unusually strong subwoofer preamp output can drive any powered subwoofer to its limit without a problem, and the fan keeps every heated components under control. One thing about the fan, however, is that if you have the crossover on for all five speaker which means the receiver is taking a easy load, it will only come on at a pretty loud level; otherwise the heat vent is burning hot, do not ever stack anything on this receiver, or a meltdown of both equipment can result. Because heat is one main reason something fails, I put a small brushless DC fan on top of the vent to keep it cool at all time.
I just helped a friend to set up his receiver for home theater, after one hour of messing around I realized that how ease-of-use my own receiver was; my friend's Pioneer D498 was hard to setup, and the controls were not easy to learn. Finally I had the rig running and I realized that bass was distorted and missing, after fiddling around I found two bass controls: one for bass limit and one for 5.1 bass level. I found these controls totally useless, it distorted the bass and the manual didn't explain what it was actually for(note there were still the usual sub on/off and volume on top of these controls). The Technics SA-DA10 had no such nonsense, it was an easy and simple 10 minutes before sonic nirvana. The universal remote that came with the Technics was easy to use also, by the way.
Since I can't go one day without listening to music, the Technics SA-DA10 receiver has become a part of my life. All my friends are very impressed by what this receiver can do, and so am I. Highly recommended.
After using this receiver for a very long time for home theater I finally got a hold of a pair of big tower speakers, 4 10" woofers to be exact. This receiver's bass-management system DOES NOT WORK PROPERLY for music, when I set the front to "large" and other to "small" and subwoofer to "no", the receiver didn't send the bass information from my CD player to my front tower speakers in Pro-Logic mode, resulting in tinny sound and a lack of almost all the bass. I didn't try it with a Dolby Digital source but in my opinion if it can't do music well why even bother, so to get the correct soundstage I have to switch to Stereo mode, which is supposedly the right one to use when listening to music. Besides the somewhat bothersome decoding, this receiver can seriously crank out power, the tower speakers I'm using are 4 ohms each and the Technics didn't have a problem at all and pounded all 4 woofers with authority, and I still haven't been able to put it into protection(let alone my bleeding ears)!