Cinema Product Reviews

Panastereo 70mm sound processor model CSP4600
Manufacturer:  Panastereo
Grade A
Reviewed September 2000 by Gordon McLeod

Everyone in the industry who has had much hands-on engineering experience will agree for any large theatre that needs quality 70mm processing the Dolby CP200 just can not be beat. Hell that large unit could with only a box of diodes can do almost everything.  Regrettably in the era of digital, the norm is that operators couldn’t understand the switching complexities of it.  Thus the CP200 was discontinued to be replaced with 70mm sort of work-a-rounds.   Finally someone has decided that even with the limited number of theatres that want to show quality 70mm presentations, that a new design of 70mm processor was needed from the ground up.

PanaStereo of Australia, after getting the want lists of many sound engineers, has designed a companion product for their highly respected 35mm processor that addresses every mag format ever out there and a few that were thought of and yet to be realized.

If that wasn’t enough it will mate to an existing CP500 or CP65 to extend the limited range of formats that these processors supply.

First it internally has space for four 6 channel magnetic preamps that are electronically balanced with sufficient adjustment range to handle the levels and eq range of old academy 4 track mag prints (even with the 12K switch tone) to 70mm SR.

By the push of a button all the formats are available on the front panel and they include (to the dream of every film historian) 35mm 4 track mag with either no NR or A type or SR noise reduction.

For 70mm formats it will select between Todd-Ao, Format 42 with baby boom and Format 43 split surround.  It then by pushbutton allows the choice of a type or SR noise reduction or just full range, with out opening it up to change cards.

It also has an assignable input for double system input. It accommodates two 1/3 octave equalizers for Lc and Rc channels and the fader card will track the base processors fader.

If one is on a budget it allows for a mixdown of the Lc and the Rc channels for theatres that only have the 3 screen channels. In many ways this could also be looked at as the aux rack for the CP500/65.

Bottom line:  for theatres that have the need to add magnetic processing either as an add on to an existing processor or as a standalone system, this is the one for you.

-Gordon McLeod
Panastereo can be reached at

Gordon McLeod has attended booth courses at THX and DOLBY LABS etc. Has installed numerous theatres from Multiplexes to special venue 3D 70mm systems. Has a background in electronics design and many years of CAD experience. On a contractual basis is the head of engineering for Entertainment Equipment Corp as well as operating his own engineering and service organization in Canada to many theatres and other dealers.

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