What AMP for new 8801-SimAudio Moon Titan,Mark Levinson? - AVS Forum
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Old 04-04-2013, 07:08 AM - Thread Starter
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I posted over in Receiver, AMPS and Processors but got no response so I thought it might be better here since the AMPS I am looking at are higher end.

I have just reconfigured my HT system that I have been happily running for 6-7 years. I thought it was time for a change so I said good bye to my beloved Lexicon MC12 and bought the new Marantz 8801. I am now looking to change up my amplifiers somewhat. I currently have 2 Brystom 3b SST's powering front R/L and an EAD Powermaster powering the surrounds in a 7.2 channel system. Speakers are M & K 150 's and M &K sub and a Monitor Audio sub. I love the EAD, but time for a change. The EAD and the Lexicon along with the Bryston's were made for each other. I feel something lacking now with the 8801. I am 80% action movies, Saving Private Ryan, Black Hawk Down, Bond mostly rock'em sock'em loud crash bang movies. I do like multichannel music CD.s, SACD and DVD/Bluray live concert stuff. I have been considering three different 5 channel AMPs.

1) Classe CT-5300 5 x 300w
2) Mark Levinson No 535h 5x200
3) SimAudio Moon Titan 5x200

I am looking for input feedback on these amps paired with my Brystons, 8801, M & K's and OPPO 105. The Classe I am shying away from because it is 24" deep and my rack only accommodates 20" deep.and I don't want an AMP on the floor, (however i could change my mind). I have 24" of space from the front to the rear wall with the rack taking 20" of that so the Classe won't fit there. I will be running a 7.2 system and at some point 9.1 or 11.1(2). So this leaves the Mark Levinson and the Titan. I have read good things about the Titan even though it has been around for a few years I believe it is still relevant. The Mark Levinson is hard to find reviews on, but the ones I found we also very positive. I am not interested in the Emotiva, Outlaw path. Any insight would be appreciated and would welcome first hand experience with any of these AMPS. Perhaps someone has made the switch from an EAD to one of these and that would be valuable as well.

I should add these will not be brand new amps.

THX.
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Old 04-04-2013, 08:02 AM
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That is a lot of variables to try to figure out what differences you might hear between those amps. If you can hear clear differences from multiple well made solid state amps with the gains and levels matched, especially when watching action movies, you have some very attuned ears and an incredible room.

Personally, I would spend a little money on a well made amp from a company like Emotiva or equivalent (even though you already stated you don't want to go that path), and use the rest on quality room treatments and layout advice from someone like Dennis, or Nyal Mellor, etc.

Just my 2 cents.... sorry I cant really comment about the amps. But the room and speakers are 85% of how good your system can sound. Well made amps of the same power range will have minuscule differences when compared to the room.

One other thing you might think about....if you really like the sound of your M&Ks... go get the active version of those speakers. Then you don't need to worry about amps!

Now, if your room already objectively measures incredibly well and you have proper treatments... then by all means..experiment with amps.

Oh and you also mentioned 7.2 sound.... having more than one sub is a must in a high end theater. Even mismatched ones are better than just one... but matched are easier to setup properly. There are plenty of whitepapers and articles around discussing the advantages of 2-4 subs.

Those are the things that will get you true performance for the dollar.

What is your room size?
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Old 04-04-2013, 02:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Room size and shape is part of the problem. It is in my basement and the room is somewhat "L" shaped. I say somewhat because where my gear is and plasma is against the back wall in a "nook" measuring 11" x 8" the seating area is 17" back to the end wall and there is an open area of to the left (when sitting facing screen) that extends 30'. So it is not the ideal set up as far as rooms go. I had all the walls treated , but the wife wanted me to take them down 'cause she didn't like the look of them when i renovated the room slightly. I wanted to put a movable "curtain partition" across to make the room rectangular for when I watch movies, but that ain't happening LOL!
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Old 04-04-2013, 02:30 PM
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Ha... well...fight for at least being able to put quality bass traps, from places like Gik Acoustics, or Primacoustic, in the corners. You can also make the common triangle shaped traps from 6 pcf fiberglass and cover them if you want to DIY. GIK is probably just as cheap for a finished product, though.

Your odd room is another call for multiple subs. You will get your best value from bass trapping, multiple subs, and something to measure with (like XTZ, Omnimic, or REW) so you know when you have achieved the low frequency response you are looking for, hopefully also across multiple seats.

Quite a few links here:

http://www.acousticfrontiers.com/Subwoofers-Learn.html


And a good article here: (be sure to click through for parts 2 and 3)

http://www.hifizine.com/2011/06/bass-integration-guide-part-1/

Anyway... all that is off topic from your request...so I apologize for that.
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Old 04-04-2013, 02:41 PM
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An interesting fact, ATI makes amps for many companies, including Mark Levinson and Outlaw, Lexicon, JBL. So if you exclude Outlaw you might as well exclude the ML. I'm in the market for an amp or two and I've been researching for months and still haven't made my mind up. Many people will tell you that many amps sound very similar wink.gif
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Old 04-04-2013, 03:03 PM
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Do you think the 8801 might have lower sound quality than your outgoing Lexicon? I like Marantz stuff but there is better, and you are coming down from a very well respected and good sounding unit.

Acoustic Frontiers: design and creation of high performance listening rooms, home theaters and project studios for discerning audio/video enthusiasts.
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Old 04-04-2013, 03:26 PM
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I own the 8801 and it is anything but a step down. I know some wont believe that unless they spend 2 or 3 times more than the price of the Marantz they aren't getting a great pre/pro. But it is the giant slayer. I'm probably in the wrong area of the forums saying this but the specs and a lot of trained ears don't lie wink.gif
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Old 04-04-2013, 05:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nyal Mellor View Post

Do you think the 8801 might have lower sound quality than your outgoing Lexicon? I like Marantz stuff but there is better, and you are coming down from a very well respected and good sounding unit.

Uhmm....yes possibly. Sorry to hurt anyone's feelings I found the Lexicon to be much more in control and accurate as where it placed the effects,sound elements etc. without localizing it was just much more cohesive. The Marantz seems more "airy" to my ears maybe almost sloppy compared to the Lexicon. However, I did a re-calibration with the Audyssey X32 and it was giving me wonky results.It set my crossovers for mains at 90, center at 120 and sides and rears at 150. I ran it twice and listened after each result. Then i ran a calibration with the trusty old ratshack SPL reset my crossovers. Guess what....I dumped the Audyssey calibration and went with my own calibration. I am not saying it is perfect or superior, but to me it sounded much better. My SPL calibration was much closer to the Lexicon sound quality. I restored the Audyssey several times again back and forth, then set back to my own calibration and that is where it currently is now. My test discs where Saving Private Ryan opening scene the landing and Pearl Harbor the attack, airfield, dogfight and couple other scenes. These i am very familiar with. After the re-calibration the effects, placements and overall envelopment and impact were spot on.
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Old 04-04-2013, 05:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by comfynumb View Post

I own the 8801 and it is anything but a step down. I know some wont believe that unless they spend 2 or 3 times more than the price of the Marantz they aren't getting a great pre/pro. But it is the giant slayer. I'm probably in the wrong area of the forums saying this but the specs and a lot of trained ears don't lie wink.gif

I haven't done an A/B comparison but given that the OP only swapped out his 8801 for a Lexicon and noticed a reduction in sound quality it seemed obvious where to point the finger!

The 8801 is good and it is unfortunate that there is such a jump to the Bryston / Classe level but you pay more, you get better sound quality.

Acoustic Frontiers: design and creation of high performance listening rooms, home theaters and project studios for discerning audio/video enthusiasts.
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Old 04-04-2013, 06:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nyal Mellor View Post

I haven't done an A/B comparison but given that the OP only swapped out his 8801 for a Lexicon and noticed a reduction in sound quality it seemed obvious where to point the finger!

The 8801 is good and it is unfortunate that there is such a jump to the Bryston / Classe level but you pay more, you get better sound quality.



There are guys on the Marantz thread coming from the Bryston / Classe level that would disagree, but I understand everyone has different preferences. Audyssey could not deal with my room imperfections as good as my manual settings. If its done manually it's always trial and error to achieve the perfect sound as one hears it. I'm not hear to argue one way or the other and I know Bryston and Classe make some great gear. I might even end up with one of their amps before my search is over. Have a good night smile.gif
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Old 04-04-2013, 06:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denaliman View Post

Uhmm....yes possibly. Sorry to hurt anyone's feelings I found the Lexicon to be much more in control and accurate as where it placed the effects,sound elements etc. without localizing it was just much more cohesive. The Marantz seems more "airy" to my ears maybe almost sloppy compared to the Lexicon. However, I did a re-calibration with the Audyssey X32 and it was giving me wonky results.It set my crossovers for mains at 90, center at 120 and sides and rears at 150. I ran it twice and listened after each result. Then i ran a calibration with the trusty old ratshack SPL reset my crossovers. Guess what....I dumped the Audyssey calibration and went with my own calibration. I am not saying it is perfect or superior, but to me it sounded much better. My SPL calibration was much closer to the Lexicon sound quality. I restored the Audyssey several times again back and forth, then set back to my own calibration and that is where it currently is now. My test discs where Saving Private Ryan opening scene the landing and Pearl Harbor the attack, airfield, dogfight and couple other scenes. These i am very familiar with. After the re-calibration the effects, placements and overall envelopment and impact were spot on.



I like my 8801 set up manually over Audyssey. I bought mine in January and the following month I purchased new Revel fronts, so it's been 2 months of adjustments. I think after you get the right settings and adjust to the sound you'll be very happy.
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Old 04-04-2013, 10:30 PM
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Well, I'm a Simaudio Fan and own the Titan. I think it is awesome amp. My only other point of reference is the NAD Masters M25 which I also feel is a very good amp.

It's hard to describe differences between the two. I did level match everything when I was trying to compare the two and I remember the first thing in my mind was wow the bass just seems greater thru my front stage. The Titan is a beast and it just seemed to grab my speakers and not let go. I have been happy with the Titan along with the rest of my humble set-up and small room.

I picked my Titan up in black, mint and half the then $10k MSRP. Great deal.

I think you would be happy with it....

Rick

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Old 04-04-2013, 11:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nyal Mellor View Post

I haven't done an A/B comparison but given that the OP only swapped out his 8801 for a Lexicon and noticed a reduction in sound quality it seemed obvious where to point the finger!

The 8801 is good and it is unfortunate that there is such a jump to the Bryston / Classe level but you pay more, you get better sound quality.

Don't be so sure about that ,sometimes all you've done is pay more wink.gif
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Old 04-04-2013, 11:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denaliman View Post

I posted over in Receiver, AMPS and Processors but got no response so I thought it might be better here since the AMPS I am looking at are higher end.

I have just reconfigured my HT system that I have been happily running for 6-7 years. I thought it was time for a change so I said good bye to my beloved Lexicon MC12 and bought the new Marantz 8801. I am now looking to change up my amplifiers somewhat. I currently have 2 Brystom 3b SST's powering front R/L and an EAD Powermaster powering the surrounds in a 7.2 channel system. Speakers are M & K 150 's and M &K sub and a Monitor Audio sub. I love the EAD, but time for a change. The EAD and the Lexicon along with the Bryston's were made for each other. I feel something lacking now with the 8801. I am 80% action movies, Saving Private Ryan, Black Hawk Down, Bond mostly rock'em sock'em loud crash bang movies. I do like multichannel music CD.s, SACD and DVD/Bluray live concert stuff. I have been considering three different 5 channel AMPs.

1) Classe CT-5300 5 x 300w
2) Mark Levinson No 535h 5x200
3) SimAudio Moon Titan 5x200

I am looking for input feedback on these amps paired with my Brystons, 8801, M & K's and OPPO 105. The Classe I am shying away from because it is 24" deep and my rack only accommodates 20" deep.and I don't want an AMP on the floor, (however i could change my mind). I have 24" of space from the front to the rear wall with the rack taking 20" of that so the Classe won't fit there. I will be running a 7.2 system and at some point 9.1 or 11.1(2). So this leaves the Mark Levinson and the Titan. I have read good things about the Titan even though it has been around for a few years I believe it is still relevant. The Mark Levinson is hard to find reviews on, but the ones I found we also very positive. I am not interested in the Emotiva, Outlaw path. Any insight would be appreciated and would welcome first hand experience with any of these AMPS. Perhaps someone has made the switch from an EAD to one of these and that would be valuable as well.

I should add these will not be brand new amps.

THX.

Add the Parasound Halo A51 to your list, and come on over to the Marantz 8801 thread and let's see if the guys there can help out with getting it set up !
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Old 06-12-2013, 08:49 PM
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You can not go wrong with the simaudio. I have the W-8 running the fronts and the titan for surrounds. I also have the simcp-8 which is a great ssp, was never given enough credit because it was so expensive. I am thanking of trying the 8801 just to see what the difference is. If it is a giant killer like some say I might sell the cp-8.
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Old 06-14-2013, 12:27 AM
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What about the McIntosh MC8207?
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Old 06-14-2013, 04:40 PM
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I agree with the thought of first adding the subs and room treatment. Action movies demand great low end and adding more subs will sure help. I run twin 18" sealed subs and it sounds great. With your mains crossing over at 90 hz, your gettin all your bass from the subs. You may want to consider upgrading the MKs. It's probably not what you want to hear but I think it would make a bigger impact for the money.

ATI is a build house (although they now have their own amp line) that builds to the customer's specs. They can build a low cost amp or a high end amp. Just because they are assembled at the same plant does not put the amps in the same class. Design and quality of componets are what make the difference. You have to be your own judge on how much of a difference it makes.

As for amps, I run two Earthquake Cinenovas, one of the best amps in it's price range, check the reviews. I lust over a set of Ampzilla 2000s and someday may be able to upgrade to them.
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