Marantz SR7007 AV Receiver Owner's Thread - Page 38 - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1111 of 1140 Old 01-26-2015, 06:08 PM
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Onkyo 805 to Marantz 7007/7008

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Originally Posted by mak99 View Post
I had considered another Onkyo, but (maybe like you?) I felt that the x05 series were over-built better than anything they've made since (IMO, I could be wrong). And the bad HDMI/network boards I've read about also made me hesitate on a new Onkyo. To be perfectly clear, the 805 served me extremely well since buying it brand new in May 2008.
My 805 replaced a Marantz SR7000 when I got my first HD TV and HDMI became a must-have for me. I had had that that SR7000 since the late 90s, early 2000s -- it was the first receiver that really showed me how much difference that amps can make in sound quality, particularly of music. I thought the 805 had a very clean and neutral sound, with lots of headroom with its powerful amps, but its sound never knocked my socks off like the warm and deeply nuanced musical sound of that Marantz...

My 805 still runs strong -- luckily it never had those problems with its HDMI board. (Perhaps because I ran it with external cooling fans from Day 1...) It did have its front panel display go out on me, but (thanks to the Internet!) I was able to repair it with a RadioShack resistor and some soldering practice. It runs my 5.2 system (with bi-amped fronts) just fine, and I don't really foresee myself adding more channels to 7.2, 9.2, or Atmos anytime soon...

So, sending Zone 2 HDMI video to TV in another room is somewhat of an excuse to justify getting a Marantz again. And I think I've decided to go with a 7008 now instead of the 7007. (I thought Audyssey was a HUGE benefit of upgrading to the 806 back then, and I am very curious to hear how much difference the 7008's MultiEQ XT 32 flavor of Audyssey will make for my room's acoustics -- I've read many opinions that it's a worthwhile upgrade from the MultiEQ XT of the 7007.)

Anyway, thanks for your input and your opinions -- I'll look forward to sharing experiences after we've both had some time to live with our new toys for awhile...

-mike
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post #1112 of 1140 Old 01-26-2015, 07:29 PM
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Solution to STB/SR7007 480/1080 Problem

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Originally Posted by jdsmoothie View Post
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I won't need an HDMI switch after all. Moved the Verizon FIOS set top box HDMI from the first HDMI input on the SR7007 (CBL/SAT) to the 6th HDMI input (AUX2) and reassigned the inputs. No conversion of the signal. 1080p in 1080p out. Great image. Thanks!
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post #1113 of 1140 Old 01-31-2015, 07:56 AM
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Sound isn't good - Verizon FIOS STB to Marantz SR7007

The audio on my Marantz SR7007 is set to Auto and many times when watching movies from the Verizon FIOS on demand movies and some TV shows the sound isn't very good. It shows that Dolby Digital is coming through, but, the probably is mostly hard to hear dialogue and not so great surround sound. The STB is set to put out Surround. I've tried various settings and messing with the dialogue settings (ctr spkr output), various compression settings on both the STB and the AVR. Still not good.


It should be noted that the sound from the BluRay is great under the same settings.


I might try connecting the sound with an optical cable just in case. Weirder things have happened.


The STB is connected via high speed HDMI to the AUX2 input. The reason for this is that the AVR wasn't receiving 1080p on the SAT/CAB input. So, something is wrong with that input and AUX2 is receiving 1080p.


Any ideas before I call Verizon?
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post #1114 of 1140 Old 01-31-2015, 12:10 PM
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OK, just had something weird happen. Fired up the PJ/Marantz system for the first time since the calibration back on Jan 22. Using the Harmony remote, I selected Watch HDTV: all gear turned on as normal, I could hear the TV sound, BUT the video was not displaying - only the Marantz logo. So with my scheduled Super Bowl party tomorrow you can bet I was concerned...

So I go back to the main Activities screen and select Watch Blu-ray: all gear turned on/off/changed inputs as expected, and the movie played with normal picture and sound. So I then selected Watch HDTV again, and this time it played as it should with both picture and sound. Is there something weird handshake-wise going on if I initially select Watch HDTV with all gear in standby state?

Pertinent info:
Comcast HD STB > HDMI > Marantz CBL/SAT input;
Marantz Monitor 1 output > HDMI > Epson 7500UB HDMI 2 input

Note that this never happened when I had the Onkyo 805 in the system.

EDIT:
Harmony power on sequence (HDTV):
STB, then Epson PJ, then Marantz

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post #1115 of 1140 Old 02-01-2015, 09:03 AM
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^^
To mitigate HDMI handshake issues, what generally works best is the following power on sequence:

TV/PJ ... wait 5 seconds .... AVR ... wait 5 seconds .... STB

If still no joy ... connect STB (HDMI) to PJ and STB (optical) to AVR.

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post #1116 of 1140 Old 02-02-2015, 12:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasFred View Post
The audio on my Marantz SR7007 is set to Auto and many times when watching movies from the Verizon FIOS on demand movies and some TV shows the sound isn't very good. It shows that Dolby Digital is coming through, but, the probably is mostly hard to hear dialogue and not so great surround sound. The STB is set to put out Surround. I've tried various settings and messing with the dialogue settings (ctr spkr output), various compression settings on both the STB and the AVR. Still not good.


It should be noted that the sound from the BluRay is great under the same settings.


I might try connecting the sound with an optical cable just in case. Weirder things have happened.


The STB is connected via high speed HDMI to the AUX2 input. The reason for this is that the AVR wasn't receiving 1080p on the SAT/CAB input. So, something is wrong with that input and AUX2 is receiving 1080p.


Any ideas before I call Verizon?
I have a similar issue with Direct TV. The DIrect TV is hooked to the Marantz via HDMI and the TV is hooked to the Marantz via optical for teh in TV Apps. My Marantz is set to "Auto" for the audio and often times it will not detect and switch to Dolby Digital (DD) even when I know the programming is encoded that way - A movie on HBO or a TV show on one of the networks. It also happens with Netflix and especially Amazon Prime movies which I can never get to play in Dolby Digital (might be some other issue with this).

Any way, I have found with both Direct TV and Netflix that if I change the channel to one of the network shows, like NBC or similar, that is in DD, the receiver will correct the audio format. I can then turn back to the movie I was watching on HBO or Netflix and it sends DD. That being said I can never get Amazon Prime to play in DD.

Odd... I haven't done any investigating thus far but maybe some one out there has figured this one out. Seems a receiver of this level should not have auto detect issues.

Cheers
Steve
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post #1117 of 1140 Old 02-11-2015, 07:31 AM
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Hey jdsmoothie and other experts. I have the sr7007, currently have a B&K amp powering my main speakers and the Marantz powering the other 5 channels in a 7.2 setup.
My question is can I use the height speakers(in ceiling) in combination to have a 9.2 setup?
Thanks
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post #1118 of 1140 Old 02-11-2015, 09:11 AM
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^^
No, the SR7007 is capped at 7CH max. The only current Marantz AVR that can expand beyond it's on board amps is the SR7009 (9-->11).
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post #1119 of 1140 Old 02-11-2015, 09:41 AM
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Thanks JD! Not what I was hoping to hear but saves me $ from ordering the speakers.
cheers
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post #1120 of 1140 Old 02-12-2015, 04:46 AM
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I ordered my SR7007 from Crutchfield yesterday evening, it's supposed to be here tomorrow

This is upgrading from a Yamaha RXA710, which will find its new home in the living room.
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post #1121 of 1140 Old 02-12-2015, 05:39 AM
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^^
The X4000 on clearance with XT32 and Sub EQ HT would have been the better buy for more improved audio quality over only XT on the SR7007.

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post #1122 of 1140 Old 02-12-2015, 07:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdsmoothie View Post
^^
The X4000 on clearance with XT32 and Sub EQ HT would have been the better buy for more improved audio quality over only XT on the SR7007.
There was a $9 price difference. If anything, the SR6008 would've been better still. Doing a feature comparison, there wasn't wnough to step down in power. I've read about too many incidents of the Denon freezing up. That unit was excluded from my consideration weeks ago. Slightly better Audyssey isn't worth a lesser receiver. Marantz & Denon are in the same family, I'm sure you know. And Marantz is the higher end brand. I've been wanting a good Marantz piece for decades.

I've been dealing with YPAO for a few years, any version of Audyssey is a step up. In a few years when 4k is in full swing, I'll be able to afford an SR7009 and be component with HDCP & HDMI requirements.
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post #1123 of 1140 Old 02-12-2015, 07:47 AM
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I used my X4000 almost a year without any freezing issues. This was not a widespread issue. The X4000 is a level above both the SR7007 and SR6008 in both features and audio quality. Also note, moving from XT on SR7707 or SR6008 to XT32 is a "noticeable" improvement (especially in sub EQ) ... XT32 has 32 times more control points, which is why audio is much more than "slightly" improved. Any power difference would be moot.

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post #1124 of 1140 Old 02-15-2015, 05:57 AM
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I understand that the guts of the Denon and Marantz receivers are likely close to 100% identical. But I am certain that there is a difference in the "tuning" between the two, in my opinion they do not SOUND identical. With my Energy RC speakers, there is a huge upgrade in the sound from Denon to Marantz.

I could have had the X4000 for the same price as my SR7007, but I much preferred the SR7007 with my speakers. I would have LOVED to have XT32, but to get that in Marantz would have added significant cash outlay.

Instead, I may at some point buy a miniDSP to EQ my dual subs better... but in the meantime I am quite satisfied with the sound.

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post #1125 of 1140 Old 02-15-2015, 07:43 AM
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^^
More apt to say about 90% identical and many would agree that Marantz AVRs are better suited for critical analog music listening.

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post #1126 of 1140 Old 02-18-2015, 02:58 PM
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I've been (somewhat) enjoying and tinkering with my SR7007 since Friday evening. I'm on page 11 of this thread, and finding a wealth of solid info. The first 5 pages of bickering back and forth about Denon vs Marantz was INCREDIBLY IRRITATING! This is NOT a Denon vs Marantz, nor Marantz vs Denon. This thread is supposed to be helpful for people who are considering or have bought a specific product.

Audyssey did a good job correcting my man cave, much better than YPAO on my RXA710 does. It has found deeper bass tones that YPAO didn't. However, I think I need to run it again, I placed the mic in all of the seating positions in the listening area. When playing stereo music (vinyl, AirPlay, Spotify, music files on PS3, or Internet radio), vocals tend to be to the left of my centralized seating position. When I run it again, I'll keep the mic in spots around my seat. Audyseey Bypass L&R sounds better than straight Audyseey, the highs aren't muted. Graphic EQ sounds anemic.

I'm happy with the power and sound. I'm also very happy with the menu overlay. The Yamaha doesn't let you make lip sync adjustments while looking at the lips! I am very unhappy with things such as, the sound is very quiet unless I use one of the Dynamic Volume in Audyssey. Which is probably why a lot of people complain about this AVR being quiet. I don't like having to crank a stereo up to -20 to -15 to get to a decent listening volume. So, I have Dynamic Volume set to low. The reference level setting, I don't understand what it's supposed to be used for.

In the Bass menu, LFE & Main vs LFE makes no sense. When in LFE, there is zero bass unless there is an explosion or hard pounding music.

HDMI video & audio pass through doesn't work.

The screensaver going to a black screen is great when using AirPlay or streaming music. I can't figure out how to not let my iPhone control the volume while using AirPlay. Spotify's EQ is pretty nifty, but I'd rather have the AVR control tones.

With the Yamaha, I always used STRAIGHT mode. The DSP modes sound kinda silly, especially for music. I guess "Direct" would be similar to Straight? It sounds lifeless. The 7007 does a really good job simulating 7.1 with DVR 5.1 content.

The Yamaha says DTS-MA (Master Audio) or Dolby TrueHD when using my PS3 & PS4. The 7007 doesn't, it's says PCM and Multi 7.1.

I have 60 days to give this 7007 a solid test. But I can't help to wonder "what am I missing from xt32 with the X4000?" Price isn't an issue, there was a $9 difference, I got an open-box at Crutchfield. My other thoughts are getting a "current" model AVR like an RXA840 for 50 bucks more. At 90 watts, my RXA710 cannot drive my upgraded speaker system. The 840 is only 100w compared to 125 for both the 7007 & x4000.

Yes, @jdsmoothie , I'm strongly considering the x4000 for the best level of Audyseey.

A couple more things: it has 2 subs, but they aren't "really" 2, it's more like an internal Y splitter, as they aren't indeoendent! Is the x4000 the same? I know the $1000 Pioneer Elite is, a local dealer is pushing me to Pioneer.

I'm using a Pro-Ject Phono Box S to preamp my Debut Carbon 3. Is there any difference using a random unused analog input like CD vs the R & L of the 7.1 pre-in section? Can the phono input he stepped down so I could still use my preamp?

Is there a post that compares the 7007 & x4000 menus and other things that irritate me about the 7007? Not having control over Tone bugs me!!! The A710 doesn't do that!

Yesterday, it wouldn't turn on by the remote, nor the front power button. I had to unplug it. That has never happened with any AVR.

How can I run video and audio to the TV and use AirPlay, without having to unplug the HDMI cable from the source and go directly to the TV?

Sorry about the long disorganized post. Back to page 11 of the thread...

Last edited by davethestalker; 02-18-2015 at 03:10 PM.
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post #1127 of 1140 Old 02-18-2015, 04:06 PM
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^^
1. If the 7007 is displaying "PCM" or "Multi CH IN" it means the PS4 is passing PCM audio and not set to "bitstream."
2. The X4000 (and all D&M models with XT32) uses Audyssey Sub EQ HT which provides for individual level/delay setting of each sub.

Note also if increasing your budget for the Pioneer SC-81, you may also want to consider the Denon X4100W on sale thru 2/28. Call for pricing if interested.
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post #1128 of 1140 Old 02-19-2015, 07:37 PM
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Freezing up happens to me multiple times per day. I threw away my box but I am definitely going to try to send this unit back. Refurbished does not mean good. I had a Denon before which had the same issues. Im unsure if it is a specific part or just software. It really sucks to have to get up and unplug a receiver every time you give it a command.
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post #1129 of 1140 Old 02-20-2015, 05:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davethestalker View Post
I've been (somewhat) enjoying and tinkering with my SR7007 since Friday evening. I'm on page 11 of this thread, and finding a wealth of solid info. The first 5 pages of bickering back and forth about Denon vs Marantz was INCREDIBLY IRRITATING! This is NOT a Denon vs Marantz, nor Marantz vs Denon. This thread is supposed to be helpful for people who are considering or have bought a specific product.

[snip]
Yes, @jdsmoothie , I'm strongly considering the x4000 for the best level of Audyssey.
My post about my experience with Denon vs Marantz was specifically targeted to your posts above saying that you consider both, in light of many people suggesting that the two product lines are completely interchangeable - I am saying that in my humble opinion, they are not. I agree that XT32 may be a huge upgrade, but if the fundamental sound of the unit isn't good to your years through your system, the tweaking that Audyssey does may not fix that.

My suggestion to you is before pulling the plug on the X4000, see if you can arrange an A/B test with both AVRs and your speakers to see which combination sounds the best.

Good luck!

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post #1130 of 1140 Old 02-20-2015, 08:03 PM
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Finally upgraded my home theater sound system.I had a Yamaha RXV-1000 and some Acoustic research towers with built In subs, a AR center and sound dynamic rears. Sold the towers, still have everything else In storage. Upgraded to the SR7007, NHT's all round and a Velodyne sub. Very, Very pleased with this setup. It's a night and day difference. My only issue Is that I really didn't care for the Audyssey setup. I didn't go through all 38 pages of threads so forgive me If I'm repeating a problem that's been addressed, After I ran the Audyssey setup The center channel sound from my Blu-Ray movies, regular TV shows, and media streamer all were to low, while all sound effects were loud. I would constantly have to turn up the SR7007 to here dialogue, and then scramble to turn It back down when and action sequence occurs.I had to watch my movies with remote In hand, That's no way to enjoy your system. I ran the setup through all 6 sets of tones, my center sits about chest high when I'm seated. I'm ok now because I manually turned the center channel up In the SR7007 settings. I heard of other people having the same problems with Audyssey on different AV receivers so It's not an issue only unique to Marantz.
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post #1131 of 1140 Old 02-21-2015, 01:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orange260z View Post
My post about my experience with Denon vs Marantz was specifically targeted to your posts above saying that you consider both, in light of many people suggesting that the two product lines are completely interchangeable - I am saying that in my humble opinion, they are not. I agree that XT32 may be a huge upgrade, but if the fundamental sound of the unit isn't good to your years through your system, the tweaking that Audyssey does may not fix that.

My suggestion to you is before pulling the plug on the X4000, see if you can arrange an A/B test with both AVRs and your speakers to see which combination sounds the best.

Good luck!
An RMA has been set up for the 7007. This morning I placed an order for a new 4520 for $190 more than I paid for the open box 7007, $810. The 4520 is scheduled to be here on Wednesday. I can do an A/B test then. Thanks for the suggestion!

A dealer friend gave me his full blessing on a 4520, as long as it was new. There is no way he could get me into anything at that level for $1000. I told him I was looking at a 4520 for a grand and he was shocked. After reading about 25 pages of the 4520 Owners thread, I'm pretty sure I'll be happy with this.

http://www.accessories4less.com/make...wpc-new/1.html

I know Denon & Marantz are close, like Chevy trucks and GMC trucks. But not as drastic like an '02 Camaro SS vs a Pontiac SLP Firehawk.

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post #1132 of 1140 Old 02-21-2015, 02:22 AM
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I was just looking at the manual for my mains, Def Tech BP2006 regarding ohms. These speakers can run at 4-8 ohms, and says "set amp on 4 if you have a choice". Why would I want to do this? What sonic benefit would there be? And how do I change the fronts on the 7007?
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post #1133 of 1140 Old 02-21-2015, 02:58 AM
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Originally Posted by davethestalker View Post
I was just looking at the manual for my mains, Def Tech BP2006 regarding ohms. These speakers can run at 4-8 ohms, and says "set amp on 4 if you have a choice". Why would I want to do this? What sonic benefit would there be? And how do I change the fronts on the 7007?
You wouldn't.

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post #1134 of 1140 Old 02-21-2015, 03:01 AM
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Originally Posted by modojojo1 View Post
Finally upgraded my home theater sound system.I had a Yamaha RXV-1000 and some Acoustic research towers with built In subs, a AR center and sound dynamic rears. Sold the towers, still have everything else In storage. Upgraded to the SR7007, NHT's all round and a Velodyne sub. Very, Very pleased with this setup. It's a night and day difference. My only issue Is that I really didn't care for the Audyssey setup. I didn't go through all 38 pages of threads so forgive me If I'm repeating a problem that's been addressed, After I ran the Audyssey setup The center channel sound from my Blu-Ray movies, regular TV shows, and media streamer all were to low, while all sound effects were loud. I would constantly have to turn up the SR7007 to here dialogue, and then scramble to turn It back down when and action sequence occurs.I had to watch my movies with remote In hand, That's no way to enjoy your system. I ran the setup through all 6 sets of tones, my center sits about chest high when I'm seated. I'm ok now because I manually turned the center channel up In the SR7007 settings. I heard of other people having the same problems with Audyssey on different AV receivers so It's not an issue only unique to Marantz.
You can enable Audyssey Dynamic Volume to tame loud commercials and action sequences. Also, angle your center speaker so it's pointing at your head not your chest and then run Audyssey again ... this time for all 8 mic positions ... the first at your head level and the remaining 7 within no more than 1-2' radius from the 1st. Also use either a camera tripod or better yet a mic boom stand to support the mic for best results. And lastly, if you want even better audio quality, upgrade instead to the SR7008 which uses the more advanced Audyssey XT32.

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post #1135 of 1140 Old 02-21-2015, 04:45 AM
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Originally Posted by davethestalker View Post
An RMA has been set up for the 7007. This morning I placed an order for a new 4520 for $190 more than I paid for the open box 7007, $810. The 4520 is scheduled to be here on Wednesday. I can do an A/B test then. Thanks for the suggestion!

A dealer friend gave me his full blessing on a 4520, as long as it was new. There is no way he could get me into anything at that level for $1000. I told him I was looking at a 4520 for a grand and he was shocked. After reading about 25 pages of the 4520 Owners thread, I'm pretty sure I'll be happy with this.

http://www.accessories4less.com/make...wpc-new/1.html

I know Denon & Marantz are close, like Chevy trucks and GMC trucks. But not as drastic like an '02 Camaro SS vs a Pontiac SLP Firehawk.
Obviously the 4520 is supposed to be an awesome receiver. It will be interesting to see what the difference is sonically between the two.

Having owned both Yukons and Suburbans, I'd say the difference between equivalent D & M are greater - IMHO it's more than cosmetics or "options" that are included. Perhaps more like a 2005 BMW 330i vs a 2005 BMW 330i ZHP - same chassis, same basic motor and suspension, but different cosmetics and different tuning of those components that result in a very different (and IMHO more sophisticated) drive.

JVC DLA-RS2, 120" Grandview motorized screen, 60" LG 50PN6500, Marantz SDR7007, Energy RC-70 mains, RC-LCR centre, RC-R side and rear surrounds, dual PSB Subsonic 6i, Sony BDP-S5100, Toshiba HD-A30, Xbox 360, Marantz CD6005, Yamaha CDC-675, APC S15 power conditioner and UPS, Monoprice interconnects and 12GA speaker wire, Palliser Media & Ikea Poang seating
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post #1136 of 1140 Old 02-21-2015, 06:44 AM
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Thanks JD, will adjust the center channel height as much as I can, and will run the odyssey setup again. I just got the receiver, so I'm going to hold on to It. If I keep buying home theater equipment It'll cause grounds for divorce In my home lol. plus I see accessories4less now Is selling It for around 120.00 cheaper than what I paid for It.
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post #1137 of 1140 Old 02-21-2015, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by modojojo1 View Post
Thanks JD, will adjust the center channel height as much as I can, and will run the odyssey setup again. I just got the receiver, so I'm going to hold on to It. If I keep buying home theater equipment It'll cause grounds for divorce In my home lol. plus I see accessories4less now Is selling It for around 120.00 cheaper than what I paid for It.
Keep in mind refurbs only have a 1yr warranty. While new units have 3yrs.
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post #1138 of 1140 Old 02-26-2015, 04:02 PM
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too bright or hd tuner ?

Hi,
new owner of SR7007. I have a simple 2.0 setup, no sub, no surrounds. I am not using audessey either. I have been playing various sources (cd, ipod, hd fm) in Pure Direct and have consistently noticed that it sounds a bit bright. The treble always feels a little accentuated. It gets worse with highly compressed sources especially on HD FM. That typical compression artefact in the treble is easily heard. Is this because this receiver is indeed bright or just because its highly resolving and therefore brings out the worst from the source as well ?
My speakers are diy with high end Usher drivers and they are not at all bright. They have even tonal balance and sound very good when pitched against a friend's Paradigm Refernce S8s which are ~$10k speakers.
So does anyone else think the receiver sounds bright in general ? and especially worse on HD FM ?
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post #1139 of 1140 Old Today, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Anode View Post
Hi,
new owner of SR7007. I have a simple 2.0 setup, no sub, no surrounds. I am not using audessey either. I have been playing various sources (cd, ipod, hd fm) in Pure Direct and have consistently noticed that it sounds a bit bright. The treble always feels a little accentuated. It gets worse with highly compressed sources especially on HD FM. That typical compression artefact in the treble is easily heard. Is this because this receiver is indeed bright or just because its highly resolving and therefore brings out the worst from the source as well ?
My speakers are diy with high end Usher drivers and they are not at all bright. They have even tonal balance and sound very good when pitched against a friend's Paradigm Refernce S8s which are ~$10k speakers.
So does anyone else think the receiver sounds bright in general ? and especially worse on HD FM ?
I would agree that using Pure Direct my system sounds a bit thinner/bright, though it is pretty subjective. I have not taken the time to do things manually and I am very happy with how the Audessey tweaked the tone. Things got even better when I switched to small for my L/R and used LFE for my sub.

I have run Audessey several times relocating the mike and speakers. Once again I find the sound fabulous!

What I am hearing now is how so much audio varies. Sometimes FM HD sound fabulous and other times not so much. But it is more the recording than the AVR. Same for all my sources. The Eagles Farewell Live DVD sounds concert like as does AL Jarrea's Accentuate The Positive on Itunes AAC compression.

I have been reading AVS forums now to learn how to measure sound to quantify what I hear if that is possible.
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post #1140 of 1140 Old Today, 01:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Altheia View Post
I would agree that using Pure Direct my system sounds a bit thinner/bright, though it is pretty subjective. I have not taken the time to do things manually and I am very happy with how the Audessey tweaked the tone. Things got even better when I switched to small for my L/R and used LFE for my sub.

I have run Audessey several times relocating the mike and speakers. Once again I find the sound fabulous!

What I am hearing now is how so much audio varies. Sometimes FM HD sound fabulous and other times not so much. But it is more the recording than the AVR. Same for all my sources. The Eagles Farewell Live DVD sounds concert like as does AL Jarrea's Accentuate The Positive on Itunes AAC compression.

I have been reading AVS forums now to learn how to measure sound to quantify what I hear if that is possible.
It could be that the avr is highly resolving and so easily brings out the worst of the source material. Uncompressed material (cd) sounds good.
Actually using Audessey was a disaster. When I look at the EQ charts (Audessey Setup->Parameter Check) it boosted the high frequencies way high. It sounded terrible. I tried taking measurements with the mic straight in front of the speaker (on-axis) and it still did that. Not sure why. Apparently its a known issue. see the audessey faq on this forum.
Accentuated highs sometimes give the false impression of clarity and perhaps thats why people like that sound. Fwiw, I have built my own speakers and have measurement equipment so I know a thing or two about speaker measurement and my speaker's response is relatively flat and not drooping as Audessey thinks it is. But anyway, I always use Direct and Pure Direct mode so the point about audessey is moot.
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