Originally Posted by comfynumb
So in your brief time with the probably lemon 8801, you ran Audyssey and played with it long enough to determine exactly what was not up to the level of the AVP? I understand the Denon is a good pre/pro, but it's five years old and doesn't even have the latest Audyssey unless you send it to an authorized service center. It sounds like Denon needs to make a new pre/pro to keep up with the 8801.
I posted a little more on the avp thread and the other 'dual' owner ohyeah32 seems to agree. Indeed 3 hours is very little time to compare them for sure and the 8801 seems a fine unit. Maybe the most impressive things are because the AVP is a 2007 design it can still be so impressive in the area of build, options and settings.
My AVP has the update so the compare to the 8801 is fair, i tested both with and without xt32. Now XT32 and/or pro takes time and a little fiddling so i am sure more was to be gained from the 8801 if i had more time.
Build : The 8801 is nice but its not a AVP, at 1/3 of the price (in europe with the 3d update) this is maybe not expected
Sounds: Always the hardest to say in such a limited time. One thing i know for a fact is that the AVP/POA combo has a lower noise level. At 0dB without content the AVP doesn't produce any noise on my speakers ears at say 30cm from speakers. On the 8801 i can pick up noise up about 1 meter away. The sound quality to me seems that the AVP was more focussed and imaging was sharper i prefer that but some might prefer the more diffuse sound of the 8801.
Audyssey: Both sounded better with than without it in my room. setup are very similar and probably same people worked on it. Missed the fact that as far as i could see i can't use audyssey in pure-direct mode.
OSD: unless i am mistaken the 8801 most of the time doesn't overlay its menu's over the video (for example when going into the menu's). For the rest i found the 'tunning' they did with the 'gold' look not really a step forward almost trying to put lipstick on a pig.
Remote: hard to believe but its even worse than the 2 remotes we got with the AVP now i am sure most won't use them anywhere but pffff.
Connections : Well just look at the back of the 2 units. Now i agree you don't need all these svideo's anymore but i would run out of simple digital in's quickly since i prefer them for audio over hdmi.
Settings: flipping through the menu's its very similar maybe the new X000 line will change that but its still the old structure. I did notice that where the AVP has 3 levels of settings the 8801 mostly stops at 2. As a result i missed many small tweaks that are possible on the avp that could not quickly see on the 8801. Small example i could not quickly see how to use a hdmi input for video but take the audio from spdif.
After about 3 hours of use i heard a pop in my right channel, again 15 seconds later and my amp shut down. Looks like something blew in the analog part of the right channel both over rca and xlr. With the AVP you can reroute channels after the digital stage to any (or multiple) of the output boards i could have rerouted the signal to say SW2 or SW3 and continued using it again more flexible.
I am sure there are area's where the 8801 is more modern than a updated AVP, but what the designers of the AVP aimed for as a starting point in what you can do was so much higher and it still shows in 2013 even after 5 years.
Not trying to bash the 8801 in fact i am glad to see a nice pre/pro at this price level was always sad denon dropped their idea to release a smaller AVP-CIX a few years ago and the 8801 seems to be close to that and will make many people happy.
The AVP was a exception even among other units in its price class the focus of putting so much into a single box and more switches and options (combined with D&M known bad manuals) is not for everybody.
Maybe ohyeah32 can add more flavour to this discussion but my short visit with the 8801 vs my AVP-3D made me appreciate even more what their engineers created way back and i hope its back soon to take its place in my rack for a few more years.