Originally Posted by jmschnur
My wife and I listened to stereo last night via JR river dlna to our oppo and on to the 8801. I used our ipad and jr remote select the tracks we heard. I had just finished an Audyssey Pro calibration.
My wife was very clear that the music was much improved over the previous listening session which was with our 80.2. Same room same speakers etc.
I am wondering if the "al32" that is discussed in this thread could be one of the differences in the sound; not just the DAC.
This "al32" could well be taking up some of the space in the box.
For a description of AL32 processing technology you can read this post
along with some of the posts that follow by other members. In a recent post
I further elaborated on the three different functions of the AL32 processing technology.
However, since you seem to be using Audyssey, and rightly so I might add, you should read this post
and the following post
that explain why enabling Audyssey partially works against AL32 processing if present at all on the AV8801; it definitely does so on the Denon AVR-4520CI as I reported on that thread
AL32, if present on the AV8801, wouldn't take up much real estate. It would be one of the functions handled by the Altera CPLD chip circled in red on the internal photo of the AV8801, see Figure 3 on the first post
I referenced above. That's where the AL32 processing takes place inside the Denon AVR-4520CI and since the Denon and Marantz units share the same digital front-end PCBs, it would also be performed by the same chip on the AV8801.
As for the difference in sound between the Integra DHC-80.2 and the AV8801, while I believe they both use the same TI Burr-Brown PCM1795 DACs since the DHC-80.3 and AV8801 do, there are other factors that can contribute to the differences in sound. The different designs of their respective analog output stages will impart distinct sonic characteristics. Marantz makes their output stages with discrete components in a design they market as Hyper Dynamic Amplifier Modules (HDAM) and where they use a current feedback topology instead of a voltage driven one. They claim that such discrete designs yield higher fidelity and more natural sound. Most designers nowadays opt for the use operational amplifier ICs (op-amps) since they take up less space and also reduce cost.