Marantz AV8801 Preamp/Processor Official Owner's thread - Page 52 - AVS Forum
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Receivers, Amps, and Processors > Marantz AV8801 Preamp/Processor Official Owner's thread
OzzieP's Avatar OzzieP 03:57 PM 01-05-2013
Hey guys I am another Lexicon user looking to upgrade for the features. For those that came from Lexicon to the 8801 how do you compare the sound?

jdlynch's Avatar jdlynch 04:03 PM 01-05-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by ultra 150 pilot View Post

David what did end up getting for a pj?

I decided to keep my Marantz VP-15S1. Most options, that I could afford, I did not see as an upgrade.
dahlgren's Avatar dahlgren 04:24 PM 01-05-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by audiofan1 View Post

If you don't own one, you should reserve your comments until you have objective data in your hands to refute the claims by actual "Owners" not fans but to honest I'm becoming one:p this is an owners thread and not a 8801 vs., I'm sure someone with the reach in there pockets will get around to comparing the two, until then why crash the party:D

So you are saying only owners may post to this forum, lets ask everyone else if that is the case? I and all other non but potential owners will leave.

You see I would never buy something at $3,500 without research first. Looking at specs and waiting for reviews, and reading reviews is not enough. I believe that is what makes these forums so valuable, opinions. Yes everyone has one but if many concur with the reviews and specs I will be able to make an informed decision.
jam88's Avatar jam88 04:50 PM 01-05-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by dahlgren View Post

So is the analog output stage well designed in the AV8801?

Good question but it may take a while until someone can get around to answering it. There's been quite a lot written about Marantz's HDAM technology that varies from components to component and from model to model. You can google it and you'll find plenty on it. When Marantz releases the 8801 service manual, experienced EE or technicians will be able to look at the schematics and study what they've done and make some informed judgements on the merits of the design. Ultimately, the proof is in the pudding!
Kal Rubinson's Avatar Kal Rubinson 05:09 PM 01-05-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by jam88 View Post
One area where the 8801 betters the Mac MX121 is in room EQ. The Mac MX121 only supports Audyssey MultEQ XT, not XT32!

Or MultEQ Pro.


jam88's Avatar jam88 05:19 PM 01-05-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by audiofan1 View Post

No Sir Iv'e not compared the two,but perhaps asking Joerod how he feels about the 8801 todate vs. the 4020 would give more insight on the subject, I personally would find it very interesting to see an update of his views. There has been a very nice increase in image weight and a less glassy upper midrange in my 8801 via hdmi playback for music (no Audyssey, compared to an Oppo 105 via it's xlr analog outs) Its sounding very refined after 300 hrs of burn in!

Audiofan1, can you please elaborate further on your SQ observations WRT to the Oppo 105 connected though the XLR inputs on the 8801 versus connection through the HDMI and/or S/PDIF connections (with Audyssey off). Others with these two pieces of gear, please feel free to jump in and contribute your impressions. I'm trying to see how the DACs and analog output stages on the 8801 compare to the Oppo's. Ideally, the best method for this kind of comparison would be for someone to connect the the 105 directly to an amplifier and after connect the Marantz in the same way to the amp while playing the same source material and obviously matching the audio level with an SPL meter. Thank you.
jam88's Avatar jam88 05:23 PM 01-05-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

Or MultEQ Pro.

Yes, forgot to mention that, thanks.

Kal, while we've got you here. Do you think you can get John Atkinson to perform some measurements with the Audio Precision on the 8801? That would be most interesting! smile.gif
Roger Dressler's Avatar Roger Dressler 05:53 PM 01-05-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by ss9001 View Post

It would be great if someone really close to how D&M does things could say if -
1) AL32 is intact in the Marantz 8801 but is not advertised to preserve brand differentiation or
2) it's there but turned off in FW code

I can't even find any reference of any kind anywhere on Marantz products about upsampling.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jam88 View Post

Look what I found on Marantz's UK support website on AL24. Funny that it should be found on a Marantz support site... coincidence?
The link talks about Alpha processing, whose description makes no mention of upsampling. So the question about Advanced AL32 remains as open as ever. I'd like to know the answer, too!
Quote:
Here's an interesting experiment for someone that has all the required equipment. Take some audio software and create three 1 kHz sine .wav files. One at 44.1kHz/16-bit, another at 96kHz/24-bit and a third at 192kHz/24-bit. Next, copy the three .wav files onto a USB key and plug it into the 8801. Finally, connect an oscilloscope to the pre-output from one of the front channel RCA connectors. Play each of the three .wav files and observe on the scope the analog sine wave shape for each file. The 44.1kHz/16-bit signal should show greater signs of aliasing steps than the other two 24-bit files with higher sampling rates. However, if they all look look similarly smooth, one can conclude, specially for the 44kHz/16-bit signal, that the 8801's DSP is up-sampling the lower sample rates to 192 kHz and increasing the bit depth to 24 bits.
How can you tell if the upsampling is done in a DSP vs. a DAC? Don't most modern DACs upsample? I realize there are different forms of upsampling, and that AL32 and Meidian's apodizing upsampling have specialized characteristics in their reconstruction filters.

I suspect the best way to detect AL32 is with an impulse, and look at the ringing behavior, as shown here.
ufokillerz's Avatar ufokillerz 06:59 PM 01-05-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by DHF View Post

+3. Been getting stuff from Steve for years. Amps, Dali speakers, and the fabulous sounding 8801.

ok +4 to this

i just spoke with Steve and ordered my marantz av8801, and i have to say, he is a very well informed seller! he knows what he is talking about, and when i inquired about purchasing something else, he didn't push it onto me, and told me that i definitely want to wait until i got my marantz and do some testing first. I have to give him a A+ just on presales service alone!
audiofan1's Avatar audiofan1 07:02 PM 01-05-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by dahlgren View Post

So you are saying only owners may post to this forum, lets ask everyone else if that is the case? I and all other non but potential owners will leave.
You see I would never buy something at $3,500 without research first. Looking at specs and waiting for reviews, and reading reviews is not enough. I believe that is what makes these forums so valuable, opinions. Yes everyone has one but if many concur with the reviews and specs I will be able to make an informed decision.

whoa! Let's not blow this out of proportion of course no one should leave, I'm only defending the 8801 against speculation as its in the hands of users and at the end of the day one has to judge for ones self if its worth its salt. Prior to the first ones being shipped we all speculated on performance, build and respective parts myself included. I however do think we evolve this thread past speculation and move on to measurements testing ( Can't tell you why it sounds good or bad but subjective data may give us insight) and comparisons and of course professional and user reviews and comments.

Once again not trying to rub anyone the wrong way its not my intent and sorry if I did:)
audiofan1's Avatar audiofan1 07:14 PM 01-05-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by jam88 View Post

Audiofan1, can you please elaborate further on your SQ observations WRT to the Oppo 105 connected though the XLR inputs on the 8801 versus connection through the HDMI and/or S/PDIF connections (with Audyssey off). Others with these two pieces of gear, please feel free to jump in and contribute your impressions. I'm trying to see how the DACs and analog output stages on the 8801 compare to the Oppo's. Ideally, the best method for this kind of comparison would be for someone to connect the the 105 directly to an amplifier and after connect the Marantz in the same way to the amp while playing the same source material and obviously matching the audio level with an SPL meter. Thanks you.

You know the whole time I owned my 95 my cables were to short to reach the amp, but I got a longer length to perform such a test ( Iv'e gotta know as well). your thinking is dead on, this would be a good reference point! its come up more often than not when asking myself could I live with the 8801 for all processing and just get the 103! I have a week left on the 105 before my 30days are up and I shall perform the test. I plan on a short review of the 8801 and the new 105 very soon !
Cleveland Plasma's Avatar Cleveland Plasma 07:38 PM 01-05-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by ss9001 View Post

^^
"Can we find out please how good this piece really is...I'm talking sound quality, period.?"
agreed
To a degree, it is all personal preference. I have had many audiophiles roll thru to listen to Swan Speakers, let alone amplifiers, and pre-pros that will change everything in the mix. "Usually" all top end manufacturers produce quality items. There are so many variables at play in "your system", to say how does it sound, is subjective. What amps did you use? Where they tube, Class A/B, Class D ? Did the amps have there own dedicated circuit from the electrical panel ? Did the Pre-Pro ? What power cords did you use, did you run aftermarket ? Did you spend 10K on leads ( XLR or Speaker Wires ) ? All very important when asking how does it sound.

With this many variables, is there even a correct answer ? To a degree no ! Do you know how many different items you could interchange from the above to make the sound change ? I say thousands, how could you possible test this ?

In the end make your best choice and I bet you love it wink.gif
Bghead8che's Avatar Bghead8che 07:56 PM 01-05-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by ss9001 View Post

It would be great if someone really close to how D&M does things could say if -
1) AL32 is intact in the Marantz 8801 but is not advertised to preserve brand differentiation or
2) it's there but turned off in FW code
I have a really hard time believing that the company builds 2 separate circuit designs & digital processing boards. that would make no sense for economies of scale in production costs. It makes a whole more sense that the company "comments out" the code that implements AL32 in the processor wink.gif
it's too bad if AL32 really isn't there. because that would make the Marantz a clear winner. I'm still skeptical that the analog enhancements can compensate for lack of upsampling, I can't even find any reference of any kind anywhere on Marantz products about upsampling. Surely in this day, Marantz wouldn't deliberately leave it out which IMO puts them at a disadvantage to nearly all their competitors. Pioneer has had it for years, as has Denon. Why Marantz wouldn't strikes me as very short-sighted technologically. Having it PLUS the analog enhancements, PLUS the shielding would make it a clear winner. as it is, it's not clear at all, all the subjective opinions not withstanding. Sorry, but the objectivist in me wants to know what technology is used in the boxes & make them tick smile.gif no different than how I look at gear from Pioneer or Denon.
subjective remarks about how it sounds are fine but more details of what's really in the 2 products & how they differ would also be very helpful IMO.
not just rely on subjective reviews about the sound somehow being "better". are there more people here who can comment on the hardware & implementation differences? Before I would consider trying one of these, this is the kind of information I would like to see. because I know a fair amount about what's in the Pioneers wink.gif
We know the Audyssey vs Pioneer MCACC issues. What about AL32 vs no-AL32?

SS901,

I don't think the 8801 has AL24. Also, don't forget the Marantz does not have DDSC (correct?) and its definately missing Denon Link HD. I'm on the fence between using the 4520 as a preamp and 8801. I'm guessing HDRAM can not make up for the missing AL24, Denon Link, and DDSC. Plus you save $1100 and have "free" 9 channel amp. Shouldn't the Denon be missing these features, not the Marantz?

You guys want me to email Marantz and see what kind of resonse we get?

-Brian
Bghead8che's Avatar Bghead8che 08:05 PM 01-05-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackdevil77 View Post

I'd love for an in-home trial. Only thing holding me back is how new my 80.3 is lol. And there really isn't anything I "dislike" about the Integra. Smoother and fuller are certainly sound characteristics I'd like more of. I agree, a blind comparison switching back and forth with no delay would be awesome. I'm thinking I should just wait until there is something worth upgrading for me like a new surround format.
Also, question on the Audyssey. The 80.3 has 2 curves to pick from after calibration, (Movie and Music). Does the Marantz have curves like this to choose from?

I can't possibly imagine the 80.3 sounding worse than the 8801. The 80.3 is pretty much cutting edge and it measures extremely good (S/N, THD, Crosstalk), better than some esoteric brands (Anthem, Krell, etc). I'd bet in a blind test you would not be able to tell a difference. wink.gif

I would not sell the 80.3 to get an 8801 with the expectation of getting "smoother" sound, IMHO.

-Brian
bfreedma's Avatar bfreedma 08:22 PM 01-05-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by audiofan1 View Post

It has a way of presenting a movie experience that's dynamic , precision oriented and a vast spaciousness. The panning effects of a movie are indeed unnerving at times, now some of the same attributes are there for music as well which is the reason I purchased it , I planned on having my Oppo 95 ( now an 105) around as a default position in case things didn't workout as planned. as time passes (burn in) I've listened repeatedly daily to the same tracks and the 8801 I'm finding is a very neutral sounding component , what I would call true to the source material, its also non fatiguing! It sits at unique price point and you can go up or down from there. For me its all I could hope for in a pre/processor its not a "good for music" and "okay for movies" it excels very well indeed on both!

Sounds like the same feedback as every other receiver running Audyssey Xt32. Nothing unique or game changing there.

I'm not suggesting that the 8801 isn't an excellent processor, but the subjective hyperbole isn't helping. If there's something verifiably better than my current XT32 equipped box, I'd buy an 8801 tomorrow.
jima4a's Avatar jima4a 08:23 PM 01-05-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bghead8che View Post

I can't possibly imagine the 80.3 sounding worse than the 8801. The 80.3 is pretty much cutting edge and it measures extremely good (S/N, THD, Crosstalk), better than some esoteric brands (Anthem, Krell, etc). I'd bet in a blind test you would not be able to tell a difference. wink.gif
I would not sell the 80.3 to get an 8801 with the expectation of getting "smoother" sound, IMHO.
-Brian
I have the 80.3 but would expect the Bryston SP3 would beat it in 2 channel - missed my chance to have the SP3 for a weekend. Can the 8801 come close to the SP3, that is what I would like to know.
Woof Woof's Avatar Woof Woof 08:29 PM 01-05-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by bfreedma View Post

Sounds like the same feedback as every other receiver running Audyssey Xt32. Nothing unique or game changing there.
I'm not suggesting that the 8801 isn't an excellent processor, but the subjective hyperbole isn't helping. If there's something verifiably better than my current XT32 equipped box, I'd buy an 8801 tomorrow.

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1431914/marantz-av8801-preamp-processor-official-owners-thread/1500#post_22787846

I think audiofan says he takes out room correction when he does comparisons.
GetGray's Avatar GetGray 09:09 PM 01-05-2013
Just got my 8801 installed, replacing the AV7005. I need the IR/RS232 codes for the new features to build into my control system. Anyone have them yet? It's got inputs the old one didn't have and I need those the most right now.

Thanks,
Scott
dahlgren's Avatar dahlgren 09:16 PM 01-05-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by audiofan1 View Post

whoa! Let's not blow this out of proportion of course no one should leave, I'm only defending the 8801 against speculation as its in the hands of users and at the end of the day one has to judge for ones self if its worth its salt. Prior to the first ones being shipped we all speculated on performance, build and respective parts myself included. I however do think we evolve this thread past speculation and move on to measurements testing ( Can't tell you why it sounds good or bad but subjective data may give us insight) and comparisons and of course professional and user reviews and comments.
Once again not trying to rub anyone the wrong way its not my intent and sorry if I did:)

No problem. I just want to know if the AV8801 is a good replacement for my AVPA1HDCI? If not I'm good there too.
Bghead8che's Avatar Bghead8che 09:20 PM 01-05-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by planetbrian777 View Post

I just got my 8801 from Steve. I am in Florida and had hum issues with an AV7701 (see previous posts). With the AV8801, I do not have any hum issues now and it sounds outstanding....better than my Lexicon MC12b. For me, it is a master piece.

Can I get "steve's" email? Does someone mind PM with the price he quoted you on the 8801?

Thanks!

-Brian
thrang's Avatar thrang 09:28 PM 01-05-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by bfreedma View Post

Sounds like the same feedback as every other receiver running Audyssey Xt32. Nothing unique or game changing there.
I'm not suggesting that the 8801 isn't an excellent processor, but the subjective hyperbole isn't helping. If there's something verifiably better than my current XT32 equipped box, I'd buy an 8801 tomorrow.

I just came from an 80.3 also Pro calibrated, and as I posted earlier, there are differences.
planetbrian777's Avatar planetbrian777 09:28 PM 01-05-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by OzzieP View Post

Hey guys I am another Lexicon user looking to upgrade for the features. For those that came from Lexicon to the 8801 how do you compare the sound?

I had a MC12b and I believe the AV8801 sounds much better. Much more involved and better transparency.
adidino's Avatar adidino 09:33 PM 01-05-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by planetbrian777 View Post

I had a MC12b and I believe the AV8801 sounds much better. Much more involved and better transparency.

Now that's interesting. MC12B hdmi version or no?
wyliec2's Avatar wyliec2 09:35 PM 01-05-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bghead8che View Post

SS901,
I don't think the 8801 has AL24. Also, don't forget the Marantz does not have DDSC (correct?) and its definately missing Denon Link HD. I'm on the fence between using the 4520 as a preamp and 8801. I'm guessing HDRAM can not make up for the missing AL24, Denon Link, and DDSC. Plus you save $1100 and have "free" 9 channel amp. Shouldn't the Denon be missing these features, not the Marantz?
You guys want me to email Marantz and see what kind of resonse we get?
-Brian

You're 'on the fence between the 4520 and the 8801' given the sentiment of the remainder of the post (and your other posts)??? Obviously not, so the rationale for posting is dubious at best.

I, on the other hand, do not desire to use a receiver when I have a dedicated amplifier (BTDT). Personal perogative it is, as it is with those that elect to spend hundreds or thousands on power cords and speaker wire.

Hopefully, as a critical mass of users receive their 8801s, this thread can become a proper 'owners' thread where most discussion focuses on users' experiences and questions and prospective buyers' inquiries and leave the 'this vs that' debates to appropriate, separate threads.
joerod's Avatar joerod 09:38 PM 01-05-2013
Added some nice Venetian Seatcraft black chairs (8 total) each with Aura Pro Bass Shakers (driven by Dayton Audio APA 150). Using the Marantz has proved even better after doing Audyssey again. We demoed True Lies (at the start when he is asked for his invitation) and also Friday the 13th (arrow in head moment). You literally feel the action moments as they happen perfectly! eek.gif
planetbrian777's Avatar planetbrian777 09:45 PM 01-05-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by adidino View Post

Now that's interesting. MC12B hdmi version or no?

No HDMI, just MC12b.
Blackdevil77's Avatar Blackdevil77 09:50 PM 01-05-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bghead8che View Post

I can't possibly imagine the 80.3 sounding worse than the 8801. The 80.3 is pretty much cutting edge and it measures extremely good (S/N, THD, Crosstalk), better than some esoteric brands (Anthem, Krell, etc). I'd bet in a blind test you would not be able to tell a difference. wink.gif
I would not sell the 80.3 to get an 8801 with the expectation of getting "smoother" sound, IMHO.
-Brian

Yeah, the 80.3 is definitely a fine piece of audio gear for sure, all the positive reviews I read and the XT32 is the reason I went for it. I was originally looking for a Marantz processor since I loved my Marantz receiver (SR7500 I believe) but the best one out at the time was the AV7005 and I read multiple reviews that the 80.3 "outperformed" that particular Marantz. I'd still love for a blind test to satisfy my curiosities, of course.

What is it that makes the sound "smoother?" I know I heard it when I went from my Onkyo to my Marantz receiver, and many others have reported the same thing. What exactly is the secret ingredient that gives that smooth, buttery "velvety" sound? Components? Eq?

If I didn't have the 80.3 already I'd probably go for the Marantz. Now the only way I'd go for the Marantz is if I feel it's worth the upgrade cost. I'd have to do a direct A/B comparison with my set-up in my room, but that's easier said then done, of course.
AI Limited's Avatar AI Limited 11:11 PM 01-05-2013
The 80.3 is just so last week. OMG Lol. I got my 8801 today and look forward to setting it up tomorrow!
Bghead8che's Avatar Bghead8che 11:26 PM 01-05-2013
I'm VERY open to the idea of the 8801 being the better of the two and I am still very much considering one. I'm just debating the pros/cons as are many. wink.gif

-Brian
audiofan1's Avatar audiofan1 01:41 AM 01-06-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by bfreedma View Post

Sounds like the same feedback as every other receiver running Audyssey Xt32. Nothing unique or game changing there.
I'm not suggesting that the 8801 isn't an excellent processor, but the subjective hyperbole isn't helping. If there's something verifiably better than my current XT32 equipped box, I'd buy an 8801 tomorrow.

Who said anything about Audyssey! my comments are on the 8801 's processing alone:cool: ,I'll talk Audyssey later but will say its is pure icing on the cake.
Tags: Ken Kreisel Dxd 12012 Subwoofer , Marantz Av8801 , Receivers Amplifiers , Audyssey , Integra
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