Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: the Netherlands
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Right after Rich posted his disappointment in the second AV8801 he acquired I went and rigorously recabled my setup to verify his conclusions.
Even though it was 02:30AM, or thereabout, I compared HDMI and 7.1 to the Oppo, again. I couldn't play loud and the volume levels were only vaguely similar, as it isn't easy to quicly switch between feeds to active speakers (able to do 130dB each) without waking neighbours in the whole block. Two hours later I went to bed thinking I heard clear differences between the Marantz and the Oppo on at least one song, the relentless first track from Lynni Treekrem's album Haugtussa.
After resting for a bit I made several separate attempts today to try and repeat my findings of the night, in vain. Because I focussed mostly on troublesome trebble I relaxed and did other stuff in between to avoid ear fatigue. There is sibilance present in several songs I used, but it is there through whatever route I tried (even using my Sennheiser HD565 from the Oppo). It has led me to believe relative volume levels were to blame during the night.
There could be some extra trebble or thinness of sound, but not to the extend it got noticed on my system. Coming from a Pioneer AX10, a TAG McLaren AV32R DP and an Onkyo TX-NR5008 I am used to trebble and a somewhat thin sounding amp, so I could be a bad judge here. Also my room accoustics, Blue Jeans interconnects or Cordial Pro Line XLR's could mask stuff. I don't know.