Denon 4520 vs. Marantz 8801 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 32 Old 12-26-2012, 09:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Curious if anybody has compared these two for use as a pre-pro (I would not be using the amps in the Denon)? Trying to figure out why the Marantz is so much higher though feature sets appear comparable (Denon may even have a slight edge). Local dealers push what they have and talk down the other, natch, so looking for a little user feedback.

Thanks - Don

"After silence, that which best expresses the inexpressible, is music" - Aldous Huxley
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post #2 of 32 Old 12-26-2012, 09:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonH50 View Post

Curious if anybody has compared these two for use as a pre-pro (I would not be using the amps in the Denon)? Trying to figure out why the Marantz is so much higher though feature sets appear comparable (Denon may even have a slight edge). Local dealers push what they have and talk down the other, natch, so looking for a little user feedback.
Thanks - Don

Check the Denon 4520 thread and the AV8801 thread as this topic has come up several times. Some people think it is worth the difference in price and some don't...there is no "right" answer. JoeRod (I think that is his name) reviewed both and choose the AV8801. Good luck.
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post #3 of 32 Old 12-26-2012, 10:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Yeah, I started to wade through those threads but got lazy... Thought it might be easier to do it separately, maybe not. I am not expecting anything profound.

Thanks - Don

"After silence, that which best expresses the inexpressible, is music" - Aldous Huxley
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post #4 of 32 Old 12-26-2012, 12:35 PM
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Don,

I have no experience with the 4520 or the 8801. I would think both would sound excellent and that the SQ differences would be minimal at best. I guess if the 8801 is in ones budget that might be the way to go. If the 4520 has all the features that one would want and cost is an issue then the 4520 might be the best choice. I think you will get many different opinions but none will be definitive. You could try both in your system but that is costly and time consuming.

Bill

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post #5 of 32 Old 12-26-2012, 02:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi Bill,

I think you are right, of course. Since Marantz claims higher-performance analog stages I was curious if anybody actually noticed. My experience with (RF) current-mode amps is higher slew rate, often faster settling, but higher noise. I would not expect any real SQ difference given both have XT32. Features appear roughly the same to me, but of course for about $1k less the Denon throws in amplifiers as well. Balanced is not a concern; I could run XLRs but do not believe I would hear (let alone measure) any difference in my system. From what I have seen and read to date the Marantz GUI seems better but that's fairly low priority after setup. I wish Denon offered a way to turn off their amps (I suspect opening the case to yank the supply lines would void the warranty smile.gif ).

Like Chris, I am looking for a reason to get the 8801, but for roughly the same price I can get the 4520 with Pro and that seems a much better value. My local Denon dealer might let me take a demo home overnight, but the Marantz dealer is further away and wants a 10% restocking fee if I return. mad.gif The local Denon dealer does not usually deal on price, however, while the Marantz dealer may cut a deal.

Backup plan: Convince Chris how much better the 8801 is, then buy his 4520 for a song... smile.gif

Thanks,
Don

"After silence, that which best expresses the inexpressible, is music" - Aldous Huxley
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post #6 of 32 Old 01-06-2013, 03:40 PM
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I'm in the same boat as you, with the same questions.

I'm still on the fence but I have one foot on the side of the 4520.

The Denon 4520 has a few advantages:

Price
9 Channel Amplifier
DDSC
Denon Link (4th gen)
AL32

The 8801 has fewer, but some advantages on paper:

Preamp only (no wasted amps, cleaner signal)
HDAM circuitry
Copper chassis

Pure speculation at this point about which one is better. Heck, they may sound near identical!

Let us know what you decide.

-Brian

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post #7 of 32 Old 01-06-2013, 03:42 PM
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I forgot to mention. XLR inputs/outputs are not an advantage to me. Nearly EVERY test shows that XLRs typically have a worse S/N ratio than XLRs. Go figure! eek.gif

I want the quietest connection possible.

-Brian

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post #8 of 32 Old 01-06-2013, 03:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bghead8che View Post

I forgot to mention. XLR inputs/outputs are not an advantage to me. Nearly EVERY test shows that XLRs typically have a worse S/N ratio than XLRs. Go figure! eek.gif
I want the quietest connection possible.
-Brian
Ummm....do you mean XLR's have a worse S/N ratio than RCA's?

For what it's worth, I had a 4520 and changed to a 8801. Both are phenominal pieces of equipment and sound wonderful. Would I say I could hear a difference....no.
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post #9 of 32 Old 01-06-2013, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by RajeeK View Post

Ummm....do you mean XLR's have a worse S/N ratio than RCA's?
For what it's worth, I had a 4520 and changed to a 8801. Both are phenominal pieces of equipment and sound wonderful. Would I say I could hear a difference....no.

Nope, XLRs measure more noisy then RCA inputs in the majority of cases. This has been pointed out before. Just look at Sound&Vision and HomeTheater magazine's test reports. Opposite of what you would think!

-Brian

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post #10 of 32 Old 01-06-2013, 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Bghead8che View Post

Nope, XLRs measure more noisy then RCA inputs in the majority of cases. This has been pointed out before. Just look at Sound&Vision and HomeTheater magazine's test reports. Opposite of what you would think!
-Brian
Yup, I was getting mixed up. Thx.
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post #11 of 32 Old 04-02-2013, 07:57 AM
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hmmm, the 8801 seems enticing. Might have to get rid of my brand new 4520. smile.gif
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post #12 of 32 Old 04-02-2013, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by nezff View Post

hmmm, the 8801 seems enticing. Might have to get rid of my brand new 4520. smile.gif

What is enticing enough about the 8801 that you would want to get rid of your 4520?

Bill

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post #13 of 32 Old 04-02-2013, 09:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bghead8che View Post

Nope, XLRs measure more noisy then RCA inputs in the majority of cases. This has been pointed out before. Just look at Sound&Vision and HomeTheater magazine's test reports. Opposite of what you would think!

-Brian

That is not a good generalization to make. There is a reason that professional studios use XLR. You'll have to provide some links to the info you're referencing, but if anything, the conclusion might be that on a certain piece of gear the XLR inputs might not be superior. But that is far from a sweeping conclusion about the connector type in general.
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post #14 of 32 Old 05-12-2013, 10:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Bill Mac View Post

What is enticing enough about the 8801 that you would want to get rid of your 4520?

Bill

+1 eek.gif
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post #15 of 32 Old 05-15-2013, 04:22 AM
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Perhaps 8801 is a dedicated processor with strengthened pre amp section featuring Marantz HDAM whereas the 4520 is just merely a AVR with perhaps the same digital boards and some analog but nothing beats a dedicated processor for sound smile.gif
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post #16 of 32 Old 05-15-2013, 08:10 AM
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My only question is about power consumption, my Marantz AV7005 only consumes 60 watts. I think the 8801 should be similar.
What about an AV receiver? Are the unused amps affecting power consumption?
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post #17 of 32 Old 05-15-2013, 08:34 AM
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Don't be at all surprised, if nether the 4520 or 8801 puts the AV 7005 to shame. In my humble opinion, the AV 7005 is very much an overachiever at it's price point. Marantz really hit one out of the park on the AV 7005.
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post #18 of 32 Old 05-15-2013, 08:45 AM
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I sent my denon back for another one within the first 30 days because of it shutting down. I instead bought the marantz. I feel more comfortable with it mainly because of possible reliability issues concerning he denon.
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post #19 of 32 Old 05-15-2013, 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by jrhooper1963 View Post

Don't be at all surprised, if nether the 4520 or 8801 puts the AV 7005 to shame. In my humble opinion, the AV 7005 is very much an overachiever at it's price point. Marantz really hit one out of the park on the AV 7005.

I really like the AV7005, but have to accept that I'm victim of the XT32's hype. A worthy upgrade? Probably not. Discipline dictates another year from today, minimum, before pull the trigger
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post #20 of 32 Old 05-15-2013, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by rec93 View Post

I really like the AV7005, but have to accept that I'm victim of the XT32's hype. A worthy upgrade? Probably not. Discipline dictates another year from today, minimum, before pull the trigger

If you have only one subwoofer in your system, and are reasonably happy, then I would just wait . IMHO YMMV
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post #21 of 32 Old 07-01-2013, 10:06 AM
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If you have only one subwoofer in your system, and are reasonably happy, then I would just wait . IMHO YMMV

its more than just the capability to run dual subs

XT32 is a pretty significant upgrade for HT purposes


since I dont listen to matrixed music there are no pluses in that category



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post #22 of 32 Old 07-01-2013, 10:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rec93 View Post

My only question is about power consumption, my Marantz AV7005 only consumes 60 watts. I think the 8801 should be similar.
What about an AV receiver? Are the unused amps affecting power consumption?

if so I bet its minimal


Warren

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post #23 of 32 Old 07-01-2013, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by nezff View Post

I sent my denon back for another one within the first 30 days because of it shutting down. I instead bought the marantz. I feel more comfortable with it mainly because of possible reliability issues concerning he denon.

I blew up a 8801 after 2 hours of use doesn't say anything you just had a lemon. They are probably (i bet mcode can tell us) made at then same outsourced place now. Also the HDAM are no magic parts. I think if you are already set on using it as a pre/pro the 8801 makes more sense but if you expect changes it will mostly be in the analog parts and that you can use nice XLR connectors which for the connection alone i prefer over rca where i can.

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post #24 of 32 Old 07-01-2013, 11:55 AM
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if so I bet its minimal


Warren

its 90 watts wink.gif
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post #25 of 32 Old 07-01-2013, 12:46 PM
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If I had pick one I take 4520 because of the price and plus the speakers I have.
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post #26 of 32 Old 07-01-2013, 06:23 PM
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Just looking at the first page of the 8801 thread shows quite a lot of differences. DAC's 32/192 dedicated to each channel better then the Denon 24/96 and up, HDAM on each channel, Troidal trans power supply bigger and better than in the Denon with amps., copper insulation 11.2 VS. 9.2, More processing power, XLR's.
If none of this matters to you, don't waste your money on the Marantz.

Lot more than that, if you are not interested in reading even the first page of the 8801 thread, buy the Denon and enjoy it. Also the 8801 is a significant upgrade over the 7005. I had one for 3 years and there is no way I would ever step down so far.
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post #27 of 32 Old 02-16-2014, 07:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rec93 View Post

My only question is about power consumption, my Marantz AV7005 only consumes 60 watts. I think the 8801 should be similar.
What about an AV receiver? Are the unused amps affecting power consumption?
My 4520 draws one amp more power than when it is in standby mode... I think standby mode is .1 amp. I think that means it draws 125 watts (on top of standby), since my Monster says 122.5v and 1.1 amps.

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post #28 of 32 Old 02-17-2014, 06:27 AM
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My 4520 draws one amp more power than when it is in standby mode... I think standby mode is .1 amp. I think that means it draws 125 watts (on top of standby), since my Monster says 122.5v and 1.1 amps.
Are you running dedicated 20 amp line in your house.
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post #29 of 32 Old 02-17-2014, 06:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Chise View Post

Are you running dedicated 20 amp line in your house.
Not currently, but when we get the new HT built we will be.

Denon 4520ci, 3 JBL 2360As/EV DHA-1s, 3 1/4 Pie bass bins, MiniDSP 2x4s, 4 Klipsch HIPs, 2 Klipsch KP3002s, PS3, XBox 360, 3 Intel NUCs, Monoprice Redmere, Monster HTPS7000, 2 SUPER SPUD subs, Panasonic AE8000u, and a Yamaha P7000s.
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post #30 of 32 Old 02-17-2014, 06:56 AM
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Not currently, but when we get the new HT built we will be.
My friend it makes big difference audio and video plus Im going to upgrade my electrical outlets next.
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