Marantz av8801 vs av7701 vs Yamaha Cxa5000 plus matching power amp - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 32 Old 12-02-2013, 06:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Trying to get as many recommendations as possible to the above pre amp options. Have had many good things said about the av8801, but not heard many comments about the other two. The av8801 is very highly priced, yet the yamaha seems to offer more. I'll be running a parasound a31 and maybe a23s for surrounds. The alternative is to run the matching yamaha eleven Chanel amp for the surrounds instead along with the parasound a31. Any thoughts would be much appreciated. I understand the 8801 is a great unit, but the pricing is way Above others that offer the sane or more. I'm after both quality Music and movies.
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post #2 of 32 Old 12-02-2013, 09:30 AM
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gianni1,

Don't forget that you have to actually call an authorized Marantz dealer to get an accurate "street price". They are only allowed to publicly advertise the full MSRP.

That said, you might want to consider Denon's AVR 4510 (used as a pre/pro) as an alternative to the 8801. It has just about all of the same features (they have identical digital circuit boards). They primarily differ in their analog output circuits, which might or might not make any audible difference.

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post #3 of 32 Old 12-02-2013, 02:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Street price? Is $4425 is a reasonable price? You didn't mention the yamaha? eek.gif
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post #4 of 32 Old 12-03-2013, 11:34 AM
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Great question. I was in the same boat, as I had the 8801 until last week, when I decided to sell it and get the CX-A5000.

I set up the Yamaha last night, here are my impressions:

I was a bit dismayed the unit did NOT have XLR outputs for the subs. Ended up not being a big deal. I was initially concerned about the dreaded 60Hz hum from an RCA cable to the sub-amp, but it didn't cause any issues.

YPAO was easy to run - not any different than most other current room EQs. Thing I like about the Yamaha is you can tweak the parameters significantly more so than the Marantz. You'll have to go into the setup menu to really tweak the DSP/reverb settings, but it'll give you exactly what you're looking for if you spend the time to do it.

Sound: I'm using the unit in a dedicated theater room with Triad speakers throughout. Bottom line on sound.... Marantz sounded exactly like the DataSat RS20i I had prior to it (yes, the DataSat is a great piece, but I'm a firm believer in diminishing returns). When I sold the DataSat and got the Marantz, I did NOT hear much difference at all, and I had run the Dirac RoomEQ). I'll probably get death threats for this statement, but if you have a treated room and good speakers/amps, the differences between a $20K piece and the Marantz are negligible.... REALLY! Thank goodness for new chips sets/DACs!

As for the Yamaha sound (movies only) it is terrific. I've only got it setup as a 5.1 system right now, but will be adding the surround back speakers and rear presence speakers in the coming days. I have a few DVD reference discs used to qualify the sound. As you normally hear on these boards, the Yamaha actually did playback some nuances in the movie soundtrack I hadn't heard before, OR, the sounds were significantly more pronounced than with the Marantz. I level set the volume when doing these "critical listenings" to 80dB with an SPL meter, so I'm certain what I'm hearing isn't due to having the volume "louder" than on other units...

Bottom line: I can't imagine how good it will sound once I get the 7.1, and eventually rear presence speakers setup and tweak the DSP settings to expand the surround presence in my room. I'm very happy with the unit and will be keeping it for a long time. Build quality is terrific on both units, but for the price difference, there's no question which way is more financially sound.

Considering I just came from the AV8801 to the Yamaha, I would suggest you save the extra $$$ and get the Yamaha. Let me know if you need an authorized dealer for either piece - send me a PM and I'll send you the info.

Best,

Stieger
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post #5 of 32 Old 12-03-2013, 11:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gianni1 View Post

Street price? Is $4425 is a reasonable price?
Is that U.S. dollars? That's way high for an AV8801 in the U.S., since its list price is $3600. The official combined price for an AV8801 plus an MM8077 amp was $5000 at one time. Might that combination be what was quoted to you?
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You didn't mention the yamaha? eek.gif

My bias is toward equipment which uses Audyssey room equalization (like Marantz and Denon), since Yamaha's proprietary room equalization traditionally has been unable to go below about 31Hz. I don't know if that's the case for the version of YPAO used in the CX-A5000, though. Its manual parametric equalizer does have that limitation.
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post #6 of 32 Old 12-03-2013, 01:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stieger View Post

I'll probably get death threats for this statement, but if you have a treated room and good speakers/amps, the differences between a $20K piece and the Marantz are negligible.... REALLY! Thank goodness for new chips sets/DACs!

As for the Yamaha sound (movies only) it is terrific. , the Yamaha actually did playback some nuances in the movie soundtrack I hadn't heard before, OR, the sounds were significantly more pronounced than with the Marantz. I'm very happy with the unit and will be keeping it for a long time. Build quality is terrific on both units, but for the price difference, there's no question which way is more financially sound.

Considering I just came from the AV8801 to the Yamaha, I would suggest you save the extra $$$ and get the Yamaha.
interesting, thanks for your input, especially coming from the particular units you've owned.

I've owned a few Yamaha AVR's (RX-V1600, RX-V2600, RX-V2700) before switching to Denon and Marantz gear (AV-8801, AV-7701, AVR-2113CI), I was always very happy with Yamaha's sound quality. But seemed like the trend was edging towards Denon. I was also sold on Denon disc players (DVD-3930CI, DVD-3800BDCI, etc.,...), which I used with Yamaha receivers. I'm happy to see that Denon/Marantz and Yamaha, and others (Integra, etc.,...), are now producing competing "AV Preamplifier" unit's at somewhat comparable price range. I feel there is more "parity" out there nowadays in this product market.
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post #7 of 32 Old 12-03-2013, 01:46 PM
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I've owned various Denon, Yamaha and Marantz in the past. Musically speaking I noticed a significant difference between Denon/Yamaha and Marantz. In addition to having owned those pieces I spent time auditioning each of these for a more apples to apples current model comparison. Marantz had better clarity with warmer tones. This is what I was looking for. I didn't want somthing muddy or tinny sounding. Clear sound at the midrange.

I ran an AV8003 pre with Emotiva XPA5. I recently replaced the 8003 with a AV7701 because I wanted 3D for my theater. I'm struggling to hear a difference between the two. I have my pre's professionally calibrated with GEQ instead of Audyssey.

These are my own opinions. If you have the opportunity go into a local store and listen for yourself. You won't regret the time spent.
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post #8 of 32 Old 12-03-2013, 01:55 PM
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From what I have been able to glean is the CX-A5000 and the AV8801 are a wash for movies but the Marantz may hold the edge for music, primarily due to its warmth or due to Yamaha's perceived brightness. I am still waiting for Kal's review of the 5000 as his focus will be music including multichannel music.

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post #9 of 32 Old 12-03-2013, 02:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jima4a View Post
I am still waiting for Kal's review of the 5000 as his focus will be music including multichannel music.

It will appear in the March issue.


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post #10 of 32 Old 12-05-2013, 06:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Interesting. .. the price is australian dollars, things are not cheap over hear like in the us. .. the yamaha is about $3600 here and the marantz is $4425.. The marantz av7701 is About $2445.... but it does not have xlr inputs and 32 dac Sabre.

The marantz sr7008 is a optional choice at about $2236.... but no xlr.... the Australian marantz design with circular Window is terrible, but the sound is what I'm after. .. I'm running focal 826v towers atm which are bright, so I don't want a bright system. Thou I'm running a parasound a31 amp so im told is a warm sound. Plus maybe parasound a23 amps for surrounds. ....

So would I get a similar sound from the sr7008 or even an integra dhc80.3 integra unit that's only $2340 over here. I keep thinking I could save $2000 on the pre amp and get the same sound quality? ?? Or am I wrong?

Going to run a oppo bdp 105 or get a 103 darbee for movies and a good cd player for music.
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post #11 of 32 Old 12-05-2013, 02:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gianni1 View Post

Interesting. .. the price is australian dollars, things are not cheap over hear like in the us. .. the yamaha is about $3600 here and the marantz is $4425.. The marantz av7701 is About $2445.... but it does not have xlr inputs and 32 dac Sabre.
Nor does it have Audyssey XT32. Do make a point of calling around to different authorized dealers. (I'm assuming that Marantz doesn't try to limit where you buy the unit. Sometimes companies have regional anti-competition agreements.) You might be able to find a better price.
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The marantz sr7008 is a optional choice at about $2236.... but no xlr....
In general, XLR connections are only necessary if your equipment is being used in an electrically noisy environment. Of course, the connectors are more secure than RCA.
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the Australian marantz design with circular Window is terrible, but the sound is what I'm after.
The porthole design is used internationally: it's not unique to Austrialia.
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.. I'm running focal 826v towers atm which are bright, so I don't want a bright system. Thou I'm running a parasound a31 amp so im told is a warm sound. Plus maybe parasound a23 amps for surrounds. ....
Audyssey would tame the brightness (all other things being equal) since it tries to flatten (make more accurate) the frequency response as heard from your speakers in your room. Often appropriate room treatments and speaker positioning can produce similar results.
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So would I get a similar sound from the sr7008 or even an integra dhc80.3 integra unit that's only $2340 over here. I keep thinking I could save $2000 on the pre amp and get the same sound quality? ?? Or am I wrong?
If you enable Audyssey, the sound quality of the 7008's preamp outputs should be identical the 8801. Both have very similar analog output circuits. People argue about whether the 80.3 sounds the same. All three provide the highest grade of Audyssey: MultEQ XT32, and the measured distortions of them all are well below what should be audible.
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Going to run a oppo bdp 105 or get a 103 darbee for movies and a good cd player for music.
With a universal player like one of the Oppos, you really wouldn't need a separate CD player.

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post #12 of 32 Old 12-10-2013, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by gianni1 View Post

The marantz av7701 is About $2445.... but it does not have xlr inputs and 32 dac Sabre.

The AV7701 does have XLR inputs. It even has dual sub XLR inputs.
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post #13 of 32 Old 12-10-2013, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by jima4a View Post

From what I have been able to glean is the CX-A5000 and the AV8801 are a wash for movies but the Marantz may hold the edge for music, primarily due to its warmth or due to Yamaha's perceived brightness. I am still waiting for Kal's review of the 5000 as his focus will be music including multichannel music.

Kal's review on the Yamaha CX-A5000 will be interesting to read. I want to see what he says about Yamaha's 33 DSP modes. My guess is that he will not favor it for music, but I would like it to create a positive impression. I have been looking at this Pre-pro as well as the NuForce AVP-18...two different products with two different prices.

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post #14 of 32 Old 12-10-2013, 09:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Espo77 View Post


Kal's review on the Yamaha CX-A5000 will be interesting to read. I want to see what he says about Yamaha's 33 DSP modes.

An impressive array of DSP options but they are not of much interest for music, imho.  Too much else to talk about.


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post #15 of 32 Old 12-10-2013, 09:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

An impressive array of DSP options but they are not of much interest for music, imho.  Too much else to talk about.


"Too much else to talk about" ...and that we will...New York never sleeps.biggrin.gif

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post #16 of 32 Old 01-02-2014, 06:25 PM
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I'm anxious for Kal's review also. I loved my old C2/B2 from eons ago.
The specs don't say if the prepro decodes DSD or DVDA. My guess is no on DSD.
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I'm anxious for Kal's review also. I loved my old C2/B2 from eons ago.
The specs don't say if the prepro decodes DSD or DVDA. My guess is no on DSD.

It does decode DSD over HDMI. Pages 145 and 151 of the User Manual.

Cheers.
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The specs don't say if the prepro decodes DSD or DVDA. My guess is no on DSD.

 

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It does decode DSD over HDMI. Pages 145 and 151 of the User Manual.
 

Right.  Also, DVD-A is simply compressed PCM and all players will decompress the data before outputting it as plain vanilla PCM.


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An impressive array of DSP options but they are not of much interest for music, imho.  Too much else to talk about.

But how are they for movies? :-D
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post #21 of 32 Old 02-09-2014, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by stieger View Post

Great question. I was in the same boat, as I had the 8801 until last week, when I decided to sell it and get the CX-A5000.

I set up the Yamaha last night, here are my impressions:

I was a bit dismayed the unit did NOT have XLR outputs for the subs. Ended up not being a big deal. I was initially concerned about the dreaded 60Hz hum from an RCA cable to the sub-amp, but it didn't cause any issues.

YPAO was easy to run - not any different than most other current room EQs. Thing I like about the Yamaha is you can tweak the parameters significantly more so than the Marantz. You'll have to go into the setup menu to really tweak the DSP/reverb settings, but it'll give you exactly what you're looking for if you spend the time to do it.

Sound: I'm using the unit in a dedicated theater room with Triad speakers throughout. Bottom line on sound.... Marantz sounded exactly like the DataSat RS20i I had prior to it (yes, the DataSat is a great piece, but I'm a firm believer in diminishing returns). When I sold the DataSat and got the Marantz, I did NOT hear much difference at all, and I had run the Dirac RoomEQ). I'll probably get death threats for this statement, but if you have a treated room and good speakers/amps, the differences between a $20K piece and the Marantz are negligible.... REALLY! Thank goodness for new chips sets/DACs!

As for the Yamaha sound (movies only) it is terrific. I've only got it setup as a 5.1 system right now, but will be adding the surround back speakers and rear presence speakers in the coming days. I have a few DVD reference discs used to qualify the sound. As you normally hear on these boards, the Yamaha actually did playback some nuances in the movie soundtrack I hadn't heard before, OR, the sounds were significantly more pronounced than with the Marantz. I level set the volume when doing these "critical listenings" to 80dB with an SPL meter, so I'm certain what I'm hearing isn't due to having the volume "louder" than on other units...

Bottom line: I can't imagine how good it will sound once I get the 7.1, and eventually rear presence speakers setup and tweak the DSP settings to expand the surround presence in my room. I'm very happy with the unit and will be keeping it for a long time. Build quality is terrific on both units, but for the price difference, there's no question which way is more financially sound.

Considering I just came from the AV8801 to the Yamaha, I would suggest you save the extra $$$ and get the Yamaha. Let me know if you need an authorized dealer for either piece - send me a PM and I'll send you the info.

Best,

Stieger

Thanks for posting that. I've been looking at going with a Yamaha 3020 or 3030 as a pre-pro, possibly even doing away with my Outlaw amp, if it sounds better than our current Denon does by itself, in our very small, but treated HT. The Marantz 7008 is the other top contender, as I'm extremely hesitant to leave Audyssey, but having used Denons for over a decade, I'm tempted to try something new, especially when their build and QC appears to have fallen. I've only been able to do a precursory demo between the Yamaha 2030 and a Marantz 7007 at our nearest BB. Both without any EQ applied. Your experience seems to affirm the difference I heard between the two there, which was so much in the Yamaha's favor, I questioned something in the setup might have been unfairly biasing the comparison in favor of the Yamaha. Your experience further eases my mind. Thanks.

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But how are they for movies? :-D

Don't know.  Don't care. ;)


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Don't know.  Don't care. wink.gif

Really? I would think that they were "Darbee" for movie sound....
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post #24 of 32 Old 02-09-2014, 04:23 PM
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Really? I would think that they were "Darbee" for movie sound....

Really?  I think of them as useless gimmicks.


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post #25 of 32 Old 04-17-2014, 12:11 PM
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When you sit down and listen to the CXA5000 and its ESS Sabre dacs you will know why this piece is so so special.

I have been in this business for over 20 years and this 5000 is blowing my mind. Its Musicality is stunning and with a Mid Range Player connected HDMI the Audio coming out of this is scary good.

Being that we do High End (Theta Digital Etc) I never would have imagined this piece being so good.

I have been selling marantz and Denon for over 15 years and when you really get into the meat and potatoes of 7701/8801 they are really nice Denon Pieces. I say this because I get to install and listen to this stuff every day and I can tell you the 8801 as nice as it is doesnt hold a candle to the CXA5000. The Dac technology which is ultra important is something that Yamaha Takes seriously. Why do they take it so seriously ? Because they are a music company. Their Musical Instruments such as their pianos which I happen to own are awesome. You will see some of the best pianists play Yamaha and ask for it more than Steinway or Bosendorfer because the Yamaha just sounds great and plays well. Same with their Aventage Products and especially the CXA5000.

We have been A/B comparing the CXA5000 to our Theta Casablanca which by the way is 20K retail and the Yamaha does an amazing job of holding its own..

What we have really come to understand is there is no mid market products for Pre Pros any longer. You would be crazy insane to spend 5K on a MAC or similar piece or 9K on Anthem D2v for instance which are all non upgradable pre pros when you can buy a 5000 and if the technology changes drastically in 10 years just toss it. For the people that want infinitely upgradable of course they come to me for Theta Casablanca 4 which has 20 years of upgrade history and is the top shelf in pre pro but at 10X the price the Yamaha is freaking Awesome !

Dam nice job Yamaha !!!!! Keep it up !!

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post #26 of 32 Old 04-17-2014, 12:13 PM
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Oh By the way - The 2030 and 3030 arent too shabby either. The 3030 is so hot right now , they can barely keep them in stock.. Again its so much nicer than Denon/Onkyo/Marantz Product right now , people are getting it.

Look at the Dacs not the Denon marketing hype !!

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post #27 of 32 Old 04-17-2014, 12:16 PM
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I have had both a 3020 and a 5000 in the same room and setup. Both are very good sounding units. I don't think there is much difference between the ESS dacs and the TI dacs used in the 3020. My guess is Yamaha only changed to ESS for lower cost and the ability to market them compared to other AVRs.
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post #28 of 32 Old 04-17-2014, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by dwaleke View Post

I have had both a 3020 and a 5000 in the same room and setup. Both are very good sounding units. I don't think there is much difference between the ESS dacs and the TI dacs used in the 3020. My guess is Yamaha only changed to ESS for lower cost and the ability to market them compared to other AVRs.

I hate to break the news to you.. We have been working with ESS for years trying to get them working in the casablanca 3HD and 4.. We use them differentially and they take so much power when you use 4 chips per channel its crazy. So what I can tell you is the Sabres are unreal when listening to music vs TI or Burr brown generally. There are a hundred other factors like Resister step ladder array volume controls that theta uses etc but Burr Brown 17XX Dacs VS the Sabres its dramatic..

Until you A/B Dacs you really dont understand how different the Dacs can be and the ESS line up is pretty darn nice. Much more revealing that anything we have ever heard. They used them in the 5000 for a reason and its the same reason we are trying to build them into the Casablanca .. They are very good !

Craig
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post #29 of 32 Old 04-17-2014, 01:40 PM
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Really?  I think of them as useless gimmicks.

+1

all the receiver/prepro companies can drop the reverb-based faux surround modes and it wouldn't break my heart. useless and take up DSP space that could be better utilized for things like advances in room EQ or at least doing it without downsampling wink.gif

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post #30 of 32 Old 04-17-2014, 03:37 PM
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I re-read 'Music in Round' CX-A5000 review and it is indeed high praise from Kal R who prefers it to Marantz 8801 (IIRC Kal also owns meridian 861 in another system)and VGI is a Theta fan and and it is rare to see his praise that CX-A5000 compares equivalent/close to Theta CB3HD/CB4 on simple HT processing.

Seems like I will have to look into trying this unit out! FYI CX uses ESS 9016 for all channels (incl. presence).

Thank you guys!
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