Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Star of the Northern Hemisphere
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The Marantz 8802 with XLR connections is simply for better looks. ...For people who like to connect their amps with more fancy connectors, or feel more secure with the lock-on types, or people who have long distances between the 8802 and their amps (15 meters or so).
Sound wise they are no better than RCA type connectors. And not only that, but from lab tests they usually measured worst in all audio parameters. Just check the different results between RCA and XLR measurements from all them SSP & amps reviews of similar 8802 SSPs and separate amps with them XLR connection jacks.
I can give you several links but anyone can find them easily.
* The differences is not night and day, but still, the RCA connections usually offer better performance (Frequency Response, THD+N, Crosstalk, and Signal-to-noise Ratio with "A" weighting).
With XLR you'll have more gain (roughly 6dB), but you can easily adjust/compensate for that by simply raising the master volume level when using the RCA connections.
And true, for fully balanced operation (in and out), you need to spend roughly $7,500 for the SSP and same for a matching multichannel amp. And then you also want your sources fully balanced (in & out) as well.
Yeah, you can pay less, and you'll get what you pay for. ...Like the matching Cary Audio Design Cinema 12 Surround Processor with its matching Model 7.125 multichannel amplifier for eight grands, but you still need two more stereo amps, it is extremely restricted on the number of HDMI connections (3 In, 1 Out), the REQ is very buggy (Cary doesn't recommend using it), it has no Dolby Atmos of course, and still the RCA connections measure better than the XLR ones.
If you spend say twenty grands, then you might improve the measurements by a fraction less than one percent. And there is no way that you can hear it.
So, for people who choose the 8802 over the 7702, now you know what those XLR connections truly (fully) mean. ...Nothing, and even less performance (measurements) over the RCA connections.
Marantz AV8802 13.2 XLR processor, HDMI 2.0, ISF, Wifi, tra-la-la...
Last edited by NorthSky; 09-01-2014 at 03:39 PM.