Which new Processor AV8802a vs AVM60 vs MX122 for Music? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews

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post #1 of 32 Old 03-08-2016, 10:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Which new Processor AV8802a vs AVM60 vs MX122 for Music?

New contenders to the AV8802a have finally reached the market. Has anyone heard these units side by side? Any noticeable difference in sound quality for 2Ch digital music?

As I understand the AV8802 limits the digital upconversion and input to 24bit/48Khz. Do the other contenders do this?

I'm only interested in sound quality performance between these units. Any help or observations would be greatly appreciated.

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post #2 of 32 Old 03-08-2016, 10:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scanido View Post
New contenders to the AV8802a have finally reached the market. Has anyone heard these units side by side? Any noticeable difference in sound quality for 2Ch digital music?

As I understand the AV8802 limits the digital upconversion and input to 24bit/48Khz. Do the other contenders do this?

I'm only interested in sound quality performance between these units. Any help or observations would be greatly appreciated.
The AVM60 does not down sample with bass management or ARC (Anthem Room Correction) enabled, allowing up to 24/192. The nearest dealer is 60 miles from me, and I hope to get a demo soon - if not I'll likely use the 30 day trial from Anthem direct.
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Although the McIntosh MX122 uses analog circuitry that they designed in-house, the digital electronics uses the same circuit designs as are used by the Marantz AV8802A. In other words, it has exactly the same digital processing limitations. The MX122 does have a different circuit board layout than the AV8802a does (e.g. it uses a plugin circuit-board "backplane" for inter-board connections instead of flat cables) so there should be some improvement in crosstalk, noise and distortion levels.

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post #4 of 32 Old 03-08-2016, 11:32 AM
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BTW on avforums.co.uk there is one poster who had in home demos of the Marantz and Yamaha pros, but eventually bought the Anthem. He did not have all at the same time though.
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post #5 of 32 Old 03-08-2016, 12:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dlinsley View Post
The AVM60 does not down sample with bass management or ARC (Anthem Room Correction) enabled, allowing up to 24/192. The nearest dealer is 60 miles from me, and I hope to get a demo soon - if not I'll likely use the 30 day trial from Anthem direct.
Good news on the Anthem. This alone may be a deal breaker for me on the AV8802a....and since the MX122 is based on this design I wonder if this is also the case for the MX122?

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post #6 of 32 Old 03-08-2016, 12:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scanido View Post
Good news on the Anthem. This alone may be a deal breaker for me on the AV8802a....and since the MX122 is based on this design I wonder if this is also the case for the MX122?
Yes. See my comments above.

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post #7 of 32 Old 03-08-2016, 12:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Selden Ball View Post
Although the McIntosh MX122 uses analog circuitry that they designed in-house, the digital electronics uses the same circuit designs as are used by the Marantz AV8802A. In other words, it has exactly the same digital processing limitations. The MX122 does have a different circuit board layout than the AV8802a does (e.g. it uses a plugin circuit-board "backplane" for inter-board connections instead of flat cables) so there should be some improvement in crosstalk, noise and distortion levels.
Glad you brought this up. That's an important point.

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post #8 of 32 Old 03-08-2016, 12:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dlinsley View Post
The AVM60 does not down sample with bass management or ARC (Anthem Room Correction) enabled, allowing up to 24/192. The nearest dealer is 60 miles from me, and I hope to get a demo soon - if not I'll likely use the 30 day trial from Anthem direct.
Wow! that's awesome, has it been confirmed? I know previous models could do up to 24/96 but to see that in the lower priced models is pretty outstanding. How many chips in the Anthem's?
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Are you also interested in Atmos? If not, couple other good contenders out there

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post #10 of 32 Old 03-08-2016, 01:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by madhuski View Post
Are you also interested in Atmos? If not, couple other good contenders out there
I think most if not all the next gen Pre-Pro's support Atmos, so not really considering this to be a factor for comparison.

I do know about the MX160 but that one has some obvious limitations at the moment, so will keep that option at bay even though I may be able to live with its shortcomings. I am open to any other suggestions, but would like to keep it between these processors.

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post #11 of 32 Old 03-08-2016, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by audiofan1 View Post
Wow! that's awesome, has it been confirmed? I know previous models could do up to 24/96 but to see that in the lower priced models is pretty outstanding. How many chips in the Anthem's?
Nick from Anthem confirmed it in either the AVM60 or Anthem new receivers threads.
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post #12 of 32 Old 03-08-2016, 04:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Selden Ball View Post
Although the McIntosh MX122 uses analog circuitry that they designed in-house, the digital electronics uses the same circuit designs as are used by the Marantz AV8802A. In other words, it has exactly the same digital processing limitations. The MX122 does have a different circuit board layout than the AV8802a does (e.g. it uses a plugin circuit-board "backplane" for inter-board connections instead of flat cables) so there should be some improvement in crosstalk, noise and distortion levels.
Since the mx122 has the same downsampling limitation as the AV8802a, would you say for digital music there would be very little, if any, difference between these two units?

Don't plan to ever use Pure direct or analog inputs so my focus is really on the DAc performance.

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post #13 of 32 Old 03-08-2016, 09:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scanido View Post
Since the mx122 has the same downsampling limitation as the AV8802a, would you say for digital music there would be very little, if any, difference between these two units?

Don't plan to ever use Pure direct or analog inputs so my focus is really on the DAc performance.
They should be similar, but the McIntosh unit should be slightly better. The design of the analog circuits which are between the DACs and the outputs matters a great deal. Whether or not the difference in sound is worth the difference in price is a decision only you can make. You need to audition them both in your home with your room and your speakers.
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post #14 of 32 Old 03-08-2016, 10:38 PM
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I'm assuming you're looking at AV pre/pros because you're also interested in HT application along with good 2 channel (which is my boat as well). While I haven't owned the 8802a, I've auditioned it long-term (roughly 120h listening) in my room. I currently now own the AVM60, and have been listening to it mostly with 2ch high-resolution music. I didn't do a scientific A/B test, but here's what my gut-take:

The 8802a has great DACs. The AVM60 also has great DACs. I didn't use room correction for either, but I did manually adjust for equal dB using an SPL meter at my listening area. Both were plugged into my Parasound Halo A51, into B&W 803Ds. I sit roughly 8.5 feet (2.6m) away from them. For material, I used high resolution audio with high dynamic range (13+), either 24/96 or 24/192 depending on the material.

With the new AVM60, I felt like I was more 'in the bubble' with live acoustic material (Nina Simone, Charlie Parker, Coltrane). For more produced material (Michael Jackson's Off the Wall, and Thriller), there was little if any difference I could recall. I did notice on Prince's material (Purple Rain, Live at Montreux, Sign o the Times) the AVM60 felt 'bigger', even though the studio albums have a lot of production (Linn Drums, etc). I can't articulate what 'bigger' is, but I'd say, perhaps more presence, or weight. That may equate to a slightly larger stereo separation/soundstage, and a more extended bottom-end.

Mind you, the differences are minute. Both are amazing, and you'll be thrilled with either. Keep in mind though:

1.How much future proofing do you need?
2. Do you need analogue inputs?
3. Is the 8802a worth the extra $2k USD for what it gives (which I don't think is much on top of the Anthem, except analogue inputs)?


I hope this is helpful.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Selden Ball View Post
They should be similar, but the McIntosh unit should be slightly better. The design of the analog circuits which are between the DACs and the outputs matters a great deal. Whether or not the difference in sound is worth the difference in price is a decision only you can make. You need to audition them both in your home with your room and your speakers.
Did the McIntosh retain the AKM4490 dac's? It most be pointed out the 8802 has Marantz SA2 HDAM's along with attention paid to the analog section which is reported to be transparent o the source. I will say the 8802's 2/ch & multi/ch processing sans Audyseey (and even with Audyseey) is a force to reckoned with, as many beside myself know all to well.
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post #16 of 32 Old 03-09-2016, 05:30 AM
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Originally Posted by audiofan1 View Post
Did the McIntosh retain the AKM4490 dac's? It most be pointed out the 8802 has Marantz SA2 HDAM's along with attention paid to the analog section which is reported to be transparent o the source. I will say the 8802's 2/ch & multi/ch processing sans Audyseey (and even with Audyseey) is a force to reckoned with, as many beside myself know all to well.
I dunno. I haven't seen any pictures with enough detail to show that. Bear in mind, though, that the quality of the analog design supporting the DAC chips can make a big difference in how they sound.

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post #17 of 32 Old 03-09-2016, 08:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Thought I include Brian B. experience between the AV8802a and newly acquired MX122 here:

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Originally Posted by Brian B View Post
Positive. Sounds like a Mc--smooth with a touch of warmth/fullness. Currently have the AV8802 and previous was a Meridian G68.

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Yes, compared the two a good portion of the day yesterday. Overall I like the unit. With my system and speakers I would pick the Mc as the winner sound-wise between the two, but it was very close. As I said above, the Mc has a slightly warmer tone to it that made the stereo listening on some tracks more enjoyable. Of course I didn't do anything level matched, nor did I blindfold myself and use an A/B switch.

I did play some CDs, digital files, blu-ray and recorded TV and with the music went back and forth a few times with different tracks.

The menu system/video seems to be identical to the Marantz although Auro3d is already active in the unit. Also, you get a full high quality metal microphone stand along with the Audyssey mic.

I don't like the sound of Audyssey in my system so all my listening was straight (and I used all the same settings as the Marantz--crossovers, levels, distances, etc.)

The McIntosh has less ventilation on the top and runs much cooler than the Marantz does--I find the Marantz runs particularly hot for a preamp.

I like the front display much better on the McIntosh, but of course, this is personal. I can't really see the Marantz display from any distance and the open front door doesn't look great to me--and the source info is duplicated. The button cluster underneath the door is basically duplicated on the Mc with larger buttons and I like being able to see the speaker output indicators.

B.

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post #18 of 32 Old 03-09-2016, 08:37 AM - Thread Starter
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So as far as sound quality is concerned for Digital Music, I get the impression from user experiences: AVM60 is slightly ahead of AV8802a, and the MX122 is slightly ahead of the AV8802a. So for me it now comes down to AVM60 or MX122. I think these would be really close.

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post #19 of 32 Old 03-09-2016, 09:24 AM
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I did notice on Prince's material (Purple Rain, Live at Montreux, Sign o the Times)
Not trying to hijack, but...

another Prince fan! I don't find many around these parts.

Were these audio only or video? SOTT is a terribly mastered album.

If you have his "The Undertaker" you should give that a spin. Great dynamics.
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FWIW, The MX122 lists for more than 2x the price of the AVM60.

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post #21 of 32 Old 03-09-2016, 01:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Selden Ball View Post
FWIW, The MX122 lists for more than 2x the price of the AVM60.
thanks, and yes I am aware of this. I will be keeping this processor for at least the next 5-8yrs so price is not a determining factor. I agree the value is not there on the McIntosh but it never is, but I can justify the added expense as long as it can deliver.

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As much as I love Mcintosh stuff, ( I do have an MC452 amp ) I would probably go with the AVM60 in this case......

The store I frequent has both Anthem, and Mcintosh......

Gonna listen to the AVM60 within a couple of weeks....


Is the MX122 their most recent processor ?

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post #23 of 32 Old 03-09-2016, 04:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shelly40 View Post
As much as I love Mcintosh stuff, ( I do have an MC452 amp ) I would probably go with the AVM60 in this case......

The store I frequent has both Anthem, and Mcintosh......

Gonna listen to the AVM60 within a couple of weeks....


Is the MX122 their most recent processor ?

Shelly
I too run a complete Mcintosh amp setup so ideally I'd like the rack to have all matching equipment but it's not critical. I'm offloading an mx150 processor so the new pre-pro has some big shoes to fill!

Looking forward to your experience

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post #24 of 32 Old 03-10-2016, 09:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by liltalkm View Post
Not trying to hijack, but...

another Prince fan! I don't find many around these parts.

Were these audio only or video? SOTT is a terribly mastered album.

If you have his "The Undertaker" you should give that a spin. Great dynamics.
The SoTT I played was from the original Vinyl, ripped to a fairly good 24/192 version with a DR value of ~14 for the entire album. Not jaw dropping, but not horrible, either. I think my CD version of it is worse though (~12). But yeah, there is less of that "I'm in PP watching him play" feel.

The "auditioning" was all 2ch audio only, no video. Casually though, the material I have played all had DTS Master Audio tracks, and they both sounded amazing. I don't think I could really make out a difference, as at this point, it'd be simply recollection.

As for The Undertaker, I don't have a copy, but IIRC, a lot of that eventually found their way to official releases, no?

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post #25 of 32 Old 03-11-2016, 08:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CM Harrington View Post

As for The Undertaker, I don't have a copy, but IIRC, a lot of that eventually found their way to official releases, no?
This did not. He was going to give the album away free packaged with guitar magazine back in 1994. Warner Brothers did not allow him to it.

More can be found about it here...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unrele...rince_projects

It is really great stuff. Just Prince fronting a 3 piece band playing good 'ol blues rock.

It is worth seeking out. Amazing guitar work.

To the OP, apologies if I took the thread sideways.

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post #26 of 32 Old 03-14-2016, 10:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CM Harrington View Post
I'm assuming you're looking at AV pre/pros because you're also interested in HT application along with good 2 channel (which is my boat as well). While I haven't owned the 8802a, I've auditioned it long-term (roughly 120h listening) in my room. I currently now own the AVM60, and have been listening to it mostly with 2ch high-resolution music. I didn't do a scientific A/B test, but here's what my gut-take:

The 8802a has great DACs. The AVM60 also has great DACs. I didn't use room correction for either, but I did manually adjust for equal dB using an SPL meter at my listening area. Both were plugged into my Parasound Halo A51, into B&W 803Ds. I sit roughly 8.5 feet (2.6m) away from them. For material, I used high resolution audio with high dynamic range (13+), either 24/96 or 24/192 depending on the material.

With the new AVM60, I felt like I was more 'in the bubble' with live acoustic material (Nina Simone, Charlie Parker, Coltrane). For more produced material (Michael Jackson's Off the Wall, and Thriller), there was little if any difference I could recall. I did notice on Prince's material (Purple Rain, Live at Montreux, Sign o the Times) the AVM60 felt 'bigger', even though the studio albums have a lot of production (Linn Drums, etc). I can't articulate what 'bigger' is, but I'd say, perhaps more presence, or weight. That may equate to a slightly larger stereo separation/soundstage, and a more extended bottom-end.

Mind you, the differences are minute. Both are amazing, and you'll be thrilled with either. Keep in mind though:

1.How much future proofing do you need?
2. Do you need analogue inputs?
3. Is the 8802a worth the extra $2k USD for what it gives (which I don't think is much on top of the Anthem, except analogue inputs)?


I hope this is helpful.
Good to know. Usefull comments. In addition, I've read in Marantz topic here on AVS forum that XLR audio in is not fully balanced in 8802. Hence, no advantage for 2-ch audio guys.

Moreover, in use it is hotter than AVM 60 - specified here in this topic
Why do we need video processing today in the context of latest players and TVs ?.
Extra money ? - here 300€ more
Arc is better than Audissey - forum comments

In conclusion, IMO AVM is 1st choice, followed by Marantz. McIntosh is too expensive for me.

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post #27 of 32 Old 06-12-2016, 05:57 AM
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Guys in a clear word , lets forget the price ,, Which one is better Marantz av8802a or Anthem AVM 60?
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post #28 of 32 Old 06-25-2016, 08:19 AM
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Quote:
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Are you also interested in Atmos? If not, couple other good contenders out there
First - I am not trying to start a flaming war on any brand.
I am only trying to express below, my preferences so that some of you can direct me to a good processor.

I was a fan of Anthem - until I read about the (too many) issues it seems to have, on it's thread. I had put in an older Athem, 10 years ago, at my friend's house and I found it to be equal in audio quality, to my Lexicon MC12B. At that time, the Onkyo/integra was being hyped as having all sorts of "bells and whistles.. and amazing processor".. Unfortunately, I had sold my older MC1 to buy that Integra but the Integra was sub par - sounded like a typical mass market receiver - terrible, actually! I got rid of it right away. It is a pain to have to install, test and then sell.. I would rather buy a "keeper" and keep it for 5+ years.
Others, who had owned the Lexicon mc12b had suggested a current generation Onkyo/Integra but I refuse to even try it.. based on my prior bad experience.
There is something about Anthem/Lexicon, which makes them much superior in audio quality - at least as compared to the yamaha/sony/Onkyo brands that I have experienced. Japanese brands like Sony/Onkyo et al offer a great value for the money and I like them just fine, for "casual" family room use with small to medium speakers.
For my home theatre, I would prefer the Meridian,Lexicon, Anthem etc.. - just to name a few.. How ever, most of them are at a high price point , except the Anthem AVM 60 - Around $3500?

Considering the (too) many issues on the Anthem AVM60 - from networking connections to firmware updates to ARC issues. It is simply not worth the trouble - for me.

I have never tried a maranz and I cannot say whether it is any good or not..
Based on my comments above, can someone point me towards a processor, as good as Anthem AVM 60, in the $3500 price point?
Thanks
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post #29 of 32 Old 06-25-2016, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by shelly40 View Post
As much as I love Mcintosh stuff, ( I do have an MC452 amp ) I would probably go with the AVM60 in this case......

The store I frequent has both Anthem, and Mcintosh......

Gonna listen to the AVM60 within a couple of weeks....


Is the MX122 their most recent processor ?

Shelly
I look forward to your comments on this.
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post #30 of 32 Old 06-25-2016, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by audvid View Post
First - I am not trying to start a flaming war on any brand.
I am only trying to express below, my preferences so that some of you can direct me to a good processor.

I was a fan of Anthem - until I read about the (too many) issues it seems to have, on it's thread. I had put in an older Athem, 10 years ago, at my friend's house and I found it to be equal in audio quality, to my Lexicon MC12B. At that time, the Onkyo/integra was being hyped as having all sorts of "bells and whistles.. and amazing processor".. Unfortunately, I had sold my older MC1 to buy that Integra but the Integra was sub par - sounded like a typical mass market receiver - terrible, actually! I got rid of it right away. It is a pain to have to install, test and then sell.. I would rather buy a "keeper" and keep it for 5+ years.
Others, who had owned the Lexicon mc12b had suggested a current generation Onkyo/Integra but I refuse to even try it.. based on my prior bad experience.
There is something about Anthem/Lexicon, which makes them much superior in audio quality - at least as compared to the yamaha/sony/Onkyo brands that I have experienced. Japanese brands like Sony/Onkyo et al offer a great value for the money and I like them just fine, for "casual" family room use with small to medium speakers.
For my home theatre, I would prefer the Meridian,Lexicon, Anthem etc.. - just to name a few.. How ever, most of them are at a high price point , except the Anthem AVM 60 - Around $3500?

Considering the (too) many issues on the Anthem AVM60 - from networking connections to firmware updates to ARC issues. It is simply not worth the trouble - for me.

I have never tried a maranz and I cannot say whether it is any good or not..
Based on my comments above, can someone point me towards a processor, as good as Anthem AVM 60, in the $3500 price point?
Thanks
The 8802 really belongs on your short list
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