Originally Posted by Bghead8che
Anyone using the 4520 as a dedicated preamp only? Anyone choose the 4520 over the 8801? My budget is about $6K for a SSP but I am thinking of getting the 4520 because the specs and features are fantastic. I like the fact that the Denon has AL32 processing and Denon Link HD, something the Marantz is missing.
Also, anyone paid for the Audyssey Pro upgrade? Does it work seamlessly with the 4520?
I own an 11.2 installation since 3 years now. And to operate this context, I successively had an Onkyo 5007, 5508, Denon A100, 4311 and 4520 + Marantz 8801. Initially the 4520 amplified the 4 rear channels (SL/BL/BR/SR) and after some time, it was only used in processor mode only.
I was VERY pleased with the 4520 and singularly with the DTS Neo X 11 processing, which in my opinion is a step up over Audyssey DSX (which I was a huge fan of).
Now since @ 2 weeks, I have a Marantz 8801. I bought this processor - blindly - as it is based on the 4520's global architecture - with a high probability
of similar sonic performances that I have been appreciating in the 4520... -, but with the 8801's added value (in my opinion) of an XLR connection.
So today and in my experience, in processor mode only (though with RCA connections), the 4520 is an exceptional performer.
And I preferred the 4520 over the 4311 as the 4311 didn't have the DTS Neo X processing which - in my opinion - is a must have when you own an 11.x installation. Besides this, I think that the video implementation is better made in the 4520, even though both the 4311 and 4520 where used with the video internal processing Off.
Anyway the conclusion of the (intensive
) use I have made so far, is that the 8801 - with an all XLR connections -, seems to be even better than the 4520 I had.
Why seems? Because - for the time being, a new FW is supposed to be scheduled for 2/5 - a DTS Neo X 11 bug in the 8801 prevents the activation of the W&H channels when playing DTS MA or Dolby TrueHD tracks... The DTS Neo X 11 processing I continuously used in the 4520...
So when everything will be fixed in the 8801, my opinion will be definitive. But what I can already say is that as far as the actual using goes and if you can afford it, yes, the 8801 is worth the price difference with an 4520.
Is it a Night and Day difference? No. As what I'm talking about here, are nuances
in the global sound reproduction... So the evaluation of the $$ vs performance value is to be considered on a very personal basis and appreciation.
PS: I forgot to indicate, but all the products I mentioned above have been / are Audyssey Pro calibrated (save obviously the Onkyo 5007).Edited by Hugo S - 1/31/13 at 1:11am