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Marantz AV8801 Preamp/Processor Official Owner's thread - Page 155

post #4621 of 11327
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn54 View Post

Well after 3 or 4 days of reading thru this entire thread and being on the fence between AV8801, PR-SC5509 or a used AVP-A1HDCI, I decided to drop all my eggs (Happy belated easter everyone:p) in on the AV8801 to replace my Onkyo PR-SC885P. While I'm awaiting it's arrival, I could use some input on rear surround speaker placement. looking to move up from 5.1 to 7.1. Problem is, my sofa is positioned up against the back wall with my current 2 surrounds to the far left and right facing each other. Can I still place 2 rear speakers on the back wall above my sofa facing forward even tho they're not really fully behind me? Looking forward to taking possession of my AV8801:)

Since you're up against the back wall, you'd be better going with front wides.

-Sean
post #4622 of 11327
Just ordered the Marantz 8801!
post #4623 of 11327
Quote:
Originally Posted by nezff View Post

Just ordered the Marantz 8801!

Greetings,

Congrats and welcome to the club. smile.gif


Regards,
post #4624 of 11327
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Potts View Post

Greetings,

Congrats and welcome to the club. smile.gif


Regards,

Thanks!

I traded up from my Denon 4520. I think I might like a dedicated pre pro better in the long run.
post #4625 of 11327
Quote:
Originally Posted by nezff View Post

Im kinda stumped if the Marantz is $400 better than the 4520
My impression is that the 4520 is about 2/3 the price of the 8801, so long as you compare list prices or discounted prices. The difference you mention is relatively small, which suggests to me that you're comparing the discounted 8801 price to the 4520's list price. I think the difference probably should be closer to $1K.

Preamps are always more expensive than the equivalent receivers simply because of the economies of production scale. Far more receivers are manufactured than preamps.

In most home environments, there should be no audible difference between the two. There are several features in the 8801 which might make audible differences in an environment which has a noticeable amount of background electrical noise: its copper plated chassis and XLR outputs, for example. However, one usually chooses a preamp instead of a receiver for reasons other than audio quality.

1. Potentially better reliability: Fewer electrical components are packaged in the same or similar chassis volume. This should allow better placement of the circuit boards, allowing better air-flow and cooler operation of the individual boards. Amps often provide a significant fraction of the heat generated by a receiver, so eliminating them from the box reduces the maximum temperature, too. When electronics are kept cooler, they tend to fail less often.

2. Upgradability: You can replace the audio processor without replacing the amplifiers. Each year, newer receiver designs seem to take more shortcuts in the design of the power supply and amplifiers. If one has difficult-to-drive speakers, this can be a serious concern. Once you've obtained the appropriate amplifiers, though, you don't have to worry about that again. Until you upgrade the speakers, anyhow smile.gif Of course, many of the more expensive receiver designs like the 4520 include preamp outputs, so they can be used with external amplifiers, too.

3. Esthetics: Some preamps look a lot better than the competing receivers.

4. Pride of ownership: The Marantz name has been associated with quality electronics for longer than Denon. Of course, the differences between the two companies' current designs tend to be only superficial.
post #4626 of 11327
are you guys utilizing the XLRs? Any difference in sound? I know some amps produce less noise with xlr cables?
post #4627 of 11327
Quote:
Originally Posted by Selden Ball View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by nezff View Post

Im kinda stumped if the Marantz is $400 better than the 4520
My impression is that the 4520 is about 2/3 the price of the 8801, so long as you compare list prices or discounted prices. The difference you mention is relatively small, which suggests to me that you're comparing the discounted 8801 price to the 4520's list price. I think the difference probably should be closer to $1K.

Preamps are always more expensive than the equivalent receivers simply because of the economies of production scale. Far more receivers are manufactured than preamps.

In most home environments, there should be no audible difference between the two. There are several features in the 8801 which might make audible differences in an environment which has a noticeable amount of background electrical noise: its copper plated chassis and XLR outputs, for example. However, one usually chooses a preamp instead of a receiver for reasons other than audio quality.

1. Potentially better reliability: Fewer electrical components are packaged in the same or similar chassis volume. This should allow better placement of the circuit boards, allowing better air-flow and cooler operation of the individual boards. Amps often provide a significant fraction of the heat generated by a receiver, so eliminating them from the box reduces the maximum temperature, too. When electronics are kept cooler, they tend to fail less often.

2. Upgradability: You can replace the audio processor without replacing the amplifiers. Each year, newer receiver designs seem to take more shortcuts in the design of the power supply and amplifiers. If one has difficult-to-drive speakers, this can be a serious concern. Once you've obtained the appropriate amplifiers, though, you don't have to worry about that again. Until you upgrade the speakers, anyhow smile.gif Of course, many of the more expensive receiver designs like the 4520 include preamp outputs, so they can be used with external amplifiers, too.

3. Esthetics: Some preamps look a lot better than the competing receivers.

4. Pride of ownership: The Marantz name has been associated with quality electronics for longer than Denon. Of course, the differences between the two companies' current designs tend to be only superficial.

Thanks for sharing your reply, Selden; many of your practical posts and responses make so much sense to me. You're a very good teacher!
post #4628 of 11327
Quote:
Originally Posted by Selden Ball View Post

My impression is that the 4520 is about 2/3 the price of the 8801, so long as you compare list prices or discounted prices. The difference you mention is relatively small, which suggests to me that you're comparing the discounted 8801 price to the 4520's list price. I think the difference probably should be closer to $1K.

Preamps are always more expensive than the equivalent receivers simply because of the economies of production scale. Far more receivers are manufactured than preamps.

In most home environments, there should be no audible difference between the two. There are several features in the 8801 which might make audible differences in an environment which has a noticeable amount of background electrical noise: its copper plated chassis and XLR outputs, for example. However, one usually chooses a preamp instead of a receiver for reasons other than audio quality.

1. Potentially better reliability: Fewer electrical components are packaged in the same or similar chassis volume. This should allow better placement of the circuit boards, allowing better air-flow and cooler operation of the individual boards. Amps often provide a significant fraction of the heat generated by a receiver, so eliminating them from the box reduces the maximum temperature, too. When electronics are kept cooler, they tend to fail less often.

2. Upgradability: You can replace the audio processor without replacing the amplifiers. Each year, newer receiver designs seem to take more shortcuts in the design of the power supply and amplifiers. If one has difficult-to-drive speakers, this can be a serious concern. Once you've obtained the appropriate amplifiers, though, you don't have to worry about that again. Until you upgrade the speakers, anyhow smile.gif Of course, many of the more expensive receiver designs like the 4520 include preamp outputs, so they can be used with external amplifiers, too.

3. Esthetics: Some preamps look a lot better than the competing receivers.

4. Pride of ownership: The Marantz name has been associated with quality electronics for longer than Denon. Of course, the differences between the two companies' current designs tend to be only superficial.

thanks. I think the price I paid just now for the marantz is fair compared to the conveinance of having a dedicated pre pro compared to the denons amp section which is basically useless to me.
post #4629 of 11327
Quote:
Originally Posted by nezff View Post

are you guys utilizing the XLRs? Any difference in sound? I know some amps produce less noise with xlr cables?

I am using the XLR connections where I can.

I did not do a before and after comparison but I can say that things sound totally awesome.

The only way to really find out is to try it in your specific situation.

Happy Listening!!
post #4630 of 11327
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn54 View Post

Well after 3 or 4 days of reading thru this entire thread and being on the fence between AV8801, PR-SC5509 or a used AVP-A1HDCI, I decided to drop all my eggs (Happy belated easter everyone:p) in on the AV8801 to replace my Onkyo PR-SC885P. While I'm awaiting it's arrival, I could use some input on rear surround speaker placement. looking to move up from 5.1 to 7.1. Problem is, my sofa is positioned up against the back wall with my current 2 surrounds to the far left and right facing each other. Can I still place 2 rear speakers on the back wall above my sofa facing forward even tho they're not really fully behind me? Looking forward to taking possession of my AV8801:)

I once had a room like this so I put the rear surrounds in the ceiling several inches from the back wall above the seats at either end of the couch.

Then I put the left and right surrounds in the ceiling several inches away from the side walls about 5' from the back wall.

If it is not possible to put the surrounds in the ceilings then mounting them on the walls using the same measurements.

If your amp also has connections for front wide and/or front high speakers I would mount those too.

I have been very happy putting the highs as close to the ceiling and left and right walls as possible with the wides mounted several feet below them.





Trying different mounting positions for your application is really the only way to decide how you think they sound in your room.

Experimenting with speaker locations is fun!

Once you have found what sounds best then you can permanently run the wires and mount the speakers!
post #4631 of 11327
Edwin and nezff.

You're both very welcome. Sometimes my comments do get off on the wrong track, though, so what seems to be an AVS motto certainly applies: "Trust but verify!"

FWIW, I've been frustrating over the choice between these two devices for a while now. I'll probably procrastinate until summer, though.
post #4632 of 11327
Quote:
Originally Posted by Selden Ball View Post

Edwin and nezff.

You're both very welcome. Sometimes my comments do get off on the wrong track, though, so what seems to be an AVS motto certainly applies: "Trust but verify!"

FWIW, I've been frustrating over the choice between these two devices for a while now. I'll probably procrastinate until summer, though.

I have a brand new Denon 4520 that I am replacing now. Basically the marantz and denon are somewhat bothers.
post #4633 of 11327
My 8801 is in the rack. I checked it carefully for a possible 240V conversion. Not gonna happen. The toroidal transformer has a single primary winding so the Europe spec units use a different transformer. It also looks to have some small switching supplies that are likely not auto-switching. Easier to get a Europe model if you want 240. I noted also that this unit is packed! For those comparing to a receiver, don't think for a minute that it could be implemented in exactly the same way without a much larger chassis. There is no room left in the 8801 for power amps. Build quality looks very good. Made in Japan and I don't think I'd have bought it if it came from China.

It's too early to say much about SQ other than I hear good things so far. I'm going to have to digest the entire Auddyesey thread. My fronts are -12db so I have a problem there. The room is only 14 x 17 and the B&Ws are reasonably efficient. Aragon Palladiums have only one input, either XLR or RCA. Mine are XLR so I have no choices here. Does anyone have any suggestions short of building a custom cable with an attenuator? Can the levels be adjusted manually or does that mess with Auddysey?

Already I can say that XT32's handling of my two sub towers is great. But I'm a little concerned about the differences I heard between direct, pure direct, and just stereo before I even ran Auddysey. Seems like there should be very little difference so it's puzzling.

So far I can say that in regards to 2 channel stereo without processing this unit is the only one I've heard in my system since the Soundstage that has a chance of remaining there for a while. Might even result in the Soundstage going away.
post #4634 of 11327
@Whoaru99, I used to operate my system on 3 dedicated 120V lines. FYI, that was NOT enough. When operating at extreme levels I'd occasionally trip a breaker. Furthermore, that test doesn't even tell the whole story. The fact is that the system sounds considerably better now even at low levels. And we never trip breakers anymore. Why would you even be concerned about "overkill" in your electrical supply to a five or six figure A/V system? Those four 240V lines have done the trick and I've never regretted the cost of materials or time it took me to install them.
post #4635 of 11327
Well I have joined the ranks of a 8801. I have one ordered and also a set of GoldenEars Triton 2s and a Oppo Blue Ray player. I already have just added a 70" Sharp Elite. All but the TV and Oppo will go down in the basement and will be controlled by IR repeaters. The TV will go above the fireplace (barely visible in the picture below) where the Ferrari Lusso is now. The installer is finishing up a job the next few weeks - 12Million dollar house of which US$1.2M is his work and I am in the Q after that. Obviously my work is not even close to the amount of work or cost. Here is the system I have now - 60" Sony SXRD, PBS Stratus Golds (20 years old)

I will try and record pictures of the work they do


Edited by Audiguy3 - 4/2/13 at 4:47pm
post #4636 of 11327
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boozehound21 View Post

Does anyone have any suggestions short of building a custom cable with an attenuator? Can the levels be adjusted manually or does that mess with Auddysey?

 

You can insert in-line attenuators.

post #4637 of 11327
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boozehound21 View Post

@Whoaru99, I used to operate my system on 3 dedicated 120V lines. FYI, that was NOT enough. When operating at extreme levels I'd occasionally trip a breaker. Furthermore, that test doesn't even tell the whole story. The fact is that the system sounds considerably better now even at low levels. And we never trip breakers anymore. Why would you even be concerned about "overkill" in your electrical supply to a five or six figure A/V system? Those four 240V lines have done the trick and I've never regretted the cost of materials or time it took me to install them.

Because I differentiate necessity vs. just because you can or want to. Very often it's stated as the former when the reality is in most cases it's just the latter. Which is fine, of course, but then let that be the stated reason.

if you're tripping three dedicated 120V circuits then I contend you have a considerably above average system.

I run two QSC PLX 3402s (using 3 of 4 channels, 700wpc x 3) and two QSC PLX 2402s (4 x 425wpc) on two dedicated 20A circuits, occasionally to the point of clipping indicator flash, and have never tripped breakers.

What are you running for amps to draw that much power?
Edited by whoaru99 - 4/2/13 at 5:26pm
post #4638 of 11327
Quote:
Originally Posted by a1usedcomp View Post

Just did my 45min update no issue at all smile.gif

whats the deal with updates? marantz dont like em?
post #4639 of 11327
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boozehound21 View Post

My 8801 is in the rack.

... My fronts are -12db so I have a problem there. ... Can the levels be adjusted manually or does that mess with Audyssey? ...

Quoting from Chris Kyriakakis of Audyssey:
Quote:
The most important part of Audyssey are the correction filters. These are completely unaffected by the speaker level settings. They don't even look at them...
and
Quote:
The –12 dB limit is in the hardware. If you hit it then you may not be setting the speaker levels to be the same as is required for level calibration. This happens if the speakers have high efficiency or if they are very close. Attenuators can definitely help reduce the level so the AVR has enough range to make level adjustments.

When someone else who also had -12db issues asked if they manually changed the speaker levels to do their own calibration, would that affect the filters created by Audyssey? And the answer was:
Quote:
Changing the speaker levels has no effect on the filters.

So the -12db is bad, but only a little bad. It means that Audyssey was unable to balance your speakers to re-create the correct film reference level of volume for when your system's master volume is at 0.

EDIT - here's the warning from Audyssey on one side-effect:
Quote:
It's not a good idea to change the trims because that will throw off the Dynamic EQ calibration.
...
In any case, it's not a huge deal to change the trims if you feel the need to (keeping in mind the implications on Dynamic EQ). The most important part of Audyssey--the filters--are not affected by trim levels.

Since I never use the Dynamic EQ mode - I feel free to adjust the trims as desired.
Edited by Bill222 - 4/2/13 at 7:19pm
post #4640 of 11327
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmh4353 View Post

Can you tell me what speaker mounts for the side walls to get that angle?

They're home made speaker stands/mounts.smile.gif Couldn't find anything quite like what I needed that was pre made.
post #4641 of 11327
I never trust an automated system balance - so after Audyssey is done with its calibration, I pop this disc into my primary blu-ray player:

http://www.aixrecords.com/catalog/bd/oppo_sampler_bd.html

One of the calibration/test-tracks on that disc is a Speaker Balance Test, with white noise moving from speaker to speaker. I prefer using this approach (and a sound meter) for balancing the speakers.

I feel more comfortable that this approach replicates the complete path used when watching a movie (blu-ray disc --> blu-ray player --> marantz pre-amp --> amplifiers --> speakers). Also, although close, the balance settings I set manually are usually 1 or 2 db different than what Audyssey selected - but only a few speakers. On some speakers my settings exactly match Audyssey's.

EDIT - When Audyssey explains Speaker Trim Levels, they specifically address reasons why my measured settings might not match their automated settings:
Quote:
SPL meters need calibration so it's possible that there is enough discrepancy between the meter and the Audyssey mic to show different readings. Also, the internal test noise of the AVR is a slightly different way of calculating level than what Audyssey does using psychoacoustic weighting of the measured response.

Edited by Bill222 - 4/2/13 at 7:27pm
post #4642 of 11327
Quote:
Originally Posted by ohyeah32 View Post

What is the recommended microphone placement arrangement when using XT32? My seating arrangement is as shown in these photos.



The sofa is one area that I am not planning on placing the microphone, only the HT seating.

post #4643 of 11327
Quote:
Originally Posted by beastaudio View Post

Ohyeah:

Guessing those wallmounted bookshelves are for added support for the floor-standers? Also, the Main listening position (yours) is the key point to place the mic for the first measurement. The first measurement is the only one that sets the delays and distances for the speakers. Subsequent measurements only adjust the frequency response for the additional seating areas. Depending on how nice you want to be to your guests. just place it around the other secondary listening seats and continue to measure. If you are most interested in getting it right for yourself and yourself only, just place the mic at your exact head position for the first measurement, then all around your seat for the remaining measurements (within a few inches even).

More important than any of that, I would HIGHLY suggest some acoustic absorption behind your seating. You are going to get some VERY nasty reflections off that back wall. I would go at least with a 2inch panel that would run from one side of the wall the to the other and be at least a few feet tall. I know that affects the WAF factor, but it would make a pretty tremendous difference if I had to guess. Being right against the back wall will wreak havoc on some upper frequency reflections...

I am not going to poke fingers at anyone on this thread but I am amazed at the pics I see coming through here without any acoustic treatments and 5-6 figure setups just hanging out in rooms, bare of anything to take care of room modes and at least first reflection points. It is amazing how far a few $100 will go with treatments and the overall quality of your response.

You guessed right.smile.gif The bookshelf speakers are left/right height surrounds that are receiving the same signal as the Martin Logans below them.

Thanks for the Audyssey placement tips.wink.gif I found a diagram of what I used when I calibrated my Denon AVP some time back, and that placement configuration always worked great! Do you think I could use that same placement with XT32?

Here's the diagram:

post #4644 of 11327
Quote:
Originally Posted by nezff View Post


Wow, thanks for sharing that placement configuration.smile.gif Where number 2 is at, that my listening position. Will the way you have it shown give me the best sound with where I sit?
post #4645 of 11327
Quote:
Originally Posted by RickyDeg View Post

People have given you some good tips already, but check this video out:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okyNlhJ3Hvo

Also check out this very informative AVS Audyssey thread - basically everything you need to know is here:
http://www.avsforum.com/t/795421/official-audyssey-thread-faq-in-post-1

Very useful video! Thanks for sharing that!smile.gif
post #4646 of 11327
Thise
Quote:
Originally Posted by ohyeah32 View Post

Wow, thanks for sharing that placement configuration.smile.gif Where number 2 is at, that my listening position. Will the way you have it shown give me the best sound with where I sit?

Number one is right in the middle of the seat over armrest basically away from the headrests and at ear level. Place the mic on a mic stand and let it hover where your head would be. The ford placement is the most important. The second and third ate the two seat right next to number one. You can lower the seatbacks also. The remaining measurents can be taken in the other seats like two and three and 6,7, and 8 Re taken a slight bit further out to create a acoustic bubble.
post #4647 of 11327
I picked up a Spotify premium subscription for casual listening. Is there a way to determine whether I am getting 320kb bitrate through the AV8801? The audio seems acceptable, but I am not interested in paying a premium if I am not getting the goods.
post #4648 of 11327
Quote:
Originally Posted by Selden Ball View Post

Edwin and nezff.

You're both very welcome. Sometimes my comments do get off on the wrong track, though, so what seems to be an AVS motto certainly applies: "Trust but verify!"
Borrowed words from Reagan, in any case the copper chassis is a marketing ploy and even the xlr outputs are really beneficial for long cable runs.It Could also be a welcome to those who uses pro amps,especially for passive subs, like the Cap,as the output signal will be a good 6db higher,so one won't need any line level boosters some you are using with some receivers. I wonder if this is a true balanced design,or they just like attached some xlr outputs like my Integra does. That's a shame they charge 100 bucks for that Bluetooth adapter,for this kinda price it should be included IMO,still it's an impressive piece,but it is overpriced at least msrp it is.Can someone post link to a street priced vendor?
post #4649 of 11327
Well guys, my AV8801 has arrived!smile.gif

I haven't had a chance to do an Audyssey calibration yet, but I plan to by the end of the week.

I haven't connected everything I want to yet, but Blu-ray's and satellite sound great! Even without the Audyssey room correction, so I can imagine how much better it will be.

Here's a few pics I took with my phone. I plan to share some better pics soon.smile.gif





post #4650 of 11327
Quote:
Originally Posted by ohyeah32 View Post

Well guys, my AV8801 has arrived!smile.gif

I haven't had a chance to do an Audyssey calibration yet, but I plan to by the end of the week.

I haven't connected everything I want to yet, but Blu-ray's and satellite sound great! Even without the Audyssey room correction, so I can imagine how much better it will be.

Here's a few pics I took with my phone. I plan to share some better pics soon.smile.gif






Sweet ! it looks right at home!

Have fun getting familiar with her she's got some moves biggrin.gif
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