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Marantz AV8801 Preamp/Processor Official Owner's thread - Page 20

post #571 of 11320
Quote:
Originally Posted by scratch17 View Post

From Kal Rubenson:
First, I am green with envy. I am still waiting.
Second, may I ask if you plan to do a Music In The Round review of my new pre/pro? How about the MM-8807, my new amp?
Steven.

Yes, I do.

post #572 of 11320
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

Isn't all or most of the Stereophile Class A gear potentially useable with some room eq brought into the system some way?
But if you are asking me whether I think that Stereophile's evaluation and rating system ummm, needs some work the answer is YES!

I don't want to "scrare" Kal away from this thread and I understand he can't comment on these type of issues, but I agree with ^^^. I unfortunately cancelled my subscription since every single piece of equipment reviewed got A+++ reviews. I started reading British magazines again, which are a lot more honest. Yes, I understand advertising and $$$ have something to do with all of this but still. Anyway, I am looking forward to getting my hands on Kal's AV8801 review and of course I would like to hear his opinion about if all amps/cables/processors sound the same smile.gif
post #573 of 11320
I would also like to see a review of the Marantz AV8801 as compared to the Denon AVR-4520 and if is worth the difference in cost...

Chucka
post #574 of 11320
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chucka View Post

I would also like to see a review of the Marantz AV8801 as compared to the Denon AVR-4520 and if is worth the difference in cost...
Chucka

I would as well smile.gif.

Bill
post #575 of 11320
Quote:
Originally Posted by exm View Post


I don't want to "scrare" Kal away from this thread and I understand he can't comment on these type of issues, but I agree with ^^^. I unfortunately cancelled my subscription since every single piece of equipment reviewed got A+++ reviews. I started reading British magazines again, which are a lot more honest. Yes, I understand advertising and $$$ have something to do with all of this but still. 

I understand your use of hyperbole but there are many recommended products that achieve less than A ratings.

post #576 of 11320
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chucka View Post

I would also like to see a review of the Marantz AV8801 as compared to the Denon AVR-4520 and if is worth the difference in cost...

Chucka

i'd like to see some blind testing, not some prose...

because if "blind testing" shows a difference, there will be a 4520 for sale... smile.gif
post #577 of 11320
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

But the SSP has bass management and a quite effective EQ.

Hi Kal,

Both the SSP and CP have EQ and Bass management, agreed, but neither a pro calibrator or I could ever get it dialed in to create the same feel with an Audyssey Pro calibration - perhaps because of the comparatively limited filters on the Classe manual EQ, or perhaps is it really frequency and not time domain adjustments?....I don't want to pretend to know more than I do.
post #578 of 11320
Kal

I forget - do you have (or did you have) an Integra 80.3? I'm considering the move from the 80.3 to the 8801, partly to go 11.2
post #579 of 11320
Well, as the ONLY person that actually HAS an 8801 installed in their home right now :-) I can say I watched my first film on it last night along with some TV viewing and here's my thoughts...

Processing definitely sounds more detailed than the AV7005. Sounds seem more discrete and localizable and more focused. We watched Survivor -- I'll pause while everyone laughs -- a show I've seen literally every episode of and it sounded like an entirely different audio mix. All of the ambient sounds were far more present.

I also think the Audyssey XT32 does a far better job of timber matching on the front channels. I used to notice a real change in vocal tonality as voices would move from center to left/right, but voices now sound far more cohesive on the front channels.

We also watched Brave on Blu-ray in 7.1 Dolby TrueHD with Audyssey DSX for Height. Incredibly immersive sound and the first time I've been able to actually hear all 9 channels in my home. On the 7005 I had opted for the front height over the surround back, and it was immediately apparent how much more immersive the sound is with ALL channels working. (For some reason Audyssey Dynamic Volume defaulted to Medium, which I didn't discover until about 20 minutes into the movie; The sound felt thin and off -- that compression KILLS the dynamic range -- and the sound was IMMEDIATELY better when I started hunting through menus and found it and cut it off.)

For my ears, room, system, the 8801 is definitely a noticeably, BIG step up over the 7005. Whether it fully justifies the $2000 price premium over the lower model will depend on your system and budget, but for me, I wouldn't want to go back.
John
post #580 of 11320
Thread Starter 
John... Thanks for the review!

Do you have dual subwoofers? If so, did you notice any difference with those?
post #581 of 11320
Quote:
Originally Posted by exm View Post

John... Thanks for the review!
Do you have dual subwoofers? If so, did you notice any difference with those?

Sadly, not yet. I have a single Def Tech Trinity Signature Reference. I will say, I feel like Audyssey drops the bass levels too low for my opinion. The volume knob is at like 2 out of 10 and Audyssey dropped levels by 6 dB. For movies, it is a tad low for me. I'm still experimenting with music. (Though I'm really waiting for my Audyssey ProEQ license before messing around with the settings too much.)

Having XT32 is making me feel like I should get a second sub. We'll see if anything at CES catches my eye. Ditto on width speakers. (It's just SO hard to place them correctly in a non-dedicated room...)

A note on the ProEQ license.... There is some confusion right now between Marantz and Audyssey on the status of the unit. Marantz says it is DEFINITELY ProEQ ready; Audyssey says they are waiting on something from Marantz. I'm sharing e-mails back and forth between the two companies and I've no doubt it will be resolved (and that the 8801 is ProEQ enabled), but there is some update that needs to occur. On whose end the update actually needs to be initiated from, is a question at this point....
John
post #582 of 11320
Quote:
Originally Posted by thrang View Post


Hi Kal,
Both the SSP and CP have EQ and Bass management, agreed, but neither a pro calibrator or I could ever get it dialed in to create the same feel with an Audyssey Pro calibration - perhaps because of the comparatively limited filters on the Classe manual EQ, or perhaps is it really frequency and not time domain adjustments?....I don't want to pretend to know more than I do.

I don't know why a "pro calibrator" could not do it but there are all sorts of people who assume that mantle from the prodigiously talented and trained to the presumptuous.  I had great results using XTZ to analyse and generate filters.  REW works as well.  Both can, also, verify the results.  Now, there are a limited number of filters but I didn't need them all for a successful sub-300Hz EQ.

post #583 of 11320
Quote:
Originally Posted by thrang View Post

Kal
I forget - do you have (or did you have) an Integra 80.3? I'm considering the move from the 80.3 to the 8801, partly to go 11.2

I have an Integra 80.2 and an Onkyo NR5010 but all my comparing/testing/listening is limited to 5.1 (5.2).


Edited by Kal Rubinson - 11/29/12 at 5:30pm
post #584 of 11320
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woof Woof View Post

Actually I believe Kal has reviewed some stereo DSP/RoomEQ systems before in Stereophile.
But if RoomEQ is so important and none of the Class A+ gear have them, are those Class A+ systems then unusable?

No, of course they're not unusable, no one has suggested that. But no matter how high the quality of the gear, you can't get around the laws of physics; every room has room modes. Heck, I have no room correction presently in my equipment and it doesn't stop me in the least from listening to music. But some recordings, because of their base profile exhibit a lot of resonance in my very difficult 13'x13' square living room. Unfortunately I have almost no room left for acoustical treatments because one whole wall is lost to the windows and the balcony door while another to the media library and a large recliner chair. The third wall is taken by a large sofa along with the living room entrance and the last wall is occupied by the widescreen TV, the audio rack close to the left corner and a large SVS water tank-like subwoofer close to the right corner. Now throw in two front speakers and another two rear speakers close to the other corners, add three little nested tables (luckily) and another three plants so it becomes livable and I can't see where I can place effective room treatments. Sure I could add a little treatment on the wall over the sofa and a little more in the front wall next to the TV, behind the front speakers but that isn't going to get me very far, believe me.

You also have to understand why Class A+ gear doesn't come with digital room correction. Adding such a feature is beyond the qualifications and resources available to most of those fairly small manufacturers. It's one thing to develop a world class analog design and quite another to develop a digital front-end with DSPs and algorithms to perform the digital room correction. That would require of those makers to also have very well versed digital designers for the digital front end. Another required human resource would be Masters or Ph.D. level acousticians or acoustic engineers that have developed some scheme of proprietary room correction technology or if not, the company would have to license and integrate a readily available technology like Audyssey MultEQ, Lyngdorf RoomPerfect, Tact Audio RCS, etc., a more sensible approach economically speaking. But we're not finished yet, then you have to add an ADC before the DSPs, followed by a DAC after the DSPs in order to bring the signal back into the analog domain. Furthermore, all those AD/DA conversions incur their own penalties, slight as they may be, in terms of transparency and added noise. You therefore have to execute very well designed circuits to minimize those additional degradations of the signal. Either way, the price of the already high-cost gear will escalate further. Stereo digital room correction preamplifiers and processors are available from some vendors such as Lyngdorf, the now defunct Tact Audio, DEQX, etc. and I believe that most analog design houses would rather leave that market segment to these other specialized companies for the aforementioned reasons.

I think we've all expressed enough our opinions on this subject and I personally won't comment further on this topic within this thread of course. wink.gif
Edited by jam88 - 11/29/12 at 12:22pm
post #585 of 11320
I just posted this in the Oppo BDP-105 thread, but it is particularly relevant to this tangent on the pros and cons of Room Correction software:

Just checked out the new Led Zeppelin "Celebration Day" Blu-ray on the 105. Interestingly, while I prefer listening to hi-res MCH (DVD-A, SACD, etc.) via the analog outs because of the superior clarity, I much prefer the sound via HDMI with Audyssey MultiEQ XT engaged for this live disc. Much better soundstage and ambience, which is essential given the enormity of this live performance. Via analog, it's incredibly narrow-sounding.

It makes sense, since ambience is a much greater factor in live recordings, whereas clarity is much more apparent in studio recordings. Very glad I have both options available. When I upgrade my Denon 4308ci (currently used as a Pre/Pro) to the Marantz 8801, I can only imagine the improvements XT32 will bring.
post #586 of 11320
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by thrang View Post

Kal
I forget - do you have (or did you have) an Integra 80.3? I'm considering the move from the 80.3 to the 8801, partly to go 11.2

I have an Integra 80.2 and an Onkyo 5510 but all my comparing/testing/listening is limited to 5.1 (5.2).


There's an Onkyo 5510 out?
post #587 of 11320
I was wondering the same thing...
post #588 of 11320
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woof Woof View Post


There's an Onkyo 5510 out?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TL5 View Post

I was wondering the same thing...

Sorry.  It is an NR5010 and an AVR (with RCA preamp outputs).  I will correct my post.

post #589 of 11320
Quote:
Originally Posted by thrang View Post

Kal
I forget - do you have (ordid you have) an Integra 80.3? I'm considering the move from the 80.3 to the 8801, partly to go 11.2
I'm fairly certain that the 80.3 doesn't do 11.2, none of the 2011 Integra/Onkyo models do. You have to get a 2012 model. While Onkyo has the 5010 available this year for some reason the top model for Integra this year will be the 70.4, which is equivalent to the Onkyo TX-NR3010.
post #590 of 11320
Quote:
Originally Posted by nismo604 View Post

I'm fairly certain that the 80.3 doesn't do 11.2, none of the 2011 Integra/Onkyo models do. You have to get a 2012 model. While Onkyo has the 5010 available this year for some reason the top model for Integra this year will be the 70.4, which is equivalent to the Onkyo TX-NR3010.
I know this - my post said I own the 80.3 and I was thinking of moving to the 8801 for 11.2....confused.gif
post #591 of 11320
Quote:
Originally Posted by thrang View Post

I know this - my post said I own the 80.3 and I was thinking of moving to the 8801 for 11.2....confused.gif
Sorry I guess I misread that. IMHO for the 2012 line Denon/Marantz best the Onkyo/Integra line this year as far as features go.
post #592 of 11320
Feature-wise both the Denon/Marantz and Onkyo/Integra camps have more features than I need. I just hope that the AV8801 bumps up the SQ a notch or two over the Integra 80.3. That's why I'm so interested to get Kal's impressions on SQ since he's had such extensive experience with the Integra line over the years.
post #593 of 11320
The basic audio quality is unlikely to be much different. Both provide high-quality linear audio circuitry. However, the 8801 has a few additional Audyssey and other audio control features which might be very helpful depending on your room and speakers.
post #594 of 11320
I doubt the SQ will change at all, the 80.3 is already transparent. Of course you can add an amp that deliberately colors the sound or buy speakers with the "sound signature" you want.
post #595 of 11320
The thing is, preamps, which are also amplifiers, will also color the sound. My experience through the years with separates has shown me that preamps tend to impart their sonic footprint to a greater level than power amplifiers do. When you're amplifying delicate low power signals, such as preamps do, it's much easier too to distort the signal or mess it up through a less well designed preamp. Furthermore, the signal will be much more vulnerable to noise contamination because of the mere fact that the signal to noise ratio will be much lower than in a power amp. Therefore, a better designed preamp with higher rejection of electrical noise and using better quality parts will produce more transparent sound, i.e. lower distortion.
post #596 of 11320
From D&M -
Quote:
Please be advised that Pandora Internet Radio has recently altered certain connection requirements which have temporarily blocked our products from connecting to the Pandora service. Our engineers are currently working hard and will have a firmware update available as soon as possible via the internet to resolve this issue. This should not affect your product’s ability to receive other music streaming services. Please visit our website for firmware update schedule information after 12/6.

We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience that Pandora’s alteration has caused.
post #597 of 11320
Quote:
Originally Posted by ccotenj View Post

i'd like to see some blind testing, not some prose...
because if "blind testing" shows a difference, there will be a 4520 for sale... smile.gif

I have a blind friend who has agreed to test the 8801. He promised not to write his comments in common prose, rather he will write a poem.
post #598 of 11320
Where is it recommended to place the height channels?
post #599 of 11320
Quote:
Originally Posted by bubbawilly View Post

Where is it recommended to place the height channels?
I thought it was above the L/R channels and then you have front wides. However in 11.2 I'm not totally clear wear to place the speakers even thought I've dont a little searching online.
post #600 of 11320
Quote:
Originally Posted by bubbawilly View Post

Where is it recommended to place the height channels?

Depends on whether you're using DD PLIIz (directly above the FL/FR) or DSX (out wider than the FL/FR speakers).

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