Originally Posted by TL5
To all the 8802A owners saying they won't upgrade to the 8805 - aren't you at least a little bit curious about what kind of audio improvements Marantz may have made in the 8805? I (still!) own the 8801, and from what I have read the 8802 was a substantial improvement over the 8801. Is it unreasonable to suggest the 8805 may be a big jump as well?
Don't believe everything you read about the AV8801 vs. the AV8802. The AV8801 is a fine unit, that aside...
Looking at some changes, or a lack of changes, between the AV8802a and AV8805, and the effects they may have:
Volume Control: The AV8802a was likely the last higher level Marantz unit that still had the Renesas eight-channel selector/volume control. No datasheet is/was available for this unit. This has been replaced in all the higher level Denon/Marantz units with an eight-channel volume control from New Japan Radio Co. (JRC). This may seem like a nit, but all of the audio channels for the main zone goes through the volume control. The performance of this control, and the opamps that process the output of the DAC chip, are very key to setting the performance limits of the top Marantz units. This new volume control appears to have good performance so this is likely a measureable improvement.
Opamps: Likely these are JRC units as used in most Marantz gear, and are unchanged.
DAC: Unchanged. AKM makes at least two DAC's with better specifications, but use of these better DAC's as direct substitutions would likely just add cost without improvements in actual performance. The circuitry that is used when the DAC's are rated by AKM would be very expensive to implement in a multi-channel AVR/AVP consumer unit.
HDAM's: The HDAM units are increased by two, but appear to still be the same HDAM's.
12V AC Trigger: Denon/Marantz have significantly upgraded the trigger circuit. A much more rugged MOSFET is now used for the output vs. a bipolar transistor. This doesn't affect sound quality of course, but there have been reports of issues with the older trigger.
eARC: The AV8805 appears to have the new Lattice Semiconductor eARC chip, the SiI9437, as do the other Denon/Marantz units that support eARC. The units are awaiting a firmware upgrade to activate eARC.
Linear Power Supply: The toroidal transformer and capacitors appear to be the same size. There isn't much reason to change the design.
DSP Chips: The unit appears to use two of the more powerful generation five Analog Devices DSP units. These are used for digital audio processing. Some amount of programing is required to use these new chips and they are a positive development for the future. Likely the power of the new chips was required for the added channels. With more processing power available it may be that Audyssey and other software features can be improved in the future, or new features provided.
Small improvements: There are a lot of small changes/additions in capacitors and resistors from the AV7703 pre-pro to the AV7704 that should have a positive effect on distortion, and especially noise performance between the units. No doubt many of the same types of improvements have been made between the AV8802a and the AV8805. These are highly engineered units where tradeoffs between cost and overall performance appear to be carefully considered - engineering. They are not cost-is-no-object units.
Wires: There are a lot of wires (not circuit board traces) that carry signals, and power, in these units. This has not changed. Wires can also be considered antennas; they radiate and receive signals. Conceptually it would be nice if some or all of the wires were replaced by appropriately designed ribbon cables or circuit board traces. This would add cost. No one here seems to be complaining that these units don't cost enough. The vertical circuit boards in these units that carry signals from one horizontal circuit board are an example of using circuit board traces instead of wires. Perhaps the wires are one of those engineering decisions where it wouldn't make much difference in the actual performance of these units.
Please add to this list as I will as/if I think of more items.