Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Medford, MA, USA
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My somewhat ancient Acurus ACT-3 pre/pro stopped working. (I say "somewhat" because I had the guts swapped out with a 7.1 board from their Aragon receiver sister company, about 10 years ago.) My wiring is a bit of a mess and didn't feel like debugging it so I decided, screw it, I'm upgrading. Why send an obsolete unit with little resale value in for service? And wouldn't all those groovy new features be worth it, plus probably better sound? A recent windfall says I can afford it...
The AV8802A caught my eye, then the AV8805 sounded great on paper. Studied for awhile, then ordered one from MusicDirect.com. "Not in stock" because they don't stock them at all, but nobody was offering them sooner than 2.5 weeks. They order one from Marantz, then they ship it to you. Not much value add for the full retail price.
Today, it CAME! "O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!" (Jabberwocky expressions)
Set it up. The setup appeared on the TV screen, told me how to wire speakers to a power amp and other stuff I already knew. Ready for the test tones, and... nothing, nada. I knew that my power amps and speakers were wired right, because touching the tip on the RCA cord caused the expected hum in each speaker.
The tech support guy at MusicDirect knew less about it than I do, telling me I had to assign channels and stuff to get sound - not true, the set up does the basic stuff. Told me to call Marantz.
Marantz of course had better tech support. We went through the stuff I had already done. He said, let's try a hard reset (which BTW involves opening the receiver flap, press and hold the Game / Info buttons that are next to each other, then power on and wait for light to flash). Now we tried the setup again, and... nothing. The Marantz guy told me to call the dealer and swap it out.
They wanted me to pack up the bad one, ship it back for them to examine... and after THAT they would order a new one from Marantz (because they don't stock it). Total time for exchange: about a month. Can't you expedite it somehow, do a cross-ship to save me time. She got all defensive and eventually sighed and said she would check to see if there were options like that.
During the next half hour I went to Amazon and found several dealers had it supposedly in stock. One will charge me full retail, no tax, free shipping, get it to me by Wednesday. Another offers about a 15% discount but I pay shipping and it comes in three weeks.
So I called MusicDirect back and asked if I could return it for refund instead. She agreed, even sounded relieved. I packed the bad one up. Honestly, MusicDirect doesn't provide much added value for their full retail price, especially when they don't even bother to keep one or two in stock.
Just for the heck of it, I reconnected the ACT-3 - and huh! it played music just fine. I don't know if there was maybe just a problem with the AV input, or what. I'll check it out over the weekend.
The AV8805 has great new technology, but 5.1 and 7.1 surround with less than the most recent DTS and Dolby standards is sufficient for a lot of what we watch. Most DVDs don't come with the very latest sound standards like ATMOS. So I'm back to the drawing board, not knowing if now is the time to upgrade, or wait for lower prices or a newer model. Probably I'll order an AV8805 after thinking about it over the weekend, but for now I'm on the fence.
Last edited by MysticRiver; 05-04-2018 at 04:56 PM.