Or 7013, or 7014 for that matter.
Maybe the mainstream companies are putting out these upgrades to emulate software manufacturers. Who wouldn't want to have the kind of coin that Bill Gate$ has?
I have heard through the grapevine that you cannot re assign the front channels with the NAD units. Does that mean that you can't listen to any stereo material without having to be forced to listen to the built in amp with a NAD AVR? I haven't needed to find out, so I don't if that's the case in reality or not. I don't know if Marantz is structured that way or not, but I would like to have all of the flexibility that I can. I'm sure that the front amp capability in the NAD units aren't lacking, but that seems to be forcing us to use their amp(s) without being able to use the preamp outputs alone to set up a totally independent outboard amplifier configuration. That was just something that stuck in my craw if that's the case. Perhaps the Marantz units are assignable to all of the channels. Perhaps it's the same case as with the NAD's?
I'm sure that you will find this unit to be well suited for surround material. The ability, or lack there of, to use the Marantz (or the NAD) for two channel operation using just an outboard amplifier was the reason that I brought up the front amp assign-ability options. Two channel program material may not be able to be configured with the component as a preamp alone? Perhaps someone more familiar with the optional configurations could chime in to inform us as to the truth on the matter.
I have an older Harman Kardon stereo receiver that I can either bypass the amp section to use it as a preamp alone, or I can bypass the preamp and run the unit as an outboard amplifier. The amplifier is a good one in the HK, and it has a formidable preamp section as well, so I knew it would be usable down the road as a dedicated surround channel amplifier, or as a preamp in a garage type scenario where you are just recycling components to be utilized .I bought the HK just as the surround sound craze started, just so I wasn't wasting money on something that I knew would be outdated at some point. The current NAD AVR's won't allow you to use the amplifier sections as outboard amplifiers, like you can in some of the older ones, which I found to be a huge drawback on the side of NAD's marketing strategy IMO. That is a sore subject with me as a consumer of a $1,000 AVR, only to find out that the component cannot be utilized in a cost conscientious way. The height channels don't really have to be matched up to the other amplifiers brand specific, like a front or surround may be. It doesn't sound like the NAD units can do that, based on what I'm told about these strict conditions in regard to the front amp conditions. I'm curious as to the Marantz in that regard. This is almost laying the groundwork for a dedicated surround processor, instead of an AVR that handcuffs you to their amplifier's being used no matter what the conditions are. It also points to the NAD's unique ability to replace the hardware cards if and when necessary to keep up with the Jones' in regard to these technological updates to the hardware connections or software innovations. As I have mentioned earlier, this is an expensive upgrade option, but the benefits are somewhat obvious to the consumer. What would be super nice would be a chip that has extremely flexible firmware upgrade capability, so that the component can be upgraded easily and frequently. The T 777 v3 I have is constantly being updated through the internet as the firmware is released. I have no idea how the Marantz is situated in that regard.
I know this is slightly off topic, however it needs to be addressed somewhere/somehow.