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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All

First time poster, so be nice. Please 馃槉

I鈥檝e generally thought of myself at being reasonably clued up and capable of thinking for myself when it comes to HT.
However, I鈥檓 due to replace my aging (but still very good) Onkyo TX-NR3008, as the lack of 4k Pass-Through is now very much an Achilles heel. And long story short, I don鈥檛 know what to do!

Display is 65 inch LG C9, speakers are all Polk Audio. CS20 (center), TSi500 front and sides, and TSi200 back. Yes they鈥檙e older, but still very good capable speakers. And bass duties handled by a Polk 12. Don鈥檛 have any height at this stage, and may never get around to it, but I have access to under floor and in roof to run anything I want.

Want at least zone 2, but 3 would be nice. Doesn鈥檛 need wireless audio but would be handy. No plans to get anything 8k in the near future.

System is generally used for TV but does certainly gets its fair share of music. NAS is a long term plan, but have Spotify now.

Ive narrowed it down to Marantz SR8012 (as much as I鈥檇 like the 8015, I don鈥檛 think I have the justification to spend the extra), Yamaha 3080, Onkyo TZ-RZ3400 or Anthem MRX 1140.

Honestly the Onkyo is probably my number 1, but their obvious financial issues, lack of stock and potential lack of support if they go bankrupt concerns me. The Yamaha is number 4 for me, and I don鈥檛 even know why sorry.

That leaves me the Anthem or the Marantz. Anthem leaves a little to be desired in terms of connectivity, but some of that is coming (Spotify for example) and has ARC and the ability to upgrade to HDMI 2.1 board in future. Marantz is cheaper, and will do everything I want now, but comes unstuck for HDMI 2.1 and 8k (if I ever get there). But I鈥檝e also read they get hotter than the fires of hell, which might mean sitting it on top of my AV cabinet instead of in it where I鈥檇 rather.

Im a fan of buying something and having it a long time, I鈥檝e had my Onkyo for 10 years, and aside from the HDMI board issue, it鈥檚 been solid and will become my LEGO room amp.

So that鈥檚 my conundrum. Help me solve it please 馃槅

(fwiw, I鈥檝e had no previous experience with Anthem or Marantz, but have had Yamaha (pre HDMI so a long time ago), Denon (which I hated) and obviously Onkyo. It should be noted I live in (effectively) an old church - so any room correction software is gonna have an ugly job.

Thanks In Advance

Muzzie
 

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<--- No expert alert.
What speakers configuration do you use? Onkyo is coming out with new models mid 2021 that will have the much praised Dirac Live calibration system (not the fancy version but pretty unseen at these price categories). Full details are TBD.
Anthem does have a route to 8K/2.1 but keep in mind it will cost extra. You could also consider a somewhat outdated processor from Arcam (also with Dirac) and repurpose the Onkyo for amplification (if doable).
If you're looking into the higher end of AVRs, yo may want to consider a subwoofer upgrade. Not sure which sub is Polk 12 though.
 

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Let me start off the discussion by saying it鈥檚 great to be in a win-win situation. Marantz or Anthem are win-win.

I am a current and very long Anthem owner. I am a previous Marantz and also a current Denon Owner. Denon and Marantz have the same parent company.

I suggest you think about your decision in two different terms: features and sound quality.

First a think about the feature set that you need and decide which of the two meets your needs best. Marantz has HEOS as it鈥檚 streaming option. Anthem is only now coming up to speed and dumping DTS-Play-Fi.

ARC is superior to Audyssey with bass handling. I will give the nod and room correction to Anthem.

When Anthem releases products they typically release a platform that is supported and upgradable for several years, typically around 5+ from product launch. Marantz typically replaces their models every couple of years. From experience I do find the initial releases of anthem products to have some bugs that take some time to work out.

Marantz (and Denon) HDMI switching is among the best in the business. It鈥檚 bulletproof. I can鈥檛 tell you the problems I had early on with anthem products. It鈥檚 simply an issue of resources and scale. Generally speaking HDMI gremlins aren鈥檛 as bad as they used to be.

it鈥檚 unfair to comment about sound quality without an A/B.

does the physical screen on the unit matter to you? Marantz has a very small screen and you need to pull down the front flap to expose additional info on the second screen while anthem has re-designed the screen to be much larger and viewable at a distance.

The anthem uses virtual inputs that allow you to apply different configurations to each input. For some that鈥檚 a very important feature wall for others that鈥檚 just confusing. And advantage Anthem products have is that you can apply different room correction settings to each virtual input.

One example is you have a pulldown screen in your room. You can have one virtual input with room correction applied with the screen pulldown and of the virtual input with room correction applied with the screen up. switching the inputs automatically applies the settings.

In another example let鈥檚 say you want to play play streaming music in two channels with no subwoofer. Anthem allows you to do that. You also want to have an input that allows you to stream to channel music with a subwoofer engaged and no room correction. You can do that you can even create a third virtual input that allows you to play to channel music with subwoofer engaged in room correction applied. In other words you have incredible flexibility to tailor your music. Marantz doesn鈥檛 do that. You can鈥檛 apply that kind of granular settings for each input.

in summary clearly identifying what is important to you will lead you to the best decision.
 

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I had a marantz sr6014, changed to an avm60 and yes the sound is a lot better. Movies and music both sound superior than the marantz. Obviously marantz has more features like Bluetooth etc but I don't use stuff like that anyway. I'd go anthem every time.
 

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+1 for Anthem. Had many Marantz units and Anthem units and the Anthems were noticeably better. Most recently SR7014 vs MRX720 swap. MRX was better out of the box and i'm not sure it was that close in my room with my setup. Love the virtual input and config options and look forward to the new models!
 
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Another +1 for Anthem from me having owned both, the Anthem also has a better internal amplifier, and I can also attest to my Anthem receiver sounding better than my Marantz processor.
 
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@Muzzie I hate to be that guy, but you are spending way too much on a receiver for a 5.1 setup. Get better speakers and/or a better sub. I am not sure about the floor and roof comment but do what you can to get 4 ceiling speakers installed, it will make the HT experience 100% better.

If you cannot get ceiling speakers installed then you could simply get a tsr-700 and use the Onkyo as the LR amp. You would have enough $$ saved to get a HSU, Rythmik or SVS sub or maybe two on sale. That will make the most difference.

Again, just my $.02
 

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Wasn't able to get Marantz slim/Audyssey to sound right in my room with music. So picked up a Paradigm PW AMP to get my feet with with ARC and finally got it right...good sub blend natural sound.

So, was researching the new MRX 540 and my interest peaked because Anthem decided to ditch PlayFi for Google cast (y), but looks like ARC still does not EQ sub delay/distance/phase...still don't understand why for the price....that is where Marantz picks up some points. I believe customer support told me only their top of line MRX 1140 and integrated can calibrate dual independent sub phase.
 

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Most AV receivers you're only getting exactly what's on the sticker as you move up in price.

If you like Denon/Marantz (sound united parent company). Denon seems to be the better reviewed units. Sound quality is the same as you go up and down the line. Only thing you're paying for that you want would be better amplification/channel outs.

I would imagine you would get similar results with teh other huge AVR makers with razor thin margins.

People generally do not like marantz relative to denon

avoid onkyo/pioneer there are questions about their financial situation and whether or not they'll be around to service their warranty.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hi All

Thanks for your input. From what I鈥檝e gathered in probably not making a mistake either way, which does give me some solace.

The reference to the Polk 12 - it鈥檚 a Polk Audio 12 inch sub, I just can鈥檛 recall the the model off the top of my head.

Eriksells16 - it鈥檚 7.1. Not 5. Maybe I should have made that clearer sorry. I can definitely get at least 2 ceiling speakers - 4 might be a little harder as we have a dropped ceiling immediately above the couch, and I don鈥檛 know that I鈥檇 get adequate separation from 4. It鈥檚 something I鈥檇 have to look into some more.

I do like that the Marantz gives me wireless speakers ability - so presumably could run 9.2.4 in main room and wireless zone 2 to the kitchen. Will the Anthem do that?

I do think ARC is probably an advantage to me, I live in an old church - and my main room is brick wall on one side, glass on the opposite, and a combination of plasterboard and wood for the other two with hardwood floors, high ceiling and that previously mentioned dropped ceiling right in the middle. It鈥檚 not exactly acoustically easy.

Feel like stuck between a rock and a hard place. Both have pros and cons, I just need to work out which has more pros.

Muzzie
 

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Personally i think the difference in amps once you get up to a certain point is negligible if at all specifically for movies while music really requires an AB splitter, i have the Denon X1600H and i waffled back and forth on what to buy. Honestly without doing an A-B comparison with a switcher you will not notice a difference. Coming from headphone gear using AB splitters the biggest difference between different headphone amps is their own signature as many of them sound extremely close, if the mids are bit recessed well guess what...at first it will give the perception of a larger sound stage. Critical listening to music is also fatiguing for long periods of time, anytime i just "listen" to the music and not the gear everything else disappears and all you have left is just the music...we sometimes forget that. I just recently bought a Marantz PM5005 for music and it sounds awesome, perhaps one day i will rig up an blind test with several AB splitters to the Denon AVR because thats the only way you will tell a difference. Like another poster get whatever is cheaper and fulfills your needs, if you can listen to both great...if not i wouldn't worry about it save the money down the road for better speakers and a bottle of Dal Forno Romano Amarone della Valpolicella with the money saved and call it day.
 

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I would go with the Anthem, because of ARC. It's far superior to Audyssey.

I had an Anthem AVM 20 for 17 years. In fact I still have it and it works perfect. I got a Marantz 6014 as a fill in until the new Anthems come out. I prefer my Marantz for music. I'm not using Audyssey either. I am using it just as a pre-pro and have external amplification. Movies are a wash I think. I'm very happy with my Marantz, but I do miss some of the configurations I had on the 20. I'm sure the new Anthems and ARC will surpass the Marantz, but that is speculation at this point.

And don't believe the hype on Denon stuff. Most people DON'T think they sound better and one guy on ASR says they measure "really good", so don't drink that kool-aid.
Everyone's ears are different, so you should go try things out for yourself.

I would also second the idea of upgrading those Polks and sub.
 

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THey're from teh same parent company and clearly marantz is the ****tier of the two brands

shrug

denon gets the good engineers for whatever reason
 

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Looks to me the biggest feature you need is better calibration. While ARC is considered the more advanced of the ones you're considering, folks got pretty good results with adding the AUD app into the mix with their Denon/Marantz. Note that many use additional optimizing steps like measuring independently with REW.

Onkyo/Integra/Pioneer is coming out with new AVRs mid year with Dirac Live at very affordable prices. I think most announced ones are limited to 7.2.2 and have vanilla dirac and I'm unsure about pre-outs, but maybe their yet-unannounced flagship models will have a more premium dirac.
I just hope they won't come with a toy microphone...
 

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How do you know this?!

Seems like forum rumor fake news
Marantz measures the same for more.

More software issues

General ****

They were basically the same brand a few years ago. They have treid to rebrand marantz as teh "high tier" of the two.

Hasn't worked lol

Go to audiosciencereview for "objective" measuremeants. He sprinkles in subjective stuff in there too but you can obviously ignore that if you want. And denon engineers take him seriously. Objective measurement are the only reasonable way to compare something like AVRs

Anyone telling you to buy marantz over denon is probably insane. For just an AVR anyway. They do seem to have a wider range of separate components so this doesn't apply to everything. Best case scenario you're paying more for the same thing for marantz in AVR from waht i've seen.

edit - modern not vintage, there was a time they were truly separate
 

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I had a marantz sr6014, changed to an avm60 and yes the sound is a lot better. Movies and music both sound superior than the marantz.
I would go with the Anthem, because of ARC. It's far superior to Audyssey.

I had an Anthem AVM 20 for 17 years. In fact I still have it and it works perfect. I got a Marantz 6014 as a fill in until the new Anthems come out. I prefer my Marantz for music. I'm not using Audyssey either. I am using it just as a pre-pro and have external amplification. Movies are a wash I think. I'm very happy with my Marantz, but I do miss some of the configurations I had on the 20. I'm sure the new Anthems and ARC will surpass the Marantz, but that is speculation at this point.
Would both of you mind elaborating on your experiences with the sr6014 vs Anthem? @Andy922, can you explain what you find "better" about the sound of the Anthem? And @Maximum7, why do you prefere the Marantz for music?

I also purchased a 6014 and have been debating whether to keep it or return it (I have around 2 more weeks to decide ) and go with an Anthem (or possibly even an NAD). An Anthem will be a good bit more money than the discounted price I paid for the Marantz, regardless of whether I choose a 540 or 740 (I have a 5.1 system). The money is in the budget, but I don't want to spend it unnecessarily and, unfortunately, I won't get a chance to hear the Anthem before the return period is up. I had initially hoped to have the chance to hear it, but the Anthem availability dates keep getting pushed back.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
@LTE15 that鈥檚 partly my conundrum too. Anthem availability for just viewing/demo. Let alone buying.

Same as you, I have the budget for the Anthem, but ain鈥檛 gonna spend it if don鈥檛 need to. As @trivium91 said - get whats cheapest that works. So I鈥檓 sorta leaning towards Marantz for now. And again. I hate Denon - AVR789 put me off them.

I do know my wife is gonna be really unhappy when the Polk disappears. She loves the piano finish - I鈥檒l have a year or so to get her used to the idea.

I do want to know though, why is everyone bagging my speakers. They鈥檙e not that bad. And unlike the AVR, aren鈥檛 technologically out of date lol.
 

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Marantz measures the same for more.

More software issues

General ****

They were basically the same brand a few years ago. They have treid to rebrand marantz as teh "high tier" of the two.

Hasn't worked lol

Go to audiosciencereview for "objective" measuremeants. He sprinkles in subjective stuff in there too but you can obviously ignore that if you want. And denon engineers take him seriously. Objective measurement are the only reasonable way to compare something like AVRs

Anyone telling you to buy marantz over denon is probably insane. For just an AVR anyway. They do seem to have a wider range of separate components so this doesn't apply to everything. Best case scenario you're paying more for the same thing for marantz in AVR from waht i've seen.

edit - modern not vintage, there was a time they were truly separate
I really wish they would measure the marantz PM6006, i imagine it would measure well...it sure sounds the part.
 
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