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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need you guys' opinion. I am currently using a Sony STR-5200ES receiver, and I am looking for something to replace it. This receiver is ok, but I would like a better pre/pro + amp to feed my Martin Logan 5.1 speaker system (Aeon, Cinema, Descent, Script) in order to fully utilize the speakers.


From reading a lot of post in the forum, I narrowed down to 2 very different pre/pro: Marantz AV8003 and the Proceed AVP2. I would like superior sound quality and possibility to try out the new HD sound format like DTS-MA. It's going to be 80% for movie and 20% for music. The AVP2 doesn't have any HD audio format, but may be it has better sound quality. The AV8003 has all the bells and whistles of the newest HD formats and connections, but may not sound as nice. The question is how much nicer is the Proceed in sound quality. Is DTS with the Proceed better than DTS-HD with the Marantz?


I can find a used AVP2 for around the same price as a new AV8003. What do you think? If you have tried these 2 pre/pro, please let me know what you think. I will probably get a used Krell Showcase 7.1 amp to connect to the pre/pro. Thanks.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by toner75 /forum/post/16845707


I need you guys' opinion. I am currently using a Sony STR-5200ES receiver, and I am looking for something to replace it. This receiver is ok, but I would like a better pre/pro + amp to feed my Martin Logan 5.1 speaker system (Aeon, Cinema, Descent, Script) in order to fully utilize the speakers.


From reading a lot of post in the forum, I narrowed down to 2 very different pre/pro: Marantz AV8003 and the Proceed AVP2. I would like superior sound quality and possibility to try out the new HD sound format like DTS-MA. It's going to be 80% for movie and 20% for music. The AVP2 doesn't have any HD audio format, but may be it has better sound quality. The AV8003 has all the bells and whistles of the newest HD formats and connections, but may not sound as nice. The question is how much nicer is the Proceed in sound quality. Is DTS with the Proceed better than DTS-HD with the Marantz?


I can find a used AVP2 for around the same price as a new AV8003. What do you think? If you have tried these 2 pre/pro, please let me know what you think. I will probably get a used Krell Showcase 7.1 amp to connect to the pre/pro. Thanks.

Hi toner75,

Welcome, I have all Martin logan system too(prodigy,logos and requests for rears and 4 subs etc.I have Proceed AVP also ,was looking at Marantz av8003

to decode new HD formats too you have a few options avp2 would have 7.1 analog inputs for bypass from Blueray,if it does very good way to go. The avp are detailed yet musical and simple to set up.In my very high end system is does a great job but for my system I found analog out directly into tube pre amps into reference amps resulted in far higher audio quality than any Multi surround Pre Regardless of price.Our speakers are very revealing and really shine with quality components upstream I would get the AVP2 and to listen to HD audio go analog out into AVP2 and get a quality blueray with good analog stage,and the sound from NEW HD formats is fantastic definitely worth the effort as for the krell amp,the bigger krell TAS may be better ,but a good start,regards Victor.

MY SYSTEMS,
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1136036
 

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The AVP2 is a dinosaur.. Forget it. Go HDMI and get the new lossless codecs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It's really hard for me to decide. I keep going back and forth between the two... The AVP2 may be old format, but if the sound quality from just decoding DTS is better than the Marantz decoding DTS-HD, then the Proceed may be a better choice. On the other hand, if the Marantz decoding DTS-HD is better than the Proceed with DTS, then Marantz is a better choice. Anyone else?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by toner75 /forum/post/16846878


It's really hard for me to decide. I keep going back and forth between the two... The AVP2 may be old format, but if the sound quality from just decoding DTS is better than the Marantz decoding DTS-HD, then the Proceed may be a better choice. On the other hand, if the Marantz decoding DTS-HD is better than the Proceed with DTS, then Marantz is a better choice. Anyone else?

I'd consider a NAD M15 ahead of the AVP2 for the money, at least it has a couple of HDMI inputs for video switching.


DD, DTS and DTS HD MA etc all have one thing in common, they're only as good as the recording and mixing at the source allows. I haven't heard anything better than DTS HD MA when it's done right.


I wouldn't buy a unit today without both Audyssey, or comparable room correction, and the ability to decode the hi-rez formats.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by toner75 /forum/post/16846878


It's really hard for me to decide. I keep going back and forth between the two... The AVP2 may be old format, but if the sound quality from just decoding DTS is better than the Marantz decoding DTS-HD, then the Proceed may be a better choice. On the other hand, if the Marantz decoding DTS-HD is better than the Proceed with DTS, then Marantz is a better choice. Anyone else?

Hi toner75,

The marantz decoding dts-hd is a huge advantage against reg, dts so 99% sure marantz will sound better and be easier to set up.

Using analog out from player he can get HD audio formats so that is an option too,and sounds better as well.Best option is to try in your system and see which is best for you,

Regards Victor.
 

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Best of my knowledge is that LPCM is only HDMI.


Proceed made excellent equipment, but for 80% movies I would say go with the Marantz.


That Marantz will be a big upgrade over the Sony that you have now. I would submit that the Marantz with the room correction may sound better than the Proceed for movies.


Good Luck,
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by toner75 /forum/post/16849203


If my current Bluray player (PS3) doesn't have 5.1 channel analog output, can I decode HD audio format using the PS3 and then send LPCM to the Proceed AVP2 using coaxial or SPDIF?

No, it's converted to DTS I believe.


Seriously, the AVP2 is an antiquated HT pre-amp that garnered praise because of it's two channel analog performance and as a DAC.


But for predominantly HT (multi-channel) use, and frankly for 2 channel as well, a good room correction will get you far more improvement than the difference between any component.


I believe the new hi-rez codecs have had a significant positive effect on HDMI performance in general with even the cheapest of so equipped units sounding better than ever.


I'd easily buy the Marantz over the AVP2, but if I were buying today for 80% HT use I'd probably have a serious look at the Integra 9.9, and if I had some patience and a few more bucks I'd wait for the NAD M15HD which should be out shortly. The M15 I mentioned earlier is probably as highly regarded as the AVP2 but had HDMI switching for video, the new HD version will add full HDMI implementation and Audyssey Pro.


There's not much point forgoing HDMI or the new hi-rez codecs, and going back to what I said about room correction, this is the one glaring flaw that the Marantz has which is it won't apply room correction to hi-rez codecs.


I'd recommend the Denon AVP that I own, but it's pretty pricey for mainly HT use. There is a new Denon pre-pro coming out which is similar to the Marantz with full R/C implementation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you for all your inputs. After reading reviews and people's comments, I think I will get the Marantz AV8003 pre/pro. The only thing that's bothering me is that the Marantz is made in China instead of Japan...


Also, in Hong Kong the price of the Marantz AV8003 has been dropping A LOT since it came out a year ago. I heard that when it first came out it was priced at about US$3700, but now I can get one here for US$1500.


The sales at the stores were telling me to get the Denon 5408 receiver instead which is still selling for US$5000. The reviews that I read here and in magazines tells me that the Marantz is better, but I don't know why they are not pushing the Marantz. This is the salesman's reaction at ALL the different stores I visited, telling me there are better options than the AV8003. May be the profit margin is a lot less?? They don't even want to set up the Marantz for me to demo! Some salesmen even told me that Marantz closed down their factories in China!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by toner75 /forum/post/16854835


May be the profit margin is a lot less?? They don't even want to set up the Marantz for me to demo! Some salesmen even told me that Marantz closed down their factories in China!

To quote myself from above; "this is the one glaring flaw that the Marantz has which is it won't apply room correction to hi-rez codecs."


It's not a minor issue at all, if you loose the room correction with the hi-rez codecs how are you going to appreciate the benefits of them?


The sales people aren't steering you wrong, I'd also recommend a receiver for predominantly movie use but I thought you were sold on a pre pro. A Denon 3808ci or 4308ci would be an excellent choice either used as a pre-pro or with their amps too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
There is going to be a new Denon pre/pro with full room correction coming out? When? And what model?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rnrgagne /forum/post/16850795



I'd recommend the Denon AVP that I own, but it's pretty pricey for mainly HT use. There is a new Denon pre-pro coming out which is similar to the Marantz with full R/C implementation.
 

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I also say if you can wait a little longer, at least wait to hear the NAD M15HD.


My Dealer is a little funny lately but their honesty seems sincere.


I don't know if they received an advanced demo of the M15HD and they carry Arcam, NAD, Cary Audio, Sim etc but they seem to feel that the M15(HD) is an excepitional piece and betters all the others above except for the $18k Sim piece in two channel. So they say...


I have really loved my M15 and look forward to the M15HD to audition.


We shall see...They still do not have a firm release date for the M15HD.


I think wait a while longer if possible and see what CEDIA brings.


Rick
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rnrgagne /forum/post/16854989


To quote myself from above; "this is the one glaring flaw that the Marantz has which is it won't apply room correction to hi-rez codecs."


It's not a minor issue at all, if you loose the room correction with the hi-rez codecs how are you going to appreciate the benefits of them?

The OP's Blu-ray player (PS3) cannot transmit the hi-rez codecs via HDMI. However, it can fully decode those codecs to multi-channel PCM and transmit that via HDMI. The Marantz may not be able to decode the hi-rez codecs AND apply room correction at the same time, but if you send it an already decoded PCM signal, then it can apply Audyssey to that. Seems the Marantz is a good compliment to the OP's PS3: he can enjoy the full resolution of the lossless codecs AND take advantage of room correction.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani /forum/post/16857194


The OP's Blu-ray player (PS3) cannot transmit the hi-rez codecs via HDMI. However, it can fully decode those codecs to multi-channel PCM and transmit that via HDMI. The Marantz may not be able to decode the hi-rez codecs AND apply room correction at the same time, but if you send it an already decoded PCM signal, then it can apply Audyssey to that. Seems the Marantz is a good compliment to the OP's PS3: he can enjoy the full resolution of the lossless codecs AND take advantage of room correction.

I didn't know that about the PS3, I assumed it bitstreamed.


Providing there's no loss in the conversion, I don't suppose there's much to loose with MPCM if room correction can indeed be applied properly.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by CETA1 /forum/post/16857081


We shall see...They still do not have a firm release date for the M15HD.


Rick


It's up on their website so it shouldn't be too long now.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rnrgagne /forum/post/16857392


I didn't know that about the PS3, I assumed it bitstreamed.

You would think so, with its HDMI 1.3 connectors. Alas, it doesn't.
Quote:
Providing there's no loss in the conversion, I don't suppose there's much to loose with MPCM if room correction can indeed be applied properly.

When decoding lossless codecs (TrueHD, DTS-HD MA), there can't be any loss. By definition, the resulting LPCM signal has to be bit-for-bit identical to the encoding master, otherwise it's not "lossless".


Decoding in the player (PS3) and decoding in the pre-pro (Marantz) will yield identical results. If you think about it, one can't be 'more lossless' than the other. Since the Marantz can't decode AND post-process, might as well send it an already decoded signal and take advantage of all the post-processing (PLIIx, Audyssey, etc) it offers.


Having said that, if I were the OP I would actually go with the suggestions you made earlier: get the Integra 9.9 (cheaper than the Marantz but without its limitations) or wait for the NAD M15HD.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I went to the store today and convinced the salesman to demo the Marantz AV8003 and MM8003. Last day at the store I asked the the salesman about the Marantz, but he tried to sell me the Denon AVC-HD1DA (AVR-5308CI in N. America i think) instead, so I tried the Denon too. Wow, I was so disappointed at the Marantz AV8003 today. I just tried out the King Kong Bluray, and the sound stage is not nearly as wide as the Denon. When I tried the Denon the other day, I actually looked to the far left of the room way outside the screen because the sound was so real that I really thought someone was screaming at that spot! With the Marantz, I didn't feel anything like that at all. I even asked the salesman if he did the Audessy room correction with the Denon and not the Marantz, but he said both units were at default setting w/o any room correction. Well, unless he was lying to me, otherwise I liked the Denon a lot more. The sound stage difference was pretty obvious. Despite so many good reviews on the AV8003 on the forum and in ultimateavmag.com and hometheatermag.com, the Marantz sounded inferior to the Denon. I was so confused at the demo today that I repeatedly made sure it was the right model of Marantz that I was trying because it was totally not something I expected to hear. The Denon spec shows that it's using 3 processors to do the audio processing (21366 x 1 and 21367 x 2 32-bit Floating Point)(same as the AVP-HD1DA), and may be that's why the sound is so good.


At hometheatermag.com, in fact, said:

"The sonic differences between the Denon receiver and the Marantz separates were significant. The combo produced the “off the surface of the speaker grille” phenomenon that’s familiar to audiophiles. (This could have occurred because this is a set of separates or because of Marantz’s amplifier expertise and sonic heritage.) In the two-channel world, better amplifiers present music that seems to float free of the speaker surface, while lesser amplifiers tend to paste the images to the grilles. The Marantz performed just as well with 5.1-channel material in this regard. In fact, its spatial presentation was far superior to the Denon’s.

The Marantz MM8003 doesn’t produce significantly more power than the Denon, or my reference Lexicon RV-8 receiver, for that matter. But subjectively, it sounded more powerful, dynamic, and definitely more supple and nuanced than either of those receivers.
"


This is the opposite of what I heard today!!! I am so lost. There is also one big problem, the Denon unit is soo tall and deep that I don't think it will fit in the shelf at home... Arrrrrrgggg...
 
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