Marantz AV8805 13.2-Channel AV Processor Review & Comments

Discussion in 'AV Pre-Amp/Processors & Power Amps' started by Phil Hinton, Dec 23, 2018.


    1. Steve Withers

      Steve Withers
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      Last edited: Jan 13, 2019 at 3:36 PM
    2. Shimrod

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      Great review, but I don't think this statement is correct.
      "It boasts support for Dolby Atmos, DTS:X and Auro-3D, making it the only model that can handle all three immersive audio formats at anything approaching a sensible price."

      The AV7702 mk2 andAV7703 had support for all three (although Auro 3d was an extra licence purchase), and it has been standard since the AV7704. These cost half the price of the AV8805. Likewise with the7 series receivers from Marantz.
       
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    3. Abacus

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      Great review as usual, however it still doesn't make the tea.:D

      Bill
       
    4. linnasak

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      Steve,

      Could you do pros and cons between the AV8805 and the Arcam AV860. As torn between these 2. Did you compare XLR connection with phono? Is this worth the upgrade on its own?

      Is there way to negate the lack of Dirac live, can you get this as app that say you could install on pc and then apply results manually?

      Finally should I just wait for next generation of processors that may be announced at CES, thinking Arcam AV860 is now 2 years old!

      Ideally I would like a multichannel digital output, like the trinov as wish to connect to Meridian 271.





      Kevin
       
    5. ggrossen

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      I had an AV8801 for 5 years and loved it. But I wanted Dirac in a processor so sadly excluded the AV8805 and went for the NAD M17 v2 which does have Dirac. Still waiting for dts-x though. But the NAD does sound a lot better than my AV8801 ever did as my room is quite complex and Audyssey always struggled a bit - George
       
    6. xxGBHxx

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      Has anyone here actually set up and compared a fully configured Auro 3D setup? I'm sure I read in a review (or maybe the podcast) someone ridiculing Auro 3D as utterly pointless? Looking on the Auro site, there is barely a handful of 4k's with it as an option so even if it is the best thing since sliced bread without the support it's a dead format and as such utterly irrelevant.

      Find it a little odd that "support for all three immersive formats" is singled out as one of the most redeeming features when I don't think it matters in the slightest. Atmos has won this war with DTS-X mopping up the dregs. Many other processors (like my own Denon 6300) have Auro as an upgrade option for years but who in their right mind would pay for it? Just seems like a total "meh" feature to focus on as a USP on a £3500k device.

      G
       
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    7. scoc

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      I cannot understand they are sticking to Audyssey which is such a weak Room EQ. They should start licensing Dirac. Most likely with the volumes they shift they get Audyssey almost for free. But D&M are the sole brand still using Audyssey. Yamaha’s Room EQ is equally weak.
       
    8. Slinkywizard

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      13.2 processing, but with no amplification, with all three sound formats supported, it's still £100 more than a Denon X8500, which has everything this has, plus full amplification on every channel.

      "It boasts support for Dolby Atmos, DTS:X and Auro-3D, making it the only model that can handle all three immersive audio formats at anything approaching a sensible price."

      What am I missing here?
       
    9. mossym

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      The entire reason for a processor rather than a receiver?
       
    10. scoc

      scoc
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      Apples and oranges. You should not compare a dedicated processor with a receiver having to squeeze in 11 or 13 channels of amplications in the same chassis and all sharing the same power supply. Also the DAC used in processors like these will be considerably better so the potential argument of using a receiver as a processor and it being just as good does not hold.
       
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      Last edited: Dec 24, 2018
    11. Diagnosticz

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      Thanks Steve excellent review. Nice to see this reviewed don't see many av processors reviewed here. Currently own a 8802A coming from the 7703 . You can really hear the difference in quality from the flagship range.


      The only complaint is Audessy needs a few runs to get the desired results Marantz really needs to work on this.

      You have a lot of alternatives the trinnov, Arcam, Athem, Emotiva but do cost more, So I think the Marantz at the price is well worth it they are great performers and feature packed.

      Just wondering if this supports eARC
       
    12. Slinkywizard

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      *Shrugs*

      The Denon can be used as a processor/pre if you want. So that reason would be? If it’s allegedly better sound quality/better DACs, I would bet my house that you can’t hear the difference, so my question about why the Denon doesn’t even get a mention in the review as a point of comparison or alternative solution still stands.
       
    13. xxGBHxx

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      Not to call you out but even if I accepted your overall premise (which I don't) it's utterly wrong in this case.

      The DAC's in the 8500 are the exact same AK4490's that the Marantz uses. You can pre out every channel on the Denon so avoiding the amplification stage if you want and use the exact same DAC's. The only vague argument you might have is that the design of the electronics and the proximity of the amplification circuitry MIGHT affect things. Personally I very very much doubt it.

      The more I read about this unit and the more I think about this review the more irrationally angry I get both by the review and by the unit itself.

      G
       
    14. linnasak

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      The big upgrade on the arcam Av860 processor) over the 850 (AVR) was the the XLR PRE OUTS. Which gave the sonic improvement in lower noise floor.

      Think the same is true of the 8805 over AVRs in the Marantz Denon range.

      Kevin
       
    15. Steve Withers

      Steve Withers
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      Yes, I say so in the second paragraph of the intro.
       
    16. xxGBHxx

      xxGBHxx
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      Maybe.

      Manufacturers will always try and make out their "thing" makes a difference to try and justify the money they're charging. I question whether anyone would ever really be able to notice. I very strongly suspect not...

      I wonder who this device is aimed at and its value relative to the alternatives. Just seems to be VERY expensive for what you're getting.

      G
       
    17. linnasak

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      Check out the home cinemachoice review of the Arcam AV860. Has this quote:

      “I did a side-by-side comparison of the AVR850 via its phono outputs and the AV860 via XLR (using Constellation Audio power amps and Wilson Audio speakers). What was immediately apparent was how superior the AV860 was. It had a depth and clarity that surpassed the receiver. The experience was similar switching to the AV860's phono outputs. You really will want to partner this with XLR hardware.”
      Read more at Arcam AV860 AV processor review
      Steve is this your experience with 8805?

      Kevin
       
    18. mossym

      mossym
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      So is the review going to be corrected regarding the claim of the cheapest to support all 3 audio formats, or does the fact that's it's in the headline mean it's going to be ignored
       
    19. xxGBHxx

      xxGBHxx
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      I don't want this to descend into another argument over subjective listening but that review is littered with audiophile psychobabble and utterly meaningless adjectives such as "depth and clarity" "sounded clearly bigger and more powerfully presented" " It had rhythm and timing in abundance". It is veering dangerously close to yet another "cables make a difference" style argument which I'm frankly just bored with. As a result I wouldn't trust a word of it.

      If you can't write a review without descending into using that style of meaningless adjective then you're either a poor reviewer or you're trying to describe something that doesn't really exist and so have to use nebulous baseless terms that lack any type of scientific rigor.

      With your specific case I am *NOT* suggesting the Arcam isn't a great unit (both the 850 and 860) and I'm not suggesting Dirac isn't top of the line as far as room correction is concerned. I WILL argue with anyone that using XLR over anything else really makes any difference - ironically more so with Dirac. There is absolutely zero proof anywhere that this is the case and just doesn't stand up to any kind of sensible scrutiny.

      Look at it another way, if Dirac is such a fantastic system as many make out (and I don't doubt it is) then shouldn't it make up for and cover any of the negative affects of not using XLR cables? The suggestion is that the XLR's make SUCH a huge difference that Dirac can't/doesn't correct the deficiency of using other cables. Personally, I call complete bull on that claim.

      G
       
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    20. 494930

      494930
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      When it comes to audio equipment, it's worth looking at what the pros use in their environments. They don't use diamond encrusted speaker cables and power cords, they use regular off the shelf items like most of the rest of us. They do however use XLR wherever possible because there is a difference in the signals integrity when compared to RCA. They don't care about 'psychobabble' in recording studios, everything has to have proven itself to be genuinely beneficial before it's used.

      I will admit that the benefits of XLR are only really noticable over longer distances and therefore are of limited value to most home users. Your unlikely to benefit if your power amp is sitting on top of your processor connected by a 1m cable, but place your power amps beside your speakers with 10m+ cables and that's where you will definitely want XLR cables. It's a niche within a niche but there are people who will benefit from an AV processor over an AVR.

      Ps. Room correction cannot correct for errors in the input signal. Once the errors there, you cannot remove it.
       
    21. xxGBHxx

      xxGBHxx
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      Not only what but also why.

      XLR is a cable connection standard or if you prefer a plug design standard. It is used because it is (now) cheap but also because it offers pro-friendly/specific enhancements such as it connects the ground pin first eliminating external interference before you connect the signal pins, you can get locking connectors and it is used for balanced audio. Not going to go into a deep discussion on this primarily because it's an expertise all of itself but also because it's not in any way relevant to this discussion as we're not talking about a balanced connection here.

      Ultimately you're falling into the "cable makes a difference" fallacy and as I said earlier that discussion is just boring. It's not based on empirical facts, it's based on belief and I'm not here to discuss religion.

      To your last point errors are errors and you're right it can't add signal that wasn't there in the first place but what you're suggesting doesn't make any sense. If the signal weakens, you get phase or timing issues or you get a drop off of DB's in a few frequency ranges then Dirac can correct it. Your implication is that using normal banana plugs or phonos on a AVR means you're going to "lose" signal or sound that you would otherwise have over XLR. This is complete and utter conjecture and I will go out on a limb and say you have absolutely no evidence to back this up whatsoever. Moreover I'd go so far as to say this is completely ridiculous because if it were true there would be extensive press covering it. No one in their right mind would install a solution where you KNOW you're going to lose signal or sound and there is just no evidence anywhere that this is the case.

      G
       
    22. 494930

      494930
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      I thought the ongoing discussion is about why anyone would pay so much more for a processor when they could buy a cheaper AVR and connect their amps to that. Balanced audio circuits are the primary reason. I'm definitely not a cable guy but to suggest that balanced connections are a fallacy is completely wrong. You seem to know how they work so I'm not sure why you cannot get your head around the advantages of in-built error correction. I will agree with you that in the home environment most people are unlikely to notice any difference between a processor and an AVR but I'm thankful that products such as this exist as it gives us the consumer choices.

      And how does Dirac know about these issues? Room correction, as the name implies, is designed to correct for the rooms response hence why it is run during set up. The calibration mic is then disconnected and it has no idea what is happening acoustically from that point onward. You could move your seating position, rearrange furniture etc. Dirac cannot compensate for this because it doesn't know until it is run again. Just the same as it doesn't know your picking up interference everytime your heating switches on or your fridge door opens, these errors are not constant and so cannot be treated by room correction. Again I will reiterate that most people won't notice a difference, but there are some people who will benefit from this in-built error correction.
       
    23. linnasak

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      To perhaps end or move the XLR vs RCA debate see

      Question - Phono or xlr

      Conclusion from thread seems to be if you have XLR might as well use them. Improvement if any seems to be system dependent. My meridian 271 has 4 multichannel inputs RCA. XLR, trinov digital, storm digital. Plus Meridian Speakerlink 2 channel. The suggestion is as you progress up the processors in terms of quality you progress up the connections, perhaps because you can.


      Kevin
       
    24. xxGBHxx

      xxGBHxx
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      Choice is good. Review praising a solution which is niche at best, expensive for what you get at worst not so much. Thing is this *is* a home AV site. The review is aimed (I would imagine) at most typical home setups in the UK. We don't have USA environments where they have huge setups and/or rooms. Most people in the UK are shoehorning systems into small spaces (under 30m2). If not they probably have the money to put in Arcam/Trinnov/Dataset etc. anyway. So while balanced connection benefit is without question technically, who on earth is going to ever benefit from it? As such, why give the device a 9/10?

      RFI follows the standard inverse square rule. That interference really does need to be damn close for it to make a difference. Who on earth is going to have their heating controls and/or fridge close enough to have it affect your AV system? Next you'll be telling me that power chords make a difference. Thing is there MIGHT be an argument that the power supply or amp in the AVR might cause RF but a well designed PSU/amp should filter the outbound side from the inbound side anyway. You are of course right about Dirac but I simply meant issues that were permanent, not issues that were transient.

      As an addendum, I will clarify one of my previous comments around were not talking about balanced connections. We weren't originally (we were talking about DAC's) but we did go into it later and I missed that. As I've said a few times now, the technical benefits of balanced connections are not in question.

      G
       
      Last edited: Dec 26, 2018
    25. xxGBHxx

      xxGBHxx
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      Bluewiz has waded in on that thread and I support his writing 100% on anything to do with cables. The technical benefit of balanced over non balanced is real, the benefit you get for most people is probably none at all. Anything PiperCub has said can be ignored without further questioning as he was both a troll and an idiot - hence why he's rightly banned.(though IIRC as I was in on the thread he was banned because he asked to be banned).

      G
       
    26. mb3195

      mb3195
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      Without derailing this thread. I’ve got an Arcam 860 and have tried both phono and XLR cables. I can’t tell the difference.

      I only watch movies, so not sure on the difference with music.
       
    27. Rambles

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      The pre-out voltage is quite different on those two. I believe 1 volt from the AVR850 and 2 volts from the AVR860. So, depending on the input sensitivity of the partnered power amp, this could well make a fairly obvious difference.
       
    28. linnasak

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      So the average punter in uk has dedicated cinema room spends £2k plus on their tv, and £2k plus on a turntable. I think I have just described Steve, Phil and Ed. I don’t think this site is for average home av fans, but for a spread , who are at different stages of their journeys. I think to be able to see the differences through reviews of the range of products from the entry level to the high end helps you decide on which products to review more closely through home demo etc. Perhaps you will stretch your budget perhaps keeping longer, instead of the 3 year throw away cycle of some lower end products.

      One final point not all Americans have huge ranches with dedicated theatres, they are like us, they prioritise their spends, sometimes saving many years to get what they want.

      Please don’t let this site turn into just a medeocre lower end products site.

      Kevin
       
    29. xxGBHxx

      xxGBHxx
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      :)

      Generalizations are not absolutes. However it is a fact that on average UK homes are around 1/3 the size of our American brethren per sq foot. In fact UK houses are smaller than just about everywhere else with the exception of HK/Japan/China.

      The size point was relating directly to cable length which relates directly to the benefit you get from balanced cables. Ultimately over shorter runs the benefits (if any) are negligible to nil. If UK homes are, on average a lot smaller then there is a likelihood cable runs are correspondingly a lot shorter negating any benefit you might get from balanced cables so making the feature next to meaningless. That has nothing to do with how much they spend.

      I'm also not quite sure where you get the impression that I don't think they should be reviewing this device. On the contrary it's absolutely great they review as many devices at as many price points as possible. The question we were discussing was the relative merits of the USP's of this device over an AVR. In this case specifically the Denon 8500 which has the same DAC's and pre-outs but for only £100 more and also has amplification. Ultimately at this price point you'd question why on earth someone would go for this over either the Denon (negating the need for external amps) or the Arcam 860 (slightly more expensive but with Dirac). Then you ask why this has been awarded 9/10 and a best buy in comparison. Some of us were struggling hard to understand what this devices' merits were compared to the alternatives. Still not convinced it has a place and at this price point give me Dirac over the 2 extra pre outs any day...

      G
       
    30. JamesW 51FD

      JamesW 51FD
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      I have had to place all of my av equipment on a rack in the corner of the room and there are many, many cables. My left Monitor Audio platinum 300 (very large speaker that is not magnetically screened) is pushed up next to it as far as possible. As such, it is impossible for me to separate all the different cable types apart - mains, speaker, analogue, digital. I am sure performance suffers as a result of this but I have little choice. Surely I (and many others in a similar situation) would benefit in the XLR abilities to reject noise even on short runs when there is so much potential for interference?
      As for the Arcam 850 vs the 860 I would say the decision depends very much on the individual and other equipment. I have the Arcam A49 driving the fronts and intend to buy a P349 for centre (PL350C) and rears so the 850 would be a backwards step. I had the choice of buying the 850 or 390 as processor and P429 with intention of buying 860 (or newer) at a later date and that is what I went for.
       

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