MM8077 / AV8801 + Alternatives?

Discussion in 'AV Pre-Amp/Processors & Power Amps' started by SallyC, Aug 12, 2013.

  1. SallyC

    SallyC
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    Would really appreciate thought on the Marantz MM8077 and AV8801 . How much better would this combination be than the SR7008? Really, music is more critical than movies, although I must have a combined solution. Any thoughts on build quality - for £4000, plus £600+ for the UD7007, I expect top quality build but according to the Home Cinema Choice review the build quality isn't great "...I remain unimpressed with the exterior. The plastic side cheeks to the fascia feel a bit down-market and the top cover of the MM8077, in particular, has all the structural integrity of a biscuit tin. The UD7007 and AV8801 have clearly emerged from different factories, as the displays are a slightly different dot pitch and slightly different shade of blue...".
    Given the priority of music, I looked at the new Arcam range but the terrible looks put me off, really quite horrible. I suppose I could try to stretch to the Yamaha CX/AX A5000 but a bit concerned thee doesn't seem to be an appropriate matched blu-ray player - everything electronics wise must be one make. Why have none of the major brands brought out new blu-ray players this year? Year after year new AV receivers and amps but nothing so far on the blu-ray front...Any help and/or other suggestions greatly appreciated.
     
  2. hifix

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    Most manufacturers can't really compete with the likes of Sony and Panasonic, and the majority tend to stick to sub £200 players, which small manufacturers just can't do. Yamaha do produce the Aventage BDA1020, which is £399 rrp, so that will go with the CXA5000/MXA5000.

    Sometimes some products are made in different factories or regions. The displays may not necessarily match perfectly, as they will be chosen for the product, first and foremost.

    This will partly depend on the speakers you are intending to use. Demanding speakers will certainly benefit greatly from the pre/power approach, whereas a sub £1k speaker package will be dealt with fine by an SR7008. The MM8077 will have superior power delivery (allowing a wider range of speakers to be considered), and be more stable under more awkward loads. The AV8801 will have the advantage of not having power amplification within its shell, so less interference from this side of things, and can have a bespoke transformer to provide only the power it needs, rather than drawing current from a whacking great transformer that is needed to drive the speakers.

    Build quality is as good as you will get at this sort of price point nowadays (from what I've seen). Yes, 5-10 years ago, this price range was better built than it is now, but you have to bear in mind that products in this price range now do a hell of a lot more than they did back then. There's nothing wrong with the build quality of the Marantz, and it is roughly on par with what is currently available at this price point. I do understand your concerns though :)
     
  3. SallyC

    SallyC
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    David, thank you for taking the time to reply to my questions. Still a bit surprised by the lack of quality blu-ray players released to coincide with AV launches. Does Yamaha really expect their customers to use a blu-ray player which can be bought for circa £300 with £5000 worth of amplification and processing or even a £2000 receiver? I'm not suggesting their imitate Primare and sell something with a £3500 price tag just more appropriate for the amplification. Maybe there simply isn't the demand for new expensive blu-ray players but not just doesn't seem right but strange in that is there going to that much demand for a £5000 amp duo either? I'm guessing, outside dedicated home cinema rooms, these will be bought by someone who likes quality in build, who is very familiar with the Yamaha brand, who wants better music replay than AV receivers can typical manage(so likely to have had a decent hifi before) but without going to the complexities of separate power amps and processors and who is happy to spend £10,000 on a system - which is very much me, but probably like me, most of these people would want sources and amplifiers to match! As for Marantz, if they're trying to sell the MM8077 and AV8801 as a pair, well, if they can't be bothered to impose common quality controls irrespective of the source factory, then I can't be bothered to spend £4000 buying their equipment. So in addition to Yamaha, I'll be looking at Primare, although it changes the purchase in a sense as I don't want to spend £3500 on a blu-ray player so may have to stick with DVD until they bring out a cheaper blu-ray option. Anyone know why Oppo doesn't make amplifiers? Have they ever? or why Anthem doesn't make a blu-ray player? I believe they used to. A pity Arcam is so damned ugly....!
     
  4. hifix

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    If you think about what a Bluray player has to do, it doesn't really call for a several thousand pound player. All it has to do is read a difital signal off the disc and send it to the CXA5000, and that does all the processing. Many on forums will debate the possible differences of Bluray players, especially when used as a digital transport. It is the processor and amplifier that will be doing the majority of the work.

    Pioneer never replaced their £2,000 LX91. Sony never replaced their £1,200 BDP5000ES. Even Panasonic and Yamaha has players up nearer the £1k mark, but there just isn't the demand for them nowadays due to how good budget players are getting. Admittedly, it is nice to have a player that is built like a tank, but this comes at a cost, and a dubious effect on overall quality.

    I suspect that most of the CXA/MXA combinations will find their way into normal living rooms. Yes, a certain amount will be installed in dedicated home theatre rooms, but the majority of people who buy products like this aren't necessarily rich, they're movie enthusiasts, and won't have a detached house or a spare room to use it exclusively. They will more than likely have owned Yamaha previously, and some may have been waiting for a successor to the mighty DSPZ11. Saying that, this will be the first two box 11 channel AV products available, so it may draw in many with no Yamaha experience, as well as enthusiasts who may not want to have two power amps in order to reproduce 11.1/11.2 channels of AV!

    They are a small company in the grand scheme of things, and I think they are concentrating on keeping up support for the excellent products that they do produce. A power amplifier would be an ideal candidate for a product for Oppo, but it will all be down to whether they can produce a competitive, reliable amplifier at the right price - that can make or break a product.
     
  5. Andrew K

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    While I understand where you are coming from - matching components isn't always the best idea anyway as you are potentially limiting yourself to not selecting the best kit for the job. Not all of them have the resource to do all the components you need and even then that does not mean they will do all of them well.
     
  6. SallyC

    SallyC
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    Yet, all these manufacturers maintain considerably higher priced CD ranges...To me migrating to a home entertainment system should be about integrating music and movies, both in terms of source players and amplification/processors. So, are the manufactures saying that despite building in CD, DVD-audio and SACD, our players are hopeless for for playing music? Or that are CD players are way over priced. I want a blu-ray player than can replace my CD player (Quad), I thought the UD7007 was an option for this, well subject to the matching the MM8077 and AV8801 being of a build quality to justify £4000. I have been assured, rightly or wrongly, the Arcam BDP3000 would serve this purpose, and I know from listening to it, the Primare DVD30 player definitely would. Obviously in the case of the latter, it's over double the price of the UD7007 and 4 times that of Yamaha's BDA1020... As for Oppo, if they brought out a power amp to match the BDP105 I wouldn't even have to think twice about buying the system.
     
  7. Andrew K

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    Personally the only player I would be going with would be the Oppo BDP105 - your point is very valid on CD players and unfortunately many manufacturers haven't extended that quality to their Bluray players - probably for reasons David has outlined above.
     
  8. hifix

    hifix
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    I would say that higher end CD players are actually more popular than higher end Bluray players.
     
  9. Welwynnick

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    Good question, and the simple snswer is YES!

    By the way, video disc players do a lot more than simply read the data off the disc. They really are very complicated. However the expensive bits are usually the analogue audio and video stages.

    Nick
     
  10. nucky

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    The Marantz AV-8801 & MM-8077 is the best combination that I have had for years, it's good for movie's and music.
     
  11. Pitcairn

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    SallyC, I think you raise an interesting set of questions here. There are few specialist hifi brands which offer bluray players - yes, the likes of Primare and Electrocompaniet and yes even 'good old' Arcam - but they tend to be, comparatively very expensive with the Primare and Electrocompaniet £3500+. Are they worth it? Well, that's for the buyer to decide, but the area they are easily best at is music replay. Do they compare to £3500 cd players? Well, at that level, choice becomes more subjective than objective but I think 99.9% would be more than happy. My Restek cd player cost £1500 (but I recently added a matching £1750 DAC), the presentation is different to the Primare (which I've heard) but is one better than the other? As I said, it's a matter of choice, as it is with my Denon. That's now 2 years old but I have never heard a DVD player from a major international brand get anywhere close to it even now. It's several leagues ahead of any current Denon, or it's sister brand Marantz, player and I believe the receiver is too. Sure, it lacks some of the newer bells and whistles but not what's important ie the same room EQ system as the very latest ranges and it's built like a tank, a true prestige build, much much better than Marantz AV-8801 & MM-8077. However compared to my Restek amplifiers (£3500 for the power amps and £1100 for the preamp) it's not in the same league for playing music. I seriously considered buying the Marantz pair with the UD7007 but was thoroughly underwhelmed on the quality of sound and build, there’s simply no way I would recommend anyone uses these for music - not worth anything like £4000 in my view. I see you have a Quad cd player, assuming you have a complete Quad system (my Restek’s actually replaced the old 99 Quad system, with 909 power amp and Quad speakers) I think you’d be very underwhelmed moving to the Marantz for music. If you really want to replace your current system with one solution for music and films, I think your suggestion of Primare is a great one – they have just brought out a new AV amp, the SPA 23) or yes, if you’re willing to mix and match different brands, you could follow suggestions of the Oppo (I’ve never seen or heard it) and match it to a 5 channel power amp, again from the likes of Primare or perhaps Anthem – Anthem is in the process of updating their AV amps and processors, so you could what to see what that looks like, and then match that to the Oppo. Another option with the Oppo, depending on what you actually have as your current system, is to add more Quad power amps. You could then keep your hifi together and place the bluray player under the TV or something, so it will still look ok! Anyway, unfortunately, if you have Sky the pig-ugly and cheap looking box tends to spoil cosmetics unless you can hide it away!
     
  12. nucky

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    I moved from a pure music system, Naim 282 pre-amp 200 power amp 2 hi caps, and I prefer the marantz combo for music.
     
  13. SallyC

    SallyC
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    Thanks for all your help so far. Pitcairn, as I currently have a Quad Elite system which I believe is the latest version of your old one, and having now finally listened to the 8801 and 8077, focusing mainly upon music in stereo, - on the basis I was sure I'd be happy with movies and I was! - using the same speakers as I have at home, B&W CM9 (and a CM 5.1 solution for multi-channel) I found your comments really interesting. My overall impression, was one of being a bit shocked, not that it was by any means terrible but I just didn't hear the same control as I get with my power amplifiers (Elite Monos) - listening to Elvis, Dusty Springfield, and Andrea Bocelli, everything seemed shallower and narrower, the bass less controlled, so much that it seemed to dominate the music while being detached from the other instruments, and most importantly of all, the vocals having considerably less expression and emotion and being hugely less clear. Being honest, but maybe a naive and uneducated view, I didn’t notice much of a difference at all between the 8801/8077 and a SR7008, it was remarkably similar. The build quality wasn’t as bad as I expected given my earlier concerns but I’m not convinced it looks like a top of the range product. So the Marantz pair isn’t for me, well, not for music. So will try to track down Primare, but intrigued by the option of adding more Quad power amps and buying an Oppo BDP-105, but I’m not sure I really want to compromise on a one-make matching solution and maybe it all sounds a bit complicated for me!
     
  14. Mr_Orange

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    Do you have any more information on this please?
     
  15. KelvinS1965

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    There is some talk of 310, 510 and 710 amplifier models on threads in the amps section. I've not seen anything specifically about new processors as yet though.

    This thread has a link about the new 710 amp:

    http://www.avforums.com/forums/19464397-post919.html
     
  16. Pitcairn

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    By year end of the year (possibly January in the UK) the 3 receivers MRX300, 500 and 700 will be replaced; the AVM50V will be updated and there will be a new lower cost processor joining it in the range.

     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 18, 2013
  17. Seriously Ltd

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    Any details on the processors?
     
  18. Ideal AV

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    Hi Sally

    Have you give thought of using an OPPO 105 coupled to a decent amplifier, ok OPPO don't make them (yet) but their are some great sounding amplifiers available :smashin:

    I read you say you don't want to compromise on makes but you should take time out to listen to this/these combinations and you could be surprised
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2013

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