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Advice on AVR - how would you spend your money?

Chrispy

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Maybe it is a myth that Marantz sounds "warm" compared to Denon. How do you objectively test for warmth? I've auditioned and purchased home theater receivers three times in the last 15 years. Each time, I brought home a Denon, Yamaha and Marantz AVR and auditioned them in pure/source direct modes with my favorite CDs. Each time, the Marantz bested the Denon and Yamaha models in 2-channel music reproduction. I am not sure if the Marantz sounded better for music listening due to being "warmer". However, I kept the Marantz units because they did sound better, whatever the explanation was. With that said, my current AVR is an Onkyo RZ-50 because I have a dedicated theater now, freeing the AVR of 2-channel listening duties. For kicks, I once swapped out my Dirac enabled Onkyo for my older Marantz with Audyssey. I removed the Marantz from the theather in short order. For movies, it was no contest, the Marantz was not as engaging. I have even tested a much cheaper Denon for movie watching against my Marantz and found the cheaper Denon to be much more entertainig and engaging. However, music listening and movie watching are two entirely different use cases.
I don't. I have several avrs of several brands. I doubt you compared them on a proper basis. You may have had a preference sighted/biased, hard to know. I think you're wasting your time generally trying to work with such "beliefs". Your descriptions sound so emotional as to be unbelievable unless one shares your emotions....
 
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There are quite a few clues in Amirs test of the SR7015 to why it could sound harsh / bright. It does not roll off the top end like other Marantz AVRs, and there’s a lot of supersonic noise at the preouts. Distortion increases at high frequencies as well.

I used it in preamp mode driving external Hypex amps that require high input levels ( ~6V ) where the SR7015 is not a good match.

I replaced it with an Anthem AVM 70, which both objectively and subjectively perform better.
Wow, that Anthem is $4000. Glad you found a good match.

I looked at the SR7015 review here. I see more evidence that it probably does not sound bright. Look at the slow, rolled off frequency response curve from Amir's testing:
Testing the DAC reconstruction filter shows the same disappointing slow response we see in other Marantz AVRs and Processors:

index.php


I never used my Marantz as a pre-amp, so maybe that is a different story?
 

Chrispy

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Wow, that Anthem is $4000. Glad you found a good match.

I looked at the SR7015 review here. I see more evidence that it probably does not sound bright. Look at the slow, rolled off frequency response curve from Amir's testing:


index.php


I never used my Marantz as a pre-amp, so maybe that is a different story?
LOL so you're hearing is above 22khz?
 
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I don't. I have several avrs of several brands. I doubt you compared them on a proper basis. You may have had a preference sighted/biased, hard to know. I think you're wasting your time generally trying to work with such "beliefs". Your descriptions sound so emotional as to be unbelievable unless one shares your emotions....
I can't be wasting my time if I keep finding new components over the years that sound better to my ears in my room with the music I enjoy :)

Obviously, everyone should do the same thing. Buy them all and audition them in the home for several days, if not weeks, at a time, using A/B remote switchers. But not everyone can do that. Hence, reviews......
 

Chrispy

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I can't be wasting my time if I keep finding new components over the years that sound better to my ears in my room with the music I enjoy :)

Obviously, everyone should do the same thing. Buy them all and audition them in the home for several days, if not weeks, at a time, using A/B remote switchers. But not everyone can do that. Hence, reviews......

You just have poor comparison methodology is much more likely than anything definitive you have to say. If you can't do a proper abx comparison, not much use outside of speakers/tranducers. Electronics are such a poor use of this sort of subjective "difference" spouting.
 
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LOL so your hearing is above 22khz?

No, not at all, 15khz at best. But we can agree the curve is rolled off. I can alter the filters on my Denafrips dac, and also on my Onkyo RZ-50. I have since found out that slow sounds rolled off to me. The slow filter is literally not as "sharp" as the sharp filter. Through experience, Slow equates to not bright to me.
 

Chrispy

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No, not at all, 15khz at best. But we can agree the curve is rolled off. I can alter the filters on my Denafrips dac, and also on my Onkyo RZ-50. I have since found out that slow sounds rolled off to me. The slow filter is literally not as "sharp" as the sharp filter. Through experience, Slow equates to not bright to me.
So your point is particularly? Denafrips is just silly expensive for no benefit.... I seriously doubt your listening skills are anywhere near where you imagine them to be.
 
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So your point is particularly? Denafrips is just silly expensive for no benefit.... I seriously doubt your listening skills are anywhere near where you imagine them to be.
My point is that an AVR with only one filter that is proven to be extremely slow, and rolled off, probably does not sound "bright" or "sharp". The Sr7015 review does not have any data that signals that the Marantz SR line sounds bright or harsh. We can hash out the Denafrips comment in a different thread, OP only cares about AVRs for music :cool:
 

Chrispy

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My point is that an AVR with only one filter that is proven to be extremely slow, and rolled off, probably does not sound "bright" or "sharp". The Sr7015 review does not have any data that signals that the Marantz SR line sounds bright or harsh. We can hash out the Denafrips comment in a different thread, OP only cares about AVRs for music :cool:
LOL okay, go for it. AVRs for "music" is just a silly concept, any more than for "movies". I get where you're coming from, and just think it's silly.
 
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LOL okay, go for it. AVRs for "music" is just a silly concept, any more than for "movies". I get where you're coming from, and just think it's silly.
I agree that AVRs for critical music listening is silly concept. For many, it is a necessary evil until they have the resources and a dedicated space for 2 channel listening and separate components (assuming they are even in to that sort of thing).
 

pogo

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If it were your money, which would you buy?
I would choose the upcoming NAD T789, as it will not only have DLART, but also very powerful/load-stable Class-D power amplifiers, which are particularly important under DLART in order to avoid artefacts during co-optimization.
 
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Dj7675

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Hi all,

I am hoping you will be able to give me your thoughts on how you would spend your money on an AVR as it seems quite difficult to choose given some of the current prices.

For the better part of a decade I have been running a Cambridge audio DacMagic, Yamaha A-S700 Stereo Amp and Monitor Audio Bronze bookshelf speakers. Usage was 90% music and 10 movies. I recently moved house and now (finally) have more space and installed an LG Evo C3 77" TV and find myself craving more punch from my audio system...

I got a couple of good deals over the last few months and purchased some Monitor Audio Silver 300 7G floor standers (massive upgrade for the system) and then an SVS SB-3000 (another massive upgrade) to counter the bright MAs (and giving some home theater grunt). My upgrade path will a centre channel, rears and then atmos - no more than that as my room is only wired for that setup and I'm not going to start faffing around with more cables. Before I can purchase more speakers I need to replace the stereo amp....

Denon AVR-X3800H (£899) / Marantz Cinema 60 (£999)
Denon AVC-X4800H (£1449) / Marantz Cinema 50 (£1299) / Denon AVC-X6700 (£1399)
Marantz Cinema 40 (£1899) / Marantz Cinema 70 (£679) + IOTAVX AVXP1 Power Amp (£1188) / Marantz SR8015 (£1599)

The Denon AVR-X3800H didn't get the recommended rating so would be worth skipping at retail price but the current offers seem to make it tempting to pick up. Spending a little extra I think the battle is between the clearance Denon AVC-X6700 and the Denon AVC-X4800H and I'm leaning towards the Denon AVC-X6700 for the more powerful amp. I think the Marantz Cinema 40 is expensive for what it offers but Marantz SR8015 at it's price seems convincing but again perhaps not as much as the Denon AVC-X6700. The only value in the Marantz Cinema 70 + power amp combo is that they are separate units and would allow me to upgrade the receiver again in the future with minimal expense.

Ultimately I have no idea which to choose. If it were your money, which would you buy?
Get something that is likely to be comparable with Dirac ART.
 

StigErik

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I agree that AVRs for critical music listening is silly concept. For many, it is a necessary evil until they have the resources and a dedicated space for 2 channel listening and separate components (assuming they are even in to that sort of thing).
Well.. it’s possible to get a surround setup sound as good as any 2-ch, but not on a limited budget of course.
 

Vacceo

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I can't be wasting my time if I keep finding new components over the years that sound better to my ears in my room with the music I enjoy :)

Obviously, everyone should do the same thing. Buy them all and audition them in the home for several days, if not weeks, at a time, using A/B remote switchers. But not everyone can do that. Hence, reviews......
It is hard to deny that they sound better to you. The difficult part to asses is what they do by themselves.

I agree that AVRs for critical music listening is silly concept. For many, it is a necessary evil until they have the resources and a dedicated space for 2 channel listening and separate components (assuming they are even in to that sort of thing).
Gear like the AV10 from Marantz, MX100 from MacIntosh or AVM90 from Anthem are perfectly suited for critical listening.

And about damn time it is finally possible! Now, we need similar performance at a lower price.
 
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Gear like the AV10 from Marantz, MX100 from MacIntosh or AVM90 from Anthem are perfectly suited for critical listening.

And about damn time it is finally possible! Now, we need similar performance at a lower price.
Agree. However, the way we set up a room for movie/TV watching is not *usually* ideal for critical 2 channel listening. It’s not often that you see home theater setups with the front speakers 36 inches away from the rear wall, out toward the middle of the room. There are more constraints in a theater setup even though the multi-channel gear could be superior to 2 channel gear in isolation. I recall one time when I pulled my front stage home theater speakers out 3 feet in to the room, then dialed it all back in; the experience was very reminiscent of 2 channel magic in terms of phantom imaging and fore/aft soundstage depth when watching War of the Worlds 4K. I do know that some speakers aim to provide the same qualities up against the wall as they do out in the room, but I’ve not heard a speaker match the claim yet.
 

Dj7675

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Gear like the AV10 from Marantz, MX100 from MacIntosh or AVM90 from Anthem are perfectly suited for critical listening.
Why those brands/models? Price? SINAD? Why not Denon A1H, Monoprice HTP1, etc?
 

Vacceo

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Why those brands/models? Price? SINAD? Why not Denon A1H, Monoprice HTP1, etc?
Sinad north of CD quality. Probably many other AVR's offer audible transparency too, but those it is possible to guarantee.
 

Dj7675

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Sinad north of CD quality. Probably many other AVR's offer audible transparency too, but those it is possible to guarantee.
I went to the Review Index and filtered AVR/AVPs and found there have been 22 tested so far that have a SINAD of 96 or higher Ranging from $1000-$17k FWIW. I found it interesting at least!
 

pogo

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I would choose the upcoming NAD T789
Correction:
T789 is the prototype identification.
T799 will probably be the series identification ;)
 

Vacceo

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I went to the Review Index and filtered AVR/AVPs and found there have been 22 tested so far that have a SINAD of 96 or higher Ranging from $1000-$17k FWIW. I found it interesting at least!
Take a second look just in case. For AVR's, Amir teats both the DAC and amp performance. It is often the case that the DAC part surpasses the amp by a lot.
 
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