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Advice on AVR - how would you spend your money?

Dj7675

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If using the AVRs with internal amps, certainly a consideration when trying to get to a SINAD of 96 or higher. The vast majority of AVRs can use preouts and connect to external amps of your choosing. That was my thought at least. Your 3 examples were all processors, so in that sense an apples to apples comparison.
 

Vacceo

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Yeah, I assumed processors as that way you can pair them with amps that are as clean as them.

Effectively you get the safety of a good 2 channel pre in the convenient pack of an AVP. ;)
 

Miker 1102

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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).
My favorite music for "critical" listening is multichannel by far.
It is hard to deny that they sound better to you. The difficult part to asses is what they do by themselves.


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.

Sinad north of CD quality. Probably many other AVR's offer audible transparency too, but those it is possible to guarantee.
There are some mid priced Denons tested on here that offer cd quality reproduction in multi channel. Steven Wilson is one of the best mixers alive and he is doubtfully he can hear the difference past Redbook. He is the guy who mixes the stuff that makes you drop 10 k on a room. I don't remember the article but he said it recently. The whole two channel audio is the only valid way to critically listen to music is ending. The technology is totally leaning toward multichannel now and the ability to listen to it in an environment where the tech can correct the acoustics using the speakers is mind blowing.
 

EWL5

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My favorite music for "critical" listening is multichannel by far.



There are some mid priced Denons tested on here that offer cd quality reproduction in multi channel. Steven Wilson is one of the best mixers alive and he is doubtfully he can hear the difference past Redbook. He is the guy who mixes the stuff that makes you drop 10 k on a room. I don't remember the article but he said it recently. The whole two channel audio is the only valid way to critically listen to music is ending. The technology is totally leaning toward multichannel now and the ability to listen to it in an environment where the tech can correct the acoustics using the speakers is mind blowing.
Now that I have DL dialed in on my 3800, I have been listening to quite a bit of spatial audio music from the Apple TV and movies w/surround music as a focus (like "Yesterday", the movie about a world where the Beatles never existed) are so immersive that 2-channel is starting to sound like grandpa's music for sure!
 

peng

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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 pair my subjective take against the objective data, which is usually found here.

So would you please share your findings in your "pair...subjective take against the objective data...."

I think a lot of ASR members would like to know what cause Marantz to sound better for music (if it is real...), when their design seem to also aim for transparency based on their published specs and bench test measurements, while their marketing info say their "sound master" is the one who tune (or help in the tuning) Marantz for the undefined "musical sound", that as far as I know, people have only been able to identify in sighted listening tests (hence why I am interested in your observations in how objective data aligned with your subjective take). Thank you.
 
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So would you please share your findings in your "pair...subjective take against the objective data...."

I think a lot of ASR members would like to know what cause Marantz to sound better for music (if it is real...), when their design seem to also aim for transparency based on their published specs and bench test measurements, while their marketing info say their "sound master" is the one who tune (or help in the tuning) Marantz for the undefined "musical sound", that as far as I know, people have only been able to identify in sighted listening tests (hence why I am interested in your observations in how objective data aligned with your subjective take). Thank you.
I pulled out my Marantz sr5014 (~2018 model) and swapped it in place of my Reisong A12 tube amplifier to help me better answer your question, anecdotally. I will listen to the Marantz unit in Pure Direct, back to back, with my Rotel 1506 power amplifier. I am using my Denafrips Aries 12th DAC as the front end, with a THX certified streamer streaming Tidal via USB (SKW “audiophile” ;) cable). I will report back soon. Don’t mind the pillows. I am rough drafting where final sound treatments will likely be installed.
 

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After some listening to this discontinued Marantz receiver with 2 channel music in it's Direct and Pure Direct modes, my assessment has not changed from memory. Music sounds good, it sounds "right". Pianos sound like pianos, guitars like guitars, voices are natural. There is no brightness or harshness. It does not sound thin. There is palpable body and texture to the sound. The background is dead silent at any volume (unlike the Sony STR-DN1080). It simply sounds musical. Does it sound better than my Rotel? To me, maybe not. I think the top end is better on the Rotel and there's additional clarity. I do not have a Denon AVR on hand to compare, but I know from memory, the 3 Denon AVRs I've tried over the years did not sound as musical as what I am hearing right now through the Marantz AVR.

In terms of mating this real world experience with the ASR reviews of the sr6014 and sr7015, there is nothing in these reviews that speak to how the AVRs sound when listening to music. The reviews do not say the AVRs sound good or bad with music or movies. In some reviews, Amir has commentary on his subjective listening experience, and in other reviews like the Marantz reviews, he does not speak about his listening experience. It is not consistent. The easiest thing for any consumer to do is buy a Marantz receiver and a Denon receiver and play their favorite songs on the direct modes and pick the unit that sounds more natural and convincing.

I have not heard the newer Marantz models and I see in the reviews at ASR that they test more like their Denon counterparts. I am not sure what impact that has on the sound. I am curious how the new version would sound in comparison to my older Sr5xxxx version.
 
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peng

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I pulled out my Marantz sr5014 (~2018 model) and swapped it in place of my Reisong A12 tube amplifier to help me better answer your question, anecdotally. I will listen to the Marantz unit in Pure Direct, back to back, with my Rotel 1506 power amplifier. I am using my Denafrips Aries 12th DAC as the front end, with a THX certified streamer streaming Tidal via USB (SKW “audiophile” ;) cable). I will report back soon. Don’t mind the pillows. I am rough drafting where final sound treatments will likely be installed.

You might have misunderstood my question. I actually referred to your "I pair my subjective take against the objective data, which is usually found here." that seemed to suggest you have found the correlation between your subjective take of the Marantz sound, against the objective data, that I assumed you referred to Amir's bench test results, such as frequency response, distortions, snr, and other metrics. If so, it would be interesting, if not, then I guess I misunderstood your earlier post, again, just the part I quoted you. Thank you very much regardless.
 
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You might have misunderstood my question. I actually referred to your "I pair my subjective take against the objective data, which is usually found here." that seemed to suggest you have found the correlation between your subjective take of the Marantz sound, against the objective data, that I assumed you referred to Amir's bench test results, such as frequency response, distortions, snr, and other metrics. If so, it would be interesting, if not, then I guess I misunderstood your earlier post, again, just the part I quoted you. Thank you very much regardless.
Sorry for the confusion. There is no objective data in either of these ASR reviews that can explain why the Marantz sounds good to me. However, I do own speakers that are reviewed here at ASR. I can draw parallels in my listening experience to the data in the reviews. So in those cases, I’m able to pair my subjective experience to the objective data presented here.
 

Chrispy

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Sorry for the confusion. There is no objective data in either of these ASR reviews that can explain why the Marantz sounds good to me. However, I do own speakers that are reviewed here at ASR. I can draw parallels in my listening experience to the data in the reviews. So in those cases, I’m able to pair my subjective experience to the objective data presented here.
So you draw the conclusion that differences you perceive are due the speakers now, not the avr?
 
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So you draw the conclusion that differences you perceive are due the speakers now, not the avr?
For example, my old Elac debut speakers could present as bright at times and cause fatigue. The data in the review supports that this could be experienced.
 

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Chrispy

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For example, my old Elac debut speakers could present as bright at times and cause fatigue. The data in the review supports that this could be experienced.
Sure, speakers can have differences. With solid state amps the chances aren't so good particularly. You just need some blinded level matched testing it seems....or something less specific than your slow switched, unmatched sighted comparisons. At least it could be more interesting than one person's interpretation of what they think they're hearing at a given time....
 
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Sure, speakers can have differences. With solid state amps the chances aren't so good particularly. You just need some blinded level matched testing it seems....or something less specific than your slow switched, unmatched sighted comparisons. At least it could be more interesting than one person's interpretation of what they think they're hearing at a given time....
Volumes are level matched using 100-150Hz test tones via Audio Advice on YouTube and DB Meter iPhone app.
 

Chrispy

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Volumes are level matched using 100-150Hz test tones via Audio Advice on YouTube and DB Meter iPhone app.
But not instant switching? Blinded? Lots of things can get in the way. Just the very idea of warmth not reflected in a change of frequency response is very odd.
 
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I use an RCA switcher and speaker switcher that perform instantaneous switches between my various AVRs/ampifiers/DACs/speakers. You know, I hadn't heard my Marantz since Feb 2022 when I packed it away to move to the new place. I was really expecting it to sound shit now that I am aware of the reviews for that series of Marantz AVR here on the ASR website. But after toggling back and forth for several hours and forgetting which source was A and which was B, I realized that I was enjoying both the Rotel and Marantz without really paying attention to which amp I was listening to. Then I started to think maybe I wasted additional funds on my Rotel lol. Moral of the story, the Marantz sounds really good. It's unfortunate that in this day and age, we can't look at the data for a finite suite of tests and conclude that a specific AVR sounds bad. We still have to actually listen to it properly, for hours, while A/Bing the unit with its competitors, with all other variable remaining constant (source, cables, room, speakers, levels, positioning etc)
 

Chrispy

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I use an RCA switcher and speaker switcher that perform instantaneous switches between my various AVRs/ampifiers/DACs/speakers. You know, I hadn't heard my Marantz since Feb 2022 when I packed it away to move to the new place. I was really expecting it to sound shit now that I am aware of the reviews for that series of Marantz AVR here on the ASR website. But after toggling back and forth for several hours and forgetting which source was A and which was B, I realized that I was enjoying both the Rotel and Marantz without really paying attention to which amp I was listening to. Then I started to think maybe I wasted additional funds on my Rotel lol. Moral of the story, the Marantz sounds really good. It's unfortunate that in this day and age, we can't look at the data for a finite suite of tests and conclude that a specific AVR sounds bad. We still have to actually listen to it properly, for hours, while A/Bing the unit with its competitors, with all other variable remaining constant (source, cables, room, speakers, levels, positioning etc)
Or you can just ignore that silly conclusion and simply choose gear based on spec, feature set and cost.

(ps your switcher has level adjustment? )
 
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Agree with you about how to select gear, generally, but we are intentionally over-indexing on 2 channel sound due to the OPs stated prioritization of music listening in this thread.

No level adjustment, I am using volume knobs.
 

Chrispy

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Limiting to two channel sound isn't my main thing these days otoh......
 
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Get the top of line marantz or yamaha. I have the 8015, it will be the direct cause of my deafness. I regret nothing.

After a couple years of ownership to reflect on the 8015 and other options, it doesn't look like any, and I do mean any vendor, provides an adequate solution via AVR unless you get their top of the line model. Therefore, I'd go either 8015, cinema 30 or AV 10.
 
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Get the top of line marantz or yamaha. I have the 8015, it will be the direct cause of my deafness. I regret nothing.

After a couple years of ownership to reflect on the 8015 and other options, it doesn't look like any, and I do mean any vendor, provides an adequate solution via AVR unless you get their top of the line model. Therefore, I'd go either 8015, cinema 30 or AV 10.
Did you mean to say that only Marantz and Yamaha provide AVRs that are adequate for 2 channel music listening? The OP is looking for the best home theater receiver based on its 2 channel music performance.
 
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