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Marantz AV10 AV Processor Review

Rate This AV Processor:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 3 1.1%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 20 7.4%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 78 28.9%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 169 62.6%

  • Total voters
    270

amirm

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This is a review and detailed measurements of the Marantz AV10 Audio/Video Processor (AVP). It is on kind loan from a member and costs US $7000.
Marantz AV10 High-end AV Processor AVP Balanced RCA Home Theater 15 channel 8k Dolby Atmos rev...jpg

My picture doesn't do justice to the nice look of the unit. It is a massive step up from past Marantz AV products. I am still not a fan of the port hole and little information it shows but at least it now blends in with the rest of the unit. This thing is extremely heavy for a processor as well. I had to double check that it did not have amplifiers in it! The user interface is high resolution and relatively easy to use. One nit was that even though I had the HDMI out to my monitor, it would not bring up the full setup if I had it on CD with Toslink input. It required an HDMI input to do that. Strange.

An attractive metal remote control is provided. Usually these metal ones are not ergonomic but this one is.

Back panel shows the myriad of connectors due to 15.4 processing capability of this unit:
Marantz AV10 High-end AV Processor AVP Balanced RCA Home Theater 15 channel 8k Dolby Atmos bac...jpg


Watching technical video of the unit from Marantz, I was smiling ear to ear seeing measurements that closely mirror mine! :) Clearly company put focus on them to deliver a better performing product. Let's measure and see if that is so.

Marantz AV10 Processor DAC Measurements
I tapped the front left and right XLR/RCA outputs on bottom left above and fed the unit Toslink digital input. Volume was set to 82.5 to achieve 2.0/4.0 volts on RCA/XLR respectively (same as all Denon/Marantz AV products which is nice):
Marantz AV10 High-end AV Processor AVP Balanced RCA Toslink Measurement.png

This is a big step up from previous Marantz processors I have tested. Performance remains the same for XLR as that is derived from unbalanced output:
Marantz AV10 High-end AV Processor AVP Balanced XLR Toslink Measurement.png


SINAD is about 1 dB better than company measurements although their noise floor is cleaner than mine. I rechecked the unit later after it warmed up and SINAD had dropped a bit to 106 and change. To give benefit of doubt, I went with 107 which places the AV10 at top of every AV processor tested so far:
best AVP AV Processor review.png


Testing with HDMI was more problematic as if I just plugged it in, noise floor would go up independent of which input was actually used. Here is that with HDMI as the source:
Marantz AV10 High-end AV Processor AVP Balanced XLR HDMI Measurement.png

Company measurements again don't show this as they likely use the Audio Precision as HDMI source rather than my testing which uses a Windows PC GPU HDMI output. I like to see the company investigate this but for now, let's use Toslink input unless stated otherwise.

The processor is capable of far higher output than what I set it to. Alas, performance drops. Here is what happens if you change the digital input and sweep that at three different volume control positions:
Marantz AV10 High-end AV Processor AVP Balanced XLR Toslink Outupt vs SINAD Measurement.png


But you won't be using the unit that way. Instead, you crank the volume up and down so here is the same sweep but now I am turning the volume control to change output:
Marantz AV10 High-end AV Processor AVP Balanced XLR Toslink SINAD vs Manual Volume Control Mea...png

As you see in both graphs, optimal output is more or less what you see in the dashboard. So don't go getting a very low gain amplifier thinking you are coming out ahead. Likely a medium gain amp is the best combination.

EDIT: Noise performance is quite good for an AV product:
Marantz AV10 High-end AV Processor AVP Balanced XLR Toslink dynamic range Measurement.png


Multitone performance is excellent for an AV product even though I used HDMI (sample rate is 192 KHz which Toslink doesn't support):
Marantz AV10 High-end AV Processor AVP Balanced XLR Multitone Measurement.png


The noise spikes did interfere with my linearity test though:
Marantz AV10 High-end AV Processor AVP Balanced XLR Toslink Linearity Measurement.png


You can see the impact of HDMI noise in Jitter test:
Marantz AV10 High-end AV Processor AVP Balanced XLR Jitter Measurement.png


The spikes are at 1 kHz which tell me they are USB noise (my analyzer uses that to communicate with the source PC). Your standard AV product may not have that issue.

IMD test shows very good performance for an AV product:
Marantz AV10 High-end AV Processor AVP Balanced XLR Toslink IMD Measurement.png


I was so pleased to see Marantz take our input and provide an alternate to their default, almost no filter setting of the DAC:
Marantz AV10 High-end AV Processor AVP Balanced XLR Toslink Filter Measurement.png

As you see, they are exposing a second filter that is the typical default one in DAC ICs. This nicely gives us flat frequency response now:

Marantz AV10 High-end AV Processor AVP Balanced XLR Toslink frequency response Measurement.png


Our wideband THD+N test naturally depends on filter setting:
Marantz AV10 High-end AV Processor AVP Balanced XLR Toslink THD+N vs Frequency Measurement.png


Marantz AV10 Phono Input Measurements
Let's start with our standard dashboard and RCA Output:
Marantz AV10 High-end AV Processor AVP RCA XLR Phono Input Measurement.png

Gain is a bit on the low side but output is very clean, landing an above average position in our SINAD ranking:
Best AV Processor Phono Stage Review.png


XLR output gives higher gain of 41 dB with similar performance:
Marantz AV10 High-end AV Processor AVP Balanced XLR Phono Input Measurement.png


RIAA equalization could be a bit better though:
Marantz AV10 High-end AV Processor AVP Balanced XLR Phono Input Frequency Response Measurement.png


Headroom could be higher but good news is that it remains essentially the same across all frequencies (many phono stages drop like a rock at higher frequencies):
Marantz AV10 High-end AV Processor AVP RCA XLR Phono Input THD vs Frequency vs Level Measurement.png


Marantz AV10 Headphone Measurements
I used Toslink input and measured the headphone output at 300 ohm:
Marantz AV10 High-end AV Processor AVP RCA XLR Headphone Out Measurement.png


This is good performance and passes my target of 100 milliwatts of power. 32 ohm load causes strain, resulting in too little output for mains operated device:
Marantz AV10 High-end AV Processor AVP RCA XLR Headphone Out 32 ohm Measurement.png


The reason for that becomes obvious as we switch loads:
Marantz AV10 High-end AV Processor AVP RCA XLR Headphone Out vs impedance Measurement.png

Those graphs should all start from the same point. When they keep going backward with decreasing load, it means the output impedance of the headphone amp is non-zero, causing power loss. Not good if you have a headphone with variable impedance (non-planar).

Conclusions
Ever since my initial contact with Denon & Marantz, I had hoped that they would target proper measurements and work to improve fidelity of their products. It is clear that they have done so in this Marantz processor, pushing the line's noise and distortion way down, landing at the top of our AV chart. In addition to that, the industrial design has been enhanced taking the processor from last place to top of the class. Even the remote control has benefited from this.

Phono stage is good enough but headphone amp could use some work. I suspect the latter gets little use so I am not worried about it. If you can afford to spend $7K on this processor, you can spend another $200 to get a proper headphone amp. :)

People who said AV processor can never be improved to perform, are proven wrong now. :)

It is my pleasure to recommend the Marantz AV10 AV Processor. Expensive, yes. But at least now performance goes with the increased cost.

------------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Any donations are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
 
Last edited:
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amirm

amirm

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Here is the Marantz Video I referred to that has the measurements in it (and a bit of technical info):


The Manufacturer Specifications for this beast are long and detailed. To post them would eat up multiple pages and get in the way here. To facilitate access to this information I am going to just drop a link. This is in “no way” is any form of endorsement or collaboration with the Manufacturer.

 
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JSmith

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This is superb performance. I was going to say "for an AVR", however this is better than many standalone amplifiers.

Well done Marantz... although would be nice to see this a few thousand cheaper, but being a premium flagship model that wouldn't sell as many units it's understandable. At least one gets the performance expected in a premium product.

Thanks for your time on this testing Amir, some pic's;

1701417480552.png


1701417549642.png




JSmith
 

voodooless

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You can buy Dirac Live for this unit for US$350.
Frankly, for the money, this should be included by default...

Performance is pretty much excellent across the board. It better be for this price. I still hate the overall new design, but could live with the porthole. They should really reconsider that silly leaky filter. The only reason to have it is to make the thing sound different. Most of this will be filtered out anyway, as soon as you run the room correction.
 

respice finem

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This is a review and detailed measurements of the Marantz AV10 Audio/Video Processor (AVP). It is on kind loan from a member and costs US $7000.
View attachment 330800
My picture doesn't do justice to the nice look of the unit. It is a massive step up from past Marantz AV products. I am still not a fan of the port hole and little information it shows but at least it now blends in with the rest of the unit. This thing is extremely heavy for a processor as well. I had to double check that it did not have amplifiers in it! The user interface is high resolution and relatively easy to use. One nit was that even though I had the HDMI out to my monitor, it would not bring up the full setup if I had it on CD with Toslink input. It required an HDMI input to do that. Strange.

An attractive metal remote control is provided. Usually these metal ones are not ergonomic but this one is.

Back panel shows the myriad of connectors due to 15.4 processing capability of this unit:
View attachment 330801

Watching technical video of the unit from Marantz, I was smiling ear to ear seeing measurements that closely mirror mine! :) Clearly company put focus on them to deliver a better performing product. Let's measure and see if that is so.

Marantz AV10 Processor DAC Measurements
I tapped the front left and right XLR/RCA outputs on bottom left above and fed the unit Toslink digital input. Volume was set to 82.5 to achieve 2.0/4.0 volts on RCA/XLR respectively (same as all Denon/Marantz AV products which is nice):
View attachment 330802
This is a big step up from previous Marantz processors I have tested. Performance remains the same for XLR as that is derived from unbalanced output:
View attachment 330804

SINAD is about 1 dB better than company measurements although their noise floor is cleaner than mine. I rechecked the unit later after it warmed up and SINAD had dropped a bit to 106 and change. To give benefit of doubt, I went with 107 which places the AV10 at top of every AV processor tested so far:
View attachment 330805

Testing with HDMI was more problematic as if I just plugged it in, noise floor would go up independent of which input was actually used. Here is that with HDMI as the source:
View attachment 330803
Company measurements again don't show this as they likely use the Audio Precision as HDMI source rather than my testing which uses a Windows PC GPU HDMI output. I like to see the company investigate this but for now, let's use Toslink input unless stated otherwise.

The processor is capable of far higher output than what I set it to. Alas, performance drops. Here is what happens if you change the digital input and sweep that at three different volume control positions:
View attachment 330806

But you won't be using the unit that way. Instead, you crank the volume up and down so here is the same sweep but now I am turning the volume control to change output:
View attachment 330807
As you see in both graphs, optimal output is more or less what you see in the dashboard. So don't go getting a very low gain amplifier thinking you are coming out ahead. Likely a medium gain amp is the best combination.

Multitone performance is excellent for an AV product even though I used HDMI (sample rate is 192 KHz which Toslink doesn't support):
View attachment 330808

The noise spikes did interfere with my linearity test though:
View attachment 330809

You can see the impact of HDMI noise in Jitter test:
View attachment 330811

The spikes are at 1 kHz which tell me they are USB noise (my analyzer uses that to communicate with the source PC). Your standard AV product may not have that issue.

IMD test shows very good performance for an AV product:
View attachment 330814

I was so pleased to see Marantz take our input and provide an alternate to their default, almost no filter setting of the DAC:
View attachment 330810
As you see, they are exposing a second filter that is the typical default one in DAC ICs. This nicely gives us flat frequency response now:

View attachment 330812

Our wideband THD+N test naturally depends on filter setting:
View attachment 330813

Marantz AV10 Phono Input Measurements
Let's start with our standard dashboard and RCA Output:
View attachment 330815
Gain is a bit on the low side but output is very clean, landing an above average position in our SINAD ranking:
View attachment 330816

XLR output gives higher gain of 41 dB with similar performance:
View attachment 330818

RIAA equalization could be a bit better though:
View attachment 330817

Headroom could be higher but good news is that it remains essentially the same across all frequencies (many phono stages drop like a rock at higher frequencies):
View attachment 330819

Marantz AV10 Headphone Measurements
I used Toslink input and measured the headphone output at 300 ohm:
View attachment 330820

This is good performance and passes my target of 100 milliwatts of power. 32 ohm load causes strain, resulting in too little output for mains operated device:
View attachment 330821

The reason for that becomes obvious as we switch loads:
View attachment 330822
Those graphs should all start from the same point. When they keep going backward with decreasing load, it means the output impedance of the headphone amp is non-zero, causing power loss. Not good if you have a headphone with variable impedance (non-planar).

Conclusions
Ever since my initial contact with Denon & Marantz, I had hoped that they would target proper measurements and work to improve fidelity of their products. It is clear that they have done so in this Marantz processor, pushing the line's noise and distortion way down, landing at the top of our AV chart. In addition to that, the industrial design has been enhanced taking the processor from last place to top of the class. Even the remote control has benefited from this.

Phono stage is good enough but headphone amp could use some work. I suspect the latter gets little use so I am not worried about it. If you can afford to spend $7K on this processor, you can spend another $200 to get a proper headphone amp. :)

People who said AV processor can never be improved to perform, are proven wrong now. :)

It is my pleasure to recommend the Marantz AV10 AV Processor. Expensive, yes. But at least now performance goes with the increased cost.

------------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Any donations are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
Great news & review, thank you so much. Would be even nicer with one "0" off the price tag LOL, but such is life...

Regarding the pictures, apart of asking for a pic of the remote, I'd like to humbly suggest consulting the forum's "Master Yoda" of gear photography, @VintageFlanker
With his help, I'm sure you can have better pics in no time, and without "breaking the bank".
 

VintageFlanker

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Many thanks, @amirm ! :cool:

For repeatability, AP measurements from Audioholics :

Regarding the pictures, apart of asking for a pic of the remote, I'd like to humbly suggest consulting the forum's "Master Yoda" of gear photography, @VintageFlanker
With his help, I'm sure you can have better pics in no time, and without "breaking the bank".
C'mon. Our host is sure both better skilled and better equipped. :p
 

OldTimer

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True, but then a simple USB to optical/coax converter fixes that small issue pretty easily. I tend to agree though it should probably have USB audio input.


JSmith
That's a big deal. Audio source from laptop, mobile, etc. F**k the price!
 
OP
amirm

amirm

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Amazing, they finally discovered 4-layer PCBs :eek:.
I was amazed as well that they just now started to use it for the mixed signal PCBs.
 

Matias

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Good results. Now if only they had a scaled down version of it like 5.1 of 7.2 whatever for a fraction of the price...
 

Sokel

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107db SINAD for such a complex,multifunction machine powered by traditional linear PSUs is a miracle.
The absence of USB is bad somehow, (Edit: it does have one,for USB sticks,etc )I don't know if the network ability can replace it.

Copper screws inside is a nice traditional touch.

Thanks Amir!
 
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Waxx

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That's a good measuring AV processor, one of the best measurments i've seen. But i'm not into av setups, so not for me (and also too expensive i think). But for who don't mind the price and want an AV processor, it's surely a good option. And great that Marantz bring the AV processor quality up, it always has been their weakest products in their lineup.
 

delta76

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Frankly, for the money, this should be included by default...

Performance is pretty much excellent across the board. It better be for this price. I still hate the overall new design, but could live with the porthole. They should really reconsider that silly leaky filter. The only reason to have it is to make the thing sound different. Most of this will be filtered out anyway, as soon as you run the room correction.
why include it when you can get the customers pay for it, and pocket the fee for yourself? ;)
 

TonyJZX

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the lack of usb in a bit unfortunate but is that not a thing for HT processor/amps?

the remote also looks like something you get from a $500 costco special

a part of me thinks this is amazing because its Marantz and we know how their past products went... and by the same token do we not expect perfection for $7k?
 
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