• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). Come here to have fun, be ready to be teased and not take online life too seriously. We now measure and review equipment for free! Click here for details.

Marantz AV7705 Home Theater Processor Review

Gedeon

Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Oct 30, 2018
Messages
91
Likes
108
#42
Licensing doesn't seem the issue for no-sense high price points. It's the "exclusiveness" and market segmentation. At least for the info we know (not too much really).

And we can't forget these machines aren't as "popular" as compact sound systems, sound bars, TV sets, etc...

Sony, Onkyo, Yamaha,... and Denon/Marantz are able to build not-so-expensive entry level devices with Atmos/DTS/...etc...
 
Joined
Jan 5, 2020
Messages
13
Likes
23
#43
When discussing Marantz receivers or integrated amps, there is often mention of their "house sound." I wonder if the "super slow filter" and high-frequency roll-off are part of their engineering design principles...
 
Last edited:

StevenEleven

Senior Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Dec 1, 2018
Messages
411
Likes
719
#44
Licensing doesn't seem the issue for no-sense high price points. It's the "exclusiveness" and market segmentation. At least for the info we know (not too much really).

And we can't forget these machines aren't as "popular" as compact sound systems, sound bars, TV sets, etc...

Sony, Onkyo, Yamaha,... and Denon/Marantz are able to build not-so-expensive entry level devices with Atmos/DTS/...etc...
Great point, hadn‘t thought of that. . . :)
 

Bombadil

Active Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 28, 2017
Messages
115
Likes
97
Location
Davis CA
#45
I love my Anthem AVM60 and hopefully it is built to higher standards than this. It's hard to find a manufacturer outside of some huge conglomerate but to my knowledge Anthem has stayed independent.
 

StevenEleven

Senior Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Dec 1, 2018
Messages
411
Likes
719
#48
Bravo. Did you need to write code yourself?
Actually my 16-year-old son wrote the code (or the little extra that was needed). Embarrassing, a little, but I get proud dad bennies. :cool:

Edit w/ disclaimer: Purely for educational purposes, BTW. No copies made whatsoever. Not distributed outside of the house or in any way, etc. And to do something nice for his dad. I strongly dislike the DMCA but I am not going to violate the letter of the law.
 
Last edited:

StevenEleven

Senior Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Dec 1, 2018
Messages
411
Likes
719
#50
Which begs the question, why don't they? If there was demand one would have thought somebody would feed it.
I have been told by someone who I think knows that the OEM DAC chips in these might cost $2 or $5 or something like that in bulk. Still I don’t see how they screwed up the FR like that, that would be outside tolerances for even an ultra-cheap DAC chip, AFAIK.
 

Tom C

Active Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Jun 16, 2019
Messages
165
Likes
88
Location
USA
#51
I found this review very interesting.
About 12 years ago, I put together my first attempt at a home theater. I wanted a quality product, but didn't want to spend 15 or $20K. So, I went to the local Best Buy and asked for the best they had. It was a Marantz SR5003 and entry level bookshelf B&W speakers (that particular store didn't have a Magnolia). While the sound quality was not absolutely terrible, I found it lackluster, and less than I had been expecting. There was no high frequency sparkle (something I really enjoy), and I never wanted to turn the volume above -25dB because you could start to hear the distortion.
So take this as you will, but my casual, subjective experience correlated very well with what Amir measured in this review (even though the models are not the same, I wouldn't be surprised if the internals are very similar).
I think this had a lot to do with why it was so easy for me to believe at one time that digital wasn't as good as analog, and why a lot of serious listeners just stick with two-channel audio, which I have done for the past few years.
Once I joined ASR, I had the information to get some better performing gear like Sabaj and JBL, which I find very satisfying. Thank you Amir, for all you do!
So now that I understand things much better, I'd like to get back into multichannel, but I think I'll just continue to use the old SR5003 for the HDMI stuff, since it would seem that to do any better would require spending more than $5,000 or $10,000. And get an eight channel Okto Pro for everything else.
My satellite box puts out Dolby 5.1 over optical and coax SPDIF. Does anybody know of a way get that to feed into the USB or AES input of the Okto? The Okto owner manual says the AES/EBU inputs will accept an SPDIF signal over XLR, but it's not clear to me how to do it, or maybe it can't be done.
 
Joined
Jul 6, 2019
Messages
28
Likes
71
#53
I have been told by someone who I think knows that the OEM DAC chips in these might cost $2 or $5 or something like that in bulk. Still I don’t see how they screwed up the FR like that, that would be outside tolerances for even an ultra-cheap DAC chip, AFAIK.
DAC IC Prices

The DAC IC's used in the AV8805 and AV7705 have both been upgraded by AKM, so current prices from distributors may not be representative. For some reason prices of non-current parts often rise, that said: When the parts were current, the price of the 8-channel DAC IC, the AKM AK4458 used in the AV7705, from a distributor was about $2 in quantity. Likely Marantz pays less than that.

For reference the price of the 2-channel DAC IC, the AKM AK4490, used in the AV8805 was a bit less. So 2 x $2 = $4 for the AV7705, 8 x $2 = $16. Of course there is added circuitry to support the added number of IC's. The output circuitry after the DAC IC's is essentially the same, in particular the same low-end opamps. The volume controls are the same part.

The HDAM output buffers have essentially the same circuitry, the same transistors, capacitors, etc. in each product. The AV8805 puts each HDAM channel on a separate board, the AV7705 on one board. The power supplies are essentially the same. While both units are available at substantial discounts, at list prices, the $4.5k - $2.2k = $2.3k is hard to justify.

Reconstruction Filter

The AKM AK4458 DAC IC used in the AV7705 and the AK4490 DAC IC used in the AV8805 both offer five choices in filters. The filter used in the AVP's is one of the those filters. Much better choices are available in the DAC IC. Why Marantz made the choices they did isn't clear. A choice of filters from those offered by the DAC IC, as is provide by say RME in the their DAC's for the AK4490 and AK4493 DAC IC 's, would seem more appropriate. Changing the filter selection is trivial, it's just a value into a port on the DAC IC, a software change.
 

Putter

Active Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Sep 23, 2019
Messages
199
Likes
283
Location
Albany, NY USA
#54
Here's what interesting about our 'beheaded panther' product. 10 Amazon reviewers give it 4.8 of 5 stars. Crutchfield has two 5 star reviews. Best Buy reviewers give it seven 5 star reviews notwithstanding that it's listed as a home theater receivero_O. Wonder if any of the purchasers get home and wonder where to connect the speakers?

Bottom line is that people seem to be happy with the product which I'll admit is not surprising after you've spent over 2 grand on a product, you want to be happy! Now for that same list price $2,199.00, you could get 9 channels of amplification expandable to 11 with a 2 channel power amp. FWIW the AV receiver gets similar 5 star reviews.


AV7705 11.2CH 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Pre-Amplifier with IMAX Enhanced, Dolby Atmos, Auro-3D, HEOS, AirPlay 2 and Alexa Voice Compatibility

SR7013 9.2 Channel 4K Ultra HD AV Receiver with IMAX Enhanced, Dolby Atmos, Auro-3D, HEOS, AirPlay 2 and Alexa Voice Compatibility

See they even have the same features that Marantz thinks will push sales of the product. Note that none of these are about low distortion or excellent digital performance.

As already mentioned, the engineering for the preamp appears to primarily about removing the power amp section and adding balanced outputs. Indeed, the back panels appear to be identical with the exception of the location of the antennae for the tuner. And yet, I suspect they probably have it in their line for prestige rather than as a profitable product.
 

peng

Senior Member
Forum Donor
Joined
May 12, 2019
Messages
384
Likes
323
#55
As I have said other times, modern AVR have taken a downturn in sound quality.
You are not the only one saying it, but is it really true, always, sometimes or just myth? I would like to see which non "modern" AVR measured better than the "modern" ones that Amir has measured so far. To me, going by my not too reliable memory, the "modern" ones did seem to do any worse when measured under similar conditions, whether by ASR, S&V or Audioholics.com
 

peng

Senior Member
Forum Donor
Joined
May 12, 2019
Messages
384
Likes
323
#56
Why Marantz made the choices they did isn't clear.
I thought I posted the response from Marantz regarding the use of slow roll off filter for the AV8805. If not, here it is:

The cause of distortion deterioration is quantization aliasing noise and the characteristics of the digital filter are intended and in accordance with the specifications of the DAC. (AK4490).
It does not apply to the point that there is a bug in the filter characteristics of the DAC. This characteristic was selected by the filter setting according to Marantz's sound policy. Marantz has selected slow roll-off filters for DAC output for many years. If it attenuates before 22.05 kHz, then the audio band will not be flat and the sound quality will be sacrificed.
We consider that the reviewer's perception and expectations for the slow roll-off filter are different from what we intended. The AV8805 is a product that has sufficiently considered the sound quality of Marantz.
I should add that the above response was originated from Marantz Japan, as I requested Marantz NA to get a response from their engineering team.

It sounded like for digital input signals, they targeted flat response for the audio band and didn't worry about the higher distortions in the higher band. If that's the case, the -2.5 dB at 20 kHz is inexplicable!!
 
Last edited:

peng

Senior Member
Forum Donor
Joined
May 12, 2019
Messages
384
Likes
323
#57
Here's what interesting about our 'beheaded panther' product. 10 Amazon reviewers give it 4.8 of 5 stars. Crutchfield has two 5 star reviews. Best Buy reviewers give it seven 5 star reviews notwithstanding that it's listed as a home theater receivero_O. Wonder if any of the purchasers get home and wonder where to connect the speakers?

Bottom line is that people seem to be happy with the product which I'll admit is not surprising after you've spent over 2 grand on a product, you want to be happy! Now for that same list price $2,199.00, you could get 9 channels of amplification expandable to 11 with a 2 channel power amp. FWIW the AV receiver gets similar 5 star reviews.


AV7705 11.2CH 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Pre-Amplifier with IMAX Enhanced, Dolby Atmos, Auro-3D, HEOS, AirPlay 2 and Alexa Voice Compatibility

SR7013 9.2 Channel 4K Ultra HD AV Receiver with IMAX Enhanced, Dolby Atmos, Auro-3D, HEOS, AirPlay 2 and Alexa Voice Compatibility

See they even have the same features that Marantz thinks will push sales of the product. Note that none of these are about low distortion or excellent digital performance.

As already mentioned, the engineering for the preamp appears to primarily about removing the power amp section and adding balanced outputs. Indeed, the back panels appear to be identical with the exception of the location of the antennae for the tuner. And yet, I suspect they probably have it in their line for prestige rather than as a profitable product.
Just want to add that, if use as prepro, both are 11.1 channel, or .2 if we want to count the two mono subwoofer channel as 2 because each has its own preamp, ADC/DAC and HDAM. The 7705 will likely measure better at >= 2V unbalanced because the 7013 would apparently be affected by the power amps that don't get disconnected except for the re-assign trick that only works for the two FL/FR channels.
 

peng

Senior Member
Forum Donor
Joined
May 12, 2019
Messages
384
Likes
323
#58
This unit seems to be broken - by design. I'm currently preparing a review of the Marantz AV7701 (prepreprepredecessor of the 7705) and that one has no problems to keep THD in spec (0.008% / -82 dB) up to the maximum level of 12V rms @ XLR out and 0 dBFS. Actually THD level is always way below spec, usually around 0.002% / -92 dB or better. I don't want to cludder this review with graphs from another unit so I hide them behind a spoiler.

Input: Coax SPDIF 1 kHz 192 kHz / 24 bit
Output: XLR, with 12 Vrms at Volume = 91.5 and 0 dBFS input

1. THD+N measured versus volume with 0 dBFS input

As one can see THD gets better with volume and not worse.

View attachment 49298

2.THD+N measured versus dBFS at Volume 91

One can see that the sweet spot of the DAC is -4 to -5 dBFS. And we see a THD hump between -25 dBFS and -5 dBFS.

View attachment 49299
Somehow Marantz has been able to deteriorate the output capability of the XLR outputs between the AV7701 and 7705. May rise the second hand price of my AV7701.

Based on what I saw in the service manuals, it seems hard to believe the 7701 would measure so different if measured exactly the same way. Would be great if you could measure the 7705 side by side the same way. Or conversely if Amir measure the 7701.
 

MickeyBoy

Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 3, 2018
Messages
34
Likes
29
#59
I would prefer a software solution regarding AV processing. You'd just need a PC and a multichannel DAC and be done for a long time:
  • need more channels: buy more DACs
  • need support of newer decoders: update the processing software
  • somehow the CPU gets too slow with modern decoders: get a new motherboard
I know this will not happen in the near futute, but just let me dream a little bit, OK?:)
I've had the same dream for decades. I wonder what the obstacles are - technology is certainly not one of them.
 

Gedeon

Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Oct 30, 2018
Messages
91
Likes
108
#60
There are zero chances licensed home theater technologies (Dolby Vision, Atmos Decoder, etc...) will arrive at PC. Too flexible, to easy to break protections.

In fact, I still wonder who was the "brilliant mind" who let Blu-ray hardware to arrive to PCs about 15 years ago in the same version than domestic Blu-ray players. With the DVD prior experiences I still don't understand that decision, although not my business.

Don't get me wrong, I love HTPCs, I've been configuring and using those for about 14 years. The industry have learnt the lesson and the legal streaming distribution will rule next decades.
 
Top Bottom