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Marantz AV8805A Review (AV Processor)

peng

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You are correct....plus a little and minus a little :)
I've owned several 88xx, and 77xx Marantz processors with 8805A being the most recent. I've own several Anthem processors with the AVM70 the most recent. I use them strictly for 2 channel analogue pass through and surround processing. None had stellar DAC performance. In fairness DACs are all getting so good now that slicing and dicing that pie is getting harder. By far I liked the sound of the Marantz product over Anthem. Everything about the heftier 8805A seemed to be better put together. I don't buy surround gear for stellar 2 channel DAC performance. I buy them for surround process and system switching.

I have owned some respectable outboard streaming/digital gear. Currently I have a fully modded Modwright Oppo 205 UDP which is like a digital Swiss army knife, it does everything well, and also some good Lumen dacs. The right Hi res files through either the Oppo or Lumens analogue out to straight analogue pass-through on the Maranz offered tons of transcendent musical goodness. Really good.

Some of my recent configurations have included both Anthem and Marantz gear used strictly for surround processing by using them to pass the front 2 channels through some worthy pre-amps. I have hooked my vinyl rig and the Oppo 205 balanced analogue output to a either a Bryston BP26, a Bryston BR 20 or then as another choice a Topping Pre/ext 90 rig. The Brystons ALWAYS sounded better. Essentially an outboard analogue system away from of all that noisy surround digital stuff.

About the Denon, Yes better DACS, still no Roon and no matter what, the amps you are paying for in that unit, while respectable, cannot touch good outboard stuff. In my mind if I have to pay for something I’m not going to use I would rather pay for the DAC I’m not going to use (cheap) than the 11 channels of amplifiers I’m not going to use (expensive). This site tend s to value DAC performance to the exclusion of almost everything else. I’m not knocking the Denon these are strictly my observations. The Denon is a great choice for some people.

I’m moving on now to a Trinnov Altitude-16 specifically because it has respectable DACs and fantastic processing power beyond the DACs to correct just about any issues related to my system or room or media source. Every review you see except here discusses how this unit sounds in one's environment. Here ther is a begrudging nod to respectible numbers with implication that a $20 dollar dac on Amazon could do better. You have to broaden your perspective to what the system can do as a whole and what it actually sounds like.

This site has a penchant for valuing DAC numbers over sound and short sheeting everything else. DACs have gotten so cheap. All of the pre-amp/processors mention here are incredibly complex systems that do a whole lot more than DACcing (is that a word?) I don’t buy them for their DACS. I buy them for their switching and controlling features. I want to enjoy a variety of entrainment selections. Movies, music videos, surround audio, 2 channel audio both digital and vinyl. If I do that I have to do it all in one room where multiple systems are impractical. BTW the Topping pre-amp so favorably revued on this site sounds thin and forward to me. Numbers are not everything

It has been a long time since people mentioned the AV8805/7705. You seem to be making a lot of assumptions of what's inside the Marantz vs Denon that could make one "sounds better/or different" than the other. If you look at the known facts, say the 8805 vs 8500 (you can download their service manuals), and you will find that there are really only two differences in their signal path parts and circuitry that may have some effects on sound quality, still mostly on paper only. The Marantz has HDAMs, vs the Denon that has none, and on the digital side, they actually uses the same AK4490 (the HA and A and the HA may have the ES9010K2M depending on their manufacturing dates. The two shares quite a few pages of schematics/block diagrams. The HDAMs are an extra buffer stage at the end of the preamp signal chain so it would affect both analog and digital inputs. It apparently has resulted in higher distortions. The newer SR8015 does not suffer from that, but it has the upgraded HDAMs.

With the DACs being the same, implemented the same as well from what I could see in the service manuals (if you compare the unbalanced path), on the digital input side, the only difference would be the DAC reconstruction filters, Marantz uses the slow roll off one, resulted in HF roll off from about 10 kHz and would have dropped about 2.5 dB by the time it reaches 20 kHz; and it is not selectable like some other AVR(s) are. They are much more similar than different.
 

Mars2k

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It has been a long time since people mentioned the AV8805/7705. You seem to be making a lot of assumptions of what's inside the Marantz vs Denon that could make one "sounds better/or different" than the other. If you look at the known facts, say the 8805 vs 8500 (you can download their service manuals), and you will find that there are really only two differences in their signal path parts and circuitry that may have some effects on sound quality, still mostly on paper only. The Marantz has HDAMs, vs the Denon that has none, and on the digital side, they actually uses the same AK4490 (the HA and A and the HA may have the ES9010K2M depending on their manufacturing dates. The two shares quite a few pages of schematics/block diagrams. The HDAMs are an extra buffer stage at the end of the preamp signal chain so it would affect both analog and digital inputs. It apparently has resulted in higher distortions. The newer SR8015 does not suffer from that, but it has the upgraded HDAMs.

With the DACs being the same, implemented the same as well from what I could see in the service manuals (if you compare the unbalanced path), on the digital input side, the only difference would be the DAC reconstruction filters, Marantz uses the slow roll off one, resulted in HF roll off from about 10 kHz and would have dropped about 2.5 dB by the time it reaches 20 kHz; and it is not selectable like some other AVR(s) are. They are much more similar than different.
It has been a long time since people mentioned the AV8805/7705. You seem to be making a lot of assumptions of what's inside the Marantz vs Denon that could make one "sounds better/or different" than the other. If you look at the known facts, say the 8805 vs 8500 (you can download their service manuals), and you will find that there are really only two differences in their signal path parts and circuitry that may have some effects on sound quality, still mostly on paper only. The Marantz has HDAMs, vs the Denon that has none, and on the digital side, they actually uses the same AK4490 (the HA and A and the HA may have the ES9010K2M depending on their manufacturing dates. The two shares quite a few pages of schematics/block diagrams. The HDAMs are an extra buffer stage at the end of the preamp signal chain so it would affect both analog and digital inputs. It apparently has resulted in higher distortions. The newer SR8015 does not suffer from that, but it has the upgraded HDAMs.

With the DACs being the same, implemented the same as well from what I could see in the service manuals (if you compare the unbalanced path), on the digital input side, the only difference would be the DAC reconstruction filters, Marantz uses the slow roll off one, resulted in HF roll off from about 10 kHz and would have dropped about 2.5 dB by the time it reaches 20 kHz; and it is not selectable like some other AVR(s) are. They are much more similar than different.
I absolutely was not comparing the 2 I neither mentioned similarites or differencences. Frankly I don't care. You misread all of that and incorrectly construed it as technical discussion about the relative merits of the DACs. It was not. You've gotten way to far down in the weeds on this one. You're perfect example of at least one of my points though. Instead of the main thrust of what I wrote you zeroed in on the DACs...only. As a matter of fact this entire thread is about the 8805A so if you mean a long time as being prior to the previous 13 pages of posts I don't quite understand.
 
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peng

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I absolutely was not comparing the 2 I neither mentioned similarites or differencences. Frankly I don't care. You misread all of that and incorrectly construed it as technical discussion about the relative merits of the DACs.

You are the one who mentioned DAC many times in one post and seem to be making the point that people are focusing too much on DACs, as you said "This site has a penchant for valuing DAC numbers over sound and short sheeting everything else." I am simply agreeing with you that we should also look at other parts of the signal path such as the volume control ICs, OPAs, and as for your Marantz, the HDAMs. So you missed the point..

You've gotten way to far down in the weeds on this one. You're perfect example of at least one of my points though. Instead of the main thrust of what I wrote you zeroed in on the DACs...only. As a matter of fact this entire thread is about the 8805A so if you mean a long time as being prior to the previous 13 pages of posts I don't quite understand.

I mentioned the "long time" (the gap between last October to Feb this year), because I have forgotten what might have been discussed in the previous 13 pages, in case I may be repeating things already said just as an example. There is no need to react like this, so that's it for me. Thank you.
 

Everett T

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Crikey, it was almost handbags at dawn then!
Nah, Peng is on point with his replies, some might find them to technical for what they wanna hear. He dosen't lose his cool over a forum post.

After a decade plus of replies from him, he is without a doubt giving the best advice and commentary avialable on the subjects he replies too.
 

Newman

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The newer SR8015 does not suffer from that, but it has the upgraded HDAMs.
What are the chances that Marantz will promptly update the AV8805A to the upgraded HDAMs? Would be nice.
 

MacCali

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What are the chances that Marantz will promptly update the AV8805A to the upgraded HDAMs? Would be nice.
Honestly no clue, I may possibly confusing the 8015 with another receiver. But if I recall correctly the 8015H is the newest model.

If this is accurate it maybe the AV8805H.

Whichever AVR it was it added the H to product model indicating the newest model on the box and at the rear of the unit
 

uhdtv4me

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What are the chances that Marantz will promptly update the AV8805A to the upgraded HDAMs? Would be nice.
-100% chance. :) Seriously, they already had to spin up new boards for the DAC change due to AKM fire, HDMI, etc. It will most certainly be a new platform altogether and we can only hope they drop the HDAM stuff altogether. Marantz is clinging to that circuitry to differentiate but at some point they will have to chose between marketing hyperbole of HDAM and actual quantifiable audiophile performance.
 

MacCali

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-100% chance. :) Seriously, they already had to spin up new boards for the DAC change due to AKM fire, HDMI, etc. It will most certainly be a new platform altogether and we can only hope they drop the HDAM stuff altogether. Marantz is clinging to that circuitry to differentiate but at some point they will have to chose between marketing hyperbole of HDAM and actual quantifiable audiophile performance.
HDAM is what’s producing poor sinad?

I don’t even understand the purpose of that, an explanation would be nice or maybe a YouTube video which explains it none of which I’ve seen.

Yea not really sure how they make a better product with Denon. Ironically all the subjective reviews kept saying marantz is better than denon, it’s more musical and more bs
 

uhdtv4me

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HDAM is what’s producing poor sinad?

I don’t even understand the purpose of that, an explanation would be nice or maybe a YouTube video which explains it none of which I’ve seen.

Yea not really sure how they make a better product with Denon. Ironically all the subjective reviews kept saying marantz is better than denon, it’s more musical and more bs
HDAM doesn't help SINAD but isn't necessarily the entire reason. I think both peng and biguyca (my apologies if I butchered the name) have both commented or explained the EE reason why HDAMs do more harm to M vs D processors that don't have HDAM.
 

Newman

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...Marantz is clinging to that circuitry to differentiate but at some point they will have to chose between marketing hyperbole of HDAM and actual quantifiable audiophile performance.
HDAM doesn't help SINAD but isn't necessarily the entire reason. I think both peng and biguyca (my apologies if I butchered the name) have both commented or explained the EE reason why HDAMs do more harm to M vs D processors that don't have HDAM.
I got the impression that the 'EE reason' is more about the low-order DAC filter 'bleeding into' the SINAD measurement score.

The HDAM modules might be improvable, but the Topping A90 Discrete's 119.5 dB SINAD demonstrates that being discrete in itself should not be seen as a defect.

Marantz should be able to retain the HDAM concept and get benchmark performance (for the AV class). They can retain their point-of-difference. That's why I asked about getting the SR8015's new HDAMs in an updated AV8805.

cheers
 

MacCali

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I got the impression that the 'EE reason' is more about the low-order DAC filter 'bleeding into' the SINAD measurement score.

The HDAM modules might be improvable, but the Topping A90 Discrete's 119.5 dB SINAD demonstrates that being discrete in itself should not be seen as a defect.

Marantz should be able to retain the HDAM concept and get benchmark performance (for the AV class). They can retain their point-of-difference. That's why I asked about getting the SR8015's new HDAMs in an updated AV8805.

cheers
Yea absolutely not sure how these Chinese companies are tearing up the measurements with basically little to no RND yet these companies which have existed for years are morons.

I may consider that they tailor to the mass market and most people in that category can careless about measurements. As someone new to audio I had no idea you could measure or what those measurements meant less than 2 years ago.

Honestly my Marantz is definitely not that great by any means, and I’m not near to fight about measurements but realistically when I crank my unit to 15 below max my room sounds crazier than a theater and experience is extremely satisfying based on immersion even with 5 channels. Mind you I’m streaming audio which is compressed and poopy.

Going to buy a 4K player this year cause I want to see if I can better that experience, even though the AVR will be a bottleneck
 

peng

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I got the impression that the 'EE reason' is more about the low-order DAC filter 'bleeding into' the SINAD measurement score.

The HDAM modules might be improvable, but the Topping A90 Discrete's 119.5 dB SINAD demonstrates that being discrete in itself should not be seen as a defect.

Marantz should be able to retain the HDAM concept and get benchmark performance (for the AV class). They can retain their point-of-difference. That's why I asked about getting the SR8015's new HDAMs in an updated AV8805.

cheers

I think the "HDAM concept" is fine but the way it is implemented in their AVR/AVP is illogical in the goal is to realize the benefits they claimed. Just take a look of the block diagram that had been posted on ASR before, it shows the HDAM connected at the end of the preamp/dac signal chain. So logically, the volume IC NJU72750, along with the switches NJU72750, and other Opamps would set the bar for slew rate, distortions and noise performance, assuming the HDAM itself is perfect. HDAM in their integrated amps are not implemented this way so those claimed benefits could be real.

The SR8015 measured better likely not just because of the different HDAM but because Marantz has done something else to avoid SINAD degradation after the volume control IC and the final switch.

In the block diagram, see that amp symbol is in between the NJU72750 switch and the final output, that is unity gain buffer amp, that is, the HDAM:
Because of its position, and being a buffer amp and has unity gain in this case according to homethaterhifi.com(https://hometheaterhifi.com/reviews/receiver-processor/processors/marantz-av8802-processor-review/). Being a unity gain buffer, not a filter and/or DSP, how can it logically improve on the claimed benefits? Logically, even if those buffer amp modules are perfect, the best it can do it to not degrade the specs of the upstream parts and circuitry but not the claimed benefits of "ultra-fast slew rate, true wideband performance, and maximum dynamic range for optimum sound quality." It certainly could, in theory, help lower output impedance and improve load capacity etc., that are the main purpose of a buffer stage.


1656584245438.png
 

Newman

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I guess they could drop the HDAM to less-than-unity gain and make it up upstream of the VC module, ;)

Perhaps I will modify my request to, “an update to the AV8005 with the SR8015’s circuit improvements”.
 

peng

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I guess they could drop the HDAM to less-than-unity gain and make it up upstream of the VC module, ;)

Perhaps I will modify my request to, “an update to the AV8005 with the SR8015’s circuit improvements”.

Again, in terms of logic, that really won't change much as long as there are bottlenecks in the path. I guess it would make sense it the HDAMs have better specs (SINAD, slew rate etc..) than all other ICs in the signal path. In their integrated amps, the volume control are discrete (at least for some PM models) may not be the bottleneck so discrete HDAMs may make some logical sense.

For a technically analysis I would like to hear from member @bigguyca . I am just having hard time understanding Marantz's rationale purely based on logic, on their claims "ultra-fast slew rate, true wideband performance, and maximum dynamic range for optimum sound quality.", all apparently based on using discrete vs IC, yet if you look at their schematics/block diagrams, there are OPA ICs such as the NJM8080 found in the signal path, in some cases even both upstream and downstream of the HDAMs. Why they wouldn't just use better opamp chips in the signal path and forget about the discrete HDAM modules is beyond me.

Regardless, whatever they did to the SR8015, based on measurements, afaic it is now the best Marantz AV preamp processor for someone who is okay with unbalanced outputs so I do hope they would apply the same trick to the replacement of the AV7706 and AV8805A. If they do, I may go back from Denon AVR to Marantz AVP, otherwise my 2nd choice would still be the Anthem AVM70.
 
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MacCali

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Again, in terms of logic, that really won't change much as long as there are bottlenecks in the path. I guess it would make sense it the HDAMs have better specs (SINAD, slew rate etc..) than all other ICs in the signal path. In their integrated amps, the volume control are discrete (at least for some PM models) may not be the bottleneck so discrete HDAMs may make some logical sense.

For a technically analysis I would like to hear from member @bigguyca . I am just having hard time understanding Marantz's rationale purely based on logic, on their claims "ultra-fast slew rate, true wideband performance, and maximum dynamic range for optimum sound quality.", all apparently based on using discrete vs IC, yet if you look at their schematics/block diagrams, there are OPA ICs such as the NJM8080 found in the signal path, in some cases even both upstream and downstream of the HDAMs. Why they wouldn't just use better opamp chips in the signal path and forget about the discrete HDAM modules is beyond me.

Regardless, whatever they did to the SR8015, based on measurements, afaic it is now the best Marantz AV preamp processor for someone who is okay with unbalanced outputs so I do hope they would apply the same trick to the replacement of the AV7706 and AV8805A. If they do, I may go back from Denon AVR to Marantz AVP, otherwise my 2nd choice would still be the Anthem AVM70.
Would you mind leading me to an understandable read or video of slew rate absolutely don’t get it.

Also fairly confused with damping factor beyond it creates control over the driver. But what does that really mean

If you got the time :)
 

peng

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Would you mind leading me to an understandable read or video of slew rate absolutely don’t get it.

Also fairly confused with damping factor beyond it creates control over the driver. But what does that really mean

If you got the time :)

As usual, wikipedia.org should have the answers for you.

If you want to read more, try the following:


Slew rate is the maximum rate at which an amplifier output can change, with an input signal applied that very quickly steps from a minimum output level to a maximum output level. For very dynamic content, the amp output is required to faithfully reproduce all frequencies and amplitudes. Ideally, the amplifier output would change levels instantaneously, but capacitance in the amplifier output stage generally limits how fast that transition can occur. Slew rate is specified as a change in amplitude with respect to time (dV/dt), typically shown as V/µs. Slew rate is considered a large-signal performance measurement, as opposed to rise time which is a small-signal performance measurement.


The Damping Factor of an amplifier is defined as the ratio of its rated load impedance to its output (source) impedance. In loudspeaker systems, the damping factor is considered to be a measure of the amplifier’s ability to control undesirable movement of the speaker cone near the resonant frequency of the speaker system.



 

MacCali

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Man this is all horrible, been thinking about upgrading my home theater even though lately I have not been watching a ton of movies like during the pandemic. However I have more money available now to purchase more freely. I got the 7013, and I am pretty sure just like the 7015 it's .7 volts output from the preamp section which is making a bit difficult to find a compatible amp to use in a separates fashion even though the unit was not meant for that, plus even then I believe it's shown to start clipping even when you disable the internal amp.

Am I just overthinking the situation? Will I be alright with using the 7013 as a preamp? I purchased a denon POA-8300 3 channel amp for pretty cheap and it works great, but this stupid marantz unit can only run either 2 channels on pre or all, wish I could just do the front 3 and I would be happy and will reach maximum output at 1v. Running 7 channels on my theater

Edit: Or is there an amp I can purchase that has a .5 or .7v max power rating? only other option, but seems to be that most carry a 1v for max rating

Also do not understand why the company has it listed as overated. the 7013 says 1.2 volts output for analog section and the 7015 says the same and digital is 2v

Analog
Input sensitivity:200 mV
Frequency response:10 Hz – 100 kHz — +1, –3 dB (Direct mode)
S/N:100 dB (IHF–A weighted, Direct mode)
Distortion:0.005 % (20 Hz – 20 kHz) (Direct mode)
Rated output:1.2 V
Digital
D/A output:Rated output — 2 V (at 0 dB playback)
 
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peng

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Man this is all horrible, been thinking about upgrading my home theater even though lately I have not been watching a ton of movies like during the pandemic. However I have more money available now to purchase more freely. I got the 7013, and I am pretty sure just like the 7015 it's .7 volts output from the preamp section which is making a bit difficult to find a compatible amp to use in a separates fashion even though the unit was not meant for that, plus even then I believe it's shown to start clipping even when you disable the internal amp.

Am I just overthinking the situation? Will I be alright with using the 7013 as a preamp? I purchased a denon POA-8300 3 channel amp for pretty cheap and it works great, but this stupid marantz unit can only run either 2 channels on pre or all, wish I could just do the front 3 and I would be happy and will reach maximum output at 1v. Running 7 channels on my theater

As shown in the measurements, the 7015 the pre out voltage did not clip at 0.7 V, most probably wouldn't clip at even >3V even with the internal amps connected. What exactly is your concern when using it with the POA-8300 that has the following power output specs:

120 W 8 ohms, 0.008% THD+N, that is about -82 dB, input sensitivity is 1.1 V, so the gain is about 28 dB and that means your Denon only needs 1.1 V to output its rated 120 W average, or 240 W peak into 8 ohms.

So I think your 7013 could be a good match, assuming the 7013 in fact would measured about the same as the 7015.

Edit: Or is there an amp I can purchase that has a .5 or .7v max power rating? only other option, but seems to be that most carry a 1v for max rating

If you look hard enough, you might be able to find such high gain power amps, but what is the point? Even if you can find one that needs only .7V to output 120 W, it would likely have SINAD no better (more likely worse) than your Denon amp or the 7013's internal power amps. If you want the pre out vs SINAD graph to look prettier, you would have to replace the 7013 with something else but I think you have a very good system for both HT and two channel stereo enjoyment.

Also do not understand why the company has it listed as overated. the 7013 says 1.2 volts output for analog section and the 7015 says the same and digital is 2v

I don't think we can say the company "overrated" its pre out specs. Marantz doesn't provide the detailed pre out specs for their AVRs, they simply say 1.2 V analog and 2 V digital at 0 dB playback, though it looks apparent that they likely meant 1.2 V is required for its internal power amps to output the rated 125 W at the specified distortions. Based on ASR/Amir's measurements, I just don't see evidence of Marantz falling short in this regard.

Fortunately, you can get a lot more details by referring to Amir's measurements. Take a look of the SINAD vs pre out voltage graph for the SR7015 below:

You can see that even without disconnecting the internal power amps, at >2V, SINAD is >75 dB, and it doesn't fall below 90 dB at 1.2 V. 0.7 V is just the point where SINAD is at its highest point.

index.php


















Analog
Input sensitivity:200 mV
Frequency response:10 Hz – 100 kHz — +1, –3 dB (Direct mode)
S/N:100 dB (IHF–A weighted, Direct mode)
Distortion:0.005 % (20 Hz – 20 kHz) (Direct mode)
Rated output:1.2 V
Digital
D/A output:Rated output — 2 V (at 0 dB playback)
 

MacCali

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As shown in the measurements, the 7015 the pre out voltage did not clip at 0.7 V, most probably wouldn't clip at even >3V even with the internal amps connected. What exactly is your concern when using it with the POA-8300 that has the following power output specs:

120 W 8 ohms, 0.008% THD+N, that is about -82 dB, input sensitivity is 1.1 V, so the gain is about 28 dB and that means your Denon only needs 1.1 V to output its rated 120 W average, or 240 W peak into 8 ohms.

So I think your 7013 could be a good match, assuming the 7013 in fact would measured about the same as the 7015.



If you look hard enough, you might be able to find such high gain power amps, but what is the point? Even if you can find one that needs only .7V to output 120 W, it would likely have SINAD no better (more likely worse) than your Denon amp or the 7013's internal power amps. If you want the pre out vs SINAD graph to look prettier, you would have to replace the 7013 with something else but I think you have a very good system for both HT and two channel stereo enjoyment.



I don't think we can say the company "overrated" its pre out specs. Marantz doesn't provide the detailed pre out specs for their AVRs, they simply say 1.2 V analog and 2 V digital at 0 dB playback, though it looks apparent that they likely meant 1.2 V is required for its internal power amps to output the rated 125 W at the specified distortions. Based on ASR/Amir's measurements, I just don't see evidence of Marantz falling short in this regard.

Fortunately, you can get a lot more details by referring to Amir's measurements. Take a look of the SINAD vs pre out voltage graph for the SR7015 below:

You can see that even without disconnecting the internal power amps, at >2V, SINAD is >75 dB, and it doesn't fall below 90 dB at 1.2 V. 0.7 V is just the point where SINAD is at its highest point.

index.php
I think my concern stems from audioholics and it seems that most denon or Marantz products which aren’t top tier, let’s just say Marantz since denon is doing better. Seems to have the internal amplifier clipping when the unit gets to 1.5 volts out.

I am guessing after your read is that the sinad will suffer but the unit will still function. Clipping is my only concern and I am not sure if he meant with the amp on or pre-amp mode

Edit: think I will do this for now, not sure if it will make a huge difference or not. I have a parasound HCA-1000 laying around and it’s input sensitivity is .775 for max output. I’ll run that on my LF and RF and put everything else on the 8300.

Not sure if I’ll run into any issues since the amps have different sensitivity
 
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