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Marantz SR8015 Review (Home Theater AVR)

insoc

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I don't like at all how my central channel speaker sounds with my 6700H and I miss the sound I was getting from my Onkyo NR 787. Is is TRUE that as both the 6700H and the SR8015 uses the same Audyssey calibration tool and share some internal parts, that both equipments sound much alike?

I'm looking for the possibility to change my 6700H and buy a SR8015...
 

Propheticus

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I don't like at all how my central channel speaker sounds with my 6700H and I miss the sound I was getting from my Onkyo NR 787. Is is TRUE that as both the 6700H and the SR8015 uses the same Audyssey calibration tool and share some internal parts, that both equipments sound much alike?

I'm looking for the possibility to change my 6700H and buy a SR8015...
I don't think changing from one high end receiver from the Denon/Marantz group to another from the same period will change much in the way they process surround material.

There's an overall center level adjustment setting (also reflected in the speakers levels adjustment menu) you could increase.
DTS:X has a separate centre channel level setting in the surround parameter menu called "dialog control".

Then there's the fact that movie reference volumes are really quite high. This means that without compression the dynamic range is such that to be able to properly hear dialogue you really need to turn it up. Probably higher than many actually playback movies at home without a dedicated movie room and with neighbours to consider. Your Onkyo had THX settings, like "THX Cinema" to remedy issues stemming from mixes meant for theatres played back at home.
To do the same on your Denon you can play with the loudness management options (Dynamic compression in surround parameters and Dynamic EQ/ Dynamic Volume under Audyssey settings)

Lastly, in my opinion, Audyssey sounds best when its correction is limited to only correct below ~300Hz (around the rooms Schroeder frequency)
This can only be adjusted using the MultEQ app though, which is buggy and costs 20 bucks...
Before buying, you could of course just try with Audyssey turned off to see if that improves the centre channel.
 

Archaea

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There is a dialogue enhancement option on the Denon 6700 you can try. It’s under the info button.
Also, if your Onkyo used Audyssey (an older Onkyo) try using the Onkyo’s mic to run you Denon audyssey calibration. There is a +- 2.5 dB tolerance on the Audyssey mic production allowance. That is a possible 5dB swing. Maybe your mics are on the outside spec of each and that colors the sound the way you like.

I’ve encountered this with my equipment and prefer to use an old audyssey mic on my new equipment. See here:
https://www.avsforum.com/threads/a-brief-comparison-between-two-audyssey-multi-eq-xt32-mics.1764065/
 

bigguyca

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I don't like at all how my central channel speaker sounds with my 6700H and I miss the sound I was getting from my Onkyo NR 787. Is is TRUE that as both the 6700H and the SR8015 uses the same Audyssey calibration tool and share some internal parts, that both equipments sound much alike?

I'm looking for the possibility to change my 6700H and buy a SR8015...

From the standpoint of the design and the physical electronics the X6700H and SR8015 are essentially the same. The only significant difference is that the SR8015 has the HDAM modules after the volume control in the preamp circuits. These added modules can only worsen performance, that is, add noise and distortion.

Measurements of the X6700H and the SR8015, as well as the X8500H, have shown significant variation between the performance of individual power amplifier modules (THD+N vs. frequency). These modules are the same in the three units and essentially the same in the A110. Some modules, seemingly on a random basis over all the units, have shown worse performance in the X66700H, SR8015 and X8500H. Who knows if these differences would be heard in any individual system, but they do add variability.

The chief advantage of the SR8015 is that it costs more. While this extra cost doesn't improve measured performance it may still impart a physiological feeling that the SR8015 is better. This feeling may occur even if a person is aware that it exists.
 

bigguyca

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SR8015 and the 4K/120 Hz Adapter

Here is a link to some results to date with the adapter. Read back from this post. So far not so good —

https://www.avsforum.com/threads/official-2020-marantz-sr8015-owners-thread.3161282/post-60836514

Here is picture of the circuit board of the adapter. Note the allowance for added future features in a product that Denon/Marantz plans to sell.


Adapter - iPad Picture - 4M.jpg
 

oupee

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I don't like at all how my central channel speaker sounds with my 6700H and I miss the sound I was getting from my Onkyo NR 787. Is is TRUE that as both the 6700H and the SR8015 uses the same Audyssey calibration tool and share some internal parts, that both equipments sound much alike?

I'm looking for the possibility to change my 6700H and buy a SR8015...
Try turning off Audyssey. I don't like Audyssey. That's how I got it on my SR8015
MultEQ XT32 - off
Dynamic EQ - Off
Reference Level Offset - 0dB
Dynamic Volume - Off
Audyssey LFC - Off
Containment Amount - 4
 

insoc

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Oct 26, 2020
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I don't think changing from one high end receiver from the Denon/Marantz group to another from the same period will change much in the way they process surround material.

There's an overall center level adjustment setting (also reflected in the speakers levels adjustment menu) you could increase.
DTS:X has a separate centre channel level setting in the surround parameter menu called "dialog control".

Then there's the fact that movie reference volumes are really quite high. This means that without compression the dynamic range is such that to be able to properly hear dialogue you really need to turn it up. Probably higher than many actually playback movies at home without a dedicated movie room and with neighbours to consider. Your Onkyo had THX settings, like "THX Cinema" to remedy issues stemming from mixes meant for theatres played back at home.
To do the same on your Denon you can play with the loudness management options (Dynamic compression in surround parameters and Dynamic EQ/ Dynamic Volume under Audyssey settings)

Lastly, in my opinion, Audyssey sounds best when its correction is limited to only correct below ~300Hz (around the rooms Schroeder frequency)
This can only be adjusted using the MultEQ app though, which is buggy and costs 20 bucks...
Before buying, you could of course just try with Audyssey turned off to see if that improves the centre channel.

Now that's an expert talking! It's quite a delight to read someone with such clear knowledge as you and, yes, now that you mention THX SETTINGS I think that's the reason why with my Onkyo I never had such problems with my center speaker. With my Onkyo when I changed the listening mode to THX the problem "went away" or was very diminished, whereas with my 6700H I have to go through all this DEQ and more settings and still don't find a solution.

I ended up buying yesterday an Onkyo RZ 840 with my local vendor as a temporary solution until the new Onkyo start to arrive, and then the vendor is letting me trade in. I guess for the moment I'm gonna stick with Onkyo though the vendor is going to show me next month the Arcam AV20 and their DIRAC calibration system. I don't like DIRAC that much, but I've only tried in stereo with a NAD M10 I have.

I know there are more options out there, but in my country, the RZ 840 was the only "upper" Onkyo available for instant delivery...

Thank you again, best regards,
 

insoc

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There is a dialogue enhancement option on the Denon 6700 you can try. It’s under the info button.
Also, if your Onkyo used Audyssey (an older Onkyo) try using the Onkyo’s mic to run you Denon audyssey calibration. There is a +- 2.5 dB tolerance on the Audyssey mic production allowance. That is a possible 5dB swing. Maybe your mics are on the outside spec of each and that colors the sound the way you like.

I’ve encountered this with my equipment and prefer to use an old audyssey mic on my new equipment. See here:
https://www.avsforum.com/threads/a-brief-comparison-between-two-audyssey-multi-eq-xt32-mics.1764065/

Thank you very much, such an interesting possibility!
 

insoc

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From the standpoint of the design and the physical electronics the X6700H and SR8015 are essentially the same. The only significant difference is that the SR8015 has the HDAM modules after the volume control in the preamp circuits. These added modules can only worsen performance, that is, add noise and distortion.

Measurements of the X6700H and the SR8015, as well as the X8500H, have shown significant variation between the performance of individual power amplifier modules (THD+N vs. frequency). These modules are the same in the three units and essentially the same in the A110. Some modules, seemingly on a random basis over all the units, have shown worse performance in the X66700H, SR8015 and X8500H. Who knows if these differences would be heard in any individual system, but they do add variability.

The chief advantage of the SR8015 is that it costs more. While this extra cost doesn't improve measured performance it may still impart a physiological feeling that the SR8015 is better. This feeling may occur even if a person is aware that it exists.

Yes, very good points. The problem in my case is that I have a fixation on my CENTER CHANNEL VOICES problem and even with the best placebo if the problem persists I know I am going to detect it. The SR8015 was not on demo at my local vendor, but I heard a Marantz 7013 and I didn't notice much improvement on the voices in comparison with my 6700H. At least not as much improvement when I tried with the Onkyo...
 

insoc

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Try turning off Audyssey. I don't like Audyssey. That's how I got it on my SR8015
MultEQ XT32 - off
Dynamic EQ - Off
Reference Level Offset - 0dB
Dynamic Volume - Off
Audyssey LFC - Off
Containment Amount - 4

Yes indeed. I did turn off Audyssey OFF, and it's absolutely true that I heard a positive improvement in the handling of voices, BUT the problem was that the surround sounds and the whole sensation of having multichannel effects somehow was diminished in comparison with Audyssey on. It's like I wish Audyssey could be turned on with all speakers, except with the central speaker.
 

oupee

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Yes indeed. I did turn off Audyssey OFF, and it's absolutely true that I heard a positive improvement in the handling of voices, BUT the problem was that the surround sounds and the whole sensation of having multichannel effects somehow was diminished in comparison with Audyssey on. It's like I wish Audyssey could be turned on with all speakers, except with the central speaker.
This can only be set via the Audyssey MultEQ Editor
 

jomark911

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Yes indeed. I did turn off Audyssey OFF, and it's absolutely true that I heard a positive improvement in the handling of voices, BUT the problem was that the surround sounds and the whole sensation of having multichannel effects somehow was diminished in comparison with Audyssey on. It's like I wish Audyssey could be turned on with all speakers, except with the central speaker.
Try the cinema equalizer. It turns down excesive treble , that audyssey some times puts on.
This is what i use on my old AVP A1HD and it works. Also dynamic volume should be turned off , but not the dynamic eq.
 

Whoareyou

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Yes, very good points. The problem in my case is that I have a fixation on my CENTER CHANNEL VOICES problem and even with the best placebo if the problem persists I know I am going to detect it. The SR8015 was not on demo at my local vendor, but I heard a Marantz 7013 and I didn't notice much improvement on the voices in comparison with my 6700H. At least not as much improvement when I tried with the Onkyo...
I don't own, but was thinking of purchase, and have similar concerns. I was wondering if this issue could somehow be handled via the feature allowing for 2 different speaker configurations / calibrations? Perhaps a special calibration curve, or doing something different with speakers, for material with center channel voices? That way, at least for surround material without voice, you could maintain the proper balance.
 

insoc

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I don't own, but was thinking of purchase, and have similar concerns. I was wondering if this issue could somehow be handled via the feature allowing for 2 different speaker configurations / calibrations? Perhaps a special calibration curve, or doing something different with speakers, for material with center channel voices? That way, at least for surround material without voice, you could maintain the proper balance.

Well, what I can say is that no matter how much I tweaked my 6700H I couldn't find a fix to the sounding of my center channel. I guess maybe by extensively using the MultEQ app and modifying the curve I could have gotten a different result but I doubt it. Even if that was the case, why bother if with the Onkyo ZR 840 that I bought in substitution of the 6700H I found an instant fix with THX mode? Even in the regular Mult Ch mode and Direct my B&W HTM71 S2 really came alive as the great central speaker it is.
 

Whoareyou

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Well, what I can say is that no matter how much I tweaked my 6700H I couldn't find a fix to the sounding of my center channel. I guess maybe by extensively using the MultEQ app and modifying the curve I could have gotten a different result but I doubt it. Even if that was the case, why bother if with the Onkyo ZR 840 that I bought in substitution of the 6700H I found an instant fix with THX mode? Even in the regular Mult Ch mode and Direct my B&W HTM71 S2 really came alive as the great central speaker it is.

Thanks. Good to know about the Onkyo.

I wasn't really thinking extensive modification of Audyssey, but rather limiting its range to frequencies (say below 250), and see how that impacts overall center channel.

Unfortunately, I have a Marantz sr7010 which cannot modify the Audyssey curve, so I have no way of testing this out.

I do know that with my speaker / room configuration DSP makes things worse when applied to anything but bass. I currently use Dirac for music and limit it to bass regions. I suspect I'd get similar results with Audyssey.
 

beaRA

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no matter how much I tweaked my 6700H
But you didn't even use the MultEQ Editor app. Your center channel dialogue problem could have come down to simply disabling Midrange Compensation which introduces a dip in the target curve around 2kHz. It could also have been as easy as limiting the correction range to below your room's transition frequency if you like your speaker's natural midrange and treble response. Neither requires manually editing the target curve (which is also not rocket surgery).
 

insoc

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But you didn't even use the MultEQ Editor app. Your center channel dialogue problem could have come down to simply disabling Midrange Compensation, which introduces a dip in the target curve around 2kHz. It could also have been as easy as limiting the correction range to below your room's transition frequency, if you like your speaker's natural midrange and treble response. Neither requires manually editing the target curve (which is also not rocket surgery).

I did use the MultEQ and played around with the curve, not extensively, not scientifically, but no matter what I did the voices sound the same. I even changed the curve to ALL FLAT in the central channel and the unnatural distorted voice still was there.

I even thought that my expensive B&W central speaker was damaged, but tried with other central speaker I have, and the result was the same.

I think that MAYBE there could be a solution to my 6700H problem, but why bother if with the Onkyo the problem disappeared? It could be that I have a faulty 6700H, although the other channels sound right to me, but I'm glad the Onkyo solved the problem. It's such a delight to hear my B&W in all its glory. Yesterday I watched a part of STAR WARS A NEW HOPE on Disney+ and both in THX MODE and DIRECT mode, the voices in the Death Star conference room sounded exquisitely, like I've never heard before and didn't know that with such and old movie there was so much audio information.
 

insoc

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Unfortunately, I have a Marantz sr7010 which cannot modify the Audyssey curve, so I have no way of testing this out.

Have you tried the MultEQ app with your Marantz?

Last week, before buying the Onkyo as a temporary replacement of the 6700H, I heard a SR7013 Marant AVR and the voices although not as bad as the 6700H didn't sound as good as with my Onkyo...
 

beaRA

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I did use the MultEQ and played around with the curve, not extensively, not scientifically, but no matter what I did the voices sound the same. I even changed the curve to ALL FLAT in the central channel and the unnatural distorted voice still was there.

I even thought that my expensive B&W central speaker was damaged, but tried with other central speaker I have, and the result was the same.

I think that MAYBE there could be a solution to my 6700H problem, but why bother if with the Onkyo the problem disappeared? It could be that I have a faulty 6700H, although the other channels sound right to me, but I'm glad the Onkyo solved the problem. It's such a delight to hear my B&W in all its glory. Yesterday I watched a part of STAR WARS A NEW HOPE on Disney+ and both in THX MODE and DIRECT mode, the voices in the Death Star conference room sounded exquisitely, like I've never heard before and didn't know that with such and old movie there was so much audio information.
Ah the way you worded it sounded like you didn't try the app at all. Did you try disabling midrange compensation or limiting the correction to below ~300Hz? Glad you found a solution with Onkyo, but AccuEQ has its own limitations in bass correction.
 

Urgo

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It is possible that you had a problem with the channel or its configuration.
At no time have I noticed deficiencies in the center channel of the SR8015, and for this reason I have not needed to make special adjustments, but the configuration possibilities in the avr of the audio, channels and speakers, and Audyssey also with its app, are there and they are multiple.

On some sporadic occasion and always dependent on the quality of the source, I had to raise the channel somewhat, but without major problem.

Of course my ears are not yours.
 
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