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Marantz SR8015 Review (Home Theater AVR)

Sal1950

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psraj

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Honest question that’s been driving me nuts— if we’re using an external amp, would we truly be able to discern much difference between the 8015 and the 6014 in a small HT, not placebo or theoretical stuff but real difference?
…. And follow up question- is the jump from 4 ceiling channels to 6 worth the additional cost?
The simple answer is it depends on what type of speakers you have. In my case my room is a dedicated 17x11x8 room, with all Klipsch RP series towers, center, surround and ceiling speakers. When I first moved to an amp about a year ago after 10 years of using my Yamaha as my sole AVR, it completely opened up my speakers to new levels. Sound stage, dialogues and surround improved significantly. With a dedicated amp, you get dedicated full wattage per channel unlike an AVR where the wattage is rated at 2 channel, and in a 5 to 7 channel, the wattage gets divided. Also dedicated amps are just that, AMPS, they are designed to just be an amp, and hence are built with dedicated circuits to ensure each channel is optimally served. Thats why separates are always better if you can afford them, and have the right setup to leverage them. As far as atmos 6/4, again it depends on your room size.
 
D

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I remember the time when a unit measuring like this would have gotten a headless panther... But new "softer" Amir is now using "AV product" scale when making recommendations.

I’m glad this measured decent, but I have to question… can our hearing keep up with the measurements? At what point doesn’t it matter?

Part of the problem is nobody can hear as good as the AP measures, and another factor is the quality of the music isn’t that good. Hi-Res doesn’t sound any better than a redbook CD, so after all these years the quality of our music has not advanced much if any. I just saw some measurements on another thread, unbelievably bad for new music, and it’s all of it. MQA gimmicks, high-res gimmicks and money driven to the hundredth power.

Again I ask how well can we hear?

Yes I want the best measuring the impossible, but I just bought one today based solely off of the measurements here, and it doesn’t sound any better, or any different than my 10-year-old Marantz AVR and my Burr Brown 32/192 DAC’s are supposed to be obsolete, darned if I could hear a difference and I’ve been listening all day.

Volume matched on an XLR switcher, I didn’t have to be blindfolded, there was no difference whatsoever.

Just sayin… much of the gear has reached a point where we’re chasing out tails.
 
D

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@Doodski sorry I had to edit that, you may even like it better now lol.

Today has been an enlightening day

Edit;

On the strong recommendation of someone Who is a amplifier manufacturer, I was told to switch out my Marantz AV8801 preamp. I bought this in 2013 I believe, and it’s worked pretty flawlessly except for one failed HDMI port, but there’s like six more. Early 4K pass-through, and up conversion I believe only to 60 Hz, anyway I have a great low miles Panny 1080 P plasma TV and the 4K doesn’t bother me.

So I called Marantz customer service, this is during the height of Covid, and sounded like the guy was in his home and couldn’t talk freely. I pushed and probed him about the new 8805, and although he told me it was stellar, he also told me that I probably wouldn’t hear a difference between mine and that one, for two channel music. Because of Atmos that was deployed after I bought mine, I’m assuming you’ll hear some differences in a home theater setting, but I run 9.3 and I’m pretty happy with that. I think we’ve reached and surpassed the threshold of hearing many moons ago, and now we’re just ______ fill in the blank.

I appreciate the reviews here, I bought several great pieces of gear, but honestly after doing comparisons they sound exactly like my old gear.

Just my 2.1 cents
 
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Doodski

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Just sayin… much of the gear has reached a point where we’re chasing out tails.
I agree although technology progresses and we should measure that via testing and determine what is the best value while calling out the charlatans. The value being a personal choice of course determined by needs and wants. I've said it a bazillion times in the past and you confirmed today that most amps don't sound different when operating within their capability. I tested dozens of them in a sound room with dozens of speakers and it was a eye opener. It humbled my methodology and changed my entire sales strategy of the time. The customers loved what I offered because it was real and demonstrable. While the other sales peeps where chasing the dragons tail looking for specs and imagining differences I was selling speakers and upgrading the customers where the difference counted. Most peeps here @ ASR seem to think the same way.
 
D

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I agree although technology progresses and we should measure that via testing and determine what is the best value while calling out the charlatans. The value being a personal choice of course determined by needs and wants. I've said it a bazillion times in the past and you confirmed today that most amps don't sound different when operating within their capability. I tested dozens of them in a sound room with dozens of speakers and it was a eye opener. It humbled my methodology and changed my entire sales strategy of the time. The customers loved what I offered because it was real and demonstrable. While the other sales peeps where chasing the dragons tail looking for specs and imagining differences I was selling speakers and upgrading the customers where the difference counted. Most peeps here @ ASR seem to think the same way.

I hate those pesky dragons lol. Thank you for the enlightening post, enjoy the rest of your day. I’m going to listen to some music yay!
 

Matthew J Poes

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I’m glad this measured decent, but I have to question… can our hearing keep up with the measurements? At what point doesn’t it matter?

Part of the problem is nobody can hear as good as the AP measures, and another factor is the quality of the music isn’t that good. Hi-Res doesn’t sound any better than a redbook CD, so after all these years the quality of our music has not advanced much if any. I just saw some measurements on another thread, unbelievably bad for new music, and it’s all of it. MQA gimmicks, high-res gimmicks and money driven to the hundredth power.

Again I ask how well can we hear?

Yes I want the best measuring the impossible, but I just bought one today based solely off of the measurements here, and it doesn’t sound any better, or any different than my 10-year-old Marantz AVR and my Burr Brown 32/192 DAC’s are supposed to be obsolete, darned if I could hear a difference and I’ve been listening all day.

Volume matched on an XLR switcher, I didn’t have to be blindfolded, there was no difference whatsoever.

Just sayin… much of the gear has reached a point where we’re chasing out tails.
This is one of those questions for which there is no single clear answer.

Take SINAD, an inverse of THD. Lots, TONS of research that shows that THD is poorly or not correlated with our perception of harmonic distortion (and that is only one form of many distortions a product produces). On one hand, if the SINAD value exceeds 100, we can likely argue that the chance of there be any audible harmonic distortion is nill. Those harmonics sit so far below the noise floor of any room as to be impossible to hear.

But a product with a SINAD of 60 might sound just as good if the makeup of the harmonics is benign. A product with a SINAD of 75 might sound totally awful.

What about amplifier output? I've experienced audible clipping of normal 100x7 receivers in home theaters with efficient speakers. Others have told me I'm nuts and they can't hear it. The research into the audibility of clipping amplifiers is nearly non-existent. There has been some casual studies at shows, but nothing that exhaustive and nothing establishing thresholds.

We have wonderful measurements to characterize the quality of engineering for a product, but not the sound quality. If something measures really well across the board, it should sound really good. If it doesn't measure well, it still might sound really good. We would need to investigate more what the specific problems are and its very possible we don't have measurements that correlate well with perception.

Speakers have the most research into the sound quality factors that matter, but even speaker research hasn't fully characterized the limits of what matters. We don't really know exactly how smooth a speaker's response needs to be for it's amplitude distortions to be inaudible. The research many point to was based on contrived signals in which resonances were introduced over headphone or over speakers in an anechoic chamber or special low noise listening room. In practice, small resonances that are audible in isolation may not be with music in a typical room. There is also strong evidence that we adapt to such resonances very easily, so it might be audible, but less of a concern than other factors of sound we don't adapt to, like spatial qualities. Or directivity? Is a single directivity index ideal? Shape ideal? Research wasn't conclusive on that, and even if it was, there is good argument to be made that it would remain content dependent due to a lack of standards and big circle of confusion. In fact, I would argue it would be use case specific as crosstalk in sound field recreation is a huge problem and makes narrow controlled dispersion very important to accuracy. It is likely this is true of surround/multichannel systems and the research suggests that is probably true. But for music, I think all bets are off. There is a good argument to be made for wider dispersion in a fairly lively room as being the more "real" sounding system, if live acoustic music is our point of comparison at least.
 

Matthew J Poes

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I agree although technology progresses and we should measure that via testing and determine what is the best value while calling out the charlatans. The value being a personal choice of course determined by needs and wants. I've said it a bazillion times in the past and you confirmed today that most amps don't sound different when operating within their capability. I tested dozens of them in a sound room with dozens of speakers and it was a eye opener. It humbled my methodology and changed my entire sales strategy of the time. The customers loved what I offered because it was real and demonstrable. While the other sales peeps where chasing the dragons tail looking for specs and imagining differences I was selling speakers and upgrading the customers where the difference counted. Most peeps here @ ASR seem to think the same way.
I hate reviewing amps for this reason. Most amps, when operated in their linear range, won't sound different. Noise is a factor and better amps are quieter often (better measuring), but most people have noisy enough rooms and inefficient enough speakers they can't hear the hiss. If they can, they may not care.

People get mad when I do a review where I claim an amp sounded about the same as another amp I have, but come one, it's true. There isn't an audible difference. Nothing measures all that different.

I did some listening tests of my Purifi amplifier, the AHB2 amplifier, and an Onkyo receiver a while back and the only difference I heard was a small amount of hiss from the Onkyo. At a normal listening distance with music I could not hear a difference. With movies, I couldn't hear a difference.
 
D

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This is one of those questions for which there is no single clear answer.

Take SINAD, an inverse of THD. Lots, TONS of research that shows that THD is poorly or not correlated with our perception of harmonic distortion (and that is only one form of many distortions a product produces). On one hand, if the SINAD value exceeds 100, we can likely argue that the chance of there be any audible harmonic distortion is nill. Those harmonics sit so far below the noise floor of any room as to be impossible to hear.

But a product with a SINAD of 60 might sound just as good if the makeup of the harmonics is benign. A product with a SINAD of 75 might sound totally awful.

What about amplifier output? I've experienced audible clipping of normal 100x7 receivers in home theaters with efficient speakers. Others have told me I'm nuts and they can't hear it. The research into the audibility of clipping amplifiers is nearly non-existent. There has been some casual studies at shows, but nothing that exhaustive and nothing establishing thresholds.

We have wonderful measurements to characterize the quality of engineering for a product, but not the sound quality. If something measures really well across the board, it should sound really good. If it doesn't measure well, it still might sound really good. We would need to investigate more what the specific problems are and its very possible we don't have measurements that correlate well with perception.

Speakers have the most research into the sound quality factors that matter, but even speaker research hasn't fully characterized the limits of what matters. We don't really know exactly how smooth a speaker's response needs to be for it's amplitude distortions to be inaudible. The research many point to was based on contrived signals in which resonances were introduced over headphone or over speakers in an anechoic chamber or special low noise listening room. In practice, small resonances that are audible in isolation may not be with music in a typical room. There is also strong evidence that we adapt to such resonances very easily, so it might be audible, but less of a concern than other factors of sound we don't adapt to, like spatial qualities. Or directivity? Is a single directivity index ideal? Shape ideal? Research wasn't conclusive on that, and even if it was, there is good argument to be made that it would remain content dependent due to a lack of standards and big circle of confusion. In fact, I would argue it would be use case specific as crosstalk in sound field recreation is a huge problem and makes narrow controlled dispersion very important to accuracy. It is likely this is true of surround/multichannel systems and the research suggests that is probably true. But for music, I think all bets are off. There is a good argument to be made for wider dispersion in a fairly lively room as being the more "real" sounding system, if live acoustic music is our point of comparison at least.

I understand what you’re saying, but there has to come a cut off point where we just can’t hear it.

I don’t have enough experience with as many different types of gear as others do, although I’ve had my fair share over the years. But right now I’ve got three or four amplifiers that all sound the same, ranging from class D Pascal, to a nearly 30 year old set of classe audio monoblocks, to a B&K multi channel amp, to an old Parasound 1500a and I could never pick them out of a lineup. Other than the D-Sonics being very high powered, and the classe audios nearly as high powered, level matched you’d never be able to pick one over the other.

I have a nine year old Marantz pre-pro that was top-of-the-line for them back in 2013, now the Burr-Brown DAC’s are supposed to be obsolete, so today I hooked a Topping D90 into it in pure direct mode, and then ran media through the DAC’s of the Marantz. It sounded exactly alike, and if anybody could pick one of them out all the power to them. Virtually if not totally indistinguishable, maybe it’s my age, or maybe we’ve reached a point where if it’s competent it doesn’t sound much different.,
 

Spocko

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I hate reviewing amps for this reason. Most amps, when operated in their linear range, won't sound different. Noise is a factor and better amps are quieter often (better measuring), but most people have noisy enough rooms and inefficient enough speakers they can't hear the hiss. If they can, they may not care.

People get mad when I do a review where I claim an amp sounded about the same as another amp I have, but come one, it's true. There isn't an audible difference. Nothing measures all that different.

I did some listening tests of my Purifi amplifier, the AHB2 amplifier, and an Onkyo receiver a while back and the only difference I heard was a small amount of hiss from the Onkyo. At a normal listening distance with music I could not hear a difference. With movies, I couldn't hear a difference.
You're killing me Matt! I have the AHB2 amplifier unopened new in box, and now you have me wondering if I should just exchange it for a few Emotiva amps :)
 

Spocko

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What belief system led you to buy it?
Engineering excellence, runs cool, highly efficient, record setting SINAD and noise floor (and so much hype!!) - but as Matt said, subjectively probably irrelevant considering my noisy environment. I was planning to match it to high sensitivity speakers where low noise is important, but I find myself with low sensitivity speakers LOL
 

LTig

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On the strong recommendation of someone Who is a amplifier manufacturer, I was told to switch out my Marantz AV8801 preamp. I bought this in 2013 I believe, and it’s worked pretty flawlessly except for one failed HDMI port, but there’s like six more. Early 4K pass-through, and up conversion I believe only to 60 Hz, anyway I have a great low miles Panny 1080 P plasma TV and the 4K doesn’t bother me.

So I called Marantz customer service, this is during the height of Covid, and sounded like the guy was in his home and couldn’t talk freely. I pushed and probed him about the new 8805, and although he told me it was stellar, he also told me that I probably wouldn’t hear a difference between mine and that one, for two channel music.
I think he is absolutely right. Despite the flowering language in ads for the 880x series about their highend sound quality all AVP models starting with 7701 and 8801 have the exact identical specs of 0.008% THD. I measured my 7701 at 0.002% so it's safely in its specs.
 

Rottmannash

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You're killing me Matt! I have the AHB2 amplifier unopened new in box, and now you have me wondering if I should just exchange it for a few Emotiva amps



Please tell me you're joking.
 

Chrispy

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You're killing me Matt! I have the AHB2 amplifier unopened new in box, and now you have me wondering if I should just exchange it for a few Emotiva amps :)
But what are the specific reasons you got that amp?
 

YSC

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I understand what you’re saying, but there has to come a cut off point where we just can’t hear it.

I don’t have enough experience with as many different types of gear as others do, although I’ve had my fair share over the years. But right now I’ve got three or four amplifiers that all sound the same, ranging from class D Pascal, to a nearly 30 year old set of classe audio monoblocks, to a B&K multi channel amp, to an old Parasound 1500a and I could never pick them out of a lineup. Other than the D-Sonics being very high powered, and the classe audios nearly as high powered, level matched you’d never be able to pick one over the other.

I have a nine year old Marantz pre-pro that was top-of-the-line for them back in 2013, now the Burr-Brown DAC’s are supposed to be obsolete, so today I hooked a Topping D90 into it in pure direct mode, and then ran media through the DAC’s of the Marantz. It sounded exactly alike, and if anybody could pick one of them out all the power to them. Virtually if not totally indistinguishable, maybe it’s my age, or maybe we’ve reached a point where if it’s competent it doesn’t sound much different.,
I would agree personally that anything above say 80-90 db SINAD isn’t noticeable in real life but I still reads the measurements with joy for a few reasons

1) just to appreciate how well it is engineered or wise versus

2) have a judge on the degree of overpricing of it, factoring in the finishing, quality of parts etc.

3) when I am after some nostalgic products (using a R2R dac in NOS mode myself) to check if it satisfied my nostalgic needs yet not ruining my music, I bought the holo spring 2 for this reason and not the other R2R which falls in 70db SINAD or below

Plus it’s fun to be geeky, as a car lover also I would like to say a golf or above can get me to my destination with the same sensible acceleration in city, but it’s fun to read if Ferrari or Porsche or Lamborghini goes quicker in the hand of a race driver
 
D

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I would agree personally that anything above say 80-90 db SINAD isn’t noticeable in real life but I still reads the measurements with joy for a few reasons

1) just to appreciate how well it is engineered or wise versus

2) have a judge on the degree of overpricing of it, factoring in the finishing, quality of parts etc.

3) when I am after some nostalgic products (using a R2R dac in NOS mode myself) to check if it satisfied my nostalgic needs yet not ruining my music, I bought the holo spring 2 for this reason and not the other R2R which falls in 70db SINAD or below

Plus it’s fun to be geeky, as a car lover also I would like to say a golf or above can get me to my destination with the same sensible acceleration in city, but it’s fun to read if Ferrari or Porsche or Lamborghini goes quicker in the hand of a race driver

Agreed, in fact my geekyness has rubbed off on my wife haha.

Now when are you bringing the Lambo around for a test drive?
 

Sal1950

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My mltich rig is powered by a stack of (5) 25-30 year old Adcom's and as far as I can
tell, they are completely transparent to the source. Plus IMHO are handsome designs
both inside and out. ;)
93e6e6cc508cebf9a52f8f65b7d8df29.jpg

1713889-adcom-gfa545-ii-power-amplifier.jpg
 
D

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My mltich rig is powered by a stack of (5) 25-30 year old Adcom's and as far as I can
tell, they are completely transparent to the source. Plus IMHO are handsome designs
both inside and out. ;)
93e6e6cc508cebf9a52f8f65b7d8df29.jpg

1713889-adcom-gfa545-ii-power-amplifier.jpg

Thanks for the post, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked at that exact same amplifier to purchase. Probably back when I bought my Parasound used off of A-gon.

It’s fun to be in lightened!
 
D

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Gee… did Adcon actually post real specifications and measurements?

That’s like a lost art today isn’t it?!
 
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