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Review and Measurements of Marantz AV8805 AV Processor

Kal Rubinson

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Kal, perhaps I wasn't understanding the scenario you're thinking of.
I have multichannel DACs. I have multichannel music files. How can I play the latter to the former via the AV8805? (I believe I know the answer.)
 

StandardModel

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Very low THD, I don't understand your concern, really: https://www.soundandvision.com/content/marantz-sr7011-av-receiver-review-test-bench.
Also, there's the audio.com.pl test from above that barely shows the 2nd harmonic around -90dB; for a powerful amplifier this is a very good figure. Feel free to search all amps tested by the guys from audio.com.pl and you'll not find much better graphs (this is also due to their testing equipment).

Sometimes measurements are not telling absolutely everything about the output sound. Feel free to test your hearing with some audio files: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...can-we-trust-our-ears.3884/page-4#post-136991. If you can hear the -60dB for the 2nd and 3rd harmonic, then I can create more files for you and see how low can you go. :) I'm sure you'll not be able to hear the 2nd harmonic at 60dB away from the fundamental, so why worry about the -90dB from your amp?

You can anytime connect an external DAC to this receiver if you want better THD specs, although...if you'll use a mic & REW you'll probably not notice any differences. Yes, your speakers are having much more distortions than DAC and amplifier. :)

My ODAC is the most noisiest DAC from my home and this DAC has several tests and measurements that prove that it's a good and transparent DAC. Well, those ODAC measurements are all good and as long as THD is below 0.1% and background noise with at least 80dB away from the listening level I don't think anyone should car much. Amir is measuring audio stuff so we can choose our best price/performance ratio for our home and budget and to find any possible flaws (safety reasons); 1 or 2 dB between the testes devices doesn't really means something to our ears for sure.

P.S.: There are engineers that are looking to create amps with several harmonics added: http://www.pmillett.com/3B7.html and same engineers are building amps with very low THD as well: http://www.pmillett.com/butte.htm.
Here's my issue. I'm sure you are correct about the overall specifications, but at these prices and with their ad copy you would think they had built the audio holy grail. Obviously they built a "good enough"product for many consumers. The box if sold by the pound, may be fairly priced but based strictly on audio performance it is overpriced. Unless I'm missing something, better audio performance may be purchased for a small fraction of their price.
 

trl

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@StandardModel manufacturer stated here https://www.us.marantz.com/DocumentMaster/US/AV8805U_ENG_PDF_UG_v00A.pdf that:
For D/A input:
- Total harmonic distortion — 0.008 % (1 kHz, at 0 dB) [Amir found 0.002%]
- S/N ratio — 102 dB [probably 92dB, given the 3rd harmonic for the 1KHz test]
- Dynamic range — 100 dB [Amir found 110dB]
For analog input:
- 0.005 % (20 Hz – 20 kHz) (Direct mode)

Manufacturers will not disclose the results of a full test and maybe they will never do so many and in-thorough tests like Amir does because doing so many tests for each amplifier will most likely increase the time to get the device out on the market with several hours for handling and measuring each device (it might actually add couple of bucks on the final price).

However, 45 years ago thing were much more simple: http://lcweb2.loc.gov/master/mbrs/recording_preservation/manuals/Tektronix Cookbook of Standard Audio Tests.pdf:)

L.E.: THD+N vs. frequency might not help manufacturers, in most cases. This is one of the cases, of course.
 
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Here's my issue. I'm sure you are correct about the overall specifications, but at these prices and with their ad copy you would think they had built the audio holy grail. Obviously they built a "good enough"product for many consumers. The box if sold by the pound, may be fairly priced but based strictly on audio performance it is overpriced. Unless I'm missing something, better audio performance may be purchased for a small fraction of their price.
You go dig up a multichannel AV processor that measures better and does just as much stuff, then. Else, all of this huffing and puffing about the performance is just a waste of breath. Maybe the NAD or Emotiva units that include Dirac have better audio performance, but I'm not shopping for a $5000 4K gazillion channel AV preamp at the moment, though, so I haven't paid much attention. My Denon with XT32 and Atmos gets the job done just fine at the moment.

Still, it seems to me that Dirac is about the only feature this lacks which would truly give potentially significant audible improvements since it does time domain correction. You are continuing to harp on one aspect of the product, instead of the entire product and what it does. That's hogwash. I'm going to say all of those great measuring stand alone DACs are all turds because they only have 2 channels and don't have Audyssey XT32, Bluetooth streaming, or Dirac. There, I win. Yay, internet enlightenment! :cool:
 
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maty

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Marantz SR8012 11.2CH Atmos/DTS:X/Auro 3D AV Receiver by Gene DellaSala

https://www.audioholics.com/av-receiver-reviews/marantz-sr8012-receiver/marantz-sr8012-bench-tests

As preamplifier. Problem: power amp works too. H3 dominant, at -95 dB. Bandwith < 60 kHz.


Marantz SR8012 Preamp Out FFT Distortion Analysis @ 1Vrms



Marantz SR8012 Frequency Response - Pure Direct



Marantz SR8012 Signal to Noise Ratio (1Vrms) - Pure Direct


As AV

I like:


Marantz SR8012 FFT Distortion Analysis (1 watt, 8 ohms)

There is no denying the SR8012 produces respectable power for an AV receiver, but I wanted to see how cleanly it does so at low power, where it spends most of its time. The 2nd order harmonic residual dominates and is about 95dB below the 1kHz fundamental, which is a good result. I was surprised to not see the 3kHz odd order be the dominant factor since it was during the preamp FFT test but I'm not complaining, it’s just inquiring.
 
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A comparable set of measurements for the previous generation processor, marantz av8802
https://hometheaterhifi.com/reviews/receiver-processor/processors/marantz-av8802-processor-review/
And after all those ugly noisy graphs, the reviewer concluded that the 8802 was „the best 11.2 channel receiver of the year“.
Did you take a look at the measurements? First of all, thanks for the link. It proofs that the technical requirements (if we are talking about the science) for initial conditions for ANY test (except of destructive ones - made on purpose) are stated in the specification for any particular device, and shall not be guessed. The actual distortion spectrum of 8802 is WAY better than we observed for 8805 in this thread, despite the fact that worse equipment was used. Second harmonic is at the level of -95dB, third is significantly lower at about -102dB. This means that the circuit was not overloaded during 8802 test close to it’s clipping level. As soon as we raise the signal closer to the clipping or soft compression at the clipping level, level of third harmonic raises and becomes to be higher than second - exactly what we have observed in 8805 measurements (or 8802 measurements at 5V) - level of 3rd harmonic was prevailing and close to -91dB - way worse result than for 8802! Why? Because of 4V+ vs 2.4V required per the specification (and 2.05V in the 8802 test). In my humble opinion the measurement had to be done at 2V and compared with 2.4V (max), but 4V is obviously “an overkill”.
8802, 8802A, and 8805 use pretty much the same DAC circuit with AK4490 chips, so the measurements for the used type of tests shall be similar.
 
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What the heck? The moment we go past 5 kHz, the distortion+noise shoots sky high.
The same thing, level of the output signal at 4V. It seems it starts clipping at 5kHz (or is it some kind of a soft limiter?) and up earlier ...
 
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I think people get way too caught up in the measurements. I recently bought the anthem AVM 60 and while the movie aspect sounded very good... For music it was very bright with way too much presence in the 2k to 5k region (it was very fatiguing) . I saw a bunch of test results that indicated it was brilliant but I couldn't get past the sound, so I returned it. I have just brought the 8805 home and straight away it sounded very, very good. Very natural with very good detail. I have read these articles before and you post about not being able to hear a particular thing I can hear clearly. I think it was the iso regen. If you can't hear this or that that's fine I guess you rely on the measurements but I would urge people, you are doing yourself a severe disservice if you don't try these things for yourself. And don't give me the physchacoustic nonsense. While a valid thing, people who have trained their ears know what they hear. I'm an audio engineer for ages now and it's easy to hear lots of different charges in the system cables, power, different components etc... Try it for yourself in your system and don't just read a tech review and discount something without listening.
 

amirm

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While a valid thing, people who have trained their ears know what they hear. I'm an audio engineer for ages now and it's easy to hear lots of different charges in the system cables, power, different components etc... Try it for yourself in your system and don't just read a tech review and discount something without listening.
You do? Do you have any controlled test you can post of your superiority of your hearing? You know, something we can verify rather than someone taking a math exam and scoring themselves an A.

On my side, I have taken and published countless double blind tests that folks like yourself are scared to run, let alone pass. I am professionally trained to hear very small artifacts. It was part of my job and my career and company's success depended on me being right. You have anything like this on your assessment of cables, power, different components, etc.? Or is it just words we are going to read under an alias on the Internet?

Fact is that you have never been subjected to a single controlled test where someone else scores you. If you had, you would know immediately that your self-awareness of your hearing is exceptionally poor. You are in company of many others of course so you think otherwise. But in this forum, and here, we rely on real science and engineering, not boastfulness about the greatness of your hearing.

All of this said, I am not surprised that you like the sound of this unit. My reviews dig into design and engineering of a product to see whether it had gone as far as it could. In this case, it has not. Fortunately, audiophiles in general have poor hearing when it comes to hearing distortions that instruments easily measure. So you are immune to these issues. Which is fine. My goal is to find products that don't rely on your poor hearing when it comes to non-linear distortion. That we can demonstrate beyond much doubt that transparency is there for all content, and all people.

I bet audio is the only field where you go around whistling dixie that the science doesn't know as much as you do. I mean there is not one published test of power and cables sounding different in thousands of papers at AES, ASA, IEEE spectrum, etc. This is literally across tens of thousands of peer reviewed and published papers. Yet folks like you not only ignore the science, but come here shouting it from mountaintop as if it is so obvious they are right. You are not. I have done what you have done. I have tested myself and countless others. The conclusions of science and engineering in prestigious industry fora we have is correct. That what you think you are hearing, is not necessarily is the conclusion of what the soundwaves were that hit your ear and brain.

I suggest watching the movie Matrix and consider which world you are living in. It certainly is not the real one.
 
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I don't claim to have superiority of hearing... You need to calm down. I'm giving an opinion that there is much more to it than running a few tests. The fact that I could hear the difference in the iso regen had nothing to do with superiority of hearing, we are using different systems, in different locations, with different, everything really. There could be any number of different reasons. Even our ears are different, the way we perceive what hits them it goes on and on. I too have seen the countless data of people who can't tell the difference between cables, and then every now and then there's an example of someone who can and they can do it repeatedly. I wish I kept one particular link but it's not really my job to collate such things I read purely for me. I do however feel from time to time that people might obtain some benefit from my opinion I then choose to share. Most of those tests you ran as you stated are inaudible by our inferior hearing. So should you choose a component based on this? No. Did that render them obselete? Also no... It is proving how much care has been taken to produce the best product possible for the money. I agree with that part. I think we go to far with what we think we can prove with science. Science is incredible but science is based on what we know now and what we know now will change tomorrow and also there are way too many variables to be conclusive. As you said in your review... I am only testing this one small part, I don't have time to do it all... When do we ever? Use your ears people
 

trl

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I think people get way too caught up in the measurements. I recently bought the anthem AVM 60 and while the movie aspect sounded very good... For music it was very bright with way too much presence in the 2k to 5k region (it was very fatiguing) . I saw a bunch of test results that indicated it was brilliant but I couldn't get past the sound, so I returned it.[...]
https://hometheaterhifi.com/reviews.../anthem-avm-60-preamplifier-processor-review/ - seem respectable values, at least for HDMI/XLR.

Maybe your Anthem had an issue, not calibrated from manufacturer...you never know. A soundcard, a calibrated microphone (or best you can find with less money) and REW might help in identifying differences between source A and source B on the same speakers. A dB-meter could help as well (even the one you have on your cellphone), but given that same speakers are used, a DMM might suffice.

I don't claim to have superiority of hearing... [...]
Maybe you do, why don't you test them, please? The below tests are really nice to take, so totally recommended.
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...can-we-trust-our-ears.3884/page-4#post-136991
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...can-we-trust-our-ears.3884/page-3#post-105167

I never thought I can listen only 15-16KHz with headphones and up to 18KHz with speakers (I always thought headphones are better for trebles).
I never thought speakers are more revealing than headphones in detecting harmonics.
I never thought I can distinguish a +/-0.5dB difference in amplitude between sounds etc.
 
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When do we ever? Use your ears people
When people say that I always think about Evelyn Glennie https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evelyn_Glennie
We don’t know about our abilities “to hear” or better say “feel” sounds using our body ... some people can have this ability at the better level, and it is possibly why they can “hear” the difference why others can’t.
This is why we all need science in audio, at least “to be on the same page” during discussions.
 

amirm

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I don't claim to have superiority of hearing... You need to calm down. I'm giving an opinion that there is much more to it than running a few tests.
I am calm. If I were not, you would not be here anymore.

Opinions in this forum need to be based on science, engineering, or authoritative references. It is in the name of the forum and the reason for this forum existing. You are welcome to express casual opinions otherwise but not put forward as a direct challenge of objective data presented with nothing more than, "oh, my ears are trained and they disagree with your tests." Neither is in evidence here.

The tests run show the transfer function of a device with respect to distortion. You cannot escape the physics of that. Just breath on the system and measurements change. I have shown even different lengths of USB cables changing what is measured in the output of a DAC! It is an impossibility to make a change in the system where the audible effects are obvious, but measurements can't see them.

The dashboard alone is almost fully instructive of the nature of the device. In a glance we see noise, distortion, output levels, etc. So we don't need a mountain of tests to prove anything. Heck, if we had a mountain of tests folks would read them even less!

Remember, science has no trouble explaining your experience. It is trivial to know why you thought what you thought. To wit:
The fact that I could hear the difference in the iso regen had nothing to do with superiority of hearing, we are using different systems, in different locations, with different, everything really.
You don't know what you heard. You know what you perceived. Your brain uses many factors to make a decision on sound. It is also fully adaptive, deciding to find details in music, or not. When you insert a new piece of gear in your system, you invariably focus to know what has changed. This modifies your normal mode of listening where the brain is throwing away 99% of incoming data. Now, it is searching to hear differences and oh, you hear that little note. You perceive that noise floor. You attribute this change to the equipment but in realy, it is you that is bending, not the spoon:


To avoid this issue, you need to have someone else make the change or not change the system. That way, your brain will apply equal attention to either system configuration. This is what we call blind testing. Do this 10 times and see if you can tell the right outcome 8 out of 10 times. If you do not, it is time to lay back, and let the information and science presented in this forum sink in. It is how the real world of audio works and is worth spending an hour performing the above test. I will give you $100 if you post a video of such a test showing that you can hear audible effects in ISO Regen.
 

Frank Dernie

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When people say that I always think about Evelyn Glennie https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evelyn_Glennie
We don’t know about our abilities “to hear” or better say “feel” sounds using our body ... some people can have this ability at the better level, and it is possibly why they can “hear” the difference why others can’t.
This is why we all need science in audio, at least “to be on the same page” during discussions.
Well yes and no.
Even if individuals hear, or sense, pressure fluctuations in the room differently reproducing pressure fluctuations in a room using using loudspeakers driven by electronics does allow us to scientifically verify if the electrical signal being sent to the speaker terminals is the same or not, and if it is then the pressure fluctuations in the room will be the same so each individual can sense them in whatever way they do, differently or not.
Loss of high frequency with age is real enough but, of course, it is there when we listen to a live concert or a conversation as well as listening to reproduction, so correcting for it would make the hifi sound unnatural.
I suppose it may well mean the reproduction of infra-bass and ultra-sonic pressure waves may effect different people differently - this is clearly mainly a speaker problem though, getting excited about >20k seems daft when most tweeters either can't reproduce it at all and/or are so directional up there that unless you are directly in line with the tweeter axis it won't impinge on you at anyway, all seems bonkers.
 
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I suppose it may well mean the reproduction of infra-bass and ultra-sonic pressure waves may effect different people differently - this is clearly mainly a speaker problem though, getting excited about >20k seems daft when most tweeters either can't reproduce it at all and/or are so directional up there that unless you are directly in line with the tweeter axis it won't impinge on you at anyway, all seems bonkers.
This is exactly what I am talking about.
But let’s stop here without going to human abilities to hear (or feel) above 20 kHz or below 20 Hz (not only fundamental frequencies, but also harmonics, products of Intermodulation distortions, subharmonic, directional sounds and reflections, etc.), it is an off-top discussion in this Marantz 8805 thread, I believe.
 
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I found the measurements shown here quite interesting, thanks. I have a Marantz AV7703, and I feel like I would not do much better with the higher-end model (other than more channels in the latest version, for example). I would like 7.2.6 someday, but I am not willing to pay more than $2k for it (I paid $1600 for what I have), so I will be waiting for a while.

I am curious how much better/worse the Monoprice 13.2 AVP will be, as well as the X series prepro from Emotiva (as well as relevant <$4k competition from Outlaw and the like). The only problem is that only Marantz/Onkyo/Yamaha make AVPs that support multiple simultaneous zones with different sources AFAIK. The others mentioned only support one zone, or at best mirrored outputs. I use the multi-zone out features quite often, so I am more or less stuck with the Japanese mass-market brands. Such is life.
 

vkvedam

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Thanks for the review Amir. Such a shame to see these appalling results. Considering the fact that Classé comes under the same umbrella group it's shocking to see such poor efforts.

At the moment I use my SR6012 (Costs 1/4th the price of SS2 MkII) just for movie processing and feed in through line level with my Topping D50 (Much much better for music).
 
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I have a Marantz AV7703, and I feel like I would not do much better with the higher-end model (other than more channels in the latest version, for example).
Your suggestion is wrong, I believe.
8805 is a completely different “animal” comparing to 7703, it uses more advanced “velvet sound” premium 2-channel AK4490 DAC chips, for example, comparing to AK4458 8-channel OSR-doubler DAC chips, used in 7703.
Although the difference in measurements is not that significant, they sound different.
 
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just for movie processing
How do you use high resolution multichannel sources, like Pure Audio Blue Ray, for example, SACD, DVD-A, video concerts on BR disks?
The “poor results” for 13.2 channel AV processor overloading it’s input and comparing to 2-channel DACs? Hmm
 
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vkvedam

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How do you use high resolution multichannel sources, like Pure Audio Blue Ray, for example, SACD, DVD-A, video concerts on BR disks?
When I said movies, it's for the multi-channel audio in movies. I only use 'Pure Direct' mode for everything, not a big fan of post DSP. I use Netflix and Prime through Fire TV 4K Stick. For Blu-ray I use good old PS3. For cinematic audio it's decent but like I said for music the best thing to do would be using it as an amp in 'Pure Direct' mode with D50 looking after the DAC duties.

And I prefer two channel audio for all music, not a big fan of 5.1 music.
 
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