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

Review and Measurements of Marantz AV8805 AV Processor

digicidal

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2019
Messages
419
Likes
401
Location
Sin City, NV
Angel is the centerfold... not sure even what to think about finding this... Marantz AV8802
Seems even my attempt at audio hi fi is still so little league, bush league, coined, sold out, empty ... How, why, when? Is Walmart the new Hi Fi dealer?
Well, as it's a close-out discontinued model a couple generations back... I wouldn't read too much into it. Also they are (unsuccessfully for the most part) attempting to compete with Amazon... if they carried them in the store - then I'd probably have to write off the brand forever. :eek: I'd definitely get this one before gambling on Walmart - full warranty (auth reseller) and much better price too (they also have a refurb for even less).

I'm pretty surprised at that price... not sure if that's gouging or it they are really holding their value well. I will say that although I missed out on BT by getting the model before that one, I have come to appreciate the built-in 4 port ethernet hub in mine. One less box required to connect 3 other devices at the rack.
 

vert

Member
Joined
May 30, 2018
Messages
93
Likes
36
Location
Switzerland
A short question. Does anyone know of tests made ok Marantz slim-line seies of AV amps? I currently use the NR1506. Previously I had another Marantz that I had to return because of it being noisy and I replaced it at that time with a HK AV amp. The current Marantz is not poor lke the previous one. But I would like to upgrade and need a slim-line AV alp with some options to adjust some room modes in the bass region. The later Marantz slim-line models allow for that but I don’t know anything about the overall performance.
It's not often that a question comes along that I can help answer so let me try:)
I have the NR1508 which I bought earlier this year at a friendly price when the '09 came out. A few months earlier I had bought a DAC for my stereo amp, this one
https://www.audiophonics.fr/en/dac-...4khz-asynchronous-usb-xmos-black-p-11961.html

That DAC and the Marantz have a similar AK 44xx chip. I thought I might not need a DAC anymore so did a listening comparison, through headphones, between 1) PC HDMI+Marantz HDMI input vs 2) PC USB+DAC XMOS input + Marantz analog input, switching from the PC, running the Audirvana player, in the Audirvana inputs list. All FLACs, ripped or streamed. My speakers are a pair of Paradigm Atom Monitor bookshelves and a Phonar subwoofer. I use the Audyssey correction.

The sound for 1) was just OK, the sound for 2) is great and comes with this delicate, beautiful 3D presentation that I love, which is absent or much more recessed in 1). It also sounds cleaner to my ears. IWith the 2) configuration I could listen to music for hours, not so with the 1) configuration. Make of that what you will, I have no qualifications and no way to measure anything. But IIRC, other than the 8805's DAC implementation not being ideal, Amir's review mentions something about the HDMI input's performance somewhat leaving to be desired. IIRC also, someone once posted a Polish audio site's measurements of the NR1506 (or was it the NR1504?)'s amp section, and it measured fine. For movies and TV the Marantz is a joy and absolutely fine as it is IMO - although I'd like to try a movie via the DAC, out of curiosity.
 

Sal1950

Major Contributor
The Chicago Crusher
Joined
Mar 1, 2016
Messages
5,738
Likes
3,226
Location
Central Fl
That DAC and the Marantz have a similar AK 44xx chip. I thought I might not need a DAC anymore so did a listening comparison, through headphones, between 1) PC HDMI+Marantz HDMI input vs 2) PC USB+DAC XMOS input + Marantz analog input, switching from the PC, running the Audirvana player, in the Audirvana inputs list. All FLACs, ripped or streamed. My speakers are a pair of Paradigm Atom Monitor bookshelves and a Phonar subwoofer. I use the Audyssey correction.
Just a few comments on your listening test.
1. Were you able to level match path 1 and 2 to within 1/4 db or better?
2. The analog inputs still put the signal thru the onboard DAC even if the Direct mode is chosen, more data is being modified with Audyssey.
 

vert

Member
Joined
May 30, 2018
Messages
93
Likes
36
Location
Switzerland
1. I level matched by ear as best I could. I don't know how to measure levels.
2. Really? Do you know the rationale for this? That wouldn't be occurring, obviously, on my stereo amp, which has no internal DAC. Why different on an AVR? I use the CD RCA input on both. I mentioned Audyssey but it's not relevant here, as it's automatically disengaged when headphones are used. I don't remember if Direct automatically engages in that case on the Marantz, or if I manually engaged it, or not (I would always use the direct mode on the stereo amp).
 

digicidal

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2019
Messages
419
Likes
401
Location
Sin City, NV
Audyssey is not in the signal chain for Direct or Pure Direct modes... but that doesn't mean it's a pure analog path from inputs to outputs. What both do is disable more/most of the DSP features for audio and video. Depending on the model and feature set this can be somewhat different - like in your stereo receiver. However, in the highest end models PD supposedly also moves the crossover to the analog domain. DM Holdings are quite quiet in the details... for obvious reasons (i.e. someone won't like it - no matter what they implemented).

If "audiophiles" got their way (PD mode makes the processor into an analog preamp with straight wire performance)... support would be innundated by people calling about how their unit "just stopped working" - since hitting that mode would kill all digital inputs. That's not why 99% of their customers buy these after all.

In Direct mode you lose Audyssey, EQ/tone control, Matrix modes, etc. In Pure Direct mode you also lose analog video inputs, displays are turned off (but wake briefly during input changes, etc.), and all video DSP functions (lip sync, resolution & color upsampling, etc.).

It's easy enough to know that it's not fully 'disabled' since you will still have decoding of surround formats and processing of audio from HDMI inputs... which you wouldn't have if it were truly using a separate signal path. It's too bad that the balanced analog inputs are treated essentially the same way on the 880X models... but it makes sense. If everyone got their way, we'd have a fantastic swiss army knife of audio - of course, they'd probably price it north of $7500 as well. Add to that the fact that only 1% of their customers would ever be likely to use those additional features, and it makes sense why it works the way it does.

Still doesn't mean they couldn't have gotten better performance out of the DAC however... but there again "good enough for 99%" probably directed the engineering goals.

@vert - there are quite a few variables in that test that could have affected level, SNR, etc. which could have been detectable. It's also possible psycho-acoustically, that simply knowing there was a 'better' device in the chain made a subjective improvement. The HDMI signal was a DA with decoding, and the USB was a DA-AD-DA conversion... depending on what filters are employed in each device and for which inputs/outputs it's quite likely there was a difference. Whether that difference was more accurate to the source or less is much more debatable without measurements.

None of that changes the fact that you liked the DAC better... so listen that way and enjoy it! I know vinyl is the least accurate source material... but I still prefer it for some recordings. I do prefer to convert it to digital so it is preserved in all it's noisy goodness (and available anywhere in the house or car).
 
Last edited:

rwortman

Active Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2019
Messages
132
Likes
89
Makers of home theater equipment are probably more interested in lots of handy features and good sound rather than state of the art measurements. There's a lot going on in those big boxes. How many zeroes are after the decimal point in a distortion measurement is of interest here but likely not an audible effect.
 

RichB

Active Member
Joined
May 24, 2019
Messages
191
Likes
145
Location
Massachusetts
Makers of home theater equipment are probably more interested in lots of handy features and good sound rather than state of the art measurements. There's a lot going on in those big boxes. How many zeroes are after the decimal point in a distortion measurement is of interest here but likely not an audible effect.
I would amend that to "good enough sound" and many have moved away from specifying any decimal points :p

- Rich
 

rwortman

Active Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2019
Messages
132
Likes
89
I would amend that to "good enough sound" and many have moved away from specifying any decimal points :p

- Rich
I think my two channel setup sounds a bit clearer than my RX-A1070 AVR but I would not bet money on me telling them apart in a blind test. Good enough can mean a lot of things. From good enough not to grab the remote and turn it off to good enough to be audibly transparent.
 

Jimp4731

New Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2019
Messages
3
Likes
0
Very informative thread! Since upgrading speakers and amps, I'm spending more time streaming TIDAL via the 8805's built in HEOS capability. Speakers are Salon2s driven by a pair of ML536s. I need the functionality of the 8805 for home theater purposes but realize it's the weak link when streaming. Should I consider something like a Lumin D2 (for TIDAL MQA) fed into the 8805's analog inputs, or perhaps take it a step further and add a pre-amp that's got HT pass-through capability. Looking for suggestions....
 

rwortman

Active Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2019
Messages
132
Likes
89
I don't know if I would call it a weak link. However, I have a two channel preamp that does not have HT bypass. I run it into a Schiit SYS (Switch Your S---) which is basically a two way switch and a pot. With the pot turned all the way up it's a two way switch in a nice box for $50. I actually took the pot out of the circuit but I was troubleshooting a problem at the time. The other input to the SYS is the preamp out of my AVR. The output of the SYS goes to my power amp. I only have to push a button to be in two channel mode or HT mode. I sometimes stream to the AVR so I can use the surround effects. So much for "pure direct". I have had those "pure direct" modes on several receivers and a universal disk player or three. I can't say I heard an audible effect from engaging it when it wasn't switching out EQ. I can't say for sure that the V-90 into my preamp sounds different than my AVR in stereo mode. I just like having a separate two channel system with a DAC and my turntable/phono preamp?
 

RichB

Active Member
Joined
May 24, 2019
Messages
191
Likes
145
Location
Massachusetts
Very informative thread! Since upgrading speakers and amps, I'm spending more time streaming TIDAL via the 8805's built in HEOS capability. Speakers are Salon2s driven by a pair of ML536s. I need the functionality of the 8805 for home theater purposes but realize it's the weak link when streaming. Should I consider something like a Lumin D2 (for TIDAL MQA) fed into the 8805's analog inputs, or perhaps take it a step further and add a pre-amp that's got HT pass-through capability. Looking for suggestions....
I use a Benchmark HPA4, one input for the XMC-1 (HT) processor and another for the UDP-205 DAC.
I have a work around for the lack of IR commands for discrete inputs when not paired with a DAC2/3.

Another options is the ARX RS-1 ($259) that takes 2 XLR inputs and can be configured to be powered to select Input 2 using a 12 volt trigger. No additional power is required. A two channel preamp with trigger can be connected to Input 2 and the input switches to the input.

https://www.markertek.com/product/a...tereo-xlr-balanced-remote-controlled-switcher

- Rich
 

Jimp4731

New Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2019
Messages
3
Likes
0
I use a Benchmark HPA4, one input for the XMC-1 (HT) processor and another for the UDP-205 DAC.
I have a work around for the lack of IR commands for discrete inputs when not paired with a DAC2/3.

Another options is the ARX RS-1 ($259) that takes 2 XLR inputs and can be configured to be powered to select Input 2 using a 12 volt trigger. No additional power is required. A two channel preamp with trigger can be connected to Input 2 and the input switches to the input.

https://www.markertek.com/product/a...tereo-xlr-balanced-remote-controlled-switcher

- Rich
Good to know remote XLR switches are out there - certainly like the idea of using the preamp (or AVR) 12v trigger. I'd have a similar issue with subs as I'd want them utilized in either mode - curious how you handle that part.

I'm still interested in how much better an external streamer/DAC might sound using the 8805's analog XLR inputs. Reading through this thread, it appears those XLR inputs get fed through the 8805's DAC which makes me lean toward going the preamp route with HT bypass or with a switch such as you suggested.
 

RichB

Active Member
Joined
May 24, 2019
Messages
191
Likes
145
Location
Massachusetts
Good to know remote XLR switches are out there - certainly like the idea of using the preamp (or AVR) 12v trigger. I'd have a similar issue with subs as I'd want them utilized in either mode - curious how you handle that part.

I'm still interested in how much better an external streamer/DAC might sound using the 8805's analog XLR inputs. Reading through this thread, it appears those XLR inputs get fed through the 8805's DAC which makes me lean toward going the preamp route with HT bypass or with a switch such as you suggested.
I don't think there is clarity on if and under which settings the XLR inputs are digitized.
Here is a post by @bigguyca that discusses the design:

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...-av8805-av-processor.6926/page-24#post-196324

- Rich
 

Jimp4731

New Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2019
Messages
3
Likes
0
I don't think there is clarity on if and under which settings the XLR inputs are digitized.
Here is a post by @bigguyca that discusses the design:

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...-av8805-av-processor.6926/page-24#post-196324

- Rich
Regardless of the 8805's XLR input getting digitized or not, I may try the Lumin D2 to see if there's a discernible difference. If nothing else, the Lumin UI is attractive as is the ability to stream TIDAL MQA. After that perhaps a pre-amp predicated on it being auditioned/returned should my 60+ hearing discern little or no difference.
 

SMc

Member
Joined
Dec 21, 2018
Messages
24
Likes
15
Last edited:
Joined
Sep 2, 2019
Messages
17
Likes
16
Location
Victoria, BC Canada
Regardless of the 8805's XLR input getting digitized or not, I may try the Lumin D2 to see if there's a discernible difference. If nothing else, the Lumin UI is attractive as is the ability to stream TIDAL MQA. After that perhaps a pre-amp predicated on it being auditioned/returned should my 60+ hearing discern little or no difference.
At $2995 your Lumin D2 is almost as expensive as the 8805. It would be a shame to re-digitize the Lumin's analog output in the 8805.

Your best approach might be to connect the Lumin to the FL & FR inputs of the 7.1 input section. These inputs are not digitized so that your analog will not be tampered with. If the post (https://forums.audioholics.com/forums/threads/pure-direct-vs-stereo.84899/page-4#post-959688) that digicidal linked to above is indeed correct, you can also have a 2.1 subwoofer output created by the 8805's discreet analog crossover circuit that (hopefully) will not molest your original stereo signal.

Best of both worlds if it all works. The only way to know for sure is to set it up and listen.
 

RichB

Active Member
Joined
May 24, 2019
Messages
191
Likes
145
Location
Massachusetts
At $2995 your Lumin D2 is almost as expensive as the 8805. It would be a shame to re-digitize the Lumin's analog output in the 8805.

Your best approach might be to connect the Lumin to the FL & FR inputs of the 7.1 input section. These inputs are not digitized so that your analog will not be tampered with. If the post (https://forums.audioholics.com/forums/threads/pure-direct-vs-stereo.84899/page-4#post-959688) that digicidal linked to above is indeed correct, you can also have a 2.1 subwoofer output created by the 8805's discreet analog crossover circuit that (hopefully) will not molest your original stereo signal.

Best of both worlds if it all works. The only way to know for sure is to set it up and listen.
That post was in 2013. I am not sure that it applies today.

- Rich
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2019
Messages
17
Likes
16
Location
Victoria, BC Canada
That post was in 2013. I am not sure that it applies today.

- Rich
Yeah. I have no idea if the discreet analog crossover circuit is still something that D&M are including. That's why I suggested setting it up as an experiment to see if it would work.

However, the 7.1 analog ins not getting digitized seems to be a consensus view. If I was going to use an external DAC they would be the only inputs that make sense.
 

RichB

Active Member
Joined
May 24, 2019
Messages
191
Likes
145
Location
Massachusetts
Yeah. I have no idea if the discreet analog crossover circuit is still something that D&M are including. That's why I suggested setting it up as an experiment to see if it would work.

However, the 7.1 analog ins not getting digitized seems to be a consensus view. If I was going to use an external DAC they would be the only inputs that make sense.
The 7.1 analog inputs cannot be digitized. The XLR input can be. I am skeptical that any analog crossovers exist in the AV8805. This is a network centric AV processor. As can be seen in measurements, the DAC measurements show a flawed filter implementation that appears to be in-fashion.

- Rich
 
Last edited:

Similar threads

Top Bottom