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Review and Measurements of Marantz AV8805 AV Processor

rwortman

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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
 
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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

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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
 
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Sal1950

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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.
Agreed but, Depending on your system and speakers it's a toss-up what the potential gains may be. You might get the analog sound of the Lumin thru with little to no change in it's SQ but, on the other hand you give up all the sound processing capabilities the 8805 offers. Audyssey room correction, upsampling with a huge variety of options, individual DRC for dual subwoofers, much more.
I currently have my Emotiva DC-1 plugged into a std analog input so as not to give up those options but TBH I rarely use it as a DAC in that configuration any more as I never could hear any difference that way as opposed to just letting my 7703 handle everything.
YMMV
 
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I never could hear any difference that way as opposed to just letting my 7703 handle everything.
YMMV
I completely agree that the subtle difference in adding an external DAC would be swamped by the enormous potential benefits of the 8805's room correction and/or subwoofer integration.

I believe that RichB was on the right track when he mentioned that the 8805 (as well as most modern AVRs and processors) is a network-centric device. I think the correct solution to getting the best sound out of the 8805 is to feed it a digital signal. There would be no need for an A-D-A conversion. These D&M products have at least two options for playing Tidal that don't require an external DAC or the use of HDMI inputs:

1. Use HEOS. The free HEOS app controls the 8805's built-in HEOS streamer. It allows you to play Tidal and Spotify as well as your own music stored on your home network. I've tried it and it works great.

2. Use the coax input. Build a cheap Raspberry Pi streamer by adding a coax output board such as the Allo Digione or the HiFiBerry Digi+ Pro. Using Volumio with their new subscription service you can now stream Tidal. Another option is Moode Audio which lets you stream Tidal, Qobuz and Spotify.

Of course, in both cases you would be using the non-MQA DAC in the 8805 so there would be no MQA capability. However, since MQA is of very questionable benefit I don't think it's anything to worry about.
 
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Bad DAC measurements = poor surround sound performance because movie track is fed into the receiver via HDMIA? i have a dedicated DAC which i plan to use for music via rca connection. i assume that bypasses the receiver's DAC. thanks.
 

Kal Rubinson

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Agreed but, Depending on your system and speakers it's a toss-up what the potential gains may be. You might get the analog sound of the Lumin thru with little to no change in it's SQ but, on the other hand you give up all the sound processing capabilities the 8805 offers. Audyssey room correction, upsampling with a huge variety of options, individual DRC for dual subwoofers, much more.
It can be effective. I use the Marantz for TV and movies with cable box, Roku and Oppo connected by HDMI. For music, I have my server feeding a trio of Mytek DACs that connect via the 7.1 analog inputs. I don't miss Audyssey and other processing because I have DiracLive and DSP in the server. A schizoid setup but it works for me.
 

Sal1950

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It can be effective. I use the Marantz for TV and movies with cable box, Roku and Oppo connected by HDMI. For music, I have my server feeding a trio of Mytek DACs that connect via the 7.1 analog inputs. I don't miss Audyssey and other processing because I have DiracLive and DSP in the server. A schizoid setup but it works for me.
Oh for sure, then you handle all those chores yourself before the fact.
An excellent approach, if a bit complicated and costly. ;)
 
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