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Review and Measurements of Marantz AV8805 AV Processor

BDWoody

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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.
What kind of server? How do you get multichannel digital out? I'm looking for options to run multichannel to a jbl 705p, 708p 5.1 setup
 

SMc

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The Secrets of Home Theater review is up.

https://hometheaterhifi.com/reviews/receiver-processor/processors/marantz-av8805-processor-review/

"To end on a positive note, the worst-case THD we got on the digital side was 0.003% which is well below the range that can be detected by human hearing. The 18kHz – 19kHz IM results were also impressive if not state of the art. To our mind when distortion gets to these levels, the Signal to Noise ratio and line linearity are far more important and for these measurements, the AV8805 has passed all previous AVR products in these measurements.
The AV8805 is a significant engineering achievement, both in the complexity of the design (look at that back panel!) and in its measured performance."
 

peng

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The numbers seem close enough to Amir's. They used to use the AP but not this time, so that could explain some of the slight differences.
 

anmpr1

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The Secrets of Home Theater review is up.
SoHT is one of the few remaining sites offering worthwhile reviews. Especially those involving David Rich. But for every solid take apart they do, there's a dozen "I put it in my system, played a few obscure records, and went to seventh heaven when I heard the massive soundstage and front to back depth" type utterances.

Check out the McIntosh preamp review, where the guy brings waifu in, to support his sonic conclusions. However, I'm thinking the reviewer put that reference in as an inside joke. It's such an audiophool meme that he couldn't be serious. Could he? Certainly not as serious as the Mac's price. LOL
 

peng

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SoHT is one of the few remaining sites offering worthwhile reviews. Especially those involving David Rich. But for every solid take apart they do, there's a dozen "I put it in my system, played a few obscure records, and went to seventh heaven when I heard the massive soundstage and front to back depth" type utterances.

Check out the McIntosh preamp review, where the guy brings waifu in, to support his sonic conclusions. However, I'm thinking the reviewer put that reference in as an inside joke. It's such an audiophool meme that he couldn't be serious. Could he? Certainly not as serious as the Mac's price. LOL
The subjective part of their reviews fully demonstrate the power of Placebo/Expectation bias. Just read their review on the AV8801, their 2nd generation multi-channel HDMI AVC, and you'd see how to describe the superior sound quality, only to be told by Dr. Rich that SQ would theoretically be limited by the volume control chip (basically the heart of the preamp) that is the same one used in an entry level Yamaha AVR. I still own the 8801., very well built, but Dr. Rich spoiled it, Placebolically speaking..:D
 

digicidal

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The subjective part of their reviews fully demonstrate the power of Placebo/Expectation bias. Just read their review on the AV8801, their 2nd generation multi-channel HDMI AVC, and you'd see how to describe the superior sound quality, only to be told by Dr. Rich that SQ would theoretically be limited by the volume control chip (basically the heart of the preamp) that is the same one used in an entry level Yamaha AVR. I still own the 8801., very well built, but Dr. Rich spoiled it, Placebolically speaking..:D
I think it did the opposite to a large extent for me. I've got two of them and if anything, I like them more now. Once I thought about how much I enjoy movies and music on them - coupled with the fact that I now know they're decidedly pedestrian in their measurements... it really drove home how little I really need to be happy. Sure I plan on replacing one of them with something objectively much better some day - but I'm fine waiting for something that ticks all of my "must have options" and has great measurements too. Even if that takes a few more years.

One thing that it gave me, that I'm definitely not willing to give up at this point is all XLR outputs and dual subs with bass management. I'd love Dirac rather than Audyssey - but even that is way better than no REQ at all. Plus, I've never had a single problem with either of them so far... and that's saying something these days. :confused:
 

Head_Unit

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If you use the Audyssey app, you can save and re-use multiple Audyssey results.
How long does it take to switch? I had once read a post that it takes a long time. As for Dirac etc, are there any units out there that let you switch? I'm interested because have like 2.2 primary listening positions
 
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amirm

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Thread Starter #550
As for Dirac etc, are there any units out there that let you switch? I'm interested because have like 2.2 primary listening positions
On Windows (Dirac Live), you can switch quickly between filters using their control panel.
 

Kal Rubinson

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How long does it take to switch? I had once read a post that it takes a long time. As for Dirac etc, are there any units out there that let you switch? I'm interested because have like 2.2 primary listening positions
Varies, of course, depending on the hardware and network.
On Windows (Dirac Live), you can switch quickly between filters using their control panel.
Yes, switching filters on a PC is much quicker than on most AVRs or prepros. I have not made an exhaustive survey but the NAD Masters Series M17 V2 is an exception. It switches nearly instantaneously from the remote control.
 

Sal1950

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How long does it take to switch? I had once read a post that it takes a long time. As for Dirac etc, are there any units out there that let you switch? I'm interested because have like 2.2 primary listening positions
Using the Editor app, I'd say in general it takes a good minute, maybe two, to upload the new file into the pre/pro. It's not just a click-click type thing, these are large files and vary in size depending on how much customization you've done.

I have not made an exhaustive survey but the NAD Masters Series M17 V2 is an exception. It switches nearly instantaneously from the remote control.
I would think it is storing the various files onboard the M17, rather than loading a new one in each time from an external source like Editor does.
 

Kal Rubinson

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I would think it is storing the various files onboard the M17, rather than loading a new one in each time from an external source like Editor does.
Yup. No external source connection involved.
 

peng

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Welcome @bigguyca and thanks for this excellent post.
It's great that Marantz publishes the schematics and, hopefully, this continues.

Why does the AV8805 has low output voltages (2.4V XLR), is this cost savings on a $4500 processor?

The two processors I am looking into are the Emotiva RMC-1L (still buggy) and the Monoprice HTP-1 (available this fall).
Currently, there are no performance specifications for either.

Since the analog path in many HT processors seems to be hobbled or non-existent, I have moved to an Benchmark LA4 for 2-channel. The XMC-1 analog volume control that compares well with the LA4 but the LA4 adds some clarity using level-matched (instantly switching). For two channel, the signal path is BRIX HTPC Roon -> Oppo UDP-205 DAC -> LA4 -> AHB2's -> Salon2's.

- Rich
From the block diagram in the service manual and the owner's manual, it seems clear to me (okay I agree there isn't any explicit verbiage) that there is not reason to route the analog input signal (under direct/pure direct mode) and/or 7.1 Ch analog input signals to the ADC/DSP block. The manual does confirm in direct mode there will be no dsp, bass management etc. Yes you can select to have the sub on, and we agreed previously just to have the sub on does not need dsp or adc. I think the very knowledgeable bigguyca may have been overthinking a little.
 

RichB

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From the block diagram in the service manual and the owner's manual, it seems clear to me (okay I agree there isn't any explicit verbiage) that there is not reason to route the analog input signal (under direct/pure direct mode) and/or 7.1 Ch analog input signals to the ADC/DSP block. The manual does confirm in direct mode there will be no dsp, bass management etc. Yes you can select to have the sub on, and we agreed previously just to have the sub on does not need dsp or adc. I think the very knowledgeable bigguyca may have been overthinking a little.
The architecture for analog may have changed since the AV8801 but there was no ADC hardware for the 7.1 inputs so no processing. I don't know if you found evidence of this changing in the AV8805 but looking at the features , it appears to be the same.

For the balanced inputs, the AV8801 supported double-bass which I assumed utilized the DSPs but perhaps there is hardware to achieve this. Have you found it in the schematics?

There are other features also available in Pure Direct such as bi-amp which again, there would have to be dedicated hardware to duplicate and reroute or it is DSP based. If bi-amp works on the 7.1 inputs then hardware is required.

It has never been clear how these functions work or what exactly Pure Direct does other disable functions.
For those that do not want to digitize the analog inputs, the 7.1 inputs appear to be the best, and perhaps the only, choice.

- Rich
 

peng

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The architecture for analog may have changed since the AV8801 but there was no ADC hardware for the 7.1 inputs so no processing. I don't know if you found evidence of this changing in the AV8805 but looking at the features , it appears to be the same.

For the balanced inputs, the AV8801 supported double-bass which I assumed utilized the DSPs but perhaps there is hardware to achieve this. Have you found it in the schematics?
I did but haven't spent time on it yet other than a quick glance. The 8801 and 8802A's volume control drawings are harder to follow as they still use the huge LSI chip the R2A15220, but you are right about the sub could be on in direct mode, but I did confirm at the time that bass management, Audyssey etc., were disabled, that is, no processing. As such I highly doubt the signal get treated by an ADC even for those older models.

It has never been clear how these functions work or what exactly Pure Direct does other disable functions.
For those that do not want to digitize the analog inputs, the 7.1 inputs appear to be the best, and perhaps the only, choice.
- Rich[/QUOTE]

I would agree only in the sense that there was no narrative provided by Marantz, but the block diagrams in the downloadable (as shown before, directly from Marantz for some reasons..) service manuals are quite clear, enough to draw a reasonable conclusion. I PM you something to look at.

Assuming the AV8805 works the same way as my Denon X4400H, it should in this regard as the block diagrams and associated schematic indicated the same, the subwoofer would not even turn "ON" in Direct mode if the input signal is 2.0. Edit: That's because I forgot they now have a new sub menu within the "Manual Setup" menu called "2ch Playback" in which one can set the SW Mode to LFE+Main. To be clear, we are talking about analog input signal only, when combined with Direct mode, there is no processing, not even bass management except yes you can have the sub on.
 
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Sal1950

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Widescreen Review, January 2020, Doug Blackburn wrote
"The AV8805 is no giant killer or performance standard, at least not compared to $10,000+ processors. Within its own price range, though, the AV8805 gives near-SOTA sound quality for far less than the five-figure processors. You get performance equal to or better than other processors in its price range. - It makes very nice music that will make serious music listeners very happy. The combination of ease of use, RCAs and XLRs, Audyssey (editable with the $20 app), compatibility with every video format, support for legacy video displays, and all the sur-round options you could want makes the AV8805 satisfying to own and use."
So a pretty good review overall by the HiEnd guys at Widescreen. ;)
 

P_M

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...

What the heck? The moment we go past 5 kHz, the distortion+noise shoots sky high. It is off the chart literally post 10 kHz. What is going on here? We are using 90 kHz bandwidth so lots of things may be going on in ultrasonic range that is not visible here. Let's tease them out using high-resolution FFT spectrum:

View attachment 22727

We now have our answer but not why. We have a tone around 34 kHz that is just -45 dB down from our main signal. If we were to run the dashboard using the same 10 kHz tone and 90 kHz bandwidth, the SINAD would drop to just 45 dB! The level of that peak fortunately is proportional to the signal. Since in real content there is not a ton of amplitude at 10 kHz and higher, practical impact is not as high but let's dig in to find out what is going on.

Thinking this may be an aliasing issue, I ran my white noise test where we look at how much filtering we get at 22.05 kHz. Theory demands that we get infinite amount of signal reduction at that frequency. This is what we get instead:

View attachment 22728

There is almost no filtering at 22.05 kHz! It is not until we reach almost 40 kHz that full filtering takes effect. I searched the manual for any DAC filter setting but did not find anything. This is flat out broken. I get wanting slow roll off but this smells like incorrectly programmed filter setting.

I have a Marantz SR7007 and I observed something similar to this so I am posting here.
This is 1Khz played out of a CD via HDMI. Measurement was done with a Maudio C400 at 96Khz and 24bit. Do you see that spikes at the end of the spectrum ? Can you guess what are those ? It is a spike at exactly 44.1Khz, surrounded by jitter spikes on both side. The jitter are exactly that much Khz away from 44.1Khz as the input signal. So if the input signal is 1Khz the jitter is 43.1Khz and 45.1Khz.
Well guess what happens when the input signal is 10Khz ? Yep you guessed it, lower side band jitter at 34Khz and higher side band at 54Khz. I bet if you see all the way out to 60+Khz you will see the other spike. Now think what would happen for 20Khz.

The high frequencies are being anti aliased back in. Sure one could argue they are in the ultrasonic range so not an issue, but your speakers and amps are seeing this and who knows how they are reacting.

I even wrote to Marantz about this , but their reply was basically its the DAC's filtering, not a problem with our product.

sr7007_1.JPG



I suggest for future tests of AVRs or amps with DACs you check the full spectrum that the sampling bandwidth can provide. Who knows what is hiding out there ?!
 
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