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Struggle replacing Old AVR - tried RZ50, 4800h, and Cinema 70 - what now?

peng

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Here's one example:

Cambridge Audio preamplifier and the Parasound Halo A21, versus my very old Denon AVR-3805 in Direct mode:

At 1/24, or even 1/48 smoothing, they look almost the same. At 1/12 smoothing, it would almost look like one curve when there are two.

1699114632048.png
 

peng

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There's a treble roll off in the left and right channel which Audyssey measured with the 8002 as an amp and the 4800h as an amp. It's more pronounced on the left channel.

The orange line of the 4800h in Direct mode measured all by itself (no 8002 amps) seems to be lifting up the treble but for that one I did replace the mic right over the exact same spot, same height (the mic's height was locked) and verified it several times. It could be slightly off by a centimeter for that one. Could that make such a difference?

I could do a measurement with Direct for the 8002 and 4800h alone with the Mic Locked at the same position but I'm not sure what it would do. Maybe to satisfy our curiousity.
One cm shouldn't make a noticeable difference, but you keep getting significantly differences that could only happen when you were not doing the comparison properly.

Let me repeat what I suggested to you before, all in one post, so you can pay attention to those if you decide to do more measurements:

1) Make sure you are in fact in direct mode, to make there is no eq, no Audyssey.
2) When using the 4800 without the 8002, disconnect any connections, such as the 7.1 multi channel analog inputs to the 8002, that is, the 4800 is 100% by itself with no physically connections to the 8002.
3) When using the 8002, same as 2), make sure it is really all by itself, physically, and electrically.
4) Yes the mic must be "lock" (whatever you meant) in the same positions.
5) Nothing else moves in the room, same furniture, same positions, and stay away so your body is not blocking anything.

I know the above seems extreme, but I think we are now in troubleshooting mode, because something must be causing the 8002 and 4800 to differ so much in frequency response, when the two are supposed to have flat response from 20-20,000 Hz.

According to soundandvision.com:

SR8002 frequency response:

Analog frequency response in Pure Direct mode:
–0.09 dB at 20 kHz; –0.54 dB at 50 kHz

According to Amir:

AVR-X4800H:

That's virtually flat, about -0.2 dB at the most at 20 kHz, that's digital, for analog it should also extend to 50 kHz like the SR8002

index.php


That's anechoic, for in room they won't be flat, but they should behave the same way and the curves should look very much alike.
 
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techsamurai

techsamurai

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Here's one example:

Cambridge Audio preamplifier and the Parasound Halo A21, versus my very old Denon AVR-3805 in Direct mode:

At 1/24, or even 1/48 smoothing, they look almost the same. At 1/12 smoothing, it would almost look like one curve when there are two.

View attachment 323743
Yes, I know.... I'm using a UMIK-1, it's in the same spot for 2 out of 3 and as close as a human can get on the 3rd one. I'm also getting same frequencies from my computer so I know it's not the computer, cable, or REW as back-to-back measurements are exactly identical.

I'm also using the same HDMI cable and same speaker cables.

You mentioned the pre-outs being connected on the 4800h might affect it even though they are not used. Maybe...
It could also be the fact that I'm bi-amping.

I suppose I could measure the center channel direct (no-biamp) and remove the pre-out.

It's very puzzling...
 

peng

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Found another one for you, this time it includes my vintage Marantz, in this comparison, the Marantz SC-7 was used as the preamp to drive the NAD and Parasound power amps, versus the Denon AVR-3805 all by itself, you can see a little difference but nothing like what you have been getting.

The 3805 is a very old AVR, older than your 8002, but I also have graphs for the much newer AVR-X3400H, and the results were very much the same, that it's FR was as good as my other amps, including the separates.

1699116176737.png
 
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techsamurai

techsamurai

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One cm shouldn't make a noticeable difference, but you keep getting significantly differences that could only happen when you were not doing the comparison properly.

Let me repeat what I suggested to you before, all in one post, so you can pay attention to those if you decide to do more measurements:

1) Make sure you are in fact in direct mode, to make there is no eq, no Audyssey.
2) When using the 4800 without the 8002, disconnect any connections, such as the 7.1 multi channel analog inputs to the 8002, that is, the 4800 is 100% by itself with no physically connections to the 8002.
3) When using the 8002, same as 2), make sure it is really all by itself, physically, and electrically.
4) Yes the mic must be "lock" (whatever you meant) in the same positions.
5) Nothing else moves in the room, same furniture, same positions, and stay away so your body is not blocking anything.

I know the above seems extreme, but I think we are now in troubleshooting mode, because something must be causing the 8002 and 4800 to differ so much in frequency response, when the two are supposed to have flat response from 20-20,000 Hz.

According to soundandvision.com:

SR8002 frequency response:

Analog frequency response in Pure Direct mode:
–0.09 dB at 20 kHz; –0.54 dB at 50 kHz

According to Amir:

AVR-X4800H:

That's virtually flat, about -0.2 dB at the most at 20 kHz, that's digital, for analog it should also extend to 50 kHz like the SR8002

index.php


That's anechoic, for in room they won't be flat, but they should behave the same way and the curves should look very much alike.

Can the 8002 affect the 4800h even if it's turned off and vice versa?
 

peng

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Yes, I know.... I'm using a UMIK-1, it's in the same spot for 2 out of 3 and as close as a human can get on the 3rd one. I'm also getting same frequencies from my computer so I know it's not the computer, cable, or REW as back-to-back measurements are exactly identical.

I'm also using the same HDMI cable and same speaker cables.

You mentioned the pre-outs being connected on the 4800h might affect it even though they are not used. Maybe...
It could also be the fact that I'm bi-amping.

I suppose I could measure the center channel direct (no-biamp) and remove the pre-out.

It's very puzzling...
Bi-amp should not make a difference. I do believe it is your hook up and the mic position thing. Using REW to compare the units, you should have just the one and same mic positions, I assume you mentioned 3 positions only for Audyssey calibration. Since you are comparing in direct mode, we don't care about those mic positions. They only matter if and when you compare in stereo mode with Audyssey in use.

If you have done everything right and still get those major differences in FR between the 8002 and 4800, then it is time for you to check another 8002 (you have 3 right), because the only way it could behave so differently is, something went defective, or deteriorated, in term of hardware such as some bad capacitors.
 

peng

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Can the 8002 affect the 4800h even if it's turned off and vice versa?
It could, and might, depending on the circuitry. Likely have insignificant effects even if it does, but we are in troubleshooting mode so let's eliminate such possibilities.
 
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techsamurai

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Bi-amp should not make a difference. I do believe it is your hook up and the mic position thing. Using REW to compare the units, you should have just the one and same mic positions, I assume you mentioned 3 positions only for Audyssey calibration. Since you are comparing in direct mode, we don't care about those mic positions. They only matter if and when you compare in stereo mode with Audyssey in use.

If you have done everything right and still get those major differences in FR between the 8002 and 4800, then it is time for you to check another 8002 (you have 3 right), because the only way it could behave so differently is, something went defective, or deteriorated, in term of hardware such as some bad capacitors.

Yeah but I have to steal the one from downstairs and that's double or triple the work. :) I'm going to check the direct of the 4800h first because it's supposed to dip over 5k by 10-15db - that seems to be the room. Let me check the Cinema 70's measurements to see if that dip was there too in the befor measurements.
 

peng

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Yeah but I have to steal the one from downstairs and that's double or triple the work. :) I'm going to check the direct of the 4800h first because it's supposed to dip over 5k by 10-15db - that seems to be the room. Let me check the Cinema 70's measurements to see if that dip was there too in the befor measurements.
Good idea, the 70 is also brand new, so check that against the 4800 in direct mode, with REW of course.
 

EWL5

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Found this from an older review of the 8002. Could the analog inputs of the 8002 be at fault?

 
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techsamurai

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Good news - Direct Measurements of Cinema 70, Denon 4800h, 8002 are about the same. I've no clue what happened in my previous measurements.

Instead of using the MLP between the 2 seats, I used my own seating position on the right (or left depending on which way you look at the couch).

The sound from my seating position with Direct is pretty interesting - treble rolloff is much lower.

Now I'm back to powering the 4800h with the 8002's amps but that's irrelevant - the 8002 is clearly okay and for some reason much louder than the 4800h at the same volume level (I'd say 6db louder).

Left.jpg


Right.jpg
 

Hayabusa

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If you use DEQ you should compensate for that gain difference between the amps
( or repeat the calibration for every amp)
 
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techsamurai

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If you use DEQ you should compensate for that gain difference between the amps
( or repeat the calibration for every amp)

I don't use DEQ. Does turning on DEQ require a recalibration?
 
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techsamurai

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So what's next? The 4800h + 8002 with a modified curve is my favorite version of the 4800h but its tonality is too cool.

Much like LED lights, it's in the 4500-5000k and I prefer 2,700-3,000k so how I can dial it in and make it more engaging? Only then can I compare it because the warmer sound will always trump the colder sound.
 

Hayabusa

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I don't use DEQ. Does turning on DEQ require a recalibration?
Only if you would change power amp with a different gain AND would use DEQ a calibration could be needed as DEQ relies on the assumption that the reference level has been calibrated.
 

sysfc6

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Speaking of upgrade hell, I find myself in the middle of it after trying 3 new AVRs

My Marantz 8002s (3 of them) are getting old and I'd like to get HDMI 2.1 and eArc. I also thought I could go separates and use the 8002s as an external amp as they certainly have better power than almost any Denon or Marantz on the market today.

My original expectation was better sound especially in stereo with the 8002 as the amp. Now I would settle for similar or very close sound since clearly none of these are the 8002's equals.

My focus is on music because I've lived with the 8002 for 15 years and as we'll find out later, it's very musical and almost an anomaly in the AVR world. My jaw often hits the floor in movies, shows, and games when the 8002 decides to show off. There's zero fear that anyone's jaw will hit the floor with any of the 3 AVRs I've purchased. In that regard, they are quite safe choices.

I bought a RZ50 and quickly returned it - the Onkyo sounded clinical in music and Dirac Live could not save it. It was difficult to switch between the 8002 and RZ50 in music - the RZ50 has a massive soundstage but it was barren. The 8002 is a much smaller canvas but that canvas has the quality of a Monet painting or a reproduction of it.

I bought a Denon 4800h and I had high expectations as it's similar to the Cinema 40 (the current top of the line AVR in Marantz's lineup) and made in Japan. I ran Audyssey XT32 and I was hoping that would also help bridge the gap to the 8002. Also, the 8002 is used as the amp in stereo so the 4800h is just a preamp, hopefully giving a leg up in musicality.

Unfortunately, the Denon 4800h even with the 8002 as the external amp cannot reproduce the music as the 15 year old SR8002 - guitars don't sound the same, voices have no presence etc. I enjoy it as background music a lot because it completely disappears sonically but I'm not sure that's a quality that Denon would like to be known for.

In movies, it has slam and is amazing but it's almost a bit too much for a living room theater and it gets tough taming its volume so I can hear the center channel without irritating my family. But the RZ50 and Cinema 70 are also slammers and would fare better in a dedicated home theater than a living room theater.

Finally, I bought a Cinema 70 + 8002 (amp) to use in preamp mode with all channels powered by the 8002. The Cinema 70 sounds stellar in music, well, stellar, until you play the same song with the 8002 and you hear parts of the song that are important.

But part of that can be my personal preference or what the 8002 does in Stereo mode which bypasses surround processing and seems to do its own thing. It seems to find a lot of nuance and detail in voices, guitars and all instruments and I've isolated that to the 100hz to 1khz range which is the fundamentals range of sound as I'm learning. Whatever the 8002 does there, it makes it different and imho magical. I've always wondered why folks thought that AVRs can't play stereo music and I suppose if you are used to the sound of your amazing stereo receiver, you're in for a surprise when you hear these AVRs which is where I find myself, only I have an AVR that does that.

I can't fault the RZ50 because it's a cheap AVR on sale and is well made. I can't fault the Cinema 70 because it sounds great for a cheap AVR with separates and is also well made.

I can only find fault with the 4800h which has the best version of Audyssey and is the Cinema 40's cousin. At its normal price (I paid $1,400), I'd expect the 4800h to match the 8002 in stereo music given the fact that 15 years have passed by.

Here's a review that sums up the 8002 and this is echoed by anyone that's heard this puppy:



It's exactly what I would have said. It's a magical AVR and now I wonder if even the AH1 can come close in 2 channel stereo. People have even been critical of the $14,000 AV10 and AMP10 in music... My BDI cabinet cannot accommodate any of those so they are not even in consideration, nor am I inclined to pay that much.

I can keep the 8002 and use it for music but it's a massive pain changing the volume.

Also if I keep the 4800h or Cinema 70, I'll have to settle for a less refined movie theater, TV, and game experience which are 75% of my use case.

So what choice do I have? Should I call Marantz and Denon and ask them to get back to work? :)
Listening to music, do you think 4800 is better than rz50?
 

Dougey_Jones

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At end of page 1 and this thread has unlimited potential.
Potential to lose whatever brain cells you have left.
 
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techsamurai

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Listening to music, do you think 4800 is better than rz50?

I can try and answer it as best I can. The RZ50 had a massive soundstage but it was almost hollow. The 4800h also had a big soundstage after initial calibration but I had to tweak the curve and that imaged better.

In my room with my speakers, the old SR8002 is in a class of its own - hard to explain in words how engaging it is. The tonality of the guitars, voices, instruments is almost perfect. I can't imagine sound being any better than that especially after seeing how bad other AVRs were.
 

sysfc6

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I can try and answer it as best I can. The RZ50 had a massive soundstage but it was almost hollow. The 4800h also had a big soundstage after initial calibration but I had to tweak the curve and that imaged better.

In my room with my speakers, the old SR8002 is in a class of its own - hard to explain in words how engaging it is. The tonality of the guitars, voices, instruments is almost perfect. I can't imagine sound being any better than that especially after seeing how bad other AVRs were.
The RZ50 has a huge soundstage, (but it's almost hollow -》What does this sentence mean)
 
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