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

Times

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Listening to music, do you think 4800 is better than rz50?
Their respective room correction features and your ability to set them up properly will make the difference, not the hardware itself. With the X4800H you‘ve got the choice between Audyssey XT32 and Dirac, the RZ50 has Dirac „only“.

The RZ50 has a huge soundstage, (but it's almost hollow -》What does this sentence mean)

Whatever it means, it’s way too subjective to be relevant for your decision anyway.

Compare both AVRs in regard of features, pricing and looks and buy the one that overall fits best.
 

peng

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The RZ50 has a huge soundstage, (but it's almost hollow -》What does this sentence mean)
As mentioned, the 3800 and 4800 are better because they come with Audyssey and you can buy the DL license. RZ50 is limited to having only 1 subout. The soundstage comment is perceived, subjective, I would not consider it as a factor.
 
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techsamurai

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The RZ50 has a huge soundstage, (but it's almost hollow -》What does this sentence mean)

It's hard to explain - vocals or instruments that are doing solos were not given the proper attention and sound came from everywhere but in an uncontrolled manner, so-to-speak. I remember hearing sounds and literally looking at the speaker because I could localize the sound. My family asked me to turn it off when it played music because they also thought something was off with the sound. I spent very little time with it because once I listened to Billie Eilish's No Time To Die compared to the 8002 and some other stuff, there was no way I could keep it. The difference was monumental.

I can't localize sound as much with the modified 4800h and definitely not with the 8002 which pulls everything towards the middle but adds depth (the singer and guitarist are at the front of the stage and louder than, say, drums). Once you hear the better sound, it's hard to listen to the other one.
 
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techsamurai

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As mentioned, the 3800 and 4800 are better because they come with Audyssey and you can buy the DL license. RZ50 is limited to having only 1 subout. The soundstage comment is perceived, subjective, I would not consider it as a factor.

We agree to disagree - unfortunately you all win this argument because I'm stuck with what I consider bad music.
 
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techsamurai

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Their respective room correction features and your ability to set them up properly will make the difference, not the hardware itself. With the X4800H you‘ve got the choice between Audyssey XT32 and Dirac, the RZ50 has Dirac „only“.



Whatever it means, it’s way too subjective to be relevant for your decision anyway.

Compare both AVRs in regard of features, pricing and looks and buy the one that overall fits best.

I'm going to disagree here and advise audiophiles to do the exact opposite of what is stated here. If you don't have a reference of good sound, then any sound will sound good and this advice may apply to that.

The moment anyone says frequency range measurements, take every they say with a grain of salt. You can't listen to a chart and a chart can't play guitar or sing so it's about as relevant. There's so much happening in our ears that separate good sound from bad sound and charts are probably the worst way of evaluating sound. They can help you change sound because you can modify the curves but how that translates to our ears is not as simple as flattening the line or following a particular curve.
 

sysfc6

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It's hard to explain - vocals or instruments that are doing solos were not given the proper attention and sound came from everywhere but in an uncontrolled manner, so-to-speak. I remember hearing sounds and literally looking at the speaker because I could localize the sound. My family asked me to turn it off when it played music because they also thought something was off with the sound. I spent very little time with it because once I listened to Billie Eilish's No Time To Die compared to the 8002 and some other stuff, there was no way I could keep it. The difference was monumental.

I can't localize sound as much with the modified 4800h and definitely not with the 8002 which pulls everything towards the middle but adds depth (the singer and guitarist are at the front of the stage and louder than, say, drums). Once you hear the better sound, it's hard to listen to the other one.
Is it true that the 4800's play more vivid and graphic music than the rz50's?
 

Times

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I'm going to disagree here and advise audiophiles to do the exact opposite of what is stated here. If you don't have a reference of good sound, then any sound will sound good and this advice may apply to that.

Honest question: In your opinion, how does one aquire a reference of good sound?

The moment anyone says frequency range measurements, take every they say with a grain of salt. You can't listen to a chart and a chart can't play guitar or sing so it's about as relevant. There's so much happening in our ears that separate good sound from bad sound and charts are probably the worst way of evaluating sound. They can help you change sound because you can modify the curves but how that translates to our ears is not as simple as flattening the line or following a particular curve.

I don't even know how to respond to that. In one single paragraph, you managed to disregard about everyone who ever designed a single piece of audio gear and 95% of the members of this forum, served the cliché of the audiophile who confuses audio gear with musical instruments and declared your hearing and memory superior to any form of technology. That's... impressive.
 
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techsamurai

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Honest question: In your opinion, how does one aquire a reference of good sound?

The music should be jaw dropping especially good songs. Our brains are attuned to enjoy music and the reaction you have is the best indicator.

You will know when you hear good sound - you'll be "wth, how is this possible?"

When I play music on the 8002 the exact words that have come up to mind over the past 2-3 months are "wth, how is this possible?"


I don't even know how to respond to that. In one single paragraph, you managed to disregard about everyone who ever designed a single piece of audio gear and 95% of the members of this forum, served the cliché of the audiophile who confuses audio gear with musical instruments and declared your hearing and memory superior to any form of technology. That's... impressive.

I said take them with a grain of salt... There's obviously more to sound than a frequency chart can capture.
 
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techsamurai

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Is it true that the 4800's play more vivid and graphic music than the rz50's?

I think Andrew Robinson gave it an 8 for music but I have a feeling he tweaked it to get an 8 as he was into Dirac. I'd give it a 7 for someone who's less familiar and from my own experience.

From the comments I've read over time for the RZ50, owners are okay with its music playback or end up getting a different system. No one will rave about its music playback.
 

GXAlan

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Everyone has been pretty harsh on @techsamurai but it’s possible to have the right impression (sounds different) for the wrong explanation. The fact that there are measurement differences suggest some real symptom.

Note Amir’s soundartist ls3/5a subjective impressions where there are audible differences between amplifiers due to real world reactivity.

@techsamurai
What many, including me, are going to tell you is that the explanation given by subjective YT reviewers of WHY is often wrong. The impressions are a mix of reality and sighted bias.

You are doing the right thing by measuring. Beyond sweeps, you may find multitone speaker measurements to be insightful.

There is NOTHING that is audible that is unable to be measured. If you believe Nelson Pass or the Sound Master at Marantz is able to impart a sound signature to their products, you should consider that it’s not as much of a golden ear but they are measuring things in such a way that they can consistently deliver that coloration across products. They aren’t going to tell you what their formula is — that’s a trade secret.

Movement of furniture or even your physical body can alter the frequency response for REW and Multitone, you can see an initial delay that is good enough for you to leave the room when the sweep or test tone(s) are running.

You also need to run compression or dynamic tests. If you look at my 300B test, you can see a sweep at 0, -10, -20, -30 dB can reveal nonlinearities that would make a difference with real music but not obviously be seen in a single sweep at a single level.

It’s much harder to prove a difference between amps than it is to say it’s the same.
 

peng

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Everyone has been pretty harsh on @techsamurai
I don't think so but I could have missed a post or 2. If there were a couple specific rebuttals on things they claimed that was incorrect, then I think there were some rebuttals, but not harsh by definition, unless you are exaggerating to make a point, or it's just your subjective impression (if that's case, okay, understandable)?
but it’s possible to have the right impression (sounds different) for the wrong explanation. The fact that there are measurement differences suggest some real symptom.

Note Amir’s soundartist ls3/5a subjective impressions where there are audible differences between amplifiers due to real world reactivity.
Of course that is possible, but then it won't be due to difference between the devices he had been comparing. Surely you can see that his initial REW graphs he thought showed the difference were due to way he did it, not comparing apples to apples, we pointed that out to him, and after much explanation and clarification, he finally realized what he did, then re-do the graphs and those initial differences were no longer there. Those are facts, he posted many times so it will take some patience to go through them if you are interested to see what was going on.
@techsamurai
What many, including me, are going to tell you is that the explanation given by subjective YT reviewers of WHY is often wrong. The impressions are a mix of reality and sighted bias.

You are doing the right thing by measuring. Beyond sweeps, you may find multitone speaker measurements to be insightful.

There is NOTHING that is audible that is unable to be measured. If you believe Nelson Pass or the Sound Master at Marantz is able to impart a sound signature to their products, you should consider that it’s not as much of a golden ear but they are measuring things in such a way that they can consistently deliver that coloration across products. They aren’t going to tell you what their formula is — that’s a trade secret.
I read a lot of his stuff, don't recall any such trade secret being mentioned, so not sure what you are referring, but that's find we all read stuff but not always the same stuff and not always have the same interpretation. We just need to be aware of that, that's all.
Movement of furniture or even your physical body can alter the frequency response for REW and Multitone, you can see an initial delay that is good enough for you to leave the room when the sweep or test tone(s) are running.

You also need to run compression or dynamic tests. If you look at my 300B test, you can see a sweep at 0, -10, -20, -30 dB can reveal nonlinearities that would make a difference with real music but not obviously be seen in a single sweep at a single level.

It’s much harder to prove a difference between amps than it is to say it’s the same.
Not much disagreement from me at all, but that has very little, if any, to do with the gentleman's claims, and from what I can see, yours and his opinions expressed on this forum had little, if anything in common. And to be clear, since his post one, my feeling is that he's expression his subjective views/opinions, like we all do, at least sometimes. Obviously I have nothing against anyone's opinions because those are just opinions, but I would have issues when someone expression their subjective based opinions as though there were statement of facts.
 

peng

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We agree to disagree - unfortunately you all win this argument because I'm stuck with what I consider bad music.
There is no win or lose, everyone is entitled to their opinions. Why would you be stuck, I thought you were within the return window when you found out which unit(s) you didn't like? Did you keep both of them? I thought you were going to return both and stick with your 8002s.
 
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techsamurai

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I think you will not find your answers on this forum. You seem to want the full subjective experience and for that you can only consult yourself.

Here's a statement from another poor soul who tried to replace the 8002 10 years ago.

Listen to a lot of two channel music? If so, try the repair. You will be hard pressed to find a current model AVR that is as good as the 8002 on 2 channel music period.

Without listening to the 8002, it's hard to have a frame of reference. I'm actually surprised that most of you haven't owned 8002s here. It's like owning top vintage electronics and not owning or knowing about the Sansui 8080/9090. I remember I auditioned the legendary Yamaha RZ11 to see if it was a worthwhile upgrade and guess what happened? I bought another 8002 instantly as it was the bargain of the century sound-wise and probably worth 3-4 times its $2,000 asking price - another statement echoed by many people in this industry.
 

DonR

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Here's a statement from another poor soul who tried to replace the 8002 10 years ago.



Without listening to the 8002, it's hard to have a frame of reference. I'm actually surprised that most of you haven't owned 8002s here. It's like owning top vintage electronics and not owning or knowing about the Sansui 8080/9090. I remember I auditioned the legendary Yamaha RZ11 to see if it was a worthwhile upgrade and guess what happened? I bought another 8002 instantly as it was the bargain of the century sound-wise and probably worth 3-4 times its $2,000 asking price - another statement echoed by many people in this industry.
Try and refrain from ad hominems, please.

I did listen to an 8002 when I was AVR shopping in 2009-10. I settled on a Denon 3808ci instead as I could hear no differences between the 2. I would never trust my subjective judgement as subconscious bias would invalidate anything I hear. Measurement wise both appear to be similar. Many people say a lot of things but that doesn't make them right.
 
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techsamurai

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Try and refrain from ad hominems, please.

I did listen to an 8002 when I was AVR shopping in 2009-10. I settled on a Denon 3808ci instead as I could hear no differences between the 2. I would never trust my subjective judgement as subconscious bias would invalidate anything I hear. Measurement wise both appear to be similar. Many people say a lot of things but that doesn't make them right.

And that's exactly my point. There are 3 states here.

Denon 3808ci is the same as Marantz 8002 or subjectively the same in music
Denon 3808ci is better than Marantz 8002 in music
Denon 3808ci is worse than Marantz 8002 in music

Here is the review of the 3808Ci and the 8002 from the same source


The word music or stereo is not even mentioned in the 3808 review. The words audiophile are all over the 8002 review and put to the test.

By the way, the 8001 and 8002 are the only AVRs Marantz claimed were audiophile level aaik.

As a result, everyone tested its musicality extensively in an effort to prove Marantz wrong and I don't recall a single negative in any professional review. In fact, what I do recall is reading many super AVR reviews where the reviewer had the 8002 as their reference AVR to compare against.

The 8012 and 8015 didn't carry that label and I don't think that was by accident - they may not as good in musical playback. Even Denon's AH1 has claims about high-impact audio and power and performance, not a single word about music...


 

DonR

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And that's exactly my point. There are 3 states here.

Denon 3808ci is the same as Marantz 8002 or subjectively the same in music
Denon 3808ci is better than Marantz 8002 in music
Denon 3808ci is worse than Marantz 8002 in music

Here is the review of the 3808Ci and the 8002 from the same source


The word music or stereo is not even mentioned in the 3808 review. The words audiophile are all over the 8002 review and put to the test.

By the way, the 8001 and 8002 are the only AVRs Marantz claimed were audiophile level aaik.

As a result, everyone tested its musicality extensively in an effort to prove Marantz wrong and I don't recall a single negative in any professional review. In fact, what I do recall is reading many super AVR reviews where the reviewer had the 8002 as their reference AVR to compare against.

The 8012 and 8015 didn't carry that label and I don't think that was by accident - they may not as good in musical playback. Even Denon's AH1 has claims about high-impact audio and power and performance, not a single word about music...


The words audiophile and musicality are marketing buzzwords. As I said, you will not find the answers you seek in a science forum like this. You may get some confirmation bias balm in some of the other more subjectively oriented forums, however.
 

GXAlan

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unless you are exaggerating to make a point, or it's just your subjective impression (if that's case, okay, understandable)?
Fair enough. “Everyone” is too strong of a generalization. My error.

Surely you can see that his initial REW graphs he thought showed the difference were due to way he did it, not comparing apples to apples, we pointed that out to him, and after much explanation and clarification, he finally realized what he did, then re-do the graphs and those initial differences were no longer there.
Which is great. Let’s assume the measurement differences are slight differences in mic position. This would suggest that slight differences in seating position would also have a similar difference in sound.

Then it’s not sighted bias. It’s that you aren’t sitting the same spot twice.

I read a lot of his stuff, don't recall any such trade secret being mentioned, so not sure what you are referring, but that's find we all read stuff but not always the same stuff and not always have the same interpretation.

“Where is the fine line between, resolution, transparency and musicality?
If I knew, then I probably still wouldn’t tell. ”

Since there’s a smiley face… it implies that he is tuning to a standard, especially since we know that Pass Labs amplifiers never measure transparent.

There is also an interview somewhere where Nelson Pass is pushed on distortion and if it really makes sense. He then essentially says what customers buy is what makes sense…
 
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techsamurai

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The words audiophile and musicality are marketing buzzwords. As I said, you will not find the answers you seek in a science forum like this. You may get some confirmation bias balm in some of the other more subjectively oriented forums, however.

The science of music should not be the onus of the consumer, it's the responsibility of the manufacturer.

Folks shouldn't have to measure the performance of the AVR - if you have to do that, imho the manufacturer has failed in making the product.

I'm trying to make the voices warmer on the Denon - on my TV, I can easily switch the color to any setting I want and it will give me a warmer picture. They even have preset color temps like Cool, Warm1, Warm 2, etc.

I have no clue how to do that on my Denon. Where's the warm range???
 
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