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Pete H

New Marantz compared to my other units

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I recently swapped out the Onkyo HT receiver with a pristine Marantz 8801 pre pro that I picked up for a great price and wanted to give some impressions, as I, like others, rely a lot on reading up on different brands and equipment when purchasing something that I haven't owned previously.  To put this into perspective a bit, this is by no means some technical measurement with regards to one versus another, nor is it implying that because I happen to like something better, that you will.  

 

I've run through quite a few setups over the years, 4 or 5 different Onkyo HT receivers, Outlaw pre pro, Revox and Saba equipment (way back in the beginning 30+ years ago) and currently for pure 2 channel listening, I really still like my big old Sansui 8080, unfortunately, I only have room for so much gear in my main listening area so it's give and take between HT and 2.1 audio.  I played with an inexpensive used Marantz HT receiver a couple years ago that I had picked up for the shop, just because it had a usb port on it and I could use it instead of having a cd player in that environment, but it sounded so smooth to my ears, that I knew I would eventually get a better piece to incorporate into my main system, and I'm glad that I did.

 

I hooked up the 8801 yesterday, still powering everything with QSC on the 7's and XPA 5 on the other channels, but the sound coming out of the Marantz is noticeably different than any Onkyo I've owned over the last 30 years, the outlaw, and various other pieces that have lived a short life in any of my systems.  It's always about what I hear and what I like versus what I can measure and prove out, which is really pointless, if in the end, it doesn't sound better to you.  I listened to a lot of material that would be considered my "go to music" that I'm extremely familiar with and while I hear all of the detail, and then some, compared to the Onkyo I pulled out, the Marantz, at the same time, had a much smoother and more appealing sound, much like my Sansui, or any of the Saba gear that I ran for years.  The imagining was completely different and I was fooled into believing that the processor was in the wrong mode and that my center was in the loop and pushing out a lot of db's, but when I walked up towards the unit, I was shocked to find out that it was in the right "stereo" mode and the center wasn't playing anything at all, but the sound stage was all right in front of me without there being such a defined left and right speaker (except where that was intentionally part of the recording), I was very pleased to say the least.  The networking and ability to utilize DLNA with my PC has been something that I've been looking forward to for a while, and even though I had a workaround with my last unit, it was a PITA to operate but now it's finally all at my fingertips.  Setup and the 200 page manual were all very straight forward (although I got a little frustrated wondering why I wasn't getting sound from some of the channels) except for me forgetting to switch the inputs on the XPA from unbalanced to balanced.  

 

Just one persons opinion and I'm sure that a few years down the road, or when I run across a deal that I can't pass up on what was once, a $10,000 pre/pro, or amp, I'll try to find another unicorn (that's all this is), but for now, given patience, some wisdom as to how and when I want to spend money on "upgrades", I'm at another point where I'm really satisfied with my main rig, from T.V., pre/pro, amps and my aging RF's, I'll add another couple of channels when the right set comes along, but unless someone comes along wanting to blow out of their KI-396's, I'm really not hunting any more gear for a while.  

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Thanks for sharing, i recently have been considering a switch from entry level Onkyo to the Marantz SR5012.

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk

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First of all, thanks for sharing your impressions.  I would pick up a good pre-pro to go with my Emotiva XPA-5 if I could find the a good deal.

 

2 hours ago, Pete H said:

I really still like my big old Sansui 8080,

 

I heard an 8080db with some old Frazier horn speakers.  The 8080 is a beast both physically and sonically and sounded fantastic with horns.

 

 

2 hours ago, Pete H said:

I'm really not hunting any more gear for a while.  

 

I started my year out in 2018 thinking the same thing.  After picking up an Emotiva XPA-5 and an RC-64 III earlier this year , I'm still not looking for anything else.

 

Unless that right pre-pro deal comes across my radar.   B)

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1 hour ago, wvu80 said:

First of all, thanks for sharing your impressions.  I would pick up a good pre-pro to go with my Emotiva XPA-5 if I could find the a good deal.

 

 

I heard an 8080db with some old Frazier horn speakers.  The 8080 is a beast both physically and sonically and sounded fantastic with horns.

 

 

 

I started my year out in 2018 thinking the same thing.  After picking up an Emotiva XPA-5 and an RC-64 III earlier this year , I'm still not looking for anything else.

 

Unless that right pre-pro deal comes across my radar.   B)

If you like the 8080, you already have a good idea of the general Marantz sound from your SR6011 and it was a little SR6003 that made me take notice.  I actually had the funds and WAF to purchase a new 8802, but even at $2,000 from accessories4less, I just couldn't bring myself to spend the money so I started hunting around because the 8801 had all the functions and features I was looking for, I don't need or really want Atmos with my setup and I picked this up for $550 and it is pristine, you wouldn't know it from a brand new one.  It's not that I'm cheap, I just can't see taking the hit on bleeding edge hype and a new model number, but to each their own.  I'm 85-90% music but I want my HT to perform when I use it and it always has and still does, but I really like what I'm hearing.  

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26 minutes ago, Pete H said:

I don't need or really want Atmos with my setup and I picked this up for $550 and it is pristine,

I'm with you.  That would have made a nice unit for me as well, for the same reasons.

 

And I admit to being curious how much you got it for.  I think you did good.  :emotion-21:

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He mentioned his price in his previous post... 😁

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On 12/17/2018 at 11:39 AM, Pete H said:

a pristine Marantz 8801 ...

 

You are fortunate to have the XT32 version of Audyssey in your Marantz.  If you read this "Audyssey FAQ Linked Here" before running Audyssey, you will do well.  It's worth sticking with it.  My Klipschorns have never sounded so good!

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I've been stuck on Marantz for decades, literally.  My Dad had a Marantz receiver back in the day, like a 2038 or something close, with Marantz mains.  My first AVR that I purchased was an SR-880, it's in my garage now.  Then I bought a used SR-8400 which is still powering the basement 'movie' setup.  I know, I know, dated, but it works well. 

 

In my main music setup I have an old, bought used locally, SR-8002 at 125 watts per channel in stereo, copper chassis, torodial transformer, with a host of features that I won't use, and all the other Marantz goodness.  I have to say I'm stuck on the Marantz sound.  Others don't like it as much.  I know there's much better, but it's what I'm used to.  Good stuff.  Thanks for the review. 

 

2000px-Marantz_(logo)_svg.thumb.png.ed27d3e4101663dd9782b24608e1929d.png

 

Need I say more??  :biggrin2:

 

 

 

 

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before I got Marantz PM5005 I couldn't find a solid answer to the difference between this and the 6005. The difference is the digital inputs on the 6005. If you don't need them save a ton of money and get this. It sounds fantastic. Running it with bi-wired Polk RTi A7s and very happy with the results.
 

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On 12/25/2018 at 2:21 AM, garyrc said:

 

You are fortunate to have the XT32 version of Audyssey in your Marantz.  If you read this "Audyssey FAQ Linked Here" before running Audyssey, you will do well.  It's worth sticking with it.  My Klipschorns have never sounded so good!

Thanks for the link.  I will certainly read up on it.  I went through a manual set up with my db meter and tape measure as I normally do but didn't get into the audyssey set up until we got through the holidays. 

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On 12/25/2018 at 3:46 AM, ACV92 said:

  Others don't like it as much.  I know there's much better, but it's what I'm used to.  Good stuff.  Thanks for the review. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I've posted many times before, it only matters that you like your equipment and what you hear.  I've had a Carver pre amp that I think I paid $100 for that sounded fantastic, it's never about the money you pay or someone else telling you what's the best, and I despise people that try to tell someone that they can hear better or have the opinion that only their gear is any good.  We're all here because we enjoy music and there's always going to be better, but I'm certainly content.  📢

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