The Marantz stuff has excellent design and build quality. Very good power supplies and Marantz is the only receiver that has a fully discrete analog output stage. The sound will be very strong and full. However, the Marantz is voiced on the warm side, so you will have soft and rolled off highs when compared to other receivers. This is the Marantz voicing and some may like it. I was able to test the latest Marantz processor in my system and it was very good, but definitely warm.
The Denon will be a more conventional receiver "sound". Another option to look at is the Anthem MRX720 or MRX1120 receivers. The Anthem will probably be about the highest resolution sound quality for a receiver. This is excellent if you want the HT movie excitement. These Anthem receivers could come across just a little bit bright sounding at times, but they are excellent for high resolution and crystal clear movie sound.
Agree with @auxinput. You're getting good, but still budget, speakers so I'd be a little concerned at their level of overall refinement, especially in the highs. If you share those concerns or prefer a richer and slightly less bright sound, the Marantz is probably the way to go. I think the Anthem MRX 720 is a better overall unit with a more neutral sound and extremely good Anthem Room Correction (ARC) processing, but again it comes down to system matching and personal tastes.
All that said, I doubt you'd be disappointed with the Denon and you'd save a good amount of money. Personally I'd take the Yamaha RXA2080 at that price point as Yamahas have gotten very positive reviews for sound quality, have proven to be one of the most reliable AVR brands, and now incorporate AI into sound processing that could be interesting. Best of luck in whatever you choose.
I may have to disagree with you just a little bit, soix. I have heard the older Polk Rti speakers and they are actually a pretty good product. Not the highest resolution, but very well balanced and definitely not bright/harsh. Obviously, there are much better speakers, but at this budget, they are pretty darn good. Another to look at is Elac speakers (another great bang for the buck - and also not bright/harsh).
But I will agree with you on Yamaha recommendation. Of the "conventional receivers", I think the Yamaha is the most natural sounding receiver and doesn't suffer from that "bright/cheap receiver sound" that many other receivers do have. I just didn't want to "push another recommendation", lol. I recently implemented a Yamaha RX-A2070 with upgraded fuse and power cord. Result was very excellent.
Out of the two options that you listed above I agree with auxinput I would go with the Marantz SR8012.
If pure sound quality is your number one priority I would look into the flagship NAD T787 receiver ($4k), flagsip Rotel RAP-1580 ($3800), Arcam AVR550 ($3500) or AVR850 ($6k) receivers, Cambridge Audio CXR 200 ($2k). But all these receivers, with the exception of the Cambridge CXR200, retail for more than the Marantz SR8012. But the Rotel is very known for having HDMI switching issues and quite buggy. I highly recommend the NAD T787 receiver currently retails for $4k, which is $1k more than the Marantz SR8012 receiver. But the Marantz SR8012 has more up-to-date features and formats compatibility (4k with latest HDR Dolby Vision & HDMI version, Dolby Atmos, DTS-X, Auro 3D).
The Cambridge CXR200 ($2k) is a steal and is $1k cheaper than the Marantz SR8012 and will sound better than the Marantz SR8012 for stereo music playbacks. But the Cambridge CXR200 is not equipped with room correction, which is crucial for surround sound (home theater).
However, all that being said, your Polk RTi 12 speakers would require high current amplification in order to perform optimally. And most if not all AV receivers cannot provide that kind of current. As a result, the sound won’t be full and will be lean. I would highly suggest that you add a stereo power amp just to drive your front Polk RTi 12 speakers and have the AV receiver’s built-in amplifier power the rest of your speakers. For an external stereo power amp I highly recommend the Rotel RB-1590 ($3k) or the Rotel RB-1582 Mkll ($1600) to drive your front Polk RTi 12 speakers. The Polk RTi series are very forward and somewhat bright sounding with lean mid-range presentation. And these newer Rotel RB-1590 or the RB-1582 Mkll amps are more on the warmer side with rich tonal and smooth highs, full thick rich mid-range bloom and button end grunt which will compliment your Polk RTi 12 nicely IMO. You can connect the pre-out for front L/R on the AV receiver to the external power amp and run the speaker wires off the external power amp to your Polk RTi 12 speakers.
Just to let you know that the Rotel RB-1590 stereo power amp is massive and veey heavy (92 lbs) this is a dual mono configuration with 2 separate independent main toroidal transformer power supplies for each channel with separate windings. Even the Rotel RB-1582 Mkll power amp will be able to drive your speakers with ease. The RB-1582 Mkll stereo amp also has a huge oversized main toroidal transformer power supply with each independent separate windings for each channel. The build quality of these two amps are superb considering their modest asking prices and their performances and sound qualities are great especially for the money. These amps never run hot no matter how hard you drive them. They run cool the whole time. The RB-1590 has a lot more power than the RB-1582 Mkll and performs and sounds better too, more resolved than the RB-1582 Mkll.
Out of curiosity, you mentioned above that recently you were able to test the latest Marantz processor in your system.
Were you referring to the AV8805? If so, how did it perform sonically in comparison to its prodecessor AV8802?
Just curious. Cause I've heard from someone that the latest AV8805 has been slightly improved over the AV8802.
Thanks everyone. This set up will be solely for Blueray /4k / Cable Tv / Netflix.
I have a separate 2ch. rig that the Oppo 205 will also be used to listen to music. That consists of...
Coda CSiB Integrated,
Revel F52 Speakers,
VPI Aries Scout TT with an Ortofon 2m Bronze cart,
Herron VTPH-1 Phono Stage,
SVS SB-13 Ultra sub,
Teo liquid metal interconnects
and a Morrow Ph-3 cable between the VPI and Herron.
@caphill "But the Marantz SR8012 has more up-to-date features and formats compatibility (4k with latest HDR Dolby Vision & HDMI version, Dolby Atmos, DTS-X, Auro 3D)."
I do want all the up-to-date do-dads. Along with the Hdmi 2.2 which I understand you must have for true 4k.
Yes, it was the latest AV8805 processor. I have not directly heard the 8802 or 8803, but I suspect that there really isn't that much difference. The 8802 was already extremely well designed with large main power supply and a lot of localized power supply capacitors all around the DAC I/V board. And the "new" version of the Marantz HDAM discrete analog boards.
I was quite impressed with the AV8805, based on a $4k price tag and expecting the Marantz "warm" signature. The sound was very full and had a lot of impact and authority (audio percussion and sounds hit with a lot of authority). That being said, I could tell it was warm with rolled-off highs. If that was my only exposure to HT processors, I could easily live with it. It did sound very good.
That being said, my main proc is Krell S1200U and the Krell basically blew away the Marantz in all ways! Krell was significantly cleaner in both audio AND video. Of course audio was not warm sounding and was crystal clear. However, it was surprising how good the video was on the Krell, since it is just re-transmitting the HDMI signal with the audio stripped out. With the Marantz, I could tell that the video (through HDMI) was not clean and had a lot of noise. Images were not as crisp and sharp looking.
A lot of this could be explained by the Krell using only linear power supplies (even for digital and video sections). There isn't any switching power supply in the Krell (even the Foundation uses ONLY LINEAR). That being said, I think the Marantz warmth could be resolved a lot by placing in a Hi-Fi Tuning Supreme or Silverstar fuse. That would increase the speed/detail and reduce the warmth, and would probably also increase the sharpness and quality of the HDMI video.
Thanks for sharing your experiences with the AV8805. Did you test it for surround movies (home theater)? I don’t like Audyssey in the Marantz and would prefer ARC2 way better IMO. Even the latest NAD av products no longer use Audyssey, they now use Dirac, which is superior to the Audyssey. Room Perfect is another top notch room correction calibration.
In my dedicated home theater room I’m now using the Lyngdorf MP-50 av processor which uses Room Perfect and its RP implementation is extraordinary. With Room Perfect properly calibrated the surround sound experiences from movies takes to a whole new level in comparison to the Classe SSP 800 that I previously had in my dedicated home theater room.
The RP in the Lyngdorf MP-50 makes huge difference for surround sound home theater application.
Not to mention that the SSP 800 cannot support Dolby Atmos, DTS-X & Auro 3D. Now with the Lyngdorf MP-50 my setup is 7.2.4 with 4 overhead height ceiling speakers for Atmos setup.
On the video side of thing, I run the video from my Oppo 205 directly to my 4K display using video only HDMI out of the Oppo 205 and run the audio to my AV processor using the audio only HDMI out of the Oppo 205. The Oppo 205 is my only AV video source in my dedicated theater room. I did the same when I was still using the Classe SSP 800.
@caphill - hopefully you are still monitoring this thread. I tested the AV8805 in my system using the beginning part of a movie that had excellent music in the intro and very high quality audio and video. And yes, it did have excellent surround elements in the beginning of the movie. We did not do an Audessey calibration - it was completely turned off.
Regarding a second topic, I have tried room correction and I do not like that at all. I had the opportunity to do a Dirac room correction in my own theater and I could never get it to sound right. Dirac is so horrendessly intrusive on changing and tweaking the sound that it creates problems in my opinion. The Dirac processing did weird things to the phasing of the sound and made all sounds seem like they were in your head (like listening to headphones) instead of way out in front of you like the movie ambience is supposed to be. I could dial this down, but it never sounded good. It also tweaked the frequency response and sometimes seemed to make things too smooth - I lost resolution and microdetail in the sound/tones/textures. Also, if aggressively used in bass, it caused subwoofers to peak and push to much at bass null frequencies. Sorry, but Dirac is not for me.
I think I tried YPAO Yamaha auto-correction. That did not work well either. In both cases, things just sounded better and more natural with any sort of automatic room correction turned off. I do a lot of room acoustic treatments and I use careful equipment matching and fuses to control timber and response of the equipment. That works significantly better than any sort of room correction.
Actually, at RMAF there was a room that really touted "room correction". I listened for just a bit, and it sounded nice and balanced, but I could not understand what the big deal was, lol. Many other rooms sounded nice and balanced. This "room correction" room actually sounded rather flat and sterile, most likely because it was using an external/outboard room correction device and signal goes through A/D and D/A stages - which lose all the voicing and "singing" of the preamp/processor.
Nicely put. I personally did not like auto room correction until recently when I was auditioning or demoing a new processor to replace my outdated Classe SSP 800.
I demoed both Datasat RS20i and Audio Control Maestro both have Dirac Live. I also had a chance to demo the Anthem AVM60 with its proprietary ARC2, the McIntosh MX160, Trinnov Altitude 18 and the Lyngdorf MP-50 all have Room Perfect. I ended up getting the Lyngdorf MP-50. The McIntosh MX160 & Lyngdorf MP-50 are pretty much very similar except the MX160 has analog audio inputs and the Lyngdorf MP-50 does not. I do not need analog audio inputs on my AV processor as it’s used strictly for surround sound (home theater). I’m only using HDMI input on my AV processor connected from the Oppo 205, which is my only AV source in my dedicated home theater room.
Anyways, my HT room is very well treated and was purposely built from scratch for that purpose. As you know that I’d been using the SSP 800 with no auto room correction for over 7 yrs with great results. I only used the Classe’s manual PEQ sparingly.
IMO, when properly calibrated using RP my new Lyngdorf MP-50 blew away the SSP 800 in clarity, resolution and the steering of the surround sound. Not to mention when playing Dolby Atmos & DTS-X materials from 4k UHD bluray discs off my Oppo 205, which the SSP 800 simply cannot support those formats.
However, when RP was turned off basic sound quality of the Lyngdorf is still very good and I would say was quite on par with the SSP 800 with the Classe slightly wins over the Lyngdorf MP-50. I think the SSP 800 had more balanced sound across the boards with just the right amount of bites. Perhaps the SSP 800 had better synergy with the rest of my associated gears and speakers which consist of all Classe Delta series class AB amplifiers and all B&W 800 D3 speaker system, and therefore the SSP 800 is a better match for them? Highly possible.
Although I would never use my AV processor for stereo listening to music only sources but recently I briefly tested the Lyngdorf MP-50 stereo performance with RP turned off just for kicks. It was still decent in that regard and was quite on par with the stereo performance of the SSP 800 with the Classe slightly edges out the Lyngdorf. Again maybe it was due to better overall system synergy.
Auxinput, just wondering what power amps and speakers do you have in your dedicated home theater room? Do you also have the Oppo 205 or 105 as an AV source player?
I would never have any sort of room correction device in my dedicated two-channel listening room, which is also very well treated.
As a preface for this system description, for all wiring (power cord, interconnect, speaker cable) I use some variation of solid-core OCC copper conductors and everything has Furutech rhodium plated connectors. Even use Furutech GTX/NCF rhodium outlets.
If I had to describe my acoustic room treatments, I would have to end it with "a partridge in a pair tree", lol.
I have the B&W 805 D3 for left/right and HTM2 D3 for center. For surrounds, I’m still using some older Focal Cobalt speakers (one of the things on my list for future upgrade, lol). I use an Oppo 103 for transport and it does have an upgraded linear power supply. I also have an external linear power supply that powers both my DirecTV receiver and my Lumagen Radiance video processor - I wrote a thread on "Musings on Switching Power Supplies" that you can read if you want. Everything going to a Sony VW95ES projector (which was the best 1080p project that was produced, in my opinion).
I used to run all Emotiva XPR-1 monoblocks for my front stage (including subwoofers) and XPA-1L monoblocks for surrounds - all amps fully loaded with Furutech rhodium fuses. Over the summer, I finally upgraded to Parasound JC1 for left/right and an A21 for surrounds. I have been able to remove the warm Parasound sonic signature by a careful combination of Furutech and Hi-Fi- Tuning Supreme fuses. I had originally put in all Futurech fuses, but I found that it was still too warm and my Emotiva amps actually had more resolution and clarity!! wow. Installing 1-3 Hi-Fi Tuning silver fuses increased the resolution of the Parasound amps. The B&W D3 really need an extremely high resolution amp to sing.
I just installed a Hi-Fi Tuning into the JC1 main fuse on Wednesday and it’s still burning in, but it sounds promising. It’s at that point where the burn-in has a slightly warm/veiled sound - the edge has just a very slight bit of dull on it, but it should open up within a week. On my Focal surrounds, I found I had to pull the silver fuse and go back to all Furutech because of that Focal titanium dome tweeter breaking up and the speed of the Focal woofer just didn’t give enough body. I know this speaker is a problem, but it’s on the list someday.
I still have Emotiva XPR-1 for center and subwoofers (two subs that have a 12" driver in a huge vented cabinet that I built - about the size of an huge SVS subwoofer and weighs about 200lbs). I have a final JC1 on the way to replace the center channel. I will then take that "free" XPR-1 and re-cap it to use as a final subwoofer amp. This is actually the best amp I have ever heard for subwoofer duty - extreme amounts of current and power and full linear power supply - 1800 watts at 4 ohm, I cannot actually use more than 60% of this amp or the subwoofer drivers will peak out!! lol.
I tried a set of Bryston 7b3 monoblocks in my system and found that they just did not work well. The Bryston was just about the highest resolution amp, but it’s so close to Class B (an extremely low bias Class AB) that it’s just too fast with no decay - the sound was there and gone before I could really hear it and it had no body - It actually could not even keep up with my Emotiva amps in body and volume. I think the Bryston would work well with a very warm preamp and lot’s of gold-plated connectors on wiring. This helped me because the Bryston 28b was one of the amps I was considering instead of re-capping one of my XPR-1 amps.
Just wondering why don’t you use a Parasound Halo A31 three-channel amp to power your center and surround speakers? It’s a great amp. Runs hot though as all other Halo amps such as your JC-1 monoblocks.
In regards to Bryston amps, did you get to listen to their newest amps? They have been improved over their older amps. The newer ones sound quite a bit better actually. Nothing like the older amps.
By the way, my buddy considers selling his Classe Delta CAM 600 monoblock amps. These are class AB amps. The CAM 600 monoblock amps are Classe’s top of the line amplifier within the Delta series class AB lineup. Don’t know if you might be interested in potentially purchasing them for your front B&W 805 D3. Not sure how much he’s going to sell them for. These CAM 600 monoblocks original retail price was $14k per pair and this model along with the other Delta series products have been discontinued last year.
I can ask him about the potential resale price value if he is really going to sell them for sure. I would imagine maybe around 7k to 8k or even way less since this model was discontinued last year. He got them brand new in 2014 and has all original accessories boxes, user manual, etc. He’s using these CAM 600 monoblocks to drive his B&W 800 D3. They sounded wonderful together. They have great synergy together. B&W 800 series D3 were voiced and tuned using Classe Delta series class AB amplifiers and electronics whereas the lower end B&W series eg 700 S2 & 600 series S2 were voiced and tuned using Rotel amplifications and electronics.
I’m sure these Classe CAM 600 monoblock amps will sound fantastic on your B&W 805 D3 as they were voiced together. I’m also using these same CAM 600 monoblocks to drive my front B&W 800 D3 speakers in my dedicated home theater room and they performed wonderful together. By the way, have you ever considered getting floorstanders for your front speakers?
He’s thinking to change speakers and switch to all tube gears. Now he’s already using a Lamm tube linestage preamp to pair with his Classe CAM 600 amps. He considers trading in his B&W 800 D3 for Sonus Faber but not sure which model possibly Homage. He’s thinking to get all tube gears (preamp & power amp) to pair with his potential future Sonus Faber down the road.
Do you plan on getting a 4K UHD bluray player such as the Oppo 203/205 and upgrade to a 4K display? Cause the availability of 4K UHD discs are increasing each day. In my dedicated home theater room I have an Oppo 205 with modded linear power supply for digital audio & video circuitry. It’s used only for bluray & 4K UHD disc playbacks via HDMI outs to my new Lyngdorf MP-50 processor.
Let me know if you might be interested in possibly purchasing my buddy’s Classe Delta CAM 600 monoblock class AB amps. I will ask him and find out how much he’s willing to sell his amps for and see if he’s really serious about selling them and switching to tube amps. He hasn’t listed his amps yet.
The JC1 has a better input stage and I wanted full monoblock for my front stage (including center channel). The A23 is fine for surround, but the center channel is the most important.
I actually got a pair of Bryston 7b3 monoblocks after I determined the Parasound was too slow/warm. The Bryston went way too far into the resolution/speed. It's about the highest resolution amp I've heard, but it responds so fast that the sound is there and gone before you can really hear it. It was not a match in my system and I did not want to "try to make it work" through stuff like gold-plated interconnect and cables. It actually could not keep up with my Emotiva in body and volume!
The Classe amplifiers were on my list, but a couple things put them down further on priority. One was silver color (though I could try to get CT models that had a black front). The other was the fan - I did not want to deal with a fan after years of usage. I will keep them in mind, though, and let you know if I decide to try another amp. My Parasound JC1 are fully loaded with all silver fuses now and I think that will get me to where I want.
My 1080p sony VW95ES projector is so good that I do not actually feel any need to upgrade to 4K at this time. It would be a minimum $14k investment to do that, since it would be at least $10k for a decent 4K projector and another $3.5k for Lumagen video processor. This doesn't include any expense for Oppo or other 4K bluray - and I would have to look at my processor, which does not support 4K. lol. If I were to do this type of thing in the future, I would probably get the latest MArantz (i.e. AV8805) and then start pulling the guts out and rebuilding - putting in faster op amps on digital I/V board and upgrading all caps to something like Nichicon KZ, etc.
I have thought about full range towers for my left/right, but I would first have to build new subs (which is an idea on the list). My subs are just about the same exact size of a SVS PB16-Ultra (massively huge) and towers would not really work for optimum positioning in my room. My current subs are about 28" deep and I would have to build taller and shallower subs so that I could place the towers in front of them and still keep the proper position and room acoustics. lol.
Regarding the 4K thing, I have had people come over and see my projector and their comment is "that's 1080p?!?! Really???". The image actually looks so good, it's pretty much just like film. I'm sure that a good Sony 4K projector will be better than what I have, but it is also based on source content.
Wow! Your subs are massive 28" deep. What drivers are you using for your subs? I’m also using 2 subs in my dedicated theater room.
Are you also using subs when listening to stereo music?
Sony makes one of the best movie projector only bested by Runco.
When you go 4K route you should get the Oppo 203/205 in used markets but I suggest you wait a little longer cause it isn’t worth paying for the Oppo 205/203 for 3 times their original MSRP. That’s how much they are charging them for these days in after market ever since Oppo ceased productions and operations. Those people are just trying to take advantage or trying to rip people off.
Lucky me I have purchased the Oppo 205 late last year and only paid its original retail price of $1300.
I’ve heard that the new flagship Pioneer Elite 4K UHD bluray player is coming soon to North American market but I think they are going to retail for around $2500. Not sure. But heard rumors that the build quality and audio and video performances will be on par with the Oppo 205 or perhaps even better, dunno. I think they were already launched in Japan/Asia and Europe. Can’t remember the model.
Few people also told me that the somewhat new Sony ES 4K UHD bluray player (1000ES) is very good also and its audio & video qualities over HDMI are probably on par with the Oppo 203/205 but the Oppo 205 has superior DAC, analong audio stages & power supply.
As for a new pre pro that supports 4K and stuff, you can always run the audio only HDMI out from a 4K bluray player to your current pre pro and the video only HDMI out directly to a 4K display or a 4K Lumagen video processor. And if you have a 4K capable cable tv box or some sort down the road in the near future you can run the HDMI directly to a 4K display or a 4K Lumagen video processor for video only and run spdif or Toslink out to your current pre pro for audio only. I think you can keep your current Krell pre pro and no need to get a 4K capable processor.
But if you must get a new 4K capable processor the latest version of Krell Foundation series supports 4K but not sure if it supports the latest HDR and Dolby Vision and hdcp 2.2 necessary from a 4K UHD bluray player. I think the new Marantz AV8805 supports the very latest formats. The Lyngdorf MP-50 and the new latest NAD M17 v2 processors also support the latest formats. Even the Anthem AVM60 does not support Dolby Vision and latest HDR. So far I think the new Marantz AV8805, NAD M17 v2 & the Lyngdorf MP-50 are the only processors currently available on the market that support the very latest formats on the video side. The revised or latest version of Classe Sigma SSP Mk2 supports 4K, hdcp 2.2 but does not support HDR nor Dolby Vision. I think the new Bryston SP4 supports the latest formats too.
Not even sure if the Classe Sigma SSP Mk2 are still in production especially there are uncertainty with the brand after it was sold to Sound United early this year. Not sure if the Sigma series are still in production.
Many hifi reviewers claimed that the Krell Foundation, the Classe Sigma SSP and the NAD M17 are superior sounding to the Marantz AV8802 but don’t know how they would compare to the new AV8805. Last year I have personally compared my previous Classe SSP 800, Classe Sigma SSP & the Marantz AV8802 in my own home theater setup. For surround sound movies (home theater) via their HDMI inputs, the SSP 800 is the best, followed by the Sigma SSP and the Marantz AV8802. But when used as an analog stereo preamp for music playbacks in bypass mode, the Sigma SSP is number one, followed by the SSP 800 and then lastly the Marantz AV8802. But the difference between the Sigma SSP and the SSP 800 was subtle, they are pretty much on par. I found the Marantz 8802 to be lacking when used as an analog stereo preamp for listening to music in bypass mode.
Then lastly when I compared these 3 processors as stereo digital preamps for stereo music playbacks, the Sigma SSP, fed via its rear USB input, by far way outperformed the other two processors, then followed by the SSP 800, fed via its spdif, then lastly the Marantz 8802, fed via its USB & spdif. The SSP 800 does not have USB inputs. Its rear USB port is only for loading firmwares.
So the Sigma SSP is a king when used for stereo digital music playbacks fed via its USB input in comparison to the other 2 processors. The SSP 800 was pretty good too when fed via its spdif and even HDMI inputs for stereo music playbacks or when used as a digital stereo preamp. The Marantz 8802 could not quite compare to both Classe processors in this area. The DACs in both Classe are also superior to the Marantz 8802.
But when used for surround movies (via HDMI) the Marantz was very good especially for the money since its original MSRP was the cheapest compared to both Classe’s original MSRP. I could probably easily live with the Marantz 8802 when used strictly for home theater (surround movies) and it isn’t far behind than the Sigma SSP.
I have also also listened to the NAD M17 briefly at my local dealer in an unfamiliar setup so had no idea how the NAD M17 would compare to those 3 processors. But the M17 was very good.
I have not tried the Krell Foundation series processor but it was highly praised by some hifi reviewers.
In regards to the Classe Delta series amplifiers I really like the styling and color actually. I hate the CT series styling I think they are the ugliest amplifier I’ve ever seen.
But regarding the fan, they are pretty silent and almost inaudible depending on how far back you sit from the amplifiers and how big your room is. But the filter needs to be cleaned every once in a while. There’s a detector where the light flashes on it means that it tells you that it’s time to get it cleaned up.
If you like black or darker color amplifiers, Classe is probably going to finally launch the new replacements for the Delta series gears that were supposed to be launched summer of 2017 but since B&W Group decided to shut down Classe’s main facility in Montreal last fall so these new Delta series gears weren’t moving forward with productions. But I’ve heard a rumor earlier this year that Classe now under Sound United are going to launch these new Delta series products maybe next year. I have heard the pre-production run of these new Delta series gears at last year’s Music Matters at my local dealer. They consisted of a new Delta Pre stereo preamp/DAC to replace the recently discontinued CP 800 stereo preamp/DAC and the new Delta Mono monoblock amps run in class A mode at least for the first 50 watts or so and the remaining in class AB. They were very dark charcoal colors. They look different from the existing Delta series gears. They drove the B&W 800 D3 at the time and I found them to be better than the existing or recently discontinued Delta series combos, which are already pretty amazing epecially the CAM 600 monoblock amps. The new ones were better maybe due to class A operation. The expected retail price of the new Delta Pre stereo preamp/DAC was around $10k ish. And the expected retail price of the new Delta Mono monoblock amps was somewhere around $20k to $30k per pair. In comparison to the existing or recently discontinued Delta series combos the new Delta series gears sounded more liquid and fluid more refined and yet maintain high resolution, details, transparency. Overall they sounded more musical than the recently discontinued Delta series gears. They had better rhythmic drive and subtle dynamic shifts better midrange bloom and better body textures and volume than the existing Delta series combos. They sounded more natural and organic to me on those B&W 800 D3. They sounded spectacular together.
Well, if I can't get my Parasound amps to a level where I'm satisfied, your buddie's three CA-M600 amplifiers are definitely an option, especially if he's willing to sell for $7-8k. I should know within a couple weeks if these Parasound will work out with the silver fuses (need to burn them in, as they were just put in last Friday).
As I have said, I feel no need to upgrade to 4K at this time. To me, the sound is much more important right now. Upgrading to 4K will be way down on the priority list. In 5 years, I might feel differently, but a $14k expense is too much for me right now.
Yeah, stock, the Marantz AV8805 is not going to be as good sounding at the Krell Foundation or Classe Sigma (I have not heard the NAD). However, I will avoid anything with op amps if I possibly can. Even though the Classe is good, it's not going to be good enough for me. The Marantz AV8805 has an excellent base architecture with its massive power supply and discrete analog output stages. However, it can definitely be improved upon. I'm not sure where the future will lead me, but I believe my Krell S1200 will still sound better than pretty much anything out there (it's just that the consumer market places so much value on 4K and Atmos and every new thing that comes out).
Oh, just re-read your post. It sounds like your buddy only has two CA-M600 amps. There's actually a guy on audiogon selling a pair of black CT-M600 for $7580. Unfortunately, I would really need three amps, and it will be much harder to find a single black M600 than it was to find a single black JC1. I was looking at them when I pulled the trigger on the Bryston 7b3 amps, but I have since redirected my focus back to JC1s (which I now have three).
I did not upgrade to Oppo 203 because I mainly use it for a transport and the 103 still has Netflix streaming (which I do a lot of). The Oppo 103 is still the absolute best transport for Netflix streaming, and I do have the linear power supply upgrade.